Skip to main content

View Diary: Hannibal ad portas (384 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You fundamentally misunderstand anarchism. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Concepts of anarchism and organization are mutually exclusive.

    Anarchism employs different methods of organization, but organization nonetheless.  You don't consider workers' and community councils "organization?"  Is organization synonymous with some cadre of leaders or rulers as far as you're concerned?

    And this is totally off the mark.

    although in a Darwinian sense we are all anarchists in that true altruism is not possible.  This is so because it has no genetic mechanism to pass on, over time, such behavior to subsequent generations.

    Are you attempting to say that altruism and anarchism are inconsistent?  That's completely wrong.

    And whether or not altruism is inconsistent with our genetic makeup is a matter of debate.

    Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. - JM Keynes

    by goinsouth on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 09:52:00 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Your use of the term anarchism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      may be accurate in some narrow academic or  limited historical context, but generally speaking most would equate anarchy with the notion of "everyone doing their own thing".

      If you are advocating something else, you might want to consider using another term for it, lest the distinction be lost on the vast majority of folks who don't see simply "doing your own thing" as much of a solution to most of the fundamental problems confronting humanity.

      Obviously, at some level anarchy is consistent with our genetics, as it exists.  Humans don't have the option of doing things that exceed their underlying genetics, at least not for long in an evolutionary time scale, say a few tens or hundreds of generations usually needed to achieve fixation in heteroallelic populations.

      True altruism, ie. giving up one's reproductive potential to benefit that of another not genetically related is a loosing strategy biologically, because such a trait has no mechanism for self-perpetuation.  Humans are constrained in their mode of reproduction by their genetics and, although a variety of behaviors are involved, all must ultimately conform to these constraints or disappear from the gene pool. Unfortunately, resources are finite and this leads to competition among genetic variants for these resources.  Hence, as recognized by Darwin himself, to argue otherwise would be tantamount to demonstrating that the Darwin theory of evolution by means of natural selection was wrong.  However, there is no scientific evidence of this. Indeed, the correctness of the Darwinian view provides the foundation of all modern biology and medicine, which has tested and retested the correctness of this view for over 150 years.  Darwinian theory is a true scientific theory in every sense of the word.  Indeed, it is much better tested and better confirmed than the theory of gravity.

      Consequently, it is unreasonable to expect that humans will act in ways that are fundamentally against their biological self-interest.  This is not to say that behaviors that are less than pure self-interest can not evolve (ie "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine).  To the contrary, the biological world is loaded with all sorts of mutualism and commensalism, both among individuals and species.  Such relationships afford considerable biological (reproductive) advantage.

      Given the evolution of social behaviors in animals, including humans, a variety of mutualistic and commensalistic behaviors is not surprising.  However, what many may ascribe to altruism are based on various degrees of kinship selection and deception and rather than true altruism.  Clearly, the former are quite prevalent in the evolution of American and non-American political discourse.  For example, the number of offspring, who have assumed elected office following in the footsteps of a parent greatly exceed the number expected by chance alone. Likewise, the latter are also quite prevalent.  We are all familiar with a saleman or politician telling us one thing about a product, only to discover after it was "purchased" that the reality was something different entirely.

      However, deception is not limited to simply occurring between species.  In many cases we have evolved to actually have one part of our brain "deceive" another part to modulate behaviors, in some circumstances.  An obvious example, is in hearing, where we actually get used to noise by tricking our brain into forgetting that noise is actually even there at all after some period of accommodation.  Likewise, "good politics" and PR is very much the ability to deceive as well as to persuade with reason.  

      In the biological world, all is seldom as it first appears.  Typically, it is much, much, much more complicated.  Biology is not "rocket science".  It is vastly more complicated than rocket science as there are so many more possibilities given the number of potential combinations of innumerable highly complex molecules, whose atomic "behaviors" lie at the core of all that we are and do.

      I believe that for humanity to survive, we will not need to adopt a particular political philosophy as much as we will need to have a much better understanding of those fundamental molecular interactions that govern and constrain human behavior and evolution.  The future will belong to those who do, not to capitalists, communists, anarchists, fascists, etc.  

      Recognition of this reality is especially important if Steven Hawking is correct that ultimately we must prepare to leave earth if humanity is to avoid extinction.  We need to hurry, as at most we have only a few billion years left before the sun swallows us up and one could argue that by accelerating global warming and destroying earth's biodiversity, we are giving ourselves even less time, perhaps as little as 100-300 years, at least for civilization as we have known it.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (173)
  • Baltimore (88)
  • Community (84)
  • Bernie Sanders (66)
  • Freddie Gray (60)
  • Civil Rights (58)
  • Elections (41)
  • Culture (38)
  • Hillary Clinton (36)
  • Media (36)
  • Racism (33)
  • Law (32)
  • 2016 (31)
  • Labor (27)
  • Education (26)
  • Environment (25)
  • Republicans (23)
  • Politics (23)
  • Barack Obama (22)
  • Economy (21)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site