Is Asabiyyah applicable to regulated industries?

September 5, 2013

I’d like to comment on two connected blog entries one by Krugman and the other by Turchin who obviously felt flattered by being cited by Krugman.

I wouldn’t take a laud from Krugman too seriously. Krugman is an opportunist after all. He is wicked enough to sell ‘distorted knowledge’ that pleases his employers (who ever it is). His interpretation of the alleged fall of Microsoft and the rise of Apple is a typical example as it obscures more than it reveals.

The rise of Apple was astounding, indeed. Not only the scale of it, but also the gadgets are mere heavily overpriced crap. It was unclear to many observers like me why in a free market environment these products gained such a share. But the lessons that we ought to learn recently were that Apple did not grow in a free market environment. The American microtechnology industry is under heavy governmental control. And that control is so strong that even a vibrant giant as Microsoft began to stumble and was overtaken by a miscarriage. Apple, to survive at all, had no choice but to make far reaching concessions to the surveillance industry. Well obviously Microsoft quickly learned its lessons and finally bought Nokia, a telecommunication company. No doubt, Microsoft managers better understand social rules, than Krugman. That’s why the former are managers and the latter just a phony.

There is one point, however, that I agree with both Turchin and Krugman and that is Asabiyyah. It certainly still exists. And it will remain as long as we don’t understand the real essence of states.

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Dualism of Control and Information

July 8, 2013

The crucial point in fauceir theory is the abstraction of control and information into one entity namely the term fauceir.

How the terms information and control are rather subjective criteria depending on the point of view can be neatly demonstrated by recent political events.

The extend of the PRISM project. This picture is from, Tuesday 11 June 2013 14.00 BST.

  1. The first incidence to analyze in that respect is the plane of the Bolivian president Morales was forced to land in Vienna. From the American site it looked as if American intelligence received INFORMATION and CONTROLLED the European airspace. From the other side it looks the other way around. By some false rumor the Americans were CONTROLLED to behave silly, and closing the European airspace for Morales’s airplane is just an other piece of INFORMATION how America behaves hegemonistically.
  2. The PRISM project itself is an other instance that shows such dualism. From the American perspective, this huge collection of data is meant to CONTROL the world. From the other side’s perspective this exuberant data collection is INFORMATION to dismiss American politics.

The dualism of information and control entails that the same instance from a receiver perceived as information is delivered by the sender to control. The fauceir term allows abstraction from that subjectivism which is essential to scientifically and dispassionately describe evolutionary processes.

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My American Dream

June 28, 2013

I propose Snowden and Mannings to endow the next peace Nobel prize. At least that would be a redemption of the prize’s reputation from becoming just an ideological weapon. On the other hand I wouldn’t be happy about it either as it would for an other time revive the Messiah cult which is the foundation of many great religions, most of our social structures, and all of our recent problems. But I digress. This post is not about Nobel prize and not about Messiah faith (which is covered elsewhere) this post is about intelligence, entrepreneurship, and the reasons why leakages become so popular.

The core of the problem is the rise of mediocrity which in turn is identifying a declining empire. The rise of mediocrity in security agencies in the army in particular is meticulously described in this article of the Atlantic. It says:

Performance evaluations emphasize a zero-defect mentality, meaning that risk-avoidance trickles down the chain of command.

“Risk avoidance” may be translated into anti-entrepreneurship or even cowardice, and “trickles down the chain of command” means no less than an instance of the general fauceir rule of niche constructions. In that particular case, all “risk avoiding” commanders strive to have a crew that does not challenge their cowardice and expose their incompetence. Unfortunately that tendency eventually trickled down the whole chain of command and reached the general population already. That is the point when security is spying its own population.

