Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A negative selection relationship hypothesis

Back in May, I talked about how natural selection actually produces insane humans because a perfectly rational human may not want to bring a child into a world of suffering. I talked about how there are several irrational, but successful, form of madness that reproduce themselves. For example;
-Utterly selfish people who have children because they want kids regardless of whether the child suffers.
-Abusers who reproduce because they desire a victim to torment.
-Pedophiles who reproduce because of sexual interest in children.
-Absent-minded people who are too self-absorbed to think about the issue.
-Religious crazies who reproduce because their god commands it.
-A desire to conquer an enemy through producing babies.
-Baby rabies

There are also some other irrational, but not insane reasons;
-People who are too forgetful to take their birth control.
-People who are too low agency to keep a clinic appointment.
-Rape victims.
-Unthinking people.

Obviously there are healthy reasons to have children. But this article is not about that.

When I invent the term "negative selection relationship hypothesis" I am referring to a Darwinian concept where the environment is generating unfavorable outcomes for the human population. In evolutionary science, selection is the tendency of the environment to favor the survival of some traits over others. Negative selection in relationships is the idea that the capitalist environment now places selection pressure on individuals to form unhealthy relationships. The ancestral family clan that humanity evolved under was limited in its transportation capabilities. There were no automobiles, commercial aircraft, or blue water passenger liners. In many societies, even the horse was absent. Humanity thus evolved in conditions where relationships were maintained by the pressure of proximity. A list of pressures to stay in one place near family and friends might look like this;

-Travel is cost prohibitive and dangerous
-Xenophobia made living in other cultures dangerous
-Communication technology did not exist

As recently as the 19th century the pressures to stay with family were not much different, and most societies were still feudal;

-All wealth was generally held in land, and titles of nobility which are location dependent
-Xenophobia still made living in other cultures dangerous
-Travel was still mostly cost prohibitive and dangerous
-Communication technology was primitive

In the modern world the pressures of proximity become radically unhealthy, and there are counter-pressures for separation from family. A list of separation pressures would look something like this;

-Corporations and jobs relocate, causing families to separate
-Cities draw people away from their families in the countryside
-Tolerance is promoted to reduce friction, and the acceptance of strangers weakens community trust
-Population decline encourages governments to accept mass-immigration
-Phones give people the false impression that relationships can be maintained by distance

People then adopt a series of unhealthy strategies in order to "trap" people in relationships. An example is the relationship between a narcissist and a co-dependent. If these unhealthy strategies are more successful at producing children than healthy ones, a decay in the quality of families occurs within the population. As a result, transportation technology becomes decay in family quality. The negative selection relationship hypothesis is simply the term that I have given to this phenomenon. Here is a partial list of unhealthy strategies people adopt to keep others from leaving. Keep in mind that in the ancestral environment humans had many life-long friendships, and that this is now largely absent from modern society. List;

-People who are too poor to move
-People who are too discriminated against to move
-People who are too unskilled to take advantage of the global job market
-People who are too old to move without help
-People who are too disabled to live anywhere else
-Narcissist and codependent relationships
-Sexual abuse relationships
-People who cannot do better than the relationships they have because of personality defects
-Sexual practices that are unusual enough to limit ones partner options, such as BDSM
-Subcultures that make you unemployable outside the culture, (tattoo artists, pornographers)
-Group sexual relationships
-Slavery and trafficking
-Hate groups

In contrast, almost all of the normal healthy ways to form relationships in the modern world are temporary states;

-Friends (only temporarily)
-Family (only temporarily, until the children move out)
-Marriages (until the divorce)
-Places only the rich can afford to live in, (Aspen CO, Martha's Vineyard, the Village, Silicon Valley)
-University (only temporarily)
-Military (usually temporarily until one is injured or one's term of service ends)

This is the crises of the modern world: negative selection operating in human relationships. It follows that the longer transportation is able to work its corrosive effect on society the more socially atomized people will become, and the more unhealthy ways they will invent to bind each other together in a desperate attempt to stave off the loss of their friendships.

What is needed is a kind of tribe for the modern world. A person needs to be able to forfeit their freedom of movement for a limited amount of time, or they need a contract, or binding commitment, that attaches them to some location or group of people. Corporations could also be prohibited from relocating workers away from their families. Alternately, a tax could exist for hiring workers that live far from their parents and a credit for workers that lives close to their parents. This would encourage businesses to relocate workers closer to their families. Though some people might be outraged by the suggestion, group marriages could be adopted for non-sexual purposes to form large extended tribes of families.

Welfare could be administered by families, tying individual benefits to a location. The military could assign a solider to a "tribe" that he spends his whole career with (unless he pays a fee to leave). All members of that tribe deploy together, return together, and come from the same town. Architecture could be adapted for "intentional communities." Propaganda and education campaigns could promote community building. All the students at a university could progress to completion together in sequence, and all could be recruited out of college together into the same large firms. Governments could tell universities what types of workers they need in advance, and all workers who are destined to go to the same firm could be put together in the same classes, and progress to completion together.

