reasons why people say anarchism could never work

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peebo
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02 Feb 2012, 3:14 pm

CrazyCatLord wrote:
peebo wrote:
and the sociopathy/psychopathy issue was cleared up in the other thread. less than 0.6% of the population wouldn't ever be able to hold the rest to tyranny in mutual, co-operative self-governing society.


There might be a lot more sociopaths than we are aware of. Not all people with antisocial personality traits are violent criminals, and their glib, superficial charm might allow some of them to reach high positions.


but the point of discussion here is an egalitarian society with no top down power structure.

Quote:
But a much bigger issue in this context is narcissism, which is rampant in both politics and the upper corporate hierarchy. Two interesting links on this subject:

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/narcissism.htm - Narcissistic people most likely to emerge as leaders
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evo ... n-politics

The less laws we have to keep these types in check (laws that regulate the market economy, for example), the easier it is for them to exploit others. Just look at the distribution of wealth in the USA. That's unbridled narcissism in action.


indeed it is, and it is also greatly facilitated by a system such as we have now. such personality traits are encouraged and perhaps even deified to an extent by a capitalist market based system motivated by profit, individual greed and socio-economic mobility.


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02 Feb 2012, 3:15 pm

fraac wrote:
We're living in a bottom-up system! How do you think this happened? You can't make this unhappen, and even if you did it would happen again.


not at all. capitalism is very much obviously a top down system where power is held my the ruling class and enforced by the power of the state. i'd have thought this point clearly obvious and not even requiring debate.


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02 Feb 2012, 3:17 pm

Did aliens give us capitalism, or did it spring naturally from anarchy?



techstepgenr8tion
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02 Feb 2012, 3:20 pm

peebo wrote:
not at all. what we are talking about here isn't simply a matter of structure but rather how society is organised and governed in a dynamic sense. besides, what i am talking about would clearly function as a bottom up arrangement. there would be no overarching authoratitive body governing from above.

That's pie-in-the-sky until you can explain how society safeguards its interests. So far I see an assumption that we'll have a better world, still have everything we want, no government and lots of magic between points A and B. Fairydust isn't a valid answer for 'How?'.

peebo wrote:
Quote:
peebo wrote:
but the absence of states doesn't imply insular small communities. networks between small communities can forge links on a larger scale.

Lol, links like counties, states, and then...gasp....federal government.


again, while there might indeed be structural similarities, clearly what i am talking about would be organisationally quite different.

You'd have to explain the difference between anarchism and what small-government conservatives want (social stereotype potpouride won't count either since we're talking about government/economic structure, not social values or social conservatism/liberalism).


peebo wrote:
Quote:
San Francisco needs something they can only get from Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh needs something they can only get from Houston or Dallas, Houston or Dallas need something directly from Montana. Without a secure highway system, a paid for (somehow) set of interstate infrastructure, they simply do without. Highway bandits would be a problem as well with no consistency in patrol.


what would motivate highway bandits?

Good question. Why do we have crime today for that matter?


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02 Feb 2012, 3:24 pm

peebo wrote:
fraac wrote:
We're living in a bottom-up system! How do you think this happened? You can't make this unhappen, and even if you did it would happen again.


not at all. capitalism is very much obviously a top down system where power is held my the ruling class and enforced by the power of the state. i'd have thought this point clearly obvious and not even requiring debate.

What society are you using as your model?


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02 Feb 2012, 3:28 pm

fraac wrote:
Did aliens give us capitalism, or did it spring naturally from anarchy?

The best one-liner I can summon on this one: capitalism is preferences in motion, socialism is wishes in motion.

It sounds like anarchism, at least as described by the OP is a matter of taking socialist a priori as given fact but then disagreeing on the solution. The problem is, socialist a priori is incorrect to begin with.


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Last edited by techstepgenr8tion on 02 Feb 2012, 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

peebo
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02 Feb 2012, 3:29 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
CrazyCatLord wrote:
But a much bigger issue in this context is narcissism, which is rampant in both politics and the upper corporate hierarchy. Two interesting links on this subject:

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/narcissism.htm - Narcissistic people most likely to emerge as leaders
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evo ... n-politics

A lot of violence as well comes from narcissism and people being too badass for their own good. Everyone around them who seems weaker is a potential mark and if they don't give up the goods soft and sweet like most would then they get hammered down for not knowing their place as nails.


again, these traits are encouraged by capitalism. is it not obvious that a system built on a foundation of equality and whose underlying maxim is the protection of individuals from any form of coercion would far more effectively deal with such problems?