That however also is the point when a decline of an empire finalizes into a fall. The life cycle of an empire is characterized by three phases:

  1. The innovative phase. In this phase the society still small in size accumulates new technologies in a quite innovative way, which gives it an advantage over neighboring societies.
  2. The expansion phase. By many historians this phase of territory and population growth is mistaken for the society blossoming into an empire. Mistakenly this phase is considered the rise of the empire, but it is actually the first phase of its fall as in this phase innovations already decline dramatically. Conclusively, further rising living standard is to less due to new technologies but increasingly due to exploiting existing technology to robber less developed neighbors. So it comes as no surprise that in this phase innovation is mostly focused on military. This change in a society’s behavior from fostering science and innovation to sheer robbery mirrors a parallel change in political and military personnel.
  3. The decline. In this phase non-robbery-related innovation come almost to a halt. The former technological advantage vanishes. The military advantage diminishes. The population kept calm by generous presents looted from other societies becomes turbulent and has to be more intensely monitored or even suppressed.

These three phases can be exactly found in every empire to my knowledge. There is abundant evidence of it from the British, German and Russian empires. The decline of the Roman empire is extensively described. Although Edward Gibbon’s book written in the 18th century England appears a little bit clumsy to readers unfamiliar to that extremely formal English, it relates exactly the details of phase three. Not surprisingly, this period was chosen by the author as British Empire entered the same phase. That decline of his own empire was anticipated by the sensible author.

The fall of an empire is not equivalent to destruction of society or even killing of its population. It is merely the salvation from a robber band which not only tyrannizes neighbors but also their own people. There are examples in history of nations whose people always have been prosperous without ever being an empire, Switzerland for instance, and Germany was more prosperous after the Nazis. I hope America will find its way back into into a free nation soon.

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Eugenics of intelligence

May 26, 2013

Eugenics became a verbal battleground recently. It has been a battleground since humans became aware of the possibility. Even the involvement of genetics to control hereditary diseases is reality in most countries. The recent flare is about intelligence coming into the reach of eugenics. The prospect to control an offspring’s intelligence re-ignited the human-history-long battle, and we will analyze the battleground as it allows to fauceirize the combatants.

Nazi Euthanasia and Jewish Holocaus Victims Compared

The graphic shows that by the German Nazis about 30-times more Jewish than disabled people were killed.

First, we start characterizing the participants in respect to their goals.

  1. The lowest level fauceir are the human individuals as biological beings. I imagine—and there is plenty evidence for that—that parents and mothers in particular cling to their offspring no matter how intelligent. The biological reflexes drive a mother to breast feed her child even if malformed. Among other mechanisms, oxytocin excretion s stimulated by the baby sucking on her nipples, and that alone provides satisfaction.
  2. The next level is a social one. It is the lowest social level at all. The family. A family has to make decisions on other grounds. They have to feed more children and the resources have to be distributed among them wisely. From a family’s perspective, it would be stupid to waist resources on children that have only a poor chance to survive. Here a first fauceir conflict arises between family interest and a mother’s emotional interest. Some mothers tend to cling to her helpless and disabled children even more than to her healthy ones, which puts the family under stress and not seldom such families break apart.
  3. At the next level up the social hierarchy the controversies become fiercer. That is where the real battleground unfolds, and nothing is so as it seems to be. The interest of the state—or to put it more general, the local security provider—is again in favor of helpless, disabled, unintelligent children. Some reader might argue this is bold assertion against all evidence, as euthanasia was introduced by governments—the Nazi German fascist government being a prominent example. But is that really true. I will give two arguments in support of my claim one is logical reasoning the other is empirical data.
    1. First the logical argument. All government act as local security provider, and all security providers tend to monopolize their ‘service’. Still it is a service. People have to pay for it. People receive security service in exchange for a salary that is generally called taxes. As the government holds the monopoly of violence it would suppress other potential security providers and they would even use their power to enforce salary payments and they would increase their honorarium arbitrarily. This monopolized security business goes the better the more unassuming and stupid the customers. Intelligent slaves are a perpetual source of trouble. Either they want to become security providers themselves or they press to negotiate better conditions. Conclusively each government in history has been interested to reduce people’s intelligence.
    2. There is enough empirical evidence in support. Throughout history intelligent people were eliminated on a regular basis. The first documented historical evidence I’m aware of is Jesus who was killed not because he was stupid but because he was superior. Thousands of people followed him killed throughout Europe by inquisition. Many of them we would call natural scientists today, so the inquisition was after the bright ones.While intelligent people were openly attacked before, in the 20th century, governments became hypocritical. The German Nazis declared to eradicate unworthy human life, and in fact, some people with severe mental disabilities were killed by the fascist euthanasia program, as the graphic shows that number was rather negligible compared to the huge number of Jews killed thru the holocaust. And Jewish people on average were more intelligent, than average Germans. For that reason the IQ test in Nazi Germany was forbidden and discredited as a Jew test. Besides it is worth mentioning that not only Jews but also intelligent German people died in concentration camps, as they were most likely to oppose the regime. The extent of that Nazi policy to eradicate human intelligence becomes even more obvious if considering that intelligent Jews and Germans were killed in their prime reproductive age (see second picture) while the people killed by the euthanasia program were not likely to propagate, at all.Governmental hypocrisy was elevated to a next level by post-war governments in the Western and in socialist countries alike. They declared not to follow the Nazi policy of euthanasia but to press in the opposite direction. They vowed to support all human life forms as disabled they may be. By that, however, they followed the Nazi policy of eradicating the most intelligent people even on a greater, a population based, scale. Not only did the governments drained a lot of resources to support mentally disabled people, a developed society can cope with that, but much more damaging from the point of population genetics was the fact that resources were drained from intelligent people to such an extend that it became more and more unattractive for them to raise children. Statistics throughout developed countries show that the more qualifies the less children per mother. That problem is growing for decades and known to everybody, but politicians meet it with neglect pointing out that disabled and socially lower classes need their attention most. The intelligent can help themselves though they obviously cannot as the data demonstrate.
  4. The forth level of fauceir hierarchy is international competition. Here again as at the family level higher intelligence is more desirable as it puts a nation at a more advantageous position.
Jews waiting for extermination by the Nazi regime

