Notebook entry, April 22, 2001
Some sad, but truthful news from India as reported in The New York Times, April 22, 2001: Female Fetuses Targeted for Abortions in India, by Celia W. Dugger. Once again, the cultural advantages that are given to a specific gender in one cultural rises its ugly head and dictates the socialization norms regarding preferred sex of a given unborn fetus.
To quote one Gurjit Kaur, 22, who paid for an ultrasound test a year ago, then aborted her pregnancy after she was told she was carrying a girl "Our elders wanted a boy. Boys are important because they have to look after all the property." The result has been staggering: The ratio of girls to boys has plummeted from 875 to 793 per 1,000 in Punjab, and 928 to 876 in Gujarat, a leading industrial state. These numbers are disturbing to many Indians, who fear the long-term social consequences and regret the injustice.
Once again, empirical evidence of what I call, "Resource Alignment" towards the dominate culture away from the submissive element, who practice what I call, Origin Denial, Resource Alignment": The practice of defining one's ethnic, racial, gender, or ancestral socialization views in order to benefit from the recourses that are controlled by the dominates at a specific Longitude and Latitude on the planet. In India, it is the males who will carry the family name, inherit ancestral property, care for parents in old age, and light their father's funeral pyres.
Is it right or moral? It is not our choice. It is their's. Hopefully, some day, they will understand that the female gender is the one that will save this planet.
Notebook entry, April 20, 2001
There was an obscure, but interesting article in The New York Times today about the cultural environment of Italy in which people recommended others for position of employment or advancement in other endeavors. The title: Rome Journal: Official Favors Make Italy Go Round, by Alessandra Stanley, April 20, 2001. "Raccomandazione'" or the Italian custom of seeking and receiving special treatment from people in power, or close it. To quote, Mr. Ferrarotti, an Italian sociologist, "This is our version of the Protestant ethic. When a favor works successfully, it ceases to be a crime and becomes a work of art.
Of course, this is nothing more than an alliance assistance requesting from a primate perspective. Someone in the socialization process is requesting assistance from someone higher or equal in the proximate socioeconomic spectrum, and that their assistance would benefit someone else that they know. (Start first with exclusive fitness, and the work your way outward from your immediate clan circle to those of the same ethnic group and then gender).
And why is this such a big deal? Well, in America we like to believe that our successes are the result of hard work that we have done by ourselves. I say rubbish. I say that no one becomes a success by themselves; they can only do it with assistance from others that voluntary give assistance, such as a parent helping their children; those that decide that assistance given to others would be beneficial to themselves, or assistance given would most likely be returned in turn as some other date. I strongly believe that assistance giving is universal, but that specific cultural socialization customs at specific locations on the planet vary the outward display of such assistance. In other words, we in the USA tend to hide our assistance giving because of this cultural belief of self-reliance equals self-made-person equals self-made success. That the disclosure assistance given would shed light upon us as "weak," effeminate, and therefore, not warranted to belong to the self-made-success story that is one of the "pillars" of American folklore.
I offer The New York Times Article as empirical evidence in the human practice of assistance giving, requesting, and favors bestowed. I am sure that it will be the first in many as we expand the scope of evolutionary psychology.
Notebook entry, April 17, 2001
I got a query from a Discover Magazine writer on Friday the 13th. Here is his query and my response:
----- Original Message -----From: Jack McClintockSent: Friday, April 13, 2001 1:11 PMDear Sir: I'm a writer for Discover magazine starting work on a piece about what may differentiate political liberals from conservatives. Could you suggest any starting points, people to contact, books or papers to read, theorists to consult? Thanks very much.
I think that it is great that you are considering an article that deals with the political leanings that have their root in biological behaviors; in particular, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, (at least I think that is what you are attempting to do). As for organizations, The only one that I think come close to perspective would be the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, and the journal that they publish from Great Britain by Beech Tree Publishing. Website for the Association:http://www.lssu.edu/apls and site for the journal, http://www.lssu.edu/apls/pls You may find some leads there.
I must confess that I have very little time available to search the net that may relate to your specific request, but I sense that most academics try to avoid specific political labeling the subject due to the delicate nature of the beast and the purse strings that may be attached to them, and hence, reluctance to publish or study – but, I sense the real reason is that all this business of an evolutionary approach to looking at human behavior, and hence, political behavior is so new that little is really out there.
