Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Individual and social evolution

Kurt posted this link at FB, wherein he and co-author discuss the difference between individual and social evolution in the following quote. We discussed this in different IPS threads, how in kennilingus individual evolutionary levels are just carried over wholesale onto social evolution which isn't necessarily, and likely not at all, the case. 

"Wilson differentiates between natural selection for individuals and natural selection at what is called the 'group', or 'multi-level.' While at an individual level, natural selection often operates in a selfish, survival-of-the-fittest fashion, at the group level (think of group dynamics within larger eco-systems), it selects for structures and processes that serve the well being of the whole, and not self-interest groups. In other words, evolution is trending toward a world that works for all. This is a radical reversal of standard evolutionary understanding."

Robert Reich today released an excerpt of his new book, Saving Capitalism. The following excerpt relates to my last post in that a 'free market' of self-interested individuals is moot without the rules of the social contract via laws and regulations.

"There can be no 'free market' without government. The 'free market' does not exist in the wilds beyond the reach of civilization. Competition in the wild is a contest for survival in which the largest and strongest typically win. Civilization, by contrast, is defined by rules; rules create markets, and governments generate the rules."

And this one as it relates to so-called universal individual evolutionary structures that get transferred to social structures.

"The rules are neither neutral nor universal, and they are not permanent. Different societies at different times have adopted different versions. The rules partly mirror a society’s evolving norms and values but also reflect who in society has the most power to make or influence them."

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