Ideology-Free Politics A Bottom-Up Approach
Transcript Ideology-Free Politics A Bottom-Up Approach
A BOTTOM-UP APPROACH
CRASSH POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES
21 JUNE 201 2
m v s 2 5 @ ca m . ac . uk
Top-down politics are based on ideology.
An ideology accommodates one aspect of human motivation
and behaviour, to the exclusion of all others, and asserts that
it is or could become all inclusive.
All ideologies are false.
When implemented an ideology will always result in a degree
Ideology ultimately stems from the religious disposition that
all humans share.
Western culture has been hugely influenced by Abrahamic
religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and their beliefs
that we are progressing towards Utopia.
This is the basis of all left wing philosophies,
neoconservatism and extreme neoliberalism.
Politics should not be based on utopian-inspired ideology, but
The scientific approach to constructing an accurate model of
human nature involves using a bottom-up evolutionary
In common with all other species, humans have evolved ‘as if’
reproduction was the sole goal for which they were ‘designed’,
and everything they do is a means to that end.
As we cannot transcend our genes, if we are to avoid
totalitarianism, we must align our politics so that they
accommodate human nature.
Rubin (2002) wrote Dar winian Politics: The Evolutionar y Origin
of Freedom, but the greatest influences on my thinking here
are Gray (2008) and Moxon (2010).
THE SELFISH GENE
Consider a sexually reproducing species. Assume that there are
‘things’ that are passed on from parents to child, the minimal
‘thing’ must be the unit of inheritance; this is called a gene. Ever y
sexually -reproducing organism is the product of its parents, which
in turn are the products of their parents, and so on. Therefore
every single member of the entire lineage of ever y sexually reproducing organism excepting the most recent generation
reproduced. This creates a massive bias in the genes towards
motivating the individual carrying the genes into reaching the age
of reproduction and successful reproduction, which is equivalent to
saying that genes are hugely biased towards sur vival. Whilst the
gene is biased towards sur vival, the individual is biased towards
reproduction. For the individual, sur vival is irrelevant except
insofar as it affects reproduction. Humans have evolved ‘as if’
reproduction was the sole goal for which they were ‘designed’, and
everything they do is a means to that end.
WE CANNOT TRANSCEND OUR GENES
Moxon (2010) points out that we cannot transcend our genes,
Our high intelligence does not allow us to transcend our
genes, quite the opposite, it better equips us to use the
environment to our advantage so that we are better able to
achieve our ultimate goal of reproduction.
The only thing that could transcend our genes is the genes
Nor would we want to transcend our genes.
WE’RE ONLY ANIMALS
We’re only animals, albeit intelligent ones.
The basis of all of our Western Civilisation utopias
(ideologies) is the false elevation of humans to be above and
separate from nature.
Such ideologies assume that man is good but has been
rendered bad by some historical condition that must be
As we become increasingly ef ficient at interacting with our
environment, our behaviour becomes increasingly flexible, but we are
ever more slaves to biology and our genes, just as we are provided with
the illusion of being progressively freer of them.
Free will only became a central issue in western philosophy with the
rise of Christianity and has never been prominent in non-western
philosophies that do not separate humans so radically from other
animals (Gray 2008).
Moxon (2010) identifies the following inconsistencies from an illustrious
trio of scientists:
‘We, alone on ear th, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish
replicators’ (Dawkins 1976).
‘…if my genes don’t like it, they can go jump in a lake’ (Pinker 1997).
‘…Dennet…spent much of his career labouring to show how scientific
materialism can be reconciled with a form of free will — a project that
would scarcely occur to someone from a culture not moulded by
Christianity’ Gray (2008). Dennett (2003) wrote Freedom Evolves.
Gray (2008) argues that Enlightenment thinking aimed to
supplant Christianity with a scientific view of the world, but
could do so only if it was able to satisfy the hopes it had
The Enlightenment belief that humanity is an inherently
progressive species is a by -product of Christianity.
The radical Enlightenment belief that there can be a sudden
break in history, after which the flaws of human society will
be for ever abolished, is a by -product of Christianity.
Actually, human history has no overall meaning.
Human knowledge increases in a cumul ative fashi on, science progresses
and allows us to improve our material conditions .
Thanks to economi c growth modern societies become richer.
However, we cannot expect improvements in ethi cs, politi cs, society or
humanity (Gray 2008 ). Theo ries of such progress are myths, whic h rel y on
a teleological view and answer the human need for meaning.
Hi stor y i s not a movement in the directi on of a univer sal goal or a marc h to
a better world.