Since I am not hindered by such restraints of financial or political restraints to offend anyone, (I’m so poor, that it would make much difference), I have begun to establish my own "Evolution and Politics" section at Evolution's Voyage for the past year by slowly focusing on establishing the territoriality of human behavior. I hope that my creation will encourage other scholars beginning their careers to expand the subject of human behavior and politics to all areas; I feel that it is very important for the survival of the planet due to negative interactions of our growing global village (the China Spy plane incident, is a good example).
The subject of human nature and politics has its roots as far back as Plato’s Republic suggesting that an educated elite should govern democracies. Plato touches upon various human behaviors and concludes that virtues such as righteousness, fairness, and justice should be found in rulers who govern. As such, I suggest that you read The Republic, by Plato. There is an excellent lecture series via audio and video from The Teaching Company, 1-800-TEACH-12, called "Power Over People: Classical and Modern Political Theory, by Professor Dennis Dalton, Barnard College, that covers the origins of political power and people and stresses Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and Machiavelli.
As I mentioned in my email, I was decoding some work by a conservative talk-show host’s newspaper column so I am only concerned, at this time, in touching on the conservative mind and how it evolved from ancestral past. Most of the current political conservative thought in America that seems to resonate, I believe, can be traced to Niccolò Machivelli’s The Prince. Machiavelli was a Florentine diplomat and political theorist of the 16th Century who’s political knowledge was born amidst political chaos. His belief that human nature could not be trusted, and hence, the only way to rule is to rule with a masculine might, which in Italian is called virtú, and the craftiness of the fox, which includes deceit.
This is very important because this forms the basis of, what I believe, to be the core of conservative thought in America today: that might makes right; that being hated because you restore order in a society is better than being loved in a compassionate society devoid of order. Political chaos of today is the evolved biological violence of our ancestors; eliminate the violence and you restore order. But, to do this, you must use overwhelming force.
It is the philosophy of the employer who believes that, except for him, all those whom he employs would be out of a job and begging for mercy. The conservative, patriarchal philosophy in our country may have been influenced by British Aristocracy, which until just recently, was selected (not elected) as members of their House of Lords, (the equivalent of our Senate).
But most of all: it is the masculine force that dominates the realm. It is a way of life that believes that those beneath you are your responsibility, (an educated elite as described by Plato), but that these people are there in the social pecking order because of their own lack of self-determination and intelligence – the opposite of why they are on top. (One could also call conservatives today as Social Darwinists, and you often hear them quote the phase "Survival of the fittest" to explain why there are on top of the social order and others are not -- By the way, that quote comes from Herbert Spencer, the philosopher, and not Charles Darwin as some believe.)
You can see evidence of Machiavelli’s influence in the recent issue of U.S. News & World Report, April 16, 2001, (some consider this a conservative publication), an editorial by Michael Barone, under the heading: THE NATIONAL INTEREST: Bully (for) Bush: The president’s foreign policy: better to be feared than loved. P. 27. About half way down on the right column, Mr. Barone writes: "But, as Niccolo Machiavelli noted, it is better for a prince to be feared than to be loved." In describing Mr. Bush’s current foreign policy stance.
But even though that gives us a historical framework of the political nature of the conservative mind, it still does not explain the biological natures and behaviors that fit today’s realities.
It is my speculation that this macho attitude evolved from our hunter-gatherer groups bonding into one unit and led by males which were used to acquire food, protection, and procreation advantages. The environment then was no doubt harsh, and hence, one’s adaptation to that environment had to be equally hard. Initiations (or hazing) were done to pre-qualify the "toughness" of the warrior candidate, and If you were ‘weak" and could not meet up to expectations, then you were expelled or assigned "effeminate" duties. This "toughness" attitude and bonding is extremely important because what it does is breaks down the individual’s self-thought as a singular person to one that is multi-personal, to that of a group identity. This explains the importance of bonding by troops in war situations and the current police force philosophies. In order to survive you must depend on your buddy. Misbehave; violet social norms; or refuse to cooperate with the dominate people of the bonded group, and assistance could be extracted the next time you needed backup. The good ol’ boy network is merely an extension of this male bonding and mutual assistance.
The following are a few of my notes concerning the difference between liberal and conservative thought and my conclusions: They are observations and not scientific studies, as such, please consider them to be speculative and stereotypical in general.
Conservatives -- attempt to conserve the status quo in which they dominate. (hence the word, conserve).
Liberals – attempt to create a more equal world; creating equal opportunities for all.
Conservatives – That the family is basic social core of society; that the family should take care of themselves. Conservatives believe that the government’s role is intrusive and oppressive.
