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Farming and Us

The Influence of Agriculture on Human Behaviour

Raoul A. Robinson
ISBN 0-9731816-1-3

Warning: This book is based on the theory of evolution, and it is likely to be considered very offensive by anyone whose religion teaches that evolution is a false doctrine.

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List of Contents

1. Evolution.................................................................................... 1 Three Brutal Laws of Nature ...................................................... 1 Darwinian Evolution .................................................................... 6 Human Evolution ...................................................................... 10 Learning .................................................................................... 19 Teaching ................................................................................... 24 Domestication and Agriculture ................................................. 26 Animal Domestication............................................................... 28 Plant Domestication.................................................................. 32 Unintended Domestication ....................................................... 47 Auto-domestication ................................................................... 48 Human Ecotypes ...................................................................... 58 2. Altruism................................................................................... 69 Apes and Us ............................................................................. 69 Social Altruism .......................................................................... 82 The Evolution of Human Pair Bonds ........................................ 87 Men and Women Compared .................................................. 102 The Changes in Human Males ............................................... 105 3. Psychology........................................................................... 110 Sex Was Sin ........................................................................... 110 The Authoritarian Personality ................................................. 117 Dr Daniel Moritz Schreber ...................................................... 128 Emotional Security and Modern Medicine ............................. 130 Ingroups and Outgroups ......................................................... 134 Open and Closed Minds ......................................................... 148 Nature-versus-Nurture ............................................................ 157

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4. Authoritarianism .................................................................. 162 The Breakthrough ................................................................... 162 The Swing to Authoritarianism ............................................... 163 Authoritarianism Results from Agriculture.............................. 168 The Key Characteristic of Authoritarianism............................ 177 The Rulers and the Ruled....................................................... 181 Humans and Wild Social Primates Compared....................... 188 Hierarchies .............................................................................. 190 Professional Hierarchies......................................................... 202 Rank Fixation .......................................................................... 203 Preference for Sons................................................................ 208 Slavery .................................................................................... 209 Prostitution .............................................................................. 211 Truth and Lies ......................................................................... 212 Political Murder ....................................................................... 216 Natural Justice........................................................................ 218 Retaliation ............................................................................... 229 Cruelty and Brutality ............................................................... 229 Violence .................................................................................. 230 Punishment............................................................................. 232 Judicial Punishment................................................................ 243 Hierarchical Punishment......................................................... 251 Upward Evaluation.................................................................. 251 Secrecy................................................................................... 252 Magic and Astrology ............................................................... 258 Authoritarian Car Drivers ........................................................ 261 Liberalism................................................................................ 262 5. Authoritarianism in Individuals .......................................... 266 Controlling Ourselves ............................................................. 266 Stereotyping ............................................................................ 271 Individualism ........................................................................... 272 Personal Freedom .................................................................. 274 Macho Attitudes ...................................................................... 279 Possessiveness...................................................................... 280

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Sibling Rivalries ...................................................................... 281 Shame, Guilt, and Fear .......................................................... 281 Apologies ................................................................................ 284 Sympathy and Empathy ......................................................... 285 Threats .................................................................................... 286 Suspicion ................................................................................ 287 Manipulation............................................................................ 288 Laughter .................................................................................. 296 The Insecurity Principle .......................................................... 299 6. Authoritarianism in Politics ................................................ 306 Authoritarian Government ...................................................... 306 Authoritarian Efficiency........................................................... 307 Monumental Building .............................................................. 314 Declining Dynasties ................................................................ 317 Ancient Egypt.......................................................................... 319 China....................................................................................... 324 The Forbidden City ................................................................. 333 The Spanish Inquisition .......................................................... 338 The Authoritarianism of Hitler ................................................. 341 The Authoritarianism of Martin Luther .................................... 372 Adam Smith and Friedrich List ............................................... 373 The British Empire .................................................................. 374 Authoritarianism in Modern Science ...................................... 379 The Iran-Iraq War ................................................................... 399 Transition Phases ................................................................... 400 7. Authoritarian Belief Systems .............................................. 404 Reader Discretion is Advised ................................................. 404 Religious Origins..................................................................... 405 Authoritarian Religion ............................................................. 408 Non-Authoritarian Religion ..................................................... 445

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8. The Alleviation of Authoritarianism.................................... 451 Private Lives and Public Lives................................................ 451 The New Education ................................................................ 454 9. The Spread of Language...................................................... 459 The Spread of the Indo-European Languages....................... 459 The Austronesian Family of Languages................................. 467 10. Civilisation ........................................................................... 485 The Holistic Approach ............................................................ 485 Civilisation Defined ................................................................. 486 Major Staples .......................................................................... 487 High Population Densities ...................................................... 488 The Origins of Authoritarianism.............................................. 489 Sedentism............................................................................... 490 Pre-Agricultural Sedentism..................................................... 491 Liberation from Food Procurement......................................... 492 Permanent Buildings............................................................... 493 Architecture............................................................................. 494 Mathematics............................................................................ 494 Solar Calendars ...................................................................... 496 Pottery..................................................................................... 497 Weaving .................................................................................. 498 Writing..................................................................................... 499 Ownership............................................................................... 501 Legal Systems ........................................................................ 502 Sanitation ................................................................................ 503 Taxes ...................................................................................... 503 Corvée Labour ........................................................................ 504 Public Granaries ..................................................................... 505 Militarism................................................................................. 506 Fortifications............................................................................ 509

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11. That Third Brutal Law of Nature........................................ 510 Our Failure to Defeat that Third Brutal Law ........................... 510 New Crops, More People ....................................................... 516 Manmade Extinctions ............................................................. 518 Natural Extinctions .................................................................. 521 The Destruction of Fragile Ecosystems ................................. 522 Movement of Species ............................................................. 524 Human Health ......................................................................... 525 Ecological Reverberations ...................................................... 533 Pollution .................................................................................. 535 The Survival of Love Relationships ........................................ 538 History and Pre-history ........................................................... 539 Fundamental Conflicts ............................................................ 540 Malthus.................................................................................... 542 The Importance of Contraceptives ......................................... 544 Monogamy .............................................................................. 549 Pro-Life Cruelty ....................................................................... 550 Personal Motivation for the Control of Population Size ......... 562 Social Darwinism.................................................................... 567 Genocide................................................................................. 570 The Conquest of those Three Brutal Laws of Nature ............ 574 Charles Fourier ....................................................................... 578 A New Carrying Capacity of the Environment........................ 579 12. Control and Self-Organisation........................................... 584

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1. Evolution

Before humankind developed herding and agriculture, people lived as hunter-gatherers. They were a mere component of a wild ecosystem. They were totally dependent on that ecosystem, and they were compelled to obey the laws of nature.

Three Brutal Laws of Nature When we look at both our history and our pre-history, we have to be impressed by the dominating influence of three, quite brutal laws of nature. As we shall see, these laws are brutal from the point of view of the individual, but they are fundamental to the survival of the species. Furthermore, evolution could not occur without them. The first brutal law of nature states that, for any wild species, the carrying capacity of the environment is strictly limited. One ecosystem will support a maximum number of individuals of a given species, and it cannot carry any more than that. Throughout the whole of evolution, during some three and a half billion years, only one specie s has been able to increase the carrying capacity of its environment to any significant extent. That species is us.

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The second brutal law states that the total environment, the total living space, available to any species, is also limited. The area of la nd available to a terrestrial species, or the volume of water available to an aquatic species, cannot be increased. There are further restrictions superimposed on these absolute limits. These restrictions are mainly climatic, such as temperate and tropical, but they may involve other factors, such as seawater versus fresh water, high altitude land versus low altitude, and so on. Obviously, a tropical species cannot survive a temperate winter, and a rain forest species cannot survive in an arid area. Throughout evolution, only one species has been able to increase its total living space. It did so by cultural adaptation to otherwise inhospitable environments. Once again, that unique species is us. The third brutal law states that all species reproduce in excess of the carrying capacity of their environment. This means that the total living space of a species is never enough, and this is where nature becomes brutal, because all the surplus individuals have to die. However, this excessive reproduction is essential to long-term survival. In evolutionary terms, over-population may be wasteful, but under-population is disastrous because, if prolonged, it leads to the extinction of that species. Because no species can exactly match its reproduction to the carrying capacity of the environment, all species have to play it safe, and they have to reproduce excessively. It follows that any species that still exists must be reproducing excessively, because, had it failed to do so, it would soon have disappeared. Farming and Us - Page 2

If reproduction exceeds the carrying capacity of the environment, as it invariably does, the species survives, but individuals suffer. The weak must go to the wall. In fact, this is the basic mechanism of evolution. This mechanism is usually described as the survival of the fittest, but it is perhaps more accurate to describe it as the elimination of the least fit. The resulting struggle for existence is the driving force behind Darwinian evolution. This evolution is a form of selective replacement, and it positively requires an excessive reproduction. One of the themes of this book is that we humans, as a species, have been able to overcome the first two of these brutal laws of nature. We have done this by virtue of our cultural evolution. Beginning very slowly, but then faster and faster, we have increased the carrying capacity of our environment, and we have increased our total environment, quite dramatically. But, so far, we have failed to overcome that third brutal law, and we continue to reproduce in excess of the carrying capacity of our environment. Our entire past, as a species, has depended on the way in which we overcame those first two brutal laws. And our entire future depends totally and utterly on whether we manage or fail to overcome that third brutal law. This, then, was the rock bottom biological basis of human prehistory. There were always too many people, because our remote ancestors, indeed all our ancestors, like all other species, consistently reproduced beyond the carrying capacity of their environment. Hunger, caused by over-population, would force the surplus individuals to one of Farming and Us - Page 3

several grim alternatives. They could migrate to a new, unoccupied territory, if one could be found. Or they could adapt to a different, more hostile environment, if one could be found. Alternatively, they could go to war in order to conquer territory from their neighbours. Or they could die, possibly from starvation, or even because their neighbours had decided to conquer them. Or, possibly, weak from hunger, they might become the next meal of some large and savage carnivore. There is not the slightest doubt that these grim alternatives were powerful cultural influences throughout our pre-history. Hunger is not only the most compelling of motives. It is absolutely the first, and the most important consequence for any species that reproduces beyond the carrying capacity of its environment, and which then exceeds the critical population density. Because every species does reproduce excessively, there is no need whatever to postulate any other root cause of our efforts to dominate our environment. These efforts derive ultimately from the absolute necessity of survival and, particularly, of preventing hunger, and eliminating even the fear, and the threat, of hunger, as well as the threat of thirst, which should be considered a component of hunger. Human culture developed because, for an intelligent species, there are three answers to those three brutal laws of nature. One of these answers was to use our intelligence to find ways of increasing the carrying capacity of our existing environment. Our remote, food-gathering ancestors did this by using stones as tools to break open large bones abandoned by Farming and Us - Page 4

and our future could become rather bleak. As a result of these cultural developments. and colonising the enormous areas of Europe. The carrying capacity of the environment of those remote ancestors was measured in terms of the number of square miles needed to support one adult. to say nothing of the rest of Africa. and to survive winters. but otherwise inhospitable. We know how to this but. which allowed them to migrate into temperate areas. the carrying capacity of our environment is now far greater than that of our pre-scavenging ancestors. there will be other limiting problems. they began toolmaking. They increased their total environment by migrating out of eastern Africa. and fire. a shortage of drinking water. the New World. The second answer was to use our intelligence to make tolerable an alternative. Even if we solve the world food problem.Page 5 . such as over-crowding.carnivores. and a lethal increase in pollution. housing. we have been singularly unsuccessful in implementing this crucially important solution. These three Farming and Us . In this way. our total environment would be increased. and they became hunter-gatherers. as a species. Asia. they became herders. and Australasia. Our tropical ancestors did this by the use of clothing. More recently. Even more recently. The modern carrying capacity of our environment is measured in terms of the number of adults supported by one square mile. environment. Later. and they became scavenger-gatherers. they developed agriculture. The third answer is to use our intelligence to restrict the growth of our population. We are now approaching the limits of agricultural production.

These legends usually spoke of perhaps a hundred generations of people. This scientific transformation happened in the face of quite vehement opposition. and human behaviour. human cultural development. and they were wildly inaccurate when it came to time scales. and our future prospects. so that we may better understand both our present human situation.brutal laws are the most fundamental and important factors in our entire civilisation. a remote ancestor who was the father. varied. depending on how we choose to define the words ‘human’ and ‘pre-history’. Darwin put the whole science of biology on a firm footing. And. for the first time. or mother. today. Darwinian Evolution Our ancestors had many. and pockets of opposition to Darwin’s theory exist to this day. during the past couple of million years. Nevertheless. It was not until Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution by natural selection that this matter began to be put to rights. Most of these legends had one thing in common. and in all of our lives. involving a few thousand years.Page 6 . of us all. and two or three million years is a more accurate indication of the total time occupied by human pre-history. we should be thinking in terms of populations of ancestors. These folk tales were plausible but wrong. because people value their legends. Farming and Us . let us now discuss human evolution. As we now know. So. and picturesque folk tales to explain the origins of humankind.

that domestication is only possible if there is also an advanced cultural evolution. Farming and Us . there is a very new method of producing genetic change. They also recognise at least four different kinds of biological evolution. And we now exploit these domesticated species. is the man-made form of genetic evolution called domestication. and to the great advantage of ourselves. called proto-cultures. as humans. the most important. Third. It was only quite recently that humankind became knowledgeable enough to change other species of plants and animals genetically. But. and evolve. A culture can both survive. both plants and animals. and its enormous significance is discussed at the end of this book. The first and. rather than natural selection.Page 7 . we have no choice in this matter because our only alternative to exploiting domesticated species is to starve. Finally. which involves characteristics that are inherited. since the earliest days of stone tools. which shows remarkable potential. but which are acquired by learning. It is obvious. that are not inherited. perhaps.biologists recognise that evolution is the fundamental key to studies within the life sciences. Many species of social mammal possess primitive cultures. which concerns characteristics of both knowledge and behaviour. is Darwinian evolution. of course. somewhat more than two million years ago. we are unique in the extent to which our own culture has evolved. Next. It is genetic engineering. from generation to generation. which depends on artificial selection. quite ruthlessly. These changes were to the great disadvantage of those plants and animals. Indeed. is cultural evolution.

Biologically. These are both green plants and the more primitive cyano-bacteria.Darwinian evolution involves biological characteristics that are inherited. comes originally from the sun. Darwinian evolution is the growth and development of the genetic code. For this reason. When dead organisms are re-cycled. their chemical nutrients are released. for example. which have the ability of converting solar energy into living matter. are thus re-cycled again and again. The genetic code ensures. such as nitrates and phosphates. These are mainly microscopic bacteria and fungi which recycle the chemicals that make up dead organisms. in the form of light. Next in importance are the reducers. which are essential to the life process. to say nothing of carbon dioxide and water. is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into the more complex organic compounds called carbohydrates. which controls all things inherited. and these become available for other organisms to use again. In its most simple terms. Virtually all biological energy.Page 8 . It also ensures that one oak tree can produce many new acorns. and Farming and Us . The solar energy. Without reducers. Darwinian evolution has produced three basic kinds of living organism. and they may be characteristics of either structure or behaviour. the most important organisms are the producers. that an acorn grows into an oak tree rather than a beech tree. referred to as calories by dieticians. there could be no life at all. without producers. these nutrients would be permanently locked up. Chemical nutrients.

Consumer species are highly competitive. without animals. water. The third kinds of organisms are called consumers because they consume other liv ing organisms. Although consumer species may not be essential to the evolutionary process. it must be admitted that. there were producers and reducers only. Consumers are not essential to evolution which. sometimes. Carnivores. It just lies around absorbing sunlight. herbivores. The competition was minimal and the Farming and Us . existing passively in water. A producer species has none of these things. The reducers then recycle its component chemicals. For nearly three billion years. that said. it reproduces. brains. and it dies. Humankind is a consumer. could continue perfectly well without them. However. and intelligence. life would be incredibly dull. killing them first. we must recognise also that the evolution of consumer species did make possible all those characteristics which can be described as ‘animal’. or because they are trying very hard not to be eaten. or because they are in constant competition for the available supply of plant food. nerves. but not usually. and all kinds of parasites are consumers. and it is a sobering thought that we are not an essential component of the basic evolutionary process. either because they eat one another.Page 9 . such as muscles. These characteristics include various organs and abilities. atmospheric gasses. theoretically. Once again. there could then be no life at all. which permit an animal to search for its food. and nutrients. senses. It grows.their supply would soon be exhausted.

particularly in the animal kingdom. both the amount of competition. Human Evolution The whole trend of Darwinian evolution has been one of increasing complexity. increased dramatically. and the first civilisations. would have happened less than ten seconds before that midnight. But when consumer species appeared. rather more than five hundred million years ago. our own species would have evolved only seconds before midnight. There was then a great burst of evolutionary progress. on December 31st. with its artificial fertilisers and pesticides. And the discovery of modern industrialised agriculture. This comparison can be taken further. it is perhaps helpful to make a distinction between the evolution of structure. which we have had the temerity to call Homo sapiens sapiens. would have happened less than half a second before that midnight. When discussing the Darwinian evolution of people.Page 10 . This happened at a moment in geological time called the Cambrian explosion. it has been calculated that. It culminated in the unprecedented intelligence of this species of ours. and the Farming and Us . if the whole of evolutionary history were condensed into a single calendar year. The discovery of agriculture.rate of evolutionary progress was slow. and the rate of genetic evolution. Humankind appeared only very recently on the evolutionary scene. Indeed.

Monkeys. The first. Even more dramatic.Page 11 . All of these fossils are more than three million years old. It seems that every other evolutionary development. but monkeys either walk along the tops of branches or. in 1974. as well as lesser changes in virtually every bone in the body. Let us discuss the evolution of human structure first. of course. in Tanzania.evolution of behaviour. and most important. but it apparently happened more easily in humans because of an attribute called brachiation. of the skeleton of a fossil pre-hominid that he called Lucy. This characteristic of bipedalism evolved at a very early stage of our development. in Ethiopia. derives from this bipedalism. if they are New World monkeys. This attribute is one of the principle differences between monkeys and apes. legs and pelvis. in a process of mutual reinforcement. in pre-hominids. and they have fully evolved human feet. This was reveale d dramatically by Donald Johansen’s discovery. they can also hang from branches by their tails. perhaps. Most of these subsequent developments evolved more or less together. are the fossilised prehominid footprints discovered by Mary Leakey and her colleagues at Laetoli. The evolution of bipedalism required major structural changes in the feet. structural change that produced the first pre-hominids was the ability to walk on only two legs. hominids and humans. Both kinds of primate are typically tree dwellers. There is no obvious reason why the change to bipedalism could not occur in any four-legged animal. whether structural or behavioural. have tails but Farming and Us .

apes do not. Indeed. dogs. and the vertical posture of this hanging prepared all species of apes for the upright stance of bipedalism. At a very early stage in the evolutionary change towards bipedalism. these infants spent most of their time clinging to their mothers. sciatica. And some of the ill-effects of this evolutionary development still haunt us. flat feet. among all the primates. This clinging is important to apes and monkeys because they escape carnivores by climbing trees. hernias. varicose veins. in the form of headaches. slipped disks. human infants have retained a remarkably strong grip with their tiny fingers and tiny hands. until they were strong enough both to walk. Farming and Us . Brachiation is this locomotion by arm-hanging. safe and secure from an angry lion that cannot reach us. It is also possible that our ingrained love of sitting on a swing.Page 12 . below the branches. Apes differ also in that they can also move through trees by hanging on their arms. or a rocking chair. and various other spinal problems. The only way that infants could escape carnivores was by clinging to their mother as she climbed a tree. is a result of the safety of being high up in the swinging branches of a tall tree. to this day. backaches. say. and to climb trees. However. bipedalism developed only in the pre-hominids. And. the change in our feet meant that hominid infants could no longer use their toes to cling to their mother’s fur. haemorrhoids. It also produced our flat chests that are so different from those of. on their own.

but we should note here that this loss of body hair made infant clinging even more difficult. As we know well. humans were able to travel relatively quickly over land. which made tree climbing all but impossible. Indeed. and very comfortably.At an early stage also. and we are incredibly slow. and this was crucially important for feeding a family that was living in a home base. or else keep it on the ground. Our early ancestors apparently solved this problem by developing the use of group defence and a defensible home base. but our ability to run is severely restricted. In comparison. They Farming and Us .Page 13 . the mother either had to carry her infant in her arms. which have a home base. is that it left the arms free for other activities. Bipedalism provides very efficient locomotion so long as speed is not required. we cannot run for long. such as deer. In addition to carrying infants. four-legged animals. which was very dangerous. of which the most important was carrying. When compared with four-footed animals. can only carry small amounts of food to feed their young. the great advantage of bipedalism. as a protection against big carnivores. for hours on end. Once hominid infants could no longer cling effectively to their mothers. the arms could carry relatively large amounts of food for long distances. humans can walk very effectively. dogs. such as wild dogs. hominids lost their fur and became hairless. for the first time ever. which may also have included the use of fire. and horses. The other side of this coin. the main effect of our domestication of the horse was that. The reasons for this are discussed later.

Parents can hold their children’s hands. The fossilised footprints at Laetoli suggest that preFarming and Us . Waving. both giving and receiving powerful feelings of love and security. saluting. however. Visual rather than verbal communication is also important in co-operative hunting.could carry this food only for short distances. Children also hold hands. or a criminal. There was possibly quite a long period between the development of bipedalism. but various gestures were also important. and the development of vocal language. More than anything. who is surrendering. For identical reasons.Page 14 . and it helps to develop love relationships. or benediction. either in the mouth. and they do this spontaneously. and threats. a soldier. This strengthens pair bonds. and shaking hands. Arms could also be used for communication. will put up both his hands. the development of modern sign language for the deaf has demonstrated the potential of communication by gestures. when walking side by side. The same is true of birds. when arms and hands provided the principal means of communication among pre-hominids. to obscene insults. for later regurgitation. which clearly indicate an absence of weapons and hostility. human gestures can range from a friendly welcome. and we all know what a pleasure this physical contact with another human being can be. A special aspect of free arms is that people could hold each other’s hands while walking on their feet. when silence is golden. To this day. Pointing at an object or person was probably a frequent message. are forms of greeting. Spouses and lovers can hold each other’s hands. without having to be taught. or in the stomach.

Our hands became highly specialised. Without fingers and without arms. no doubt. lifting. it really is utterly impossible for a cow to play the violin. more than three million years ago. Dolphins cannot even use tools. Our arms could also be used for pushing. This inability is absolute. We often overlook the extraordinary effect that the development of bipedalism has had on humankind. such as a stick or stone. pulling. of both stones and spears. This was essential for the development of co-operative hunting and. levering. or even to use a ready-made tool. walking. our arms permitted throwing. Nor is it possible for a cow to make any sort of tool. and running. which are necessary for the various activities associated with tool making and tool using.hominids were holding hands as they walked. Our rotating wrist also allows turning motions. for warfare. and this contributed greatly to both our power grip and our precision grip. The same is true of dolphins. Consider the animals with hooves and horns. except very Farming and Us . the evolution of other special characteristics became possible. cutting. which are highly intelligent. In addition to carrying.Page 15 . We now use our arms for a variety of specialised functions that are either difficult or entirely impossible in other species. Once our arms were no longer needed for standing. regardless of any amount of intelligence that the animal might have. and this was essential for tool making. But dolphins are unable to make tools. and definitely more intelligent than cows. and other motions. striking. Manual dexterity increased enormously.

The same is true of dogs and cats. from one generation to the next. and evolutionary survival values. This ability. The loss was a sacrifice. has been retained by the other primates. and these permitted the making of a much wider range of sounds. But perhaps the most important structural development was in the human brain. from various periods during the past three and a half million years. Our upright posture also meant that major structural changes evolved in the human head. Combined with an improved brain. Other developments in the human head involved the larynx and throat. shows a steady increase in the size of our ancestor’s brains. A high efficiency in verbal communication is obviously essential. if there is to be effective progress in cultural evolution. however intelligent they may be. The evolutionary changes in the human larynx could be made only at the expense of the ability to drink and breathe at the same time. The shape and position of our heads. had to change.clumsily. relative to our bodies.Page 16 . A series of fossils. in terms of body efficiency. these changes made speech and language possible. There was also an increase in the complexity of their Farming and Us . so that our eyes would be looking ahead when we are standing upright. There is evidence from fossil skulls that the speech centres may have evolved as early as two million years ago. with their mouths and noses. which has been lost in humans. The sacrifice indicates just how much more important the ability to communicate must have been.

however. we had ancestors in common with the chimpanzees. Farming and Us . And the evolution of these structural developments went hand in hand with the evolution of behavioural changes. and from our own knowledge of ourselves. and which began to evolve at least three million years ago. and those Laetoli footprints made by hominids who were apparently holding hands. And it is necessary to study the Darwinian evolution of human behaviour. One of the problems of studying the evolution of behaviour.brains. as opposed to the evolution of structure. if we are to understand the progress of our cultural evolution. from modern behavioural studies of various social apes and monkeys. it is still possible to reach conclusions about changes in our behaviour that occurred as our ancestors evolved from the earliest pre-hominids into modern humans. perhaps some seven million years ago. is that behaviour does not form fossils. Our understanding of human behaviour is enhanced by a knowledge of these final stages of human structural evolution. in addition to those already described. This brings us to the evolution of human behaviour. as with the fossil skulls. and a dramatically improved intelligence. Occasionally. Structurally. fossils can be revealing. These conclusions are derived from the comparative study of the fossils of our ancestors. If we go back far enough. Nevertheless. we differ from these very remote ancestors in a number of characteristics.Page 17 . mentioned above.

towards a strategy of many children. with a mother able to give birth as often as once each year.Page 18 . These infants were helpless for a rather special reason. In its turn. this depended on the development of a home base. This led to a change away from the more or less continuous snack feeding of vegetarian primates. A hominid mother would then have several quite helpless children to look after at any one time. A well-defended home base. Our habit of two or three meals a day is approximately halfway between these two feeding strategie s. in which a female has one infant every five to seven years. and keep up with the herd. very possibly protected by fire. essential. Humankind also moved away from the more or less complete vegetarianism of our remote ancestors. It seems that humans are born at a much earlier stage of their Farming and Us .The most important behavioural change was an increased reproductive rate. and this made both a home base. quite soon after its birth. and co-operation between adults. towards meat-eating. Food sharing became a fundamental feature of human society. But a human infant cannot even walk for months following its birth. such as lions. A newly born grazing animal is able to run. the early hominids evolved away from the reproductive strategies of the great apes. Because of these changes. towards the gorging meat meals of carnivorous hunting animals. itself dependent on bipedalism. and the ability to carry food. also permitted the multiple child-care that is essential for an increased rate of reproduction. resulting in an omnivorous diet.

and the instincts that it controlled. and a greater total learning.foetal development. this has an evolutionary advantage in that it allows a much longer childhood and adolescence. The construction of a spider’s web. Farming and Us . or learned. This was an evolutionary breakthrough. such as jellyfish. and they are the result of inherited behaviour patterns. because behaviour patterns could then be acquired. both the genetic code. In primitive animals. or a silk worm’s cocoon.Page 19 . and that this is necessary if the large human head is to pass through the birth canal. for example. to the social organisation of a beehive. such as many insects and reptiles. Eventually. This kind of inherited behaviour pattern is called an instinct. Perhaps coincidentally. a stage of evolution was reached at which individuals were able to learn. as well as being inherited. In its turn. became increasingly complex. and it can be responsible for some remarkably complicated behaviour. and even in relatively advanced animals. are further examples. or a large termite mound. As Darwinian evolution progressed in animals. It can lead. this provides a much longer period of learning. Learning The development of even the most simple proto-culture depends totally on the ability to learn. behaviour patterns are genetically programmed. which might contain as many inhabitants as modern New York. These things are quite rightly regarded as ‘wonders of nature’.

wrote a book entitled The Soul of the Ape. and the group memory can increase during the whole of this time. culture is a kind of social.Modern discussions of behaviour emphasise that the boundary between inherited and learned behaviour is somewhat vague because so many behaviour patterns are a combination of both. Our human group memory is now so vast that just the Farming and Us . It was this evolutionary breakthrough of learning that permitted the second kind of biological evolution. the distinction is still useful. Inherited behaviour is often modified by primitive learning. An individual memory must start from nothing. A culture can evolve in any species that is social. This occurred when a highly original South African scientist. because deliberate over-simplification is often helpful. But a social group can endure for an unlimited number of overlapping generations. or population. And the memory dies when the individual dies. that has the ability to learn. In biological terms. named Eugene Marais. There is also a definite limit to the amount of information that an individual memory can hold. The extent of our own cultural evolution is so much greater than that of any other species. and that has over-lapping generations so that the young can be taught by the old. And learned behaviour is usually influenced by basic instincts. that the mere possibility of cultures in other species was not recognised until about 1900. memory.Page 20 . and it is superior to individual memory because it can grow indefinitely. and it can improve its knowledge only during the lifetime of that individual. which we call cultural evolution. Nevertheless.

in the form of an information code. being assaulted or raped. Escaping from an apparently certain death. It has close parallels to genetic . sometimes.highlights fill huge libraries. where the numbers of books are measured in many tens of miles of bookshelf. Negative impact learning is usually about danger of some sort and is called a traumatic experience. This group memory accumulates through learning. It is impossible for even the most intelligent individuals to hold more than a minute fraction of this knowledge in their own. which is so powerfully burned into the memory that it is never forgotten. which may be either the genetic code. cognitive evolution. personal memories. It is still common for people to have traumatic experiences. if they are about to do something really dangerous. evolution. many people have irrational. can be highly traumatic. a sort of shock. but Farming and Us . or the spoken and written word. The mother’s fear is not always justified and.Page 21 . It is this accumulation of knowledge over many generations that is called cultural evolution or. Impact learning can be negative or positive. for this reason. such as eating poisonous berries. and the unfailing transmission of that learning. or even witnessing a ghastly accident. Learning of the more primitive kind is done largely by impact. or Darwinian. It is also possible for infants to learn traumatically from their mother’s fear. Perhaps the most important aspect of cultural evolution is that its growth is so very much faster than the growth of Darwinian evolution. or playing with a snake or scorpion. from one generation to the next. Both involve the growth of information.

and in Between (Oxford University Press. side of impact learning is called imprinting. and getting lost. the imprinting of a pair bond. or the dark. they will spend the rest of their lives together. such as black beetles. whatever may happen to the lovers subsequently. before the onset of puberty. For this reason. should never see it. In humans. New York. Straight. John Money. almost instantaneously. 1988. and that this coding occurs in childhood.Page 22 . such as the bond between a mother and her newly born child. chick bonds with their mother are imprinted within minutes of hatching. Pair bonds often result from imprinting. In Bali. in what the French call a coup de foudre. in his book Gay. If they are fortunate. The converse. A young man and woman can also imprint on each other. as well as between parents and children. ISBN 0-19-505407-5). bats. which is taken to a new feeding pla ce each day. has developed the concept of the ‘love map’. thunder. can be very powerful. or positive. With many species of birds. and between children and children. or thunderbolt. This love will never be forgotten.traumatically learned fears of harmless things. He argues that a person’s sexual preferences are coded in the love map. even for a moment. newly hatched ducklings are bonded to a white flag. mice. The flag prevents these domestic ducks from straying. for example. The coding is also unalterable. and fall in love ‘at first sight’. with strong and enduring pair bonds between husband and wife. It is not possible for Farming and Us . an expecting mother who is planning to give her child out for adoption.

The indirect effects result from the horror of their parents when they learn of this access. None of us can remember the formation of our own love maps. much as some individuals may want to. This means that pornography is largely harmless. Equally. The indirect effects possibly do far more psychological damage than the direct effects. Gay guys. none of us can change our love maps. we must make a clear distinction between the direct and the indirect effects. in spite of the fuss that many puritans make about it. However. could save themselves many problems if they were able to change themselves into straight guys. pornography is not infectious.Page 23 .anyone to change their sexual preferences. The direct effects are those that influence children who have unauthorised access to pornography. for example. For this reason also. It will merely disgust him. and their effect on young children. by imprinting. And vice versa. usually on the Internet. any more than we can remember the incident that gave us that knee-jerk recoil from a harmless spider or centipede. but they cannot. however much they may want to. Gay porn will not make a straight guy become gay. fairly early in childhood. the point of this discussion is that the love map is probably formed by impact learning. or whatever other imprinted knowledge we may have. It seems that we can no more change our love-maps than we can unlearn our mother tongue. When considering the possible evils of pornography. It probably does children little harm to know about the many aspects of human sexuality before they Farming and Us .

pain.Page 24 . and it depends on more tranquil processes such as play. A special aspect of teaching is that it requires parents to care for their young. Consequently. on the other hand. on negative incentives. Authoritarian teachers are usually more concerned about Farming and Us . and the control of their pupils. Indeed. emphasise discipline. fear. repetition. They can hold their pupils’ attention in the same way that a gifted storyteller can hold his audience. with the emphasis on the love. let is return to the subject of learning. Teaching can also be based. above all. with special emphasis on the punishment of pupils who do not behave. and punishment. Teaching The best teaching uses positive incentives. teaching. trial and error. and then abandon them to their fate. Good teachers are non-authoritarian. involving fascination and reward. such as threats. Learning which is not due to impact is more advanced.reach the age of puberty. unlike the lower animals that produce huge numbers of offspring. from an evolutionary point of view. Authoritarian teachers. But the prudery and horror of their parents can be very damaging indeed. and the subject they are teaching. They do not love their pupils. and. nor do they love the subject they are trying to teach. their pupils are far too absorbed even to think of misbehaving. much less effectively. or do not learn. and they love both the children they are teaching. They have no problems with discipline because their teaching is so interesting. curiosity. However. they may even despise both.

than they are about educating them. we can copy the Farming and Us . everyone would be illiterate. But perhaps the majority of teachers who. are in the non-authoritarian half of this spectrum that ranges from extreme authoritarianism to extreme nonauthoritarianism.Page 25 . and that it can continue to grow. Communication is clearly an essential feature of teaching. after all. in our sadly authoritarian society. technology would vanish. Our human ability to communicate far exceeds that of any other species. Authoritarian teache rs also love exams because of the power that these give the teachers over their pupils. There is a spectrum. But. the really good teachers are rare. There is little doubt that the most important social function of communication is teaching. Teaching ensures that our culture will be preserved. and any politician who cuts back on education should be voted out of office. And. and cultural evolution. money spent on education is the best investment that any government can make. and this is why humankind has even been called the ‘language animal’. learning. and our civilisation would end.controlling their pupils. Books would become useless. now that we are moving into an era that will be largely free of war. This point can be emphasised by imagining what would happen if all teaching stopped. with all differences in degree between these two extremes. And this power is often abused with illicit victimisation and reward. chose to become teachers. of course. Conversely. Within a single generation. from one generation to the next.

And this abundance of mammalian herbivores led also Farming and Us . in 1949. without its growing points being destroyed. This means that a grass plant can lose most of its leaf tissue to a grazing animal. and its arrival made possible the extraordinary evolution of the mammals. Because they could stand up to grazing so much better than other plant species. And. veldt.Page 26 . called savannahs. chaparral. They consequently recover quickly from being grazed. because they grow so fast. pampas. and they must be re-mown so frequently. Equally. some twenty five million years ago. Domestication and Agriculture At about the time that the dinosaurs became extinct. even though the tips have been eaten. abolished its military and now spends all that money on education. scrub. Grass leaves are unusual in that they grow from the base. and steppes. Many grasses can grow new leaves at a rate of an inch or more a day. lawn grasses can be mown without the turf being ruined. including the evolution of people. In its turn. as every gardener knows. This was the grass family (Gramineae). grazing mammals. They now cover vast areas of grasslands. this grass domination led to an explosive evolution of grass-eating. lawns can become a positive nuisance. with good growing conditions. grasses eventually became the dominant plants. not the tip. a new kind of plant appeared on the evolutionary scene. prairies. some sixty five million years ago.example of Costa Rica which.

It differs from natural selection in that the selection criteria. because humans cannot digest grass. little civilisation. determines which individuals of those species will become the parents of the next generation. evolutionary trick of leaves growing from the base. and. Domestication. rather than those that favour the survival of that species in a wild the evolution of superbly efficient mammalian carnivores. on the other hand. simple. hence. there could have been no explosive evolution of mammals and. And all of this became possible because of that one. Equally. as will become clear shortly. is the result of artificial selection. And these domesticated species are often incapable of surviving on their own. without the cultivated grasses. allowed the conversion of vast areas of inedible grass into edible meat. This artificial selection. Furthermore. if left alone in a wild ecosystem. such as the big cats. imposed by people on other specie s. hence. so that their wild progenitors are often difficult to recognise. no evolution of people.Page 27 . instead of from the tip. are those that happen to suit people. the domestication of grass-eating animals. there could have been little agriculture and. Domestication can change wild species of plants and animals to an extraordinary extent. eventually. humans. wild dogs. and the survival advantages. the cereals. Farming and Us . and natural selection. such as cattle. These developments were the result of Darwinian evolution. Without grasses.

language. it prospered. It was the very existence of many herds of wild herbivores.Animal Domestication Wild dogs and wild people probably began to co-operate. This process of domestication was probably unconscious. This inter-specific co-operation in hunting was of obvious mutual benefit and. Being social animals. the wild dogs became totally dependent on the people. that allowed this domestication to happen. As the association grew closer. Dogs could track large game. dogs are well familiar with the idea of being controlled. The dogs had the advantages of speed. this is basically how we breed our dogs today. and both keeping and breeding the most useful individuals. and they are intelligent. protecting the human home base. and their highly developed senses of smell and hearing. Ancient people began to live in association with herds of wild Farming and Us . simply by following each other around. They were also protected. But they are also familiar with co-operation and altruism. Dogs were also very useful as watchdogs. After all. superior daylight vision. and incredible learning ability. and keep it preoccupied. although some modern breeders of pedigree dogs have curious ideas as to what constitutes usefulness. just by living in that home base. resulting from the evolution of grasses.Page 28 . until their human co-operators would arrive for the kill. The human hunters had the advantages of tools. The first domestication of wild species for food purposes involved animals. who gradually domesticated them. and it involved little more than killing the obstreperous or otherwise useless animals. equally obviously. at a very early date.

And. These people became herders. horses. much more amenable to control by Farming and Us . with their dominance hierarchies and submission to control. sheep. to domesticate. they could domesticate only herding animals. Solitary species have usually proved difficult. Another advantage of herding animals is that. they do not compete with humans for food. in practice. they probably obtained a renewable harvest of food. being grass-eaters. This is probably because the herding instinct made social species. Interestingly. and even elephants. for primitive manufacturing. This. Meat eating also made virtually unlimited quantities of inedible grass available as food to humans. dogs. in return. and they are less valuable for this reason. This is true also of the various beasts of burden.herbivores. But pigs and poultry eat much the same food as humans. and horns. they culled the herd of surplus animals for meat. such as skins. They protected the herd from wild carnivores and. in the sense that “all beef is grass”. represented very considerable increases in the carrying capacity of the human environment. The first hominid scavengers used naturally shaped stones to break open large bones that carnivore jaws could not crack. if not impossible. with the subsequent meat-eating developments of hunting. goats. bones. and herding. In other words. such as cattle. herders are called herders because. like the modern Masai of East Africa. llamas. They also utilised many animal parts. they could domesticate only social species of animal.Page 29 . in the form of milk and blood.

probably because a single -species wild stand is close to the practice of cropping.humans. It turns out that our most important food crops have also been domesticated from such ‘social’ plants. are examples of surviving herder societies. It is also possible to speak of ‘social’ plants. with their cattle. and goats were originally domesticated by herders. Modern cattle. (The study of plant communities is now called phytosociology). and more than 90% of the identifiable bones at this site are those of Barbary sheep. sheep. animals. because cats evolved as solitary. dates from 17. in Algeria.Page 30 . Other surviving pastoral societies use herding as just one component of a more complex society. Domestic cats are much more difficult to train than domestic dogs.000 years ago. and the Masai in East Africa. not social. Farming and Us . in a practic e known as transhumance. These people take their herds to summer pastures in the mountains. This strongly suggests that the culling of controlled herds was the primary source of meat. Mountain Laplanders in Scandinavia. Herding is at least twice as old as agriculture. The archaeological site of Tamar Hat.000-21. although the domestication of dogs is probably much older still. with their reindeer. although pigs and poultry were domesticated at a later date by sedentary farmers. which are those that grow in a single -species stand in the wild. and animal domestication is at least twice as old as plant domestication. and it gives a clear indication of when herding was already in progress.

Compared with the domestication of dogs. and burning both encourages the growth of new grass. This domestication gave people the one thing they had forfeited when they evolved bipedalism. which were always a scourge of people who stored food. The horse was also linked to the wheel. at the end of a dry season. Wild grasses have evolved to survive fire. The horse was also very useful in war and. herders occupied vast areas of natural grasslands in Africa and Eurasia. for domestic carts and carriages.Page 31 . and it destroys many weeds and young trees. at the end of a hot summer. in order to extend the natural grasslands. They do this to improve the next season’s grazing. This was probably the time that people first began to change the face of the earth. the domestication of the horse was relatively recent. These herde rs possibly set fire to forests also. and the first herding. for the control of rats and mice. by herders in the steppes of Central Asia. American cowboys know the value of the horse when controlling cattle. The horse was domesticated. cavalry always had a powerful advantage over infantry. or tropical dry season. Other animal domestication in the Old World included cats. Poultry were domesticated for the production of meat and Farming and Us . eventually. Once started. and ancient herders had obviously made the same discovery. until quite recently. as well as for ploughs and harrows. Herders traditionally set fire to old grass.Long before the development of agriculture. particularly in open plains. almost certainly. a grass fire can burn for hundreds of miles. which is speed. first for war chariots and.

In particular. and guinea pigs. are wrong. Farming and Us . vigour. originality. drive. The people of MesoAmerica domesticated only dogs. turkeys. and skills. The differences between the many environments inhabited by people were both major and crucial.. The development of any civilisation depends almost entirely on the quality of the environment. These prejudiced folk. and their innate intelligence. and that wild game suitable for hunting was common. and as beasts of burden. prejudiced folk tend to look at industrially backward peoples in other parts of the world. and to describe them as genetically and racially inferior. of course. while the differences between the human groups were trivial and unimportant. Plant Domestication There is a common belief that both the beginnings of civilisation. depended on the quality of the people concerned. probably because of an environmental difference. elephants. It so happened that wild animals suitable for domestication were rare. The need for animal domestication was consequently much less pressing than in Eurasia.Page 32 . and donkeys. and camels were domesticated as work and pack animals. and its subsequent development. and it has little or nothing to do with the group of humans who happen to inhabit that environment. while the people of South America domesticated the llama and its relatives primarily for wool. Animal domestication was much less important in the New World.eggs. This point will be elaborated in a moment.

Farming and Us . but one stands out far above the rest in its importance. called the development of agriculture the Neolithic Revolution. This relatively simple step increased the carrying capacity of the human environment by an unprecedented amount. and crop cultivation. all of its domesticated species. it represents the largest single increase in this carrying capacity during the whole of our prehistoric cultural development. and no civilisation. The British archaeologist. are of New World origin. or not. This point cannot be overemphasised. Many environments did not possess such plants. the botanical family Solanaceae is distributed mainly in the New World and. tobacco. The general results of plant domestication. If it was not. there could be no agriculture. the environment in question was carrying any wild plants that were suitable for domestication. And the New World species were very different from those of the Old World. and better food.There were many environmental factors involved in the growth of civilisation. V.Page 33 . This is quite simply the fact of whether. were the production of more food. and red peppers. contained quite different species from the temperate regions. The tropics. which originated in India. tomatoes. It was undoubtedly the most significant cultural development in the whole of human prehistory. such as potatoes. except for eggplant. Indeed. for example. To quote only one example. Civilisation could develop only if the environment possessed wild plants that were suitable for domestication. Gordon-Childe.

and easily cooked. A minor staple is one that supports a primitive system of agriculture. such as the arts. industry. sciences. teaching. However. and cultural improvement generally. those wild plants had to have the potential to become a major staple. and to support the growth of cities. from season to season. it is sufficiently productive to liberate a significant number of people from food procurement. And. producing a food that is both nutritious. in such a village. it is useful to make a clear distinction between major staples and minor staples. we call it a staple food. Such a major staple must have six quite crucial properties. and allows a civilisation to develop as far as the level of a village.However. When a crop product is important in the nutrition of people. producing a food product that can be stored. providing a good yield of food per man-hour of labour. only a few wild plants were suitable for domestication. providing a good yield of food from a small area of land. for the purposes of this account. This agricultural productivity is not high enough to liberate a significant number of individuals for other purposes. Moreover. trade. if civilisation was to develop. on the other hand. virtually everyone is engaged in subsistence agriculture and food production. and. These properties are those of: Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø providing a good yield of food in a single season. Farming and Us . is a cultivated species of plant that permits the development of a civilisation. being a very reliable producer of food.Page 34 . A major staple. That is.

as few as 2% are so engaged.) It is perhaps useful to examine these three major staples briefly. it has the non-shattering character. and cotton have been found. This high rate of production liberates many people from food procurement. Remains of irrigated beans. this is negative evidence. worldwide. Without exception. This city is the oldest known in the New World. rice. In an industrial country. in the Supe Valley. (A possible exception to this rule is the ancient Peruvian city of Caral. some two hundred kilometres north of Lima.When these six properties of a major staple are met. already mentioned.Page 35 . which means that Farming and Us . squash. have proved suitable for domestication into major staples. but no remains of maize have been discovered. and makes them available for all those other activities that contribute to civilisation. to see what it is that makes them so special. and they are the wild progenitors of the cereals called wheat. every one of the major civilisations was founded on one of these three cereals. in addition to the six basic requirements. Wheat has four additional key characteristic s. and it was built 2600-2000 BC. as many as 80% of the population may be engaged in agriculture. only three of them. These wild plants are all members of the grass family (Gramineae). incredible though it may seem. Today. and any area that had none of them failed to produce a major civilisation. in some of the least developed countries. relatively few individuals can produce the entire food requirement of the total population. There are about three hundred thousand different species of plants in the world and. and maize. First. However.

or sourdough. The fourth characteristic is that wheat seeds contain a substance called gluten that allows wheat dough to stretch. Many other cereals do not have this free-threshing character. This is an obvious prerequisite. It is not normally feasible to make bread from other cereals. The yield is increased accordingly. Wild plants disperse their seeds. have this non-dispersing characteristic also. waiting for a combine harvester. and it is difficult to thresh their grain. it is then possible to make bread. but not important enough to become a major staple. Farming and Us . It should be added that all other staples. in which the harvestable product is the seed. both major and minor. They remained minor staples for this reason. The second characteristic of wheat is called free-threshing. Each wheat stem carries a single head or ‘ear’ and each seed normally produces a single stem. or from other starch crops.Page 36 . When wheat flour is mixed with water. and they were important as human food. There can be no doubt whatever that bread is the most important of all human foods. otherwise they would never be cultivated. and a little yeast. As it is. The third characteristic is called ‘tillering’. Some varieties of barley are free threshing. or it can stand in the field. wheat can be cut and carried to a threshing floor. but wheat harvesting would be impossible if each grain had to be picked up from the ground. and each seed then produces several heads in place of one. and this means that the grain separates easily from the husks. however. In some wheat keeps all its seeds in the ear. that single stem produces sidestems called tillers.

because of soil erosion. This cereal retains its seeds in the ear. provide the best possible protection against soil erosion. declined and disappeared. mainly by the alluvium of soil erosion). for this reason. Many of the old wheat-based civilisations. Rice has a further advantage that is unique. But what makes rice so special is its incredible yield.Page 37 . it is usually possible to grow two crops of rice a year and. enclosed with walls of stone or earth. In the United States. For most of history. this crop is called corn. This explains why rice-based civilisations are thousands of years old. the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has been extended by more than a hundred miles. and it was overtaken in importance by wheat only quite recently. and is the third most important crop in the world. which was domesticated in Mexico. It is also the most digestible of all foods and. It can easily produce five or more times the yield of the wheat crops in the North American prairies. in all other countries. particularly in the Middle East. and only because of the exploitation of the huge areas of the wheat lands of the New World. Rice is also the basis of the many famous cuisines of the Far East. These flat fields. being a tropical crop. (Since the start of agriculture.Rice also has the characteristics of non-shattering. and still flourishing. it is known as maize. free threshing. and tillering. and it is grown mainly in the Corn Belt. boiled rice is often prescribed for invalids. and its husks are reduced to unimportant Farming and Us . rice was the most important crop in the world. sometimes. Finally. But. three crops a year. And. in flooded fields called paddies. and in all other languages. Rice crops are grown in standing water. we come to maize.

This impetus came from the pressure of population. and the human population increased accordingly. it is called chapatti. and not on the people who happened to inhabit that environment. people in both the New and the Old Wor lds discovered that a mixture of flour and water could be poured on to a hot stone to bake an excellent food. we still use this method of cooking to produce pancakes and flat bread. instead of wheat. Some ten thousand years ago. and they call it tortilla. All the land areas of the world. Surplus people could no longer migrate to a new area when their population growth exceeded the critical density.Page 38 . which often damage other cereal crops. in Mexico. It was the occurrence of these wild species of grass that permitted the growth of the original civilisations and. those civilisations could never have developed. In India. This makes maize very resistant to birds. in terms of its yield per acre per season. In the Bible. became fully occupied. However. And. In the West. But all the methods are several millennia old. In an interesting example of parallel evolution. Once again. with the ending of the ice age. the Farming and Us . The seeds are held on a corncob that is enclosed in a protective sheath. and its yield per man-hour of work. world climate improved. and were discovered independently. the impetus to domesticate plants was an entirely separate phenomenon.remnants. which were both habitable and discoverable. without these grasses. they use maize flour. It was in this sense that the development of a civilisation depended on the environment. Maize is also a very productive crop. this food is called unleavened bread.

population had increased to the limits of the environment. And this meant agriculture which. but other related species were also used. The living space could be increased no further. jute. and they did not fulfil the six requirements of a major staple. These other uses included fibres (e. they were peas. grams. In each of the regions with a major staple. as well as many fruits and vegetables. beans). They were not themselves capable of supporting a civilisation unless the major staple was also present. hemp. These are the so-called grain legumes. making it even more supportive of the growth of cities. and probably for the first time. In the maize areas. various other species of plant were also domesticated. If larger populations were to survive.g. cotton) for ropes Farming and Us . they could do so only by increasing the carrying capacity of their existing environment. Some plants were domesticated for purposes other than food. Other adjuncts included the minor cereals. that are members of the botanical family Leguminoseae. broad beans (often called field. with the improved climate. Only this time. The most important of the adjuncts were plants that produced protein.. the human environment involved the entire world. and sorghum.Page 39 . now became feasible. and other tropical species. and various root crops. they were soya. they were mainly haricot beans. In the rice areas. however. millets. or pulses. or faba. and lentils. flax. These were mere adjuncts of the staples. The adjuncts could do no more than reinforce the major staple. In the wheat areas. such as barley.

coconut) for cooking. building in stone. Ethiopia is technically South of the Sahara and it has possessed wheat for millennia. Although the ruins of Zimbabwe do not constitute a major civilisation. and cassava from the New World. oil (e.Page 40 . Usually. They pre-date the Portuguese introduction of maize. beverages. For example. such as writing. mathematics. Some species of plant were domesticated into minor staples. because of their rather dry climate. olives. But it failed to produce a major civilisation Farming and Us . and South of Ethiopia. these minor civilisations never developed beyond loosely associated groups of large villages. had all originated with the cultivation of maize and beans.g. low altitude civilisations. medicines and drugs of various kinds. they do represent the only important. But the highly developed. with mortarless walls.and cloth. They could then be stored. and then dried in the sun during the day. and skin balm. spices. sweet potatoes. and they are no larger than a village. but they are primitively built of uncut stone. potatoes in high altitudes in South America could be frozen at night. indigenous. The Inca people came from these high altitude potato areas.. and they became a minor staple. These ruins are beautiful. such as sorghum and millets. stone buildings in Africa South of the Sahara. which were conquered by these Incas. or mechanical devices. they must have been totally dependent on indigenous minor staples. lamps. and perfumes. and they had little in the way of the later cultural developments. and which constituted the Inca Empire. We know little about the people who built these ruins and. beans. and they permitted primitive civilisations to develop.

but who also have chronic malaria. It also has writing. Its Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian church establishments in the world. By way of contrast. bilharzia and other diseases. and the reasons for this are obscure. which occasionally amalgamated into kingdoms. However. But none of these civilisations produced cities. an ancient legal system. Farming and Us . as well as a military and other features that take it well beyond the village level of cultural development. say. where the staple food is the banana. which is a minor staple produced from a relatively unproductive cereal called teff (Eragrostis tef). with its own script. the Egyptian or Chinese. People who have wheat. as will be defined in a moment. A similar level of civilisation developed in Uganda. combined with a short life expectancy. buildings in stone. produce cultural advances only slow ly. which included the lost-wax process of casting metal. which can also be harvested continuously throughout the year. it appears to be an exception to the rule.Page 41 . food storage is unnecessary because there is no dry season and no winter. in the tropical rain forests of West Africa. It remained arrested in roughly the European medieval stage of development. These civilisations were famous mainly for their beautiful artwork. but they can be harvested at any time of the year. indigenous civilisation of large villages. Yams cannot be stored. The area known as the yam belt accordingly produced a simple.comparable to. The most likely explanation lies in the debilitating endemic diseases of Africa. In this sense. the staple food in much of Ethiopia is njera. the degree of indigenous Ethiopian civilisation was by no means negligible. Furthermore.