Gray (2008 ) states that humans are not becoming more ci vilized and that
confli cts are becoming more savage, in contrast Pinker (2011 ) evide nces
the fact that violence is diminishing .
The conference organi zer s TED have a mi ssi on statement that begins with
‘We beli eve passi onately in the power of ideas to change attitud es, lives
and ultimately, the world.’
Natural selection is a slow process, and evolutionary
psychology informs us that our minds today are adapted to
seeking our ultimate goal of reproduction in the environment
of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), which roughly coincided
with the Pleistocene where we lived in hunter-gatherer tribes
on the African savannah.
Evolutionary psychology is an excellent hypothesis, as there is
no viable competition.
But we’re unsure of the details.
THE LEFT–RIGHT POLITICAL SPECTRUM
Charlton (1997) explains the evolution of dominance and
counter-dominance, and how the left–right political spectrum
Dominance = right-wing
Counter-dominance = left wing
15 million to 2 million years ago
In our living primate relatives such as chimpanzees and
gorillas, status differentials lead to corresponding resource
dif ferentials with ‘dominance hierarchy’ of high status males
securing a disproportionate share of food, as well as mating
opportunities. It is likely that the same applied to our prehuman ancestors.
Humans evolved from ape ancestors whose social structure
was almost certainly a dominance hierarchy of economic
stratification, so dominance social instincts derived from prehominid ancestors.
2 million to 12 000 years ago
Humans underwent a transition from dominance hierarchies
to the egalitarian arrangement of nomadic foraging.
Humans evolved counter-dominance or egalitarian instincts.
In hunter-gatherer societies we lived in small groups of
around 150 people, most of whom would be closely related,
so it made sense that resources were shared equitably, and
hoarding was resented (Ridley 1997).
Food was shared equitably, but men still formed a dominance
hierarchy in terms of mate value.
We have a tendency to reward labour and punish capital.
For a trait to evolve by natural selection, three conditions must
1. the trait must be heritable;
2. the population must exhibit variation in expression of the
3. the trait must affect the fitness of an individual (e.g.
number of of fspring).
So any evolved trait must be both heritable and unequally
distributed across the population, which makes egalitarianism
and enforced equality totalitarian (Goldberg 2007).
EXAMPLES OF EGALITARIANISM
Salaries are simply the result of market forces efficiently
directing labour towards higher-valued jobs leading to
maximizing productivity and economic growth.
A rise in
directors’ pay is consistent with increases in productivity and
growth of the economy and should be considered good news.
Large salaries, via tax revenue, make the public better off.
However, there exists a populist naive resentment of wage
Republicans tend to resent the wealth of the Queen, but the
British monarchy add about £1 billion to the UK economy each
There is a pay gap between men and women because men and
women per form different jobs because they are differently
motivated (Moxon 2008). Egalitarians blame ‘sexism’.
In the West, Blacks underachieve relative to whites primarily due
to a 15 point IQ dif ferential (Lynn 2006). Egalitarians blame
ECONOMICS IN THE EEA
Little division of labour
Low technological change
Little or no economic growth
Rubin (2003) describes the intuitive economics of untrained
persons as ‘folk economics’.
Distribution/allocation of wealth and income
Division of the pie
Correct, but omitted from folk economics:
Production and productivity growth
Gains from trade
Size of the pie
12 000 years ago to present
Relatively little evolution has occurred since humans became
civilized (although it may have sped up (Cochran and Harpending
Farming was invented
Equilibrium between dominance and counter-dominance
No stable solution
Possible solution: encapsulation
Encapsulation operates when people in different social groups
perceive themselves to be qualitatively different, hence not
J. Philippe Rushton’s genetic similarity theory (Rushton, Russell
and Wells 1984; Rushton 1989) expands Hamiltonian kin
selection and asserts that individuals have evolved to display
non-reciprocal altruism towards other individuals in proportion
to their genetic-relatedness. On this basis, Salter (2006) takes
a gene-centred approach to politics and considers the relative
investment allocated to each of the following, which are listed
in order of importance according to genetic similarity:
2. of fspring
Offspring Ethny Humanity
Universal Nationalism (Salter 2006) is the idea that ethnic
self rule is advantageous for optimizing the general good.
The universal nationalist puts his or her own ethny first, but
also respects the autonomy of other peoples. It contrasts
The best way to globally optimize adaptiveness.
Seeks continuity rather than expansion (Hitler failed because
he sought expansion).
