Class Warfare Blog

September 17, 2013

Republican Philosophy Is Contrary to Nature

If there is a Republican philosophy it is the supremacy of individual freedom. Being free to do what ever we wish is the ideal: for businesses, for gun owners, for parents, for our schools, for our personal lives, oh wait, no we can’t go there. Well, mostly it is about us being able to conduct our lives as individuals without interference or support from “others,” especially not “others” in the form of the “government” (cue the eerie music).

Whether you subscribe to this philosophy or not, it is counter to nature and all of human history. Let me explain.

The first human beings were members of family groups. We wandered around, hunted for and gathered our food, took shelter, protected ourselves from animal predation and predation by other families, surrounded only by our very close relatives. When the group got unwieldy or somebody wanted to go off on their own, the family group spilt up.

Then we entered a phase in which we settled down in a particular area (or migrated back and forth between settlements based upon season). The groups got larger but we were still surrounded by close and somewhat farther away relatives. Raids on other groups brought new members into the group. Again, if the tribe got too big, it split, sometimes amicably, sometimes not so much.

Then we entered a phase in which cities formed (10,000 years ago). The people inhabiting those were related to some extent but not always recognizably so. Peoples from various tribes got mixed in but most were from the local, so they were probably distantly related.

Following came city states, then principalities, then countries, etc. Group identifications got complicated. (“Papers, pleeze,” hissed the Gestapo officer.) Countries grouped together for specific purposes (NATO, etc.) and for general purposes (the U.N.).

Today, half the population lives in cities.

Throughout time and history, people have become more and more dependent upon one another. As I am writing this, I am dependent upon the company supply the electricity to run this computer. I am also dependent upon the water company, the transportation system of this city, the police department, the grocery stores, and way, way more. I am dependent on my neighbors being generally law abiding (even though Chicagoans are terrific jaywalkers) with the attitude that to get along you have to go along.

And the result is the world has become and is becoming less violent. In a country in which we seem to worship violence, this may sound like a strange statement but the data are clear: corrected for population growth there is a long term (many centuries) reduction in violence of all kinds. (If you doubt this claim, I recommend to you “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker.)

So, the “we are better off being all on our own” philosophy of Republicans runs counter to what just looking around tells us. We are much better off as “us” that we are as a bunch of “I’s.”

Don’t expect Republicans to recognize this any time soon, as this is counter to the wishes of their paymasters.

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5 Comments »

  1. Government is violence.

    Like

    Comment by Ray Plenty — September 17, 2013 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  2. It appears we were in harmony with the blogger muses today Stephen. 😉

    Like

    Comment by lbwoodgate — September 17, 2013 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

    • That we were: isn’t the saying “Great minds think alike.”

      Steve

      Like

      Comment by stephenpruis — September 17, 2013 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

  3. Republican philosophy is not contrary to the Nature. The rugged individualism they value so much is exactly the same solitary foraging behavior that most invertebrates and predatory animals demonstrate.

    Like

    Comment by List of X — September 19, 2013 @ 12:30 am | Reply

    • Maybe I should have said “human nature.” ;o)

      Hey, did you just call them spineless and predatory?!

      Like

      Comment by stephenpruis — September 19, 2013 @ 10:25 am | Reply


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