Barley occasionally replaced wheat.Millets were quite important cereals in China. particularly in the irrigated fields of the ancient civilisations in the TigrisEuphrates valley. or was of comparable importance. where centuries of irrigation had led to salination of the soil. restricted to small villages. and this cereal is now of limited importance as a human food. but it never developed beyond the village stage of civilisation. Taro produces a starchy root. rice. Rice was originally a tropical crop. as the main staple. and maize failed to develop a major civilisation. and it never permitted the growth of an important civilisation. The same is true of Japan. it could never become a major staple. having a relatively low yield per man-hour of work. and they are important for making beer. but it grows rather slowly and it is a labour-intensive crop. Most modern varieties of barley are not free-threshing. before the introduction of rice. The importance of these three Farming and Us . Chinese civilisation did not really blossom until rice became available in the third millennium BC. This was an agricultural society but it was also a primitive one. This agriculture was based on the taro crop. Papua New Guinea has a very ancient agriculture. or as an animal feed. and considerable domestication and acclimatisation were required to enable it to spread slowly from the tropics into the more temperate areas of China and Japan. For this reason. Any area of the world that lacked wheat.000 years ago. This was because of its salt tolerance. Barley flour cannot be used to make bread.Page 42 . Let me repeat. dating from 9. because neither of these uses requires threshed grains.

high altitude. and no agriculture and no civilisation developed there either. We should not overlook the potato which. is a temperate crop because it was domesticated in the cool. And there had been a drastic population decline caused by human diseases inadvertently introduced by the Spanish. Some of them had a primitive agriculture. both the importance of agriculture. but it did not reach. When the Pilgrim Fathers arrived in North America. and the techniques of cultivating them. These people had no wild plant suitable for domestication. at the time of the Pilgrim Fathers. and the closely related Jerusalem artichoke. they met indigenous people who were mostly hunter-gatherers. these civilisations had collapsed. and the degree of civilisation.Page 43 . and many oceanic islands. temperate South America until quite Farming and Us . such as maize.major staples becomes obvious if we examine these deprived areas. No crops originated in temperate South America. Africa south of the Sahara. had come from the South. There had been climatic changes. but both the crops. squash. beans. probably because of a combination of factors. gradually increased. and had arrived too recently. for any major civilisation to develop. but equatorial Andes. Australasia. which include the temperate zones of both North and South America. and tobacco. which hastened an unconscious destruction of fragile ecosystems by agriculture and deforestation. or in any way influence. However. It eventually became a crop of major importance all temperate countries. in a sense. other than the sunflower. As one travelled from New England towards the Southwest. And these crops grew too poorly.

and the people of this region relied on hunter-gathering to support their rather unproductive agriculture. yams. sorghum. sweet potato. There was a primitive agriculture in the Amazon basin. These herders were themselves largely replaced by agriculturists who. tropical rain forest carries only 5-10 kg/sq. Nor did any great civilisation develop as a result of its cultivation. It was not until the Portuguese introduced maize from the New World. lacked the major staples.000 kilograms of game animals per square kilometre. These agriculturists were undoubtedly food producers. It is no accident that rain Farming and Us . but they lacked a plant that could become a major staple. In Africa South of the Sahara. The centre of origin of humankind is in East and Southern Africa. though relatively dry savannahs. the environment varies from deserts.Page 44 . however. but it was not productive enough to allow civilisation beyond the village level. that a really reliable and productive food supply became available. Maize does not thrive in a tropical rain forest. As we have seen. as well as beans. (It is worth a brief digression to consider the food supply of hunter-gatherers. capable of supporting a major civilisation. and bananas. and which has made the potato the fourth most important crop in the world. which is almost entirely modern. Huntergatherer societies existed mainly in the savannahs. and cassava. This is an area of savannah that carries up to 20. At the other extreme.recently. and they were mostly replaced by herder societies. km. their agriculture involved various minor staples such as millets. to very wet rain forest.

it is doubtful whether the slave trade in both East and West Africa could have developed as it did. and without these New World crops. and this is not a sufficient period for an indigenous culture to develop into an important civilisation. and is being assailed from outside. in Australia. This is particularly true when it is hampered by disease. Various species of gums are now Farming and Us .forests have the fewest archaeological remains of hunter-gatherers. and genetically inferior. and all the crop plants in Australia today are of foreign origin. without this population increase. There is little doubt that. with the sole exception of the macadamia nut. Australia did make an important contribution to the rest of the world with Eucalyptus trees.Page 45 . When European agriculturists arrived there. who were also bent on stealing large numbers of people as slaves. the human carrying capacity of Africa South of the Sahara increased considerably. after the introduction of these New World crops. or that our ancient ancestors favoured open grasslands. often called gum trees. Indeed.) The introduction of New World crops transformed the human carrying capacity of the African environment. there were no indigenous plants suitable for domestication. However. by technically more advanced foreigners. that was less than five centuries ago. It was typical of these invading agriculturists that they regarded the hunter-gatherers as primitive. they encountered people who were still in the hunter-gatherer stage of cultural development. These newly arrived Europeans did not succeed in domesticating any plant that is native to Australia. Similarly. However.

Maize was domesticated in Mexico and it led to the great cities of the Olmecs. are proof of this. the longest surviving. Greece. the best known being the empire of the Incas. Farming and Us .grown all over the tropics and subtropics. eventually. beauty.000 years and. Maize was also taken to South America where it was responsible for many cities and civilisations. Toltecs. the Indus Valley and. Japan. In contrast to these environmentally deprived areas. unchanged. the Biblical Lands. human culture in the world.Page 46 . India. possibly. and creativity. We know them so well that few comments are necessary. and in various parts of Africa. More recently. Egypt. Mayas. and they have transformed the appearance of much of the world. Indonesia. Cambodia. Aztecs and others. the whole of Europe and much of Asia. much longer. The indigenous Australian hunter-gatherers also have a cultural tradition of beautiful rock painting. The prehistoric cave paintings in southern Europe. it transformed the New World. It is worth noting that hunter-gatherers often exhibit artistic abilities of great originality. and Thailand. Rice permitted the civilisations of the Far East. It is a tradition that has continued without a break for some 40. including China. Rome. They are one of the most productive sources of firewood. Wheat was domesticated in the Middle East and permitted the civilisations of Mesopotamia. without question. we can consider the three regions blessed with a major staple. And it is. and they are particularly valuable in areas where firewood is the principle fuel for cooking.

rice. weeds. and they are genetically different from their wild cousins.Until the beginning of the European explorations. and maize civilisations of the world. at the end of the fifteenth century. In Eurasia.Page 47 . The so-called domestic rats and mice. there was little to choose between the various wheat. Similarly. most of the serious weed species were imported from Europe. or with herding. All these new strains may legitimately be called ‘domesticates’ as they would never have appeared under natural conditions. In temperate North America. for example. herbicides. many insects. are vermin. or hunter-gathering. a digression is perhaps permissible. Much more recently. The mere practice of agriculture exerted unintended selection pressures on other species. social. when compared with the far less advanced village societies. and plant diseases have developed new strains that are resistant to modern insecticides. and indigenous weed species are relatively rare. many of which became a serious nuisance to people. where agriculture is still recent. and all of them were at a closely similar stage of cultural. many of the weeds of crops have changed genetically to survive under cultivation. Those that had survived until that time were all alike. Farming and Us . they have had some nine thousand years in which to make these changes. and technical development. and fungicides. Unintended Domestication While on the subject of domestication.

and Desmond Morris earned immortality with his famous phrase The Naked Ape. are relatively rare. published in 1967 (Jonathan Cape. by a similar process. when measured in geological time. these artificially induced. SBN 22461241-7). genetically. which he used as the title for his popular book on human evolution. Hairlessness may be one of them. Because our cultural evolution is so new. This process has been called gene-culture co-evolution.Auto-domestication A further digression concerns the probability that our early cultural evolution affected our own genetic evolution. That is. Just as our ancestors changed wild species genetically. and our cultural evolution influenced our Darwinian evolution. and by people. produced in people. early cultural developments induced genetic changes in the human species. Farming and Us . Humans have evolved the genetically controlled character of hairless bodies. and us.Page 48 . artificial selection. and it is possible that it is one of the few good examples of our cultural evolution influencing our genetic evolution. It is generally accepted that the reduction in human hair evolved naturally in combination with a greatly increased number of sweat glands. London. but I prefer to call it autodomestication. This produced new genetic developments in ourselves that would not have been possible in any other way. by the process of a largely unconscious. This loss of hair has never been satisfactorily explained. genetic changes. so they also changed themselves.

Page 49 . can spot a motionless animal that we citydwellers cannot see at all. our poor sense of smell. in the surviving hunter-gatherer societies. and cats would rely mainly on their superb night vision. collapse. say. Violent exertion. and our poor hearing. unlike other hunting animals. particularly in our ability to spot a motionless animal. in Africa. without the danger of over-heating. Today. Brief periods of extreme exertion can be very valuable in hunting. cats or dogs. ancient hominids apparently did all their hunting in the full heat of the mid-day sun.and that this permitted very efficient body cooling. then became possible. our day vision is far superior to that of cats or dogs. On the other hand. and they lived in the tropics. and death. we have exceptionally good day vision. Farming and Us . In this respect. The need for efficient body cooling apparently existed in early humankind to an unusual extent because. because even a small rise in body temperature can quickly cause heat stroke. For example. would do this tracking by rely ing entirely on their sense of smell. compared with. on the other hand. But the danger of over-heating is considerable. a modern Masai. Supporting evidence for this conclusion comes from our poor night vision. coma. and we have little conception of how poorly our own day vision has developed. And skilled trackers. even when its position is pointed out to us. even when it has superb protective colouring. most of us are far removed from the hunter-gathering way of life. and is a considerable distance away. can follow an animal by seeing traces of its passage that are totally invisible to us. and a lack of use. Dogs. because of a lack of practice.

even in the tropics. Nevertheless. in order to evolve at all. may date from a similar period.Page 50 . Neither of these substances is easily replaced in the African savannah. require the abandonment of body hair. although there is considerably more salt in a meat diet than in a vegetarian diet. There is some evidence that fire was being used 1. This general explanation of hairlessness has one great difficulty. and these artefacts would leave no archaeological remains. particularly at night? The need for hair. Relatively simple evolutionary changes. artificial shelters. and an ability to hunt during this period has a considerable competitive advantage. made from grass and wood. the sheer extravagance of the human sweat glands must have had an immensely strong compensating advantage.4 million years ago. in the form of animal skins. however. and while resting. Clothing. The first artificial shelters. How does a hairless body keep warm during normal activity. Even more important. and the development of those very extravagant sweat glands.. which can lead to such debilitating losses of both water and salt. such as an Farming and Us . could easily be a cultural development that is more than a million years old. however. is attested by all the wild primates.Most prey animals are comatose during the heat of the tropical day. and would also leave no remains. and during a winter? It is perhaps possible that our hairlessness evolved genetically only after the use of clothing. how does a hairless body keep warm outside the tropics. and fire had evolved culturally. This hunting advantage would.

in areas outside the lowland tropics. we would soon perish if we were deprived of all our clothing. Further supporting evidence comes from the fact that we can no longer survive in most parts of the world without our cultural contributions to warmth. an instant moulting from an animal’s winter coat to its summer coat. These are cultural developments and. either during the cool of the early morning or evening. it seems the genetic development of hairlessness could not have occurred without them. and back again.Page 51 . The use of clothing amounts to an optional coat of fur. And. buildings. and cultural evolution has influenced genetic evolution. short-term needs. during the night. and make use of fire and clothing. people live in houses. Farming and Us . It is indisputable that. and they quickly abandon a chase if their victim can maintain its distance. lowland tropics. Humans can adjust their clothing. And they usually hunt when there is least heat. and the probably could not survive for long without them. and all species of wild dogs.increase in the number of sweat glands. and fire. Learned behaviour has changed inherited structure. Supporting evidence for this hypothesis comes from the fact that no other species of hunting mammal has developed a similar hairlessness. even in the warm. or in darkness. All the big cats. have hair. quickly and easily. Nor can they chase their prey for very long. can occur in periods very much shorter than a million years. shelter. and a loss of body hair. and fire. according to immediate.

in a process of mutual reinforcement. hair texture. This ability completely over-rides any of the trivial genetic differences between the various ethnic groups. throat. which then becomes its mother tongue.Another. And there is the brain development that makes both the decipherment and the production of speech possible. as well as ears capable of distinguishing the components of speech. and it develops when people of different origins are brought together for long Farming and Us . Human infants are born with an inherited ability for language. Inherited physical and mental abilities for language can have evolved genetically only as a consequence of the cultural evolution of the language itself. the chimpanzees. and the epicanthic fold. ears. Linguists define a pidgin as an ungrammatical mixture of words. nose-bridges. have none of these developments. Any child can learn any language. The genetic components of our language ability are now so important that any normal human infant. The two kinds of evolution must have occurred together. born anywhere in the world. quite apart from the structural changes to the tongue. There is the structural evolution of a larynx and tongue capable of making the sounds necessary for speech. Our nearest wild relatives. and brain. and it does so without any teaching. is capable of learning any human language. example of genetic evolution being influenced by cultural evolution is in speech and language. There is other evidence for inherited language abilities. such as skin pigmentation. hair or eye colour.Page 52 . human children react in a very special way to pidgin languages. apparently irrefutable. For example.

when agricultural labourers were brought in from China. monkeys. A third example of cultural evolution influencing genetic evolution lies in the extreme sensitivity of human fingertips. ISBN 0-68812141-1). and the great delicacy of our precision grip. however. and the Philippines.Page 53 . Japan. and their only common language was a pidgin English. and which are entirely different from the proto-languages of other species. But it is necessary for tool making. and they rapidly convert it into a much more advanced type of language called a ‘creole’. (Readers requiring more information on this fascinating topic are recommended The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker. in Hawaii. or a Chinese ivorycarver who cuts seven small spheres inside each other from one block of ivory. grammatical. William Morrow & Co. Nor is it necessary for scavenger-gatherers using naturally shaped stones to break open large bones abandoned by carnivores. The young children of pidgin speakers. and other linguistic characteristics that appear to be common to all human languages. A new creole reveals its genetically controlled components in various phonetic. such as whales. It seems that our genetically inherited manual dexterity evolved because of the cultural inheritance of tool making. And anyone turning the pages of a book or newspaper can easily detect the thickness of two pages clinging together. and Farming and Us . spontaneously develop a grammar within their pidgin. 1994.periods. This happened. and birds.. for example. New York. Think of a watchmaker. This level of sensitivity is not necessary for the survival of plant gatherers in a wild ecosystem.

pre-hominid ancestors behaved very much like these modern chimpanzees. It is quite impossible for people to capture an active. A related instance of auto-domestication is in hunting. This does not happen often because they have no tools suitable for hunting. At best. which it kills by hitting the head against a tree trunk. and they have relatively little cultural development towards co-operative hunting. Farming and Us . with more and more manual dexterity. Nor could we normally kill it. in the days before they became scavenger-gatherers. we could catch and eat small reptiles and insects. A chimpanzee obtains meat only rarely. The other chimps are intensely envious. But food sharing also is still at a primeval stage among chimpanzees. such as a colobus monkey or a baboon. With nothing but our bare hands. by catching an infant of another species. they have few hunting skills. and most dramatic. and beg for morsels. large. We would even have great difficulty being scavengers. as well as some of the smaller. and our teeth. we could not be hunters. Humankind could become a hunter of large and fast animals only after the cultural evolution of tool making. without tools. and increasingly sensitive fingertips. There can be little doubt that our remote. plant-gathering.Page 54 . and less mobile. or butcher it. discoveries about chimpanzee behaviour at Gombe was that chimps will eat meat. marine shore animals. wild animal without tools. One of Jane Goodall’s earliest. if they get the chance.the incredible survival advantages that emerged from our increasing ability to make better and better tools.

Interestingly. For example. although a few exceptions obviously occur. women participate in that curious English sport of fox hunting. which. had been closed up. or ‘earth’. and they usually lack the inherited love of them. because its only refuge. It may also explain why so many men have an otherwise inexplicable love of war. This atavistic survival even had a barbaric initiation ceremony in which a young novice would be ‘blooded’ with a smear of the dead fox’s gore. and a rather different prey. and equally civilised ladies.Page 55 . and its thrills and dangers. co-operative. after all. but with the same powerful urges both to kill and to survive. The fox did not stand a chance. is only another form of co-operative hunting. This inherited love of co-operative hunting shows today in our so-called male bonding. with rather different objectives. An inherited love of hunting can have evolved only after the cultural developments of tools. This ritualised Farming and Us . hunting groups that were essential if humankind was to become a successful hunting species. all riding specially bred horses. They also have an apparently inherited love of the male. would chase a pack of hounds in full pursuit of a desperate fox. It shows particularly in young men who congratulate themselves for their courage and self-sacrifice. and in our love of team sports and the team spirit. wearing ‘pink’. when waging an unjust war. women were usually excluded from these activities of hunting and war. Much of this love of war is deceivingly called patriotism. its burrow.Modern human males have an apparently inherited love of hunting. when supposedly highly civilised gentlemen. called hunters.

rather rare. and cheese are absent from Chinese and Japanese cuisines. gradually. and the inability to digest dairy products is common among them also. It depends on the production of an enzyme called lactase that can digest a milk sugar called lactose. the ability to digest animal milk would have a very considerable survival value. Human infants produce lactase. Lack of this enzyme causes severe digestive problems with milk and dairy products. many people in the Far East are without it. It is likely that the ability to produce lactase in adulthood was extremely rare before cattle were domesticated. milk. however. The human ability to digest cow’s milk. and dairy products. With the cultural development of herding.Page 56 . the power of this inherited love of demonstrates. For this reason. Spanish bullfights and the sport of fishing are comparable examples. and this enables them to digest their mother’s milk. perhaps. in one of the most animal-loving countries of the world. having had no evolutionary survival advantage. For example. because it had no further survival value. Some people still lack this ability to produce lactase. But this ability was normally lost after weaning. The indigenous people of the New World also lacked cattle . Individuals who possessed it would be much more likely to survive during periods of famine and. is an inherited ability. this inherited characteristic would become increasingly common throughout the population. Another instance of auto-domestication has resulted from the domestication of cattle. butter. as might be expected. cream. Farming and Us . And a few.

Or roasted coffee compared with green coffee beans. frying onions and garlic. suggests which peoples of the world are descended from herders. and crispy bacon. it is possible that the indigenous peoples of the New World are descended from herders. possibly for hours on end. the smell of fried or smoked fish compared with raw fish. learned in childhood. All people also have an apparently inherited sense of smell for cooked food. are apparently inherited responses. This love of fire. mouth-watering. and we all know what a pleasure it is to sit and watch a fire. compared with that of raw meat. If they are genetically inherited. but that they lost the use of cattle at some stage in their journey to the Americas. Another example of possible auto-domestication concerns the taming of fire. food smells are those of cooked foods. There are many others. would also be a valid argument.Page 57 . exceptions can occur. Once they had arrived. Or the smell of newly baked bread compared with raw dough. However. Similarly. and delight in the smell of cooked food. However. Farming and Us . and which are not. their now useless ability to digest dairy products would have gradually declined during many millennia of living without cattle. The auto-domestication is not yet complete.individuals in Occidental populations are unable to digest dairy products. and milk products. they can have evolved only after the cultural taming of fire. The most delicious. For example. This geographic distribution of the ability to digest milk. such as barbecues. All people apparently have an inherited love of fire. Think of the smell of roast or frying meat. to postulate that they are acquired habits.

Human Ecotypes One of the themes of this book is that the development of civilisation depends on the environment. and gradually replaced dominance hierarchies. has been influenced. as a direct consequence of our early cultural developments. The growth of this efficiency was a cultural development. This co-operation was essential for really efficient group activities such as hunting. and not on the quality of the people who happen to inhabit that environment. The two factors were mutually reinforcing.Page 58 . in evolutionary terms. To Farming and Us . multiple child-care.Finally. Our genetically controlled altruism could not have evolved without our culturally controlled co-operation. and they increased together. It is possible that this high level of altruism both evolved. enough of this digression. In other words. there is the phenomenon of human altruism. by this phenomenon of auto-domestication. Efficiency in these group activities was obviously an evolutionary survival advantage in that the most efficient groups were the fittest in terms of evolutionary survival. when its individuals began to co-operate. during the past two million years. But. The human species became highly effective. discussed in the next chapter. but it also depended on a genetically controlled altruism. and defence against carnivores. It is probably true to say that all genetic evolution in humans. but peoples differ scarcely at all. at least to some extent. environments differ widely.

Page 59 . could develop. In order to do so. occur in a particular environment. it produces changes that are new. and a greatly increased population density. If none of them occurred. a highly productive agriculture. we must make a clear distinction between macro-evolution and micro-evolution. As we have seen. and such differences as occur between the people who inhabited those environments. significant civilisation could not develop. however. If one of them occurred. The differences in the people. This is perhaps a controversial point that we must examine with some care. and those that did not. would permit cities to grow. the wild precursors of wheat. or did not. and maize either did. are quantitative. And we must do this both in areas that did produce a civilisation. The differences in the environments are qualitative and crucial. it is necessary to examine both the differences between environments. and a civilisation to develop. and unimportant. and no cities appeared. And the presence or absence of wild plants suitable for domestication into minor staples determined whether or not the village level of civilisation. usually measured in millions of years. Farming and Us .substantiate this view. Macro-evolution (Greek: macro = large) is often called Darwinian evolution. Ø Second. with subsistence agriculture. rice. it requires periods of geological time. and it has seven characteristics that distinguish it from microevolution (Greek: micro = small): Ø First.

Micro-evolution is the exact converse in all seven of these characteristics: Ø First.. Ø Fourth. finally. usually measured in terms of only a few generations of the species involved. The title of Darwin’s famous book. to say nothing of Australasia. macro-evolution produces new genetic code.Page 60 . macro-evolution results in an increase in the complexity of living organisms. The differences between humans and chimpanzees are the result of about seven million years of macro-evolution in eastern Africa.Ø Third. is The Origin of Species. Farming and Us . these changes are irreversible. macro-evolution never goes backwards. even though extinctions (e. Ø And. it will be remembered.g. micro-evolution can be quite fast. macro-evolution produces new specie s. are the result of macro-evolution taking different directions in different continents that had become isolated from each other by continental drift. The different plant and animal species of the New and Old Worlds. dinosaurs) can occur. if the selection pressures are high. macro-evolution is essentially above the taxonomic level of the species. Ø Sixth. requiring periods of historical time only. Ø Fifth.

Ø Second. An ecotype is defined by differences within one species. micro-evolution occurs below the taxonomic level of the species. With the atmospheric pollution that occurred during the industrial revolution in Britain. Ø Fifth. A classic example of changing ecotypes is called industrial melanism (Greek: melanos = black). it produces new subdivisions of a species called ecotypes. (Domestication is microevolution.Page 61 . these changes are reversible. Farming and Us . Ø Sixth. it merely re-arranges existing code. micro-evolution produces changes that are not new. micro-evolution does not normally produce new species.) Ø And. micro-evolution does not produce new genetic code. finally. and it differs from natural microevolution only in that it results from artificial selection rather than natural selection. Varieties within domesticated species of plants and animals are often called agro-ecotypes. micro-evolution does not result in any significant increase in complexity. not macro-evolution. the tree bark in many towns turned black from the soot in the air. and different selection pressures produce different ecotypes. This involves some seventy different species of moth that have superb camouflage colouring to protect them from insect-eating birds. Ø Third. when they are at rest on the bark of trees. usually within one ecosystem. Ø Fourth. Selection pressures vary from one part of an ecosystem to another.

White skin apparently reappeared only later. when some of our ancestors migrated out of Africa. Each ecotype is the result of different selection pressures in different parts of our total ecosystem. The so-called human races are no more than different ecotypes.Page 62 . that all our ancestors. new ecotypes soon appeared in which the moths were black. The key point here is that the people who migrated from these temperate areas Farming and Us . therefore. when our remote ancestors lost their body hair. This is a feature that does not occur in any other primate. and black. and into the temperate regions of Eurasia. where the dangers of sunburn were less acute. and back again. African. at this one period. which embraces all the habitable parts of the planet. We can conclude. as a protection from the tropical sun. and a dark skin interfered with the cutaneous production of Vitamin D by sunlight. therefore. that all the original pre-humans had skins that were both hairy and white. It is also probable that.Moths that were camouflaged for light coloured bark were then very conspicuous on the black bark and. and gorillas have white skins. in each of these seventy different species. Except for the exposed skin in the face and hands. chimpanzees. Breeding experiments showed that it was quite easy to change black moths to light-coloured moths. in only a few generations of selection. It is probable. their skin turned dark. which are protected from sunburn by body hair. It is likely that our original loss of body hair was accompanied by a pigmentation of the skin. were hairless.

And then. At first sight. when I saw him in a group of Papua New Guineans. they are reversible. unimportant in itself. He too had dark skin and Afro-hair. who migrated into the tropics at a much later date. and the Portuguese named their island after a West African region for this reason. But I was so confident of my identification that I greeted him in Swahili. they micro-evolved the dark tropical skins that we see now in southern Indians. once again. I was able to recognise a visiting East African instantly. It leads to changing. micro-evolution changed white skins to dark. So.Page 63 . having lived for many years in Africa. This story. The differences between these ecotypes are quantitative. and then back to dark. and he almost wept at hearing his own language in such a far-away place. the result of some millions of years of macro-evolution. I was once in Papua New Guinea. this micro-evolution does not lead to new species. back to white again. And our single species has various ecotypes. (The Polynesians. Furthermore. But. and that they can change during relatively short periods of time. reversible. They have dark skins and Afro-hair. according to ecological need. short-term. have lighter skins). and reversible. unimportant. and Australian Aborigines. and they are the result of micro-evolution. Farming and Us . drove home to me very forcibly that the visible differences between human ethnic groups are not new. Melanesians. Malays. and where the indigenous people arrived some sixty thousand years ago.back to the tropics in Southeast Asia were white-skinned. they are indistinguishable from Africans. We humans are all one species. ecotypes. which is equatorial.

and they can have children without any suggestion of either the infertility problems. the main ones being youth. Any normal human child. In other words. (A mule is a sterile. One of the more remarkable indications of the current decline in racism is that children in multi-cultural schools in Toronto no longer notice differences in skin colour.Page 64 .Possibly the saddest thing about racism is that it is based primarily on differences of skin colour. it is impossible to define a human race. as happens. the natives of Europe. but differences in skin colour were still believed to be fundamental. good health. and a smooth skin. After all. in Britain. with mules. and will usually be about halfway between those of each parent. a member of any human ecotype can be sexually attractive to a member of any other ecotype. The criteria of sexual attractiveness are also the same in all human ecotypes. And this variation is trivial when it comes to the growth of cities. inter-specific hybrid between a donkey and a horse). from inter-specific hybridisation. And most of the ecotype traits of those children will be quantitatively variable. Equally. We can merely say of some individuals that they represent an extreme of quantitative variation in certain environmental characteristics. or the hybrid vigour. At that time. born anywhere in the world can learn any human language. the Amerindians of Central America. Their indifference to skin pigmentation is similar to the indifference to hair and eye colour that was prevalent when I was a child at school. for example. differences in hair and eye colour were considered unimportant. and the people of the Far East were traditionally described as Farming and Us .

They each domesticated a major staple. These environments. and rice. it was possibly the largest city in the world at that time. But. nonetheless. which the peoples of the New World lacked. these were only small differences in the degree of cultural evolution. respectively. And the degree of its civilisation was far more advanced than anything to be found in the Europe of that same time. domesticated horses. was about the size of ancient Rome. with the pre-agricultural. invented agriculture. critics could argue that the civilisations of the Old World were more advanced than those of the New World. and they differed only in relatively minor details.Page 65 . wheels. and closely similar. the Old World had sophisticated systems of writing. often designated. All those cities and civilisations were quite remarkably alike in their fundamentals. When we compare all of these civilisations. hunter-gathering societies of only nine millennia earlier. were thus very different from each other. and the wild plants they carried. And these differences fluctuated. firearms. At one time. quite deplorably. In 1492. For example. This was Farming and Us . This was also true of the civilisation of China during the same period. and so on. and very inaccurately. at the end of the fifteenth century. in Mexico. wheat. the differences between the various civilisations are trivial. But the human ecotypes that occupied those environments were closely related. metal tools and armour. At its peak.different races. in terms of the skin colours red. and produced cities and civilisations. Each of these human ecotypes lived in an environment where a wild plant could be domesticated into one of the major staples called maize. the city of Teotihuacan. respectively. white and yellow .

he found a stone-built city that was comparable in size and sophistication with the contemporary London and Paris. bananas. The point here is that every human group that possessed plants suitable for domestication did develop agriculture. a number of distinct human ecotypes had much earlier. Similarly. and independently. and North Africa. the East African savannah. They were in environments as different as the high Andes. they did not produce cities. This happened in Lapland. developed into herders. restricted to the village level. Many other human ecotypes lived in environments that had no wild plant suitable for domestication into a major staple and. not the people. sorghum. yams. that were significantly different. Some of them had wild plants that could be domesticated into minor staples. They were also very far apart. and these could produce minor civilisations. in 1520. these distinct human ecotypes that domesticated minor staples. when Cortés arrived at the Aztec capital. with a Farming and Us . and Papua New Guinea.Page 66 . Central Asia. and taro. and developed an agriculture that was just short of supporting the growth of cities. in which virtually everyone was necessarily engaged in their relatively unproductive subsistence agriculture. consequently. the West African rain forest. he found a comparable civilisation. And these human ecotypes respectively domesticated minor staples as different as potatoes. And when Marco Polo arrived in Peking in the thirteenth century. and the environments. On the same basis.when Europe was in a period known as the Dark Ages. It was the wild plants. Tenochtitlan. Malaysia.

And every human ecotype that possessed a major staple. It is noteworthy that every human ecotype that did discover agriculture also reverted to a male dominance hierarchy. One of the most encouraging features of the information revolution is that these cultural inequalities will eventually disappear. on average. cannot read or write. For identical reasons. producing entirely new social phenomena such as cities. These wild species were reindeer. And many inherited variables. monumental buildings. obvious. It is now clear that genetically controlled variation in humans occurs mainly between individuals within a population. Equally conspicuous. given an appropriate education. such as tropical sun protection.different species of wild animal being herded in each area. social hierarchies and control relationships. modern hunter-gatherers. The various human ecotypes obviously differ in their cultural attributes. Farming and Us . apart from a few.Page 67 . But. and slavery. taxes. and Barbary sheep respectively. oriental despots. This extraordinary phenomenon of the influence of agriculture on human behaviour is discussed in Chapter Four. they can do any of these things. who grew up without books and writing. play a piano. environmental adaptations. prostitution. conscripted armies. they cannot fly a plane. rather than between populations. as well as anyone else. The most conspicuous of these cultural attributes is language. public granaries. This will happen mainly because every individual will soon have equal access to the whole of the recorded cultural heritage of humankind. corvée labour. cattle. developed in the same way. or repair a carburettor. and to authoritarianism.

to say nothing of reproductive fertility.Page 68 .such as blood groups. and tissue typing. After all. without exception. cut right across the supposedly definitive characteristics of the so-called races. throughout the entire world. and poetry. has language. All people are essentially the same. They also have altruism. Farming and Us . and art. and music. which we must now discuss. and love and trust relationships. every human society.

each makes vigorous and. her sexual signals disappear. Biologists call this kind of relationship between two individuals a pair bond. When the mother ape’s infant is born. Each has an absolute need for the presence of the other. She reverts to being just another member of the social group. and monopolise the female. the female’s oestrus is over. he is able to intimidate and control all the other males. Should they become separated. a very special and intense relationship immediately develops between mother and infant. after a day or two. But. the pair bond between mother and infant is never lost. This sexual activity occurs during daylight. at all times. indeed. passionate attempts to find the other. With apes. mainly by the highestranking male in the social hierarchy. Farming and Us . and it is very public. Altruism Apes and Us When a female ape comes into season. but it weakens enormously as the infant reaches adolescence.2. she displays very prominent sex signals. Being the strongest male in the group. and she is mated repeatedly. and the males cease to take any further interest in her. and when the mother has her next infant.Page 69 .

Page 70 . and sociology are their stock in trade. I am a biologist and. ecology. is the bond that develops between a husband and wife. must suspend their own humanity. because the enquirers. There are such things as human hermits but they are rare. at Gombe. studying the human species in much the same way that the behaviour of chimpanzees was studied by that truly remarkable scientist. psychology. in so far as it is possible for any human to do such a thing. in trying to look at human society from the outside. For the sake of objectivity. and for ease of discussion. in the famous National Reserve. have several kinds of pair bond. humankind is a social species. like the great apes of Africa. for the rest of their Farming and Us . People. perhaps. ethology. physiology. a biologist’s first observation would undoubtedly be the fact that. biologists are better placed than most to attempt this task because the life sciences. Jane Goodall. on the other hand. When such a bond between two people is strong.It is instructive to compare this ape behaviour with the behaviour of people. they continue to love each other. intensely and completely. and they are quite rightly considered something of an aberration. First. Perhaps the most notable difference between the social groups of apes and people is that the apes have only one kind of pair bond. we may think of ourselves as outside observers. This is not an easy study to undertake. and very important. When studying people. such as evolution. This is the bond between a mother and her infant. People live in mutually supportive social groups. in Tanzania.

is that the father will also develop a bond with his child. They are also the fundamental factor that distinguishes the social organisation of people from that of all other social mammals. Although Jane Goodall has observed the faint beginnings of pairing between male and female chimpanzees. are something quite extraordinary. recognise their own offspring. as we shall see. Indeed. obviously. and have bonds between adults that can last a lifetime. however close these outsiders may be as friends. among all the social mammals. Farming and Us . and cannot. This love is what the fairy stories call “living happily ever after”.Page 71 . these bonds formed by males. or with their own offspring. business partners. they do not. It is usual for the brothers and sisters of one family to develop strong bonds among themselves. Humans are the only species of mammal that are both social. this bond can be just as powerful as the bond between an ape mother and her infant. Another type of bond among humans is the sibling bond. However.lives. and they take no more interest in them than they take in any other member of their social group. A human mother will also develop a bond with her child and. and it is the chief ambition of every normal human being. with both spouse and offspring. But what makes people unique. They will then love and trust each other for the rest of their lives. Biologically. or colleagues. sibling bonds are usually not as strong as spousal bonds. This love and trust will be far stronger than any they mig ht extend to non-family. the males do not normally form bonds either with females.

A male dominance hierarchy establishes a chain of command. The social structure of humans is based on the family. The social structure of other primate species is based on a pecking order among the males. The largest. co-operatively. in a hunter-gatherer band. and they behave accordingly. and most vigorous male is at the top of the pecking order. and is the omega male. although it is less prominent that the male hierarchy. parent and child. this is a primitive kind of society.Page 72 . long-term bonds between parent and parent. In terms of the law of the jungle. and of other species of social primate. strongest. this social organisation is often disrupted by struggles to increase rank.It is these multiple bonds that lead to the most obvious differences between the social organisation of people. However. There is usually a female dominance hierarchy also. as well as precedence for a female in season. characterised by a lot of domination and bullying. The weakest and meekest adult male is at the bottom of the pecking order. Biologists call this pecking order a dominance hierarchy. several families would live together. Farming and Us . either actual or incipient. In a state of nature. In terms of everything that we mean by the word civilised. these dominance hierarchies provide a very effective system of social organisation. All the individuals within a hierarchy know their place. and is the alpha male. in order to determine which one dominates the other. Individuals are frequently in a state of confrontation. with powerful. at some other individual’s expense. therefore. and child and child.

It is the ability to love. that the question of control never even arises. supports the other so totally. with a similar intensity. A human male is able to love his wife.This. Indeed. is the real difference between human males and the males of other social primates. there is a complete spectrum of differences in degree between the two extremes of human relationships. Apart from the mother-infant bond. This love can be so intense that it prevails over all other considerations. her children. Humans also have control relationships. Each trusts the other so completely. her brothers and sisters. is the basis of human altruism. and the concern it generates for others within the hunter-gatherer band. They may be said to have a control relationship. This love. extending from the extreme control relationship to the extreme love relationship. (An alternative way of describing this Farming and Us . apes do not have such altruism. his children. then. A relationship between two apes normally means that one dominates the other.Page 73 . Those two individuals may be said to have a love relationship. and even unrelated fellow humans. and a similar endurance. And apes cannot be described as being cultured. except to a rudimentary extent. And a human female is also able to love her husband. they have no need to control each other. and it usually lasts for life. when two people love each other. his brothers and sisters. except to a rudimentary extent. and even unrelated fellow humans. This difference between apes and humans leads to a new way of defining relationships between people. and controls the other. and cares for the other so unconditionally. But.

it will be argued la ter that virtually all of the evil in human affairs stems from this tendency that so many of us have towards control relationships. and habit. and a total obsession with control. It is possible for two close individuals.Page 74 . therefore. and correspondingly deficient in love. and it can be very damaging. at the extreme of the love relationship. at the extreme of the control relationship. after all. but they are mistaking mere familiarity. the less is the other. Such individuals may believe they love each other. An extreme control relationship is quite unnecessary. for true love. to have a relationship that is strongly slanted towards control. And it is immediately obvious that people who should love one another do not always have love relationships. That is.) It will become apparent that. in a civilised society. therefore. there is a complete absence of control. or normal distribution.spectrum is the bell-curve. and a total preoccupation with love. It seems. and the other half is in the love-relationship side of the curve. this urge that so many of us have to control our fellow human beings. such as a husband and wife. there is a complete absence of love. Indeed. the greater the one. Farming and Us . a very common desire that occurs frequently in all human societies around the world. Approximately half of the population is in the control relationship side of the bell-curve. And. is to examine the biological origins of this desire for control. One of the purposes of this book. It is. that these two factors of control and love are inversely proportional to each other.

and this love is such that they trust each other absolutely. This is because they love each other. two bonds. for as long as life itself. parent. However. It is. course. neither person has the slightest desire to control the other. is absolute.At the opposite end of the spectrum of human relationships. One individual may love.Page 75 . and each can depend on the other. at all times. Another purpose of this book. and it will be argued later that they are the basis of almost all that is good in human society. regardless of how that person may behave. Neither partner in an extreme love relationship has any need to control the other. utterly. with an extreme love relationship. because each is constantly concerned for the other. or diminish it. Perhaps the best way to describe this love is to say that it is unconditional. is to examine the biological origins of love. alas. and is the main desire and ambition of everyone. and the biological need for this essentially human emotion. which can be so powerful that it transcends all other considerations. with each individual having a bond to the other. And this absolute love will endure. and another purpose of this book is to examine Farming and Us . Love relationships are very desirable. or child. for simplicity of discussion. an ambition that too many people fail to attain. We speak of a pair bond between two individuals but there are. Nothing can damage it. I shall continue to write of the ‘pair bond’ between two individuals. therefore. but be unloved in return. Tragedy occurs when these two bonds are unequal. and to assume that the two bonds are equal. True love for a spouse.

experience love. In complete contrast. sympathy. and even nastier grovelling. is characteristic of a dominance hierarchy. they can easily tolerate behaviour and opinions different from their own. larger and stronger individuals. such as warmth. such as chimpanzees. They like people to be themselves.Page 76 . And. Alternatively. and who dominates them. some Farming and Us . to be individualistic and independent. compassion. to fawn. and concern for others. people at the love extreme of the spectrum are well familiar with warmth and compassion. they are likely to be deficient also in all those other human feelings that are closely associated with love. And. They want everyone around them to follow. they may behave this way themselves. to obey. if one individual is being physically dominated by other. the individuals within those societies are incredibly deceitful. because they have no desire to control others. they are unlikely to tolerate behaviour and opinions different from their own. Because people at the control extreme of the spectrum do not. and cannot. generosity. This is understandable because. have societies based on dominance hierarchies. because they like to control others. even while they remain loving and caring. One of the more distinctive features of the control relationship is deceit. towards some individual who is higher in their hierarchy. Some obvious characteristics of the two extreme types of relationship begin to emerge.possible methods of improving our prospects in this important and natural ambition. This nasty bullying. kindness. Because wild social primates. and to venerate them. to grovel.

called the Humphrey hypothesis. which. as well as complete trust. as an explanation of human intelligence. but who have no family ties with each other. We also have to wonder why a similar intelligence did not evolve in the other social primates. but it does involve truth. This need for truth in people leads us to a third kind of human relationship.form of deceit is usually the best defence. This relationship does not normally involve love. It also provides the only possible means of exerting some form of control over the dominators. a contradiction of their trust in each other. and a complete annihilation of the confidence they have in each other. This is the relationship that exists between old friends. the last thing they want is to deceive one another. that was the driving force behind the evolution of the human brain. However. Indeed. traders. soldiers. One of the chief characteristics of a love relationship. therefore. is truth. which postulates that it was this need for deceit. the trust relationship. in the social dominance hierarchies of our early ancestors. When two people love each other. indeed. Lying to each other would be a denial of their love. there is no need for deceit. With a love relationship. Farming and Us . and other people who know and respect each other. this hypothesis is of doubtful validity for reasons that will become apparent later. would ruin the relationship.Page 77 . Like the love relationship. professional colleagues. there is a tentative suggestion. This primitive intellectual ability to deceive has even been called the ‘Machiavellian intelligence’. its extreme exhibits a complete absence of control.

and others in team activities. because their confidence in each other is absolute. These two individuals may have shared experiences of risk. Many soldiers. danger. in which each has tested the other. However. a person is usually described as an authoritarian. or even total. truth is the essential feature of a trust relationship. such as those between scientists. If control relationships predominate. and each has proved worthy. that person is described as an egalitarian. there is no hierarchy. When everyone is equal. It is possible to appraise human individuals in terms of their personal relationships. or an attorney and client. endurance. are trust relationships. sportsmen. and among women. trust relationships are entirely possibly between men and women. the two members of a strong trust relationship have no need to control each other. If love relationships predominate. develop trust relationships. and the desire for control is slight or absent.Page 78 . Farming and Us .The trust relationship also involves a pair bond. and any suggestion of deceit would damage or even destroy the relationship irrevocably. Quite obviously. This kind of bonding in humans has often been called ‘male bonding’ because it occurs most prominently among men who are functioning together as a team. An egalitarian is a nonauthoritarian. possibly to the utmost limit. As with a love relationship. and the lack of love is excessive. or hardship. Most professional relationships. This experience can make them ‘best friends’ for life. a doctor and patient. But they possibly occur more commonly among men.

If a family has mainly control relationships. All the other members of the family obey that boss. it is described as an authoritarian family. and there is a pecking order among the family members. One parent. the society and government are described as egalitarian. family. in some societies. a bell-curve). or liberal. any human society can be described in terms of this spectrum of control and love relationships. because the two are easily confused. But if a family has genuine love relationships. Similarly. Any individual. the majority may tend towards one extreme or the other. on the one hand.Page 79 . Usually. and the family is described as egalitarian or non-authoritarian.. which is the ‘mode’ of a normal distribution (i. the majority of people are near the centre of the spectrum. on the other. and there will be a few individuals at the love extreme of the spectrum. They have little need or desire to control each other. a possible source of confusion must be clarified. there will be a few individuals at the control extreme of the spectrum. its members all love each other. Societies can differ quite considerably in this respect.e. In any large society. distribution. If control relationships and dominance hierarchies predominate. But. in what is known as a slanted. with a Cinderella at the bottom. However. is boss.It is also possible to judge a human family in terms of these relationships. and not necessarily the father. before proceeding further. are described as authoritarian. And if love and trust relationships predominate. both the society. non-authoritarian. a clear distinction must be made between control. or skewed. Throughout this discussion. and its government. or Farming and Us . and decision-making.

usually by means of covert victimisation and reward. is generous. and decisions are either mutual. arguing that it is dangerous to have more than one opinion within the group.Page 80 . decision-making is an inextricable aspect of the control of others. Non-authoritarian decisions are generous. it is non-authoritarian. When decision-making is shared. Throughout the history of human societies. Control and decision-making are thus quite distinct. spheres of responsibility. or of using decision-making to increase one’s control over others. When decision-making is confined to the alpha individual. is selfish. dominating authoritarians invariably reserve all decision-making for themselves. For this reason. They insist that every member of their group or family must conform with their decisions. but they can easily be combined.society is constantly faced with the necessity of making decisions. and is closely linked to the control of others. or large nations. There is then no question of victimisation and reward. authoritarian decision-makers have been labelled as tyrants. And the considerations that govern their decision-making are generally selfish. it is authoritarian. and often involve the increase of their own control. small communities. Among authoritarians. The making of decisions is shared. We can immediately see a historic link. And these Farming and Us . decision-making becomes part of the love relationship. but separate. and is entirely devoid of the control of others. or they fall into mutually agreed. This includes keeping their hands on the purse strings. Among non-authoritarians. whether in families. and they are made for the benefit of all of those involved in the group.

and to discuss possible methods of alleviating this distressing situation. and individuals authoritarian. control relationships. and belong essentially to people. We must also examine possible methods of increasing the frequency. In order to do this. and societies are so very authoritarian. feared. psychology.Page 81 . they are both revered and remembered as great leaders.tyrants are usually disliked. deceit. And that pair bonding. truth. families. This book is about control in both human societies and human behaviour. anthropology. love relationships. families. and the intensity. and non-authoritarian behaviour are advanced. and belong essentially to apes. Farming and Us . of our love relationships. beauty. ecology. and history. if they are also competent. and goodness that we value so highly. archaeology. It will be argued that dominance hierarchies. even detested. And that love and trust relationships are the source of most of the truth. Another purpose of this book. Non-authoritarian decision-makers are benevolent and. we must explore various aspects of evolution. that are relevant to the study of human behaviour. is to examine why some human individuals. therefore. while others are non-authoritarian. and authoritarian behaviour are primitive. human levels of altruism. It will also be argued that control relationships are the source of most of the evil in human affairs. It concerns the factors that make some societies.

S. They had love and trust relationships. after all. while humans evolved their unique characteristic of multiple bonding in a social species. they also evolved an unprecedented level of altruism. This altruism became a key element in the social organisation of their hunter-gatherer bands. by other human beings. Such a band may have contained a few tens of individuals. During the course of some two million years of Darwinian evolution. to love.Page 82 . William Hamilton proposed the influential hypothesis of ‘kin selection’. and to be loved. Animal altruism occurs in many species and it shows usually in the efforts of parents to feed and protect their young. And there is a wonderful sense of security to be obtained from being able to trust others. For example. It is. concerning reproductive success. Haldane to make his famous comment that he Farming and Us .B. and gene survival. and it is a direct consequence of bonding.Social Altruism Altruism is an unselfish concern for the welfare of others. and our civilisation. which were produced by these deeply ingrained. This hypothesis took account of both the individual and its various relatives. It prompted J. Within animal societies. These love and trust relationships produce levels of co-operation and achievement that are impossible with the essentially selfish and deceitful behaviour that occurs in the dominance hierarchies of the wild social primates. And this is obviously the very basis of our cultural development. it is possible to explain altruism in terms of Darwinian evolution. and every individual was bonded with every other individual. and extraordinary levels of genetically-inherited altruism. the greatest human happiness.

And. Human altruism evolved during a period of perhaps one or two million years. Hamilton’s contribution is scientifically valuable for animal ethologists. human altruism is vastly different from animal altruism. eight cousins. just as love relationships are the very antithesis of control relationships. and other genetic and cultural developments. teaching. and that it too is based on kin selection. In comparison. language. Similarly. and so on. the proto-cultures of the wild social primates are primitive indeed. seen in the sheer size of modern libraries.Page 83 . There is a deplorable tendency for animal ethologists to assume that human altruism is no different from animal altruism. human altruism became the very antithesis of authoritarianism. hunting. It evolved by mutual reinforcement with comparable advances in intelligence. And this very high level of altruism was the normal behaviour for people living in a hunter-gatherer band in which every individual was bonded to every other Farming and Us . Once it was fully evolved. We recognise that human intelligence is vastly different from animal intelligence. let alone understand more complex mathematics. by the same token. four half-brothers. In fact. Human intelligence has enabled us to accumulate an incredible cultural inheritance. but where sociologists (and Haldane) went so wildly wrong was to apply it to human societies.would lay down his life for two brothers. human altruism is vastly more advanced than animal altruism. These differences in degree are so large that they become differences in kind. No wild animal can count to ten. human languages are vastly more advanced than animal languages. social co-operation.

There is thus a gap of a million years or more. This evolutionary gap was filled by the social altruism of the huntergatherers.individual. It is Farming and Us . and extremely high levels of altruism. This would explain its survival in the face of the incredible levels of authoritarianism that developed in human societies with the crowding that resulted from the discovery of agriculture. agricultural settlements. we must conclude that all past attempts to explain human societies in terms of Darwinian evolution are based on animal societies. If this is so. ever since Hitler. Any hypothesis that attempts to explain human social behaviour in terms of Darwinian evolution. not human societies. These phenomena are something completely new in Darwinian evolution. their recognition is also new in scientific debate.Page 84 . To postulate otherwise is to postulate Social Darwinism and. this evil and intellectually corrupt concept has been utterly discredited. It cannot be over-emphasised that the criteria of Darwinian evolution do not apply within human societies. is almost certainly wrong. This relationship between authoritarianism and agriculture will be discussed later (Chapter 4). These animal society explanations are consequently inadequate. Human altruism is also genetically controlled. rather than our cultural evolution. in a social species. or just plain wrong. To the best of my knowledge. between the dominance hierarchies of the wild social primates and the dominance hierarchies of unnaturally over-crowded. It is a part of our genetic evolution. human. unless it is based on the uniquely human phenomena of multiple bonding. incorrect.

But it is inadmissible. and dangerously misleading. such as insects. life both within and between hunter-gatherer bands was peaceful. warfare based on territorial disputes. so different from socio-biology that it would merit a new term. of course. We recognise. and so on. When there was no competition for food or territory. in general. and at such a low level in wild primate societies. This social altruism completely overrides evolutionary considerations such as kin selection and survival of the fittest. the relatively new branch of biology called ‘socio-biology’ may be valuable when applied to social animals. it would become an entirely distinct branch of biology. This might involve the lynching of isolated males of a rival band. For comparable reasons. away from the dominance Farming and Us .Page 85 . they would occur only when the population density was too high. There seems to be little doubt that a million or more years of evolution in humans has resulted in a change. the stealing of women. particularly the more primitive animals. But these would be isolated incidents between bands and. So-called ‘savage’ behaviour between bands would often be exhibited. when applied to human societies.intellectually corrupt because it ignores the fundamental roles of bonding and altruism that exist at such a high level in human societies. secure. that altruism was essentially an internal phenomenon within hunter-gatherer bands. External altruism towards rival bands was limited. If it did. because there were no bonds between the individuals concerned. because it does not take human altruism into account. and harmonious.

such as dolphins and elephants. is also the fundamental basis of democracy. to an altruistic system of multiple bonding. most notably wit h a mother-infant bond. This human altruism. Social altruism is also quite distinct from the individual altruism that occurs in many wild species. It is generosity of cooperation. generosity of feeling. Social altruism probably occurs in other mammalian species. Human altruism is so much more advanced than animal altruism that it provides an entirely new form of social organisation. generosity of love.hierarchies of the apes. Farming and Us .Page 86 . But the exceptionally high level of social altruism found in human hunter-gatherer bands is apparently unique. and the name social altruism is suggested. and love and trust relationships. And it is the direct opposite of selfishness. Human altruism means that every member of a hunter-gatherer band is highly altruistic towards every other member. The term human social altruism thus labels the basic social organisation of human hunter-gatherer bands. The essential feature of love and trust relationships is that. It is an organisation that is fundamentally different from the male dominance hierarchies of the wild social primates. in the widest possible meaning of this word. which is the fundamental basis of authoritarianism. this generosity. This concern was deeprooted. and generosity of forgiveness. generosity of sympathy and empathy. within one hunter-gatherer band. and it is central to the social organisation of humans. It merits a new term. generosity of giving. every individual was constantly concerned about every other individual. Human altruism is essentially generous.

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. but they can have lesser bonds with many others. these spousal bonds promote parentchild bonds. It required the recognition of self. all these genetic changes contribute to the strength of pair bonds between spouses. acknowledged this when he formulated his golden rule. but many of those bonds were less than intense. It is likely that most people can have intense bonds with no more than a few tens of people. as well as an awareness of the same thing in others. but not in other primates. As a rough estimate. And individuals probably differ in the number of bonds they can achieve. The Evolution of Human Pair Bonds We should now examine the scientific evidence for these evolutionary changes in human behaviour that led to the development of social altruism. a huntergatherer band may have had a maximum of 100-120 bonded individuals. One individual could then feel for others. and trust relationships. later known as Maimonides. The Jewish philosopher Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204 AD). ranging from the slight to the intense. This evidence comes from a number of genetically inherited changes that have evolved in humans. which said. we must recognise that there are many different degrees of bonding.Page 87 . sibling bonds.The development of this human social altruism required a level of intellectual power that was apparently an entirely new development in evolution. Finally. In their turn. while recognising that they were feeling for him in the same way. Farming and Us . Interestingly.