This picture from Wikipedia shows Jews in a line waiting for their extermination. At that time Jews were more intelligent than average German folks. Their killing was an reduction of the g factor of the overall German population.

Second, from these considerations, what can be predicted in behalf of future eugenics.

  1. The country that first employs eugenics of intelligence will have an advantage in international competition (follows from point 4).
  2. As we have seen with the Arab spring the augmentation of a peoples intelligence would destabilize a countries ruling structure (follows from point 3).
  3. Families will be the first that secretly in some places will press forward eugenics of intelligence (follows from point 2).
  4. Local security providers will abuse the fate of desperate mothers who love their disabled children to push forward ideologies that oppose eugenetics of intelligence (follows from points 1 and 3).
  5. Local security providers will press for scientific research that allows to augment a population’s intelligence and submissiveness at the same rate.
  6. If not a global security provider develops, eugenics of intelligence will become feasible and popular.

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Stagnation of real wages in Western countries – Evolutionary analysis

April 5, 2013

Discussions about stagnation of real wages are a thorny issue in many discussions online. I think that stagnation is typical of all Western countries, and among many graphs I found this one most instructive as it correlates productivity and real wages. The gap that is rising from the early seventies is discussed by fauceir terms.

Real wages

Though this graph is from Wikipedia, unfortunately the original source (BLS) is unknown.

Usually wages are correlated with productivity, at least it works that way in free market capitalism. If there is a workforce on the free labor market that shows higher productivity, firms would compete to hire it. As higher productivity translates into higher profits firms can offer more salary, and that way wages become adjusted to workforce productivity. If this is not the case as shown in the picture, two reasons come into mind.

  1. There is no real increase in productivity.
  2. There is no real free market

Hypothesis 1: No real increase in productivity

There are difficulties to define productivity nationwide. According to Wikipedia it is easily determined for a single firm.

Productivity is a ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs of capital, labor, land, energy, materials, etc.). The measure of productivity is defined as a total output per one unit of a total input.

But defining productivity of a whole nation is not trivial. (1) OECD defines productivity as work load per GDP. (2) The graphic depicts productivity restricted to major sector productivity. Both methods have their drawbacks.

The OECD method estimated productivity too height as GDP includes unproductive, even destructive money transfers. Usually in a healthy free market society GDP well correlates with overall production output, and also typically of a healthy free market society, there is only as much work force employed as necessary. Under such circumstances the ratio of GDP and employed workforce offers a good measure of a nations productivity. On the contrary an unhealthy market, one full of parasites, will give a distorted impression of productivity calculated by the OECD method.

