Darwin wrote about the phenomenon of most plant crosses winding up sterile, and how most animals will not breed in captivity without special inducements.
This got me to thinking again about the recent post here about “grass eaters.”
In the animal kingdom as in humans, mating behavior requires some wildness, or at least what’s correctly called a ritual among the beasts, birds, bugs, and people.
When you disrupt an animal’s ability to conduct their ritual behavior, you also disrupt their ability to knock boots and make kids. Typical rituals involve a physical struggle between males, a singing competition, a physical inspection, or some combination of these.
Perhaps the most profound change made during the sexual revolution was the end of most forms of sexual segregation, heralded in popular culture and by intellectuals as a stupendous moral development. What this has meant is a disruption in the mechanism by which men compete with one another.
Rather than grouping off into teams to compete individually and as groups within a male status system to become more attractive to women, instead, everyone is jumbled together. Men who would be competing hard with one another instead find that they are in a non-competitive situation, in which feminine standards of inclusion tend to rule.
This disrupts the instincts of both genders, causing them to behave in odd, novel ways. The stated reason for gender equality is to get more productivity out of the entire population, encouraging both genders towards activities that generate tax revenue. What we have seen, instead, is a substantial drop in the male labor force participation rate. The increase in female participation has cannibalized a large portion of the male participation in work outside the home.
Breeding in captivity
When placed into captivity, most wild animals will stop reproducing naturally, and many undergo extensive physical changes. When the animal stops needing to survive based on its own wits and powers, and can instead laze about in a cage, fed and housed, it loses much of the will to live as it did before.
This is not entirely what has happened with Europeans, but there are echoes between the domestication of animals and that of people. We ask people to travel in regiments to work-places, where large portions of their productivity are siphoned off to bosses, investors, and governments. They are asked to behave in a systematic fashion (so that production can be rationalized) while still showing ‘creativity’ in coming up with solutions.
The most prize performers are coveted by employers, but not for their future children — instead, they are sought after for their present productivity, and no one seems to care all that much about the long term productivity of the population — it’s really about extracting as much revenue as possible out of the people in the moment, without concern for the deleterious effects this might have on their characters and the surrounding society.
Healthy competition requires separation
Competition within a species requires physical separation between genders and competing genetic lines. It is the rule of life that one genetic line in direct competition with another one seeks to have its direct competitor replaced over time.
When the genders are not separated, the natural instincts towards propagation become disrupted. The purpose behind competition within the species becomes muddled. The competitive behavior becomes an end within itself rather than a means to a eugenic end.
You can perhaps temporarily extract more resources from a population by disrupting their natural instincts and turning them towards other ends, but in the long term, you harm the ability of the organism to reproduce itself effectively.
While it may not be appropriate to say that people are exactly like the animals, humans are still animals, and are not immune to the same laws that apply to the rest of the kingdom.
When thinking about problems related to dysgenics, we should also think about what effects over-civilization has on people, their instincts, and their ability to sustain themselves. People need wildness in them to keep the spark of life alive.
Bob Wallaceb says
All cultures have had initiation rites to remove boys from the world of women and introduce them to the world of men. We no longer have them. Instead, we cannot escape Mommy because she is everywhere. That’s one of the horrors of feminism. I have written about this extensively.
tg moderator says
Thanks a lot Henry. I was contemplating the many ways we are doomed on a rainy morning and you just added another one that had not occurred to me. I’m not sure that the sexes will be easily separated, not that a return to Victorian morality will occur. The other gloomy thought–off topic– is that democracy may be a somewhat unavoidable consequence of communications technology. Since the invention of the printing press communications tech has blossomed. If 1776 had not happened in the US it might have happened elsewhere. Reactionaries want an accountable hierarchy led by a wise ruler, but in the age of communication this may not be stable. The cathedral rules because it tells the masses what they want to hear.
>Typical rituals involve a physical struggle between males, a singing competition, a physical inspection, or some combination of these.
Amish, Hindus and Orthodox Jews do not mate through these sort of rituals and seem to reproduce just fine. You’re describing the lek system.
They don’t dance, don’t play sports, don’t have art? I have personally witnessed Orthodox Jews dancing, so I know that you’re being pedantic.
We dance, and there is increasingly more Orthodox art, but people don’t marry based on dancing skills or artistic ones. In general, public displays of talent/flash are not a functional way to select mates if you want a civilization.
Managed by other people, based on a ton of other factors. Maybe I could have been clearer?
I think I agree with you in that the main problem of modern civilization is overdomestication, but disagree that the solution is a step backwards. The issue is not domestication per se. It is the pointlessness of most modern existence. This is because in a society built around the maximization of utils and the minimization of suffering, existence is pointless by definition. And people need meaningful suffering to achieve a goal in order to be happy and fulfilled. The best competition is with one’s own self and towards a noble purpose, not for resources and mate acquisition. The way forward, I think, is something like the Jewish system, where suffering and struggle are built in.