It is the combination of this multiple bonding. For this reason. that makes us unique. we should digress briefly.Page 88 . perhaps thousands. All birds. an emotion quite beyond our control. that although powerful pair bonds do develop between the two parents in some species of primates. but it does not occur between adult social apes and monkeys. it is love at a relative ly low level. Consequently. There Farming and Us . This pair bonding between spouses exists to an exceptionally high degree in humans. if they do. and the birthright of every human who ever lived. and reptiles. because birds reproduce by means of eggs and helpless chicks. which clearly lust but apparently do not love. Or. one female of such a species usually lays hundreds. must form parental bonds. however. except cuckoos. most of which are expected to survive. They do not occur in social species. usually abandon their eggs and hatchlings to their fate. overwhelming. because this phenomenon of spousal bonds in a social species also occurs with birds. in order both to protect and feed their chicks. and the fact that we are a social species. Birds lay only a small clutch of eggs. of eggs. birds have the two conflicting activities of guarding the nest and foraging. This makes parental bonds essential. the extraordinarily high levels of human altruism. all-consuming. the love between a man and a woman. At this point. totally absorbing. these occur only in solitary species. We should note. important beyond all other considerations. fish.First is this phenomenon of love itself. Other egg-laying species. such as insects.

and they remain in Canada all winter. Some species of birds have a rather special proto-culture. so that they may now cover thousands of miles. and it has none of the attributes of the social altruism that characterise human societies. while the other forages. Social birds do not bond with other members of their society. because human sociability has many advanced and important features that are entirely absent from bird societies. Many bird species are also social. ever since the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. These are the migratory species. However. But a bird society. generation after generation. They have lost their migratory habit. the chicks cannot survive. A further minor digression may be of interest. if one parent is killed. This conclusion was dramatically confirmed by William Lishman who taught non-migrating Farming and Us . some modern populations of Canada geese have grown from birds that failed to migrate. is an extremely primitive one. This indicates that bird migration is a behaviour pattern acquired by learning. Comparisons of bird behaviour with human behaviour are consequently dangerous. some fifteen thousand years ago. as such. Birds operate almost entirely with inherited and imprinted behaviour patterns. Their journeys were originally quite short. without interruption.Page 89 .must be one parent hatching the eggs and guarding the chicks. as the glaciers and ice-fields retreated. and that it is not an inherited instinct. and they gradually increased over time. which each generation of young birds learns from its elders. and they have apparently been learning this migration. Normally.

the inherited tendency to form spousal bonds is apparently stronger even than the philoprogenitive instinct. which migrates from Mexico to Canada. often form new pair bonds. This is self-evident because the complete migration involves several generations of butterfly. or an adoptive father. Lishman. Just as important as the spousal bond. Little brown & Co. So do many homosexuals. without any possibility of procreation. and cannot form parent-child bonds. Mother-child bonds occur in most of the higher animals..geese to migrate. even when they are past reproductive age... Otherwise the male parent cannot recognise his own offspring. 1995. operates entirely on inherited behaviour patterns. particularly when they Farming and Us . who have lost their spouses. means that there can be no question of each generation learning from the previous generation. Ltd.Page 90 . and back. W. the monarch butterfly. and their method of reproduction with caterpillars that never see their parents. Contrariwise. was the development of the father-child bond. without husband-wife bonds. children cannot recognise their own father. which is our inherited inclination to propagate our kind. Equally. Excellent father-child bonds can easily develop with a loving stepfather. But father-child bonds can occur only when there is strong pair bonding between the two parents. In people. Older people. Canada. ISBN 0-316-52708-4). using an ultralight aircraft (see: Father Goose. It is also noteworthy that the genetic relationships in this bonding are quite unimportant in humans. But enough of this digression.

or wives. in its turn. the children of a single -parent family cannot have the full emotional security that can come only from having two parents who really love each other. These love relationships must involve trust and love so strong that the mere possibility of promiscuity. Consequently. conversely. and between each parent and each child. lead to promiscuity which. And. The children of single -parent families Farming and Us . However. in some form of purdah. while no doubt true. even with his biological children. this argument is not an adequate justification. Some modern feminists believe that they can do without a man in their lives. and weak pair bonds. The usual argument is that this situation is preferable to an unhappy marriage.Page 91 . And it is a denial of trust. or harem. A single-parent family inevitably lacks the love relationships between parent and parent. of both the wife and the other men in the society. human males need to have very strong love relationships with their wives. To be confident of the paternity of their children. and they and their children become single -parent families. Both a male dominance hierarchy. but this is a complete denial of love. leads to uncertainty concerning the paternity of a child. and who really love their children. in an essentially social species. for either partner. The only other alternative to uncertainty of paternity is for an authoritarian male to imprison his wife. an unloving father can fail completely in any sort of bonding. It is also a denial of sociability. because a single -parent family is still dreadfully deprived.develop very early in the infant’s life. is unthinkable.

The ‘Oedipus complex’. There is strong evidence that Hitler had a massive Oedipus complex.Page 92 . who can cause a lot of suffering and misery to everyone around them. is an emotional form of incest. however. In the process of dying out. this is also true of children born of unhappy marriages. if sexual interest or activity occurs. at least in part. Indeed. However. Indeed. and it probably derives. the human taboo on incest occurs in every human society. obviously. in which a son is subconsciously attracted to his mother. these other bonds. the pair bonds between a husband and wife clearly have a very strong element of sex. Unlike husband-wife bonds. It is highly significant that: Farming and Us . However. and is subconsciously jealous of his father. anti-social individuals. Sibling bonds. after a few generations. With only very rare exceptions. Incestuous families are likely to degenerate. they are likely to produce some very nasty. as well as parent-child bonds. these very special pair bonds have been strengthened immeasurably by the evolution of an extraordinary array of sexual rewards.are likely to grow up largely ignorant of the rewards that can be obtained from the human system of multiple bonding. and he was possibly the most anti-social person who ever lived. and it is very destructive of family cohesion. for reasons that are both psycho-pathological and genetic. contribute greatly to this cohesion. from the harm that incestuous sex can cause to parent-child and sibling bonds within a family. even to die out. Also significant in this context is the whole question of family cohesion. it is incest. for example. are entirely sexless.

every male must be constantly ready to mate with any female who happens to come into season. Women can even have sex when pregnant. At first sight. it was only the human female who was rewarded by this continuous sexuality. These are all typical characteristics of authoritarianism. If he cannot fight.Ø Ø Ø these rewards greatly strengthen the husband-wife bonds in people. and they can resume sex quite soon after the birth of a child. and they have not evolved in any other species of social primate. consequently. Perhaps the most important of these inherited sexual rewards is the continuous sexuality in the human female. he must rely on secrecy. Farming and Us .Page 93 . they are the result of Darwinian evolution and. In comparison. The oestrus cycle of the primates has become the menstrual cycle of humans. deviousness. and deceit. Every male must also be ready to fight for that privilege. This genetically inherited change in women clearly extends the function of sex far beyond that of mere procreation. the oestrus cycle of female chimpanzees allows them to enjoy sex during only a few days every few years. Among wild social primates. they are genetically inherited. and his chances of success depend very largely on his position in the dominance hierarchy. The males already had continuous sexuality because this is essential when there is a mating strategy based on a male dominance hierarchy. and the oestrus cycle. and a woman is consequently capable of sex at almost any time.

behaviour strategy. With human pair bonding. in order to monopolise women who were sexually receptive for only a few days every several years. or they had pair bonding. And. the continuous sexuality in women is a huge reward for men also. inherited. The females of other primates Farming and Us . and dominating. one of the main functions of the male dominance hierarchy had disappeared. most of the other men in his group. is a far superior. all mammals were either social. and husband-wife bonds became possible. with dominance hierarchies. and a male had no further need to dominate other males in order to obtain sex.But once continuous sexuality developed in the human female also. based on love relationships. Before this. This was a completely new.Page 94 . apart from the brief period at the end of adolescence. but were not social. Suddenly. and more civilised. more pleasurable. Life would be insufferable in modern human societies if the only way a man could obtain sex was by fighting. for all these reasons. but also a far easier. alternative. Such a society could not possibly support the growth of culture to the point of becoming civilised. the males had no more need for sexual competition. other than mother-infant bonds. and continuous female sexuality. when spousal pair bonds were first being formed. A development that was closely parallel to continuous sexuality in women was the female orgasm. and without any fighting or competition. or else they were neither social nor did they have any bonding. Our system of monogamy. each social male could now obtain all the sex he needed with a single mate.

Face to face sex is not necessary for mere procreation. it was possible only if there was a pair bond between husband and wife. A human mother is also able to conceive within a few weeks of the birth of a child. Farming and Us . in both hunting and defence of the home base. and she will then have several quite helpless infants to look after simultaneously. and the birth-frequency is then reduced). The importance of human altruism becomes increasingly apparent. This means that a human mother can have a child as frequently as once each year. face to face sex became routinely possible. with bipedalism.undoubtedly experience pleasure from sex.Page 95 . and among females. and this clearly made sex much more pleasurable. even to the point of a mild orgasm. Another feature of the genetic changes in humans is that. in order to ensure reproduction. and it contributes greatly to the strength of the pair bond. Some sexual reward is obviously an evolutionary necessity in mammals. in both food gathering and child-care. Multiple child-care became possible only if there was a home base. and if the husband contributed to child-care. (However. This was necessary among males. a further requirement was social co-operation between families. But the pleasure that women can obtain from sex goes far beyond the requirements of simple procreation. In other words. breast-feeding an infant provides an effective contraception. And the contribution that this pleasure makes to pair bonding is probably beyond the descriptive power of mere words. In practice. but it does permit far greater intimacy.

It is probable that an increased size of the sex organs results in an increased number of these nerves. say. too. when compared with the competitive suckling of. Erotic sensations result from special nerve endings. we must recognise the social disruption that this might cause. Unlike most mammals. Although we may agree with them in principle. and an increased Farming and Us . which have nipples near the pelvic region. primates have nipples on the chest. than in any other primate. Some activists in the women’s movement. demand the right to appear bare-breasted in public. or puppies. This difference probable evolved from carrying. a woman’s breasts are one of her most important sexual enticements. and strengthens the pair bond. A woman standing bare-breasted on a sidewalk could easily be the cause of some nasty traffic accidents among male drivers. and they are considerably larger. This is emphasised by an entirely new social phenomenon. is a genetically controlled development. and it too encourages face to face sex. as human males know only too well. who claim complete equality with men. and in proportion to body size.Page 96 . and it allows a mother to suckle her infant while holding it in her arms. lambs. But. Another inherited change is that the human sex organs have increased in size. and a much more intense pleasure. piglets. in humans.The evolution of the human female breasts is also special. and it probably means that a sexual climax involves many more nerves endings. This. than it does in other primates. It is entirely possible that this method of suckling also provides an enhanced sense of emotional security for the infant. both absolutely.

from such a development. even in the warmest climates. Our hairless bodies have also permitted the development of much more sensitive erogenous zones. For similar reasons also. and pair bonding. other than the strengthening of pair bonds. along with the oestrus cycle. behavioural. Farming and Us . have at least some regulation of nudity. these sex signals are inimical to a pair bonding strategy and. voyeurism and striptease are interesting only to people who have inadequate pair bonds. It is likely that the evolution of both hairlessness. but it is doubtful if it contributes to procreation. Once again. which is essentially secret. and it is difficult to envisage an evolutionary advantage. Private sex. a female in season displays a set of very prominent. sex occurs during daylight.pleasure from sex. Today. public sex is inimical to the formation of good pair bonds. and an oestrus cycle. It is probably for similar reasons that most human societies. These signals make her irresistible to every male in the group. would seriously undermine a male dominance hierarchy. this inherited change is not necessary for mere procreation.Page 97 . With any species that has a mating strategy based on a male dominance hierarchy. Among chimpanzees and other social primates. human sex became private. or olfactory sex signals. Also significant is the loss of sex signals in women. visual. were mutually reinforcing. and it is very public. and it too has been lost in humans. Pre-sex petting contributes greatly to pair bonding. Equally. Obviously. they have been mostly lost in humans.

that the pair bond is strengthened by frequent sex. evolutionary development. a man can be Farming and Us . and it had rather special religious functions. The intense hostility to pornography that occurs in some people is also an indication of inadequate spousal bonding. This desire for privacy in sex is universal in all human cultures. except in terms of the pair bonding function of sex. The biological waste is only an apparent one. because they do not want anyone to see them. This means that much of human sex has no procreative function whatever. and the fear of temptation that pornography can generate. they put out all the lights. with their spouses. People with good pair bonds are indifferent to pornography.This need for privacy is probably why human sex normally takes place at night. and it is difficult to explain. first. Public sex also occurred in some of the early religions. This apparent biological waste is an inherited. The Inuit people even explain solar eclipses by saying that the sun and moon are making love and. usually. These are the people who create a demand for pornography. they cannot even listen. Such behaviour is unthinkable for individuals who have strong pair bonds. Other people cannot watch because it is dark and. and intense love relationships. human females are reproductively fertile for only three or four days in each menstrual cycle. Second. but this was usually in the form of carefully controlled fertility rites. In spite of their continuous sexualit y. because they are asleep. Group sex and public sex do occur in some human societies but only among individuals whose pair bonds are inadequate. because it means.Page 98 .

at least in a state of nature. When there is a marked male dominance hierarchy.Page 99 . Obviously. the males are considerably larger than the females. as with baboons and gorillas. which makes their large size a powerful evolutionary survival advantage. there is less sexual dimorphism. and this is supporting evidence for our evolution away from a male dominance hierarchy. and this too strengthens the bond. a man can be confident of his children’s paternity only if he and his wife develop these strong. in the absence of signals to indicate ovulation. Among chimpanzees. and away from the physical competition that it induces in rival males. The unknowable ovulation also prevents a woman from avoiding pregnancy. which is only biological jargon for saying that the males and females of a species are different sizes. by abstaining from sex at easily recognised periods during her menstrual cycle. Among humans. and has the most offspring. and a less pronounced male dominance hierarchy. A few remnants of this dimorphism remain.certain of siring children only if he has frequently repeated sex with his wife. And. there is relatively little sexual dimorphism. Closely related to these various sexual rewards is the fact that a woman’s ovulation is normally unknowable. This is because of the intense competition between the males. This helps to ensure continual sexual activity because. pair bonds. it is the largest male that becomes the alpha male. for parallel reasons. frequent sex is necessary to achieve conception. Most men are Farming and Us . however. We should also consider the evidence of sexual dimorphism. and enduring.

and with sibling bonds. and regimental colours. supposedly. human males had to endure relatively few structural and physiological changes. Alternatively. an idea that survives to this day in our national flags. a plant in the mustard family) for ease of recognition during battle. And most women admire a man who is large and strong. Compared with women. and under the most difficult circumstances. When impersonal recognition was required. in large crowds. Spouses can recognise each other’s faces and voices instantly. Another indication of the importance of pair bonding is the inherited human ability to recognise minute differences in both the face and voice characteristics of individuals. Or armies ensured recognition with large pieces of coloured cloth. Similarly. This is an essentially personal recognition. as with soldiers in an army. with a lot of ballyhoo about the so-called world champion who. ancient soldiers had special devices painted on their shields. or noisy rooms. is the alpha male. Similar ease of recognition occurs with the parent child bond.somewhat larger than most women. Primitive warriors would even colour their naked bodies with some form of paint or dye. and these patterns often became the family coat of arms. the most notable being an increase in Farming and Us . a uniform had to be provided. remnants of the physical domination among our males have become ritualised in mindless sports such as boxing and wrestling.Page 100 . and men often indulge in bodybuilding exercises for this reason. such as woad (extracted from the leaves of Isatis tinctoria .

like people. But the human male did have to endure enormous psychological changes. and the recognition of his own children. this made multiple child-care possible. These were the development of the pair bond itself. they are social animals. particularly if our own human bonds are inadequate.Page 101 . a domesticated animal. like baboons. This is an exclusively human trait. It was probably at this stage that hominids became humans. and a male contribution to family support and child-care. can extend even to house plants. such as canaries and goldfish. Dogs make very good pets because. Farming and Us . we should recognise that the inherited human need to form pair bonds is so great that we can even form bonds with members of other species. with both spouse and offspring. and this makes domesticated dogs capable of reciprocating a strong pair bond with a person.the size of the penis. Finally. With these changes came food sharing. Cats are solitary animals in the wild and. and it is called a pet. than to a person. Their lives were no longer organised in hierarchical troops. The ‘one-man dog’ is typical of this kind of bond. People will even make pets out of animals that are quite incapable of reciprocating. but in well-bonded families. but not necessarily. And our inherited tendency to altruism. of caring for others. pet cats are difficult to train. in the wild. Combined with a home base. and they usually become more attached to a place. The alternative species is usually. for this reason.

the police. Hierarchies were much less necessary in the traditional female activities. such as child-care and housekeeping. and professional associations. the judiciary. political parties. and she was very strict. Two typical examples are the female hierarchy in a convent. but they are also partly due to social necessity. Florence Nightingale may have been the benevolent and saintly founder of modern nursing. trade unions. while women offer sex in order to obtain love. but she was also an exceptionally aggressive do-gooder.Men and Women Compared It seems that the dominance hierarchy is always more prominent in males than in females. who insisted on absolute obedience in her subordinates. and it certainly appears to be true of modern humans. This is true of most species of social mammal. both with a very strict chain of command downwards from the alpha female.Page 102 . In modern times. secret societies. She was quite definitely an alpha-female. and in autonomous institutio ns such as universities. Dominance hierarchies have always been more necessary in human male activities. and the female nursing hierarchy in a hospital. and who would brook interference from no one. But women are well capable of developing very rigid hierarchies. pair bonding is probably more highly developed in women than in men. Hence the old aphorism that men offer love in order to obtain sex. Conversely. the priesthood. Farming and Us . the civil service. nevertheless. These tendencies appear to be quite strongly gender-related. and very authoritarian. this is seen in the military.

usually form enduring pair bonds much more readily than gay men.e. Further supporting evidence comes from the behaviour of homosexuals where. Second is the social phenomenon of prostitution. it is clear that men are more likely than women to lust. and that women are more likely than men to love. either the male or the female tendencies are more or less doubled. group sex. and impersonal sex (i.. Even male prostitutes have mainly male clients. Some gay men in New York have even claimed to have had up to a thousand sexual partners a year. of course. sex with total strangers). The first is pornography which appeals only to people whose pair bonds are inadequate or lacking. Female clients and gigolos undoubtedly occur but they are much less common. who are homosexual.Page 103 . Before the advent of AIDS. Lesbian women.These general differences between men and women are common knowledge but further evidence for them comes from some possibly unexpected sources. for simplicity of discussion. The clients of prostitutes want sex. in each sexual pair. Both male and female homosexuals have an option of either pair bonding or promiscuity. It is well known that gay men form lasting pair bonds less frequently than do Lesbian women. If. These clients are almost invariably male. not love. and impersonal sex. It is. and they generally avoid promiscuity. Farming and Us . we ignore the tragically shattered lives of the prostitutes themselves. on the other hand. well known that men are much more frequent users of pornography than are women. many gay men usually preferred promiscuity.

What is now becoming abundantly clear is that social progress depends on non-authoritarianism. is greater in men. and all the other attributes of authoritarianism. as individuals. Comparisons should be made not in terms of the masculine and feminine. while the tendency to form a dominance hierarchy. so much as in terms of the authoritarian and non-authoritarian. are dangerously misleading. therefore. quite incorrectly. and to be quoted out of context. That men are perhaps closer to the apes and monkeys. we can recognise that many men will perhaps have a more difficult task than many women. Remember those women warders in Belsen. than women. is greater in women. that the tendency to form pair bonds. co-operation. that men are perhaps less advanced. This even suggests. and from ourselves. In doing so. good pair bonds. and love relationships. And that perhaps we should allow women to control our affairs if we want to become really civilised. love relationships. however intriguing they may be. than are women. generalisations of this kind. They are also likely to be misquoted. And there are plenty of authoritarian women around who would make dangerous and evil leaders if they ever obtained power over others. and who eschew control relationships. We must recognise the need to eliminate control relationships from our society.It seems. The fact that men and women may differ in general terms is largely irrelevant. and control relatio nships. in evolutionary terms. and human levels of altruism. concern for others. The so-called “Beast of Buchenwald” was also a woman. In truth. Farming and Us . There are plenty of non-authoritarian men around who have formed excellent pair bonds.Page 104 .

life became immensely more complicated for human males. and atavistic of human males still consider the “four Fs” (i. for many men than it is for many women. and fucking) to be the only kind of life for a “real man”. Entirely new emotions had to develop. farting. have had profound effects on both the human male and the human female.And we can recognise that the problem is perhaps more urgent. They had previously known pair bonding with their mothers. which was completely absent among male adults until that time. Sadly. With the evolution of a social organisation based on altruism and pair bonding. which emerged from the formation of a home base. and a division of labour. male dominance hierarchy. quite out of place in an adult. and more important. such as love. with multiple child-care. These responsibilities necessitated some entirely new feelings of altruism. This was not at all an easy development. feeding. some of the more ignorant. the males found themselves involved with some entirely new responsibilities. macho. that have carried us away from dominance hierarchies. Love for a spouse and love for children was something completely novel for the males. and food sharing.e. The Changes in Human Males These evolutionary changes. Similarly. In the case of the human male. fighting. life was very simple (and somewhat brutal) under the old male dominance hierarchy. and towards a social system based on pair bonding and human altruism.. but this was an infantile and dependent emotion.Page 105 . Farming and Us . to this day.

conveniently. concern. linked both immortality and ancestor worship. and the legends about the origins of humankind. people would ‘join their fathers’ (note the male emphasis. It required the recognition by the males of their own offspring. People of special rank and merit. All of these emotions are entirely foreign to a strong male dominance hierarchy. At the time of death. it is never the ‘land of their mothers’) in the ‘life everlasting’. This concept was probably responsible for the first glimmerings of the idea of immortality. They had to be located somewhere. and the long-term anticipation that occurs only in and who had not been able to recognise their own offspring. would even be deified. these generations of ancestors are hierarchical. It is also conceivable that different personality types were beginning to emerge. This is undoubtedly the origin of ancestor worship. compassion. above all. Another major development in the males was the recognition of their own children. and Farming and Us . allegiance. In the major religions. increasing seniority.Page 106 . backwards in time. Obviously. and. Because of the father-child bond. and the very concept of parentage and fatherhood. a continuity of successive generations would also have been recognised. and increasing veneration. and emperors. kings. love. The child would carry on the father’s name. with an original ancestor of us all. and they have increasing age. Hence the concept of a heaven which. such as chiefs. these ancestors had to be given an existence. This was something entirely new. Newly dawning ideas such as these must have been awe-inspiring to males who had not previously formed pair bonds or love relationships.

responsibility. the female psychological changes were less acute than those of the males. the love. and the joy of it. the very fact that rape is traumatic indicates how far we have evolved away from the promiscuity of the chimpanzees.that they would react in different ways. concern.Page 107 . The non-authoritarian would relish the pair bond. the males could never be the same again. and compassion. that go with them. To some extent. and a new maturity. The authoritarian would stress the legitimacy. most men are strangely indifferent to the emotional suffering of their rivals in love. because they already knew about pair bonds with infants. and the feelings of love. Their lives had assumed a new complexity. The emotional turmoil that the newly emerging human species must have gone through beggars the imagination. Farming and Us . Indeed. that evolved by mutual reinforcement with the pair bonding behaviour strategy. sadly. The males themselves must have treated the pair bonds of other males with the callous disregard that goes with a male dominance hierarchy. already described. When pair bonds were real but vulnerable. and the immortality. many men are indifferent to the trauma that can be caused by rape. a new responsibility. And. altruism. the pedigree. they were likely to have been violated again and again by brutal. from which they could never turn back. But human females had to endure the many physical and physiological changes. The changes in human males were largely behavioural and psychological. dominating males who regarded rape as normal and natural. To this day. In either event.

was characterised by lust rather than love. socia lly acceptable remnants of the male dominance hierarchy. we may safely presume. No doubt. existed in historical times. and its mating behaviour. and by outlawing the more flagrant behaviour of dominating males. quite possibly. of Roman female slaves and Victorian servant girls. The old droit de Seigneur. Even so. In terms of evolutionary survival advantage and disadvantage. second only to slaves. As we have seen. And they strengthened it by making an institution of it. containing the most desirable women in the land. he had a prison. is another example. in an oriental court. behaved very much like an alpha male baboon. it is clear that. for example. a harem. in Farming and Us . such as the rape of married women. the bride’s husband was subservient to an extent that we find difficult to understand today. in which a medieval lord of the manor was entitled to the first night with any new bride among his people. and high-ranking men have usually felt free to exploit women of a lower rank in the hierarchy. This was true. But these are exceptions that will be explained shortly. Every community probably recognised the advantages of the pair bonding strategy. The king. And prostitutes have always ranked as one of the lowest social classes of them all. Sexual licence has often been associated with social hierarchies. he would even be pleased if his Seigneur had sired his firstborn.Our institution of marriage is probably very ancient for this reason. He would even be flattered by such a compliment and.Page 108 . reserved for his own exclusive enjoyment which.

This fact is demonstrated in terms of sheer numbers.Page 109 . and are faced with extinction. This level of cultural evolution is possible only with the entirely new. acquired culture. in a social mammal. Farming and Us . that still functions among the social apes and monkeys. and the parallel evolution of an entirely new. and of multiple bonding. inherited behaviour strategy of a highly advanced social altruism. the pair bonding strategy has won out in direct evolutionary competition with the older male dominance hierarchy.humans. Their total domination by the human species speaks volumes for the evolutionary survival advantage of the pair bond. explosively expanding. because many of these wild primate species are endangered.

3. by their children. for bad behaviour. And. as a punishment. And they are loved in return. strengthen. the pair bonds between husband and wife. As we have seen. of course.Page 110 . Nor can it be cast aside. Psychology Sex Was Sin One of the less attractive features of the traditional Christian beliefs is the idea that sex is sin. with great intensity. a third function of sex in humans is to form. Christian dogma. with a similar intensity. is sadly inaccurate in many ways because much of it reflects the poorly informed belief systems of people who lived two thousand or more years ago. as we have seen also. how did these first humans avoid incest? Ancient people were not in a position to understand that sex has important secondary functions. in addition to its primary function of procreation. and cement. When human pair bonds are successful. It cannot be withdrawn or withheld. and their children. if they did. A second function of sex is genetic recombination. Did Adam and Eve have any daughters? And. say. Love that is both intense Farming and Us . parents love each other. this love is unconditional. and the maintenance of variability that is essential for the process of evolution.

by their own inability to love. When adult. Some of the early Christians argued. and of unconditional love. The word that links sex and pair bonds is ‘love’. because they have never experienced love. when this love is inadequate. And this security is critically important in the development of their personalities. This emotional deprivation is a form of cultural inheritance. It is not easy to break this chain of causation. with cultural links from one generation to the next.and unconditional provides children with emotional security. and the level of authoritarianism is then extreme. the emotional security is also inadequate. because we speak of ‘making love’. between a husband and wife. they themselves have little ability to love. Not infrequently. Conversely. this kind of damage to a child’s personality can be very severe. Children who are inadequately loved by their parents grow up emotionally deprived. Love between spouses is greatly enhanced by sex. And one of the messages of this book is that the damage caused by this emotional deprivation is the main cause of an individual’s authoritarianism. without love. true pair bonds are impossible. The principle biological mechanism of pair bonding. that any sort of pleasure was sinful. it is almost synonymous with sex. and neurotic. and a child’s personality development is impaired. Indeed. And. and the pleasures of sex become mere lust. because sex Farming and Us . possibly even psychotic. with a singular lack of Christian charity.Page 111 . Nevertheless. is the pleasure of sex. They inevitably damage their own children in the same way.

Unfortunately. as part of their general belief system. self-denial must be individual and voluntary if it is to lead to spiritual advancement. Millions. they manage to convey a fear.Page 112 . the love relationships between parent and parent. There was possibly a case for declaring adultery to be sinful. it is entirely possible that the dogma of sex being sin has been responsible for more human misery than all the wars of history put together. this belief that sex is sin. Inadequate emotional security. After all. probably billions. is prudery. If it is imposed on everyone by an authoritarian religion. and to their children. inadequate love. Their love for each other is then flawed by this fear of sin. Both kinds of relationship are damaged by the idea that sex is sin. Self-denial in sex was imposed on all Christians. of people have suffered horrible deprivations as a result. but Christianity declared all sex to be sinful. This absurd belief was harmless enough so long as a few individual anchorites kept it to themselves. this is exactly what happened throughout Christendom. because their children are apparently the products of sin. self-denial backfires. it became the greatest sin of all. to the extent that sex was declared positively sinful. as part of their own private regimen of self-denial. and the love relationships between each parent and the child. both to each other. is the cause of many of the neuroses and Farming and Us . The emotional security of an infant is heavily dependent on these two essential factors. One of the symptoms of this malaise.provides the greatest pleasure of all. Indeed. of sex. When parents are prudish. even an abhorrence. And their love for their children is also flawed.

even worse fears. When the early Christians declared sex to be sin. the Church Fathers apparently overlooked the fact that sex is necessary for good pair bonds. even within marriage. There was fear of sin. a fear imposed by celibate. who were made even poorer by having too many mouths to feed. This fear was greatest among the poor.psychological problems that originate during infancy. this bizarre belief about sex being sin. some of the Church Fathers went even further. in Western society. Sex was the only pleasure in life that poverty-stricken people could afford. has been a major cause of them. In trying to control irresponsible procreation. authoritarian priests. because of an increased authoritarianism. And the ecclesiastical reassurance that “God will provide” was just a horrible lie. Unfortunately. in humans. and it must have done very considerable damage to the fabric of society. they completely failed to understand that. any attempt to prevent conception was interfering with the will of God. This was a denial of our evolution. and the prospect of yet another mouth to feed was not a sufficient deterrent to make them abstain. and the prudery that it has induced. And people who are denied sex cannot maintain pair bonds. and divine punishment. and this too was a sin. there were other. Declaring sex to be sin was tantamount to declaring pair bonds to be sin. sex has several functions. They declared that. male. Sex became associated with fear. And. The Church Fathers may have decided that this was the Farming and Us .Page 113 . The concept of sex being sin may have originated in the problem of over-population. For an unmarried woman.

someone had to be blamed. unmarried priests. would not have understood that any attempt to reduce sex would also undermine pair bonds. sex dreams often involved real people who then became succubae. who then exorcised them with special prayers and rituals. These visitations were believed to be the result of spells and magic. and then either burnt alive. Very often. And. if they were male. an innocent old woman was made a scapegoat. For example.Page 114 .only feasible method of restricting population growth. He showed exceptional intellectual courage by studying Farming and Us . They had to be confessed to a priest. This new scientific approach was initiated by Sigmund Freud. The ruling ecclesiastics. If she drowned. and that the practice was stopped. if they were female. who became famous as the first modern psychologist. It was only as recently as the seventeenth century that the evils of witch-hunting were recognised. and she would be executed in some other way. being celibate. no doubt. and the inventor of psychoanalysis. she would be declared guilty. and she would be condemned as a witch. when the idea of sex being sin was widely accepted. and the development and maintenance of love relationships. and punished. she would be declared innocent and. during times of over-crowding. the symptoms and neuroses of sexual deprivation were attributed to devils and witchcraft. More recently. and incubi. if she did not drown. or subjected to the ducking stool to determine her guilt. And it was only a century ago that the neuroses due to sexual deprivation began to be examined scientifically.

Sex was sin. and had to be hidden in crinolines. murky. Prudes are appalled by nudity and all the bodily functions that are associated with nudity. Nevertheless.human sex at a time when prudery was intense. The magnitude of Freud’s achievement can only be appreciated if the intensity of the prudery in his time is also appreciated. A nun was forbidden to see her own body. to replace the male genitals of antique statues. and various other symptoms of sexual deprivation. as a result. prudes suffer acute embarrassment. In its more extreme forms. he made psychology respectable and. Molière could write of a lady who was so prudish that she segregated the books of male and female authors in her library. The real importance of Freud’s work was that it so reduced prudery in Western society that the neuroses that are due to sexual deprivation no longer predominate. he was criticised for daring even to discuss. They are totally unable to discuss these matters and. It was only after this had happened that Farming and Us . was perhaps the most stupid example of them all. prudery became a tragic farce. even obliquely. and that prudery. let alone investigate. And the careful carving of marble fig leaves.Page 115 . are steadily disappearing from Western society. and unmentionable aspects of life. and was required to wear a shift when she took a bath. Some of the more absurd examples were that piano legs were thought suggestive. what were then considered the seamy. the emancipation of sex was slowly accepted. Inevitably. if anyone else mentions them. It is a measure of Freud’s success that few people now consider sex to be sinful.

He was responsible for the idea of the inferiority complex. Farming and Us . That is. Freud’s belief in the central role of sex in psychological problems was challenged during his own lifetime. and the need for other. at the age of eighty-two. of Nazi persecution of the Jews. and about five million others. he still had no explanation. and only after the Nazi holocaust. But this happened too late for Freud himself to appreciate it. in particular. The psychology of this kind of behaviour was investigated only after World War II. and an inferiority complex induced compensating behaviour that was unnecessarily aggressive and hostile. Freud was unable to provide a psychological explanation of Nazi behaviour and. he merely commented that “you cannot tell what a madman will do”. which had killed six million of Freud’s coreligionists. In men of short stature. Freud had to flee his native Vienna because he was a Jew. and he attached significance to the fact that Hitler had lived in Vienna for many years in great misery. and Alfred Adler preferred to emphasise the way in which individuals compensate for their deficiencies.other kinds of neurosis became prominent. In fact. Of Hitler. Carl Jung had different ideas. Although he was a psychologist. In 1938. When Freud died in London a year later. and the Nazis had conquered Austria. including emotional deficiencies. it is often called the Napoleon complex. This term originally referred to the compensation that was produced from feelings of inferiority. the term was defined by its cause. for example. quite different kinds of psychological investigation became apparent.Page 116 . during infancy and childhood.

of course. and people popularly think of an inferiority complex leading to behaviour that is shy and retiring. The term is now valueless for this reason. an upward urge that people have within their own society. California. no suggestion of upward drive. hence. Perhaps Adler’s most important contribution was the concept of the aggressive drive. describing the complex by its symptoms. very close to a description of dominance hierarchies.Modern usage has completely reversed this meaning.W. should be avoided. and the altruistic and egalitarian social control of small hunter-gatherer bands. and both it. Adorno and his colleagues in Berkeley. our inherited instincts are the exact opposite of Adler’s contention. The Authoritarian Personality A new approach to psychology began with a book written by T. He was. He did not appreciate that it was a cultural necessity. the superiority complex. imposed on human societies by authoritarianism.Page 117 . Nor did he appreciate that it was a failure of our true instincts to achieve a social control by altruism. under the conditions of over-crowding produced by agriculture. and the urge that people have to increase their own ranks within those hierarchies. that have no suggestion of ranks or hierarchy and. and that it was of primary psychological importance. They involve pair bonds. Adler suggested that this drive was an inherited instinct. and its converse. and published in 1950 Farming and Us . But he was wrong in thinking that this upward drive was an instinct. Indeed.

This does not mean that Freud was wrong. liberal. Else Frenkel-Brunswik. Jaensch believed that the J-personality was an inherited characteristic. It means only that Freud’s explanations were incomplete. with such original and pioneering work). typical of the North Germans. when it first appeared. recognised two basic personality types. from the point of view of the Nazis. Levinson. on the other hand. eccentric. which he called the J-personality and the S-personality. Daniel J. Inc. And that the S-personality was the result of Farming and Us . & R. nevertheless. He described the J-personality as having characteristics that were “admirable”. Nevitt Sanford. This is not a readable book but. it is now a classic and. ISBN 0-393-00492-9). and entirely forgivable.Page 118 . but this was both inevitable. how was it possible that such behaviour could occur in a region as cultured and civilised as Europe? The ideas of the Adorno group apparently originated in the work of a forgotten Nazi psychologist called Jaensch. The S-personality. whose outlook was thoroughly warped by Nazi ideology. W. Adorno. This man. he was wrong in some particulars.. Harper & Row. it was a clear indication that theoretical psychology was moving away from the Freudian belief in the central role of sex. Adorno’s book describes the results of research that was undertaken because of the agonising question of how the Nazi holocaust could possibly have happened in the twentieth century. and had other “regrettable” tendencies. (In fact. was artistic. Furthermore.(The Authoritarian Personality by T. 1950.

democratic. Nevitt Sanford. who is individualistic. flexible. the Adorno group also recognised the nonauthoritarian.Page 119 . unprejudiced. particularly the Jews. and compassion. The type is typically rigid in intellect. The type is. and tolerant. It is also insensitive. Adorno and his colleagues recognised a personality type that displays extreme respect for authority. prejudiced in outlook. this kind of personality can also be very efficient. When given clear and unambiguous orders. in a word. they did seminal research on the kind of personality that made a typical Nazi. a typical Nazi. and is utterly obedient to that authority. egalitarian. and that it was typical of inferior races. conventional in behaviour. which they renamed the authoritarian personality. in the Berkeley campus of the University of California. and it lacks warmth. and mixed heredity. and intolerant of any ambiguity or weakness. When Hitler suppressed the Frankfurt Institute for Social Psychology.inter-racial contamination. At this point. In contrast. the J-personality of Jaensch. its Director. Mark Horkheimer. and his colleagues Erich Fromm and Theodor Wiesengrun Adorno. sympathy. At the instigation of the American Jewish Committee. emigrated to the United States where they teamed up with R. it may be necessary to emphasise again that many of the descriptions in this book represent the two extremes of a spectrum. unfeeling towards others. compassionate. Readers Farming and Us . and that a spectrum has all degrees of difference between its extremes. This personality type believes in blind submission to authority.

Furthermore. and that there is a spectrum with all degrees of difference between the two extremes of being totally wanted and being totally unwanted. who has had little or no experience of love relationships during infancy and childhood. a lack of emotional security. Farming and Us . It is a result of inadequate bonds. or to a group. However. There seems to be little doubt that the syndrome of the authoritarian personality results mainly from emotional deprivation during infancy and childhood.must not feel compelled to identify with either extreme. or to a pet. particularly. and children who were unwanted before birth can easily become loved and wanted after all. The majority of us possess some of the ill effects of authoritarianism in our personalities. Extreme authoritarians are incapable of feeling love for a fellow human being. the term ‘unwanted children’ is taken to mean children whose personalities have been significantly damaged by a lack of emotional security during infancy and childhood. such as their country. Equally. or to a belief system. a lack of love. we must recognise also that there are degrees of being wanted. and will usually devote love only to impersonal symbols. a lack of security and.Page 120 . such as their national flag. is usually unable to form love relationships with either spouse or children when adult. But this does not make us Nazis. An authoritarian. Throughout this book. But this does not make us saints. such as their religion. attitudes can change. or a regiment. a political party. the majority of us possess some of the good effects of non-authoritarianism in our personalities.

This is the value. from generation to generation. There are. is a form of cultural inheritance. that the computer automatically adopts unless instructed otherwise. but others include knowledge. controlled by genes. and neuroses. or behaviour. The first is genetic inheritance. if nothing better is available . religion. skills. and that this is the inherited. there is cultural inheritance. without being taught. lacking love relationships. It is a kind of behavioural safety net that a child can fall into. three kinds of inheritance. when all else fails. which involves the passing of cultural characteristics from one generation to the next.There can be no doubt that authoritarianism. will then fall into this safety net. Finally. The most obvious of these characteristics is language. It is a system of behaviour that any young social primate will develop automatically. Authoritarianism would then be what computer scientists call the ‘default value’. and control relationships. This chain of causation.Page 121 . Next is the legal inheritance of possessions from someone deceased. behavioural. It is probable that every human infant has a nascent authoritarianism at birth. default value. usually a parent. Farming and Us . It seems that it is also a system that a deprived human infant will develop automatically. This nascent authoritarianism develops only in the absence of love relationships. apparently without any need of being taught. These children. of course. represent a very basic behaviour strategy among wild social primates. Parents who are strongly authoritarian are unable to form love relationships with their children. and become authoritarians in their turn.

in which everyone knew everyone. With good emotional security. when the only examples available to the child are control relationships. and it is lost. it is quite clear that human infants are born with a nascent ability to love. Consequently. None of us can remember much that happened before we reached the age of three or four. a child’s ability to love and trust others becomes highly developed. the nascent authoritarianism becomes redundant. there is a very natural tendency for Farming and Us . where everyone had good reason to distrust everyone else. never develop. and all relationships were either love or trust relationships. just as the vestigial gills and tail disappear from a human foetus. When nonauthoritarian parents provide emotional security for an infant. with good pair bonds.Page 122 . and unconditional love. for example. This would have been the culturally inherited norm. and strong love relationships. the child’s need to control others. Equally. And its nascent authoritarianism withers away. Such children are actually taught control relationships and. With strong emotional security. This ability to love can also receive positive reinforcement from learning. in a band of hunter-gatherers. in an ancient oriental court. And the nascent ability to love begins to grow. which is the result of some two or more million years of the Darwinian evolution of pair bonds and human social altruism. they will become very authoritarian indeed. and its sense of a dominance hierarchy. if they have no experience of love relationships. This would have been the culturally inherited norm.A child’s nascent authoritarianism can be strengthened very considerably by learning.

With constant and positive reinforcement from unloving. teachers. Emotional security in infancy may leave no trace whatever in the conscious memory. this is usually difficult. that there are two prime causes of authoritarianism. authoritarian parents. and it has to fall back on the safety net of the inherited authoritarianism. just as the senses of hearing and smell become abnormally developed in a child born blind. With poor emotional security. It seems. or love relationships of any kind. a child cannot learn trust and love. They have such unpleasant personalities that they are difficult to love. We usually have great pity and sympathy for a person born without sight. the inherited and the cultural.parents to believe that anything that happens to a child before that age is unimportant. the child’s sense of control relationships then becomes abnormally developed. This false belief is based on the idea that memory is the only factor controlling behaviour. It is false because it makes no distinction between the conscious and the subconscious. therefore. priests. or that he himself ever experienced love for someone else. Perhaps we should have equal pity and sympathy for a person born without pair bonds. Many Germans admired Hitler. and a lack of pair bonds. but it is still of fundamental importance in the development of personality. and companions.Page 123 . often to the point of adulation and devotion. siblings. The same was true of Stalin. But it is doubtful if anyone ever loved him. Farming and Us . Sadly. because these deprived individuals are so very authoritarian.

and the learning. are considerably more difficult to develop. as part of the growth process. Equally. with no knowledge of love. are unavailable to someone born without emotional security. Tragically. control relationships will develop naturally in a child. with literacy. it seems. if they are to develop at all. and a knowledge of wonderful books. A non-authoritarian. love. and discovered the world of great literature. And to bring up an authoritarian. and of love relationships. Farming and Us . who grows up an extreme authoritarian. When there is nothing better.Control relationships are probably very easy to develop. Such a person can spend an entire lifetime enjoying the delights of reading. is equivalent to a person who has never learnt to read. while love and trust relationships. these delights are unavailable to an illiterate. requires no effort either. require considerably more time and effort than do the teaching and learning of literacy. of love relationships. is equivalent to a person who has both learnt to read. the delights of love.Page 124 . But love relationships apparently need constant effort. perhaps. A useful comparison can be made. Similarly. the delights of a world of great music are unavailable to someone born deaf. An authoritarian. and nonauthoritarianism. No doubt. and even more tragically. both the teaching. On the other hand. but it was never developed. who has powerful love relationships. who has only control relationships. or love relationships. and reinforcement. The inherited ability to learn how to read was undoubtedly present. to bring up an illiterate requires no effort at all. and if they are to grow to their full potential.

cold. subconscious fear of other people. and to keep everyone in exactly their present rank. This anxiety is a direct consequence of emotional insecurity. They feel threatened by change. fear of the future. fear of change. and it occurs with a distressingly high frequency. in this sense of the term. fear of the unknown. There is a further suggestion that the principle cause of authoritarian behaviour throughout adulthood is an enduring state of subconscious anxiety. Authoritarians are protecting themselves from a more or less constant. that anxiety will inevitably persist throughout their lives.Page 125 . fear of their environment. and it can persist for the authoritarian’s entire life. is Farming and Us . and a lack of emotional security. Inadequate pair bonds between parent and parent. and sickness. Physical deprivation. Many neuroses can be defined as unnecessary anxiety and. fear.There is thus a strong suggestion that authoritarian behaviour derives mainly from a lack of love. There are. of course. Security for them is to keep everything exactly as it is at present. fear of the new. This inadequacy of love is a terrible form of childhood deprivation. and even fear of success. as well as between parents and child. The fact that the anxiety is unnecessary is irrelevant. during infancy and childhood. hunger. The only achievement they willingly recognise consists of climbing the ranks of one’s own hierarchy. mean that authoritarians are anxious from the time of their earliest sensations. authoritarian behaviour is a form of neurosis. And. without psychotherapy. two kinds of childhood deprivation. involving poverty.

but it also includes sexual abuse. child abuse. Emotionally deprived children are insecure. even in wealthy societies. all around us. all the time. guilt. shame. Emotional deprivation can be passive. resulting from deliberate child abuse. For non-authoritarians. whether physical or emotional. This often leads to the “poor little rich kid” syndrome. but who are sadly deprived emotionally. It is a Farming and Us . and fear. and being made to stand in the corner. Child abuse also can be either physical or emotional. or utter blood-curdling threats as a warning. is just as important. Physical abuse usually involves pain from beating. There are very many children born of wealthy. But to ensure that a child has physical security is not enough. it occurs commonly. was a typical humiliation imposed by authoritarian school teachers. And yet. Or it can be active. or merely affluent.distressingly common. Emotional deprivation in childhood is possibly even more common than physical deprivation. is simply too horrible to contemplate. Emotional abuse of children occurs with deliberately inflicted humiliation. in our sadly imperfect world. The traditional dunce’s cap. Some abusing parents lock their child in a dark cupboard as a punishment. and baby battering. and they grow up to become adults who have more or less constant feelings of insecurity.Page 126 . resulting from a mere absence of love. Emotional security. parents who have complete physical security. and repeatedly. which stems from a child’s deep subconscious certainty of being truly and unconditionally loved.

financial security. his behaviour towards his family was abominable by modern standards. Farming and Us . and they know exactly how to behave towards each other. This very real sense of security often means that the institution becomes more important to an authoritarian than his parents or siblings. and they usually choose self-employment.prominent feature of authoritarian systems. it controls them with the continual threat of a withdrawal of security from those who do not conform and obey. or even his spouse and offspring. old age security. a degree of emotional security. with all this. but also its freedoms. and this too provides security. and there is not the slightest doubt that his job. They feel sufficiently secure to be individualistic. they positively dislike it. with all its associated risks. and entrepreneurs. The system provides employment security. Indeed. Indeed. creative people. This security both attracts authoritarians into the system and.Page 127 . such as artists. or the military. housing security and. and his rank (which was well-earned) meant more to him than his family. because all of these men know their place. that they provide authoritarian individuals with actual security. and the thrills of living dangerously. usually avoid this kind of group security because they have little need for it. Hitler’s father was an official in the authoritaria n customs service of Austria. There is also a rigid male dominance hierarchy. It is noteworthy that non-authoritarian. food security. equally important to the organisation. inventors. the civil service. such as the priesthood.

he was the nineteenth century German equivalent of America’s twentieth century Dr Benjamin Spock. quite obviously. In a very restricted sense. employees. we should so organise them that they attract nonauthoritarians. which are renewed. and least authoritarian. Schreber was an equally influential paediatrician whose books and pamphlets also sold in large numbers. our religious establishments. with considerable inducements.Page 128 . While Spock encouraged mothers to feel affection for their babies. the various United Nations agencies. Dr Daniel Moritz Schreber Dr Daniel Moritz Schreber (1801-1861) was an extreme authoritarian. huge business corporations. whose Common Sense Book of Baby and Child-Care sold millions of copies in many editions. and discourage authoritarians. If we really want to improve our civil service. Schreber was also obsessed with the idea that sex is sin and. They attract authoritarians and repel non-authoritarians. and in many languages. Schreber was callous and cruel almost beyond belief. There can be little Farming and Us . and similar bureaucracies. He actively recommended practices that are now regarded as child abuse. our military. and replace them with highly paid. short-term employment contracts. But there was a fundamental difference between these two men. The way to do this is to abolish all those inducements that contribute to security. the only relationships he knew were control relationships.This is why authoritarian systems are self-sustaining. only for the most valuable.

Children had to be constantly reminded of their faults and misbehaviour. In a word. with their hands outside the covers. Love relationships were verboten. Indeed. and that constant criticism was good for them. and “repeated corporal punishment”. Fear. A child should be fed three times a day and must eat everything put before it. Schreber had a stock of frequently used key phrases such as “unyielding severity”. At meals. guilt and shame were recommended as tools in the control of a child. “absolute discipline”. and to achieve unqualified obedience. We can be forgiven for Farming and Us . but must be always visible on the table. in order to prevent the “destructive evil” of masturbation.Page 129 . Schreber believed that children should never be praised. The purpose of child training was to master the child. children’s hands must never rest obscenely in the lap. One of them committed suicide. starting at the age of three months. Schreber brought up his own two sons in this way. One was used to force children to sleep on their backs. Cold baths were recommended. the rearing of children must involve the strictest of control relationships. “severe admonition”. and was the subject of a book by Sigmund Freud. “unconditional obedience”. Schreber also believed that posture was important and he designed a series of harnesses to control children. during the nineteenth century.doubt that he contributed hugely to the authoritarian attitudes of Germans. much of Spock’s writing was an implicit refutation of Schreber. as well as other Central European nationalities. The other spent most of his life in insane asylums.

it would be wrong to conclude that Schreber reflected the attitude of all Germans. in 1836. and the word ‘kindergarten’ has entered many languages. This indicates how very authoritarian the nineteenth century really was. and Himmler. it must be remembered that authoritarianism was common at that time. It also indicates how much progress we have made since that time. Emotional Security and Modern Medicine There seems to be little doubt that emotional security in infancy is of prime importance in personality development. and to damage parent-child bonds. Stalin. some doctors have done their level best to destroy this infantile emotional security. in an incredible perversion of psychology.Page 130 . Yet. This attitude Farming and Us . natural. Although Schreber was very influential. and enjoyable experience for children. Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) was a German educator who established the first kindergarten.speculating how much the parents of men such as Hitler. and it was intended to make learning a spontaneous. Froebel’s methods have now been copied all over the world. They even produced the extraordinary notion that anything that happens before the development of conscious memory cannot influence the development of a child’s personality. To quote just one contrary example. and humanity. in Blankenburg. Equally. His teaching was based on love. had been influenced by Schreber. and his recommendations fell on fertile ground.

Yet the medical profession alone is responsible for the circumcision of hundreds of millions of boy children in the West. for the convenience of the medical staff.can be explained only by an extreme authoritarianism in the doctors concerned. possibly irrevocably. In the past. Farming and Us . to say nothing of a probable reduction in sexual pleasure and gratification.Page 131 . might even be allowed to look at his baby. If this is not the abuse of innocent children. There is no sound medical evidence to justify such a cruel and unnecessary practice. through a glass screen. And the fact that circumcision is practised in other human societies is in no way relevant. Such a trauma is certain to damage an infant’s emotional security. But many maternity homes would not allow this. who had been forbidden to be present at the birth. no doubt. more or less continuously. formulated. in a room full of other howling babies. and left to howl. There is also circumstantial evidence that the operation itself is traumatic. Perhaps the worst of these offences is the continuing practice of circumcising male infants. Another instance of medical perversion towards help less children was the incredibly stupid rule that a baby must be fed every four hours. and there is some evidence that the loss of the foreskin leads to subsequent problems. The infant must be put in a crib. maternity homes have had some horrible rules. I really do not know how else to describe abuse. The father. for the first days of its life. The best treatment for a newborn baby is to nestle in its mother’s arms.

No matter how much the hungry baby cried for food. and left in solitude and insecurity in its crib. the medics said. It may also contain toxins. substances that are still not discovered. And millions of infants have been maltreated in this way. it could not be fed until the clock gave permission for another meal. just because authoritarian doctors said it was the right thing to do. possibly essential. But the damage done to its personality is probably impossible to assess. There can be little doubt that the ‘formula’ food lacked substances that had not even been discovered at that time. The infant must be taught to sleep alone. And mother’s milk probably contains many other valuable. its terrible fear of having been abandoned must be ignored. These substances. and its feelings of total insecurity may not be alleviated. It was more hygienic. Eventually.and only at four-hour intervals. after some weeks of such ‘education’. Then there was a lot of nonsense about bottle -feeding in preference to breast-feeding. emanating from the pesticide industry. which was supposedly superior to mother’s milk. No more food until exactly four hours had elapsed. There has also been a lot of cruelty concerning an infant’s self-reliance in sleep. after all. are the result of more than sixty million years of mammalian evolution. Parents would agonise over the child’s wailing but the doctors were adamant. This ‘teaching’ meant that the lonely infant’s sobbing must be deliberately disregarded.Page 132 . The bottles contained ‘formula’ food. but which are present in mother’s milk. the child would no longer cry each evening. Farming and Us . when it was abandoned.

None of us can remember this critical period of our lives. or of the joy that non-authoritarian parents can obtain by ensuring that their infants have complete emotional security. and non-authoritarian doctors. when both the child and the mother are only half-awake. these authoritarian male doctors knew nothing of the feelings of maternity. or comprehend. totally. women doctors. contact. Wiser councils are prevailing. and unconditionally loved. and safety that the infant must feel is crucial to its conviction of being truly.Consider the alternative. and these barbaric practices are disappearing. But it is clear that those of us who were deprived of this emotional security in our infancy can never fully appreciate. No doubt. germ Farming and Us . Just like the priests. That infant can breast feed any time it wants. Fortunately. who dreamed up this inhuman treatment of helpless infants. recognise. and our abnormality. Authoritarian doctors. our loss. to say nothing of atomic bombs. are now becoming common. our inadequacy. because they knew nothing of the role of sex in strengthening the pair bonds between parents. At the very least. which involves an infant sleeping in its parents’ bed.Page 133 . The sense of warmth. are akin to the celibate and authoritarian priests who declared sex to be sin. this is because of the many millions of innocent people killed during the first and second world wars. and in a manner that gives intense pleasure to both. security. of emotional security in infancy. inter-continental ballistic missiles. the baby’s crib should be next to its parents’ bed. The twentieth century has been described by many as the blackest age in history. nerve gasses.

An ingroup may be a street gang. Humankind is a social Farming and Us . has also made a significant contribution to the twentieth century’s baleful reputation. Congress Cat. Allport. a religious sect. This book is essentially about what happens when authoritarian personalities gang up together. Mass. which was such a serious problem in the United States at that time. However. But an authoritarian medical profession. religious hatreds. He saw that authoritarian individuals obtain a sense of security from belonging to a special kind of group called an ingroup. Ingroups and Outgroups One of the more important contributions that coincided with The Authoritarian Personality was a book published in 1954 by Harvard psychologist Gordon W. or any association of people who regard themselves as being socially. called The Nature of Prejudice (AddisonWesley Publishing Company. or genetically linked. 1954.Page 134 .. But he also wrote about other prejudices. a nation. a politic al party. Allport was concerned with racial prejudice and. No. 54-5626). which so brutally damaged the emotional security of millions of innocent and helpless infants. and other horrors. it must be emphasised immediately that not all social groups are ingroups. a trade union. such as anti-Semitism. religiously. with colour prejudice. more specifically. geographically. Allport’s main contribution was to recognise the importance of the social group and to study it in detail. linguistically. Lib. and sexual discrimination. Reading.warfare. politically.

