Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Behavioural Sink and the Modern World.

Plenty for all. What went wrong?

Louis Shalako

In the modern world, you can withdraw yourself, and spend your time eating, sleeping and grooming for a mate that will never come. Or you can become dominant. This is why the right-wingers are so intent on taking things away from those whom they consider inferior. It is little better than an animal response to a world that is increasingly crowded, where there are shrinking resource bases, in an increasingly stressful world. They will tell you they don't believe in science, but I think they do. They know enough science to be dangerous. Here' s the real problem with Darwinism as social policy--you deny Darwin to begin with. Worse, I'm bigger than you. My arm is long and my sword is sharp. Is this where we are headed as a society?

This is the part the social Darwinists forget or ignore--but that's why they have to have all the guns. That's why they have to take away voting rights, take away public defenders from the courtrooms, and build for-profit jails. They do not believe in the equality of man, even as they scream 'Constitution!' at the top of their voices.

This is why we are forced to contend with the libels, the slanders, the bigotry and the prejudice. My opinion is that we cannot let them win.

…and this is why we fight.

I would suggest that globalization and instantaneous and ubiquitous communications give the illusion of overcrowding.

Famous rat studies:

 “Among the aberrations in behavior were the following: expulsion of young before weaning was complete, wounding of young, inability of dominant males to maintain the defense of their territory and females, aggressive behavior of females, passivity of non-dominant males with increased attacks on each other which were not defended against. After day 600, the social breakdown continued and the population declined toward extinction. During this period females ceased to reproduce. Their male counterparts withdrew completely, never engaging in courtship or fighting. They ate, drank, slept, and groomed themselves – all solitary pursuits. Sleek, healthy coats and an absence of scars characterized these males. They were dubbed “the beautiful ones.” Breeding never resumed and behavior patterns were permanently changed.” (John B. Calhoun.)

The loss of the frontier:

In 1890, the Census Bureau announced the end of the frontier, meaning there was no longer a discernible frontier line in the west, nor any large tracts of land yet unbroken by settlement. 

This news had a terrific psychological impact on many Americans. For the first time in history, America was without a frontier. The frontier was a part of American national identity. 

The ideal of an ever-pioneering spirit with eternally new wildernesses to conquer was the American heroic myth, felt by all and expressed in literature and art. With the end of the frontier, the romance of the West was over.

There are no places for the spirit to roam free, free of social constraints, free of aristocracy, free from mean, miserable inhibitions on behaviour, freedom from interference in our daily lives.

Frederick Jackson Turner found that the loss of the frontier had a profound impact on the American collective psyche.

The walls are really closing in now, aren’t they?

This is why the over-surveillance of the population, and the over-enforcement of societal norms simply doesn’t work. All it does is enable tyranny. It’s always the same type of person or mindset that is an advocate of more cops, more laws, more courts, stiffer sentences.

The biology of violence.

Dr. Debra Niehoff, P.H.D., author of ‘The Biology of Violence,’ as well as other works, speaking here on Invisible Scars.

“In countries with high levels of violence, economic growth can be slowed down, personal and collective security eroded, and social development impeded. Families edging out of poverty and investing in schooling their sons and daughters can be ruined through the violent death or severe disability of the main breadwinner. Communities can be caught in poverty traps where pervasive violence and deprivation form a vicious circle that stifles economic growth. For societies, meeting the direct costs of health, criminal justice, and social welfare responses to violence diverts many billions of dollars from more constructive societal spending. The much larger indirect costs of violence due to lost productivity and lost investment in education work together to slow economic development, increase socioeconomic inequality, and erode human and social capital.”

“Additionally, communities with high levels of violence do not provide the level of stability and predictability vital for a prospering business economy. Individuals will be less likely to invest money and effort towards growth in such unstable and violent conditions.”

In her book, ‘The Biology of Violence,’ Dr. Niehoff shows that incarceration, (removal of the violent rat from society,) doesn’t stop or prevent future violence. If anything, isolated rats, when returned to the fold, either continue or increase their violent behaviours.

When people lobby for new and stiffer laws, they are obviously not lobbying for a new law to control their own behaviour. They want to control the behaviour of their neighbours. They find the behaviour, or simply the neighbour, to be threatening or offensive in some way—note the French banning of the Burkha, and other social phenomena clearly based on prejudice and yet clothed in utilitarian terms, terms of ‘security,’ or ‘threat.’

A complex subject.

This is a complex subject and this blog post is necessarily short. Dogma, ideology and knee-jerk reactions do not serve us well.

While opinions are important, and everyone has one, and everyone should have the opportunity to speak their mind, the fact is that most opinions are uninformed.

These are the opinions of parrots, repeating what they have been taught to say. They don’t even care about truth. It’s all bigotry, ignorance and prejudice, clothed as something more noble, which it ain’t.

As a society, we are eating our young. This does not bode well for the future.

The world is a big, scary place and that is why the simple must be simplistic in all things.

...and this is why I write.


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