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I think the difference with peebo's mentality is he apparently hasn't been shaken down much (by adults or by peers) as being weak or inferior for not being macho. If a guy does have that experience he understands, loud and clear, that he lives in a world that doesn't think the way he does.


i'm not so sure. i grew up in a pretty much impoverished community where tolerance was not held in particularly high regard. and i could in no way be considered to be a typical representation of my peers at that time.

in fact, i think quite the opposite. my general outlook and opinions i feel are to a large degree grounded in my experiences growing up. in various ways, including the understanding that such communities are what they are due to disempowerment, economic and social exclusion etc. the bullying mentality, at least among the demographic in which i grew up, was very much rooted in peoples experience of poverty and attempts to prove themselves in ways that were available to them, i.e. dominance and dominion over others and peer group respect which in such instances is generally a product of the former and rooted in a culture of fear.

and i'm quite well aware that the world doesn't generally think the way i do.


Quote:
Then again though, I would have to give him this from a side that he isn't thinking of - kinda like they mentioned in Ciderhouse Rules, that the work group would go out, pick apples or whatever, and the guy who had a nutoriously bad attitude never returned with them - no one asked why. I think with a less lawyered up society bullies would often show up missing under puzzling cirstances and people would simply shrug it off as history (then again that's hoping that bully is within a culture who will deal with him/her rather than go sycophantic).


far more likely in a culture that is rooted and grounded in a stable and safe social setting and that is founded fundamentally on individual freedom and respect of the right to live free from coercion than in a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, consumer capitalist type arrangement, no?


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Adam Smith


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02 Feb 2012, 3:35 pm

fraac wrote:
Did aliens give us capitalism, or did it spring naturally from anarchy?


there's a very big question veiled beneath your facetiousness, which i'm not really about to attempt to answer in a post in this thread, as my activities on this forum generally take place in a spare half hour or so in the morning or evening.

friedrich engels opinion on it can be read here, though, if you are interested:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/wo ... in-family/


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02 Feb 2012, 3:37 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
peebo wrote:
fraac wrote:
We're living in a bottom-up system! How do you think this happened? You can't make this unhappen, and even if you did it would happen again.


not at all. capitalism is very much obviously a top down system where power is held my the ruling class and enforced by the power of the state. i'd have thought this point clearly obvious and not even requiring debate.

What society are you using as your model?


all modern societies. have you an example of a true bottom up society that exists today?


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02 Feb 2012, 3:41 pm

Remember that Marx and Engels were probably autistic and unaware that everyone else wasn't. Like you, apparently.

What would stop your anarchist paradise growing into the system we have now?



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02 Feb 2012, 3:46 pm

peebo wrote:
A lot of violence as well comes from narcissism and people being too badass for their own good. Everyone around them who seems weaker is a potential mark and if they don't give up the goods soft and sweet like most would then they get hammered down for not knowing their place as nails.


again, these traits are encouraged by capitalism. is it not obvious that a system built on a foundation of equality and whose underlying maxim is the protection of individuals from any form of coercion would far more effectively deal with such problems?[/quote]
The problem with that - even top down 'iron-it-all-flat' egalitarian forms of socialism seem like they'd be more effective than anarchism for the purpose of having an enforcement arm to that extent.

The other thing; I think you may be sorely understating the eugenics game in this. Dating, procreation, procreation rights, these are limited resources that economic systems don't change and when you watch nature shows, see how other animals go about their social heirarchies, its a bit shocking to see how they constantly jockey for positioning, trying to prove which has more strength than which, and they do so without any kind of capitalist system enforcing that behavior. True, they have scarcity, but the fact that in a society of abudance the weak are still the weak - genetics, what a person looks like, their attributes, etc. have a lot to play in how successful they'll be, moreso than how much money they grew up with (unless their parents were in a similar position over their own challenges). That's not capitalism so much as environment.

peebo wrote:
i'm not so sure. i grew up in a pretty much impoverished community where tolerance was not held in particularly high regard. and i could in no way be considered to be a typical representation of my peers at that time.

in fact, i think quite the opposite. my general outlook and opinions i feel are to a large degree grounded in my experiences growing up. in various ways, including the understanding that such communities are what they are due to disempowerment, economic and social exclusion etc. the bullying mentality, at least among the demographic in which i grew up, was very much rooted in peoples experience of poverty and attempts to prove themselves in ways that were available to them, i.e. dominance and dominion over others and peer group respect which in such instances is generally a product of the former and rooted in a culture of fear.

The problem with that - I grew up in an upper middle class area where you were bullied for having anything less than $80 jeans; which means you had to have your parents pretty well sorted out or just have very rich parents. If you can blame it on capitalism for bullying from the poor, bullying from the rich, and everyone in between, it really desolves into having no caveats to test that against.