Both the cohesion of an ingroup. as individuals. This situation is the familiar ‘us and them’. it is the authoritarian behaviour that is responsible for the distinctive features of an ingroup. the Farming and Us . An individualist. different groups called outgroups. An essential feature of ingroupism is that there are always other. The stronger the ingroupism. and without their ingroup. These are all things that authoritarians are unable to find for themselves. because he has them already. this means that people have a highly developed altruism. when the authoritarianism is extreme. an ingroup can be very dangerous. they feel utterly lost. the converse of ingroupism is individualism.Page 135 . An ingroup is a special kin d of social group that is made up of authoritarians. a sense of control. in biological terms. and that they are mutually concerned and mutually supportive. An ingroup provides an authoritarian with a strong sense of security. As we shall see. Indeed. on the other hand. as an integral part of his personality. and the sense of security that it engenders. And. and a sense of stability. Nevertheless. Allport recognised that the key to the entire study of prejudice is the hostility that occurs within ingroups towards outgroups.species and. one of the more important features of the ingroup is the fact that individuality tends to be suppressed. are enhanced by feelings of hostility towards an outgroup. It must be emphasised also that many ingroups are only mildly authoritarian. within social groups. does not require these things. And authoritarians are not altruistic. and are relatively harmless.

500 murders by lynching. Jane Goodall has discovered that this kind of senseless murder also occurs among wild chimpanzees. This hostility is the source of most prejudice and a lot of hate. Gypsies. The hostility towards outgroups probably derives very largely from the subconscious anger of an authoritarian upbringing. war. Think of Hitler. religious intolerance. and homosexuals within Germany. Occasionally. and isolated. The lynching of escaped slaves used to be common in the Deep South of the United States. and genocide. Think too of Osama Bin Laden. perhaps. member of an outgroup. and all sense of justice. the hostility can reach pathological extremes. It is seen at its nastiest. defenceless. The Nazis directed their aggressive feelings mainly towards the Jews. and the Ku Klux Klan is reputed to have committed 1. murder. Another characteristic of ingroupism is that a child’s upbringing is dominated by a sense of submission to the supremacy of the ingroup. In its more extreme forms it is xenophobia.greater is the hostility. innocent. lynching. It must be appreciated also that this child is compelled to grow up Farming and Us . But they also hated other outgroups such as communists. when an isolated member of one group strays too close to the male members of another group. This ingroup hostility towards the members of an outgroup is the basis of ethnic jokes. in order to kill a cornered. and war. which are deliberately diverted by the ingroup leaders towards a prominent outgroup. in a lynch mob that can suppress all humanity. and to all other nationalities outside Germany.Page 136 . racism. It is manifested mainly as aggressive feelings. and it can lead to violence.

When Dr Johnson spoke of “the insolence of wealth. I spent five years in Nazi-occupied Europe. They are often great philanderers. hypocrisy. This is because its parents would never belong to the ingroup. as its parents. The arrogance of the Nazis towards the Jews. self-satisfied conceit that was repulsive in the extreme. as a teenager. was a typical symptom of extreme ingroupism. and some very nasty ingroups. and the arrogance of power”. were they non-authoritarians. In fact. as well as levels of conceit. and self-satisfaction that are insufferable. Such men do not hesitate to steal a woman from someone of lower rank in their hierarchy. And this child will obviously develop the same prejudices. The members of the ingroup then devel p superiority o prejudices. But they dare not interfere with a woman belonging to anyone of superior rank. although they expect their wives to be both loyal and faithful.Page 137 . If the woman is a Farming and Us . this kind of elitist behaviour has been known for the whole of recorded history. and hostilities. This perpetuation of prejudices from one generation to the next is yet another form of cultural inheritance.authoritarian. The members of the outgroup are labelled as inferior. and the people of their conquered countries. The male members of an ingroup usually love to emphasise their virility. Aggressiveness towards an outgroup creates a sense of superiority among the members of the ingroup. he was obviously referring to the superiority prejudices of some very nasty authoritarians. Nazi arrogance was accompanied by a smug. I speak from personal experience because.

They also like to believe that their own ingroup will survive. The family is very inward looking. the victim “must have asked for it”. when a rape occurs. The members of that family are very close. but that all outgroups will be destroyed. We are the sweet selected few. even criminally. however. and that the members of all outgroups will go to hell. Many believe that heaven is reserved exclusively for them. at the time of Armageddon.member of an outgroup. self-centred. the last judgement. These authoritarian men have the sexual mores of apes. These human males believe that rape is normal and natural and that. There’s room in hell for you. and the end of the world. anything is permissible. and they believe it to be hostile. which can be very authoritarian indeed. The members of most religious sects believe quite sincerely that they are the elect. proud. and it tends to treat outsiders dishonestly. and avaricious. They think of the rest of the world as ‘out there’. the favourites of their god. An authoritarian family often constitutes an ingroup. and they will defend each other with fierce loyalty against any outsider. The rest of you be damned. The entire family is likely to share absurd Farming and Us . A closely similar sense of superiority and elitism can occur with religious ingroups.Page 138 . We won’t have Heaven crammed.

The prejudices that occur in any ingroup are invariably false. even children. and almost entirely beyond the power of rational discussion. are the ties of ingroup security. but a prejudiced person is unable to see this. often with car bombs that randomly slaughter innocent people. rather than love relationships. and no Christians. It seems that this hostility is also necessary for the cohesion and preservation of the ingroup. or humanity. But. compassion. For example. Each ingroup has tended to kill indiscriminately. and denigrating outsiders. without any pretence at justice. and these opinions are largely impervious to any reasoning or contradictory evidence. But the hostility they feel for each other is apparently incurable. for decades. because the prejudice has no genuine foundation. the hostility is entirely unjust. which hold the members of such a family together. 600. this hostility has been so great that it has even been said that Northern Ireland has 800.prejudices favouring themselves. The prejudiced person or group has fixed opinions regarding certain issues. Christian Irishmen have been killing Christian Irishmen. Indeed. Ingroup prejudices exist to sustain hostility towards outgroups. An outsider can easily recognise that a prejudice is inconsistent with the facts. The belief systems of these two ingroups differ in only the trivial details that separate one Christian sect from another. But the ties. and thereby to strengthen the sense of ingroup security. in Northern Ireland. The relationships within the family are control relationships.Page 139 .000 Protestants.000 Catholics. Farming and Us .

Palestine and the Lebanon. to their shame. But I wish the Israelis and Palestinians would understand that the rest of the world is sick and tired of hearing about their primitive ingroupism. These two ingroups hate each other with hostilities that go back for centuries. death. as well as members of outgroups. in the general area of Israel. Jews. while the Greek Orthodox Serbs sided with the Russians.In the area that used to be called Yugoslavia. are equally isolated. these ingroups inevitably broke into open warfare. hated. Recognition signals. and their silly but nasty squabbles. and Christians have comparable ingroup hostilities. These headlines. both quickly and easily. are concerned primarily with war. and destruction. and the health of the entire world has clearly improved. and hating. are Farming and Us . It has been said that the finest bill of health that a country can have is never to hit the international headlines. the best bill of health that the world can have is the comment that “there is no news”. The Catholic Croats sided with the Germans during World War II. there are three different ingroups with even greater hostilities. with inexcusable acts of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and genocide. Another aspect of ingroupism is that the members of an ingroup need to recognise each other. Since the end of the Cold War. And the Muslims. Similarly. there has been a constant dearth of news. terrorism. and ease of identification. With the end of the dictatorial control of Tito. Muslims. Israel and Palestine have been hitting the international headlines practically every day for some fifty years. By the same token.Page 140 . who are remnants of the old Ottoman Empire.

such as skin pigmentation. non-authoritarian social groups do not need Farming and Us . If visual and audible differences do not occur naturally. The ancient Greeks placed greater emphasis on the winner. often produce audible recognition signals. A typical visual signal is the national flag. Some ingroups depend on innate. who have needed help. they have to be invented. Many of these anthems are ancient. national anthems. uniform. Uniforms give an identity to an ingroup and. characteristically. and ingroupism. (And most tourists. and they have verses which are now embarrassing in their jingoism. are also important as recognition signals. for identification. or the lack of it.consequently important aspects of ingroupism. Anxious tourists in a foreign country can easily recognise the surge of strong but irrational ingroup security they feel when they first see their national flag flying at their embassy. Musical instruments. such as language. idiom. One of the less attractive features of the modern Olympic games is the great emphasis put on national flags. is used to describe both ingroup dress and homogeneity. The most common of the visual ingroup recognition signals is the uniform. The music most frequently associated with ingroup recognition is a national anthem. It is no accident that the one word. and accent within a language. and they paid scant attention to his place of origin. Audible characteristics. as an individual. and the slang. such as bugles and the Scottish bagpipes.Page 141 . have experienced irrational disappointment over the indifference of their embassy and consulate bureaucrats). visible features.

They like to conform. Authoritarians love uniforms because they impose conformity on to every member of the ingroup. on the other hand. Their uniforms are in the nature of robes of office. need quick visual recognition in order to function effectively. including the Hitler Youth. They like to be comfortable. and Scottish tartans. Non-authoritaria ns. The military and the priesthood are also great lovers of uniforms. such as policemen. banners. Even people who are only mildly authoritarian are usually conventional. Many religious sects have distinct dress.uniforms. and formal in their dress. However. priestly robes. Under Chairman Mao. and soccer fans. are idiosyncratic and individualistic in their dress. in Princeton. and to dress alike. often of an antique style. Social workers. not all uniforms are due to ingroupism. Ingroups that do not have a uniform usually have some other form of identification. However. Every branch of the Nazi Party. Think of all those military uniforms. On sunny days. or an order. the entire adult population of China was clothed uniformly. Other ingroups may have more discreet recognition signals. had its own uniform. Farming and Us . And most uniforms have marked differences to indicate rank. and nurses. this does not preclude authoritarians within these professions from relishing the ingroup attributes that their uniforms may imply. and to hell with appearances. Einstein used to walk to work with bare feet in bedroom slippers.Page 142 . such as the prominent scarves. conservative. such as a lapel badge indicating membership of a club. postmen. or rosettes of party political supporters.

Conformity. and it is then permissible to feel hostility towards him. often for the flimsiest of reasons. and he is treated as if he no longer existed. the freedom that the young of today have to dress as they please is a good indication of declining authoritarianism. and other drugs. and their style of dress is often markedly different from that of their elders. Nevertheless. The shunned person also ceases to be a member of the ingroup. and they can drive teenagers into such things as dangerous driving. he is expelled from the ingroup. Farming and Us . When a non-conforming member is shunned. With ignominy. Shunning occasionally involves one spouse but not the other. because of peer pressures. uniformity. alcohol.Page 143 . and similar fashions. and a funeral ceremony may even be held for him. Peer pressures can also be anti-social. Some of the more strict religious ingroups have the very cruel practic e of shunning. where the inspection of troops was a ritual. by all members of that ingroup. Young people tend to conform in their dress. and the abuse of tobacco.The coercion to conform is often exhibited as peer pressure. The fear of being shunned greatly increases the control of the ingroup hierarchy. and ingroup identity are seen at their extremes in an army. Soldiers even had to conform in their style of haircut. of course. The extreme punishment for nonconformity was to be expelled from the ingroup. The shunned person is often treated as if he were dead. and any soldier whose uniform did not conform in every detail was likely to be punished. musical preferences. They also conform in their use of slang.

Authoritarian governments always insist that the state is more important than the individual. in this respect. and the disintegration of a family. every individual is equal before the law. This is why. For this reason. the group inevitably becomes more important than the individual. in which an individual achieves glory when he forfeits his own interests. However. even Farming and Us . This is an essential feature of all authoritarian systems. it is important to distinguish between individual identity and group identity. An authoritarian person usually believes quite sincerely that the ingroup is more important than the individual. And he believes this about himself also. heroism. Conformity tends to destroy individual identity.Page 144 . when discussing ingroupism. such treatment can cause acute misery. This is the basis of patriotism.For people with deep religious feelings. Liberal governments insist that the rights of the individual are paramount and that. with the complete ruin of a marriage. Conformity among individuals provides group identity. and must be protected from abuse by the state. and much of his freedom. when it establishes group identity. a person who wants the security of ingroup membership can have it only at the expense of most of his individuality. People who grew up with inadequate emotional security during infancy and childhood have an abnormal need for ingroup security in adulthood. But this kind of conformity is only possible at the expense of individual identity. and self-sacrifice. The individual’s rights are always subordinate to the good of the ingroup.

because the military provided them with a degree of ingroup security that they were quite unable to find otherwise. there is much talk of abolishing the army. It would also have an international arm that could be flown to any disaster area in the world. One would be a search and rescue service for people in danger from natural events such as storms. These men felt safe in the military. in spite of the acute dangers of war. but the motives are entirely different). and air force. for example. Indeed. many veterans still look back on this global disaster with nostalgia. either before or since. (Very high levels of altruism can lead to similar self-sacrifice. In many countries. During World War II.his life. This emotional security was so strong that the acute discomforts of military life were considered trivial in comparison. millions of men were conscripted. The other would be an international peace-keeping service. because this is an example of international goodwill for which Canada has a reputation second to none. because they no longer serve any useful function.Page 145 . in order to provide assistance. The idea is that they would be replaced with two humanitarian organisations. earthquakes. navy. on both sides. (The United States has an international reputation second to none when it Farming and Us . the very presence of a genuinely hostile outgroup must have heightened the sense of ingroup security. and other disasters. In Canada. with the loss of much of their personal liberty. these feelings have been sustained by active membership in veterans’ organisations. for the good of the ingroup. Nevertheless.

food. after World War II. However. devoted to war veterans. is for peace enforcement. And The Netherlands has a reputation second to none for taking in political and religious refugees. bands. which is an association. this is because every town and village in Canada has a Legion. in 1947. are a powerful voting group who are bitterly opposed to any abolition of the military. parades.Page 146 . and orphans. and peace keeping. with their flags. refuge. The only real justification of any military. In socialist Britain. this Canadian abolition of the military. Canada may then become the second nation in the world to abolish its military. these veterans. this Canadian renunciation of its military is unlikely to be delayed much longer. And nations that have abolished their military can contribute in other ways. Apparently. even if this means abrogation of certain NATO commitments. The Legion has done sterling work in helping to provide for war amputees. for this reason. peace enforcement should be authorised exclusively by the United Nations. We can sympathise with their nostalgia. Two recent examples of this were in Kosovo and East Timor. with its own building. but they are also old men and. the old class distinctions tended to polarise into the two bitterly opposed ingroups of labour and Farming and Us . anywhere in the world. Australia and New Zealand may well follow suit also. and remembrance ceremonies. as opposed to peace keeping. by providing money. Nevertheless. The first nation to abolish its military was Costa Rica. war widows.comes to giving food for famine relief.) However. country-building. reminiscences. and its replacement with these humanitarian services has not happened yet.

on the other hand. This confrontation was greatly encouraged by some rather foolish legislation enacted by the Socialist government. and which will be discussed in a moment. which are probably both more authoritarian than Britain. labour and management within one company behave as a single ingroup. The English sickness came very close to ruining British industry. which can lead to very considerable authoritarian efficiency. These companies also benefit from a very special aspect of ingroupism.Page 147 . in 1943. This is uniformity of action. He was talking to his SS generals and he said: Farming and Us . Perhaps the best example of extreme ingroupism comes from a speech made by Heinrich Himmler at Posen. This happened far more than in other industrial nations. On both sides. even infantile in its stupidity. their hierarchies have valuable upward communication. with powerful ingroup loyalties. Outgroup hostilities are directed towards competing companies. and it could be explained only in terms of ingroup hostilities. between unions and management. and confrontation. unusually for authoritarians. with a single hierarchy. and ingroup uniformity. competing nations. The class struggle within industry is replaced by solidarity. In Germany and Japan. and feelings of ingroup security. The Japanese also attach great importance to consensus and. which are usually in much of the confrontation was childish in the extreme. and it is an example of just how destructive unbridled ingroupism can be. and it led to the so-called ‘English sickness’ of endless hostility.

and to give them ideals. is a matter of complete indifference to me. Whether other nations prosper or starve to death interests me only in so far as we require them as slaves for our civilisation. We shall never be harsh and heartless where there is no need. We must be honest.Page 148 . How the Russians fare.” Open and Closed Minds In 1960. This book is essentially about individual belief systems. Inc. who are the only people in the world with a proper attitude towards animals. so that our sons and grandsons will have an even harder time with them. 1960. made further advances when he wrote a book in collaboration with colleagues (The Open and Closed Mind. and friendly to members of our own race. But it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them. That much is obvious. Whether or not ten thousand Russian women collapse from exhaustion. SBN 465-09505-4).“One principle must be absolutely binding on the SS man. how the Czechs fare. of Michigan State University. We Germans. New York. Whatever other nations have to offer in the way of good blood of our own kind. decent. while digging an anti-tank ditch. Basic Books. Milton Rokeach. will adopt a proper attitude towards these human animals also. and raising them in Germany. interests me only in so far as the anti-tank ditch is completed for Germany.. if necessary by stealing their children. and to no one else. we shall take. loyal. and Farming and Us .

With closed-minded people. on the other hand. the authority of the Pope is part of the belief system of Catholics. and his belief and disbelief systems were incredibly rigid and unchanging. For example. most of all. With open-minded people. For this reason. in which there must also be uniformity of belief. the strength of ingroupism is closely related to the rigidity of its belief and disbelief systems. the disbelief system. Readers should not feel compelled to identify with either extreme. the belief and disbelief systems are relaxed. the belief and disbelief systems are rigid and very difficult to change. Closed-minded people usually reject anything new. new friends. A disbelief system is what one group refuses to accept about the beliefs of another group. This is all part of the ingroup conformity. Rokeach and his colleagues emphasised the importance of the belief system and its converse. This does not mean that open minds are uncritical. ingroupists tend to have closed minds. Hitler had a typically closed mind. Farming and Us . they reject people with belief systems that are different from their own. new inventions and.the question of why some individuals are so much more open to new ideas than others. new ideas. Indeed. and easy to change. Once again. and the extreme closed mind. They reject new people. there is a spectrum of all degrees of difference between the extreme open mind. But it does mean that open minds easily accept the new. flexible. This includes new ideas. but it is part of the disbelief system of Protestants. new activities.Page 149 .

Closed-minded people seem to fear any alteration to the present situation. they are an anxiety. or to accept new ideas. there is usually a generation gap. and relishing the new. because the old are unable to accept the new ideas and attitudes of the young. They are often unable to see the forest for the trees. Open minds have similar attitudes to future expectations. and pessimistic. and new things. until they die. closed-minded people will normally look to the letter of the law. and optimistic about the future. But really open minds are unaffected by age.Page 150 . and their regulations. and such people continue learning. And they tend to be very literal minded. and should have been superseded years ago. With Farming and Us . but they lack confidence with the wider issues. rather than the spirit of the law. Closed-minded people hate ambiguity and uncertainty. these are all things that contribute to sociability. The open mind tends to be positive. while the closed mind tends to be negative. Closed-mindedness tends to increase with age. And they feel safe with details. they usually prefer facts to ideas. even when these are obviously redundant. and something to be avoided.and new places. and something to be enjoyed. Interestingly. For open-minded people. This is why older people often find it increasingly difficult to make new friends. For this reason. For closely similar reasons. Bureaucrats love the details of their rule books. but open-minded people relish change. new things are exciting. For closed-minded people. With closed-minded people.

If it comes from the right source. But he tends to reject any contradictory information that comes from a wrong source. The fact that this single source of information is very old and. hopelessly out of date. The closed-minded person will normally look at the source of the information. can be rejected so totally and blindly by fundamentalists. in the form of a sacred text. Dad is still the right source of information. consequently. comes from a wrong source and. and totally rejected.Page 151 . For example. the information is rejected. and was out of date when he was alive. or even entirely absent. is easily overlooked. Any newer and more up-to-date information which contradicts the recognised people. confidently. It is a feature of the fundamentalist religions that they each have a very special source of information. it can be dogmatically. The standard phrase of a conservative farmer used to be “What was good enough for my old Dad is good enough for me”. A characteristic difference between open and closed minds is the manner in which they react to new information. a closed-minded student will learn from his professor because he recognises this as the right source of information. even though he has been dead for years. such as those of Darwin and Freud. the information is accepted and. hence. Farming and Us . such as another university. This is why some of the greatest contributions to modern thought. the generation gap is insignificant. if it comes from the wrong source. or another country.

plain wrong. medical doctors were apt to rely on a single authority who was considered the only correct source of information. An open-minded person looks at the information itself. the only authority. on the other hand. indeed. and every new discovery exposes some of the older information as false.A classic example of closed-mindedness comes from the history of medicine. it is the newest information that is the best. and judges it on its own merits. Galen’s works were revealed to the West and they soon dominated medical thinking and practice in Europe.1657) discovered the circulation of the blood and. and the most reliable. and any contrary information was automatically rejected because it came from a wrong source. If newer texts differ. In the majority of religions. it is the oldest and most venerable texts that are considered the most accurate. This source was an ancient Greek physician called Galen who was a prolific writer and whose writing survived the Dark Ages in Byzantine and Arab hands. This is one of the basic differences between science and religion. it is assumed that they have become corrupted. when William Harvey (1578. In complete contrast. They became medical dogma. incomplete. and they considered Galen the final and. an open-minded individual is not interested in the source of the information. among other things. a form of medical sacred text. or Farming and Us . Modern medicine dates only from the seventeenth century. With the Renaissance. In science. Most Islamic doctors were equally closedminded. For many centuries in the West. showed Galen to be unreliable and.Page 152 . indeed.

it was recognised as being among the most important biological papers ever published. the inaccuracies of the ancient. however. and the most modern maps are the most accurate of all. an obscure Augustinian monk. In 1865. in the second century AD. unalterable. Its author was Gregor Farming and Us . working in a Central European monastery. It follows that the entire body of scientific knowledge is steadily becoming more accurate and.Page 153 . Eventually. As we know very well. and said so. the name of the university or research institute in which he worked. It continued to be ignored for the next thirty-five years. the accuracy of maps has been increasing ever since. and the reputation of the journal in which he published. well known. it was rightly considered a major achievement. Incredibly. published a scientific paper in a local journal of natural history.inaccurate. religious texts become increasingly revealed. often receive unmerited attention. at the same time. Research results are often judged on the basis of the rank and qualifications of the scientist who produced them. and very senior scientist. Sadly. When Ptolemy produced his map of the known world. This situation is well illustrated by map-making. although he apparently sent copies of it to many famous scientists. High quality results from an unqualified amateur are likely to be ignored (assuming that such a person could ever publish his results). in spite of the fact that a Russian scientist recognised its importance. while low quality results from a highly qualified. It was also wildly inaccurate. the source of information can be important even in modern science. His paper was ignored. the days of the gifted amateur are over.

to create. and the wrong source of information. Little weight will then be attached to the information that he provides as evidence in his defence. Another important difference between open and closed minds is in a special aspect of intellectual ability. is then likely to be believed. the father of modern genetics.Mendel. and he chose a journal that was not a recognised source of scientific information. This is why it is often impossible to communicate with authoritarians.Page 154 . protesting his innocence. Closed-minded people will usually assess a person. but he was scientifically unknown. For this kind of reason also. and the office of the person providing it. if someone is considered the wrong source of information. of low social status. But they are quite unequal in their ability to synthesise. have turned them into blind opposition. or an official. And an accused person. If this person is of a senior rank. Such decision-makers are likely to look mainly at the source of information. is likely to be regarded as being of unimportant rank or office. This ability is Farming and Us . Grave injustice can occur when a judge or jury is closed-minded in this way. open and closed minds are usually equal in their ability to analyse. however significant that information may be. he will find himself “talking to a brick wall”. by his office. he will find it impossible to communicate with a closed-minded person. and his rank. However important or powerful his argument. he will probably be considered infallible. rather than by his personality. and their belief in their own superiority. Given equal IQ. who is usually a senior official. An accuser. because both their closed minds.

and to relish the new. usually during the period between puberty and marriage. in the wide sense of this term. Hitler believed himself to be an artist but this was mere conceit. Most critics. Such people eventually become old-fashioned die -hards. Conversely. They become artists. in the wide sense of this term. Creative people are open-minded. destructiveness. relish the new. It is doubtful if he ever did a genuinely creative thing in his life. and they can be terrible brakes on progress. This is the only way to achieve Farming and Us . They become critics. and they usually exhibit all the characteristics of an individualist. People with closed minds tend to stop learning quite early in life. and nihilistic. on the other hand. they are very reluctant to accept anything that is new to them. Closed-minded people. throughout their lives. at best. and they tend to be revolutionary. uncreative. and they tend to be reactionary. But. often tend to be negative. Most artists. closedminded people. negative attitudes. and one of the many failings of the IQ test is that it does not measure creativity. a non-authoritarian. destructive. being analytical only. This does not mean that they become totally incapable of learning anything new. being closed-minded. Their entire career must then be based on what they learned when they were young.Page 155 . People with open minds.usually absent from a closed mind. continue to learn. being open-minded. But his nihilism. and hatreds are beyond dispute. whose IQ may be equal to that of the artists. can only analyse. resist the new.

This attitude was once explained away on the curious grounds that tanks have frequent mechanical failures. is another component of intelligence that is not measured by IQ tests. say. which can be obtained only by continuing to learn throughout one’s life. With the passage of time. ending up as tenured ‘dead wood’. or a Farming and Us . while the other is open-minded. in the military. even more significant. while horses do not. it occurs only in non-authoritarian humans. in effect. those identical intelligence quotients become increasingly meaningless. and continues to learn avidly. In the course of time. This kind of wisdom. into adulthood apparently occurs only in humans and. Cavalry regiments throughout the world became famous for the way they resisted the idea of giving up their horses. stops learning. And many academics become increasingly useless also. A military innovator used to be so rare that. This retention of a youthful learning ability. indeed almost universal. This is an ability that has possibly contributed more to the growth of human culture than any other factor. Two individuals might each have an identic al IQ at the age of. a child-like curiosity. many university degrees become increasingly meaningless for the same reason.real wisdom.Page 156 . Closed minds are common. One is closed-minded and. which is notorious for its resistance to the new. if he succeeded in implementing a new idea. It is another reason for thinking that major contributions to culture can be made only by non-authoritarians. eighteen. and replacing them with tanks.

and he would be hailed as a military genius. rather than those of personal gain). these commanders had still not learned the military lessons of the American Civil War. with eight million dead. These commanders continued to use the old fashioned method of advance. are equally closed-minded and uncreative. Terrorist misdeeds are almost invariably copycat crimes. but these comments remain valid). (A terrorist has been defined as a criminal who breaks the law for motives of religion or politics.Page 157 . fortunately. Equally. they are rarely innovative. (Note: this book was written before the events of Sept 11th 2001. One was the machine gun. The American Civil War was notable for the fact that it produced two military innovations. Half a century later. who are invariably very authoritarian. he would probably achieve a major victory. Nature-versus-Nurture There can be no doubt that humans are born with an inherited tendency towards pair bonding. soldiers died at a rate of two million a year and. four years later. Terrorists. the military commanders in World War I had still not appreciated the significance of these weapon. As a result. and to make their soldiers walk towards impassable barbed wire defended with utterly lethal machine guns. and the other was barbed wire. and love and trust relationships. They are typically imitative and. Farming and Us .

and conflicting tendency towards control relationships. the inherited nature and the acquired nurture. whether strong or weak. or Osama Bin Laden. and has a personality similar to that of Jesus Christ. operating exclusively on the atavistic principles of the male dominance hierarchy. Josef Stalin. which is so damaging to our personalities. to a moderate degree. more primitive. are difficult to separate. and the learning of more appropriate. At the other extreme is the authoritarian alpha-male. many of the bad features of authoritarianism. just as other inherited characteristics vary. We possess. by cultural and environmental influences.Page 158 . The key question is this: Is it possible for us to remedy our authoritarianism. can be greatly reinforced.all of us are probably born with the vestiges of an older. acquired behaviour patterns? In the old fashioned terminology of nature-versus-nurture. these tendencies. These tendencies are certain to vary between individuals. tolerant individual. But. the majority of us are approximately halfway between these two extremes. to a moderate degree. and to our societies? Can we do this by education. or diminished. these two components. although much of the Farming and Us . Controversy will doubtless continue. As individuals. many of the good features of non-authoritarianism and. who forms love and trust relationships. of the enormous variations in personality within any human society. At one extreme is the totally non-authoritarian. once an individual is bor n. This is an explanation. and with a personality like Adolf Hitler. at least in part.

Now consider an infant born of non-authoritarian parents. For obvious reasons. and is influenced particularly by emotional security during infancy. the only hard evidence that can throw light on this matter is that derived from studies of monozygotic (i.Page 159 . social environments. very different. and adopted at birth by German parents. Consequently. In addition to this limited direct evidence. And many people believe that identical twins develop a very special kind of pair bond. and then put out for adoption in two. And non-authoritarians believe that personality is acquired. such as language. it is little short of criminal to deprive them of it. It is to be hoped. say. authoritarians believe that personality is inherited. by separating them. Nevertheless. examples of such case studies are rare. Generally. That child will grow up speaking German as its mother tongue. and adopted at birth by authoritarian parents (regardless of language or nationality)..e. such data as we do possess indicate that nature and nurture are probably of equal importance. therefore. of English parents. there is considerable indirect evidence (which authoritarian scientists usually hate because it has an element of uncertainty and ambiguity). that data of this kind will remain rare. identical) twins who were separated at birth. although the childhood ability to learn any human language is an inherited character. For a variety of technical reasons.heat has gone out of this old debate. That child Farming and Us . Consider an infant born. Language is an acquired character. This indirect evidence comes from comparisons made with other characteristics.

will almost certainly grow up authoritarian. human society will continue to be periodically ravaged by people like Osama Bin Laden. It was the crowding that resulted from agriculture that produced the cultural evolution of authoritarianism. we can use our cultural evolution to increase it. Possibly the most compelling evidence comes from the theory of authoritarianism presented in this book. and trust relationships with friends. both because it will have lacked emotional security during infancy and child hood. and is attained by emotional security during infancy. Society will also continue to be retarded and damaged by innumerable. And. and our authoritarianism is an acquired character. There is thus immense hope. and strengthen our love relationships. In other words. A couple of million years of Darwinian evolution have given us an inherited behaviour strategy based on human social altruism. and our reversion to dominance hierarchies and control relationships (see next chapter). the cabbage patch fascists. insofar as authoritarianism is an inherited character that is not modifiable by learning. and the Hitlers and Stalins of this world. and because it will have been taught authoritarian behaviour throughout its formative years. our non-authoritarianism is an inherited character. by good education and intelligent selfFarming and Us . assuming that this theory is correct. lesser authoritarians. We can be confident that we can reduce authoritarianism. and strengthened by love relationships with family. Insofar as non-authoritarianism is influenced by environment.Page 160 . pair bonds. and love relationships.

Page 161 . is that authoritarianism is modifiable. Farming and Us . until authoritarianism virtually disappears from our midst. and obvious improvements from one human generation to the next. One of the messages of this book.awareness. humankind does indeed have control of its own destiny. and that. There should then be notable. and probably eradicable. therefore. in this respect.

all sorts of entirely new cultural developments appeared. and so on. and so many times. language abilities. seen in beautiful cave paintings.4. and social altruism. Authoritarianism The Breakthrough Some thirty to fifty thousand years ago. These Hegelian changes probably developed because of small increments in the genetically controlled components of human intelligence. improved stone tools. These included art. quite suddenly in terms of geological time. It is thought that this breakthrough occurred as a result of Hegelian changes. burying of the dead. Agriculture is undoubtedly the most important cultural development of our entire history and pre-history. because of the end of the ice age. The climax of this breakthrough was the discovery of agriculture. After one or two millennia of cultural stagnation. This climatic improvement led to population increases and over- Farming and Us . which occurred repeatedly and independently in various parts of the world. It is thought that the discovery of agriculture happened when it did. These are changes in degree that produce a difference in kind. cognitive powers. body ornaments.Page 162 . there was a breakthrough in human cultural development.

And the first thing we find is that the hunter-gatherer societies are essentially egalitarian. or it changes hands frequently from the custom of reciprocal gift giving. individuals. in some of the temperate zones of the New World. They represent the climax of two million years of human evolution. and cooperation is habitual. In its turn.crowding. although there is a tendency to defer to the older. There is little property because hunter-gatherers are nomadic and they cannot carry many possessions as they move from place to place. we can compare them with the social organisation of both wild apes and modern human societies. kind. The Swing to Authoritarianism When we examine the social organisation of the few huntergatherer societies that remain in the world. they were considered uncivilised. This climax is their social altruism. and very pr imitive. Decisionmaking is shared. over-crowdin g compelled a more efficient utilisation of the available land. parts of Africa. and Australia. Their relationships are love and trust relationships. non-authoritarian. But whatever property they do have is either communally owned. They have no dominance hierarchies. and considerate. and wiser. These hunter-gatherer bands consist of a few tens of individuals and everyone knows everyone. we have a lot to learn from them because they are. In fact. above all. which has not been ruined by the over-crowding of Farming and Us . They are easy-going. individuals rarely attempt to control other individuals. not control relationships. When they were first encountered by Europeans.Page 163 .

At the very least. such as Knossos in Crete. and taxes. however. ancestor worship. The king was a tyrant whose behaviour resembled that of an alpha male ape. It turns out. His domination of all others was total. in small bands of people. it seems. They have a social organisation based on multiple bonding. social hierarchies. they were just as authoritarian.agriculture.Page 164 . that this explanation is inadequate. everything changed. Other early civilisations. Humankind discovered agriculture. They were societies that were ruled by oriental despots. In stark contrast to the hunter-gatherer bands. and the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers in China. These were mostly societies that developed along great rivers. such as the Nile. These early cities and states were very authoritarian indeed. did not develop on large rivers. as a single system. Karl Wittfögel called them ‘hydraulic cultures’. Then. the early cities. hierarchies. and the world was never the same again. and most of the Central and South American civilisations. because a riverine system of irrigation had to be efficiently organised. prostitutes. But. they had kings. about nine thousand years ago. and he postulated that a strict social control was necessary. and the early civilisations. human social altruism. the Tigris and Euphrates. were incredibly authoritarian. and love and trust relationships. He usually had the most desirable women of the land reserved Farming and Us . His power and authority were unlimited. although some of them did depend on irrigation. the Indus Valley. slaves. and they had very harsh. in which all are bonded with all. armies.

exclusively to himself, in a royal harem. He was proud of his sexual prowess, and possibly counted his sons by the hundreds. When he died, his successor would probably gain the throne by violence, and he would quite likely kill the more threatening of his rival heirs, among his brothers and half-brothers. European archaeologists, being very Euro-centric, originally referred to these authoritarian states as ‘oriental’, because the known examples all occurred to the east of Europe. This is why these archaeologists spoke of oriental courts and oriental despots which, of course, is quite unfair to all oriental peoples. The fact is that all the early states and cities were extremely authoritarian. They each had a ghastly, rigid, male dominance hierarchy, with a tyrant of an alpha male at the top, and often with castrated slaves being bought and sold like oxen, at the bottom. There can be no doubt that a fundamental social change occurred between humankind’s original way of life, based on hunter-gathering, and the appearance of an entirely new way of life, based on agriculture. This was the change reflected in the Bible, away from the simplicity of the Garden of Eden, towards the misery of slaves in the Land of the Pharaohs. It was equivalent to the loss of innocence, and the discovery of evil. The Bible strongly implies that this evil was the sin of sex, which, of course, is nonsense. In fact, this evil was the very opposite. The evil was the loss of the pair bonds, and the love and trust relationships, which derive from human altruism and human sex. The evil resulted entirely from our return Farming and Us - Page 165

to the dominance hierarchies control relationships of the wild social primates. This was a change away from a social organisation based on the love, trust, and altruism, to which humans had evolved. It was a change towards a powerful authoritarianism, with its strict and rigid dominance hierarchies, its control relationships, and its lack of compassion and concern. It was a change away from our original, inherited, behaviour strategy of multiple pair bonds, and a society based on the altruism and cooperation of a small hunter-gatherer band. It was a return, a regression, to the social organisation of baboons. This return to authoritarianism was a change that was clearly recognised by the philosophers of the Enlightenment who believed that, in a state of nature, during an earlier ‘Golden Age’, people had had no government, and had had complete freedom for every individual. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), for example, argued that humanity is essentially good but that it has become corrupted by society. He envisaged a lifestyle that we can recognise as being very similar to that of a nonauthoritarian, hunter-gatherer band. (His most famous work, The Social Contract, opens with the words “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains.”). These philosophers recognised also that, with high population densities, there had to be a social contract. This was a contract in which a legitimate government derived its authority from the consent of its people. The government was authorised by the people to make decisions on their Farming and Us - Page 166

behalf. But the contract also meant that the individual had to submit to the authority of the government. Much of the political debate in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries centred on this question of the relative importance of the state and the individual. Authoritarians believe the good of the state should take precedence over the rights of the individual. Non-authoritarians prefer to emphasise the rights of the individual. In fact, both points of view have validity. Civic duties and responsibilities are required of every individual, and there is a difference between freedom and licentiousness. In general, however, the state should interfere with individual liberty as little as possible. Clearly, this swing to authoritarianism that came with agriculture was also a very unpleasant change. And it was a change that has dominated the whole of civilisation, for the whole of recorded history. We still suffer from it, quite horribly, even today. To appreciate this point, we have only to think of Hitler and his Nazis, and the incredible evil they generated. And there are still plenty of mini-Hitlers around, and a few who are not so minimal, such as Idi Amin, Sadam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden. Something very profound happened to human behaviour when our remote ancestors changed their hunter-gatherer way of life, and they began cultivating crops, and living in large villages and, later, cities. This behavioural change was fundamental and, to the best of my knowledge, it has never been properly recognised, let alone explained.

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This change in human social organisation resulted from the discovery of agriculture. It was a change so important, indeed so crucial, that human behaviour was never the same again. Its explanation apparently lies in both the increased population densities, and the sedentism, of the cultivators of crops.

Authoritarianism Results from Agriculture There seems to be no doubt that it was an increased population density that led to the growth of such an extreme authoritarianism in the first cities. It has been estimated that a relatively primitive wheat farming would have increased the population density of hunter-gatherers, or herders, by about fifty-fold. This level of increase in the numbers of people, combined with the fact that they were compelled to remain in one place, transformed society. It also transformed human behaviour. The love and trust relationships between everyone living together in a small band of nomadic hunter-gatherers, became unworkable in a large village, or a city, containing hundreds, possibly thousands, of people. It was impossible to have love and trust relationships with so many people, who were mostly strangers or, more rarely, mere acquaintances. There was no way that our genetically controlled behaviour strategy, with its unique use of a highly developed social altruism and multiple bonding in a social species, could cope with these increased numbers. After all, most of our bonds are based on a deep knowledge and understanding of each other.

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There is obviously a limit to the number of individuals that we can know in depth. During the course of one or two million years, our behaviour strategy had evolved among hunter-gatherers, whose societies consisted of small bands of individuals. These people were individualists, but they were also concerned about each other, and they showed exceptionally high levels of inherited altruism. This human altruism was the very basis of their social organisation, and it was directly responsible for their love relationships and trust relationships. This high level of social altruism, cooperation, concern, and compassion is what our brains and emotions had evolved to handle, harmoniously, without any sense of control or hierarchy. A hunter-gatherer band was characterised by the love relationships between husband and wife, between parent and child, between siblings, and between aunts, uncles, and cousins. There were also the trust relationships between unrelated members within the same band. Everyone knew everyone else, and everyone either loved or trusted everyone else. And this love and trust was absolute. Everyone also had complete freedom to do as they pleased, but this freedom was restrained by a strong sense of altruism and cooperation. In general, no one would do anything to upset anyone else, and no one would interfere with the freedom of anyone else. And, when decisions were necessary, they were usually made collectively. Collective discussion and a powerful, ingrained sense of justice would settle occasional conflicts. But there was no crime as we know it. Also, Farming and Us - Page 169

there was no hierarchy and, in general, no one controlle d anyone else. Leaders would emerge on a temporary basis for specialised activities such as hunting or healing. These leaders would be accepted because of their special skills, but their leadership would cease as soon as that activity ceased. The members of the band stayed together in groups because there was safety in numbers. An individual on his own was in serious danger of losing his life from some savage wild animal. This is probably the origin of our love of companionship, and our dislike of loneliness. Many people enjoy solitude, but only for a limited period. Excessive solitude can drive one mad. When populations became large, because of agriculture, this hunter-gatherer system of social organisation, based on pair bonds and social altruism, was no longer effective. It broke down completely and utterly. The reason is obvious. Each human individual can form only a limited number of bonds and, when the population exceeds that number, there will be unbonded strangers interacting with each other. Furthermore, the sedentism of agriculture meant that the avoidance of strangers was no longer feasible. The social altruism of hunter-gatherer bands then stops, and it is replaced by suspicion, competition, and even confrontation, among strangers who are compelle d to live in close proximity. Mistrust, deceit, fear, and insecurity now predominate. Individuals begin to control one another, mainly by domination, and bullying, and this produces an immediate pecking order, a hierarchy. There is a strict limit to the size of a Farming and Us - Page 170

hunter-gatherer band, in which everyone is bonded to everyone else. But there is no limit to the size of a hierarchy, in which no one need be bonded to anyone else. In order to cope with this problem of high population densities, the human species apparently had no alternative but to regress to the decidedly more primitive, and less pleasant, system of social control based on dominance hierarchies. The essential feature of a hierarchy is that the people in one rank dominate everyone in the lower ranks. People in one rank are also subordinate to anyone in a higher rank. And rank and numbers are related. The more elevated the rank, the fewer the people in it. And the lower the rank, the more the people in it. There is only one king, but there are many serfs. And the serfs had a miserable time of it, always, throughout the whole of history. It would be wrong to blame the system. This was just one of the apparently inevitable consequences of a major increase in the carrying capacity of the human environment. There seems to be little doubt that we cannot have love and trust relationships with more people than those of a hunter-gatherer band. If we are compelled to have frequent dealings with more than a few tens of individuals, they become mere acquaintances. Or, perish the thought, they may even become subordinates, who have to be controlled. Alternatively, these strangers that one encountered may have been superiors, who had to be obeyed, and whose authority was backed by armed soldiers, who would not hesitate to punish disobedience with violence, mutilation, or death. It is easy to see how sheer crowding forced human societies to revert to Farming and Us - Page 171

dominance hierarchies. When there are too many people, they can no longer trust each other, and they begin to control one another, and human society becomes authoritarian. People had little choice in this matter. The moment a hierarchy forms, social classes emerge. Indeed, some sociologists consider social classes to be the definitive characteristic of civilisation. Obviously, the strongest, most dominating authoritarians would claw their way towards the top of the hierarchy, while the meekest non-authoritarians would sink to the bottom. And, in the course of time, their positions would become inherited and unchanging, from generation to generation. It was over-crowding and sedentism, and nothing else, that produced such fundamental changes in human social organisation. An authoritarian hierarchy replaced the democracy of a hunter-gatherer band. An abstract code of law replaced the consensus of such a band. Specialisation replaced their generalism, and social stratification replaced their egalitarianism. However, there were two important differences between these human hierarchies and those of wild social primates. As the wild alpha male becomes old, and loses both his strength and his virility, he is replaced by a new alpha male, who is the strongest male in the group. The human alpha male differed in that he could recognise his own sons. And, with his unlimited authority, he could ensure that his most senior son, his eldest son, would succeed him, but not until he had died. The position of

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alpha male became hereditary. To this day, we call it a hereditary monarchy. The second difference was the sheer size of the hierarchy. Instead of the few tens of individuals that make up a wild primate society, the human social group now consisted of hundreds, possibly thousands, if not millions of individuals. (Hitler’s hierarchy consisted of eighty million Germans). Authoritarianism, and a rigid hierarchy, became possible in these new large groups because of new technologies. These included an improved communication, mainly by writing, and new technologies of control. This increased control had developed directly from the techniques of co-operative hunting, and it produced a ghastly new phenomenon that has plagued humanity ever since the discovery of agriculture. It is an institution called the military. Quite quickly, following the growth of the first cities, the hierarchies, and the authoritarianism, became vicious. The king became an absolute monarch, an oriental despot, ruling an oriental court, with unlimited power. In ancient Greece, the word despot (Gk. despotes = master) was used originally to describe the head of a household, and the owner of slaves. It was only later that this term was used to describe a political leader, who treated his subjects as if he owned them, as slaves. With this new authoritarianism, and oriental despotism, a rigid class structure developed. It was at this point that some entirely new subordination phenomena appeared. Such things as slavery, and corvée labour (i.e., involuntary, unpaid labour, exacted as a form of tax), had Farming and Us - Page 173

never existed among hunter-gatherers or herders, and they now appeared for the first time. There was also a loss of compassion and concern, and a really gross cruelty emerged, usually in the form of flagrant injustice, and savage punishments. Oriental despots routinely used torture, mutilation, castration, and execution, as punishments for disobedience or disloyalty. K’ang-hsi, who was emperor of China for sixty one years, from 1661 AD, considered himself a benign monarch, because he had commuted so many sentences of ‘lingering death’ to the lesser punishment of ‘quick death’. This new despotism was apparently an automatic response in any human society where the population density increased to thousands per city. We have seen this pattern repeated, again and again, apparently without exception, in all the ancient civilisations, such as those of Europe, Egypt, Crete, Mesopotamia, India, China, Meso-America, and South America. And, sadly, we have seen it again and again, in modern times, in individuals such as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Salazar, Tito, Castro, Pinochet, Pol Pot, Mao, Idi Amin, Mengistu, Milosovic, Bin Laden, and many others who, it seems, are too numerous to recall. It is these dominating, but primitive, alpha males who represent the extreme of authoritarianism, who savagely claw and cheat their way to the top of the hierarchy, and who are also the root cause of so much evil and misery in human affairs. The phrase ‘benevolent dictator’ is an oxymoron. As population densities increased among the new agriculturists, control relationships increased, and love relationships declined, but the need for sex remained a constant. It is probably safe to assume that, for Farming and Us - Page 174

many people, this need could no longer be satisfied by the now deficient love relationships, and that some fundamental changes occurred in human sexual behaviour. Sexual frustration would have increased, and entirely new phenomena, such as prostitution and promiscuity would have appeared. The frequency of adultery probably increased also, from being originally a rather rare and minor nuisance, to becoming a major social problem. (This may well have been the origin of the Christian concept of sex being sin). Polygamy became acceptable, at least for the higherranking males. The concept of a harem, with the most desirable women being reserved exclusively for the alpha male, was also something entirely novel in human society, and this too was a direct reversion to the sexual behaviour of baboons. At this point, it is perhaps worth noting that, for human males, recognition of their own offspring is secure only at the two extremes of authoritarianism and non-authoritarianism. Only a strict purdah, or an absolute love and trust, will guarantee paternity. But our current middle position is the least secure in this respect. We ourselves now have a mixture of both control relationships and love relationships. Consequently, there is far too much adultery and promiscuity in human societies, and this distressing situation has existed ever since the discovery of agriculture, and the beginning of civilisation. This is yet another aspect of authoritarianism being the root of all evil. It is yet another consequence of the huge increase that we have made in the carrying capacity of our environment by the discovery of agriculture. Farming and Us - Page 175

and threats of punishment.A further form of social control developed out of the belief systems called religion. oppressive. improved education. Most significant from the point of view of this book. and fear.Page 176 . a better knowledge of psychology and ethology. and an efficient law enforcement. guilt. Given a modern education. Many of the more oppressive sects also controlled their members during their lifetimes. An important social aspect of all the great religions was that they persuaded individuals to behave well. Agriculture led to a huge increase in the carrying capacity of the environment. Agriculture also forced people to change from nomadism to sedentism. by the use of shame. because they referred to one’s supposed fate after death. with correspondingly large increases in human population densities. and false belief systems are quietly fading into the background of our society. Fortunately. Given also a new social Farming and Us . with improved democracy. these cruel. Most of the promises and threats were unverifiable. and improved techniques of government and law enforcement. this crowding of sedentary people compelled the reversion to dominance hierarchies and authoritarianism. This was achieved by both promises of reward. we can eliminate authoritarianism from our midst. in several crucial respects. We now recognise that the resulting misery is too high a cost to pay for the enforcement of good behaviour. The main message of this book is that we are not obliged to retain this authoritarian social organisation. as a means of social organisation. It is now apparent that agriculture changed human society fundamentally.

in which nonconformists were tied to a stake and burnt alive. And the Ku Klux Klan. and an unselfish concern for the welfare of others. even for complete strangers.organisation. and built pyramids of severed heads outside the gates. The Key Characteristic of Authoritarianism Adorno’s work on authoritarianism. Allport’s work on ingroupism and prejudice. And Attila the Hun. indicates quite strongly that it is a genetically controlled trait that has survived an adverse environment. control relationships can be entirely replaced with love and trust relationships. And endless other horrors which most people. it could never have survived for so long. and Rokeach’s work on open and closed minds. because they too come from an altruistic society. and its vicious white Protestant supremacy. began to explain the phenomenon of the Nazis. based on large extended families of about thirty people. This fact alone offers great hope. and their brutality to the Jews. And the Christian Inquisition. Our good behaviour is in our genes. in their Farming and Us . who casually slaughtered all the inhabitants of the towns he conquered. Had that behaviour pattern been an acquired culture. and our bad behaviour is an acquired culture that can be discarded relatively easily. Our behaviour towards everyone we encounter can then be based on human altruism. The simple fact that our social altruism has survived for some nine thousand years of agriculture and authoritarianism.Page 177 .

as Hitler’s right wing Germany. thirdly. And the socialist government in Brita in. The second and third points. In discussing control. and the Farming and Us . constitute one of the central themes of this book. Adorno and his colleagues failed to recognise that the essential characteristic of authoritarian behaviour is the question of control. Stalin’s left wing Russia was every bit as authoritarian. Secondly. this government forced everyone into equality and conformity by the use of ration books for food and clothing. on the one hand. This government was well intentioned. we immediately come up against a conflict of opinion that has worried philosophers through the ages. but it was possibly the most authoritarian that this relatively liberal country had experienced since the days of Cromwell.sensitivity. and they failed to recognise that left wing organisations can be just as authoritarian.Page 178 . The phrase ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ has even become hackneyed. and every bit as nasty. prefer not to know about. This is the conflict between the freedom of the individual. They were studying Fascism. which is a right wing phenomenon. tried to control every aspect of people’s lives. after World War II. concerning control and dominance hierarchies. it was inevitable that they also failed to recognise. that the control relationships of authoritarianism are the result of male and female dominance hierarchies. The first point needs no elaboration. Having failed to recognise this. In attempting to eliminate class distinctions. Adorno and his colleagues missed three important points about authoritarianism.

teaching. There is no suggestion whatever that these essential controls are authoritarian. The second distinction is between control that is impersonal. No one suggests. personal Farming and Us . as already noted. depending on whether it is necessary or unnecessary control. and in all aspects of collective endeavour. Necessary controls in human society involve law and order. The first is between control that is necessary. and just society. It is important to make two clear distinctions. the control becomes personal. For example. and control that is personal. research. And. and other group activities. Conversely. manufacturing. an employer controls an employee. such as business. furthermore. that result from agriculture. and such things as traffic control. And it may become authoritarian. and the sedentism. that has the high population densities. A very similar comment can be made about impersonal and personal control. And a society. and control that is not necessary. it is also important to distinguish between control and decision-making. This personal control is also necessary control. when one person controls another.Page 179 . although an employee who is both nonauthoritarian and efficient requires very little control. controlled. The making of decisions is not part of the present discussion. sport. on the other. that drivers should have the freedom to drive on whichever side of the road they please.need for an orderly. or that they are unwarranted. Traffic control is obviously quite impersonal. for example. Some control is clearly necessary in all aspects of society. But.

It seems. attempt to increase their control over individuals. therefore. which are authoritarian. and this is particularly true of personal controls. and those that are unnecessary.Page 180 . They often exert this control under the guise of legality which. is still unnecessary. The maximum of freedom and liberty can be achieved only when all unnecessary control has been eliminated. Farming and Us . Unnecessary government control also constitutes authoritarianism. Bureaucrats will even invent non-existent regulations. although it is often quite impersonal. An authoritarian has so great a need for control that even unnecessary controls seem important. that unnecessary control may be considered the definitive characteristic of authoritarianism. regardless of whether that control is personal or impersonal. although officially sanctioned. and are the root of all control relationships. and very oppressive.controls may be unnecessary controls. One of the characteristics of an authoritarian personality is the inability to distinguish between controls that are essential. these infringements. or illicitly invoke a superior (“My boss would never approve”) who never knows that his name is being taken in vain. It becomes personal when tyrants. and which consequently infringe on personal liberty. They are then an infringement on the liberty of the individual. And the definition of nonauthoritarianism is that it tolerates only the minimum of necessary control that is required to maintain an orderly and just society. or even mere bureaucrats. It is these unnecessary personal controls.

One is the control which that person may exert over others. an authoritarian wants both kinds of control. the individual in question is dominating. There are thus different kinds of authoritarian. the rulers and the ruled. It shows even in conversation. Think too of Stalin. the intensity of this desire to dominate is overwhelming. the desires for the two kinds of control are often unequal. Normally. If the desire to do the controlling is strong. and it completely transcends all other considerations. This is what a dominance hierarchy is all about. and the obstructing bureaucrat. the urge to control others is exhibited in less spectacular ways. the interfering busybody. of constantly interrupting. Much more frequently. the aggressive do-gooder. and of shouting other people down. Farming and Us . to the extent of being a loudmouth. and wants to become the leader. Think of Hitler. and the second is the control which is exerted over that person by others. They want to dominate them. In some authoritarian personalities. We can refer to the controllers and the controlled. and authoritarians want to dominate that too.Page 181 . Obvious examples are those well-known phenomena. within one authoritarian person. Dominating authoritarians not only want to control everyone around them. depending on the relative strengths of these two desires. However.The Rulers and the Ruled A person may experience two kinds of control.

is the essential characteristic of the authoritarian personality. When this feeling is intense. such people want every detail of their lives decided for them.Page 182 . because they cannot handle it. in whatever form. or subservient authoritarian. They can Farming and Us . This desire obviously varies greatly between individuals.More frequently still. and from relinquishing all responsibility. But whether dominating. that these represent the two extremes of a spectrum. both the kind and the degree of authoritarianism are apparently variable within one individual. and who like to control their subordinates. Subservient authoritarians positively dislike personal freedom. is often called the ‘slave mentality’. normal. medium. it seems that this desire for control. We might. perhaps. call them normal authoritarians. The majority of authoritarians have to be classified approximately halfway between these extremes. When distinguishing between dominant and subservient authoritarians. normal. once again. They are people who like to be controlled by their superiors. The opposite extreme. They obtain a great sense of security from being controlled. regardless of whether the person is a dominating. and it is then called manipulation. To complicate matters even further. in which a subservient authoritarian wants to be controlled. The degree of authoritarianism is also variable and is determined by the intensity of the desire for control. or intense. and the degree of authoritarianism may be slight. the control is carefully disguised. it should be remembered. or subservient.

