21 August 2008

Why we still need chauvinism

This is part three of "A field guide to Chauvinism". You may find the other parts here:
  1. A field guide to chauvinism, part 1

  2. The conquering archetype and the nurturing archetype, part 2.

  3. Why we still need chauvinism, part 3.

  4. The singularity age, part 4.

Why we still need chauvinism

  1. In times when our survival as a species is threatened, the conquering archetype deals effectively with the conditions determined by natural selection (survival of the fittest). In times when our survival is not threatened, the nurturing archetype introduces genetic drift.

  2. Chauvinism preserves strains of both conquering and nurturing archetypes in any society in case we may need them to advance to the next wave of civilisation at some point.

  3. We are currently in Toffler's third wave, the information age. Since each age followed more quickly upon its predecessor, the fourth wave is bound to follow sooner upon the third wave than the third wave followed upon the second wave.

  4. When any given archetype becomes so overwhelmingly dominant that it causes a group to become ineffective, it is time to start talking about the next revolution to favour optimal wisdom of crowds.

Sabre tooth tiger display at the Smitsonian Institute
A sabre tooth tiger. Grrr, baby!

Natural selection and genetic drift

Natural selection is the process whereby desirable traits become more widespread in a population and undesirable traits become less common. It's the process that caused the slow runners to be eaten by sabre tooth tigers in the hunter-gatherer era, while fast runners were not. This meant that by the time of the agrarian age, everyone could more or less negotiate their way around sabre tooth tigers thanks to latent running talents.

It is the same process that causes smarter people to make more money than dumber people during the information age despite all the socially conditioned equality and virtually equal access to information. This drives the specialisation of a population, resulting in populations of mostly fast runners or quick thinkers, provided that the slow runners and the slow thinkers are prohibited from splashing in the same gene pool.

Eugenics was an ill-fated attempt at formalising what mother nature already inevitably does when our survival is threatened. Natural selection takes care of the slow runners and the slow thinkers, thus ensuring that subsequent generations are faster runners and quicker thinkers.

Genetic drift is the process whereby traits are merely randomly distributed without any apparent favour. In times when our survival is not threatened, it is not that easy to distinguish between desirable and undesirable traits. This is why eugenics failed miserably the first time around. Think of quick runners. Is it currently desirable to be a quick runner? That's arguable to both sides, with no clear conclusion.

Genetic drift is currently the overwhelming evolutionary process in the majority of the human species. We're not making progress here, we are mostly treading water for as long as our environment allows everyone an opportunity to run, regardless of talent or skill.

When our survival is not threatened, the nurturing archetype tries to preserve as many possible traits as possible, which is sensible. I mean you never know when those pesky scientist might find the DNA of sabre tooth tigers in amber and we need to start running again.

Chauvinism preserves the less dominant traits for when we may need them

During the agrarian age, it was technically no longer required to be a fast runner. You could effectively work a field of crops with slow moving child slaves, as the Children of the Corn demonstrates. Yet we are now running faster than ever before. If it weren't for chauvinism which dictated the preservation of the allele that causes fast runners without any clear purpose, we would have channel surfing as an Olympic event. Homer Simpson would be the reining champion, while also taking home a gold medal in beer guzzling.

Similarly, there are still male chauvinists and female chauvinists, even though their time has come. Yet male chauvinists tend to be far more successful at sleeping with the enemy than their female counterparts, thus ensuring that a male chauvinist streak will be preserved, for no apparent reason. This while female chauvinism is systematically being ridiculed and rooted out, also for no apparent reason other than the relatively established socially conditioned notions of equality and the population shrinkage of the more advanced nations.

This begs the question why male chauvinism tends to be biologically favoured, despite the noble efforts of the female chauvinists to eradicate it once and for all. Perhaps looking at the succession of the waves of civilisation and the overwhelming archetype in each wave would answer this question.

The pattern of revolution

Each wave of civilisation requires the dominance of a certain archetype, namely either conquering or nurturing. This dominion is established each time by a revolution which goes against the grain of the dominant archetype of its age.

  • Hunter-gatherer societies required dominion of the conquering archetype. Fast running, accurate spear lugging and as little knuckle dragging as possible. You go, girls!

  • The agrarian age required dominion of the nurturing archetype, which was achieved by the agrarian revolution. Women stopped growing beards because it freaked out the kids. Kids were taught how to pick berries and how to grow them instead of just chasing after more furry vermin.

  • The conquering archetype was required for the industrial age, and it came into power thanks to the industrial revolution. Facial hair continues to recede, with mutton chops and handlebar moustaches being the order of the day. Bearded women continue to be victimised and usually end up as freak show attractions, except in Greece and Portugal.

  • The information age is a consequence of the information revolution, which was brought about by a nurturing archetype. Social conditioning dictates that even body hair is now taboo. It becomes exceedingly difficult to distinguish between men and women, with biology taking a back seat to the chosen affirmations of the individual.

    You can even get chopped off and sewn across if you are a guy. If you are a girl, you can get an adadictomy. In extreme cases, the state even pays for your operation but it refuses to foot the bill of the years of therapy your disillusioned parents would require, because they are merely being overly conservative.