The major sector productivity also estimates a nation’s average productivity too high. Although the real productivity in major sector firms may have been increased that increase may be eaten up by other sectors, parasitic ones in particular.

Conclusively, a nation’s average productivity can be estimated as a sum of independent units only if the units are acting really independently as typical of a free market. In a highly regulated markets as in all Western countries the whole nation has to be considered as a single unit. The output of such a unit is by contrast to blunt GDP the output of production minus unproductive output which include taxes, subsidies, social transfer, and lobbying costs. There unproductive outputs have to be added at the input side of the productivity ratio. To give the economic analogy of productivity of a single firm. Such a company may only sum up the income generated by selling the product as real output. If the company also improves working condition, this is input not output, but a nation’s GDP includes both.

Given the real calculations of a nations productivity as discussed above, I doubt there is any increase in productivity throughout the Western countries. I’d rather think that the average productivity is as flat or even declining as wages are.

Hypothesis 2: No free market

Admittedly, there is a remaining free labor market in all Western countries (at least the workers are free to choose a better position – employers are not so free any more to fire and hire a better worker), so by the free market mechanism as discussed above, wages should rise with productivity. Why did not?

To explain this we have to distinguish two types of productivity, the overall productivity and the workforce productivity. Of course only workforce productivity is immediately mirrored in wages given a free labor market. If a firm cannot expect a higher output by hiring a better worker it wouldn’t offer a better salary. However sure enough, if the worker is more qualified to operate a machine with better output he or she will be lured by the firm anyway. Thus if not immediately, through intermediate steps of more productive equipment and education, free market competition will translate into better wages. What however if the market is highly regulated?

And the market is highly regulated indeed.

  1. If competitors are not allowed to buy new machines or to launch production of new products due to market regulations they won’t hire workers to do the production. Example: Most of the iPhone production is in China. It would be easy for any other entrepreneur to sell a similar gadget for a better price, and I’m convinced still would be able to pay newly hired Apple workers better wages. But this is unfeasible as government protects Apple’s production by several copyright and patent laws.
  2. If an entrepreneur wants to launch production he or she might be deterred by subsidies or long term contracts granted to competitor. Example: the US automobile industry received such subsidies as well as Boeing and Airbus making it impossible for newcomers to enter the market.

Conclusively, though the labor market remained at least partially free, other market regulation stopped workers opportunities to negotiate.


As hypothesized at the beginning of this article the stagnation of real wages in the US and other Western countries is due to governmental market regulations.

  1. Governments by inflating parasitic industries and institutions eat up most of the increase in productivity still generated by some major sectors, so nothing is left over for worker’s wages.
  2. Governments prevent free market competition.

That is, instead of ensuring fairness in free market competition governments became participants in that competition themselves. By that measure they evolved back into feudalistic entrepreneurs (as medieval kingdoms) which is why we encounter all the problems typical of feudalism (including the monetary crisis) now.

Conclusively though governments insist that their market regulation are for the benefit of workers, they effectively cause the opposite, which will be even more obvious if raising income inequality is considered.

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The two perspectives of group intelligence

April 4, 2013

Browsing the category intelligence among wordpress blogs, I stumbled over a group intelligence article and following link after link I ended up at an article from Harvard Business Magazine. The quote worth discussing goes:

Drawing on that insight, we advised the center’s manager to revise the employees’ coffee break schedule so that everyone on a team took a break at the same time. That would allow people more time to socialize with their teammates, away from their workstations.

That’s meant to be rocket science from Harvard: A team’s productivity may be increase by increasing coffee break communication. Take a coffee break to let it sink in.

Let’s imagine employees using their coffee breaks to communicate ideas how to demand more coffee brakes (and ultimately more salary for better efficiency). Let’s imagine team members coming up with better drugs to enhance socialization. Vodka for that purpose has highly valued properties, or what’s about qat.

All that is not new of course. Social communication and drugs that enhance it has been used since time immemorial to influence people, to manipulate them to cajole them into doing things that otherwise they would refuse to do with enthusiasm. I reported of beer used to motivated workers at the pyramids. There are more recent examples. Nazi Germany used amphetamine enriched chocolate to enhance bomber pilot’s tolerance to all the destruction and killing that they caused by their planes. Russian red army soldiers were filled up with booze before sending them into a desperate mission.

