Thursday, 30 May 2013

Revenge of the nerd?

On 15 May 2013, Professor Michael Bang Petersen was quoted thus at the Association of Psychological Science:
“While many think of politics as a modern phenomenon, it has, in a sense, always been with our species… Despite the fact that the United States, Denmark and Argentina have very different welfare systems, we still see that, at the psychological level, individuals reason about welfare redistribution in the same way. In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution…

Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest, just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions…

This is among the first studies to show that political views may be rational in another sense, in that they’re designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history.”
And yet the physically strong males of the western world have, over the course of the last six decades, consistently voted for their for their own de-selection. This is rational?

Their elected representatives have consistently put the interests of the ‘physically weak’ before those of the ‘physically strong.’ Thus, the rights of religious minorities, LGTB rights, BEM rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, women’s rights, etc. have invariably trumped those of the strong, indigenous man.

Perhaps the ‘strong’ have been voting in their own best interests. Perhaps, as western society allows the ‘weak’ precisely the same say over the ‘welfare system’ of their shared society, democracy routinely denies the tough guy his ‘natural’ due.

As the wimp and the nerd gang up to ‘assert’ their lack of ‘self-interest.’

This suggests to me that, if those whose physical prowess forged the democratic societies that the weak now benefit from want a ‘rational’ outcome to the question of ‘evolutionary history’, democracy is not the way.

P.S. If, in any way, self-justification inspired the research and findings of the bloke in the photo, one might be forgiven for thinking that the plight of the 'physically strong male' wasn't much of a concern.

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