That said I won't lie, I get the impression that places with steady and highly educated socialist structures tend to be lower testosterone type environments and bullying does happen less (as does procreation), but the problem that comes with socialism - it takes a very disciplined society to take on equality, have that fed through the government, and then for that society as a whole to accept exactly what the government run sectors can actually give rather than trying to turn their government into Santa or Jon Frum.

peebo wrote:
far more likely in a culture that is rooted and grounded in a stable and safe social setting and that is founded fundamentally on individual freedom and respect of the right to live free from coercion than in a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, consumer capitalist type arrangement, no?

The question is how will you ground a sociey in having safe or stable anything if there's no broad-based mission statement nor some degree of pentalty for a given region not going along with it? Will everyone go along with it from the goodness of their own hearts and will 'evil' just unravel with a couple decades on its own


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techstepgenr8tion
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02 Feb 2012, 3:57 pm

peebo wrote:
all modern societies. have you an example of a true bottom up society that exists today?

Lets see....
In most small towns people who feel the need run for office if they both have the time and see the need for certain issued to be taken care of.

A dynamic takes place where people become aware that there is a problem with the current legal structure. Take the mortgage meltdown around the world where mortgages have a fixed principle value, at the time of their inception, and that the drop in value caused calamity because so many people found themselves under water. Ideas from private industry? Lets introduce the SAM - shared appreciation mortgage, where the lender and borrower share the appreciation and depreciation of property equally with a significantly lower interest rate for the borrower. Surprisingly, when a bubble hits this hard, what a bank loses in profit from SAMs it gains in prevented defaults. Solutions like that come from ground level, not from Washington.

In private industry, people start companies - a) because they want money but b) because they see a demand for a service. Without the later they can't get from sole proprietor to megacorp on a fabricated need. People want to buy something that does x, people have products that hit w and y but not quite x, the closest they can get to x is a sloppy substitue, and finally someone said 'wouldn't it be great if' and then put money into it. In that sense to buy a product is to give a dollar vote. Does a larger company eventually enjoy more resources to offer lower prices? Yes. However even they are often retailers and resellers while their vendor list is comprised of many companies in competion in respective fields. If a manufacturer or service provider is terrible at what it does, it gets aced out by someone who does it better. That's not top-down, its demand driven which is bottom up. If they have a crap product but have great real estate holdings, they're still better off just becoming a real estate entity and letting the manufacturing or service part of what they do get sold off so they can generate better profits.

Another likely bigger thing: common law systems. A tort goes to court, a judge reviews based on previous legal cases and outcomes, the jury votes, or in the case of a surpreme court (state or federal) the decision is made by a panel of judges. Case law only goes up directly to federal if it involves an issue between states. Law has always been, when done properly, a bottom-up thing and tort/common law is alive and well in the US as well as many other countries who practice majority-capitalism blends.


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02 Feb 2012, 4:14 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
peebo wrote:
not at all. what we are talking about here isn't simply a matter of structure but rather how society is organised and governed in a dynamic sense. besides, what i am talking about would clearly function as a bottom up arrangement. there would be no overarching authoratitive body governing from above.

That's pie-in-the-sky until you can explain how society safeguards its interests. So far I see an assumption that we'll have a better world, still have everything we want, no government and lots of magic between points A and B. Fairydust isn't a valid answer for 'How?'.


i'm not quite sure what you are asking. your question here seems to be asking two separate things. firstly how would society safeguard it's interests were it organised on an anarchist model, and second, how in reality would such a society be reached. the irony of this being the main point of contention in my interaction with the zeitgeist bloke the other week isn't lost on me.

i suppose it would depend on what you see as societies interest. are you talking about the interest of the state, or the leisured classes? i am assuming you might be, and i don't think this conflates with the interests of the majority of people. the huge power imbalance that exists in society means that it's interest is often at odds with the interest of the majority of people.





Quote:
peebo wrote:
Quote:
peebo wrote:
but the absence of states doesn't imply insular small communities. networks between small communities can forge links on a larger scale.

Lol, links like counties, states, and then...gasp....federal government.


again, while there might indeed be structural similarities, clearly what i am talking about would be organisationally quite different.

You'd have to explain the difference between anarchism and what small-government conservatives want (social stereotype potpouride won't count either since we're talking about government/economic structure, not social values or social conservatism/liberalism).


is the difference not quite obvious? anarchists don't want government to exist simply as a means to enforce property rights while allowing the capitalist economic model to exist unfettered and completely unregulated. the two things are poles apart.