German pilots

German pilots received special amphetamine enriched chocolate before takeoff to destructive missions in WW2

On the other hand, let’s imagine genius mathematicians like Gauss or musicians like Glinka being forced into coffee breaks to socialize with mediocre teammates. Which improvement would cause this communication?

It is not new of course, geniuses also need a social environment as much as they need a proper biological environment, including food and sex. Gauss found such a favorable social environment as described in this book. Probably, if he had not found so many supporters of his education, he would not have reached that level of sophistication. The same holds true if he were starving.

Discussing the phenomenon of group intelligence two things are inadvertently or intentionally mixed, but there is a fine line between a group being lured by social incentives and a group forming a favorable environment for some genius to develop.

From fauceir perspective it is the question of who enslaves whom. The first is the enslavement of humans by society the second is the enslavement of the society by human minds. Don’t ask which side I prefer to take.

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Easter refutation of the Messiah

April 1, 2013

The faith in a Messiah is ubiquitous. It is common in many if not all cultures. It survived till today, not only in legends and religious scripts. It is even revived in modern literature such as Dune or philosophy such as Marxism or ideology such as democracy. The idea of a Messiah evolved from prehistoric tribal behavior, showed some transformations over human history, and found its solution recently in The Bible. The Easter story in particular.

Jesus Crucifixion

Jesus’ Crucifixion demonstrated that a Messiah fails even if endowed with god-like power.


The Messiah idea has its roots in prehistoric human social behavior. Humans primeval ancestors lived in compound that were lead by alpha males. Obedience to that leader was essential to that compounds competitiveness, so we may conclude if not even biologically wired there is a strong socially inherited tendency to follow a leading male. In the emerging class societies, the function of the alpha male was substituted by religious or political rulers. No wonder then that the first Messiahs in old scriptures coincided with political rulers.


As with growing contradictions among social classes an other type of interpretation of Messiah evolved. While the ruling class still maintained the old ideology of God given ruler being the Messiah, the abused classes suffering from conflicts, suppression, and injustice began to dream of an other Messiah. A new type of ruler who would enforce their interests.

Human thinking caged

Psychologists call it cognitive inhibition. As human upbringing in a family with a strong leader reinforces humans primeval social behavior, there is a perpetual source of new Messiah stories. Some as clumsy as Dune where a single person changes the world. Some others, more realistic about human egoistic behavior, transpose the idea of a Messiah to a group of people. The working class in Marxism and a democratically elected assembly in Western ideologies. None is working for two reasons.

  1. There is no such thing as a human that wont abuse power. That holds for a single person as well as for groups of people.
  2. There is no such thing as a wise decision that all people are complacent about. Neither contradictory interests can be reconciled nor really progressive decisions can be made by mass support.

Despite the growing number of people that create ever new stories of Messiahs and scholars that invent new Messiah theories, wise people found out about its infeasibility some two thousand years ago when they wrote the story about Jesus. Jesus was meant to be a Messiah but failed. The message is clear. As Jesus failed who was capable to muster all the power of God in his favor, every human who cannot muster as much power must fail too.

Unfortunately these rational foundations of human sociology by early Christian scholars remained almost unnoticed. Too strong have been the efforts of ruler, even of the Christian churches, to disguise the original tenet. And also too strong is the desire of humans to believe in something that complies with deeply inherited feelings, however irrational it may be.

Unfortunately early sociologists did not offer a solution to the problem, but they did so for a purpose, for not creating a new Messiah, for not repeating old mistakes. Admittedly progress in society and sociology goes slowly. But what is 2k years in an evolutionary timescale?

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You are like what you can understand

March 9, 2013

This is a rather approximate translation of a phrase from Goethe’s Faust: „Thou’rt like the spirit thou canst comprehend“. An even wider interpretation of that phrase is „You can only understand what the spirit that created you allows you to understand.“ That means in fauceir terminology „The fauceirs of your thinking, are caged by the fauceirs that enslave it, which are social fauceirs.“


Earth-bound spirit in Goethe's Faust

This illustration by Goethe himself shows the earthly or earth-bound spirit who declares in his Faust tragedy part 1 “Thou’rt like the spirit thou canst comprehend, not me.” and vanishes.