Liberals – also believe that family has responsibilities but that the government should help families as much as possible.
Liberals – are more tolerant of all types of families, be they non-nuclear families, mixed marriages,
Very Conservatives – believe that God created differences in (gender, and racial differences) for a reason, and that those differences should be maintained (sometimes at all costs. Example: Bob Jones University.)
Conservatives believe that the only role of government is to protect property (mostly theirs). They don’t want to be taxed, nor want the establishment of government entitlement programs. (they seem to blow a fuse over welfare mothers on the dole, but seem to be ok with $600 toilet seat purchases by the military for stealth bombers – this behavior can be traced that "welfare" takes money from their pockets and gives to "undesirables" while the military is used to protect our nation’s borders so that they can go about their business of making piles of money).
Liberals – seem to feel other’s pain better. Perhaps this is because they know what life is like on the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. Liberals see the abuses of power, status and the inequality of the justice system, while conservatives believe that the élites should be allowed privileges due to their responsibilities (for creating jobs and opportunities for us poor slobs who are incapable of such a feat).
Liberals—seem to see the differences in what is being said politically and what is really being done. I.e, "All men are created equal under the law." While a stroll down a state prison ward will show that those in the higher reaches of the socioeconomic scales are no where near represented in accurate numbers proportionate to the general population.
Conservatives -- are very aware of status "display rules." They understand social rules and how to obtain wealth. They understand what is acceptable to the upper-crust.
Liberals – have no need to impress anyone. They do feel ashamed about where they came from.
Liberals – know how to have fun while conservatives attempt to practice leisure skills suitable to a select elite group.
One book that I have not read, but that a friend of mine has suggested is the conservative "bible," is the book: The New Right Papers: the nature and goals of the movement, explained by is most prominent voices, Edited by Robert W. Whitaker, St. Martin’s Press, 1982. The book is out of print, but available on secondary markets via Amazon.com
Another possibility is to look at a man called David Horowitz… the so-called Marxist who has turn neoconservative….he is currently making the rounds of the talk-shows fighting against the idea that descendants of slaves should be paid repartitions. I have not read any of his work, but I would be very interested to know why a former liberal turns conservative. (think he’ll let us look at his Swiss bank accounts? – speculation of course!)
Also see Abraham on trail: the social legacy of biblical myth, by Carol Lowery Delaney…..The title pretty much tells you what to expect: the establishment of the male as patriarch and to identify the justification of the male as patriarch. (this is very important in the religious conservative circles as there can only be "one captain" in the ship of a marital relationship.– see Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs.
Is the fetus a person: A comparison of Policies across the fifty states: which explores the conservative practices and obsessions of the male over the female reproductive process. It also sheds light on areas of America that suggests that the stronger the male domination in the male-female relationship, the more harsh are the anti-abortion rules, and also (higher divorce rates)
Well, Dave, I hope this helps to get you on the right track. I wish it was more, and that my notes we better connected – but my time is limited. I wish you good luck on the article.
Enjoy the voyage
Bill Spriggs @ Evolution Voyage.
Notebook entry, April 8, 2001
An important article in The New York Times this morning as reporting on a clear, and growing ground swell of belief by some scientists who have lost their timidness to argue against evolution in total and pronounced their support for Intelligent Design. Backers of the movement dispute, that natural selection, the force that Darwin argued drove evolution, is not enough to explain the complexity of the earth's plants and animals. That complexity, they say, must be the work of an intelligent designer. Some also call this intelligent design movement as "Holistic." To quote one, Dr. William Dembski from Baylor University: "It is not creationism. There's not a commitment to Genesis literalism." Although, we at Evolution's Voyage do not totally embrace the new movement, we see it as a clear sign as a movement away from fundamentalist creationism and makes us standing where the synthesis is forming. The title of the article is Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation, by James Glanz, The New York Times, April 8, 2001. I am going to include a link to the article; I don't know how long it will stay up, but if it does not lead you to the article, then at least you will have the data to search for it and acquire it.
Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation, By James Glanz.
copyright, The New York Times, 2001
Notebook entry, April 3, 2001
Updated an older essay today with an article from The March 27th issue of The Denver Post, p. 1a, title: Jeffco Charter School Accounting Faulted, by Kieran Nicholson. The story focuses on the accounting practices of one Jefferson Academy. I updated my The School Voucher Systems: Territorial Consideration in the Resource Alignment Theories. You can go to the essay by clicking here.