Quote:
peebo wrote:
Quote:
San Francisco needs something they can only get from Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh needs something they can only get from Houston or Dallas, Houston or Dallas need something directly from Montana. Without a secure highway system, a paid for (somehow) set of interstate infrastructure, they simply do without. Highway bandits would be a problem as well with no consistency in patrol.


what would motivate highway bandits?

Good question. Why do we have crime today for that matter?


we have crime today as a result of economic disparity.


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Adam Smith


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02 Feb 2012, 4:28 pm

peebo wrote:
i suppose it would depend on what you see as societies interest. are you talking about the interest of the state, or the leisured classes? i am assuming you might be, and i don't think this conflates with the interests of the majority of people. the huge power imbalance that exists in society means that it's interest is often at odds with the interest of the majority of people.

I mean how would they secure tungesten for lightbulbs? How would they secure citrus fruits if they're up north around the great lakes and don't want to go tooffless? If you need steel for construction? If you need plastics for different applications? What kind of reliability do you have that one town or a consortium of towns hasn't taken to sacking people along the way? What if a certain locality wants to charge an 80% tarrif on goods passing through their zone? What if city A needs water from a lake 20 miles upstream and city B further up the stream cuts off the water? What if you develope Christian extremists who truly wish to take scientific progress back to the biblical days, burn witches, and attack caravans for going against their beliefs?

peebo wrote:
is the difference not quite obvious? anarchists don't want government to exist simply as a means to enforce property rights while allowing the capitalist economic model to exist unfettered and completely unregulated. the two things are poles apart.

If anarchism isn't an extreme of legal libertarianism then what is it?

peebo wrote:
we have crime today as a result of economic disparity.
True, I suppose that's why rich people don't commit crime.


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02 Feb 2012, 4:40 pm

being limited for time, i'll reply to this now and try and get back to your next post tomorrow at some point...


techstepgenr8tion wrote:
peebo wrote:
A lot of violence as well comes from narcissism and people being too badass for their own good. Everyone around them who seems weaker is a potential mark and if they don't give up the goods soft and sweet like most would then they get hammered down for not knowing their place as nails.


again, these traits are encouraged by capitalism. is it not obvious that a system built on a foundation of equality and whose underlying maxim is the protection of individuals from any form of coercion would far more effectively deal with such problems?

The problem with that - even top down 'iron-it-all-flat' egalitarian forms of socialism seem like they'd be more effective than anarchism for the purpose of having an enforcement arm to that extent. [/quote]

we seem to be at odds on the notion of top down and bottom up. egalitarian socialism is a bottom up system and it sounds like you are talking about authoritarian "socialism" as was attempted in teh eastern bloc, but lets not digress the discussion any more at this point.
Quote:
The other thing; I think you may be sorely understating the eugenics game in this. Dating, procreation, procreation rights, these are limited resources that economic systems don't change and when you watch nature shows, see how other animals go about their social heirarchies, its a bit shocking to see how they constantly jockey for positioning, trying to prove which has more strength than which, and they do so without any kind of capitalist system enforcing that behavior. True, they have scarcity, but the fact that in a society of abudance the weak are still the weak - genetics, what a person looks like, their attributes, etc. have a lot to play in how successful they'll be, moreso than how much money they grew up with (unless their parents were in a similar position over their own challenges). That's not capitalism so much as environment.


i think making comparisons with the rest of the animal kingdom is counter productive. yes, of course, we are animals, however we are separate in our ability to reason and rationalise. i think that point in itself makes the comparison futile.

Quote:
peebo wrote:
i'm not so sure. i grew up in a pretty much impoverished community where tolerance was not held in particularly high regard. and i could in no way be considered to be a typical representation of my peers at that time.

in fact, i think quite the opposite. my general outlook and opinions i feel are to a large degree grounded in my experiences growing up. in various ways, including the understanding that such communities are what they are due to disempowerment, economic and social exclusion etc. the bullying mentality, at least among the demographic in which i grew up, was very much rooted in peoples experience of poverty and attempts to prove themselves in ways that were available to them, i.e. dominance and dominion over others and peer group respect which in such instances is generally a product of the former and rooted in a culture of fear.

The problem with that - I grew up in an upper middle class area where you were bullied for having anything less than $80 jeans; which means you had to have your parents pretty well sorted out or just have very rich parents. If you can blame it on capitalism for bullying from the poor, bullying from the rich, and everyone in between, it really desolves into having no caveats to test that against.


this might be the case however it certainly doesn't disprove the point. my point of view of course is that the mentality of the bully is rooted in the mentality of capitalism. or perhaps it could be suggested that the mentality of capitalism is rooted in the mentality of the bully. but i think you get what i'm saying..