A new form of "tribal property" could be invented. This would allow groups to own things with a set of legal contractual rules that specify the treatment of assets, income, etc. Alternately,"identity easements" could be created that only allow a category of people such as vegans, Christians, fitness lovers, etc. to buy and sell a property easement that restrict future purchases of that property to only people within their own identity classification. Meaning: only a particular group can trade a house among each other, say Christians, or whatever. Another possibility is a type of bond that pays at maturity on the condition that the purchaser fulfills certain community commitments. Obviously one would have to show up for those commitments and that means the effect is to tie one to a location. If one defaults on his commitments he forfeits the cash value of the bond, (a small amount). If he shows up for most commitments, (say half) the bond pays him (a larger amount). The instrument is structured so that showing up is no more or less profitable than not showing up to the seller, and to prevent conflicts of interest, the seller is never the same as the tribe looking for members.

I'm sure you could think of other methods.


  1. I'd suggest a concomitant review of the historically verified methods because most of what I'd agree to calling "modernity," problems are simply the result of modern liberalism throwing babies out with bathwater in their rush to revolutionize (utopian progs) or destabilize (tribal subversives) society.

    With respect to the insane and irrational reproduction, I think we can agree that "civilization," is aptly described as a social order in which births for non-insane reasons are optimized for. At the very least, we know that no society worthy of the moniker relies upon rape breeding and most of them had recurrent themes of dismembering pedophiles and other sexual deviants who might cause an outgrowth of deviancy in subsequent generations.

    As an aside, though I can agree to most of your missal on modernity, the 19th century wasn't all that excruciating for the a-familial. Family ties were, of course, more valued at that time, but you could quite easily relocate to another nation or continent (particularly within the Commonwealths of the day) and be reasonably certain of some fellow diaspora tribe members being amenable to your presence. Clubs and Organization dedicated to such community building were ubiquitous in Western societies and their colonial satellites up until the post-war era where they began their downslide into the atomized liberal modern situation we have today.

    Incidentally, the greatest problem I can see with respect to modern healthy social ties isn't the temporal, but rather the degenerative culture that's displaced them. Friends, family, and marriage are all strained by roughly the same brew of pro-forma liberalism. Friend bonding is discouraged by the promotion of homosexual behavior and the implicit assumption that all-male social clubs are brothels in disguise. Family bonding is discouraged be the promotion of teen angst and rebellion as some kind of universal norm. Marriage is discouraged by the promotion of female empowerment and the diminution of the male role in a relationship. Etc. Historically you could easily rotate through a few cohorts of friends, go through the unfortunate loss of family to distance or death, and you might have even been so unfortunate as to live through a divorce, but all of these things were mitigated by the fact that the culture enforced the remaining bonds you did have and, if nothing else, you could fall back on those social orgs. I mentioned earlier.

    In my honest assessment, I think the sort of tribes the modern world needs are readily available. The only catch is figuring out how to get the liberal boot off the neck of each one. Corporate predation is something that has emerged out of atomization. I don't think it can thrive in an environment where the historic norms of civilization are not deeply suppressed by liberalism. Imagine a Chobani factory trying to import thousands of refugees to work at a factory when 90% of the existing population is composed of healthy families, peer bonded male social clubs, and the local government is merely an extension of that. It would never get off the ground.

    Administration through families is indeed the historic norm and, I think, would return to being the historic norm of choice due to the inherent abundance of trust between family compared to others. The largest hurdle to jump there, and where I would think of new methods, is competition with corporate limited liability. That, I think, deserves a serious post-liberal review; however, I don't see that happening prior to the social revival so I'll spare you my speculation.

    1. We are coming at this from opposite viewpoints about where causality lies. I think all cultural effects are the outcome of material forces, and that changing those forces with technology and new property systems under Reactionary Capitalism is the only solution. You seem to believe that we must win the culture war first. Good luck with that. There is no winning the culture war without a violent revolution, and the gun is a material force.

  2. I think material forces matter, but to the extent we've seen material revolutions in their historical contexts not produce the sorts of liberalism we observe today, I think the feedback loop is a better model than a linear progression towards total individualist isolation.

    Capitalism is liberal because the liberals won the culture war. There was nothing inherent in the stereo television set that made it produce liberal propaganda. It was harnessed by the (((liberals))) in order to win the culture war to great effect. The reactionary movement(s) are similarly the product of people harnessing the internet and not inherent to the internet itself. If no mass of young white men were producing memes, blogging, podcasting, and agitating, there would be no right wing meccas online. Only more liberal propaganda.

    Capitalism simply caters to that which expands the share of some actor in the market or exploits a new market niche, but liberal capitalism is hideously constrained by liberal ideology. Billions of dollars are held in thrall which could be flowing through reactionary markets, making far more value for shareholders than trying to cater to the lowest common denominator. The only reason they aren't doing this is because cultural inertia is too strong and the subsequent backlash against defection is still incredibly costly.

    Therefor it seems logical to conclude that either tribal culture wars will be waged or capitalist liberalism will simply grind on to it's logical conclusion of self-destruction. Tech doesn't advance without mostly white innovation. China, from my experience as an engineer, does not possess the kind of creative agency to pick up where the West leaves off. Their systems are largely dependent on predation on Western intellectual adventurism.

    So if you are correct, I would suggest mobilizing as many Western people as possible to head for the Far East. The only way I can see reactionary capitalism becoming reality without culture war, is if the West becomes a wasteland and the Western diaspora becomes a coveted intellectual and creative resource for the new Imperium in Asia.