Goethe was not only a gifted play-writer and poet but also a naturalist. His scientific work includes the theory of colors. Characteristic of his life and probably his epoch in general is amalgamation of scientific and artistic endeavor. That is nothing unusual, rather comes naturally as both arise from the same spirit and creativity. Not surprising then that his Faust is not only a stage play about an antsy scientists but also lays the philosophical foundation of evolutionary theory, social evolutionary theory in particular.

The phrase quoted above for instance found its repercussion in Marx’ famous thesis “Existence determines consciousness”.

I remembered these phrases when noticing the recent flare of discussions about peer review in scientific publications (Robertson 2013) which states only consequences drawn from discussions several years before (Ploegh 2011), (Rosenbaum 2008).

The measures now taken to improve fairness in peer review don’t touch the core of the problem, which is the reviewer’s subjective understanding. The improvements now implemented merely reduce sheer fraud. If for instance researcher A wants to publish a new idea, but researcher B, the reviewer in this case, is a strong competitor and wants to publish first; then researcher B may delay publication by putting big hurdles in the way. The hurdles might even become so difficult that publication becomes impossible at all. I didn’t believe that this is even possible, but obviously it is. It even has a long tradition. It looks like the Darwin Conspiracy (Davies 2008). We even may go so far to claim that peer review is the product of a social evolution process from Darwin’s more unique conspiracy to a systematic suppression of outstanding research. In a social context even crime may evolve.

Now the new opt-out policy introduced by BMC Biology offers some relieve as researcher A is allowed to immediately try to publish elsewhere. Couldn’t believe that this was forbidden before, but it was. In fact, according to the peer review policy maintained by many prestigious journals, it is not allowed to try publishing elsewhere as long as the paper is in the review process. This is outright monopolizing science. This is equivalent to buying a patent to prevent its application. I can’t believe that enlightened and devoted to scientific progress scientists ever accepted that. The only explanation I can find for the fact that such a policy holds sway over almost all scientific publishing is that the bulk of scientists is mediocre and mean.

Though opt-out policy is a tiny little step to reduce reviewer’s fraud, by far it would not eliminate it completely as everyone can imagine if journal A declines a paper because of reviewer A, the same can happen with journal B and reviewer B. Maybe B is a good friend of A or even the same person. But even if A and B are competitors themselves they share a common interest in fighting a new competitive paper that challenges their both reputation. Moreover taking aside this obvious fraud which might be effectively controlled sometimes as society becomes increasingly aware of it, there is an even greater problem behind. The subconscious aversion of all research that challenges the social environment. Everybody, and every scientist in particular, is caged in a social fauceir that controls almost all thinking. For instance, an academically employed scientists would never accept a social evolutionary concept that declares academic research out-of-date and disposable. But that is what really is at stage.

Humans inability to make proper judgments about entities outside the private cage is the real thread of humanity. As Goethe concludes the second part of his famous Faust

Ein Sumpf zieht am Gebirge hin,
Verpestet alles schon Errungene;
Den faulen Pfuhl auch abzuziehn,
Das Letzte wär’ das Höchsterrungene.

Unfortunately I did not find an authorized translation, so I give my own rather free translation. “A swamp is spreading into the mountains, contaminating all human achievements. Draining that swamp is an heroic task of first and foremost importance.


Davies, Roy. 2008. The Darwin Conspiracy – Origins of a Scientific Crime. First. Golden Square Books.

Ploegh, Hidde. 2011. „End the Wasteful Tyranny of Reviewer Experiments“. Nature News 472 (7344) (April 27): 391–391. doi:10.1038/472391a.

Robertson, Miranda. 2013. „Q&A: Re-review Opt-out and Painless Publishing“. BMC Biology 11 (1) (Februar 28): 18. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-18.

Rosenbaum, Joel L. 2008. „High-Profile Journals Not Worth the Trouble“. Science 321 (5892) (August 22): 1039–1039. doi:10.1126/science.321.5892.1039b.