Benevolent authoritarianism is often called paternalism. ghastly though it may be. or with age. Authoritarianism can also be benevolent or malicious. the extremes of each spectrum. may exert a rigid control over every aspect of a child’s life. are normally discussed. work. in the nineteenth century factory owner who would employ only people who went to church every Sunday. Even a child brought up with generous authoritarianism will grow up authoritarian. with mood. it would be selfish authoritarianism. And any Farming and Us .Page 183 . And that child would grow up with really dreadful psychological problems.vary over time. if the control of the child were exclusively for the personal gratification of the parent. only the most prominent personality types. and to simplify. but do this quite sincerely for the good of the child. The complexity of this variation is one of the reasons for the infinite variety of differing personalities within the human species. and deficient in love relationships. strong in control relationships. for example. such as sex. either increasing or decreasing with a changing environment. It showed. This would be generous authoritarianism and. Conversely. it is at least well meant. A final comment about personal control is that it can vary between the extremes of selfishness and generosity. and religion. for example. But. And they can vary within the various components of behaviour. because the aim of this book is to clarify. sport. politics. and who did not drink alcohol. An authoritarian parent.

that constitutes authoritarianism. they would do the very opposite.Page 184 . would be fired. In very authoritarian states. There is considerable overlap in some areas. because actions can also be controlled by beliefs. But. as opposed to personal control. or drinking. which have become totalitarian. Again. Transgression of the civil control is called crime. humiliation. and is punishable in law. and attempts are made to replace it with a new belief system. Transgression of the religious control is called sin. and would try to harm him as much as possible. superimposed on the essential. are being controlled. religions and priests control people’s beliefs. That is. or actions. for the good of his soul. in both these spheres. This situation is usually called ‘Church and State’. As a rough and ready rule. yet again. in general. Indeed. Malicious authoritarians would not consider the ultimate good of the individual being controlled. and Hitler’s Farming and Us . This happened in Stalin’s Russia. and fear.employee discovered to be missing church. with guilt. and for no good reason. can also involve varying degrees of authoritarianism. Social control. politicians. it is this unnecessary control that constitutes authoritarianism. while governments. and justified. And. social control. and is punished emotionally. and policemen control people’s actions. don’t you know. shame. the ancient religion is often suppressed by the politicians. it is the unnecessary control. There are two categories of social control depending on whether beliefs. the rule is sound. civil servants. some of the control may be unnecessary control.

oriental despots would often utilise that unity of action for the conquest of neighbours. with the Taliban in Afghanistan. even to the point of conducting an unjust. often with an Farming and Us . They are usually called dissidents. the greater the power. It is no exaggeration to say that. In 1995. Perhaps the extreme of unity of action is shown by troops marching in step. The power originates in the unity of action of the people who are ruled.Germany. their very lives are often in danger because of their beliefs. or for the construction of enormous buildings of doubtful beauty and utility. the executive. anyone who disagrees. at its most nasty. and the judiciary. even today. for example. and the tenets of the ancient religion then dominate all aspects of the legislature. In either event. the military government of Nigeria hanged eight free-thinkers who had had the temerity to criticise. This was seen recently. which adds propaganda to its activities. aggressive war. Alternatively. There were many such ‘criminals’ in the more extreme of the totalitarian states. In the past. To hold beliefs contrary to the official doctrine is then no longer a sin. or disobeys. Those in control can also force everyone to obey. such as the Egyptian pyramids. very authoritarian religious fundamentalists may gain political control.Page 185 . both actions and beliefs are then controlled by the government. it becomes a crime. The more people who are controlled. But it is the ruler who decides what that action is to be. Possession of group control is power. and the greater the degree of the control. This power stems from the fact that those in control can punish. or even kill.

They may then be tolerated. rather than the ruler. if it so pleases. and individual liberties and freedoms are correspondingly greater. however. In an authoritarian society. The essence of democracy is that it is the ruled. Or they may be resented. and to make decisions on behalf of that society. there are still a few authoritarians who revere him. the rulers are both unsanctioned and detested. In spite of Hitler’s ruin of Germany. Both the government officials and the priests are powerful.Page 186 .ostentatious exhibition of parade ground precision. the rulers and their decisions may be unsanctioned. and authoritarian organisations. Many subservient Germans thought the world of Hitler. The behaviour and decisions of the elected rulers are constantly reviewed by society. It must also be recognised. The power of the rulers is then sanctioned by society. With an inadequate democracy. Not infrequently. the control of both actions and beliefs is excessive. and ordinary members of society tend to be both subordinate and subservient to them. and most of Europe. In more liberal societies. and the rulers are elected both to keep election promises. in our sadly imperfect world. such as the goosestep. there is much less unnecessary control. who decide how they are to be governed. which has the power to elect different leaders. that subservient authoritarians usually prefer a dominating authoritarian as their ruler. A feature of these relatively free societies is that authoritarian individuals. and there is a large element of unnecessary control. with some resignation. with displays of ludicrous strutting. are constantly trying to Farming and Us .

and large nations. that put poison gas in the Tokyo subway. Himmler. over the actions and beliefs of other people. on its democracy. was comparably authoritarian.Page 187 . The United States has always prided itself. An extreme example of this was Jim Jones. Idi Amin. Otherwise an authoritarian individual. democracy is needed within families. In this special sense. just as much as it is needed within small communities. and induced them to commit suicide. Saddam Hussein. Farming and Us .increase their authority. Ayotolla Khomeini. quite rightly. Stalin. Washington. When great power is held by non-authoritarians. When great power is held by dominating authoritarians. totally subservient. Pericles. and to wield it excessively. a religious despot who claimed to be the re-incarnation of Christ. indefinitely. American citizens to the Guyana jungle. Lincoln. or organisation. and its democratic principles. It can be argued that a major function of democracy is to prevent and eliminate unnecessary control. is liable to gain control. intensely authoritarian. and resulted in the death of eighty six people in the Waco incident in the United States. and their control. A similar extreme of religious control was imposed by David Koresh. it is likely to produce people like Solon. who use their power to introduce reforms and improvements which might not otherwise have been possible. He took nearly a thousand blindly obedient. and quite unnecessarily. and Osama bin Laden. The Aum Shinrikyo cult. it leads to people like Hitler. and other great liberal leaders. to say nothing of religions. its democratic institutions.

The USA has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Farming and Us . and it produced the great increase in human intelligence. as opposed to other human values. and that this liberal country allows many individuals to be as authoritarian as they please. It shows too in the general love of violence. and the improved teaching and cultural growth that complex la nguages make possible. There were a varie ty of developments. Ø The second development was also evolutionary. many symptoms of authoritarianism remain. Ø The third was the evolution of manual dexterity and the highly sensitive finger tips that permitted tool making. It is also one of the most litigious nations in the world. This is seen in the stupendous number of privately owned handguns and automatic assault weapons. These developments probably occurred more or less jointly in a process of mutual reinforcement. both evolutionary and cultural.Page 188 . Ø The first was an evolutionary development. It seems that the country is essentially non-authoritarian. that transformed the behaviour of humans. and it produced the huge increase in language ability. a summary might be helpful. Humans and Wild Social Primates Compared At this point. These are social inadequacies that will decline with the gradual reduction in authoritarianism. both in cinemas and television.Nevertheless. when compared with the behaviour of wild social primates. and in daily life. and there is an exaggerated appetite for money.

and the only appearance of leadership was produced by temporary leaders. Ø Nevertheless. confrontation. This permitted specialisation. and was the replacement of dominance hierarchies with multiple bonding and social altruism. and altruism. Decisions were collective and conflicts were resolved by consensus. with its sedentism and intense crowding. All sense of hierarchy disappeared.Page 189 . as the basis of social organisation. and civ ilisation advanced. tool making. specialised in some activity. Human societies then regressed to authoritarianism. Ø The overall result of these four evolutionary developments was a runaway cultural evolution. evolutionary development. such as hunting or healing. This advance probably occurred in spite of the authoritarianism. And their leadership ceased once the special activity ceased. in a social species. rather Farming and Us . In particular. was itself an entirely new. and quite extraordinary.Ø The fourth was also evolutionary. Ø The combination of this highly developed intelligence. language. the productivity of the major staples allowed considerable liberation from food procurement. Our human social altruism is as far advanced over wild primate altruism as human intelligence. it was the cultural development of agriculture. and tool making are advanced over those of wild primates. which led to our reversion to dominance hierarchies. and control. There were now so many individuals confined to one place that bonding was inevitably replaced by suspicion. language. rather slowly.

corporate. cardinal. political. priest. lay brother. There are. Hierarchies The phenomena of the authoritarian personality. language. and altruism can then be given a free rein. and was proclaimed Farming and Us . multiple bonding. social. archbishop. Ø Our current state of cultural development is such that we are on the threshold of eliminating authoritarianism from our society. This egalitarian attitude is illustrated by the converse of the hierarchy. and the meaning of the term developed because of the descending ranks of pope. and the most rapid advances occurred in the least authoritarian societies. Military. and from Christ. A hierarchy is a system of control characterised by ranks. bureaucratic. and religious hierarchies are only some of the more obvious examples. and the quality of our civilisation need know no limits. and unnecessary control. and laity. Our intelligence. bishop. come together in the concept of the hierarchy. The higher the rank. the ingroup. and the greater the authority of those individuals.than because of it.Page 190 . This indifference to hierarchies is an ideal that dates from the early Greeks. curate. the open and closed mind. Non-authoritarians are generally indifferent to hierarchies and ranks. which is equality. tool making. of course. many different kinds of hierarchy within human societies. the smaller the number of individuals within it. The word hierarchy is derived from the Greek word for a religious leader.

of course). is put in his place. including their intelligence and athletic abilities. they must be compelled to do so. The British Field Marshall. They believe that inferiors should recognise their limitations. who is the most junior of all. of course. nonsense. Individuals differ widely in every human attribute. In other words. Sometimes known as The Peter Principle . Authoritarians tend to lay great stress on the hierarchy. These initiation ceremonies usually Farming and Us . Bernard Montgomery. he will become ineffectual. Montgomery apparently believed that everyone had such a ceiling (except himself. by every other individual. Closely associated with the concept of the hierarchy is the idea that every individual reaches a rank that represents the limit of his ability. and that any soldier who had been promoted above his ceiling had to be fired. Not everyone can be an Einstein or an Olympic gold medal winner. Hence.repeatedly by such events as the French Revolution. who is usually described as young. or junior. and to emphasise this concept of a ceiling. and that they should know their place. too. in which a newcomer. The concept of equality means that every individual is treated equally. in the lowest rank of all. believed that every soldier had a ceiling to his abilities. the American Constitution. because he was ineffectual and dangerous. for example. Indeed. the idea of initiation ceremonies. and the recent Canadian Charter of Rights. the hierarchy is abolished.Page 191 . this kind of hierarchical limitation has long been recognised. To pretend that all people are born equal in every respect is. Hence the concept of the upstart. If he is promoted beyond that rank.

Each class may also be covertly hostile to all superior classes. everyone can find his or her own niche in life. A more complex situation can also occur when each rank within a very large hierarchy becomes an ingroup. and the most subservient authoritarians at the bottom. and even to fear them.involve some form of debasement. usually male. each class tends to behave as an ingroup.Page 192 . in the oldest hierarchies. labelled. the two kinds of group control that occur within a hierarchy. Typically. and his authority continues until he dies. with the most dominant. and the need to be controlled. such as a monarchy. the Catholic Church. or considered inferior. criticised. and which has marked social classes. and university fraternities. They are prominent in the degrading hazing ceremonies that often occur in all-male establishments. in a tolerant society. above all. the need to control. Farming and Us . because of their numerical superiority. And individuals can do this without any suggestion of being ranked. or an ancient university. And each class tends to be hostile towards any lower class. Each class has strong prejudices concerning its superiority over all lower social classes. The authoritarian personality needs. however infirm and senile he may become in the meanwhile. author itarian at the top. judged. That is. A prominent characteristic of ingroups is that their internal organisation is hierarchical. such as the military. Everyone’s abilities differ and. the head of a hierarchy is appointed for life. Non-authoritarians prefer to stress freedom and individuality. In a society which is both large and authoritarian.

when approaching a large organisation. including his own entirely private thoughts and beliefs.Page 193 . He is probably incapable of voting against the wishes of his superiors.and even to fear them. the pecking order is usually verbal. He may even be incapable of holding an opinion that might displease his superiors. he will inevitably reveal to his superior which way he voted. merely by being unable to make eye contact. be called the rudeness order. it is advisable to address oneself to the Farming and Us . he may also be psychologically incapable of any action that might displease his superiors. from the top downwards. This is because he is afraid that. An authoritarian member of a human hierarchy can be as rude as he pleases to any subordinate. and is easily able to contradict an authoritarian superior. And he probably leaves the hierarchy soon afterwards. because of their social superiority. a hierarchy is seen in the pecking order. Only a complete non-authoritarian is free of such inhibitions. which establishes rank. This kind of social stratification can be remarkably unpleasant. If he is very subserviently authoritarian. For this reason. or because he has been dismissed. Among people. either of his own volition. perhaps. as commands. usually to the horror and dismay of his authoritarian equals in the hierarchy. Pecking can occur only from a higher to a lower rank. but he is psychologically incapable of being rude to a superior. A special feature of a hierarchy is that communication and control tend to be in one direction. There is usually little or no communication upwards. Among chickens. even when there is a secret ballot. and it might.

and it is an obvious form of control. and they recognised his authority as well. according to the fuehrerprinzip. the international judges at Nuremberg were not willing to recognise that the fuehrerprinzip constituted an entirely different legal system. However. many Nazi war criminals defended themselves by pleading that they had only obeyed orders. obeying orders was a reasonable defence. particularly as bureaucrats enjoy passing the buck to subordinates. Information easily filters down to the right person. who carried it to an extreme. however low in the hierarchy.Page 194 . Hitler’s own definition of this term was “absolute authority downwards.very top of the hierarchy. it was upwards. After the war. Interestingly. Another aspect of hierarchical authoritarians is that they take great pleasure in giving work to subordinates. compelling Farming and Us . but it rarely filters upwards. Hitler’s fuehrerprinzip also had a one-way recognition of people and. But. recognised Hitler. like obedience. This one-way control was an essential feature of the authoritarian organisation of the Nazis. whose sole function was to do his bidding. however deplorable that system might have been. and absolute obedience upwards”. In fact. Some eighty million Germans. every German was a subordinate. for his part. would probably be in serious trouble. and he certainly accorded them no electoral or vox populi authority whatever. because any German who did not obey orders. For Hitler. according to the fuehrerprinzip. This emphasises their superior rank very clearly. Hitler recognised none of his own people.

Page 195 . the respect of their students. It is seen. Domestic servants were surrounded by labour-losing devices. Authoritarians demand the loyalty of their subordinates. homework and holiday tasks are not necessary. For similar reasons. However. This is the final proof of good teaching. of their own volition. It is also clear that demands for loyalty. These kinds of demands do not succeed with individualists. this attitude to work was conveniently rationalised. whose lo yalty. such as trust. among authoritarian teachers who demand. It was believed that there was virtue in work. trust. It also provides considerable scope for covert punishment and reward. and to extend their control beyond the confines of the schoolroom. With high quality teaching. confidence. rather than earn. for example. and deference. by giving them homework. There is a quick test for authoritarianism and the control relationships that occur within a hierarchy.obedience. and in their own time. quite irrespective of the productivity of that work. because of the sheer interest that their non-authoritarian teacher has aroused. This distinction also applies to other feelings. trust. Non-authoritarians earn the loyalty of their subordinates. Farming and Us . who usually believe that obedience and loyalty to their superiors are among the greatest of human virtues. and holiday tasks. such as pillow-slips with twenty four buttons and button holes. by victimisation and favouritism. In Victorian England. respect. students of non-authoritarian teachers will often extend their studies. and respect will be met only by authoritarians. authoritarian teachers love to give work to their pupils.

army officers are apt to refer to their soldiers as ‘boys’. but cannot be obtained in any other way. often overt. This association of rank with age was particularly prominent in many of the old-fashioned boarding schools for boys. size. and sexual abuse of the young. Age. Authoritarian university professors usually refer to their students as ‘kids’. In North America. and to address them as “Son”. or younger. Authoritarians are usually quite intolerant of subordinate ranks. and the association between rank and age means that they are usually intolerant of the young also. and a junior officer is both low ranking and young. A senior army officer is both high ranking and old.confidence. than the bully. and they suffered permanent psychological damage. The young are generally treated with Farming and Us . The terms ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ apply to both of these words. and rank were conspicuously related. sadists who delighted in the infliction of corporal punishment. was clandestine but common. These schools were usually very authoritarian. and there was a flagrant male dominance hierarchy. by both teachers and older boys.Page 196 . and respect can be earned. For many boys. wit h many of the older boys being given very considerable authority over younger boys. the experience of such a school was traumatic. Homosexuality. Many of the teachers were covert. with vicious bullying of anyone smaller. A characteristic feature of authoritarian hierarchies is the close association between rank and age. and the pecking order was often brutal.

There are normally separate ‘rites of passage’ for boys and girls. and if the new head of the family was generous. It is noteworthy also that the political leaders are usually old in authoritarian countries such as Soviet Russia or China. Each year. Juniors must be kept in their place. The eldest son became the new head of the hierarchical family. such as ‘The Year of the Eagle’. which ensured that the eldest son inherited the title. they could expect an allowance. and they usually occur at the age of Farming and Us . Younger sons inherited little or nothing.contempt or. which is usually given a distinctive name. condescension. at best. Many non-industrial. an insurance. or a large corporation. if the estate could afford it.Page 197 . Napoleon declared himself emperor. at best. a government department. the age group that comes of age has an initiation ceremony. All the children born in one year belong to one age group. in any hierarchy such as an army. in case anything happened to the eldest son before he had produced an heir. and they were expected to go out into the world and make their own way. which strengthens its sense of ingroupism. or. Widows and daughters were even less important and. An age hierarchy could also occur among the sons of an aristocrat. agricultural societies place great emphasis on age groups. the wealth. alternatively. or a dowry. This was the basis of the law of primogeniture. and all the possessions of his father. and he himself placed the crown on his head. the land. they promote themselves to the highest military rank. Younger sons were just a reserve. And their birth order determined which one replaced the deceased eldest son. the first-born son being the most senior. the house.

each age group becomes increasingly senior. These individuals are failures. and that only old men hold power. Their failure increases the sense of ingroup superiority among those who successfully endured the ordeal in silence. Each age group constitutes a rank within a hierarchy. It also ensures that only men hold power. With increasing seniority.Page 198 . the few surviving members of the next most senior male age group automatically join the council of elders. The very nature of the age group ensures that age. So does the fact that one or two of these wretched children are unable to avoid crying out because of the pain. Each year. These societies are usually governed by councils of elders. such as circumcis ion. and authoritarian form of government. There is typically a painful initiation rite. This pain strengthens the sense of ingroupism. The age group is often the basis of all control within such a society. each age group also becomes smaller. conservative. This guarantees an orderly. oligarchic. This form of government is a classic example of an institutionalised male dominance hierarchy. authority. as well as the number of people in each rank. are continuously related. This reduction occurs mainly because the younger age groups are required to do all the dangerous work of defence and war. and rank. With the passing years. Farming and Us . because of the death of some of its members. and increased authority. and they may be made to suffer a subordinate position in their age group for the rest of their lives.puberty. Reduced numbers permit higher rank.

and irrefutable. Indeed. and they liked to display that wealth. and political power provides many opportunities for increased wealth. objection to these councils of elders is that no system of government should exclude women. expensive jewellery. consequently. the hierarchical control of subordinate ranks by superior ranks. large palaces or castles. and the authoritarians in a council of elders are unlikely to be open-minded. leads inevitably to exploitation. Only an open-minded old person can attain wisdom. this argument is spurious. Traditionally.Government by a council of elders has been praised on the grounds that only old men can attain wisdom and. When a society became too large for a council of elders. It is also the origin of the phrase about the rich getting richer. Wealth easily leads to political power. In such an authoritarian society. and the poor getting poorer. These were people of great wealth. the social and governmental hierarchies were closely related. who usually had absolute power. who abhor anything new or progressive. only old men should govern. would also fill the highest political and administrative posts. Farming and Us . it was usually governed by a hereditary monarch. the aristocracy. Another obvious. usually with extravagant dress. Unfortunately.Page 199 . explains why the lowest social class is always the poorest. they are far more likely to be old fashioned die -hards. and valuable horses. combined with the indifference that is so typical of control relationships. for the benefit of the few. The highest social ranks. This exploitation of the many.

whom they stereotyped as inferior. was always placed physically higher than any other seat in the room. open-air terraces which. in all senses of the word. as is often seen to this day in palaces. who could afford to educate their children. They had to attend the service sitting on specially constructed. In Mexico. being of such low social rank. the Spanish conquerors built churches. or of obtaining wealth. they were not allowed to go inside the church. to a man on foot. Similarly. and courts of law. and sit nearer to the top of the table. or nearer to the front of the church. a pulpit. Although these natives were treated as slaves. Members of the higher social ranks would go through doors first. For this reason also. a man on horseback was considered superior. where a priest would relay the service to them. a throne. But members of the lowest social classes. The upper classes were usually ingroupists. or influence. the lower ranks of government posts were usually filled by the middle classes. usually had no prospects whatever of education. and they looked down on the lower classes. But. faced a balcony built into the front of the church. and the detrimental effects of marrying outside their own class. This balcony. like an auditorium. Farming and Us . And they placed great emphasis on precedence and position. and forcibly converted the native peoples to Christianity. power. They believed themselves superior. They even talked of blue blood.With an aristocracy. They probably believed themselves to be genetically superior. such as the peasants. or a seat of judgement.Page 200 . churches. they were required to attend church services.

administrative. This applies equally to personal. and hoi poloi. This power to settle disputes in lower ranks was the basis of the divine right of kings. the greater is his authority. and the names. In many of the older civilisations. in words such as common and vulgar. No one except God could control a monarch. Their preferred approach is to discuss the dispute with their antagonist and. and regardless of rank. Any member of a hierarchy is usually entitled to settle disputes among members of ranks lower than his own. and highest ranking authority of all. the oldest. being derived from ancient Latin and Greek. equal to equal. Non-authoritarians. and this gave Farming and Us . Another aspect of dominance hierarchies concerns the resolving of disputes between individuals. the king was believed to be in direct communication with God. The names of the lower ranks invariably became derogatory. and people in the lowest caste are described as ‘untouchables’. was high up. Some of the more gullible Nazis even believed this of Hitler. are often very old. and this placed the priest in a position of superiority. An authoritarian will always appeal to higher authority. most senior. There is often a name for various social ranks. such as proletariat. In India. to settle the matter.naturally. appeal to higher authority only as a last resort. It was claimed that the king’s authority was conferred by God. the social ranks are called castes. on the other hand. if possible. And the higher his rank. and intellectual disputes. without animosity. and they even entered the language as disparaging terms. and the weightier is his judgement. to a more senior rank within his hierarchy.Page 201 .

Equally. priest. he is as rude as he pleases about the views of a professional whom he considers subordinate. doctor. towards the even less professionally exalted patients and clients. When an authoritarian teacher snubs a student. and those who are equal or superior. and clerks. And these juniors are themselves apt to be somewhat lofty. lawyer. it is a sure sign that the student has asked a question that the teacher cannot answer. An authoritarian professional is usually infuriated if he is criticised or doubted by someone whom he believes to be below him in the professional pecking order. and their juniors. Authoritarian teachers cannot admit to ignorance. Under these circumstances. Nonauthoritarian teachers. It was called the ‘divine right of kings’. Professional Hierarchies Relevant to this discussion are the professional hierarchies in which an authoritarian scientist. This professional pecking order shows among authoritaria n doctors or lawyers. the authority and power of the king were not to be questioned. on the other hand. because this would threaten their superior rank.Page 202 . technicians. and superior. such as nurses.him a divine right to absolute power. This professional pecking order is particularly prominent among authoritarian teachers who cannot bear to have their teaching doubted or questioned by their obviously subordinate students. or other professional authority divides people into those who are subordinate to him on professional grounds. positively encourage their Farming and Us .

but refuse to reveal it. Rank Fixation Many authoritarians positively want to be graded into a clearly defined hierarchical rank. Farming and Us . they like to grade other people into ranks. And. and similar castes. school grades. because they are not concerned about rank. or a library. This is the basis of social classes. where the patient cannot see it. with a book. university degrees. In fact. to doubt and question everything. And he is repulsively domineering to his subordinates. usually with a bland “Now don’t you worry about a thing. She then writes the temperature on a chart. and the strength of this rank fixation. a hospital nurse might take a patient’s temperature. this love of hierarchy can be called a hierarchy fixation or. One of the ways in which some professionals try to maintain rank is by withholding information. they probably take pleasure in demonstrating the best means of overcoming that ignorance. army ranks. The strength of the dominance and subservience of authoritarians depends on this sense of hierarchy. For example. which hangs at the foot of the bed. Equally. civil service status. we’ll soon have you up and about”. When it is strong.Page 203 .students to explore all realms of knowledge and. non-authoritarian teachers are easily able to admit to ignorance. which greatly strengthen the sense of hierarchy. in the process. more simply. An authoritarian with a strong rank fixation is nauseatingly subservient to his superiors. a rank fixation. a computer.

and confirming rank. establishing. to establish rank over others. People with a strong rank fixation tend to exaggerate the importance of rank. correction of minor errors. is much more likely to be likeable and trustworthy. These ‘one-up-man-ship’ games are also typical of bureaucrats who believe that. They usually do this in a negative way by putting other people down. Originally described by Stephen Potter as “how to win without actually cheating”. and some curious distortions are then likely to occur. whatever happens. Conversely. Farming and Us . and status symbols.Page 204 . and assists. for example. giving them unnecessary work to do. which are a method of gaining. display of superior knowledge. or by making them feel small. with snubs. the customer is always wrong. but who cares. It can also be done by an interminable. authoritarians may try to establish rank in a positive way. or by being entirely negative about every suggestion that a person might make. such as parading superior knowledge. with displays of superiority. and even afraid. or skills. and other forms of humiliation. ashamed. and unnecessary.Rank conscious people often try. shares. namedropping. these psychological games aim to put oneself up by putting others down. Alternatively. These constant attempts to gain rank ensure that authoritarians are people who are difficult to like or trust. This can be done. A special method of putting others down involves the so-called ‘one-up-man-ship’ games. someone who does not try to dominate. They also like to make others feel guilty. by consistent contradiction of everything that a person says. covertly.

because otherwise he would never have been promoted to it.. An authoritarian leader is also likely to believe that his rank entitles him to non-hierarchical privileges. otherwise the police would never have arrested him. and that their great leader himself was exclusively responsible for these outrages. He will probably consider that he has the right to criticise subordinates on technical grounds. This Farming and Us . During the worst period of the Stalin tyranny.. Ordinary people in a dictatorship often believe that their revered leader is unaware of gross injustices.For example. Trofim Lysenko. otherwise they could never have become the leaders of Russia. “If only our beloved Fuehrer knew. when the police arrest an innocent man.”. These gullible people honestly believed that their leader would put these dreadful things right.. authoritarians are likely to conclude that the man must be guilty. and they cannot be wrong. A scientific charlatan.”.”. even though they have greater technical expertise than he does. The police have superior rank. if only he knew what his subordinates were doing.. or “Our great leader Stalin. He may even believe that his rank confers such expertise on him. Little did they realise that they had been duped.. or “our little Tsar. No subordinate would dare undertake such controversial measures without direct orders from the very top...Page 205 . people in Soviet Russia generally believed that their leaders must be right. Soviet science was forced to conform to communist dogma.. Similarly.” or “El Duce. gained Stalin’s approval by denying modern genetics.

and gave instructions concerning the presentation of some parts of it”. genuinely believed that his rank gave him the necessary scientific expertise. inconsiderate. No doubt.. his main concern was to protect his reputation for infallibility. such alpha-male leaders are selfish. They are probably coldly efficient. aggressive. callous. It prevents any realisation of the simple fact that the leaders got to the top only because they were the most ruthless.corruption of science by politics was so complete that Lysenko would even boast in print that “. and explained to me in detail the corrections he had made. This automatic assumption that one’s superiors are competent. alpha males of their generation. and insatiable. Hitler himself believed he was infallible. for a while. dominating.Page 206 . It was typical of the man that. cruel. who was ill-educated and quite remarkably ignorant. they make incompetent and damaging leaders.Comrade Stalin personally edited my draft report on The Situation in Biological Science. and authoritarian. This fixation precludes any criticism of people in ranks higher than one’s own. By definition. is perhaps the most damaging aspect of rank fixation. fundamentally. which were revealed in the Farming and Us .. and they may have a façade of good leadership but. Many Germans believed that Hitler was infallible and. deceitful. he appeared to justify this belief. by blaming others. He was not too concerned with the results of his leadership. that they really are superior in all respects. when things began to go wrong. Stalin. rank-conscious.

such as Hitler or Stalin. If the source of information is a junior rank. with the caption “Coup! Coup!” Rank fixation also explains why closed-minded people always look to the source of information. the whole world.damage that he inflicted on Germany and. and the information is rejected. indeed. it is automatically the wrong source. the information is automatically doubted. And if the source is outside the hierarchy. Think of how the Soviet leaders incessantly appealed to the writings of Marx and Lenin. A cartoon once showed two doves flying over a map of Africa. indeed. the military leaders who replace a corrupt government are themselves very authoritarian. and accept it only if it comes from the right source. quite apart from Hitler’s war. and the cycle of inefficiency is repeated. Unfortunately. And this is why the one-party democracies in Africa. This senior rank may be a living person who gives orders. Hitler rejected the possibility of an atomic bomb on the grounds that particle physics was “Jewish science”. of course. They are usually so inefficient that they must be repla ced. The right source. This is why the official opposition of democratic governments is so important. but they are so firmly entrenched that they cannot be deposed. essential. These one-party governments are authoritarian. and very corrupt. are not democratic at all. is a more senior rank within their own hierarchy. Stalin wrought similar damage on Russia. Or it may be a dead ancestor who wrote texts now considered sacred. except by a military coup. and elsewhere.Page 207 . Farming and Us .

and the subservience of others to this wealth. are examples of rank fixation. He considered that it would be enough if young Poles could read road signs. or to possess a motor car. who considered themselves members of the upper classes. Preference for Sons Another example of the influence exerted by our dominance hierarchies is that authoritarian parents have control relationships with their children and. people with a strong rank fixation do not like to see any sort of privileges. and count up to ten. They insist that their own privileges must be greater than those of lower ranks. such as Hermann Goering.Page 208 .Finally. being bestowed on ranks lower than their own. Authoritarian leaders usually want to minimise education for the lowest ranks in the hierarchy. in the absence of love. they prefer sons to daughters. and cannot rise within the hierarchy. because no more than this was required of slave labour. Both the display of wealth. covet riches is to show off to subordinates. because it ensures that the inferior ranks remain inferior. Farming and Us . This display of wealth is a status display that other males cannot match. there is the question of authoritarian wealth. Finally. some snobbish people. Even quite recently. this strengthens the hierarchy. such as wealth or education. One of the many reasons that rank-conscious males. The classic example of this attitude was Hitler’s ruling on education in conquered Poland. believed it wrong for members of the working classes to be given a university education. Among other things.

A genuine love relationship between a parent and a child is not and. would probably never treat other people. third. were unknown before the advent of agriculture. and they love all their children equally. being non-authoritarian. particularly if their numbers had been reduced by some natural catastrophe. They will also marry and bring in a dowry. and a financial drain that culminates in the expense of a dowry. But. with opportunities for influence and power. There are several reasons for this conclusion. for nothing but their keep. even enemies.Page 209 . cannot. bought and sold like cattle. In complete contrast. indeed. be influenced by the sex of the child. in this way. hunter-gatherers. and the authoritarianism that emerged from the resulting high population densities.Sons are valuable because they will eventually become part of the male dominance hierarchy. kept as prisoners. because they really had nothing for slaves to do. non-authoritarian parents have love relationships with their children. And. hunter-gatherers would have little use for slaves. strictly. First. Daughters tend to be treated as encumbrances. this is not slavery. it would be incredibly easy for a prisoner to escape from a hunter- Farming and Us . Real slaves. and forced into hard work. Second. Slavery Slavery is undoubtedly a consequence of agriculture. Herders and hunter-gatherers probably indulged in a certain amount of woman stealing.

this question led to the Civil War. they were even used for human sacrifices. although this meant little because this country owned few slaves. One of the first European countries to abolish sla very was Denmark. largely as a result of Napoleon’s conquest of Spain. and the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. The authoritarians who dominated these cities were inconsiderate and callous in the extreme.Page 210 . In some societies. the French had abolished slavery in 1794. Male slaves were often castrated so that they could be employed without sexual risk in homes and harems. and slaves were in the lowest rank of all. Britain abolished slavery in 1833. Slave women and children were commonly sold into prostitution. France abolished it in 1848. Exploitation of the lower ranks is typical of any hierarchy. Serfdom was abolished in Russia in 1861. of course. who was tied to the land. Russia had a special kind of slave called a serf. however. such as the Aztec. because these people had no effective means of confining anyone. In the United States. when they achieved independence. Ironically. after their revolution. The abolition of slavery is an indication of how recently we have reduced our authoritarianism. and was bought and sold with that land. that slavery occurred in all the original cities.gatherer band. but Napoleon had reintroduced it in 1802. often in large numbers. Farming and Us . There is little doubt. It should be added that most of the Spanish colonies in the New World abolished slavery in the early nineteenth century.

and willing. our relative non-authoritarianism is less than two hundred years old. Prostitution Prostitution is also a consequence of agriculture. In very authoritarian city societies. their altruism. The very concept of prostitution was totally foreign to their way of life. a man can divorce a wife. We must recognise that all the professions are a consequence of agriculture. hunter-gatherers had no place for professionals. and the growth of cities.In so far as the abolition of slavery is an indicator. unless her children are old enough. Hunter-gatherers also had no place for prostitutes. In any event. and throw her out of the house. their numbers were also too low for prostitution to function. house keeping. and child-raising. apart from a few individuals who might have been recognised for their unusual skills in such things as tool making or healing. there will be hope indeed. Women are given only the roles of sex. However. child-bearing. as we have made in the last two. men are usually employable. If a woman had no family to look after her. He is entitled by law to keep her dowry. In some Islamic societies. but women are not. for example. to support her. she really had only the one possibility of prostitution. no doubt inaccurately. It has often been called the oldest profession. and their love and trust relationships. and her children. Being generalists. if we can make as much progress in reducing authoritarianism during the next two centuries. she probably has no alternative to Farming and Us . Her parents usually refuse to take her back and.Page 211 .

and that this is also a fundamental characteristic of both wild primate societies and authoritarian human societies. But the long-term future for these young people is bleak indeed. prostitution can support an expensive drug habit.prostitution. Alternatively. among children. Think of Goebbels who had a large ministry of propaganda devoted to deceiving the people of Hitler’s Germany. fear. and poverty. They have no need to Farming and Us . And the control of these subordinates by superiors also employs deceit. shame. she is reduced to either begging or suicide. Equally. And. or a happy future. usually because of extreme emotional stress and other psychological pressures. and punishment. and their shattered lives provide little hope of love relationships. guilt. Today.Page 212 . in a guilt-free and shame-free society. it is only those who are continuously exposed to threats. who become chronic liars. Modern prostitution is often an escape to freedom. most prostitutes in Western society are young people (boys as well as girls) whose lives at home are intolerable. Children brought up without threats or punishment. remain truthful. aggravated no doubt by drunkenness. Truth and Lies It was noted earlier that an essential aspect of control relationships is deceit. if she is too old for prostitution. prostitution can provide a good income for very little work. Once the initial distaste is overcome. drug abuse. Deceit is inevitable if the subordinates in a dominance hierarchy are to get their own way in anything at all.

lie. Hitler. failed so completely to understand Chamberlain. otherwise his control will not be effective. His only criterion is that the lies must be plausible. They do not value truth for its own sake. instinctively. But children brought up in an authoritarian background become compulsive and chronic liars. extreme authoritarians are usually compulsive liars. of course. To an authoritarian. Indeed. First is the lie direct. the deliberate creation of a false impression by suppressing. at the time of Munich. and they must be believed. that the last two categories are justifiable.Page 213 . Molotov. truth is quite unimportant provided that he gets his own way. several categories of lies. in which making oblique suggestions that are untrue creates a false impression. the truth. clearly intended to deceive. Goebbels. Then there is suppresso veri. a deliberate statement of untruth. and Goering used to lie automatically. This is possibly why Hitler. One of the several problems associated with compulsive liars is that they automatically assume that everyone else is a liar also. because this is the only defence they have. they learn to value truth for its own sake. and consistently. Communication with such people is difficult. and they have no fear of the truth. or withholding. They are compelled to lie. who meant what Farming and Us . There are. People like Stalin. because they are not really lies. or part of the truth. quite incorrectly. In any event. And there is suggestio falsi. Many authoritarians believe. For this reason. they believe that the end justifies the means. because they refuse to believe a word that one says.

They also tend to produce very unoriginal and stupid Farming and Us . even by their own low standards. Psychologists have a name for this kind of self-deception. a truthful man. or even “It is for his own good. that goes with that love. Children can detect this attitude. a plea for a demonstration of love. any explanation will do. really. instead of love. Authoritarian mothers lie compulsively to their children. even if only to retain their own self-respect. such as “It is for the good of the group”. and qualitytime. and this does not add to their already frail emotional security. “Spare the rod and spoil the child”.he said. They have to find plausible reasons for their own behaviour. never recognised. and the attention. And it is possibly why Chamberlain failed so completely to comprehend Hitler. at least. who meant nothing of what he said. Consequently. They call it ‘rationalisation’. at least subconsciously. regardless of its veracity. and they believe their own lies. the child gets lies. Another problem with compulsive liars is that they lie to themselves. Authoritarians not only believe their own rationalisations. in the long run”. equally. It is likely that Chamberlain had never experienced a compulsive liar before and. And. The rationalisations that justify such behaviour are often meaningless clichés. Indeed. “The end justifies the means”. Authoritarians are probably compelled to rationalise.Page 214 . that Hitler had never experienced or. a child’s incessant questions are usually a cry for help. Their attitude is that a child’s incessant questions are a nuisance. which is often inexcusable.

and they all had to die Farming and Us . who was kind and considerate to his family and subordinates. on the other hand. Non-authoritarians have much less need to rationalise because their behaviour rarely requires it. because there is so much that is discreditable about their lives. truth with lies. really. sanctimonious. and to examine them with a view to ameliorating them. to non-authoritarians... What this loyalty and obedience had inflicted on nearly twelve million murdered members of outgroups was something that he conveniently rationalised as being “. and untrue. and obedient to his Fuehrer. and they have too much security at if necessary. This is a fundamental aspect of their personalities. simply cannot do it at all. and self-criticism. because they are inadequate. however painful. Non-authoritarians are very good at it. Non-authoritarians are capable of introspection and.ones. Introspection is this ability of self-examination and self-criticism. is preferable to ignorance or falsification.Page 215 . In any event. loyal to his own ingroup. because they were all leading miserable lives. This explains why a man like Heinrich Himmler could genuinely believe himself to be a decent fellow. This is possibly one of the reasons why their self-satisfaction often appears so smug. Authoritarians. unsatisfactory. in the long run. the truth about themselves. They replace introspection with rationalisation. they usually reject their own rationalisations quite quickly. they are much more likely to recognise unpleasant facts about themselves. To non-authoritarians. objective self-examination. and insufferable. If they do rationalise.

will quickly become the most influential. To do otherwise will be to risk exposure and ridicule. political murder is unacceptable.” Quite apart from his callous stupidity. who just happen to be politically inconvenient.Page 216 . Accordingly. politicians will be compelled to speak the truth. Nowadays. Four examples will suffice. And these politicians will then value the truth as much as they value their reputations. which can be sacrificed without compunction. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was one of Russia’s most important composers. Himmler conveniently ignored the fact that it was the Nazis who had made their lives miserable in the first place. as well as the most truthful sources of information. at least in the more developed countries. and to every source of news. modern polit ical murders tend to be very carefully camouflaged. However. They often involve people of great ability. Once every individual in the world has free and immediate access to all human knowledge. He was in Paris when he reportedly drank a glass of Farming and Us . Political Murder This need for political truth is emphasised by political murders. to an authoritarian. political control is more important than genius. The most truthful politicians.sooner or later anyway. which have been so common in the past that they are too numerous to contemplate. Possibly the most important aspect of the information revolution and the Internet is that politicians will no longer be able to control information.

but Turing was believed to be unreliable because he was homosexual. In those days. He was compelled to take poison. supposedly by the CIA. famous for the idealised computer called the ‘Turing machine’. In fact. The decoding work was given the highest level of secrecy. he had had a homosexual affair with a member of the Russian royal family. and Turing would go abroad to find partners. died from an overdose of sleeping pills. he was linked to the July 20th assassination attempt on Hitler.Page 217 . This was officially suicide. and the ACE computer in Manchester. was a far more important consideration than the loss of a genius.unboiled water and died of cholera. He was given a state funeral. but many suspect that she was considered a grave security risk because she knew too many secrets by virtue of her close ties with the Kennedy brothers. and he had been compelled to take poison because of it. Farming and Us . This was considered a major security risk which. homosexual practices were illegal in Britain. Turing is reported to have committed suicide (for no apparent reason) by taking poison. the successful decoding of German radio messages at Bletchley Park during World War II. and that her death was actually a political murder. often considered the most beautiful film star ever produced by Hollywood. Alan Turing (1912-1954) was possibly Britain’s greatest genius of the twentieth century. Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) was one of Hitler’s most successful generals but. Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962). and it was then announced that he had died of war wounds. in 1944. to military authoritarians.

the English had a special court of law known as the Star Chamber. the Star Chamber ignored them so conspicuously that it has since given its name to similarly unjust proceedings. otherwise known as ‘due process’.Natural Justice In the seventeenth century. any attempt by an outsider to influence a member of a jury is quite rightly regarded as a very serious contempt of court. and even downright wrong. are meticulously observed.Page 218 . and most important. corruption. are then much reduced. the proceedings of the Star Chamber were secret. Today. The first principle of natural justice is thus clear. Justice can only be done if it is seen to be done. at least in part. And law courts in the Western World now take extreme precautions to ensure that the principles of natural justice. since ancient Roman times. and closed to the public. the decisions made by this court were frequently unjust. and bribery. The possibilities of prejudice. First. A defendant must also have the right to be judged by a jury. or decide for themselves whether or not it was a just decision. coercion. Farming and Us . Although the principles of natural justice had been understood. Judicial proceedings must be public. The authoritarians who ran the country liked this court because it was expedient. However. This means that a decision is reached by a group rather than by an individual. No outsiders could discover why a particular decision had been reached. Perhaps the best way to describe the principles of natural justice is by an examination of the Star Chamber.

who may be contemptuous. In practice. an accused should not be judged by members of his own ingroup who are likely to be prejudiced in his favour. Similarly. A defendant also has a right to impartial decision-makers. and a lord had the right to be judged by lords.Page 219 . This is why jury selection can be such a difficult process. must have no personal interest in the outcome of the decision that they have to make. Consequently. And a blue-collar worker should not be judged by white-collar workers. equality extends to race. In practice. language. who may be envious. and the judges. A commoner had the right to be judged by commoners. This means that both the members of the jury. In this respect. natural justice insists that everyone has the right to be ju dged by his peers. And a poor man should not be judged by the wealthy. A rich man should not be judged by paupers. He must be given full access to all the evidence presented against him. this means that a defendant is entitled to a jury of people who are his equals in all respects.The members of the Star Chamber were all nobles. a peer is an equal. religion. and he must have the right to crossFarming and Us . This led to the principle that a defendant has the right to hear and to be heard. It also explains why jury selection is such an important process. In this sense. he must know who presented it. the elimination of prejudice is best achieved by having a mixed jury in which no one group can predominate. sex. They treated the rights of mere commoners with the disdain that authoritarians usually have for the members of a lower rank. and any other difference that might lead to prejudice. The Star Chamber used to operate in the absence of the defendant.

a defendant must also have the right to legal representation during all of the judicial proceedings. and guilt must be proved. When a decision has to be made by voting within a group. Either the gardener himself gives this evidence. there is a risk of coercion of subservient authoritarians within the group of decision-makers. This coercion is done by authoritarians who exploit rank fixation. There must also be rules governing evidence. regardless of whether the risk of coercion was real or not. he must be given the right to present any evidence he wishes in his own defence. or it is inadmissible. One of these is hearsay evidence. The accused is also entitled to full and detailed explanations of the law. One of the main functions of the legal representative is to object if he thinks that the principles of natural justice are being abused.examine all witnesses. It is not good enough to say “my gardener told me he saw the accused steal the apples”. This is Farming and Us . He must also be given reasonable notice of evidence against him in order to have time to prepare his defence. In English-speaking jurisprudence. Innocence is assumed. it is important that there is a secret ballot. The secret ballot is necessary just to demonstrate publicly that coercion did not occur. and its legal processes and consequences. such as a jury or committee. Because the law is such a complex subject. there is a presumption of innocence. Otherwise.Page 220 . Equally. Some kinds of evidence are not admissible.

it can be only because the prosecution proved his guilt and. It was common. he must be automatically assumed to be innocent. to extract a confession under torture. for example. and their courts were a travesty of justice. even in Western society. can an accused person respond to the challenge “Prove that you are not a spy”? If the accused is to be found guilty of spying. the Star Chamber’s decisions were final and absolute. Natural justice is also lacking in many modern societies and. in Farming and Us . had no sense of natural justice whatever. this situation is at its worst in authoritarian societies. and the appeal must involve an entirely different. for example. If a decision was wrong or unjust. natural justice insists on the possibility of appeal. This was also true of Russia.important because it is often as difficult to prove innocence as it is to prove a negative. for example. Lastly. and this confession was then accepted as evidence of guilt. during the Stalin purges. in Western society. higher court that has no special interest in protecting the reputations of the people making up the lower court. the deposed politicians are most unlikely to receive a fair trial. there was no possibility of correcting it. For this reason. They are more likely to be summarily shot. in any non-industrial country. How. there are many situations. natural justice scarcely existed. The Nazis. if the prosecution cannot do this. Unfortunately. Today. In medieval times. which suffers a coup. typically.Page 221 . And. the principles of natural justice are so ingrained in our jurisprudence that most people take them for granted.

as he fancies.which the principles of natural justice are needed but are consistently ignored. they usually succeed by covertly subverting the principles of natural justice. learned societies. Indeed. An authoritarian. becomes powerful within such an organisation when it is known that he has the ability to control the domestic tribunal. The domestic tribunals are decision-making bodies that usually have the power to punish or reward individual members of their own organisation. were minimised. and military courts martial. Two examples will suffice. enquiries into police abuse. and he is feared if it is well known that he is able ’ to get someone promoted. The principles of natural justice were developed by egalitarians as a means of ensuring that injustice. or even eliminated. strenuously oppose their proper implementation. When authoritarians indulge in victimisation and favouritism within autonomous institutions. religious establishments. bent on controlling others.Page 222 . whose control would be greatly reduced. The first example concerns the administration of justice by domestic tribunals. These institutions include professional associations. He is then described as ‘influential . trade unions. by the use of these procedures. or even expelled. universities. These are the various regulatory boards and committees that control autonomous institutions. And subservient authoritarians pander to him. authoritarians. in terms of Farming and Us . and the abuse of authority. It is consequently instructive to compare our domestic tribunals with the Star Chamber. or punished. political parties.

Page 223 . was not tolerated. Nowadays. It exists to ensure that justice is done. with complete administrative and academic control over his staff and students. The head of the department was an alpha male. a department chair is elected democratically for a fixed period. whether administrative or scholarly. It did not apply within the university. and obedience was upwards. The days of the god-professor have gone forever.natural justice. A department committee that decides promotions has a quasi-judicial function. or a student got his degree. many of these committees behave very much like the Star Chamber. Dissenting opinion. unofficially known as a ‘god-professor’. in most universities. He had a largely untrammelled control over whether or not a teacher got his promotion. in either administrative or academic matters. The proceedings are secret on the grounds that Farming and Us . particularly in Europe. In the bad old days. contrary to popular opinion. resulting from either favouritism or victimisation. and a committee of peers makes all decisions concerning promotions. His decisions. were final. universities were very authoritarian and were organised as rigid male dominance hierarchies. But. Communication was downwards. Unfortunately. and appeal was impossible. the days of natural justice have yet to come in most of our universities. Academic freedom referred to interference from outside the university. who was appointed for life. particularly in the sense of preventing injustice. That was the bad old days. A simple case of promotion within a university department provides a useful illustration.

Western universities lay great emphasis on their peer assessment of promotions and similar decisions. or by any other person appointed to protect his interests. Although he is usually permitted to meet the committee.confidentiality must be preserved. justice is not being seen to be done. the appellant does not have an unfettered right to hear and be heard. in preference to teaching or academic research. But this is not good enough because. Professors who choose to do this. The committee members may genuinely believe themselves to be honourable men. and to undertake administrative chores. Farming and Us . The appellant is not present during the discussion of his case. And those who choose to sit on promotion and tenure committees. The committee can also cross-examine him about any aspect of his case. such as teaching ability. and he is not represented by legal council. particularly concerning attainments that are difficult to measure. and to be following a code of perfection. and scholarly achievement. and to present evidence in his favour. are often very authoritarian indeed. however true it may be. can obtain considerable control over their colleagues. But they generally ignore the requirement of unbiased decision-makers.Page 224 . Many university professors are authoritarian. And such authoritarians cannot possibly be trusted to follow a code of perfection. or to be unbiased decision-makers. including adverse evidence that he has not been told about. to be completely unprejudiced. and hearsay evidence usually abounds. The committee has no rules of evidence.

the rivalries. will know that it is almost impossible to obtain unbiased decision makers from within that institution. The classic case of injustice within an autonomous institution occurred with the Dreyfus case in France. or to declare him entirely innocent. It is only very recently that we have begun to learn something about the psychology of committees. the jealousies. Subservient authoritarians on the committee are likely to support the alpha male. and regardless of whether his viewpoint is the correct one. preening. that occur within an autonomous institution. but the French army waited a century before they could bring themselves to admit culpability. and even the hatreds. and to appreciate just why committees can sometimes be so incredibly incompetent. whoever he may be. and another discipline. Anyone who has experienced the internal dissension. True justice can probably be achieved only if the decision-makers come from another institution.Alas. and the fighting for rank. Authoritarians often treat a committee as a form of ‘stamping ground’ in which status displays. The injustice and the punishment were gross. He was eventually pardoned. It led to Emile Zola writing his famous “J’accuse!”. it is too much to hope that domestic tribunals are free of prejudice. Dreyfus was a Jew who was court-martialed by his anti-Semitic military peers on trumped up charges. When several males are struggling for the Farming and Us . strutting.Page 225 . that occurs among competing males in a dominance hierarchy. and showing off are prominent. The decisions made by such a committee are often the result of status duels. in the late nineteenth century.

The Bay of Pigs disaster was a committee decision that the committee members were subsequently unable to explain or justify.Page 226 . Farming and Us . This is akin to ancestor worship. In practice. and this too is a form of ancestor worship. Another conference decided to eliminate hyphens from complex chemical names. non-authoritarian godprofessor is infinitely preferable to an incompetent committee of destructively competing authoritarians. ‘Chemistry’’ or ‘Crop Science’. of course. the only realistic possibility is a system of committees in which the principles of natural justice are meticulously observed. Compare dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane with dichloro-diphenyltrichlor-ethane. ‘Hertz’ in place of ‘cycles per second’.alpha position. In the old days. A similar tendency is seen in the naming of university buildings. This incompetence of committees explains why the internal politics of autonomous institutions are often described as chimpanzee politics. the committee can become chaotic. A few examples of asinine committee decisions will illustrate this point. which is the full name of DDT. There is also a deplorable tendency in committees to name physical parameters after famous physicists e. buildings had names such as ‘Central Library’. There was also a decision by an international conference to arrange computer and calculator number pads in the opposite direction to telephone number pads. This is no way to make important decisions. but today they have been mostly re-named after illustrious members of the university.g. and even dangerous. It need hardly be added that a competent.

Far too many of our autonomous institutions are run as oligarchies with a small group of influential people who may keep changing positions. and all self-governing institutions. most of our autonomous institutions are some three centuries behind our judiciary. university departments. religious establishments. There is a further refinement of this test. and the fact that they recognise the need for democratically elected chairs. and illicit victimisation and favouritism. and its behaviour. But these safeguards alone are not sufficient to prevent injustice. If a woman is in charge. Some of these institutions are proud of their democracy. corporations. professional associations.Page 227 . collective decisions. There is an easy test for the amount of authoritarianism within a self-regulating institution. Farming and Us . And the subservient rank and file quietly acquiesce to an unauthorised system of unjust punishment and reward. check to see how authoritarian she is. other than those that are exclusively female. chiefly because they are more inclined to fight the more flagrant abuses of the oligarchy. but who are collectively in charge more or less permanently. Their quasi-judicial processes operate almost as Star Chambers. This test is valid for trade unions. peer assessment. the institution is likely to approach a primitive male dominance hierarchy in its organisation.In terms of natural justice. political parties. And it is mainly the non-authoritarians in the institution who are likely to be victimised. If there are few or no women in authority. and an appeal process. Count the number of women who are in positions of authority.

and Nazis. in truth. This stereotyping is a total negation of justice. Perhaps more than anything. and its rarity. Alas for poor humankind. this emphasises both the importance of natural justice. and lynch mobs. It concerns punishments inflicted by authoritarian ingroupists on to members of an outgroup. Farming and Us . When an ingroup (which might be quite large) sets out to kill every member of an outgroup (which may also be quite large). authoritarians stereotype all members of the outgroup as guilty. by definition. They stereotype them all as dangerous and evil. They also have an extreme hostility towards the members of an outgroup.There is a second example illustrating the necessity for natural justice which is even more disturbing.Page 228 . and Khmers Rouges. we see injustice at its most gross. It is also the way that those extreme ingroupists called terrorists behave. They are also deceitful. in terms of justice. This extreme of behaviour culminates in that incredible phenomenon called genocide. Members of an ingroup are. and they lack compassion or concern for others. They attach little importance to truth or justice. it is only authoritarian man who is vile. Most important of all. and Red Guards. authoritarian. It is not fair to comment that “Every prospect pleases. and only man is vile” because.

If such people were prevented from rearing children. Like the vendettas of southern Italy. an absence of consideration for others. for example. and proof of superior rank. there is often a chain of retaliation and counterretaliation that continues for decades. and some Farming and Us . It is then extremely difficult to break that chain of attack and counterattack. regardless of whether the cruelty is imposed on people or animals. Brutality can also occur with such things as baby battering. Cruelty is a clear indication of authoritarianism. Some mention should also be made of brutality which.Page 229 . there must be an absence of human altruism. or the political feuds of places like Israel or Northern Ireland. this cultural inheritance would be broken. like cruelty. Each side believes its retaliatory actions to be entirely justified. cruelty provides proof of power. This lack of love is a cultural inheritance. must be regarded as an extreme absence of love. is the result of lust. from which all trace of love is lacking. in the sense that it occurs only in individuals who were themselves brutalised. Only rather extreme authoritarians can behave in this way. Such proof can be very satisfying. in which there is no trace of love for the child. Sexual brutality.Retaliation Retaliation is often a form of group punishment in which innocent civilians are injured or killed by way of either revenge or deterrence. and is unconcerned about the killing of the innocent. Cruelty and Brutality For an authoritarian. If cruelty is to be pleasurable. and reared entirely without love.

rarely indulge in punishment. and too much compassion. there are just problem parents. Non-authoritarians. and a dominance hierarchy. or the protection of loved ones. with a ‘good smack’. with their concern for others. Violence is also associated with ingroup attitudes towards outgroups.” Violence There is almost certainly a close relationship between authoritarianism and violence. Authoritarians often like to dominate the young. and other subordinates. Indeed.of the more extreme symptoms of authoritarianism. if they should become violent. but this too is directly associated with the control order. And.Page 230 . it is almost invariably for a justifiable reason. There is little doubt also that all personal viole nce derives directly from the dominance hierarchy. and its control relationships. their kindness and altruism. When one person perpetrates violence on another. After all. such as cruelty and brutality. As George Bernard Shaw once said. “There is no such thing as problem children. to be brutal. Non-authoritarians have too much concern for others. the pecking order. And Farming and Us . or personal violence. this is what domination is all about. Personal violence can also be inflicted for purposes of punishment. it is usually for the express purpose of establishing or maintaining rank. They even obtain pleasure from it. it is probably safe to conclude that all brutality and violence result from authoritarianism. such as self-defence. would disappear from our society.

Our own age is less brutal. in the form of corporal punishment. Ancient Roman gladiators were even required to kill each other. among rival males. such as a cane. Until very recently. is little more than ritualised male domination. for example. they only pretend to burn people at the stake. and various kinds of fighting are recognised as sports. using effigies named after Guy Fawkes. It establishes other precedences as well. with a very grave risk of permanent physical and emotional hurt. Only authoritarians can obtain pleasure from watching such primitive struggles for such mindless domination. In Britain. and the veneration they accord to the meaningless victor. and we merely simulate death on our television and cinema screens. both emotionally and physically. does not worry them in the least. a male dominance hierarchy not only establishes precedence for a female in season. with rank being decided by violent conquest. Farming and Us . or the sharp edge of a ruler. or to box their ears. was permitted in our schools. violence. Sadly. Many authoritarians actually enjoy violence. just to entertain the crowd in the arena. Among the social apes and monkeys. The sport of boxing. the most atavistic aspect of boxing is the audience itself. Our society still sanctions many aspects of domination violence. Violent crime is another form of personal violence. replacing blood with ketchup. But the popularity of violence in television and films is not a good sign. often with an instrument of torture. Teachers were allowed to strike children.Page 231 .the fact that the subordinate may be wounded.

even for total strangers. like the dominating male ape. If a young male chimpanzee has a particularly appetising morsel of food. Even plants can punish an animal attempting to eat or damage them. Punishment The whole question of violence leads us to the problem of punishment. will not allow it. as anyone who has experienced poison Farming and Us . Their altruism. When young men become muggers. or even prevent. their motive is undoubtedly one of gain. unintentional intruder. Non-authoritarians cannot behave in this way. Snakes and scorpions will bite or sting an aggressor. and assault an old and feeble person for the purpose of theft. species often protect themselves with a form of punishment. authoritarianism. And. an older male will steal it quite ruthlessly. we must ask ourselves if punishment will cure. In nature.including that of ownership. they probably obtain a thrill from their behaviour. If that punishment is prison. as well as a casual. But. and with violence. accompanied by ear-splitting shrieks from the aggrieved victim. they also establish rank over someone weaker than themselves. If all crime and serious misbehaviour is the result of authoritarianism. Bees will protect their nest by stinging any animal trying to steal their honey. being callous bullies. we can be absolutely certain that the punishment will do nothing to cure authoritarianism. their compassion and concern for others.Page 232 .

or even death. But this argument is clearly false. we must find other. However. It is an equally grave error to justify human punishment on the basis of a male dominance hierarchy. It is sometimes argued that inter-specific punishment proves that all punishment is natural. or they may even be poisonous. better reasons.Page 233 .ivy. if only because the interaction between individuals within a society is not an inter-specific interaction. Higher animals have considerable fear of these punishing species. Similarly. It is a grave error to justify human punishment on the basis of evolutionary principles such as inter-specific punishment and the struggle for existence. this authoritarianism cannot justify punishment in a non-authoritarian human society. Other plants may have a very bad taste. This is part of the law of the jungle. in a society organised on a basis of human altruism. However. Farming and Us . punishment is an essential aspect of a dominance hierarchy. or even relevant. and domination is possible only if it is backed up by either the threat or the reality of punishment. The very concept of domination necessitates the punishment of those who oppose domination. This punishment is inflicted by one species on to a different species. Neither of these factors is applicable. and that it is accordingly an acceptable aspect of human society. and they leave them strictly alone. will know. If punishment is to be justified. and the punishment usually involves great pain. stinging nettles. punishment can also occur within a social species that has dominance hierarchies. or cactus spines.

and punish his subordinates if they misbehave. He dominates the others by beating up. and even conquer his neighbours. and it is the cause of most punishment within human societies.Page 234 . to human altruism. he also has a police force and a military. If he is a head of a modern state. or punishing. the alpha male does not have to be tall and strong because he has many bullies who will obey his orders. A dominating authoritarian cannot envisage the possibility of a trust relationship. For him. It is foreign to love and trust relationships. any male who disobeys him in any way at all. the most insufferable behaviour in a subordinate is a refusal to be controlled. non-authoritarians are quite willing to co-operate. which can control the populace. He prefers compulsion and a control relationship. do not require obedience in order to behave. of co-operation from others. and to individualism. Nor do they submit to it. The extent to which we retain punishment within our society is perhaps a measure of the extent to which we retain authoritarianism and dominance hierarchies. Punishment is out of place in a non-authoritarian society.An alpha male ape is the largest and strongest male in the group. In human dominance hierarchies. Non-authoritarians. The mere threat of such punishment is enough to make all the subordinate males behave. It is also a measure of how far Farming and Us . Even when teamwork requires unity of action. and their willing co-operation can be even more effective than ingroup loyalty and obedience. on the other hand. This refusal is called disobedience.

for this reason. irrespective of any guilt or justice. they are easily hurt. to say nothing of frightened children.e. anyone. The most obvious form of personal punishment is the chastisement of children. At the personal level. and the fear. And it can be legitimate (i.we have still to go in the return to our inherited behaviour strategy of human altruism. or even death. for the love of all that is beautiful. and it results from the frustration that follows a failure to control. Punishment can occur at two levels. Indeed. Punishment may be defined as the deliberate infliction of avoidable suffering. usually by parents or teachers. it is this authoritarian urge to punish someone. that leads to an innocent person being made into a scapegoat.Page 235 .. There can be no doubt whatever that both the threat. of punishment are powerful instruments for the control of subservient authoritarians. physical pain. The angry statement “Someone should be punished” which is made regardless of who should be punished. the desire to punish is often vindictive. the personal and the social. (Why. But the inflicting of punishment can also confirm superiority of rank and. Children are easy to punish because they are small and defenceless. pair bonding. The suffering can involve emotional hurt. The impulse to punish may thus be considered one of the definitive symptoms of a dominating authoritarian. and love and trust relationships. should it ever be necessary to inflict avoidable suffering?). it can provide considerable personal gratification to the punisher. and they Farming and Us . often reveals this impulse. sanctioned by society) or illegitimate.

1985. (How could children possibly have emotional security with a father who was prepared both to utter such threats. and to carry them out?). and he was permitted to punish his children by selling them into slavery. there were no limits to parental authority. such as baby battering. A special aspect of the punishment of children concerns those born out of wedlock. In some of the older authoritarian societies. It is only authoritarians who. by the deliberate infliction of avoidable suffering.cannot hit back. lacking love relationships of any kind. The Captain’s Lady by Ronald Morris. by people who are not fit to be either parents or teachers. or by killing them. for example. and fear. ISBN 0-7011-2946-8). shame. with humiliation. even as recently as the first half of the twentieth century. and it derives from the authoritarian obsession with controlling others. unfeeling. It is a sad reflection on our times that the punishment of children has to be controlled by law. In Confucian China.Page 236 . Such people can also bring themselves to punish children emotionally. for example. can bring themselves to hurt infants and children. read like horror fiction. London. guilt. combined with the evil belief that sex is sin. and other kinds of horrifying mistreatment. and Farming and Us . the disobedience of church authority represented by extramarital sex. were insufferable. in order to prevent abuses. It was typical of the callous. (See. And some of the accounts of boarding school life in Europe. Chatto & Windus. a father’s authority was absolute. To a rigidly authoritarian church establishment. and the resulting illegitimate child.

Some people try to justify the punishment of children on the grounds of a negative incentive in the learning process. exhilarating.Page 237 . and they judge them. It is often argued that children need discipline. Authoritarians. Non-authoritarians are not much worried by illegitimacy. The punishment of children has also been defended on the grounds of discipline. rather than the negative inducements that punish a child for doing them wrong. and a sense of safety and security.extremely authoritarian ecclesiastics. rather than the parents. Low quality teaching is tedious and boring. even an illegitimate child. Besides. and would suffer for the whole of its life because of its parentage. for its own sake. on the other hand. Such a child was born with terrible legal and social handicaps. They call them bastards. and because of the behaviour of its parents before it was even conceived. not the parents. accordingly. Without discipline. and the positive reinforcement that rewards a child for doing things correctly. It is only bad teaching that needs to be supported by the threat of punishment. and fascinating. it is said. high quality teaching is exciting. usually despise illegitimate children. or an adopted child. The very word illegitimate is a stigma that was applied to the child. Discipline is supposed to provide an anchor in life. They tend to love a child. they feel insecure and emotionally lost. that they then punished the child. and treat them. It is of doubtful value for this purpose because high quality teaching is based entirely on positive incentives. and the marital state of its parents is irrelevant. Farming and Us .

and love relationships of any kind. Many parents are unaware of this distinction between authoritarian and non-authoritarian self-control. and who have been reared in a family that lacks love and affection. but not punishment. punishment is suffering. and quality time.However. This is what is meant by love being unconditional. based on concern and consideration for others. But only authoritarian parents Farming and Us . In spite of very good intentions. discipline provides emotionally insecure children with a sense of being controlled. the question of punishment never arises. Their inherited social altruism can be greatly strengthened by teaching. Authoritarians also argue that. loving correction. Children who are brought up without punishment can be taught non-authoritarian selfcontrol. or they cannot be bothered. is inflexible and brittle. or they are far too busy. care. without punishment. And we continue to punish our children. children will never learn good behaviour. It also requires much more love. when there are strong love relationships. and loving instruction.Page 238 . are essential when a child misbehaves. Punishment leads to an authoritarian self-control which. And it is avoidable. In any civilised society. being of external orig in. But this argument too is false. Besides. an upbringing without punishment requires much more effort on the part of the parents. these arguments apply only to children who lack genuine emotional security. When parents love a child unconditionally. it is also inexcusable. far too many parents do not know this. indeed irrelevant. At best. Discipline is unnecessary. After all. Obviously. and based on codes of regulations.

that demonstration. who is far more likely to respond with punishment. and the greatest possible reward that they can offer is love itself. It was possibly intended as a Farming and Us . and a tooth for a tooth”. And the extent to which children do this. And the fact that these people may be entirely innocent is quite irrelevant. no doubt. They encourage their good behaviour with rewards. this is often a cry for help. The child is inviting its parent to give a demonstration of love. overwrought. which derives from the code of Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC). Revenge can be just as satisfying if it is inflicted indiscriminately on one or more subordinates. Preferably. and it tends to be an automatic response in an authoritarian. on someone else. Sadly. but this point is not too important to authoritarians. For an authoritarian. who has been hurt or upset in any way. The Old Testament injunction “An eye for an eye. When a child asks incessant questions. or deliberately misbehaves. Revenge is a form of punishment. or an even greater hurt. is rarely bestowed by the uncaring and.Page 239 . and to which parents are prepared to inflict avoidable suffering on their children. which the child needs so desperately. such a hurt can be assuaged only by inflicting a comparable. It is only children who lack emotional security who misbehave. parent. is sometimes taken as a sanction for revenge. is a measure of their lack of love. and they do this in order to control them. and who invite punishment.punish their children. or members of an outgroup. that person should be the one who caused the original hurt. They need to establish these control relationships because their children misbehave so consistently. Non-authoritarian parents never punish their children.

and this fear of hell has been responsible for incalculable misery. Nevertheless. is to gratify the authoritarians who indulge in it. A special aspect of an authoritarian’s desire to control and punish shows in the medieval attitude to death. occasionally. even by death. there have been very many gullible people in the course of history. an injunction that revenge should not exceed the original hurt. its main purpose. he was repudiating revenge entirely.Page 240 . and to provide a demonstration of their superior strength and rank. That is why an authoritarian church hated suicide. Christ went even further and. when he said “Turn the other cheek”. The church accordingly declared suicide a sin. of a most un-Christian and unmerciful kind. So. it was only very gullible people who believed this nonsense. It is typical also of the vendettas of Sicily and Southern Italy. as happened in the United States with the Hatneys and McCoys. obviously. they emphasised hell. the final proof of the liberty of man. and these punishments continued for all eternity. No doubt. Farming and Us . and supposedly punished them after they died.limitation on revenge. Revenge shows in family feuds and. It has been said that the final rebellion against authoritarian control. punishable after death by damnation. it can lead to the virtual extinction of entire families. Authoritarian ecclesiastics detested the thought of anyone escaping their punishment. is the ability to commit suicide. Hell involved very nasty punishments. which very conveniently controlled people when they were alive. Because revenge is so often inflicted on people who are innocent.

Covert sadism is often called crypto-sadism. possibly dream up this kind of treatment for someone who is already so miserable that he wants to die? A peculiar aspect of punishment is that some subservient authoritarians positively enjoy being punished. It is pathological because the human pleasure in sex evolved mainly to support love. and is sadism. The two desires are usually linked in one person as sadomasochism. This is masochism. until quite recently. driving testers. policemen. These people have direct and legitimate control over others. and they include teachers. A suicide was denied a Christian burial in consecrated ground. suicide was a crime and. and is often occurs among authoritarians who are in that broad category of people known as social workers. which professes Christian charity. How could any society. just to ensure that he would remain in hell. doctors. nurses. Apparently. in English law. and punishment is the very antithesis of love. because they are both related aspects of a pathological authoritarianism. he was liable to be punished by being sent to prison. particularly in a situation involving sex. It is very easy for crypto-sadists among Farming and Us .Page 241 . if someone’s attempt at suicide was unsuccessful. Nevertheless. Eventually. it was not a sin for a mad person to commit suicide.and the everlasting tortures of hell. and prison warders. Its converse is the pleasure of inflicting punishment. dentists. as might be expected. the civil authorities in England became so embarrassed by this nonsense that they would add the phrase “while the balance of his mind was disturbed” to a coroner’s verdict of suicide.

obviously. The authoritarian overtakes a benefactor in wealth or rank. a sense of superiority. A special aspect of punishment concerns the abuse that is sometimes heaped on a past benefactor. must be kept there. Bullies are very authoritarian. It is not uncommon. than themselves. Crypto-sadism can by explained only on the grounds of a selfish. the greater the help that the authoritarian received. personal gratification in the punisher. for example. and who go to great lengths to alleviate suffering in others. It is surely not necessary to add. for university professors to delight in torturing students. but sometimes not so mild. This hostility of authoritarians to past benefactors can Farming and Us . Or they bully people who are younger. because he is now in a lower rank and. And they lack any kind of concern or compassion for their victims. which is usually mild. the greater is his hostility to the benefactor. This is another symptom of authoritarianism. but is then unable to admit to owing anything to that benefactor. or of once having been subordinate to him. least of all his crucial help to gain rank. Nor can he credit the benefactor with anything. however. that the majority of social workers are kind and altruistic people who are in no way crypto-sadistic. and smaller. particularly during oral examinations. As a general rule. The authoritarian feels compelled to belittle and damage that benefactor. The gratification comes from the exercise of power. which amounts to the same thing. It is the sort of gratification that bullies obtain from bullying. and a confirmation of rank.them to inflict avoidable suffering.Page 242 . and they only bully people in ranks lower than their own.

because it is the only method we have. However. no one Farming and Us . in which old Mr. it is called judicial punishment. it seems we do).sometimes be vicious. Certainly. that the threat of punishment is a bad way of enforcing the law but. When the code is disobeyed. The law is an impersonal form of group control which consists of a code of regulations sanctioned by society. But how much more crime we would have is a point that cannot easily be resolved. The judicial authorities try to enforce this code by the threat of punishment. It supposedly deters criminals from committing crimes. the authorities really have no alternative but to carry out that threat. it is justified. The second justification is that punishment acts as a deterrent. This justification of judicial punishment says. we would have much more crime. John Sedley. almost beyond belief. unless we are prepared to admit that we live in a threat culture (which. we still have a lot of crime. which would otherwise become meaningless. The threat should never have been uttered in the first place. this consideration on its own does not justify punishment. A classic example is given in Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair.Page 243 . Osborn furiously denigrates his bankrupt benefactor. It can be reasonably argued that. Judicial Punishment When the infliction of deliberate but avoidable suffering is sanctioned by society. without judicial punishment. in effect. There are four supposed justifications for judicial punishment. alas. However.

or a total absence. And. often induced by desperate poverty or drug addiction. with each other. because they lack non-authoritarian self-control. and of our reduction of authoritarianism.Page 244 . as such. the best way to prevent crime may be to teach people to become good parents. and income tax authorities. rather than personal. and they lack concern and compassion for the victims of their crime. we could easily make a punishment-free society one of the targets of our social development. A widespread and substantial improvement could probably be achieved within two or three human generations. is a poor substitute for the kind of rearing and education that would have prevented that failure in the first place. of nonauthoritarian self-control in the criminal. and with their children. and love relationships. For this reason. because this is the only message that fairly extreme authoritarians can Farming and Us .seriously suggests that we could move to a punishment-free society overnight. it must be on the grounds that the deterrent of a swift and inevitable retribution is the only way to prevent authoritarians from turning criminal. Ultimately. It is probably fair to suggest that most criminals are strongly authoritarian. Their crimes are impersonal. Crime is usually due to a failure. who have strong pair bonds. supermarkets. Nevertheless. they are less abhorrent. less authoritarian criminals make a point of victimising institutions. rather than individuals. Punishment. and the threat of punishment. If the deterrent justification of punishment is to be vindicated. such as insurance companies.

a bully who cannot be intimidated by any other prisoner. in the prison inmates. for those who would argue that crime is often the result of drug addiction. this male dominance hierarchy. we must eliminate authoritarianism. as well as the abuses that go with it. The principle method of judicial punishment is to send the criminal to prison. and the need to escape from an intole rable lack of emotional security. And. if we really want to eliminate crime. The prison warders often tolerate. a very powerful dominance hierarchy exists in every prison. it must be added that the addiction itself is usually caused by authoritarianism. because it makes their own task of controlling the prisoners a lot easier. omega males at the bottom. with officially sanctioned ranks.Page 245 . The guards themselves have their own male dominance hierarchy. and even encourage. and very frightened. with a group of totally intimidated. these prison hierarchies are most unlikely to alleviate the authoritarianism. If crime is due to authoritarianism in the criminals. but emerges as a well-trained professional burglar.understand. Similar hierarchies occur in women’s prisons. Farming and Us . or to reduce the urge to crime. Unfortunately. There is invariably an alpha male among male prisoners. It could even be argued that prison is the worst possible form of rehabilitation of criminals. this is just another way of saying that crime is a result of authoritarianism and that. However. Many a young petty thief goes to prison an amateur. And there is a downward pecking order.

Instead of punishing those who disobey the law. In strict Islamic law. This argument can be refuted by examining the converse of punishment. and be stoned to death for adultery. for example.However. Punishment is a negative thing. The offender gets his just deserts. punishment is easy. It is also cheap. Who. It is difficult to condemn this kind of crime. But this scarcely justifies them. Whether true or false. while reward is positive. for example. Farming and Us . or an uncontrollable need for illegal drugs. the deterrent justification is also dangerous because it is so easily abused. It is certainly not a substitute for the kind of care and protection that any decent society should be prepared to provide for its less advantaged members. there is another cause of crime. victimisation.Page 246 . Punishment is possibly the least effective treatment for such despair. Here the idea is that the punishment is deserved. but it is even more compelling. why not reward all those who are law abiding? Unfortunately. which is reward. such savage punishments do deter. is justified provided that it deters crime. have his right hand severed for theft. which occurs when the criminal is driven by desperation. A third justification for judicial punishment is retribution. can seriously criticise a father who steals food for his starving children? And an addict’s need for illegal drugs may be selfish. No doubt. a man can be flogged for brewing alcohol. and it is little different from the desperation that can drive a person to suicide. even the punishment of innocents. Some extreme authoritarians use the false argument that any punishment. This kind of desperatio n can result from poverty.

by the gratification of non-offenders. If anything. Punishment also involves a minority. because they suffer also.Page 247 . strictly. this cheap reward. no doubt. vicariously. of the non-offenders. Most political prisoners in authoritarian countrie s are unjustly imprisoned on the grounds that they have forfeited their rights to freedom. Non-authoritarians are not rewarded by the suffering of others. to be pelted with filth by the crowd. they are punished. The execution of criminals used to be public for this reason. It is applied to serial killers and incurable sex offenders. This is called preventative detention and. In societies that are very authoritarian. and expensive. and lesser offenders were put in stocks. out of sympathy and empathy. he often has. is true only of authoritarian societies.Reward is difficult. while reward involves the majority. It is done on the assumption that the offender has forfeited his rights to freedom as. The final justification of judicial punishment is purely pragmatic and it is to confine dangerous criminals solely for the safety of ordinary citizens. Some modern aspects of punishment have become absurd. But not always. and the grievances. as a direct consequence. However. We must be very confident of the excellence of our judicial system before we can be certain that the use of preventative detention will never be wrongly used. and most unjust. it cheaply rewards the vindictive feelings. it is not punishment. It cheaply punishes the offender and. Consider a man who is guilty of a moderately serious traffic Farming and Us . retribution is remarkably convenient because it provides both punishment and reward.

and he is fined. And. no compensation is ever possible when his innocence is established. ever be expunged. Farming and Us . insurance companies. Only authoritarians favour capital punishment.offence. for a crime that he knew he did not commit. They may also have a strong but subconscious. He is punished a third time by his car insurance company. probably to an extent far greater than his original fine. Most judicial punishment is reversible in the sense that someone who has been punished unjustly can be compensated when his innocence is eventually established. partly because of the doubt. If an innocent man is executed. Nor can the horror of someone being killed. and incompetence that pervades all courts of law. He is punished by the judiciary.Page 248 . and because they want an unambiguous and final conclusion. far beyond those considered just by the judiciary. and unrecognised. its dispensation should be strictly reserved to the judiciary. What makes capital punishment so special is that it is not reversible. He may then be punished a second time by a licensing bureau. which has been given mandatory power to suspend his driving licence. uncertainty. if his work depends on driving a vehicle. which increases his premium. but mainly because it is so abhorrent in itself. Nonauthoritarians are appalled by capital punishment. If we must have this escalation of punishment in our society. and employers can inflict additional penalties. desire for human sacrifice. both because they lack concern and compassion for the accused. he will be punished a fourth time by losing his job. Something is seriously wrong when bureaucrats.

in which an entire group is punished for the actions of one of their members who remains unidentified. Usually. Collective punishment can also involve the taking of reprisals in which the retribution may be a hundred-fold or more. outgroup punishment is very often collective punishment.A special form of punishment is the collective punishment. These hostages are then killed. if the extortion.Page 249 . or demands for revenge. and to punish the entire class. and the punishment is then applied indiscriminately. If the culprit remains silent. are not met. This punishment of children known to be innocent is inexcusable. for each one of their own men who had been killed by the underground resistance forces. the Nazis often killed a hundred innocent locals. inflicted without any relation to guilt or innocence. It may involve the taking of hostages. utterly different standards apply. When authoritarians decide to punish members of an outgroup. in occupied countries. who are all innocent. They would sometimes wipe out an entire town. the teacher has little option. and regardless of any guilt or justice. It is also deplorable in an establishment intended to educate. and has to carry out the threat (which should never have been uttered in the first place). Farming and Us . the culprit is required to own up under the threat of collective punishment. Collective punishment occurs in schools where the entire class may be punished because of some peccadillo of one of its members. During World War II. For this reason. All the members of the outgroup are likely to be stereotyped as guilty.

a town of 450 people. The entirely different standards that are applied to outgroups explains why the committing of all kinds of crime.Lidice. of whom 247 were children. and Tokyo. was ‘liquidated’ with all its inhabitants. in Czechoslovakia. obviously. during a war. and because of their contribution to the enemy’s war effort. to the day. there were two towns called Oradour in this part of France and. the Allied commanders decided to bomb German and Japanese civilians who were stereotyped as evil and dangerous. This is because it is extreme authoritarians who make military decisions. indeed. in France. in Oradour-surGlane. who was the Nazi in charge of this country. No doubt. and then burned the town. And their sense of compassion is entirely lacking. on June 10th. 1942. (His personality was so nasty that many Nazis considered him the most natural successor to Hitler). are permitted and. owing to a slight administrative error. including murder. was to kill as many of them as possible. and their hostility to out-groups is quite uncompromising. the Nazis punished the wrong one. as a reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The Allies tried repeatedly to create firestorms in major cities. During World War II. actively encouraged. As it happens. including the children. and they sometimes succeeded. Farming and Us . Exactly two years later. Dresden. as a punishment for the guerrilla murder of a German officer. for example. The best thing to do.Page 250 . the Nazis murdered 642 people. the inhabitants of these cities were stereotyped as dangerous because of their nationality (don’t you know). as in Hamburg.

for example. and students assess their teachers.Page 251 . In this way. When this happens. a court of enquiry may be set up to assess responsibility for some failure or disaster. it is normally the most senior ranks in the hierarchy who are held responsible. as one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. and as many deaths. For example. or of individuals who are entirely outside the hierarchy. and the most junior ranks are exonerated because they were compelled to obey these orders. If it is a military or police court of enquiry. Upward Evaluation Upward evaluation is the term used to describe the institutional judging of superiors by inferiors. the court usually consists of senior officers within the same hierarchy. They are usually accused of failing to obey orders. The senior ranks are then accused of giving the orders. Hierarchical Punishment A court of enquiry may consist either of members of senior ranks within a hierarchy.These firestorms were likely to cause as much damage. Workers assess management. However. This happened. the senior ranks can exonerate themselves. when the court of enquiry consists of outsiders. This is a concept that authoritarians loath Farming and Us . Non-authoritarian individuals among the Allies were powerless to prevent these crimes against humanity. with the Nazi trials at Nuremberg. it is invariably individuals in the lowest ranks who are held responsible and who are blamed.

for example. Less authoritarian schools allow the assessments but keep them secret. students would do well to enquire about anticalendars. and its suppression is just another example of the many evils of authoritarianism. and where he ranks in his department. to be used as weapons in the manipulation of promotion and tenure committees. The most authoritarian universities refuse to allow any student assessment of teachers. The most liberal universities of all publish the results of student assessments in a document known. as Farming and Us . such as a birthday gift. More liberal universities limit themselves to telling each professor what his assessments were. Authoritarians are habitually secretive. Secrets can be commendable as. often called the ‘skeleton in the closet’. Nevertheless.and detest. Secrecy Closely allied to deceit is the phenomenon of secrecy. But people usually keep secrets because they have something discreditable to hide. because it can damage the hie rarchy very severely. Such a document is of vital interest to the students.Page 252 . as an ‘anti-calendar’. when choosing a university. curiously. something that they do not want the rest of the world to know about. and the fear of losing rank to a subordinate. with the concealing of a pleasant surprise. it is an excellent guide to the liberalism of an institution. and liberal universities would do well to advertise their use of them. When a person’s life is dominated by rank fixation. Indeed.

slanders. without difficulty. They have candid personalities in the sense that they are not concerned about rank. that life is likely to be a deceitful and discreditable one. deceptions. He had a special order “Think of nothing except your own sphere of activity”. for example. being sociable. they do not need to hide their real motives. all designed to improve his own position. Hitler hated to have subordinates become too knowledgeable. Many authoritarians have illegible handwriting. they like to share both experiences and information. have little need for secrecy. And.Page 253 . Guilt. “Every man need know only what is going on in his own domain”. and fear will also make an authoritarian secretive about his own mistakes and failures. and they can laugh at themselves. manipulation. and plots.well as the desire to gain rank over others. Authoritarians are also secretive because they positively like to withhold information. and authoritarians do not want to give away power unnecessarily. Knowledge is power. would habitually withhold knowledge from their patients. There was a notice in every Nazi office that said. and they are not overly worried by occasional mistakes and failures. Authoritarian doctors. shame. and this may be due to an unconscious urge to maintain secrecy. Non-authoritarians. even when their own behaviour has been less than creditable. on the other hand. libels. Such a person will have endless secrets about his lies. Farming and Us . and they believe in democracy and open government. They can admit to error. mainly by damaging others.

or inappropriate comments from a referee.Authoritarians who write letters of reference or recommendation for subordinates always insist on their letters being confidential. whether factual or conceptual. of course. can be modified and improved. This is not conducive to good science. they explain why. the very essence of science is that every new result. This exposure and testing is an essential check of accuracy. acting as scientific referees for purposes of peer assessment. and there are usually many applicants who are rejected. but. an inadequate research proposal or paper. they insist on anonymit y. in order to preserve confidentiality. this makes for good science. if they can. if they are not able to recommend that person honestly. They too can unjustly condemn a research proposal or publication. so that he can discuss those comments. By this criterion. secrecy and anonymity are utterly unscientific. must have their comments shown to the author of a research proposal or publication. This is because there is always more than one referee for each applicant. without him ever knowing who did the deed.Page 254 . This gives them considerable power and control. authoritarian scientists. Non-authoritarian scientific referees positively insist on their name being sent to the author. Farming and Us . without its author ever knowing who did the deed. In this way. Indeed. It allows them to condemn a person unjustly. or they decline to write a letter at all. must be exposed to public scrutiny and criticism. Either way. Non-authoritarian referees copy their letter of recommendation to the person they are writing about and. Similarly.

or an expunged criminal record.Authoritarian committees concerned with promotions and disciplinary action. But all government business is. Non-authoritarians believe. Anything that is genuinely confidential. and achievements. Authoritarian governments consider secrecy normal. but this should be regarded as a sad reflection on the state of our international relations. are also very secretive in the interests of confidentiality. and the betrayal of government secrets is then treason. abilities. and non-authoritarians who value open government. because they shield abuse. Secrecy and confidentiality make injustice possible. they were an internal recognition of the need for open government. in open government. They indicate. such as medical information. should not be confidential. such as service records. The same is true of governments. In Britain.Page 255 . This is an obvious rationalisation. public. the official secrets act has been a bone of contention for years. quite rightly. Government secrets are obviously justified when national security is at stake. is rarely the concern of that committee. and the names and comments of referees. Farming and Us . between authoritarians who value secrecy. or should be. after so long. and in freedom of information. And any information that is the concern of that committee. and private information must obviously be confidential. This is why “justice can only be done if it is seen to be done”. rather than a justification of secrecy. The Russian concepts of glasnost and perestroika were tremendously welcome because. Every individual has a right to privacy.

by spies. The betrayal of government secrets. and this is a wonderful increase in nonauthoritarianism. spies. When many nations have secrets from each other. Secret police are to be found only in very authoritarian countries. will develop. The breaking of national secrets involves intelligence services. and either the arrest or the escape of those spies. fear. counter-measures. and confrontation that are themselves closely guarded secrets. The function of the police is to enforce the law. and ingroup hostility. Indeed. Since the end of World War II. and they are unpardonable because they enable the government to spy on its own citizens. This is great stuff for novels and spy thrillers. but it is quite unnecessary and. both the behaviour and the powers of the police are a very good indication of the amount of authoritarianism in a country. and to prevent crime. the police must be given considerable authority over ordinary citizens. inexcusable. among non-authoritarian nations with open governments. it is inevitable that high levels of suspicion. competition. just how much unnecessary secrecy there used to be in Soviet Russia. to the extent that every nation allowed unhampered international inspection of all its military and political activities. all need for spies and secrecy would disappear.Page 256 . A major concern of non-authoritarian governments is to Farming and Us . So too would the suspicion. has provided many a newspaper headline. If this kind of secrecy could be abolished. and spy on each other. indeed. In order to do this.perhaps. and hostility. this is exactly what has been happening within Europe.

the police need to operate in secret only if they are breaking the law. and to make their activities as open. they are quite obviously abusing their authority. false arrest. permanently . No citizen can then feel safe or secure. if they are breaking it.ensure that this police authority is not abused. Authoritarian governments positively want police secrecy. Their secrecy is most likely to involve the taking of bribes. Farming and Us . and his friends and relatives had no idea what had happened to him. As Juvenal said. and other gross injustices. as accountable. “. Apart from the operational secrecy involved in rounding up criminals. A non-authoritarian police force calls itself the Police Service.. A notable feature of many police forces is that courts of enquiry into police misbehaviour are set up and operated by the police themselves.. and civilian fear. This is law specially designed to limit the powers of the police and. so that their police will be powerful. and as un-secret as possible. and feared.quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (“…who will guard the guardians themselves?”). This decree was designed expressly to increase police secrecy. The Nazis even had a “night and fog” decree. The best way of preventing such abuse. so that he simply disappeared. is to put the police into uniform. which encouraged the Gestapo to arrest a man secretly.Page 257 . but it may also concern racism. faked evidence. and this is likely to lead to yet more secrecy and injustice. This is an obvious means of increasing their control over ordinary citizens.

and become so resigned to his fate. and it is an aspect of the deceit that is an integral aspect of dominance hierarchies. Among simple people in the tropics. and this was the origin of the terms black magic and white magic. that he stops all conscious activity and. for example. The effectiveness of magic depends entirely on the gullibility of the people being controlled. Even one such episode will give enormous power to the magician. mainly because of the influence of advertisers and conjurers. told that a death spell has been cast on him. Magic could be either malevolent or benign. those powers become real. magic can even kill. in a week or two. If people genuinely believe in the powers of magic. to achieve a pair bond with a love potion. authoritarians are typically secretive. and secrecy consists of withholding or denying that information. Farming and Us . perhaps. Historically. and a spell would be cast in an attempt to control events or people. the word is derived from the Magi. who were ancient Median priests skilled in sorcery. Magic and Astrology The meaning of the word magic has changed in modern times. he quietly dies. In the old days.Information is power. This is a sure sign of authoritarianism. A particularly naïf man. Black magic would injure or damage someone. the sole function of magic was to control. while white magic would be used to cure illness or. is likely to surrender to this belief. For this reason. or supernatural forces. and lead to a huge increase in the gullibility of his devotees.Page 258 . This control would invoke the agency of spiritual beings.

such as murder. in the 1950s.Gullibility is a characteristic of subservient authoritarians. the miracle is a deception that very conveniently strengthens both the power of the priesthood. which concerns miracles. The insurgency then lost all its momentum. During the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. or from the apparently impossible actually achieved. because white magic can cure many fears and psychosomatic symptoms. who wish to be controlled. who wish to do the controlling. or worse. In either event. However. physiological. undertaken by genuine witch doctors. the insurgent terrorists compelled people to join their ranks by forcing them to commit a crime. The willingness of Farming and Us . It can also have very powerful medicinal effects. even in politics. White magic can be used to counteract the spells of black magic. A special aspect of magic is the religious one.Page 259 . or physical damage can also be alleviated. due to infectious. if the patient is gullible. that automatically made them outcasts from the Kikuyu tribe. and the piety of an unsophisticated laity. enabled the outcasts to cast off their fear and to return to their tribe. This episode provides a modern example of the power of magic. These outcasts then had no choice but to join the terrorists. Other symptoms. while the desire to practice magic is clearly a characteristic of dominating authoritarians. The miracle can result either from the actually impossible apparently achieved. special purification ceremonies. A miracle can be regarded as a proof of omnipotence. because of improved mental attitudes.

In its original meaning. Farming and Us . the successful prediction of eclipses would have given the priests of Stonehenge immense prestige and. astrology was a perfectly respectable branch of astronomy. Indeed. Hawkins has produced good evidence that Stonehenge was built as a rather simple analogue computer that would predict eclipses with astonishing accuracy. which would duly occur as predicted. It is typical that modern astrologists rely on ancient texts. power and authority. astrology was no more than this. such as tides. Subsequently. hence. The ability to make accurate prophecies is a powerful means of control. because modern astronomy reduces their theories to stark nonsense. as well as their earthly consequences. No doubt. astrology replaced astromancy. for their interpretations and predictions. Whether or not this was so.Page 260 . and its main function was to make accurate predictions of celestial events. to newly initiated novices.medieval people to perpetrate such frauds was dramatically demonstrated recently. as a term. and assumed its magical connotations. The priests must have been well aware of this every time they summoned the multitude to announce an eclipse. Gerald S. they have no choice in this matter. such as eclipses and phases of the moon. never to be divulged. and the divination of human affairs by the stars was called astromancy. except with immense ritual. Until the seventeenth century. rather than modern astronomy. when the Turin shroud was shown to be a medieval fake. their method of prediction would be a great secret.

claims to have these kinds of predictive powers with respect to people and their personal affairs. Ricci was proved correct. Mateo Ricci. on a two-lane highway that offers no possibility of overtaking. It is often said that life is a highway and. in its modern magical sense. and this gave him immense prestige in that Oriental court. the first Christian missionary to China.In 1629. by driving very slowly. and junior to the car in front.Page 261 . Astrology. was able to tell the Chinese emperor that his Chinese calendar was inaccurate. Some authoritarians love to control the cars behind them. and its exploitation has a special appeal for manipulators. Subservient authoritarians revel in being controlled by the conjunction of the stars. Some drivers have a marked rank fixation. And authoritarian manipulators revel in their control of such innocents. than the Chinese calendar had forecast. and last a shorter time. It appeals particularly to subservient authoritarians. and that a predicted solar eclipse would in fact occur later. a line of moving cars is a hierarchy. Authoritarian Car Drivers Authoritarian behaviour is also revealed among car drivers. by quoting jargon and metaphysical nonsense concerning those stars. believing themselves to be polite by surrendering their right of way to a (superior) car in front. Dominating authoritarians are often aggressive drivers. in this sense. with a Farming and Us . They do this quite oblivious of the many (inferior) cars they have held up behind them. with each car having a rank senior to the car behind it.

and a callous lack of concern for individuals. In the management of human affairs. It has been a move away from authoritarianism. Nonauthoritarian drivers flow with the traffic. It has been a move towards the behaviour patterns associated with human social altruism. Non-authoritarian drivers are revealed typically by their concern for other road users. They drive with care and courtesy. and to replace hierarchies with individualism and equality. by overtaking every vehicle in sight. There is a popular tendency to make comparisons between men and women drivers. And. The phenomenon of ‘road rage’ in which some drivers have even taken to shooting at each other. liberalism aims to replace control relationships with trust relationships. among the non-authoritarians. dominance hierarchies. pair bonding. pluralism. is an extreme form of this authoritarianism. They are responsible for few traffic accidents. Liberalism The whole history of liberalism has been a movement away from a hierarchical social organisation. and concern for others.dangerous urge to increase rank. control relationships.Page 262 . but it is far more realistic to compare authoritarian and non-authoritarian drivers. towards individualism. This is the equival nt of a return to the e Farming and Us . Authoritarian drivers fight the traffic. and democracy. It is probably unnecessary to add that it is mainly authoritarian drivers who are the cause of traffic accidents. women are probably in the majority. love and trust relationships. compassion. egalitarianism.

But this return has a difference. The other extreme involves a human society that has no hierarchy. such as Hitler’s Nazism. liberalism is a remarkable achievement. But a few. It is also a very new achievement. Perhaps the nearest we get to this ideal of non-authoritarianism is in those rather rare extended families that are organised entirely on a basis of love. come close to the extreme of the male dominance hierarchy.non-authoritarian social life of our pre-agricultural. alas. The position of a society on this spectrum can be anywhere between these two extremes of authoritarianism and tolerance. A male dominance hierarchy Farming and Us . no human society exists at either extreme. consideration for others. this is a situation that we can visualise in terms of a spectrum. and tolerance. Stalin’s Communism. and some of the more obnoxious fundamentalist sects. It is happening in spite of our high population densities. and no authoritarian behaviour whatever. and our authoritarianism. individualism. Such a society is governed by the kind of non-authoritarian selfcontrol that is associated with ideal pair bonds. and consideration for others. they are probably much less close to it. In practice. social altruism. of course.Page 263 . our sedentism. Even fewer human societies come close to the opposite extreme of non-authoritarianism and. hunter-gathering ancestors. For this reason. Once again. Its position can usually be assessed by a simple axiom. One extreme involves a human society that is controlled exclusively by a male dominance hierarchy. love and trust relationships. mutual care and decision making.

a church establishment. or any system of organisation. in general. most human relationships are control relationships. and trust and love relationships can predominate. or to litigation. Because trust is both rare Farming and Us . is authoritarian.Page 264 . on the other hand. For this reason. quite quickly. In any sort of dispute. In such a society. and refrains from interfering with the personal liberty of anyone else. In an authoritarian society. the lack of trust is more than justified. In such a society. And. and cannot. trust each other. a university department. People try to control each other because they do not. a trade union. The competition to increase one’s own rank in this pecking order can be both savage and ruthless. people trust each other to behave well. and the kind of pecking order that is more appropriate to chickens. of any human society can be determined by its attitudes towards feminine equality. it is easy to make new friends. There is then no need for control relationships. and to go to their boss. the police. indeed. such people are quick to appeal to authority. everyone does behave well. The kind of control and.leads to the subordination of women. the state of civilisation. Non-authoritarians are quick to recognise egalitarianism in others. and to develop trust relationships. a lack of love. A government. deviousness. a political party. and to recognise that such people are as trustworthy as themselves. a lack of trust. Such a society is characterised by deceit. that excludes women. virtually everyone shows consideration for others. while good pair bonding leads to the equality of women. In a non-authoritarian society.

This was the kind of society envisaged by Christ and. “Love thy neighbour”. and they can be formed only with great difficulty. we are all able to judge it”.and feeble in such a society. “Turn the other cheek”. in the old-fashioned sense of this word. Of hostility between ingroups. by Karl Marx. Each of these visionaries had his dream shattered by subsequent authoritarians. who ruined the new equality by inflicting a rigid hierarchical control upon it. “Blessed are the meek. Christ said. Of hierarchies. and over long periods of time. he said. Marx believed in a perfect communism. Of male dominating bullies. “although only a few may originate a policy. for they shall inherit the Earth”. in a rather different way. This is essentially the same as the ideal of Pericles who said. who defined it as a free society in which all are able to criticise effectively those who make decisions concerning it. rather than control relationships. he said. in which there would be a perfect equality. friendships and trust relationships are unlikely to be strong. Farming and Us .Page 265 . of the Golden Age of Athens. and people at the bottom of the human pecking order. The converse of a hierarchical society is the open society of Karl Popper. there is no hierarchy. When all the relationships in a society are love and trust relationships.

our selfcontrol can range between the authoritarian and the non-authoritarian. concern. whether we are concerned about. and it involves human altruism. Although control of one’s appetites. It is our selfcontrol that determines whether we are polite or rude to another person. or smoking. above all.5. whether or not we try to control that person. We should. and behaviour based on such consideration is essentially non-authoritarian. the term self-control refers to the way we control ourselves in our interactions with other people. it is not relevant to the present discussion because it does not relate directly to another person. when interacting with others. That is. Farming and Us . make a distinction between the way we control ourselves. such as greed. such as the control of greed. and the way we control our own appetites. Non-authoritarian self-control is based on love and trust relationships. another person and. Good manners are often defined as consideration for others.Page 266 . or indifferent to. is the more commonly accepted meaning of the term ‘self-control’. Authoritarianism in Individuals Controlling Ourselves In the context of this book. compassion. perhaps. and consideration for others.

Authoritarian self-control. This kind of behaviour originates within the person who exhibits it. in both their work and their dress. or Farming and Us . which conceals the absence of concern. and the desire to control. Indifference belongs to dominance hierarchies and control relationships. or concern. Etiquette. and is a mere code of regulations. insincere. and the indifference. But they are incapable of spontaneous sympathy. based on concern for others. etiquette is a useful tool when nothing better is available. It is indifferent to the feelings of others. help. but it is authoritarian. and deceitful. and tidy. Good manners. The converse of concern is indifference.Page 267 . Dominating authoritarians are typically indifferent to the feelings of the people they dominate. are of internal origin. Etiquette is a hypocritical mask. which is the antithesis of love. punctual. for others. on the other hand. on the other hand. Mutual concern is essential in a system of human altruism and pair bonding. This indifference to the feelings of another person is often disguised behind a pretence of good manners called etiquette . does not involve compassion. No doubt. They have the sort of personality and behaviour that is usually described as cold and controlled. Such people are normally polite. and it is based on a genuine desire to be agreeable. a dominance hierarchy. and they operate entirely on a basis of etiquette. of an authoritarian personality. or to be controlled. is of external origin. and is very injurious to a love relatio nship. Extreme authoritarians have no concern or compassion for others. and it is based on control relationships.

inevitably. an extreme etiquette is inflexible.Page 268 . They are likely to fail in any sort of an emergency or crisis which. in a superficial way. selfish. they become helpless and ineffectual. And much consideration for others makes use of the rules and rituals of etiquette without necessarily being hypocritical. The extreme authoritarian. In moments of tension. and it functions as such. People whose behaviour is governed largely by this kind of external control tend to have brittle and unstable personalities. They can even become catatonic. yet another spectrum. and totally concerned about the well-being of everyone around him. So is the extreme non-authoritarian. they are likely to forget their external code of regulations. their etiquette. Such people need clear and unambiguous orders during a crisis and. Farming and Us . Inevitably. When it does occur. Military commanders have often behaved in this way. and their behaviour then degenerates dramatically. is not covered by their external code of regulations. is rather rare. if there is no one to give such orders. Perhaps the most famous case concerned the fall of Singapore during World War II. and it provides behavioural guidelines that can be quite inadequate. and ruthle ss. totally dependent on etiquette to control his behaviour. totally oblivious of etiquette. if you will. It becomes inconsiderate.kindness. there is considerable middle ground between etiquette and good manners. Much of etiquette is an imitation of good manners. readers should not identify with either extreme of the spectrum. and singularly inappropriate. Once again.

This well-defended island.Page 269 . in both French and German means a label. Had he known it. people who were socially insecure used to suffer agonies about ‘doing it right’. A detailed knowledge of an obscure and difficult etiquette is an accurate ingroup label. The disaster was due primarily to the officer in command. and both Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt were the chief proponents of similar absurdities. social bullies would delight in making them feel ignorant and inferior. who became totally ineffectual. to the point of mental paralysis. In Britain. airfields. for example. and snobbish. and were themselves preparing to surrender to him.000 British and Australian soldiers. or helped himself to salt.E. the way someone held his knife and fork. Even the United States was not immune to such nonsense. Etiquette is a French word which. This entirely unnecessary military disaster involved the capture of 140. Even in its English form of ‘ticket’. that even the Japanese were amazed. who had just fought their way down the Malay Peninsular. In the bad old days. This kind of behaviour used to be prominent in the rigid class structures of Europe. General A. surrendered intact with so little effort at defence. the Japanese. provided an immediate indication of his social class. had run out of ammunition. during this crisis. Percival. and huge stocks of military hardware. with its naval dockyards. Farming and Us . An entirely different aspect of etiquette is that it provides ingroup recognition signals. it has similar connotations of being labelled.