  • It appears that the fourth wave (which I would call the singularity society) would result from the dominance of the conquering archetype achieving dominion once more. This despite the socialist utopia offered by the authors of The Fourth Wave: Business in the 21st Century. If you really need another lesson in environmentally responsible economics, try Buddhist economics. It acknowledges the human component without the Marxist drivel.

Alvin Toffler's waves of civilicastion with an added fourth wave added, namely the singularity age

The pattern of the revolutions which lead us through the ages of development of society. As you can see, it's a highly scientific graph.

The times they are a-changin'

How does mother nature determine when it is time to switch archetypes? It would appear that the situation presents itself when a group is no longer capitalising on the wisdom of crowds (which I described in my review of Curse of the Devil). In other words, when a group starts exhibiting the following behaviour traits:
  • The diversity of opinion in a group is no longer encouraged. Individuals are no longer allowed to differ from the group. You may no longer write 'he' when you mean a person without a lengthy explanation that you aren't a sexist at the beginning of your book, despite the agony this causes to the rainforests thanks to the trees required for the extra printing.

  • Independence is discouraged. The institute of the state is no longer even questioned. Death and taxes are deemed as unavoidable realities we have to face, come hell or high water or corrupt politicians. We are not conditioned how to think, we are conditioned what to think. You try to explain the benefits of eugenics to random people you meet on the street. If you survive, you are clearly a fast runner.

  • Centralisation which does not allow for the specialisation of knowledge. This was a particular weakness of the church during the dark ages, which meant the slow thinkers were kept slow since they were never challenged, the fast thinkers were silenced since they were antagonising sanctified opinions and homosexuals are to this day barred from church despite all the spin to the contrary. This is not a mantelpiece of an era gone by. There are still superstitious cretins who try to make evolution out to be some theory on par with more sensible biblical explanations of biological diversity.

  • No clear aggregation of knowledge. Information needs to be useful, and we need a standard to judge its utility. To me, this parallels Ludwig von Mises' criticism of socialism, which you can read about in my review of Nile's Black Seeds of Vengeance.

    Lacking a free market, a socialist system has no clear method of measuring the needs of a society or measuring the performance of its services. Catering for a broadly defined average results in a general collapse of standards instead of an overall upheaval.

    I feel that a free market and the associated meritocracy it implies are sufficient standards to aggregate virtually every aspect of society. More importantly, such a meritocracy would dictate the dominance of the appropriate archetype for each wave of civilisation without the senseless bloodshed.

The woman's movement did not put an end to chauvinism

And if it did, our species would end as soon as we reached the next revolution that requires a dominant conquering archetype.

Paris Hilton arguably deserves credit for her marketing abilities, but ultimately she's famous for being famous. More precisely, she's famous because her tits and ass appeal to male chauvinist notions of female qualities waiting to be conquered.

Image of Paris Hilton naked? No. Paris Hilton is glamorously dressed for a change.
Paris Hilton naked. Oh, my bad. Paris Hilton with clothes on for a change.

The disdain, envy and jealousy she inspires in womanists, radical feminists and less noticeable fellow women are almost as vitriolic as the sweating and drooling she inspires in chauvinists of the male variety. These male chauvinists are refugees from the days when a night out with the boys consisted of raping and pillaging the nearest neighbouring village.

It is thus clear that the film 300 is not only about an ethnically pure group resisting integration into an ethnically diverse group, much like ethnically pure China is resisting attempts from the ethnically diverse West to globalise everywhere with the smell of oil, but also about the preservation of the conquering archetype by means of chauvinism.

Nobody could deny that the dominance of male chauvinism was required for the people of Sparta to resist the Persian invasion by Xerxes. By the same token, nobody could deny that if they employed their nurturing instincts, there would have been far less immediate bloodshed. However, if they and everyone who ever reached a challenge to their instincts merely gave way to the overwhelmingly popular opinion, we'd all be living in one of Stalinist Russia, Hitler's Nazi Germany, Eisenhower's America or Mao Zedong's communist China by now. While the immediate bloodshed would have been less, the total bloodshed would have been far greater.

What does the fourth wave entail?

In conclusion, it seems that our current society is treading water in the third wave. Granted, the nurturing archetype was necessary for the third wave and the woman's movement did a great job at nurturing it, but it is time to start thinking about what the fourth wave would entail. Judging by the biological shenanigans of the male chauvinists and the pattern of domineering archetypes we've had so far, we could assume that the conquering archetype would be effective in bringing about the next revolution.

In the next chauvinist post, I will draw inspiration from Timothy Leary's 8 circuit model of consciousness, thoughts on technological singularity and a deck of Tarot cards to predict the fourth wave. Hopefully without having to clone sabre tooth tigers.


timethief said...

What an outstanding post. I really admire the way your mind works. lol You sound like a younger version of my Beloved (macho man).

Garg the Unzola said...

Aw, thank you.

But I'll confess my sines (and more like cosines) to you: I was just making up shit to annoy left leaning feminazis and so I can have a fancy graph like a real scientist.

Just like the Discovery Institute did with their Teach the Controversy campaign.

Carl said...

Good words!

However, being a chauvanist elitist, I would prefer you didn't enlighten the masses. Let them wallow while those of us with a bit of intelligence take over the world

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