We’re only animals
Humanism is a by -product of Christianity
Having human rights universally respected is a daydream
MULTICULTURALISM FOR MAJORITIES
Multiculturalism for majorities
Offspring Ethny Humanity
The dif ference between M ulti culturali sm and the i deal is best addressed by
a degree of National Socialism .
Thi s predi cts that a multicul tural society, such as the United Kingdom, is a
catalyst for a far right par ty, such as the BNP and the EDL.
It also explains atrocities such as Ander s Breivik’s 2011 Nor way attac ks.
Hi s manifesto (Ber wi ck 2011 ) highlights and expl ains hi s resentment o f a
MULTICULTURALISM FOR MINORITIES
Multiculturalism for minorities
Offspring Ethny Humanity
Multiculturalism for minorities is equivalent to the gene centred optimal.
Minorities should be content with the status quo.
The male contingent of a man’s in-group is his own
dominance hierarchy. Individuals of a different nationality or
race will clearly be from a different dominance hierarchy, so
race/nationality acts as an in-group/out-group marker. Ingroup/out-group biases imply that men have a strong sense of
identity with their own nationality/race, and tend to act so as
to exclude others.
Ethnocentrism and anti-immigration attitudes are innate, and if
they were not so, different sub-species (i.e. races) could not have
evolved in the first place (McGregor 1986).
Vanhanen (1999) found that the correlation between ethnic
heterogeneity and institutionalized ethnic conflict was 0.73. For
example, to take the extremes, North Korea, South Korea and
Lesotho were low in both ethnic heterogeneity and ethnic
conflict, whilst Sudan was high in both.
Multiculturalism has failed in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia,
Rwanda, Zaire, Iraq, etc.
Western governments have allowed mass immigration because it
boosts tax revenue and keeps inflation down. They are forced to
stigmatizing perfectly natural in-group biases in the guise of
Wealth is a proxy for the mate value of males, so economics is an
approximation of psychology.
The unboundedly rational economic man who seeks to maximize
utility is consistent with Homo sapiens if and only if his utility
coincides with gene replication.
Economics is egalitarian. It starts from the premise that all races,
social groups, societies and individuals are created equal, i.e. have
equal potential. Economists speak of ‘developing nations’ and
‘developed nations’, there is never any question of whether or not
the developing nations will one day be developed, it is taken that
they will catch up. The problem with the assumption of
egalitarianism is that scientific psychology and work on
intelligence shows that it is profoundly wrong. See, for example,
Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) and Lynn (2006).
Lynn and Vanhanen (2002, 2006) found that the wealth of a nation
is largely determined by three factors:
the intelligence of the population
the extent to which the country has a market economy
The first two being the most important, and equally so.
Note that it is neither capitalism nor ‘free markets’ that lead to
economic growth, but a properly regulated market economy.
The most common criticism of a market economy is that they give
rise to class divisions. But as we have already seen, these are not
necessarily a bad thing.
Economic growth is a measurement of the value that humans
place on their own consumption, not the consumption of
resources, so continual economic growth within a finite
physical system is possible, as long as technology progresses.
For example, as oil runs out, it may be substituted with solar
panels, and as technology progresses, solar cells may be
sliced more thinly (thus doing more with less), and as
technology progresses further still, nuclear fusion may
become feasible. In other words, economic growth is bounded
only by human ingenuity.
However, in practice currently much growth is indeed fuelled
by the use of resources. Globally, fossil fuels currently supply
around 80% of primary energy, and this figure is expected to
remain largely the same through to 2030.
SOCIAL DISCOUNT RATE
If we wish to perform a cost-benefit analysis on a future public
sector project (such as climate change mitigation), we must
choose a discount rate that reflects society’s preference for
present benefits over future benefits.
Although humans are simply vehicles that have evolved as if to
help ensure that their genes sur vive in perpetuity, all that is
required of individuals is that their ultimate motivation is to
reproduce, so we seek to maximize gene replication within our
lifetime, but not beyond. During a lifetime, generally the risk
that a reward will not be available decreases as one approaches
the time that the reward is expected, which leads to a hyperbolic
discount function. This account is descriptive, but as we cannot
transcend our genes, a prescriptive social discount rate must
accommodate our motivational set, so optimally coincides. An
individual’s discount function is hyperbolic and reaches 100% at
the end of their lifetime. An equitable social discount function
should average the population’s individual discount functions.
Vanhanen (2009) shows that the level of democratization depends on
resource distribution, which in turn depends on national IQ and mean
temperature, whilst national IQ depends on mean temperature .
