To:    Guardian CiF
Re:   Social Darwinism is real and driving us towards catastrophe
Date: Thursday 5 July  07


In response to George Monbiot,  ". . . . we could be fossil fuel free in 20 years"

Link to article and thread at The Guardian.

Notwithstanding your good work and intentions, George, as I've pointed out before, neither you, nor anyone else, it seems, is going to the "root cause" of the Problem , which lies in an economy that developed specifically - and unsurprisingly in view of human origins - both to serve and exploit European man's animal nature and behaviour (our fears, desires, competitiveness, etc). This is why we cannot help - are bound, quite literally - to put economics (the household of man) first, above everything else, even above ecology (the household of our planet), when it is obvious (were we not blinded by familiarity and dependency) that human survival urgently demands the opposite.
Even when some individuals consciously recognizes this, the forces that drive the economy and our collective behaviour will not allow us to change our priorities.
What is needed is an evolutionary and anthropological (also individual and social psychological) approach to the Sustainability Problem: first to understand it properly (its "root cause") and then to set about solving it.

2nd Post
3rd Post

[heavyrail]: "And what exactly could we do if we shared your opinion that we can't do now?"

This, is a very good question, and one that many Ptolemaic Astronomers and theologians, I believe, asked of Copernicus and his followers back in the 16th and early 17th centuries.
Obviously, I need to present my ideas in a more organized and coherent fashion, which is something I'm working on.
Their importance seems so obvious to me that I cannot understand the difficulty others have in recognizing it. It's a bit like a foreign language, I suppose: when you speak it you simply understand what is being said, but when you don't it's just gobbledygook.
Or perhaps I really am just speaking gobbledygook and the sooner the men in white coats come knocking at my door the better. You'll just have to hope that the institute they place me in doesn't allow the inmates access to the Internet.

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[heavyrail]: If you are completely convinced that my ideas are gobbledygook, I wonder why you bother responding at all, let alone at such length.

"You're so fixated on the cause that you've forgotten that it's the effects that matter. Changing the cause is one way of changing the effects, . . . . "

I don't think we can change the cause of human nature and behaviour, or should want to, but recognizing and understanding it, I am sure, is the most effective (possibly the only) way of modifying our behaviour to be sustainable on a finite and vulnerable planet.
Marx, I believe, understood social dynamics as resting on "class struggle", whereas I see it as resting on our continuing Darwinian struggle for survival and advantage in an artificial socio-economic environment, which developed in order to facilitate it.
For ideological reasons, not least because Hitler and his Nazi ideology embraced it, we reject "social Darwinism", but it is real and happening nevertheless. I'm not suggesting that we embrace it, as Hitler did (heaven forbid!), but we urgently need to recognize it, in order to do something about it, before it drives us into an even bigger catastrophe then Hitler did.
My ideas, I think you will find, offer a much better "model of social reality" than Marx's, and therefore are a better basis for understanding social problems and facilitating their solutions.

I haven't offered much in the way of concrete solutions myself, as you seem to suggest I have, and criticize me for. I've expressed a few general, and I think important ideas, but my main concern is to point out and explain (based on Darwin's insight into human origins) the source (root cause) of the plethora of problems (political, social, economic and environmental) which are now growing exponentially and threaten to engulf us in the decades ahead, unless we effect some very radical and rapid changes in human behaviour, and in the institutions, values, attitudes and aspirations (all deeply rooted in our animal nature) which drive and direct it.