Quote:
That said I won't lie, I get the impression that places with steady and highly educated socialist structures tend to be lower testosterone type environments and bullying does happen less (as does procreation), but the problem that comes with socialism - it takes a very disciplined society to take on equality, have that fed through the government, and then for that society as a whole to accept exactly what the government run sectors can actually give rather than trying to turn their government into Santa or Jon Frum.



what you are saying is correct. but my own thought, and generally the thought of other people with an interest in anarchism, is that the majority of the global population live in poverty. even in civilised western society, relatively speaking. this discipline of which you speak is the premise of the middle and upper middle classes. the notion that the poor, if mobilised and made politically aware, might look to organise with a view to redressing the imbalances that exist in power and wealth does not seem so unrealistic as all that.

remember also that we are talking about anarchism which precludes any notion of centralised government at all and instead advocates organisation at the local, community level. there is no government of which to speak.

Quote:
peebo wrote:
far more likely in a culture that is rooted and grounded in a stable and safe social setting and that is founded fundamentally on individual freedom and respect of the right to live free from coercion than in a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, consumer capitalist type arrangement, no?

The question is how will you ground a sociey in having safe or stable anything if there's no broad-based mission statement nor some degree of pentalty for a given region not going along with it? Will everyone go along with it from the goodness of their own hearts and will 'evil' just unravel with a couple decades on its own


regional differences in terms of social structure and organisation would be expected. what is required is a certain level of co-operation between regions.




be mindful that i am not idealistic enough to think we can all live in an egalitarian society tomorrow. the premise of this post is that anarchism could work. but to get there from the point at which we are at now would clearly take a long and protracted transitional period that most likely wouldn't be particularly pleasant.


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Adam Smith


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02 Feb 2012, 4:57 pm

peebo wrote:
i think making comparisons with the rest of the animal kingdom is counter productive. yes, of course, we are animals, however we are separate in our ability to reason and rationalise. i think that point in itself makes the comparison futile.

Ever notice how subconscious, unaware, and knee-jerk people are? Ever notice that they're even violently opposed to changing that about themselves? Neither that nor capitalism come from a void.

peebo wrote:
this might be the case however it certainly doesn't disprove the point. my point of view of course is that the mentality of the bully is rooted in the mentality of capitalism. or perhaps it could be suggested that the mentality of capitalism is rooted in the mentality of the bully. but i think you get what i'm saying..

And the mentality of the bully rooted in the mentality of the animal.

peebo wrote:
what you are saying is correct. but my own thought, and generally the thought of other people with an interest in anarchism, is that the majority of the global population live in poverty. even in civilised western society, relatively speaking. this discipline of which you speak is the premise of the middle and upper middle classes. the notion that the poor, if mobilised and made politically aware, might look to organise with a view to redressing the imbalances that exist in power and wealth does not seem so unrealistic as all that.

The problem is never with the poor getting rich and spreading the resources, the problem is if the poor get rich by doing nothing different. You watch this happen when professional sports stars start making millions, it burns a hole in their pocket, and by the time their careers are over many of them are right back to being broke.

peebo wrote:
remember also that we are talking about anarchism which precludes any notion of centralised government at all and instead advocates organisation at the local, community level. there is no government of which to speak.

We'll perhaps have a chance to go back to village lifestyle when the next ice age or pandemic flu breaks. May happen in our lifetimes, may not.

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regional differences in terms of social structure and organisation would be expected. what is required is a certain level of co-operation between regions.

be mindful that i am not idealistic enough to think we can all live in an egalitarian society tomorrow. the premise of this post is that anarchism could work. but to get there from the point at which we are at now would clearly take a long and protracted transitional period that most likely wouldn't be particularly pleasant.

I think libertarian socialism will make more and more sense as innovation destroys scarcity, even then though I think we'll want to have some way of people being rewarded on merit and ways of keeping them 'jacked-in' and feeling like they're part of a society rather than having everyone feel like their mind is their own nation. As for now its still a bit like throwing all kinds of money we don't have in subsidize a computer with 2.0Ghz, 4GB Ram, and 666Mhz bus back in 1994. Sometimes we have the technology to do things, some times we don't. When we have nanotech material replicators that can make raw materials out of thin air and they're energy practical enough that they can be in every household, perhaps we'll be in a place where we can gut a lot of society's heirarchy. Just how much of gene-based social heirarchy would ever disappear though is hard to call and, quite likely, without the economic ways of being cruel to each other, hominid monkeys would find new ways to assert dominance and pecking order even more arbitrary since the old system was destroyed. Keep in mind - its the genes that want petty and vile behavior, not us. If we did want it you wouldn't hear just as many NT's who hate the world for all the same reasons.


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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling