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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 28 May 2012

The Politics of Natural Selection

Below is a (granted) generalized list of extreme positions held by people on the far right of the political spectrum.  If you ask someone at the end for their viewpoint on any given issue, there exists a rational justification for their stances that might sound something like these:

Position:                              Abortion is bad.

Rationalization:                 A fetus is a living thing that deserves to have the same rights as any individual, including right to life.

Position:                              Birth control is bad.

Rationalization:                 Sex is about reproduction; irresponsible sex undermines the institution of marriage, loosens people’s morals and is ultimately disruptive to traditional society.

Position:                              Big government is bad.

Rationalization:                 Strong centralization stifles the individual by either restricting their capacity (regulation), take away their resources (taxation) or discouraging them from meaningful work (EI).

Position:                              Public education is bad.

Rationalization:                 Why should I pay for your kids to get an education?  Do we want Big Government indoctrinating our youth with heretical ideas?  Institutionalized education is just another step towards One World Order.

Position:                              Social Services are bad.

Rationalization:                 Same as Big Government is bad – propping up society’s dead weight weakens the whole system.  Giving people “easy outs” makes it harder for them to learn how to pull up their bootstraps and succeed on their own.  The best way to get people to swim is by throwing them into the deep end 

Position:                              The “traditional family” is the best model            

Rationalization:                  It takes a man and a woman to make a child, so that’s the only model we should have.  Women have to breast feed, etc, so they are designed to be primary caregivers.  That should be their role and men should be breadwinners.

Position:                              Free Market capitalism is good

Rationalization:                 There’s a natural equilibrium out there – the only thing that keeps society from achieving it is regulation.

Position:                              The right to bear arms is important

Rationalization:                 If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers it should be good enough for us.  If everyone has a gun and knows everyone else has a gun, too, people will be less likely to use it.  It’s about leveling the competitive playing field.

Position:                              Be tough-on-crime

Rationalization:                 People should be free to do whatever they want, without regulation.  When they act out of turn, though, they must be punished.  It’s by reacting to anti-social behaviour that we discourage it from happening in the future.

Position:                              The death penalty is good.

Rationalization:                 If people are such a fundamental risk to society, get rid of ‘em.  We shouldn’t subsidize living for people who do nothing by disrupt social function.

What happens when you take all of these positions in aggregate?

You would end up with a society focused on competition for dominance.  Sex would be less of a form of social interaction and more strictly about reproduction.  In competition for resources or access, males would compete, bringing their best weapons out as threat displays and occasionally wounding each other in the search for dominance.  There would be a dominant male, who would then claim a disproportionate control of resources thanks to that position of dominance.  If one individual is acting in an anti-social fashion, they would be ostracized or at worst, removed.  In theory, this would remove that behaviour from the social mix and discourage like behaviour in the future.  Without any coordination or incentive for collaboration, progress (innovation) would be achingly slow.

Yes, this is a model for society – the kind of model you might see on The Nature of Things.  I recon the Far Right don’t understand this, but all the extreme positions taken together form a picture of Selection of the Fittest.

Of course, this isn’t a model that could ever last.  Socialization – mutual support, activity coordination, altruism, etc are essential for social continuity and more to the point, are hard-wired into our brain.  The more urban we become, the more our socialized brain is stimulated.

It’s no wonder the Far-Right takes issue with evolution.

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