IOLOGY, a science that unites and relates all life on earth, has been subverted in the recent past to provide social and political cover in order to divide human from human, and humans from other animals.
While slavery has ancient roots, and slaves had few if any rights compared to freemen, only European enslavement of Africans and the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas was justified by claims that the victims were inherently biologically inferior. The White Man's Burden, a phrase that implies the unquestioned superiority of white men and European civilization, exonerated 18th and 19th Century colonial conquests on grounds of 'fitness to lead the lower orders'. In the 20th Century, genocides in Nazi Germany, Bosnia and Rwanda followed this cruel illogic to murderous ends. The same false claims of inherent superiority justify human domination of 'lesser' animals on spurious grounds, whether based on genetics or Genesis.
Despite biological understandings that support the unity of life on earth in all its varied forms, plant and animal, there are those whose thinking leads them to posit inferiority-superiority in human populations based on inherited characteristics. (In their 1994 book, The Bell Curve, Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrenstein suggest lower IQs correlate with socio-economic failure in African Americans. More recently, Gregory Clark in A Farewell to Alms attributes the 'success' of the industrial revolution to superior British genetic adaptability). Such thinking flattens the complexities of decision making and human behavior into sleekly smooth constructs of questionable utility (e.g., IQ) and thus denies the reality of social class struggles: class identification and behavior derive from nurture, not nature; from environment, not genes.
Genocide begins, however improbably, in the conviction that classes of biological distinction indisputably sanction social and political discrimination.
BAILOUT c. 2008
Obama's in, the
Everyone's dreams are given voice.
Thousands teared with joy await
Our Chicago Hope to inaugurate.
Then in the Senate and the
House, committees meet and chairmen grouse.
Economy's driven in a ditch and Paulson pulls a bait and switch.
Bush writes regressive midnight regs
Aimed at hoisting private legs;
Immune to market contradictions
Leave out oversight; up evictions.
One nation, split, with justice for none.
Unless GM is tossed a loan
The free marketplace looks just like a throne.
<!If I had not been reading 'europe' and 'england' as key words, I would have assumed this was the white mans view of the native american on first contact. A violent hunter gatherer, with no propensity to labor an 8 hour day and without the foresight to store. Which as we know, is rubbish. And this new book is All American, in the style of Milty Friedman. A denial of class struggle, because this modern america denies any such thing, always having been fed at the fountain of waves of immigrants. Its anti worker and anti history. Its the 'clockwork' view of history.
<!What a toxic combination! the human genome plus piggy malthus. The author conveniently forgets that there is evidence of grain storage going back thousands of years before the industrial revolution. His idea of delaying instant gratification as being a middle class (dominant class trickle down) trait is ridiculous. There is no mention in this review of the mass violence that surplus production creates. The storage and control of natural resources and foreign wars to gain more. As I learned in the history of medieval childhood, it was really only the ruling class that left any records, from the 12th - 16th century, and they lost one third of their children, which is the same factor this author says the peasant lost their growth rate, there would be parish records of births and deaths, but how can this historian base his hypothesis on one source of records? Back to the crusades, the fever to plunder other lands, as disease and famine took their toll.
<!I can see this book quickly entering the dumbed down view of evolution, in as you say like the racist desire, that blacks had a lower IQ than whites. In terms of IQ ( a dubious idea to say the least) white bread is less nutritious than brown bread, so who would be healthier? the peasant who foraged in times of famine, or the lead white covered swan eating royalty? The royal strain became so mentally feeble inEurope, that they had to start marrying outside their line, raping a peasant or two. It was the industrial revolution that led to mass starvation, mass violence, low cal intake, poverty, the throw away town work force, and the denuding of the peasant class. The 'middle class' was created, not from this top down theory, but from the imperialism of foreign domination, where the wealth of India and Africa, fed this middle class beast, for free, so to speak. Its a mundane thought, but probably true that the basis of british imperialism was hardened tempered steel, and oak trees, combined with the seamanship of an island nation. As we already discovered, it was the quality of the wool, that provided a surplus for cathedrals to be built, crusades funded.
<!Remember when I told you I went to the Liverpool Slavery Museum? and found out that the poorest industrial worker, invested his surplus pennies in the slave trade...."someday my ship will come in" that was how this class was created, the stupendous wealth of stealing the labor from other countries. This fact, blew my mind, that some poor white worker, hauling goods in a port town, was betting that slaves could be captured and successfully delivered alive, to the sugar plantations, or cotton fields. Laboring for the feudal lord, was replaced with gambling, the lottery, there was no ground beneath these workers feet, that they could depend on, they rented their homes, owned by the bosses, purchased food from the stores owned by the bosses they worked for, they had lost any idea of consistency or justice, they became cogs in the wheel. At least under the feudal system, they owned a third of the crops their labor produced. In times of famine, there was 'the common land' where the peasant could freely graze, and forage.... back to Greenham again, and this land could never be stolen by the Lords or the Church, it was the peasants surplus back up. Any british historian can tell this author that the common lands were planned into the peasant economy, and the rules about common land are the basis of british law. The ruling class could hunt on this land, but never could they own or till it, or harvest it for their own purposes, this was the peasants reserve.
<!Their pigs grazed on the acorns on the fall, they gathered the berries and barks, fished in the waters, and hunted the hares and fowl. When the American cruise missiles were placed on common land, this broke a covenant that was centuries old, the common land belongs to the people. The commoners.
<!And to suggest that they did not resist industrialization either is wrong.... the Tolepuddle martyrs - always this struggle for justice. Industrialization made each worker an individual, breaking the ties of a village sharing the field labor with his or her own relatives. It isolated workers as individuals, away from the land they owned, away from the strength of their families, into a desperately frail wage labor system. Of course, me and you, know that there are amazing freedoms that go along with a paycheck, freedoms that were not conceived of by a peasant woman, so I am not promoting a return to feudalism.
<!Marx was stunned that the industrial revolution happened in England, and I am not sure of the exact theories, but think it was because of the sheer quality of the raw materials. The coal, the wool, the iron ore, the oaks that created the ships - the quality and the quantity of it, in such a tiny country, and because of the small area, the convenience of the supply of field workers to become mill workers, they could literally walk from field to factory, to feed the beasts lightning speed of growth. Remember the history of the loom, and how it was in the peasants cottage, and then it was smashed and taxed, to make way for the factory looms, so the bosses could feast off the profits?
<!But I meander, the take home message of this book, which we well know, is the superiority of the dominant class was genetic, and thus brought us to the 'civilization' we know today, back to survival of the fittest - Malthus, and this idea rewards our culture the moral and genetic right to spread this disease throughout the world. Hardly a new concept.
<!This theory is not useful to us at this time, what we do need, is a redefinition of wealth and power, question - what this surplus has bought, as the expense of whom? Or do we just grind on, with our racial and classist illusion of superiority, with our plastic tap water filled bottles, plastic sanitary pads, our gas guzzling war like ways, with the biggest class divide in history. As long as we can shop (be in debt) we are healthy as a society?
<!I am more interested in the history of the fish tank, which tells us more about the rise of the middle class, or how humanism/science/equality of all living things, was a constant thread from Pythagorus onward.
<!Bourgeois bigotry, biological big bangs, beckon bombs. Better be brave.