We should therefore accept that countries with a lower intelligence
population are unlikely to establish and maintain democratic systems
of the same quality as those in the West.
Vanhanen ef fectively predicted the Arab Spring: ‘Tunisia should be
among the first Arab countries to cross the threshold of democracy’. He
also predicted democracization for Libya and Egypt. Interestingly, Iraq
was only slightly below the threshold of democracy.
The attempt to project democracy beyond the national level—in the
European Union, for example—has been a failure.
With few exceptions, liberal democracy has taken root only in nationstates.
Undemocratic regimes are in the ascendancy, such as China and Iran.
To maximize number of votes, a political par ty should cour t the median
voter. When a distribution is skewed this leads to policy becoming out
of kilter with mean voter preferences.
Neoconservatism originated from the political left, and is
defined by its ideology of universal democracy and the war on
Led by the US, Western governments launched a campaign to
export American-style democracy to the Middle East and
throughout the world, an impossible dream that in many
countries could only produce chaos.
Overthrowing a tyranny may bring democracy without
Religious beliefs are ubiquitous across cultures and time, and are likely
Human nature includes cultural conformism. Ritual reinforces cultural
conformity, so religion (although irrational) should be accommodated.
Showing religion as an illusion will not make it disappear.
Western culture has been hugely influenced by Abrahamic religions
(Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and their beliefs that we are
progressing towards Utopia. As a scientist, to be objective it is crucial
to be aware of this ubiquitous utopian thinking and as far as possible
to keep it out of analysis.
The Christian promise of univer sal salvation was inherited by its
secular successor s such as communism, democracy or univer sal human
Whilst trust is the foundation of virtue, political correctness is
the dictatorship of virtue.
Political correctness is a major threat to both science and
liberty and is accurately described by Browne (2006) as ‘an
ideology that classifies certain groups of people as victims in
need of protection from criticism, and which makes believers
feel that no dissent should be tolerated’.
Hate speech laws in the UK mean that expressions of hatred
toward someone on account of that person’s colour, race,
nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin,
religion or sexual orientation is forbidden. Prescription: repeal
hate speech laws.
THE ORIGIN OF FEMINISM
In all species, the relative investment that is made by the male
and the female in their offspring determines the degree of
discrimination exercised by the individual in selecting a partner. In
humans, like many mammals and most animals, females can be
expected to be the more discriminating in their choice of mates.
Therefore females limit the reproductive success of males and
men compete with other men for access to women. Males form a
dominance hierarchy. A cognitive mechanism known as cheater
detection evolved to police tactical subversion of the dominance
hierarchy, i.e. keep lower ranked men ‘in their place’. Females
seek only a minority of males at the top. The upshot of this is that
women have an inherent prejudice towards most men. Misandr y
(hatred of men) is a common prejudice of women and not just
feminists, but it is such misandry that led to feminism and the
invention of ‘misogyny’ which is a myth used to excuse their
The division of labour according to the sexes is universal
In order to attract a high value mate, men have to compete
with other men for their rank in the male dominance hierarchy
and this translates directly into men contesting each other for
positions within organisations.
There is no parallel for
women. See Moxon (2008).
Feminism is unscientific and over-emphasizes the innate
prejudices against ordinary men.
Homosexuality is clearly maladaptive for the individual.
A gay person could be beneficial for the lineage if, for
example, the individual helped close relatives.
The ‘gay gene’ could enhance fertility when found in women
(sexual orientation is probably between 30% and 50%
Genuine bisexuality in men is near to non-existent (bisexuality
is claimed by gay men wishing to hide their homosexual
Bisexual women exist, but it is likely a confusion with the vast
range of what females find sexually arousing.
It is perfectly normal for 1–2% of a population to be gay.
‘Homophobia’ is not a real problem, it tends to be anti-male
prejudice directed towards low status men in general.
Can science inform the politics of attempting to maximize
happiness? We are not motivated to seek happiness per se, so
we can only experience it as a by -product of acting on the
motivations we are provided with. We are motivated to
maximise our reproductive fitness, so participating in any
activity which has the potential to increase our reproductive
fitness is a potential source of happiness. For example, in men
this could be any competitive activity. Examples for women
could include going on a diet or getting engaged. However,
happiness is unsustainable, as lasting happiness would breed
complacency, which would compromise our motivation to
continue attempting to maximise our reproductive fitness.
We can’t change human nature in any radical sense, so it is
better not to try.
Ethnic-national allegiances and market forces can elude the
control of government.
Governments should aim to align policies such that they do
not prevent that which is natural or inevitable.
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