Page 270 . Once again. positive contributions to the contentment and satisfaction of all the people around them. but the mix can vary greatly between individuals. and self-reliance. a person’s concern for others predominates over all other considerations. They need rules Farming and Us . They have to depend on external codes of behaviour for the rest of their lives. never have a chance to learn concern for others. Equally rarely. They are usually irresolute. and it tends to one extreme or the other in a few of them. he is likely to be described as the devil incarnate.The world can survive without etiquette. and to avoid the negative contributions to social well being. and without the concern and consideration for others that is the basis of human altruism. Most people have a blend of both authoritarian and nonauthoritarian self-control. a person’s concern for others is non-existent. Children who are brought up in a rigidly controlled. Stalin. Indeed. If such a person also has a very strong urge to control others. without internal self-control. of social co-operation. and indecisive. and to learn non-authoritarian self-control. It is also necessary for everyone to make frequent. But it cannot survive without good manners. strictly disciplined. and spring to mind. positive good manners are needed from everyone. the names of Hitler. and of non-authoritarianism. authoritarian family. Such deprived people have unstable personalities because they lack self-confidence. It is not enough merely to avoid controlling others. Very occasionally. Such a person is usually described as a saint.

and to let other people down. as we have seen. This kind of selfcontrol does not derive from discipline in childhood. because deceit is probably the only form of self-defence they have ever known. and emotions. This applies equally to dress. beliefs. in its general sense.and regulations to tell them what to do. and to the development of concern. Stereotyping The word stereotyping comes from the printing trade and. behaviour. and lucid explanation. compassion and consideration for others. is non-authoritarian and it leads to a stable personality. they are likely to fail in a crisis. This projection of uniformity is called stereotyping. based on concern for others. They are also likely to be devious. Too much discipline results in the child’s total concentration on the punishment. gentle and loving disapproval.Page 271 . action. Internal self-control. Such an individual behaves well without any need for rules and regulations. For closely similar reasons. and is an assumption of uniformity in others. Farming and Us . Instead of punishment. authoritarians tend also to project a comparable uniformity on to outgroups. They tend to be easily influenced by others and. Authoritarians like conformity and uniformity within their own in group. Perhaps the most obvious example of stereotyping occurs when a racist says of people of different ethnic origin “They all look alike to me”. it means something constantly repeated without change. to panic. as opposed to the reason for the punishment. lead to the child’s concentration on its relations with other people.

prejudice. This is particularly true in the context of the sexes. hostile. these attitudes and actions lead to both war and genocide. primitiveness. ugliness. Individualism There is apparently no word for the converse of stereotyping. and regardless of any possible justice. Carried to an extreme. brutality. above all. is that they have stereotyped them all. To quote only two of the most obvious examples. mild stereotyping is so common that we scarcely notice it. and stereotyping is closely associated with ethnic jokes.Every outgroup is likely to be stereotyped by ingroupists. narrowmindedness. as being uniformly guilty. such as “ They’re all the same” are so common they have become clichés. One of the reasons terrorists kill innocent members of an outgroup indiscriminately. criminality. usually with a derogatory nickname. intolerance. This Farming and Us . responsibility for all the troubles and problems of the ingroup. amorality. and racism. even the children. All the members of an outgroup are automatically assumed to be identical in these respects. Many phrases. This converse is an assumption of individuality in others. a frequent comment among women is “Just like a man!” and many men have been known to make derogatory remarks about women drivers. and. At a relatively harmless level. evil. It is the recognition and admiration of the differences that contribute to that individuality. and dangerous. and in derogatory terms involving stupidity.Page 272 .

ability is closely associated with broad mindedness. This made Bertrand Russell a traitor. without being anti-social. unconditional love relationships. Bertrand Russell was a typical individualist who.. But most individualists are highly social. without being accused of heresy. And they can be agnostic. tolerance. They relish the mutual support that occurs within both a loving family and a trusting social group. and both apparently result from good pair bonds. and powerful. and even eccentric. Provided the family. without being castigated for idiosyncrasy. said publicly that the war was absurd and evil. Extreme ingroupism is closely related to extreme authoritarianism and.Page 273 . They can also be original. during World War I. and an inadequate emotional security during childhood. both result from control relationships. is not an authoritarian one (i. and that it should be stopped. strong emotional security. It is possible for an individualist to be either social or antisocial.e. a true solitary. Conversely. extreme individualism is closely related to extreme non-authoritarianism. and they do not conform to them. Individualists have no need for those aspects of ingroupism that contribute to emotional security. Individualism is the converse of ingroupism. individualists within it can easily be non-conformist. and creative. Farming and Us . Authoritarians at that time regarded such ideas as treachery and treason. during both childhood and adulthood. and he was sent to prison on trumped up charges. and individualism. or the group. An antisocial individualist is likely to become a hermit. it seems. an ingroup). even atheistic.

could provide all the personal control that is necessary in society. based on concern for others. This non-authoritarian self-control involves concern and consideration for others. However.Perhaps the most important test of any society is how it treats its non-conformists. Only increased levels of non-authoritarian self-control can reduce the level of this authoritarian control. And Christ was a nonconformist of quite staggering originality. our soci ty still has rather high levels of authoritarian e control. Both Socrates and Christ came top in this test too. If every human being had enough non-authoritarian Farming and Us . In a word. the personal freedom of each one of us depends on nonauthoritarianism in everyone around us.Page 274 . the wisest of all the Greeks. was condemned to death for corrupting the youth of Athens. to put things into perspective. the most important test of a non-conformist individual is the compassion and consideration he shows for others. Personal Freedom Authoritarian control. in any relationship or society. and compassion. tends to circumscribe individuals. Conversely. in spite of their hostility. kindness. with a corresponding reduction in personal freedom. It restricts individual freedom and liberty. but the society of his day crucified him. Non-authoritarian self-control. we must recognise that we are much less authoritarian than our forebears of even two or three generations back. Sadly. to compel them to conform and obey. whether personal or impersonal. including complete strangers. Socrates.

can be achieved. although this can usually be avoided by a genuine consideration for others. of course. This concept of natural rights was accepted in the American Declaration of Independence. which states. should prevail. there will always be authentic conflicts of interest. Nevertheless. The term ‘anarchist’ is now much corrupted and abused.self-control. Because authoritarian control reduces personal freedom. in effect. all other personal controls could be abolished. in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The original anarchists. and the ideal of natural rights makes a perfect target for a non-authoritarian social organisation.Page 275 . compromise is usually possible. and it really has two quite different meanings. One person’s innocent actions may adversely affect another individual. that all individuals should have the liberty to do whatever they please. and individual liberty. These conditions are that no one infringes on the liberty of any other individual. who disliked authoritarian control. and in the Canadian Charter of Rights. Also. Also implicit in the concept was the assumption that human altruism. rather than suspicion and hostility. In its Farming and Us . but only on two conditions. also adopted the ideal of natural rights. in the French Revolution. This is the basis of the concept of natural rights. its abolition is the only way in which the maximum of freedom. and that every one undertakes certain civic duties and responsibilities. it is impossible to achieve a perfection of natural rights. In practice.

in effect. it is clearly impractical in society at large. sadly. An immediate conflict arose because the anarchists. it means that people are so well behaved that the need for a government disappears. Alternatively. The original anarchists argued.Page 276 . that our society should aim at a level of education and sophistication such that no control was necessary. anarchy means a loss of government control such that there is chaos. beyond consideration for others. being non-authoritarians. This is not an impossible ideal within small gr oups such as a family but. Perfect liberty exists when all people recognise natural rights. at present. And they assumed that this could lead eventually to an orderly society without any government control. found it quite easy to assume such high levels of non-authoritarian self-control.negative sense. The anti-anarchists were authoritarians and. where authoritarianism and outgroup hostilities are still too powerful. rather than a valid criticism of the ideals of the anarchists. No one may interfere in any way with the freedom of any other person. This is because the majority of individuals are too Farming and Us . and crime is still commonplace. even by the most covert of psychological pressures. having no knowledge or experience of non-authoritarian self-control. It has to be admitted that they were correct in this assumption but. this was a reflection on our level of authoritarianism. they could only assume that chaos was inevitable if there were no government. No person should control another. in its positive sense.

guilt. Many people cannot be free at all because their belief system never leaves them in peace. to obtain complete objectivity. can dominate their lives. And. in fact. to say nothing of their God. or by a fundamentalist religion. Indeed. they do not know each other. will think of them. and authoritarians want the exact opposite. Their every thought and action is controlled by what other people. such as their neighbours. as well as a standard. within a population that is unnaturally overcrowded and sedentary. this target does at least provide an aim. they actively control the beliefs of their members who are positively required to conform to the ingroup belief system. and other ingroups. Feelings of fear. or their priest. restrict these freedoms also. as an ideal of liberty. and shame. However.authoritarian. Personal freedom can also be judged in terms of freedom of belief. and they cannot trust each other. One factor that all organised religions. they are not bonded to one another. by which we can judge the degree of authoritarianism in our own society. travelled a very long way down the road to individual liberty. This is true even of purely private situations. we should compare our own society with the oriental courts of the hydraulic cultures. and most ingroups. We have. and freedom from fear. Closely allied to freedom of belief are freedom of speech. have in common is that they restrict freedom of belief. Authoritarian religions.Page 277 . which is conformity. instilled by strict parents. Even more important. These freedoms are an expression of individuality. and their most secret Farming and Us .

who positively want to be controlled. and most people accept authoritarian behaviour as natural. and their concern for others. This kind of behaviour. and the happiness that goes with it. This is perhaps the greatest enemy because it is ‘within the gates’. desperately in need of treatment. and they have little conception of real freedom. And those subservient authoritarians. actions.desires. they contravene everything we regard as liberal in our culture. Such people lead miserable lives. and unnecessary. In some of the nastier Hollywood movies. that we tend not to notice them. and so pervasive. and hopes. and some control of our various impulses and appetites. No one would deny that there must be some self-discipline. is antisocial. As such. As such also. over anyone else. The symptoms of authoritarianism can all be described as a denial of individual liberty. this kind of behaviour is even supposed to be funny. unnatural. thoughts. This syndrome is called a guilt complex. should be regarded as neurotics. It should no longer be acceptable for anyone to exert unnecessary control. There is an urgent need for all of us to learn that authoritarian behaviour is neither normal nor natural. because everyone’s internal self-control. One of the reasons that personal liberty is still restricted in our culture is that most people regard authoritarian behaviour as normal and natural. Farming and Us . But we shall become truly civilised only when authoritarian rules and regulations are no longer required. these symptoms are so common. makes such regulations unnecessary. of any description.Page 278 . based on control relationships.

their hairy bodies. but they would be proud of having many children. It is the exact equivalent of male baboons competing for the position of alpha male. These men are likely to have little love for their own children. Unfortunately. and their love of fighting. with the sole exceptions of childbearing. or bullying. while a male dominance hierarchy is unkind to female apes. it is at least kind to males. the most senior males are usually old. No doubt. Such men are likely to be proud of their brute strength.Page 279 . their loudmouthed boasting. and weaker. They are under a more or less constant threat from younger males. domination. not even this can be said in its favour. and to do little to provide for them. male apes would also believe these things about themselves. if they were percipient enough to consider their own behaviour. and they believe men to be superior to women in all respects. who are also getting older. It is perhaps easy to conclude that. When there is a male dominance hierarchy. using any aspect of physical strength. even if many of them were illegitimate.Macho Attitudes Only very authoritarian human males are proud of their macho attitudes. These human males do this within their own ingroup. Such men are male chauvinists. They are also proud of their primitive and atavistic behaviour. their philandering. Macho behaviour in human males is baboon behaviour. and child-raising. that is likely to be effective. but who are getting Farming and Us . based on a male dominance hierarchy. and they are getting older.

But she dare not allow her child to leave home. The army commanders on both sides were old. and have an independent existence. Farming and Us . They did this by making their soldiers walk through a hail of machine gun bullets towards impassable barbed wire. because she knows no better. or any other terms. the oldest males often drive some of the younger males out of the group. the oldest males may even kill junior males. associated with ownership and control. Possessiveness Many other aspects of dominance hierarchies. It is not unusual for the males in a male dominance hierarchy to lead miserable lives. they certainly succeeded in killing their own young males. remain in our society. and they were extreme authoritarians. For this reason. for no reason that could possibly be justified in military. On both sides. An authoritarian mother. that she will never see her child again.Page 280 . for example. A possessive mother may genuinely believe that her possessiveness is love. It is entirely possible that this hostility of old males toward young males was the basis of that ghastly phenomenon called World War I. quite irrespective of what they did to the enemy.stronger. with the attendant control relationships. is likely to be possessive towards her children. Sometimes. particularly if she has only one child. But possessiveness is an essentially selfish emotion. with good reason. and she is a widow. Eight million soldiers died in four years. And they destroyed their own soldiers in quite horrifying numbers. because she fears.

on the other hand. sibling rivalries do not develop. guilt. Divine punishment can be real enough. and it results in judicial punishment. separations are temporary and unimportant. it results in divine punishment. Under these circumstances. In these circumstances. and horrible enough. Disobedience of religious injunction is called sin and. because she knows that their love relationship will guarantee that they will always remain close. A loving mother encourages her child to live an independent existence. is an essentially generous emotion. are clear indications of control relationships. the children have good pair bonds. when it is inflicted by authoritarian priests. and the lack of pair bonds among the children. Once again. Guilt. In a nonauthoritarian family. and fear. Farming and Us . These rivalries.Page 281 . and most families experience only minor sibling rivalries. Sibling Rivalries Another example of authoritarianism is seen in the sibling rivalries among children in an authoritarian family.Honest love. and the disputes and quarrels that they engender. sincere love relationships. in the form of shame. and Fear Disobedience of the civil code is called crime. Shame. these two situations represent the extremes of a spectrum. supposedly. and genuine pleasure in each other’s company and achievements.

shame and guilt are prominent features of authoritarian societies. guilt can be assuaged by formal confession. Guilt is an important feature of many authoritarian religions. and the power. for this reason. Arguments that support the practice of confession suggest that it is comparable to psychoanalysis. that it is curative. while discussion Farming and Us . a sense of sin. any kind of sexual enjoyment was liable to induce a sense of guilt. and authoritarian religions. or the group belief system. and a natural desire for love relationships. Once the Christian Church had declared sex to be sin. Authoritarians often exploit this weapon quite ruthlessly and. consequently. They result from actions that contravene the group codes of behaviour.Shame and guilt are feelings of humiliation. of the priest. on the one hand. but this too is authoritarian. And. and that it relieves a sense of guilt. sense of guilt. and totally unnecessary. and a belief system that induced such a disastrous. Both of them can be horrible experiences and. Guilt is essentially private and is due to an awareness of one’s own shortcomings. the dread of shame or guilt provides authoritarians with a powerful weapon for the control of others. The act of confessing makes one subordinate. But these arguments overlook the fact that most of this guilt should never have been generated in the first place. In some religious sects. and it is one of the principle mechanisms of religious control. the authority. It also increases the rank.Page 282 . Much of its force is due to the fear of being discovered and exposed. A person’s emotional life could be utterly ruined by the conflict between a perfectly normal sex drive.

there is no need for the pain and humiliation of either shame or guilt. and jibes. shame. can be so very unpleasant. These are all weapons that are used by dominating authoritarians who are attempting to subordinate others. scorn. Shame differs from guilt in that it is essentially public. derision.of one’s guilt with someone else is an excellent means of assuaging it. it lacks any compassion or concern for others. and authoritarian societies. non-authoritarian self-control. When a society is organised completely on a basis of love and trust relationships. and guilt-free and shame-free cultures on the other hand. and humiliation as weapons.Page 283 . Shame can also be induced by sneering. this discussion should be voluntary. not mandatory. and to establish rank. and they are an entirely reasonable aspiration for any society. and concern and compassion for others. taunts. The real contrast is between guilt and shame-cultures on the one hand. and as a means of control. The latter are non-authoritarian. This kind of exploitation of shame is very authoritarian and. and it contains a strong element of ridicule. jeering. Farming and Us . Conversely. This is one of the many reasons why control relationships. Shame can be induced by laughing at a person. altruism. deliberately use guilt. quite obviously. mockery. who lack consideration for others. rather than with that person. There has been much talk of shame-cultures and guilt-cultures although there is little difference between them because they are both very authoritarian. authoritarians.

often cruelly invented. and humiliation is fear. no human being should ever be afraid of another human being. and accepted.Page 284 . even the fear of the consequences of life. Apologies Guilt and shame can be relieved by an apology. shame. and ruthlessly exploited. rape. disease. In a civilised society. These emotional fears include the fear of divine wrath. Farming and Us . There are also emotional and religious fears. as a means of controlling subordinates. the fear of damnation and hell. the fear of the consequences of death. apologies for them are offered. apologies are offered and accepted only with great difficulty and.Closely associated with guilt. pillage. One of the four freedoms defined in the United Nations charter is freedom from fear. But it is surely not an unreasonable hope to achieve a human society in which all man-made fears have been eliminated. war. deliberately inflicted. and death. It is obviously impossible to abolish all fears because we still cannot control earthquakes. in authoritarian societies. There are many physical fears. with sincerity. mutilation. in a non-authoritarian society. hurricanes. such as the fear of divine punishment for an utterly normal sex drive. charm. But. And no human being should ever be afraid of his supposedly loving and merciful God. and ease. Genuine errors often occur and. such as the fears of violence. It is even possible to speak of fear-cultures. Stalin’s hierarchy was based entirely on fear that permeated the entire society. famine. and other natural catastrophes. volcanic eruptions.

These are feelings that belong to altruism. had enormous powers of empathy for his fictional characters. In general. believed it was a political necessity to kill all the Jews. Authoritarians have great difficulty in accepting blame and this makes apologising very difficult for them. of Auschwitz. there was no reason why he should not use them first for experiments. The Australian author Patrick White. From this. Empathy. Farming and Us . authoritarians lack both sympathy and empathy. means the power of fully understanding another person’s feelings. Sympathy and Empathy Sympathy is an affinity between two people that makes them more or less equally affected by the same influence. They also have a strong urge to apportion blame. if they were going to die anyway. Difficulties with apologies are one of the more reliable indications of authoritarianism. and to inflict punishment. and this makes the acceptance of an apology very difficult. who was an intellectual doctor of high scientific ability. without necessarily feeling that way oneself. who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. it was an easy logical step for him to conclude that. For example. on the other hand. only with additional shame for the person apologising.Page 285 . but he had little sympathy for them. and that are entirely foreign to a dominance hierarchy. His lack of sympathy and empathy were absolute. The infamous Dr Joseph Mengele.often. the loss of a loved one will affect a sympathetic friend almost as much as the person bereaved.

They also tend to fight it and defy it when it is real. and it can be personal or social... “Publish and be damned!” A special kind of threat is called ‘protection’. They are commonly of the variety “I’m warning you. and makes this clear to the other males of the dominance hierarchy. many children grow up in the shadow of threats. and the children know this. Non-authoritarians tend to assess the reality of a threat and to laugh at it when it is fanciful. This is an Farming and Us . The junior male then becomes totally dependent on. Fear is basically a loss of security. Nevertheless. Personal protection occurs in a male dominance hierarchy when a senior male protects a junior male.” Some incompetent mothers are constantly threatening their children in this way. The destruction of security by threats makes the use of these threats a very powerful means of control among authoritarians.” and “It will be the worse for you if. Many threats are quite unrealistic but they can still have a powerful influence on gullible and subservient authoritarians. his protector.Threats Threats are a form of coercion designed to control others by inducing fear. and a sense of security is essential to authoritarians. and the fear of non-existent bogeymen who will come for them in the dark.Page 286 . but it is usually an ineffectual means of control because the threats are empty. As the Duke of Wellington once said to a blackmailing whore... and subservient to.

Suspicion Suspicion is second nature to authoritarians. is the converse of trust. Suspicion. The threat. or subordinates. deceit. and anyone who does not pay is liable either to be beaten up. who often used it for sexual exploitation of the young and beautiful. somewhat aggressively. Social protection is a form of organised crime. regardless of whether they are his superiors. after all. particularly when they are strangers. an authoritarian is always suspicious of his colleagues. “What’s in it for you?” When there is a dominance hierarchy. lies in the constant possibility of the protection being withdrawn. or dues. quite possibly at his expense.Page 287 . that they are all plotting to gain rank. and a marked rank fixation. and has been a common practice for centuries with organisations such as the Mafia. and personal treachery are perhaps the most Farming and Us . He believes. and only non-authoritarians are able to trust others. Suspicion. of course. and to enquire. when an authoritarian is apt to suspect an ulterior motive.easy way to gain a slave. It is based on the threat of malicious damage and bodily harm to people such as shopkeepers. or to have his property wrecked. equals. The criminal gang demands illegal taxes. from every property owner in their territory. no doubt correctly. Authoritarian suspicion is perhaps at its most prominent in the face of unsolicited kindness. This form of protection was common amongst ancient kings and Roman emperors.

or the physical powers of domination. and for hiding deep underground. and the hostilities that go with them. and they believed themselves to be surrounded by traitors and treachery. Manipulation Many authoritarians have a strong and continuing urge to control others but they lack the authority. walls. Farming and Us . and guards. the sanctions. Anyone being admitted to the monarch’s presence would be physically searched for weapons. with guile. but it was still paranoid. by indirect and devious methods. Given their atrocious behaviour. their suspicion was possibly justified. to do so. People such as Hitler and Stalin were habitually suspicious of everyone around them. when there are strong prejudices. well away from possible assassination. But extreme authoritarians are also suspicious of members of their own ingroup.conspicuous features of the destructive competition that is typical of a dominance hierarchy. Something as slight as a careless gesture. and would hide from his people in the depths of a huge palace all set about with moats. Both of these dictators had a weakness for living and working in concrete bunkers. They trusted no one. Suspicion of the members of outgroups is inevitable. or an inadequately hidden smile at the wrong moment. Such people usually attempt to control others surreptitiously. mendacity. This competition is often called the ‘rat race’.Page 288 . The monarch of an oriental court was similarly suspicious. was enough to get a man sent to a concentration camp. and their suspicion verged on paranoia.

and fear to persuade others to comply with their wishes.cunning. without ever realising that the manipulation is taking place. or a place of work. One method is by psychological and social pressures. guilt. occasionally. But these comments are likely to be incessant to the point that the person being manipulated cannot lift a finger without attracting remark. particularly women and children. The comments become a form of either praise or blame and. Farming and Us . duplicity. which are exerted with quite mild comments and tones of voice. Manipulation may be personal or political. and it can prevent activities such as travelling. usually within small groups such as a family. Yet another technique uses sheer bad temper. plain snide remarks.Page 289 . are adept at manipulating with emotional blackmail. and falsehood. and they never hesitate to use tears for this purpose. They are called manipulators and. prompting a remark such as “I’d better not. or sports. flying. usually. Manipulation is achieved in various ways. however gentle. praise is desirable while blame is not. Manipulators can also get their way with innuendoes. Given time. a subservient authoritarian can be totally controlled by such treatment. Another technique is to adopt Christian martyr attitudes in order to shame people into compliance. Personal manipulation occurs between individuals. criticisms and. Manipulators thus employ shame. Even an excessive anxiety about someone can become a form of control by emotional blackmail. little hints. which are designed to create feelings of guilt. Some manipulators. all their personal relationships are control relationships. my mother would be worried sick”.

Within a family. are dismayed by accusations of manipulation. and quite regardless of the consequences. Manipulators usually deny and. any more than it justifies male domination. It is only fair to add that much manipulation is done subconsciously. It follows that the best way to prevent manipulation is to expose it. irresponsible. A woman who does this habitually is known as a femme fatale. They indulge in this senseless control of others simply for their own self-gratification. This is one of the consequences of the male domination we have practised for so long. women are more likely to be manipulators than men. However. Both involve control relationships and both are out of place in a non-authoritarian human society. In this sense. indeed. Manipulation can only work so long as it remains unrecognised. the habit would soon disappear. this does not justify manipulation.Page 290 . Farming and Us . manipulation is very close to the deceit of low-status chimpanzees. if they are to obtain their own way in anything at all. If every attempt at manipulation were pointed out to its perpetrator. They often manipulate others into doing things that are stupid. as well as to the person being manipulated. and possibly even dangerous. manipulators enjoy the control of others for its own sake. just to confirm their manipulative powers. Women have been subjugated and put down so consistently that manipulation has often become the only recourse left to them.In addition to getting their own way.

by not taking too much. In the process. Father-in-law problems can also occur but they are relatively rare because men have less need than women to manipulate.Page 291 . incidentally. Manipulation by the woman of the family is usually tolerated because it has been practised so successfully. either for similar reasons of control. that each member of the family receives. always insist on carving and serving the meat. The manipulators suggest the very opposite of what they want. Authoritarian fathers. manipulating mothers always serve the food at table. and for so long. This stability often ends when an outsider joins the family by marrying one of the children. and not taking all the best portions. and they habitually have negative reactions to suggestions from other people. This leaves them wide open to manipulation. or in order to establish rank. This allows for considerable covert punishment and reward. Farming and Us . by victimisation and favouritism. and the authoritarian’s negative reaction gives them exactly what they wanted in the first place. These problems do not occur with non-authoritarian mothers-in-law because they are not manipulators.To provide just one practical example. children also learn consideration for others. Authoritarians often have negative personalities. controlling the quality. The outsider rebels against the manipulation. and this is the basis of all mother-in-law problems. that it has become habitual and familiar. Non-authoritaria n mothers put all the food on the table and allow all family members to help themselves. and the quantity.

but is always spoiling other people’s pleasures. a wet blanket. hopes. Wrecking is antisocial and it is the very converse of compassion and concern for others.Page 292 . or a spoilsport. games. And the wrecking itself damages others. Often.Not infrequently. makes little or no attempt to stop the nagging. work. It makes it more difficult for them to establish rank. Some children are adept at wrecking parties. with various kinds of damaging remark. hostile. It keeps them down. This kind of person usually presents a façade of goodwill and amiability to the world. without anyone fully appreciating what they are really up to. Malice is a form of wrecking because it provides an illusion of putting oneself up by putting Farming and Us . A special kind of negative manipulator likes to thwart others and is known among psychologists as a ‘wrecker’ or ‘spoiler’. and minor sabotage. and a sense of the superior rank. and efforts. This kind of open. A wrecker of the milder sort is known as a killjoy. and incessant control is known as nagging. Wrecking serves several psychological needs. that goes with that control. This tragic situation is usually due to sexual frustration. the wrecker is a deeply unhappy person and has a powerful. a wife abandons all pretence of concealing her control of her husband. no doubt. The wrecker can also obtain a sense of control. subconscious urge to make everyone else unhappy also. This kind of deficiency.”). and other social activities (“It’s my ball and I’m going home. is yet another of the consequences of the deplorable dogma of sex being sin. and the husband. feeling guilty in this respect.

can encourage people to recognise their own childishness. The best way to prevent wreckers from operating is for everyone to know about this psychological deviation which. which have persisted since childhood. it loses most of its destructive powers. at present. The mere fact of recognition will stop him. manipulation can also occur at the political level. and which originated in this way. such as bogey men who will come and steal them away one dark night. for example. he should be told that his wrecking has been recognised for what it is. but he had neither the personality nor the authority to do so. Jokes. who had Farming and Us . just as phrases like “Grow up” or “Be your age”. Such fears can even spoil a person’s life. can be loaded with malice. A singularly nasty kind of wrecker is the person who delights in frightening children with tales of torture. Like manipulation. or death. Many adults have irrational but nonetheless dreadful fears of pain. and wreckers can be genuinely shocked when the consequences of their wrecking are pointed out to them.others down. He had an overwhelming desire to control others. hell. As already mentioned. Martin Bormann was a typical political manipulator. is often unrecognised in society at large. Every time a wrecker operates. and to curb it. A political manipulator is often called the ‘power behind the throne’. This is what attracted him to Hitler. Both wrecking and malice are often disguised as humour.Page 293 . Once exposed. darkness. As with manipulation. most wrecking is done subconsciously. wrecking is only effective while it remains unsuspected. spoken pleasantly. and other horrors.

Unable to escape from Berlin. obedient. He was in despair. and subservient.Page 294 .unlimited authority. As his secretary. Bormann discovered that he was unknown. Political wreckers are particularly dangerous when democracy has only a tenuous hold. One of its best known advocates was called Machiavelli. tired of making decisions. and the personality to wield it ruthlessly. efficient. personally experiencing the stark reality of war and defeat for the first time in his life. It is worth commenting that political manipulation is only necessary for purposes that are deceitful. Bormann would offer advice to Hitler who. being obsequious. As with manipulators. Wreckers repeatedly ruined democracy in ancient Farming and Us . In return. and that no one would pay even the slightest attention to him. after Hitler killed himself. He was buried on the spot. Political manipulation. and useful. or even illegal. this made Bormann one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. This comment is perhaps a measure of the dishonesty of most politics. discreditable. But. would often accept it. he killed himself with cyanide. Manipulation is not necessary in honest politics. by favouritism and victimisation. in an unmarked grave. because he had lost contact with the pilot who was to fly him out. Hitler found Bormann very hard working. that he had no authority whatever. by workers who did not even recognise him. there are political as well as personal wreckers. Bormann was constantly at Hitler’s side. Eventually. has been one of the great controlling influences throughout recorded history.

the main purpose of most modern advertising is to manipulate people into buying a product. after the Russian counter attack at Moscow. Chairman Mao had a similar urge to wreck his country. He must have realised that this would mean the end of his career. at the end of his life. Instead of sensibly ending the war by negotiation.Page 295 . The very concept of democracy is anti-authoritarian. Hitler apparently realised. in order to kill as many people as possible. and his Cultural Revolution was devastatingly successful in this respect. that he could not win the war. particularly in Latin America and Africa. in which political wreckers have ruined promising attempts at democracy. a manufacturer competes by producing a better product more cheaply than his competitors. There are also many modern states. even though it is possibly inferior to its competitors’ products. He was only too willing to wreck the nascent German democracy in order to obtain power for himself. However. and his wrecker instincts then came to the fore. although they may pay lip service to its ideals. In China. and his advertisements are intended to make people aware of this. and almost certainly more expensive. Farming and Us . In December 1941. A final comment on manipulation concerns commercial advertising. and political wreckers are usually authoritarians who detest democracy. Perhaps the worst political wrecker of all was Hitler. and his life. and to ruin the Germany “that had failed him” as completely as possible. Hitler deliberately prolonged the war for as long as he could. But he was also a revengeful wrecker. Ideally. his ambitions.Greece. if only because of the cost of the advertising. quite correctly.

hypochondria. in parallel with social altruism. at the most. It also helps the person who is doing the laughing to main tain a superior rank. Individuals who share laughter are likely to bond with each other. Nonauthoritarians laugh easily and frequently among themselves. Laughter Laughter is an essentially human phenomenon which is normally absent in other species or. emphasises those errors. and they do not possess a sense of humour. greed. dour. stern. however. Both the laughter and the altruism may well have appeared before the evolution of language. and gullibility. and helps to keep that person down. and it is usually malic ious. and it derives from Cromwell’s Puritans. Laughing at someone’s mistakes.This manipulation exploits human weakness.Page 296 . A society gets the advertising it deserves. as an aid to bonding. Farming and Us . The word that describes them is puritanical. and it is possible that it evolved in humans. but their laughter is invariably unkind. Authoritarians tend to use laughter as a weapon in the perennial fight for rank. Authoritarians are capable of mirth. and they obtain great pleasure from doing so. including people’s fears. They are usually cold. rudimentary in a few other species of social mammal. snobbery. The evolutionary role of laughter has never been adequately explained. vanity. harsh. or embarrassment. and severe. is that they do not laugh easily. A prominent feature of authoritarians. because it is aimed at someone.

rather than at them. or a clown. in which the controller uses laughter as an aid to domination. and who may even be present in the company of the people laughing. which can be very funny. are not concerned with rank. or someone who is a member of an outgroup. and they have no fear of laughter. This possibly explains why authoritarians hate making fools of themselves. Nonauthoritarians. Many jokes. while authoritarian mirth makes a point of hurting someone. Farming and Us . sympathy. and why they hate being laughed at.Page 297 . In this sense. Typically. and a means of control. and understanding. have a butt. nonauthoritarian mirth avoids hurting people. and it is a fundamental aspect of love and trust relationships. even when it is directed at themselves. They are psychologically incapable of laughing at people of more senior rank within their own hierarchy. while authoritarian jokes tend to make a butt out of someone who is a rival. empathy. Nonauthoritarian jokes make use of a fictional butt. because that laughter is essentially kind and sympathetic. and the object of the mirth. who is the target of the ridicule. Mirth can vary between the authoritarian and the nonauthoritarian. involves laughing with people. compassion. It implies warmth. laughing with each other.Good humour. as opposed to mere mirth. authoritarians are laughing either at someone of lower rank. of course. But true humour is absent from the more extreme control relationships.

without any further prospect of advancement or promotion. gallows humour. What Hitler never realised was that Goebbels was deliberately manipulating him. Authoritarians love the banana skin type of joke. Goebbels was well known for making Hitler laugh. or dwarfs. This is the basis of all ethnic jokes. An authoritarian’s idea of humour is the laughter associated with unsympathetic mirth which. This victim probably never discovered why Hitler’s interest and patronage had so suddenly evaporated. or a nervous tick. to describe the malicious enjoyment that such a person obtains from the misfortunes of others. and destroying a rival with this humour. Authoritarian mirth is often aimed at people with physical defects. of course. In medieval times. such as a speech impediment. Hitler’s humour. They also consider someone else’s embarrassment hilarious. although they hate being embarrassed themselves. often until Hitler.Authoritarian jokes often make a butt out of a member of an outgroup. the outgroup as a whole. schadenfreude. court clowns were usually hunchbacks. The person who was the butt of Goebbels’ laughter was instantly ruined. and entirely unkind. with tears running down his cheeks. can even become hysterical. An authoritarian laughs at the troubles and embarrassments of others. and this enables authoritarians to stereotype. would beg Goebbels to stop. was totally authoritarian. The Germans have a special word. when intense. and to laugh at. with an insensitive. Farming and Us .Page 298 .

The sense of control. and from an absence of love and trust relationships. These large. and a major loss of emotional security. resulting from agriculture. because too many people were unbonded strangers to each other. which have already been discussed. ambiguity. is possibly the most important factor in reducing the insecurity that results from a high population density. and the sedentism. and they could not trust each other. agricultural populations really had no alternative.Page 299 . and to authoritarianism. This lack of trust resulted in widespread hostility and confrontation. it is possible to formulate the insecurity principle concerning authoritarianism.The Insecurity Principle Authoritarians are essentially insecure. and to decrease doubt. Most of the threats to an authoritarian’s security come from Farming and Us . From this general precept. Our general hypothesis is that humankind reverted to dominance hierarchies because of the high population densities. If subconscious insecurity is the basis of all authoritarianism. it would follow that the common denominator of all authoritarian behaviour is an attempt to alleviate that insecurity. Many of the characteristics of their personalities result from their attempts to increase security. it is instructive to review the various aspects of authoritarianism. either to control or to be controlled. dense. Consequently. They had to revert to dominance hierarchies. with a view to testing this hypothesis. Love relationships and trust relationships no longer provided an adequate social control. uncertainty and anxiety. as the basis of their social organisation.

who constitute a danger because they continually threaten to control him. a strong sense of being controlled. and just. who is controlling whom. or by one’s supposedly competent superiors. Poorly defined ranks contribute to uncertainty. which reduces uncertainty about who is controlling whom. and a strong sense of this kind of control. personal Farming and Us . insecure individuals can feel much more safe. and insecurity. Clearly defined ranks also simplify personal relationships. Clearly defined ranks reduce insecurity. by superiors who are believed to be competent. quite unambiguously. A sense of hierarchy leads to rank fixation. events within one’s own environment can be controlled. An authoritarian housewife’s kitchen is always spotless (“cleanliness is next to godliness”).other people. This tendency to an excessive control of the environment is seen most of all in an authoritarian’s place of work. For an authoritaria n. An authoritarian bureaucrat’s desk is always scrupulously tidy. exerted either by oneself. and as far removed from nature as possible. can greatly reduce a sense of insecurity. to his disadvantage. and they make dealings with other people much easier. meticulously kept.Page 300 . Equally. These threats are reduced if those people can be controlled. The sense of hierarchy is closely related to the sense of control. and merciful. Or they threaten to gain rank. at his expense. And authoritarian parks and gardens are always very formal. will also reduce insecurity. When everyone else is strictly controlled. The hierarchy determines. To a large extent also.

invariably to a subordinate. This sense of obedience can become stronger than any moral conviction. with its more or less continuous struggles for rank. a military court of enquiry into incompetence invariably blames individuals in the lowest rank of all. authoritarians have great difficulty in offering Farming and Us . For this reason. and dismissals can usually be arranged without much fuss in a human hierarchy. Authoritarians could be found who would undertake anything. compassion.Page 301 . and apparently relieved them of all moral and legal responsibility. It was this sense of obedience that made the Nazi holocaust possible.relationships can be a major source of anxiety and insecurity. If the subordinate is punished. in accordance with the fuehrerprinzip . And they are very ready to apportion blame. Blind obedience can easily contribute to a sense of security. And promotions. Their need for security means that authoritarians have great difficulty in accepting blame. Because they cannot accept blame. whom they inevitably wish to punish. the male dominance hierarchy might be thought to increase insecurity. A strong sense of obedience also reduces insecurity for an authoritarian. the male dominance hierarchy greatly reduces insecurity by defining those ranks with absolute clarity. however horrible. At first sight. In fact. Blame destroys security. and its incipient or actual confrontation. and rank fixation does much to alleviate this apprehension. or concern for others. provided that they were obeying orders. demotions. Their orders were clear and unambiguous. his superior is automatically exonerated.

Dogmatism reduces ambiguity. The closed mind ensures that an authoritarian looks only at the right source and. Belonging to an ingroup provides great physical. These are the characteristics of religious fundamentalists. Both the belief systems and the disbelief systems of such people are rigid and difficult to change. and rejects any information that comes from a wrong source and. and artistic adventures are no fun for authoritarians. because they represent uncertainty. The right source. The wrong source of information is a lower rank. and the sense of insecurity that is associated with ambiguity. hence. authoritarians tend to ‘black and white’ thinking. because they like to punish. And. spiritual. or any member of any outgroup. of course. Inevitably.Page 302 . they have great difficulty also in accepting apologies. a dangerous source. For similar reasons. dogmatism also leads to inte llectual rigidity. A sense of dogmatism also reduces uncertainty and anxiety. This relieves Farming and Us . Information from such a source can be confidently rejected. We have seen how soldiers can feel safe in their military ingroup in spite of the acute dangers of war. is a more senior rank within his own hierarchy.apologies. and behavioural inflexibility. An ingroup can be as important to an authoritarian as a close and loving family is to a non-authoritarian. Authoritarians like to have convictions that are absolute and unalterable. as well as emotional. Such information can be accepted with confidence. and they induce feelings of insecurity. security for an authoritarian. a safe source of information. Intellectual. hence.

Truth is easily sacrificed to a blind conviction based on prejudice. Truth is also secondary to the need to maintain control. Conformity and uniformity within an ingroup reduce both individuality. Truth does not contribute to the emotional security of an authoritarian. but blind conviction. tolerance. and rank are the very kingpins of his security.Page 303 . and they are compulsive liars because emotional security is usually far more important to them than truth. This dogmatism leaves very little room for doubt. The desire for certainty is probably the reason for prejudice being such a prominent aspect of ingroupism. and this also assuages feelings of insecurity. for this reason. Extreme authoritarians are generally deceitful. even when the prejudices are plain wrong. control. compassion. Prejudices are only powerful convictions that are very dogmatic. such as self-confidence. This hostility enhances the sense of unity and the sense of security among members of an ingroup. and Farming and Us . An authoritarian is usually deficient in all the characteristics of an individualist. and the need to maintain rank. It also provides a sense of superiority. This provides dogmatic certainty from a single divine source of information that is the most senior in the entire hierarchy of ancestors and which. Prejudices are also necessary to sustain hostility towards outgroups. is infallible and irrefutable. and the insecurity that is associated with individuality. and downright authoritarian of anxiety over many moral and ethical issues. Perhaps the greatest security of all is provided by religious fundamentalism.

A politician will invariably do what is expedient.sociability.Page 304 . This attitude reduces insecurity by providing an authoritarian with a strong sense of superiority. Without his ingroup. and the fear of ambiguity and uncertainty. Like facts. Facts contribute to emotional security. while the broad issues are dangerous. He normally compensates for these deficiencies with the various strengths provided by his ingroup membership. Stereotyping is similar to conformity except that it projects uniformity on to the members of an outgroup. Stereotyping also leaves no room for doubt or ambiguity. and it is clear that conformity and uniformity contribute greatly to his sense of emotional security. and the fear of ideas. Stereotyping conveniently combines hostility towards the members of an outgroup. Farming and Us . and it involves denigration and condemnation. and equally deserving of that hostility. with the conviction that all of those members are equally inferior. A statesman will usually try to do what is right. For closely similar reasons. Only statesmen can cope with the broad issues. debatable and worrying. authoritarians have a great love of detail. The stereotyping is usually hostile. rather than what is right. he is totally lost. and no single member of an outgroup need then be excused from condemnation. Closely related to this kind of dogmatism. but ideas detract from it. details are safe. Facts are safe and irrefutable. Ideas are vague. This is possibly the real difference between a politician and a statesman. is the love of facts.

are favourite forms of routine among authoritarian bureaucrats. but few of them are great thinkers. into activity. Authoritarians will often escape from unpleasant or disturbing thoughts and feelings by a flurry of unnecessary activity. Clock watching. and undemanding. because it is familiar. is a typical example of an escape from thoughts and feelings. Finally. Routines eliminate uncertainty. Many authoritarians are great do-ers. action is always safer than either thought or emotions. Farming and Us .Page 305 .A love of routine is another symptom of insecurity. and the need to make decisions. and correct procedures. in the Bible Belt of North America. The so-called Protestant work ethic. They provide a form of control that is safe. repetitious.

6. Centralisation was typical of all the ancient civilisations. because this alpha-male or his immediate subordinates control all government affairs. It was also typical of the Nazis and the Communists. who might be an oriental despot. and Egyptian. Centralisation is then inevitable. Communist governments were known as ‘centrally-planned economies’ to distinguish them from the free-market economies of the industrial democracies. Chinese. The hierarchy means that there is only one chief. or a modern dictator.Page 306 . one alpha-male. and the maximum control of citizens. and dissidence was all but impossible. TigrisEuphrates. However this incredibly centralised. And his control is absolute. And it is noteworthy that this Lenin-Stalin model of government could become established only in countries that were themselves already very authoritarian. These communist governments were all extremely authoritarian. Authoritarianism in Politics Authoritarian Government Authoritarian government emphasises the hierarchy. and excessively Farming and Us . Aztec. such as the Roman. Indus Valley. The control exerted by these governments over individuals was very efficient.

and authoritarian societies. in this description of authoritarian individuals. to this day. It showed prominently. The converse of this centralisation is pluralism. Pluralism is decentralised. and dominance hierarchies. and authoritarian. in the military efficiency of such authoritarian societies as the Spartans. and the unity of action that are such a feature of ingroups. Non-authoritarian countries have three or four tiers of government. we have concentrated on the disagreeable features of control relationships. This is group efficiency. Authoritaria n societies often exhibit a valuable trait that tends to be deficient in non-authoritarian societies. which allow a large measure of autonomy in regional and local affairs. and it never survives for more than a few decades. Authoritarian Efficiency So far. democratic. system of government is inefficient. and non-authoritarian. which is essentially non-authoritarian and democratic. This efficiency apparently stems from the conformity. earns great praise and admiration from authoritarians themselves. for example. Totalitarianism is centralised. which became possible with the greatly increased populations that resulted from the development of agriculture. and the organised armies. It possibly originated in the development of corvée labour. hierarchical. the Farming and Us .Page 307 . It is now time to consider an aspect of authoritarianism that has been much admired throughout history and which.controlled. obedience.

this avoidance of a male participation in child raising is very reminiscent of wild primate behaviour. it is usually an exclusively male organisation. even to the point of sacrificing his life. to make huge sacrifices for it. dangerous. as well as the Japanese and Nazi military activities during World War II. Women tend to be sex objects only.Page 308 . This allows the men much more time to concentrate on their ingroup efficiency and. and to stereotype all their members as inferior. and absolute obedience upwards. during World War II. this blind obedience can lead to very great efficiency. which is also the basis of futile heroism..” Fourth. and child raising. incidentally. Both of these feelings are likely to promote efficiency. every member has an intense loyalty to his ingroup. There is absolute authority downwards. indeed willing. The orders. which are sent down the hierarchy. First. Japanese kamikaze pilots. Farming and Us . are obeyed quickly and punctiliously.. and evil. Third. in which the men take little interest. all ye who pass this by. and is prepared.Romans. and they are kept out of the power structure. restricted almost entirely to child bearing. are an obvious example of this disturbing extreme of loyalty. the ingroup is controlled by a rigid male dominance hierarchy. He also has a strong sense of the superiority of his own ingroup. Consider the main features of a very authoritarian ingroup. and the Incas. They have a subordinate role. “Tell them in Sparta. each ingroup member is likely to have an intense hostility towards outgroups. If these orders are lucid. Second.

and other kinds of competition. because these authoritarians usually have only their efficiency to be proud of. the leader of the ingroup. The ingroup becomes a large army. the world witnessed what was. This situation is perhaps rather pathetic. most lethal. and a disciplined army. and they tend to make contemptuous comparisons with less efficient outgroups.Page 309 . and very self-sacrificing. When a large ingroup develops unity of action. This. without the slightest doubt. It can also become extremely dangerous to its neighbours. It is a unity of action by thousands. the alpha male. is the basis of authoritarian efficiency. and the Farming and Us . Finally. equally large. obsessed with increasing the size of his own ingroup. Such behaviour produces levels of efficiency that often cannot be achieved in any other way. which they are likely to denigrate as corrupt or decadent. and equally disciplined army. and most destructive war in the whole of history. or even destroying. perhaps millions. a megalomaniac. but also in commerce. utterly obedient. sports. then.particularly military efficiency during conflict with those outgroups. except by another. the largest. it can become extremely efficient. Think of those wretched Spartans. and engrossed with ruining. of people who are intensely loyal. the more threatening outgroups. is likely to be a dominating authoritarian of the more extreme type. with a unity of action that makes it unbeatable. consumed with a sense of power. When the armies of Hitler clashed with the armies of Stalin. Authoritarians usually take great pride in their efficiency.

During World War II. Germany and Japan were eventually defeated only because all the rest of the industrial world was compelled. and their women treated like brood mares. and are due to ingroup prejudices. sociability. and. by a long freedom from major military expenditure.miserable lives they led. They cannot recognise these advantages because they have never experienced them. that Germany’s ally. to within a few hundred miles of both India and Australia. It is noteworthy also. and it is no accident that these relatively small nations now have two of the strongest economies in the world. to combine against them. With such extreme authoritarians. The industries of less Farming and Us . They were assisted. and they are probably unaware that they even exist. no doubt. which is much less authoritarian. They cannot understand that the despised. Germany conquered most of Europe. Once Germany and Japan had been defeated. creativity. they changed direction. Italy. and they turned their authoritarian effic iency towards industry. and Japan conquered most of eastern Asia. above all. with their brain-washed men living in barracks. love relationships. all other sources of pride are false. compassion. and apparently inefficient outgroups have advantages that they will never have. the two most authoritarian of the industrial nations proved to be highly efficient military conquerors. most reluctantly. proved admirably inefficient in Mussolini’s attempts at conquest. such as individual liberty. open-mindedness.Page 310 . These prejudices prevent authoritarians from recognising the advantages of a non-authoritarian society.

It tends to be conservative. in which the desire for purely personal gain replaces the old ideals of loyalty and self-sacrifice. it is liable to become corrupt. Canada recently attempted to unify its three military services. the United States. resistant to the new. which it maintained for nearly fifty years following World War II. A similar wasteful competition frequently occurs between the various military services of a single nation. each centred on a prominent individual who was hoping to grab overall power when Hitler died. with private power bases. and its leader murdered. Italy. and unable to adapt to changing circumstances. not very successfully. and less able to compete. The military are very authoritarian and very ingroupish. such as the United States. that he had it forcibly suppressed. There are four fundamental limitations to the efficiency of extreme authoritarianism. One of these power bases. Equally. Interestingly. the authoritarian efficiency of Soviet Russia was devoted very largely to its military might. such as Britain. are less efficient. The covert competition between these power bases did much to reduce the overall efficiency of Nazi authoritarianism. almost from its inception.authoritarian nations. Canada. because of the hostility of the regular army. consisted of private power bases. They Farming and Us . And when the Soviet system could stand this economic strain no longer. it collapsed spectacularly. The first is that it usually contains the seeds of its own destruction.Page 311 . the Brown Shirts of Ernst Rhöm. became so dangerous to Hitler. and France. This phenomenon was seen in the Nazi party which.

The third limitation is that an authoritarian system is not necessarily efficient. and both Intel and Microsoft overtook it in wealth. North Korea. the industries of authoritarian states. insisted on its employees wearing suits and ties. Ethiopia. The second limitation to authoritarian efficiency is that authoritarian systems may be very efficient. and had ceased to be such a drain on their national economies. The innovations necessary for the industrial revolution occurred mainly in non-authoritarian societies. Initially. such as Britain and the United States. such an individual is likely to refer the matter to a superior. Faced with the necessity of taking initiative. faced with making a decision. in a different regiment. were among the most Farming and Us . such an individual is likely to fail.Page 312 . If necessary. such as Germany and Japan. Or. and Vietnam. A decline in efficiency can occur also with industrial corporations. Every individual in the hierarchy expects to be told what to do. and they attained international pre-eminence only after their military establishments had been destroyed. Cuba. Mozambique. a mere symptom. Communist states. but they are rarely creative or innovative. The authoritarian tradition also leads to a paralysis of individual initiative and decision-making. This attitude can lead to a serious decline in efficiency throughout the hierarchy. such as China. or a different service. were largely imitative.are hostile even to their own brothers in arms. they can fight efficiently together only because they have an even greater hostility to a common enemy. Angola. IBM recently suffered the biggest financial loss in corporate history. such as IBM which.

the scope for creativity. often impossible. Their economies were also notoriously inefficient. and the motivation of that individual. ultimately. Authoritarian ingroupism can produce very high levels of motivation. if the demands made on the individual are excessive. curiously enough. But. on the individual. individual initiative. a gross inefficiency is inevitable. and rather quickly. and self-sacrifice. based on ingroup loyalty. but they find themselves unable to communicate it to the senior ranks at the top of the hie rarchy. And. But this concern was confined to engineers employed by Farming and Us . and the rewards are inadequate. In such ‘centrally-planned economies’. obedience. People in the lower ranks may have information that is crucially important. Efficiency depends. for information to travel up the hierarchy.authoritarian in the world. and too much control. This was because they became brittle when cold. is almost entirely lacking. this kind of motivation can erode very seriously. when individual motivation is lacking. This kind of inefficiency results. from too much authoritarianism. the Rogers Commission learned that the O-rings in the solid-fuel rocket boosters had been a matter of concern for ten years. and constructive competition. The fourth limitation to authoritarian efficiency is that communication usually occurs only downwards within a hierarchy. And the government’s calls for loyalty and self-sacrifice are likely to fall on increasingly deaf ears. individual reward.Page 313 . This limitation makes it difficult. After the shuttle Challenger exploded during take-off.

Monumental Building Ancient Egypt. The largest. It required the tragic failure of Challenger for this information to penetrate the innumerable ranks of the hierarchy. This unity led to monumental architecture. to the decision-makers at the top. built with corvée labour (i.relatively junior subcontractors. members of a non-authoritaria n social group. however. unpaid labour exacted as tax). and on the mutual concern of highly independent. Think of a large orchestra. Musical excellence is possible with stern control and strict discipline. It is just one of about eighty Egyptian pyramids. Finally. but intense. It apparently took twenty years to build. is the pyramid of Cheops at Giza. whose repeated warnings failed to travel up the NASA hierarchy. are entirely possible without authoritarianism. in the form of pyramids. co-operation. The weight of these Farming and Us . involuntary. particularly if it was disagreeable information. It is based on an individual willingness to co-operate.Page 314 . The motivation is different.. on human altruism. with its pyramids. in which each rank treated information coming from below with a certain disdain.e. These members are individually determined to work together towards a common goal. and most famous. provides the classic example of authoritarian unity of action. but even greater excellence is possible with freely and willingly offered. and estimates of the number of blocks of stone in it vary from two to three million. and individualistic. it need hardly be added that high levels of efficiency. and excellent teamwork.

In addition to pyramids. and temples. China had an almost identical system of corvée labour but these people did not build pyramids. and its base covers an area of more than thirteen acres.Page 315 . and was 450 miles long. and pyramid building stopped. which was originally completed in 214 BC. the entire complex has been used as a quarry for so long that it is now a ruin. Farming and Us . However. Ancient Egypt had a strictly seasonal agriculture. this labour was also used for building many palaces. and carried a twelve foot wide road along its top. there was a brief Dark Age. who saw it undamaged. It is built with incredible accuracy in the ninety-degree angles of its plan. the wall was extended to a total of 1. Like the Egyptians. Later. when the Old Kingdom collapsed. After that. Once the harvest was secure. tombs. military wall was mostly thirty feet high. near Thebes. Originally. the royal burials were moved to the Valley of the Kings. in 2280BC . Sadly. Their most famous monumental architecture was the Great Wall. and its north-south orientation. although the core of the pyramid itself is largely intact. Herodotus. which depended on the annual flooding of the Nile for irrigation. and they were dragooned into this corvée labour. there was little work for the agriculturists to do. This stone and brick. the horizontal alignment of its courses.blocks varies from two to thirteen tons. the pyramid was 481 feet high.400 miles. considered that the covered causeway that linked it to the river temple probably required as much work as the pyramid itself. which is accurate to within one tenth of a degree.

with temples on the top. consisting of sandstone. called sarsens. Less well Farming and Us . Stonehenge was obviously built by corvée labour. Local stones. were eighteen feet in height.the ancient Chinese also used corvée labour to build many palaces. as well as three hundred and sixty five churches. were erected in southern India. Similar monumental architecture was produced by the Mesopotamian civilisations. and each weighing some twenty six tons. Their pyramids were known as ziggurats. this work was done during the agricultural slack season. Comparable buildings.Page 316 . The peoples of Central America also used corvée labour to build pyramids. The Zapotecs went even further and flattened an entire mountain top in order to build their capital. and were temples rather than tombs. and were used to construct the main circle that is a hundred feet in diameter. tombs. also in Mexico. and temples. but they too built many palaces. No doubt. One of them is built on top of the ancient pyramid. tombs. The most famous are the pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico. After the destruction of the Aztec Empire by Cortez. It has been estimated that 1. near Oaxaca (pronounced Whaha-ca). the Catholic Church used corvée labour to build churches in ridiculous numbers. Some of its huge stones were brought from as far away as Wales. now known as Monte Alban. The small Mexican town of Cholula has the double distinction of having both the largest of the New World pyramids. including some incredible Tamil temples. and temples.500 men would have had to work for ten years merely to transport these stones.

but less skill. most notably the standing stones at Carnac. followed by dark ages. Authoritarian societies apparently cannot endure for more than a few centuries before a steadily increasing decadence and corruption becomes totally debilitating. without exception.Page 317 . Declining Dynasties The decline of dynasties seems to be an inescapable feature of high population densities in authoritarian societies. Without doubt. And. Just as spectacular. his ‘Thousand-Year Reich’ lasted for only twelve years. Historians have often been tempted to explain these failures in terms of conquest by barbarians. but much less known. Failures of civilisation. Farming and Us . The government then collapses completely. or natural disasters such as earthquakes or droughts. The most successful of the ancient ruling dynasties usually lasted about ten generations of absolute monarchs. This decline is the basis of Lord Acton’s famous aphorism “Power corrupts. which must have required considerably more labour. and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Hitler’s concept of a ‘Thousand-Year Reich’ was impossible from the very beginning. because of the inevitable corruption that is inherent in authoritarianism. usually with very little supporting evidence. or by a Dark Age. are common throughout world history. in Brittany. which was followed either by a new dynasty. the most famous Dark Age followed the collapse of the ancient Roman Empire. than Stonehenge.known are other Neolithic monuments in western Europe. In fact. they ended in chaos and anarchy. as we all know.

and of Cromwell. And a Dark Age followed the collapse of the Bronze Age Greek civilisation. So too was the collapse of the Mayan civilisation in Central America. Eventually. and hereditary bureaucrats. Both of these countries were located in an area that was relatively safe from foreign invasion. and it would re-establish law and order with an extreme authoritarian efficiency. in a cycle of between one and three centuries. It can be argued also that the extreme authoritarianism of regimes such as those of Louis XIV of France.was the Dark Age that followed the collapse of the Indus Valley civilisation. the increasing inefficiency would reach a flash point. there would be a steady decline in administrative efficiency from one generation to the next.Page 318 . Each generation would be a little more corrupt. and a little more indolent. This occurred typically in China and ancient Egypt. Hitler. The collapse of the ancient Minoan civilisation in Crete was undoubtedly hastened by the volcanic eruption of Thera. all contained the seeds of their own destruction. than the previous one. It is possible that the failure of the Teotihuacan civilisation. was due to an internal collapse also. often called the self-destruct point. The alternative to a Dark Age is the alternation of authoritarian efficiency and anarchical chaos. Napoleon. but it too was followed by a Dark Age. and other dictators. utterly corrupt dynasty. During a few generations of hereditary monarchy. Chairman Mao. A new dynasty would emerge from the chaos of the previous. Stalin. at which the entire social Farming and Us . There were many others. in ancient Mexico.

in 1800. as if they were a separate breed. nonauthoritarians who advocated universal education. People spoke of the criminal classes. by some people. Ancient Egypt Egypt is surrounded by both sea and deserts. the lowest peasants could lead lives that were completely unambitious. and become non-authoritarian. he would be transported to Australia for life. which provide superb natural defences. Provided they behaved. The Egyptians normally had little to fear from foreign military powers.fabric would collapse. The egalitarians usually had an incredible struggle to be heard. This disintegration was entirely of internal origin. to this day. In a relatively non-authoritarian society such as England. social security. for example. and slavery. to say nothing of abolishing the death penalty. even a different species. and the poor were blamed for their poverty. Under these circumstances. Perhaps the most spectacular collapse of them all was the recent disintegration of the Soviet Union. For lesser crimes. Nevertheless. and health care. and the people accordingly lived in great security. in some countries. a man could be hanged for about 150 different crimes. were usually considered insane. we have made a lot of progress in a mere couple of centuries. but that were also very peaceful. with great conservatism. They still are. It was not easy for a society to emerge from authoritarianism. Slavery was still tolerated. Farming and Us .Page 319 .