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Fallacies employed against Social Darwinism

February 2, 2013

The term social darwinism is an execration. Its connotions are so bad you may as well call a Social Darwinist an ass hole. (Besides, an ass hole is a very important part of a body. Closing it is irreconcilable with life going on.) The same holds true for natural social selection (that’s what most people understand by Darwinism), if absent the society is doomed.

Still it makes sense to develop an aversion to feces as the often carry disease causing germs. Disgust was the first principle of hygiene before soap and water came into action. One may find the same is true with Social Darwinism. I don’t dare to judge. I’d rather point to an other analogy.

Our disgust for excrement is well indoctrinated by our parent’s upbringing. While weaning off diapers parents repeatedly remind their children how disgusting it is to wear wet pants. The same is true with Social Darwinism. We would probably soon forget about its danger if there were not so many scholars that do not tire to maintain that it is terribly noxious. All this resembles an argumentum ad nauseam, as all authors seem to copy each other. I found one blog entry that immediately pops up when searching ‘Social Darwinism’ archetypal of that kind of literature as it contains most of the fallacies usually involved.

its central ideas owe more to the thought of a luminary of that time, Herbert Spencer, whose writings are (to understate) no longer widely read.

Discrediting the source.

Besides the work by Spencer is downloadable from the Online Library of Liberty for free, and I strongly recommend reading it, …

… and go on with my next quote.

ruthless process, “red in tooth and claw” — he viewed human culture and human societies as progressing through fierce competition. Provided that policymakers do not take foolish steps to protect the weak,


I read a lot of his work and did not find the phrase “red in tooth and claw”, even my search engine does not bring it up. Treating the weak badly eliminating them is not the subject of his writings. On the contrary he describes evolution as a process by which prosperity rises and heterogeneity and division of labor increases offering even the weak and disabled oportunities to contribute and participate.

Although social Darwinism has often been closely connected with ideas in eugenics …
…some racial groups are intrinsically better than others…
these are not central to the position.

Inconsistent comparison

This special kind of straw man may be called hypocritical straw-man or partially knocked down straw-man. Although the author knows it is not true, he still mentions it and only partially refutes it leaving everybody with the impression that some truth is in it.

Late 19th-century dynastic capitalists, especially the American “robber barons,” found this vision profoundly congenial.

Appeal to spite

It is combined with some attempt to taste of an Argumentum ad populum.

Finally, by using rationality we probably get a better hygiene of really bad ideas associated with social evolution. To develop rationally requires studying, and studying the original sources and sorting out irrational ideological treatise is what is most recommended.

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War, Cooperation, Atruism, and Slavery

January 15, 2013

As I like the book Secular Cycles, (at least the first chapter that is freely available) coauthored by Peter Turchin, I occasionally browse his blog. In contrast to that book, his recent argument was not only flawed but got me outrageous.

First. There is an obvious contradiction in his argument:

Although one may follow that cooperation is enforced, at least temporarily, in a threatened society, what about the aggressor? If it were so cooperative, why wouldn’t it simply go ahead and ask others to cooperate. Trading, for instance, as merchants and business people do during peacetime. On the contrary, it requires a great deal of selfishness to attack others and steal from them.

Now if you need both selfishness to attack and cooperation to defend, what will evolve eventually?

Second, and even more importantly. His argument is sheer hypocrisy.

Given a society divided into selfish rulers and altruistic slaves. The more such a society grows in population the more people are employed to enforce enslavement. This can be accomplished either by brutal force or,

even more successfully, by preaching altruism.

Well, Peter Turchin calls it cooperation but it means giving up personal interests for the sake of social ruler’s interest. This is nothing but mere propaganda, and it is for an obvious reason. As a state employee, he earns his money for upbringing devoted slaves, and he does a good job, doesn’t he. Disguising enslavement as cooperation, and condemning self-confidence as selfishness, he is preaching water while drinking wine. His selfishness is at the expense of followers who become proper slaves. I detest such hypocrisy.

I very, very, very much more like Ayn Rand’s position on selfishness, who allowed all people to behave selfishly as long as not abusing others.

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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at


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