He demoted the worship of Amun and the other gods. there was one very brief break in this authoritarian stagnation. was always prominently displayed with many lines radiating from it Farming and Us . He also possessed absolute power. very creative and. and he promoted a new. Dynasties could come and go. However. it seems.More than any other ancient civilisation. Akhenaten. Akhenaten was that very rare phenomenon. For one short period of seventeen years. the Egyptians demonstrated the durability of authoritarian traditions. He was highly original. No deviation from these canons was tolerated. which had authoritarian and rigidly fixed artistic canons. later. but the traditions apparently endured forever. which could persist without significant innovation for millennia. The state religion remained largely unaltered for considerably more than three millennia. by the Romans and. warmth. broke free from these rigid traditions. the so-called heretic king. Akhenaten also introduced an entirely new. and the provider of light. a hereditary monarch who was also an artistic genius. The same can be said of Egyptian art. naturalistic art style with relaxed. the sun disk. The ancient Egyptians had a pantheistic religion but the most powerful priesthood was that of the god Amun. and all things good. monotheistic worship of Aten. with its centre of worship at the still famous temple at Karnak. by Arabs. The continuation of these traditions was finally broken only because of conquest by Persians. In the new pictures. the sun’s disk seen daily in the sky. who was the sun god.Page 320 . Aten. realistic human figures. by Alexander the Great. non-authoritarian.

to represent the sun’s rays. The naturalistic. and he allowed the kingdom to collapse into chaos. and one blind eye. and he too died in highly suspicious circumstances. The royal couple had several daughters who were frequently portrayed in charming. This new name means ‘beloved of Amun’. lively pictures depict Akhenaten kissing his wife. and loving family groups. Each of the sun’s rays ended in a small hand. the Egyptian symbol of life. who was only nine years old. Unfortunately. on ascending the throne. and the old religion was restored. They were a complete break with tradition. although it seems that Tutankhaten may have been Akhenaten’s son. When Akhenaten died. under circumstances that will always remain suspicious. which caressed one of the people in the picture. and leading his mother by the hand. his name was changed to Tutankhamun. After Akhenaten’s death. We know little about the people who did this Farming and Us . Every human face had a sun’s ray going to it and ending with an ankh. Akhenaten’s queen was the beautiful Nefertiti whose famous portrait bust. with its long and elegant neck. and he built an entirely new town and palace on a site now known as Tel El Amarna.Page 321 . But they had no sons. he was succeeded by Tutankhaten. by his second wife. Akhenaten was a rotten administrator. Although he was originally named Tutankhaten. which means ‘beloved of Aten’. Tutankhamun reigned for a mere nine years. informal. playing with his children. is among the best known of all ancient Egyptian sculptures. Akhenaten abandoned the royal palace at Karnak. attempts were made to obliterate every trace and memory of him.

if his memory was retained among the living. Akhenaten was an abomination.Page 322 . or anything new. The Egyptians devoutly believed that a person could only enter paradise. the worship of Aten ceased. who were deeply conservative and closed-minded. In trying to prevent this. There is no doubt also that he was a bad ruler. and intercede with the gods on behalf of the living.but it is difficult to avoid the impression of religious fundamentalists. and strict authoritarians. The living would accordingly go to great lengths to ensure that they were properly represented in the highest and most important court of them all. and that he left an administrative mess when he died. the erasers were committing perhaps the worst sacrilege known to the ancient Egyptians. and who bitterly resented any change. The more authoritarian a society. if he was to remain in paradise. There is no question that Akhenaten was a non-conformist and innovator of staggering originality. the damning of a dead person’s Farming and Us . In ancient Egypt. because both the man. with its fear of speaking ill of the dead. and its prayers for the deceased. This was a sacrilege that the Romans called damnatio memoriae. because the erasure of all public memorials of Akhenaten was deeply sacrilegious. a dead monarch’s name had always to be ‘on many men’s lips’. and ancient Egypt settled back into its 3000-year stupor. For such people. Similar beliefs exist in the Christian religion. the more its non-conformists are detested. and remain there. and his ideas. threatened their security. The palace at Tel El Amarna was demolished. And there is no question also that he was detested. This is obvious.

reputation. While many of the inscriptions have still to be re-assembled in a series of giant jigsaw puzzles. When it was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. This artwork is in the Akhenaten style. called talatat. This represents a triumph of beauty over convention. the masons were careless and overlooked many inscriptions. but left most of the beautiful art work intact. Tutankhamun’s underground tomb was so sited that the entrance was soon covered with builders’ rubble from later tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Farming and Us . and protected it from robbers.Page 323 . following a couple of robberies which removed much gold. from an artistic point of view. and less appreciated. it had been undisturbed since it was sealed by priests in antiquity. his artistic style dominates the modern concept of this civilisation. Although Akhenaten’s rule involved less than one percent of ancient Egyptian history. this was undoubtedly the greatest archaeological discovery ever made. of creative genius over tradition. Nearly thirty centuries later. they have already yielded much information. And. But these malign objectives of the Egyptians were ultimately defeated. And the 3000-year artistic style is less known. They also saved the stones of the demolished buildings and used them again in new buildings with the old inscriptions facing inward. When demolishing the buildings and monuments that commemorated the dead king. modern archaeologists have found many of these stones. often scattered like so much confetti. This camouflaged it.

Page 324 . the very success of a new despot would confirm that he had a Mandate from Heaven. The despot might also use this opportunity for innovation in the various departments of government. Like Napoleon in Europe. In London. For the Chinese. Tutankhamun was affectionately nicknamed ‘King Toot’ and. and reviving wealth and prosperity. for example. established the metric system in every country he conquered. When they were sent on exhibition to some of the other capitals of the world. Napoleon. China The entire history of China is remarkably similar to that of ancient Egypt. it was also possible for new ideas to be accepted. As in ancient Egypt. the line-ups stretched for miles. Both countries had cultures characterised by oriental courts and extreme authoritarianism. China was governed by dynastic families of hereditary emperors. perhaps. such a despot would restore authoritarian efficiency by establishing law and order. The first emperor of each dynasty was usually a military despot who had gained control of the country by force. During such a period of restoration and creativity. Farming and Us . and this would provide religious sanction for the new dynasty that he founded. we can allow ourselves some pleasure in the thought that his name is once again on many men’s lips. and the beauty of some of them is breathtaking.The contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb are now permanently displayed in a special gallery of the Cairo Museum.

could lead unambitious and secure lives. communications. the bureaucracy. And each generation of mandarins and bureaucrats would be a little more corrupt and grasping. and a little more interested in a life of sybaritic pleasure. the peasants. But each successive hereditary emperor in the new dynasty would be a little less efficient than his predecessor.Page 325 . Each new emperor would be a little less interested in administration. provided they behaved. the defences. given the unnaturally high population densities. and correspondingly less Farming and Us . its absolute obedience upwards. The new dynasty would exhibit all the vigour of a successful military commander. With great efficiency. and its authority was final. the lowest peasants were so numerous that they rarely encountered government offic ials. Each new dynasty was able to establish itself only because of the extreme weakness of the previous dynasty. This was no mean achievement for the state of civilisation of that time. and the hierarchy resembled Hitler’s fuehrerprinzip in its absolute authority downwards. and peace and prosperity would be re-established. the economy. An essential feature of these very authoritarian cultures was the inherent inefficiency of the hereditary monarchy. and its total subjugation of women. However. however.The power of the Chinese emperor was total. Corruption would be ruthlessly rooted out. the first emperor of a new dynasty would rebuild the army. without outside interference. The government hierarchy was rigid. the peace and security would not endure. Sadly. One of the benefits of this authoritarianism was that. and the irrigation system. like their Egyptian counterparts.

the Khans. The Ming dynasty extended the Chinese Empire into Korea. who had defeated the last of the Mongol emperors. and that events always repeat themselves. Turkestan. from Mongolia. In many ways.Page 326 . It was probably these recurring periods of anarchy that led to the old Chinese curse: “May it be your fate to live in interesting times”. Marco Polo. and Burma. which was probably the most successful of the native dynasties. This recurring anarchy may also have been the origin of the Chinese belief that history moves in cycles. the Chinese and the Egyptian civilisations were both very successful in that they repeatedly recovered from periods of anarchy. from Manchuria. and civil war would erupt. The Mongols. Mongolia. he was the Chinese Farming and Us . The first Ming emperor was Yung Lo. 1644-1911. a dynasty would become so corrupt. and so weak. It would be clear to all that the dynasty had lost the Mandate of Heaven. and also the most autocratic. and they were then followed by a dark age. Most other ancient civilisations tended to collapse spectacularly . usually causing devastation and chaos. China was occasionally ruled by foreigners. These two dynasties of foreign conquerors were separated in time by the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). that it was ripe for overthrow.efficient. formed the Ching dynasty. which was established by Genghis Khan. Like Egypt. formed the Yüan dynasty (1211-1367 AD). However. Eventually. The Manchus. Vietnam. and consolidated by his grandson Khublai Khan. who was made famous in Europe by the Venetian merchant-explorer.

He was the emperor who was responsible for moving the capital to Beijing. and the civilisation of China. At that time. when Yung Lo died in 1424. They apparently had a typical ingroup sense of superiority. at the end of the fifteenth century. and the islands of South East Asia. and suppressed all exploration and foreign Farming and Us . the Chinese built ocean-going ships that were 500 feet long. and the designers are said to have got this idea from the internal structure of bamboos. Yung Lo would send a large fleet. his policies of foreign exploration were reversed and. or crossed the Atlantic. They used a compass. and they were expensive. They also had watertight compartments. and they had maps for navigation. Because of his interest. to foreign lands. Chinese technology led the world.equivalent of the ancient Egyptian King Akhenaten. with a displacement of 1500 tons. But. Yung Lo was unusual among the Chinese because he had an interest in foreign exploration.Page 327 . by the time Portuguese explorers arrived in the Indian Ocean. These journeys were in the nature of national ego trips.000 men. He also built the Forbidden City. ocean-going Chinese ships had stern rudders. with some 25. The multi-storied. the greatness. and loaded with treasure and gifts. This show was designed to display the might. China had sealed its borders. including the East African coast. This was nearly a century before European caravels discovered the route round Africa to the Far East. They explored the whole of the Indian Ocean. and the Chinese knew this to the point of arrogance. accompanied by a corresponding belief in the total inferiority of all other peoples. and rebuilt the Great Wall.

Page 328 . The building of a sea-going vessel had been made a capital offence. the possibility of virtue in others was denied. because these trades had been declared criminal. It would be another century before European exploration started in earnest. and their bureaucracy was too corrupt. and its genes. and the Americas. Australasia. who conquered the ineffectual thirteenth Ming emperor. But the Chinese chose to turn backwards and inwards. The history of the last dynasty. This was perhaps the most blatant example in history of how authoritarianism can hinder the growth of a civilisation. who were very authoritarian. a hereditary monarch who was also a creative genius. prevailed. association with strangers was avoided. China was in a position to colonise much of the world. China could easily have discovered. to Farming and Us . China entered a period of conservative. the Manchu emperors had become too weak. and either controlled or populated all of southern Asia. in the seventeenth century. The examination of things new was opposed. colonised. with its superior knowledge and technology. and very closed-minded. The views of the mandarins. was no different from its predecessors. By the nineteenth century. Yung Lo was that rare phenomenon. the Manchus. China had the opportunity to spread its culture. During that century. and it had become impossible to find sailors or shipwrights. and much of and sea travel became illegal. unprogressive. over most of the world. exploration was forbidden. In the early fifteenth century. and authoritarian stagnation from which it has only recently begun to emerge.

He closed the borders to all outside contacts. later. Vintage Books. Germany. ISBN 0-85031-435-6). Had the Japanese not been defeated in World War II. Anyone wishing to study the deplorable behaviour of these imperial powers during the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion. as that of any emperor.. Chairman Mao re-established China as a fully sovereign nation. this time by Japan. The Ching dynasty collapsed with the establishment of a republic in 1911. the child Pu Yi. Japan. Quite the clearest account of this deplorable affair is given by Simon Leys in The Chairman’s New Clothes (Alison & Busby Ltd. and the last emperor. Russia. and Italy. and a native one. the United States. With the defeat of Japan. ISBN 0-679-73369-8 pbk). as tyrannical. became a mere figurehead in the Forbidden City and. 1981. The terminology and ceremonial were drastically changed.prevent either the illegal trade in opium. But he imposed an extreme uniformity on the country. should read Dragon Lady. The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of China by Sterling Seagrave (1993. as absolute. 1977. a puppet emperor in his native Manchuria. did.Page 329 . or the flagrant abuses of Chinese sovereignty by foreign powers such as Britain. he restricted personal liberty to a Farming and Us . in fact. and as authoritarian. emerge. rev. with order and peace throughout the land. This happened because there was the usual foreign conquest. including uniformity of dress. But Chairman Mao established a rule that was as personal. a new dynasty. and everything was done in the name of communism. they would no doubt have established yet another new dynasty. France.

and he made strenuous efforts to regain real power. and it was called the Cultural Revolution. China. and absolute obedience upwards. He had a huge and rigid hierarchy. Even though he had only a few years left to live. as his last mistake demonstrated all too clearly. liable to run amuck. Second. He was quite rightly shunted into a purely ceremonial post. Mao made four disastrous mistakes. Mao ignored the critically urgent problem of population growth. and he established an extreme conservatism. which was already over-crowded. He had the ruthless upward drive of an alpha male in a huge male dominance hierarchy. Third. Like Hitler and Stalin before him. and his conservatism. The Cultural Revolution occurred only because Mao was removed from power in his old age. The first was his neglect of education and. he started the Cultural Revolution solely in order to restore his own personal authority. nearly doubled its population. consequently. but he had neither the education nor the intelligence to bring China into the twentieth century. Unfortunately. It also appealed to the young and Farming and Us . Mao scorned the idea of a proper legal system. he resented this.Page 330 . some forty percent of Chinese are now illiterate or semi-literate. from 660 million in 1960 to over a billion now. During his rule. Chairman Mao was a pathological authoritarian. But this hierarchy was an unstable system. with absolute authority downwards. The Cultural Revolution exploited his fuehrerprinzip. his backwardness. because of his ignorance. Mao’s last mistake was a total disaster.suffocating extent. and the lack of a proper system of law. Because of his neglect of family planning.

in addition to people. If he was lucky. including greater education.Page 331 . including signs of past privilege. destroy anyone who has privileges greater than yours. The Chinese government has been quietly rebuilding some of the more tragic losses. but. This was a religious desecration. he was sent to plant rice in the country. and universities. they assumed that this meant he could read. Mao said. Only the wildest estimates are available of the number of people killed during the Cultural Revolution but it may have been as many as twenty million people. otherwise. The Cultural Revolution destroyed other things. in a culture that places special emphasis on the veneration of ancestors. as well as the Forbidden City. because of the lack of professional staff. It is said that. The government protected a few museums. So. And it destroyed much of the incredibly rich cultural heritage of China as well. It was also a historical desecration as this cemetery dates from the death of Confucius in Farming and Us . such as the Bell Temple in Beijing. the destruction was almost total. if the Red Guards saw a man with spectacles. It destroyed institutions such as hospitals. And destroy anything that represents privilege.the under-privileged. in effect. and famous temples. tombs. which contained the graves of twenty-six generations of direct descendants of Confucius himself. The Red Guards destroyed the cemetery of the Confucian family. schools. and that he was educated. To his Red Guards. he would be killed. Quite likely. they destroyed him. Any building that smacked of past privilege was torn down.

and Mao seem to have had a level of destructiveness that was pathological. Their destructiveness was apparently a response to frustration. and often disastrous. and the historic buildings. The incredible damage such dictators can cause is perhaps a reflection of the huge discrepancy between their almost unlimited power. Stalin. These are usually unwanted objects. history. egotistically. can match this continuity of ancestors. Education.479 BC. Mao must surely rate as the worst emperor they ever had. to ruin his country if this was the only way to obtain a few more years of power at the end of his long life. and the lack of doctors and functioning hospitals was responsible for many unnecessary deaths. And the artefacts. and particularly university education. and their ignorance. anywhere in the world. And ruin it he did. was suspect. stopped. Many people have a streak of destructiveness. whose graves have now been demolished. and they positively enjoy smashing things. Mao undoubtedly caused incredible damage to China. But extreme authoritarians such as Hitler. of a three thousand year old culture were almost entirely destroyed. or a worker.Page 332 . The professions were ruined. and this may have been no more than a temper tantrum. Farming and Us . like a temper tantrum in a thwarted child. smashed before being put in the garbage. In the whole of China’s long. No other family. Anyone who was in any way superior to a peasant. Chinese scholars who wish to study their own culture and history may now do best to go to museums in foreign countries. But it seems he was also quite willing.

as large as an Egyptian pyramid. it has an uncanny resemblance to authoritarian descriptions of heaven. It was actually functioning. and left in ruins. and they rarely innovate. Second.In a sorry footnote of history. Authoritarians always imitate. The Forbidden City is rectangular in plan. Digging the moat produced enough earth to build an artificial hill. third. decided to imitate Chairman Mao. It was this unthinkable behaviour of the Khmers Rouges that spawned the entirely new term ‘killing fields’. as recently as the early part of the twentieth century. it is instructive for a visitor to explore it with this idea in mind.Page 333 . which are based on ancient oriental courts. is of special interest in the present context for three reasons. Indeed. had more than one million of its most valuable inhabitants murdered by these senseless and brutal authoritarians. And. in Beijing. First. Pol Pot. which is so much more chilling than the Nazi term ‘concentration camp’. for centuries. and to have a Cultural Revolution of his own. and is surrounded by a moat that was dug with hand labour. it is the only great oriental court that has not been abandoned. with an unprecedented slaughter of educated people. with a population of only seven million. as an imperial court. the dictatorial leader of the Khmers Rouges of Kampuchea. Jingshan. Farming and Us . The Forbidden City The Forbidden City. the movie called The Last Emperor has made many people familiar with the general appearance and design of the Forbidden City. the palace of Chinese emperors. This tiny country.

which is no less than a tunnel under a large building.This hill was built with hand labour. The area inside the wall is seventy two hectares (173 acres). very beautiful. even so. on the far side of a large external courtyard. to the north of the Forbidden City. and leading to the Gate of Supreme Harmony. These buildings were government offices. one comes to an enormous courtyard with a meandering.Page 334 . the Gate of Divine Prowess. thirty five feet high. and well as an eastern and a western gate. enclosed on three sides by high walls with buildings on top of them. It provided the only possibility for an outsider to glimpse the inside of the Forbidden City but. yellow tile roofs. crossed by five ornamental bridges.999 rooms. of the Ming and Ching dynasties. all that could be seen was a sea of very many. otherwise known as the Hall of the Golden Throne. Then comes the Hall of Supreme Harmony. After entering the Meridian Gate. Beyond that is an even larger courtyard where bronze markers show the positions to be occupied by the thousands of courtiers during grand ceremonies. and it contains hundreds of buildings. artificial river. and they are reputed to contain 9. The main entrance is the South Gate. in the otherwise flat Beijing plain. This is the largest hall in the Forbidden Farming and Us . with heavy defensive doors at each end. The moat is backed by a defensive wall. The South Gate is on the north side of Tiananmen Square. and two and a half miles in length. the Meridian Gate but there is also a north gate. including the imperial palaces of twenty four emperors. covering a period of almost five hundred years.

as uniform. without the necessary authorisation. The Forbidden City was so named because ordinary people were forbidden to enter it. made it as remote as heaven itself. the emperor was indeed as remote. and as stagnant. the art and architectural styles are as authoritarian. Modern visitors pay a few cents to visit the Farming and Us . as a god. with elaborately carved marble balustrades. for an ordinary Chinese citizen. as the ancient Egyptian. It is probable that few descriptions of it were ever too fantastic. the beams and pillars are painted in elaborate.Page 335 . was automatically condemned to death. All the walls of the buildings are terra cotta coloured. and as powerful. and lesser buildings. and of actually seeing the Forbidden City from the outside. Anyone found inside the Forbidden City. and special passports were required to penetrate the various gates leading deeper and deeper into the inner recesses of the palace. The sheer difficulty of visiting Beijing. and it is set on top of three terraces encased in white marble. However. The existence of the Forbidden City was indisputable but the ordinary citizen would know of it only from hearsay. let alone the impossibility of entering it. One of the official titles of the emperor was Son of Heaven and. and the beautiful curved roofs are all in yellow tile.City. royal residences. brightly coloured patterns and writing. The northern part of the Forbidden City consists of many individual palaces. Each gate had a small lodge for a gate-keeper. And the fabled luxury inside the Forbidden City made it a veritable paradise. who would open the gate only on production of the appropriate passport. or too extravagant.

or his surroundings. the Forbidden City was far from being a heaven for those who lived in it. The emperor’s male domestic servants were all eunuchs who had voluntarily undergone castration. Egypt. and strictly male. In truth. losing their ‘thrice precious’ with a single stroke of a specially curved knife. was like the contrast between immortals and mere mortals. and his authority was absolute.Page 336 . and autocratic. officials. Only the most privileged of courtiers. It was possibly the final extreme in oriental courts and. malicious gossip. And ordinary citizens. and those living outside. with absolute authority downwards. it was possibly as authoritarian. or its equivalent in ancient Mesopotamia. when they were only semiFarming and Us . or Rome. The hierarchy was rigid. The emperor was at the top of the hierarchy. if unimaginative authoritarians were required to describe heaven. and absolute obedience upwards.Forbidden City. as any human organisation has ever been. in its heyday. and servants were permitted even to see the emperor. and scheming. and modern Chinese people comment that this accurately reflects the value that their ancient emperors put on an ordinary person’s life. harsh. they would describe the Forbidden City. It was inevitable that. Ritual and tradition heavily circumscribed the emperor’s freedom of action. arrogant. or between the sacred and the profane. and everyone else lived in a sea of manipulation. The contrast between those living inside. the profane. were forbidden even to set eyes on the splendours and treasures of this earthly paradise.

Page 337 . malicious. prevented a mere mortal from communicating with his god. unethical. perhaps. It was possibly court flunkies such as these who gave rise to the concept of the devil. They were also contemptuous of anyone who needed their help. Possibly. This belief in angels being sexless may stem from the castrated eunuchs of an ancient oriental court or. Some of the Chinese eunuchs.anaesthetised with opium and alcohol. in the original concept. and who were mendacious. and his hierarchy of numerous fallen angels who. in periods of decadence. among other things. it is an amalgamation of both ideas. who are sexless. and the acceptance of a bribe was no guarantee of compliance or fulfilment. unscrupulous. won power and influence second only to that of the emperor himself. Being sent to hell meant being at the mercy of demons such as these for all eternity. and cruel. unscrupulous. angels were the lowest rank in the hierarchy of celestial beings. It is an intriguing thought that the traditional Christian descriptions of heaven include angels. were devious far beyond the comprehension of Machiavelli. These demons were everything that is evil. who gained the confidence of the emperor. Farming and Us . avaricious. The emperor was thus habitually surrounded by toadies and manipulators who. or of anyone subordinate to them. They submitted voluntarily to this excessively painful mutilation for the privilege of working in the Forbidden City. from the concept of sex being sin. and dishonourable. There is no doubt that. corrupt.

the Forbidden City was looted by soldiers of the European powers at the time of the Boxer rebellion in 1900. silks. Farming and Us . Heresy was essentially a religious individualism. And such treasure that remained was looted again by Chiang Kai-shek. but little remains of the Imperial riches. mainly because it had the fanatical backing of King Ferdinand ‘The Catholic’ (1452-1516). and it has the same linguistic root as ‘enquire’ and ‘inquisitive’.Page 338 . porcelain. and was burned to the ground. and punishing.Much of the wealth of China was stored in the Forbidden City. However. jade. and books. These were the people who financed the New World exploration of Christopher Columbus. to say nothing of the buildings of the city itself. An Inquisition was a special ecclesiastical court that had the task of investigating. The word Inquisition derives from Latin. The Forbidden City was systematically looted during the ten-year Japanese occupation of 1935-45. The Spanish Inquisition Various nations and city states in medieval Europe had Inquisitions. when the Last Emperor had ordered a stocktaking. but the Spanish Inquisition is the most infamous. in the form of exquisite art work in gold. in which non-conformists had the temerity to doubt or question the rigidly fixed belief system of the ingroup. precious stones. Then the main treasure house mysteriously caught fire. silver. heresy. furs. bronze. The place is now a museum. and taken to Taiwan in 1949. and his wife Isabella of Castile.

and Erasmian humanism. During the confessional. Any suspicion of individualism was likely to be persecuted as heresy. especially in their beliefs. The Inquisition later came to loathe the Protestant reformation. the function of the Inquisition was to control the belief system of every member of the ingroup.Page 339 . and its ingroup behaviour was very nasty indeed. This (naturally) was a crime deserving death. when anyone could voluntarily confess to heresy and obtain forgiveness. It was also very harsh on various forms of sorcery and witchcraft. and the fear of being denounced by others was the main compulsion behind these confessions. he also had to worry about what other people were saying about him.The Christian religion was possibly at its most authoritarian during the fifteenth century. would arrive in a town or district and declare an Edict of Grace. such a person was encouraged to identify other individuals guilty of heresy. Many of these people had been forcibly converted to Christianity and they were constantly suspected of recidivism. All the evidence collected in this Farming and Us . The Inquisition. the two largest n outgroups were Jews and Muslims. subject to various acts of penitence. For this reason. and absolutely no deviation was allowed. The members of this Christian ingroup also had a powerful hostility towards outgroups and. In a word. It achieved this by instituting a system of fear. in Spai at that time. consisting of a group of specially appointed ecclesiastics. All members of the ingroup had to conform. which has an extraordinary resemblance to the methods of the Nazi Gestapo.

did the Nazi Gestapo. they could use torture in order to obtain a confession. The accused might spend several years in prison before a verdict would be reached and. This. that person was arrested. The secrecy was absolute. but only with severe penalties. his family would probably starve. during that time. The mere fact of arrest would amount almost to a verdict of guilty. After Farming and Us . or any contact with the outside world. is one of the more convincing indications of just how nasty authoritarianism can become. When the Inquisition had accumulated enough evidence to convict a suspect. the majority of Inquisition cases resulted in a conviction. reconciliation with the Church was possible by public repentance. perhaps. for that matter.Page 340 . If the verdict went against the accused. and to keep the proceeds. As can be imagined. To be fair to the Inquisition. So too. secular courts in those days also used torture in a similar way. He was also denied any information about his case. and other authoritarian police systems. All his property was sequestered and was held by the Inquisition until the case was finalised. his property was confiscated by the Inquisition. and an accused never knew who were the witnesses who had named him. The scope for false testimony and revenge was enormous. In most of these cases. or what they had said about him. which then had the right to sell it. If the Inquisition had evidence (real or false) against a person who refused to confess.way was secret. and that confession was then considered an admission of guilt. and was limited only by the somewhat doubtful integrity of the inquisitors themselves. Rich people were especially vulnerable.

He might also be required to wear special penitential clothing.repenting in a public ceremony called the auto-da-fé (act of faith). and service in the galleys. The Inquisition was not permitted to kill people. they fled from Nazi Germany. and to participate in many penitential religious ceremonies and. fled from Spain just as. Even if he escaped with his life. particularly Jews. 1947. and these people would duly burn him alive for the greater glory of God. the Farming and Us . The Last Days of Hitler (Macmillan. having lost all his property. Nor is it surprising that so many people. It is not easy to equate this sort of fear-culture with Christian charity. The final punishment for anyone who did not repent was death. scourging. in a pilgrimage as well. because killing people was un-Christian (don’t you know). the accused would be set free. but he was still liable to be punished. Many of these refugees from the Spanish Inquisition went to Holland which was then the centre of Erasmian humanism and which. even convicted heretics. The Authoritarianism of Hitler Trevor-Roper. and forgiveness. Indeed. has a reputation second to none for sheltering political and religious refugees. ISBN 330-10129-3). in his classic. possibly.Page 341 . London. first made the point that Hitler’s government and administration resembled an oriental court. much later. Other possible punishments included imprisonment. to this day. So. an accused would very likely be doomed to a life of poverty and shame. tolerance. exile. the unrepentant heretic was handed over to the secular arm of the law.

from a military point of view. but who are on the very borderline of psychosis. The first and most obvious question that arises is how could such an extreme of authoritarianism develop in such a cultured area as Europe? There appear to be several reasons. they had to have a strong Farming and Us . These countries have long histories of invasion and warfare and. He explains much that was previously obscure. and with being the alpha male in a rigid male dominance hierarchy. Poland. It provides a classic study of authoritarianism. and they are in a weak geographic position. Robert G. his inexplicable blunders. have vulnerable land boundarie s. Basic Books Inc. It seems that all the components of Waite’s analysis add up to this one syndrome of a pathologically authoritarian personality.whole phenomenon of the Nazis is a perfect example of the kind of rigid hierarchy that used to occur in an ancient oriental court. and he goes into considerable detail. In Waite’s view. Some countries. This is a relatively new psychological definition. 1977. and his extremes of polarisation. which involves people who are between the neurotic and the psychotic. such as Germany. of insanity. L. Waite provides massive evidence for his conclusion. Adolf Hitler.Page 342 . historically. and Russia.. Lib. such as Hitler’s hatred of the Jews. obsessed with being in control. the account given here is the holistic view. which regards Hitler as an extreme authoritarian. However. Waite has written the definitive account of the psychology of Hitler (The Psychopathic God. Congress No 82-61767). Hitler was a ‘borderline personality’.

who would do his bidding in every region of Germany. None of the famous dictators of history had anywhere near such an efficient system of communication. and the German people preferred. not even Frederick the Great. His ruthless exploitation of those two forerunners of television. further increased his control. This factor was entirely new. he could communicate instantly with his Gauleiters. particularly. totalitarian control that was achieved by Hitler. a strong control. Germany was a very authoritarian society. Germany was traditionally a militaristic and. or such a complete control. and dominating. an authoritarian society. Two further factors were essential for the phenomenon of Hitler to happen at all.Page 343 . and the personality of Hitler himself. Nevertheless. using telephones and radio. even if only for reasons of self-defence. in the tradition of Frederick the Great and Bismarck. Hitler was the first politician to exploit the aeroplane in order to address several different political rallies in one day. above all. and they particularly Farming and Us . Hitler could also communicate directly with his armies and he had absolute and personal control over every unit. hence.militarism. They preferred their leaders to be strong. These were the attitude of the German people. And his novel use of loudspeakers enabled him to address rallies that had unprecedented numbers of people. developments in communication. simplistic. down to the battalion level. or Bismarck. was able to develop the absolute. and it greatly increased his powers of control. A practical explanation of Hitler’s absolutism is modern technology and. And. the newsreel film and radio.

The ranting of an obscure politician called Hitler was considered something of a joke. catastrophic loss of control and security. The German people Farming and Us . and a belief in the superiority of the German people over all others. Generations of Germans had had a tradition of reviling democracy. even many Germans. There was then a second. Germany’s defeat was followed by the treaty of Versailles. The humiliations of Versailles were gradually removed.Page 344 . from 1919 to 1933.disliked the ambiguities and insecurities of democracy. and their sense of security was shattered. and the savage humiliations that result from a control imposed by immensely bitter victors. and prosperity slowly improved. There can be no question that Hitler’s authoritarianism was greatly admired by the majority of the German people. someone to be equated with the comedian Charlie Chaplin. and it developed because of bad management of the German economy. during the period of the Weimar Republic. after four years of terrible war. There was a powerful ingroupism. and it was nearly as traumatic as the military defeat. and of praising national patriotism. with the sudden abdication of their Kaiser. This rate of inflation was unprecedented. This loss of control occurred more or less unexpectedly. Most people. Germany then experienced democracy for the first time. regarded him as a comic figure in a dirty mackintosh. the German people had experienced a catastrophic loss of control. With World War I. and their surrender. This resulted from galloping inflation. in 1918.

any group. particularly the Jews and international communism. or any nation. or nation. Then there was the personality of Hitler himself. or the nations had been conquered. and lifesavings were obliterated. They had ceased to exist. or his control. Hitler regarded any German who disobeyed him as a traitor of the worst kind. Hitler could not tolerate any person. pathological authoritarian. dominating.Page 345 . to have any independence whatever. (He also kept his promise of “world power or ruin”). He could not allow any individual. There is no question that he was a skilled and charismatic speaker. This was the great depression. a third disaster occurred. This was one of the very few of his many promises that he did not break. that questioned or doubted his authority. Hitler stormed around the country blaming all his outgroup enemies. and to conquer all neighbouring countries. determined to destroy this new democracy. In the early 1930s. Typically also. This is why he felt compelled to kill all his individual opponents. or put them into concentration camps. and it led to massive unemployment. He could sway his audience into intense national loyalty. he was also determined to gain power for himself. Even more important. unlike other German politicians. His speeches were fanatically ingroupist and. Hitler lost all interest in them. Here was an extreme.suffered frightful deprivations as money became valueless. He was a political wrecker. It was typical of his negative attitudes that. once the individuals had been killed or incarcerated. he promised a strong control. He demanded rather than earned the loyalty of Farming and Us . who was egocentric beyond belief.

Hitler also demanded total obedience. He would make a great show of loving children and old people. It too was often hypocritical acting. he used to roll on the floor and bite the carpet is not true. or to whom he said it. and controlled. Like all extreme authoritarians. There was no warmth in the man. not to Germany. during them. he did not care what he said. but it indicates the notoriety of his loss of control. a show.his followers. or of dying for the Fuehrer. The external code of behaviour. Hitler lacked any true compassion or concern for others. However. Every member of the German military. he would kiss the hand of an unmarried woman and. when angry. wrong. Hitler’s self-control was authoritarian and of external origin. was forgotten. he would embarrass his more sophisticated colleagues by getting the details of this etiquette. The wartime story that. civil service. and he would Farming and Us . for this reason. Sometimes. and there was then no self-control left at all. Hitler was liable to lose control of himself completely. these ingroup recognition signals. Like many authoritarians who want to impress others. no one dared to tell him that this was incorrect. artificial. and it was elaborate. For example. if this was required. Hitler’s rages were famous and. but that is all it was.Page 346 . but to Hitler himself. Hitler was a consummate actor and entirely hypocritical. and judiciary had to take an oath of loyalty. it seems that this anger was often not genuine. the etiquette. even to the point of breaking the recognised law. His daily behaviour was governed entirely by etiquette. typically. And this loyalty had to be total. When he was angry.

I suppose I was that friend. a charade. and he regarded the people of Poland. Speer commented that Hitler’s dog Blondi meant more to him than his closest associates. Even at the most pragmatic level. and a merciless killer. and his dog died very promptly.” On another occasion. shortly before he committed suicide. His lack of compassion. Russia. because he suspected treachery even in the manufacture of his suicide devices. his architect and armaments minister. who detested the tyranny of Stalin. But the test was positive. “If he ever had a friend. because Russian resistance stiffened remarkably. Nevertheless. Hitler callously used Blondi to test one of his cyanide capsules. Equally. and many Soviet people.Page 347 . this was bad propaganda. He referred to them as sub-human. At the Nuremberg trials. At the end of the war. He was a firm believer in slavery. would have flocked to his side. The dog was so strictly trained that his master controlled its every action. But Hitler chose to enter Russia as a destroyer. particularly the Ukrainians. Hitler could have entered Russia as a liberator. and other countries as being at the very bottom of the hierarchy.positively gloat over descriptions of death. and Hitler insisted on absolute obedience. even for his own Farming and Us . once the behaviour of the German conquerors became known. mentioned that Hitler had no friends. Hitler would occasionally show concern for others but this was an artificial display. Hitler showed no compassion for the people he conquered. and the shedding of blood. Albert Speer. fit only to be worked to death as slaves for the industries of Germany. Hitler’s relationship with his dog was a control relationship.

Hitler’s conceit was also notorious but it was largely unjustified. Not one of his ideas was original. was notorious. He apparently believed that a genius such as himself. as. during the long evenings when he desired an audience. was above the moralities and ethics that governed lesser mortals. and have to endure the excruciating boredom. He never enjoyed painting. in the many battles. and hypocritical. He would show more regret over a bombed opera house than he ever showed over civilian casualties. Hitler not only believed himself to be a genius. was entitled to do anything he pleased. say. In other words. and most of them derived from racist pamphlets read during his youth. for its own sake. He believed himself to be a genius but his conversation was self-centred and banal in the extreme. a superman in the sense of the Nazi misreading of Nietzsche. Churchill did.people. His entourage would struggle against sleep. when emotion was expected of him. he convinced himself that he. But he could be very sentimental. but this too was mere conceit. Farming and Us . His pictures are graphically competent.Page 348 . on occasions such as state funerals. and as a relaxation. but little else. and he rarely portrayed human figures in his paintings. Hitler also believed himself to be an artist. but even the greatest genius the world had ever seen. and bombed cities. (And how remarkably convenient that was). A few of Hitler’s paintings survive but their current monetary value owes little to artistic merit. of his endlessly repetitious monologues. alone among men.

so huge. and his private life was Farming and Us . Both Hitler and Stalin resembled the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs in their love of monumental architecture. Hitler had wanted to be an architect and he often claimed frustrated ambition in this respect. at Obersaltzberg.Page 349 . and he prohibited such ‘decadence’ in Nazi Germany. and so ugly. As a youth. he liked it so much that he used to eat it by the spoonful for every meal. and he could be savagely destructive when thwarted. and modern design. He closed down the outstanding Bauhaus school of design soon after coming to power. although he was a vegetarian. When he built his house. he designed the plans entirely on his own. Then he discovered what it cost and. the Berghof. Hitler was mean over small money matters. his true nature was essentially uncreative. that their taste could be described only as megalomanic. in both his artistic taste and his political and ideological conceptions. Hitler remained arrested in the world of his youth. he had few luxuries. He detested modern art. His butler once introduced him to caviar.Albert Speer has commented that. which he had never tasted before and. although he had virtually unlimited funds at his disposal. Indeed. with a simple hospital bed. he never touched it again. His bedroom was Spartan in its simplicity. He was very closed-minded and he stopped learning at a relatively early age. Except for his childish love of chocolates and cream buns. Like many emotionally deprived people. Albert Speer commented after the war that his ground plan would have been graded D in any institute of technology.

or even stalking out of the room. He used to keep a special manual on armaments next to his bed. When Hitler compared himself to the great military leaders of history. such as abruptly changing the subject. and several days would elapse before they could regain any independence of thought.Page 350 . they would not have remained with him for long. and of detail. and of how his gaze could be hypnotic and totally compelling. Caesar. But he had little else of note. Had they not been. and armies. and that it was a form of mild hypnotism. and Napoleon. we can be confident that all of Hitler’s closest associates were subservient authoritarians. it was always to their disadvantage. They would leave his presence feeling drained. such as Alexander. However. and he would then use some other trick. There is Farming and Us . But his belief in his own genius had little basis in reality. He would memorise endless factual details about guns. This was in stark contrast to Goering who rivalled Nero in his personal extravagance. ammunition. he would encounter someone whom he could not dominate in this way. and then try to confound his military experts with his superior knowledge. tanks. Hitler had an authoritarian love of facts. Hitler had this ability to an extraordinary degree. It is probable that this domination trick of Hitler’s worked only with subservient authoritarians. employed as a dominance display. and easily dominated. Occasionally.drab in the extreme. An extreme and ruthless ability to dominate others does not constitute genius. Many of Hitler’s associates spoke of the ‘magnetic’ effect of his eyes.

General Fromm summed up Hitler’s military ability by saying that a civilian commander in chief might have been better than. and his remarkable successes. And he was the sort of person who tended to believe that. Hitler was far too authoritarian to appreciate that the broad view is more important than detail. at the expense of academic subjects. if something was printed in a book. Albert Speer has made the point that Hitler was an amateur. Speer considered that it was his audacities. Nor does it constitute open-mindedness. and militarism. based largely on ignorance. which so confounded his opponents. Otherwise.Page 351 . a corporal. with a special Farming and Us . particularly in a commander in chief. he held books in awe. They were taught mainly German history. of course. His only schoolboy success was in physical training. Hitler was undoubtedly intelligent and. Hitler had been a high school dropout who had achieved poor grades in all academic subjects. it must be true. With his gross lack of education. and that he had not received formal training in any field. the children were taught history. that led to the early surprises. and loyalty to the Nazis. Hitler could not appreciate that the first sign of real knowledge is the recognition of one’s own ignorance. The only intellectual education that was encouraged was in ‘useful’ subjects such as engineering. but this does not constitute genius. When he became dictator of Germany. he insisted that all German education should emphasise physical training. he often saw novel solutions that were not obvious to the experts. of all doubt that his memory for trivia was phenomenal. as an amateur.

The Nazis stereotyped all Jews as evil and dangerous and they set out to eliminate them all. Their hostility was directed primarily at the Jews and the communists. Gypsies. Guido von List. In a word. LansLiebenfels. racist views were common in those days. he was the ultimate racist. even the children. who called themselves Aryans.Page 352 . and a powerful hostility as well. His primary ingroup was the Nazi party but. his ingroup was the Herrenvolk . were also marked down for extermination. This ‘master race’. and the history of the Nazi party. Theodor Fritsch. Racism became widely repellent only after Hitler had revealed its ultimate consequences. although other minorities such as Social Democrats. the supposedly superior German people.emphasis on German military heroes. in what they so cynically called ‘the final solution’ to the Jewish ‘problem’. a race of heroes. The Nazis had a powerful sense of superiority over all outgroups. were reputedly all blond and blue-eyed. ancestor worship. His racist rationalisations were based in part on the obnoxious writings of Richard Wagner who. and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Jehovah’s Witnesses. in a wider sense. Hitler had a powerful sense of ingroupism. whatever his musical genius. Farming and Us . and the incurably insane. Freemasons. with an extreme hostility towards outgroups. Hitler was also greatly influenced by polemicists such as J. homosexuals. was vicious in his racism. Hitler was an extreme ingroupist. To be fair to these writers.

or to recognise that his rationalisation was merely a projection of his own megalomanic ambitions. McCarthyism. As it happens.Page 353 . Nor could he appreciate that. and worthy of destruction. like the United States. Had Germany been a multi-racial society. and claimed that they were imperialists who wanted to dominate the world. He accused them of a Jewish conspiracy. even millions. provides an indication of how relatively non-authoritarian the United States really is. if this accusation made the Jews evil.S. My Lai. Hitler considered that individual Germans could be written off in their thousands. In his ‘Table Talk’. more than anything. Hitler once commented that the kind of judges he needed were men who were deeply convinced that the function of the law was not to safeguard the individual against the state. in spite of occasional hotspots of fairly extreme authoritarianism. but to ensure the survival of the state. the U. He was far too prejudiced to realise that he was rationalising. and worthy of destruction. have been even greater than their hostility to Jews. Perhaps this. by exactly the same criteria. and Jim Jones. Marines. no doubt. with reckless disregard. such as the Ku Klux Klan. and he too wanted to dominate the world. then. and the party. When told of huge Farming and Us . The authoritarianism of the Nazis inevitably meant that the state. Hitler made no secret of his complete contempt for coloured peoples. it made him evil also.Hitler justified his hatred of the Jews with a singularly stupid rationalisation. were considered more important than the individual. the Nazi hostility towards visible minorities would. Hitler was an imperialist also.

at the top of the male dominance hierarchy. Farming and Us . became the Nazi anthem. and whose trite song Raise High the Flag. to be less important than the group. like Horst Wessel. And he insisted on his fuehrerprinzip . and the discipline of an army”. they could be glorified. Hitler demanded of his followers “…the faith of a religion. It was this attitude among their subordinates that led to the Nazi exploitation of self-sacrifice and heroism. and its absolute obedience upwards. and the Nazi party had unofficially repudiated Christianity. from which women were totally excluded. However. And living individuals can have such a fanatical loyalty to their ingroup that they positively relish the thought of a similar glory for themselves. Once heroes are safely dead. with its absolute authority downwards. the party.losses of young men during the war. Being such a dominating authoritarian.Page 354 . even if they do not live to experience it. in spite of the fact that he was an atheist. he insisted on being the alpha male. the Fatherland. and to claim the support of Providence. Hitler merely commented “ But that’s what young people are for!” Hitler regarded individuals as expendable. as individuals. And his more ardent followers believed themselves. a rank fixation. a Nazi lout who was killed in a brawl. a point that is often overlooked is the streak of subservient authoritarianism that existed in Hitler’s personality. Hitler also had a powerful sense of hierarchy. This showed in the extraordinary number of times that he used to refer to the will of God.

every senior Nazi built himself a private power base. every senior member of the Nazi Party was a completely unscrupulous cheat and liar. such as Schacht and Speer. But they did not normally have love relationships with their women.Rank fixation was glaringly apparent in the importance that the Nazis attached to the serial number on their party membership cards. morally corrupt. hence. and a woman’s place was in the home. This nonsense reached the heights of absurdity when low numbers. and the more senior the member. and politically corrupt. With the possible exception of one or two professionals. the lower the number. with Goering in the lead. and they did so illicitly. junior. Just as would happen in an ancient oriental court. consequently. legally corrupt. For this reason. They were superficially chivalrous. also achieved very considerable wealth. From the very beginning. that had belonged to deceased party members. and they never allowed them to become part of their dominance hierarchy. and they made a great charade of how much they respected them. The Nazis were typically authoritarian in their attitude to women.Page 355 . and was unconscionable in his methods of doing this. but politically important. the entire Nazi system was corrupt. Most of these men. the German armaments industry was Farming and Us . members of the party. which was exclusively male. The Party principles were rigid. the older the membership. These numbered cards were issued in numerical order and. would be secretly re-allocated to new and. It was financially corrupt. very polite in terms of etiquette.

He wanted a son. shortly before their joint suicide. and insisted on dying when he died. The Nazis were possessive towards their women but not loving. Kirch. she was entirely colourless. Hitler had a dull and uninteresting mistress. und Kinder (kitchen. and was either unaware or unconcerned about her acute embarrassment. and children). A daughter would have been a disaster. Nevertheless. Eva Braun. Their wives’ activities were largely confined to Küche. Hitler married her. at the end of the war. but only a son. and of new mothers of soldiers.denied the labour of many millions of loyal. but this did not prevent them from requiring their wives to be loyal and obedient mothers of many children. Many of the senior Nazis were notorious philanderers. among the Nazi wives and mistresses. patriotic. and able women during the war. Hitler’s rationalisation for not marrying any earlier was typical of the man. there was a female dominance hierarchy also. In all other respects.Page 356 . The Nazis were extreme male chauvinists. Hitler treated her atrociously and was even heard to comment in her presence that “a highly intelligent man should always choose a stupid and primitive woman.” He also used to hand her envelopes of money in public. each being placed according to her husband’s rank. church. Nazi wives were required to be mothers of many soldiers. who was a well kept secret until the end of the war. Like Spartan women. But she remained blindly loyal to her Fuehrer. Even a son was of doubtful value because Hitler believed that the Farming and Us .

in the major issues. This. Hitler had a totally closed mind. it was so closed that. That was himself. and their fightin g and industrial efficiency. Both his belief systems and his disbelief systems were rigid and inflexible. followed by an abortion if it is the unwanted sex. during a wartime staff conference. He was also notorious for the way he would reject information that came from a wrong. could never live up to his father’s reputation. and their physical prowess.Page 357 . Farming and Us . His belief systems concerned the genetic superiority of himself and his ingroup. Ironically. Without doubt. gave his ingroup an inalienable right to the territory of his outgroup neighbours. They were also primitive. He frequently referred to his intuition. when given alarming but accurate figures of Russian tank production.son of a genius. source. Hitler was prejudiced and dogmatic. and said it was the only information he could trust. No doubt. The rigidity of his prejudices was one of the more prominent aspects of his warped personality. To quote just one example. In fact. he believed. he obtained a great sense of security from the unambiguous and dogmatic certainty of his views. Hitler would have loved this horrible idea. such as himself. but only by an early sex determination of the foetus. their intelligence. scientists can now do this. His disbelief systems were wide-ranging and involved a total rejection of all the values and principles of all outgroups. He once explained that he would marry only after scientists had learned how to control the sex of an unborn child. he really recognised only one source of information as the right one. or junior.

and of the Nazi party. coin. including the children. Every branch of the military. Hitler loved conformity and uniformity. medal. jet fighters. flag. and he threatened to shoot the officer responsible for producing them. which made him nervous. and his belief and disbelief systems. official document.Page 358 . had to have a uniform. The Nazi stereotyping of members of outgroups was equally rigid. such as new tank and gun designs. and the atomic bomb. And every member of the party had to conform. It was also savage. Nor was the possibility of Jewish adults being loyal Germans ever Farming and Us . The Nazi flag was everywhere. The possibility of innocence was not even considered. Hitler was often reluctant to accept the new. In spite of the boasted modernity of the German military.Hitler refused to believe them. and badge. rockets. This even applied to little things. and the swastika emblem was to be found on every public building. Jewish children had to be killed just because their parents were Jews. new designs often had to be introduced surreptitiously by the armaments manufacturers. Most of his talk about new wonder weapons was mere propaganda and. Individualism was verboten and the only things that really mattered were blind obedience and blind conformity. such as radar. His enthusiasms were all for further development of the weapons of the First World War. without Hitler’s prior knowledge. such as the retractable undercarriage on his new aeroplane. postage stamp. in fact. his loyalties. Speer has commented that he had little feeling for anything that had been invented after that War. in his behaviour. Like all authoritarians.

And so it would have been. without one single exception. And he killed them all. was believed to be dangerous and evil. was Joseph Goebbels. and saying that it meant “Peace in our time”. Every Jew. Similarly. Farming and Us . or nationality. When Chamberlain returned from Munich. Hitler was a compulsive lia r. and the elegance of their deceptions. Hitler would also break international treaties without the slightest compunction. if Hitler had kept his word. In fact. who was another compulsive liar. But this too was a lie. age. Another aspect of Hitler’s lying was the way he lied to himself. But Hitler’s prejudices completely blinded him to this possibility. you might as well make it a big one. World War II started less than a year later. because of its implication that Hitler usually spoke the truth. with the largest and most powerful army ever assembled.considered. and to Stalin’s total astonishment.Page 359 . Some of his rationalisations were arrogant and conceited beyond belief. These people took pride in their lies. in 1938. waving a piece of paper. Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Russia. deceit was the norm. Less than two years later. He was the first national leader to have a minister of propaganda and public ‘enlightenment’. they did in World War I. he really believed this to be true. if you are going to tell a lie. he invaded Russia. Several million loyal but Jewish Germans could have made a tremendous contribution to the war effort as. of course. and regardless of sex. Hitler stated publicly that. and utter consternation. As might be expected within an extreme dominance hierarchy. indeed. This minister.

He considered himself essential to the successful conduct of the war. (It is perhaps worth commenting that most weapons of hunting and war have a Farming and Us . When he was finally converted to the new rocket developments. At that time. and that his health was poor. he was approaching the age of fifty. The first was Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch. Hitler also believed himself to be infallible. and the latter by the Army. more than anything. of both the need for war. and the urgency of that war. and he described “his person” as “.frankly. the German V2 rocket. he convinced himself. I did not listen to him when he told me again and again how important your research was.. The V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets were developed in competition. “I have had to apologise to only two men in my life. This was himself..When he was planning the war. was a military. industrial. the former by the Air Force. irreplaceable”.” Interestingly. that he had been wrong not to believe in long range rockets. He feared that he was getting old. and his closest followers. I never believed that your work would be successful. he admitted to Walter Dornberger. The second man is yourself. he told his top military advisors that there was one special factor to be taken into account.Page 360 . the commander of the Peenemünde rocket research establishment. and economic disaster. Perhaps this. He added. In this way. although a technical marvel. Big rockets have a powerful phallic symbolism which many authoritarians find irresistible. as rival programs. emphasises the need for the checks and balances of democracy. It is entirely possible that World War II happened only because of one man’s mid-life crisis.

Daggers. In fact. At that stage of the war. but that non-authoritarians are largely unaffected by it. a single combined British and American air raid on Germany could deliver 8.) Once Hitler became captivated by the phallic symbolism of big rockets. and spears all penetrate. Farming and Us .strong phallic symbolism. or accuracy. but had no greater payload. But Hitler still gave the rocket program priority over both aircraft and flying bomb production. but this could not justify their enormous cost. Hitler wanted terror-weapons and he believed that the rockets would induce greater fear in the British population than the flying bombs. swords. range. It seems that this symbolism appeals particularly to authoritarians.000 tons of explosives. This may also be one of the reasons for the love of guns in the USA. with the additional effect of an explosive climax.Page 361 . although each rocket cost one hundred times as much as one flying bomb. arrows. A further disadvantage was that the rockets were far less accurate than manned bombers. Guns do this also. and they produce an overwhelming sense of domination and conquest. the slow rumble of an approaching flying bomb was far more nerve-racking than the sudden and unanticipated explosion of a rocket. To deliver this quantity of explosive by V2 rocket would have required some ten thousand rockets. he gave them a much higher priority than the flying bombs. The only advantage of the rockets was that they could not be shot down. produced at a maximum rate of one thousand per month.

so erratically . far too late. which was apparently unbeatable. The proceedings were a judicial farce. Hitler’s belief in his own infallibility was typically authoritarian. There were also negative but equally powerful reasons for Hitler’s sense of infallibility. in 1944. his automatic reaction of blaming subordinates for his own mistakes. These included his difficulty in admitting to being wrong. his incapability of accepting responsibility for failure. and the jet fighter. pretending he had died of war wounds. Fie ld Marshal Rommel. It came. and nearly five thousand suspects were automatically found guilty and condemned to death. After the July 20th attempt on his life. and so disastrously. at that late stage of the war. and his sense of being alpha male in a huge male dominance hierarchy. was the jet engine. He set up a special court. at the end of war. that only a very few jet fighters became available. his sense of ingroup superiority. And. of course. his conceit. However. it was not difficult to find people who were disillusioned with his leadership.One of the few areas of technical development in which Germany was usefully and realistically ahead of the Allies. Many Farming and Us . and then gave him a state funeral. in which all the principles of natural justice were conspicuously flaunted. Hitler forced his favourite general. under the notorious Roland Freisler. to take poison. and his reluctance either to offer or to accept apologies. Hitler was vindictive in a brutal and merciless way.Page 362 . from his early successes. Hitler interfered with its development so frequently. he launched a major manhunt for anyone who was even remotely connected with the plot.

and it never occurred to him that he had failed Germany. The only reason they were not carried out was that the German people finally decided. For this reason. and medical supplies. Hitler believed that Germany had failed him. from physical plant and structures. and then their corpses were suspended from meat hooks. was to leave absolutely nothing behind that might help the enemy. he insisted that any Farming and Us . food. Hitler was also vindictive towards Germany and his own people. He also argued that the brave soldiers in these units had died. to choose self-preservation in preference to loyalty. He was fully aware that millions of Germans would then die of exposure and starvation. This betrayal. He also wanted every German evacuated into the rapidly decreasing enclave still held by the Nazis. It is not always appreciated that Hitler’s plans for his own people were far more draconian than the Jewish holocaust. announced in September 1944. but this was exactly what he wanted.Page 363 . When the war was obviously lost. He believed that experienced German soldiers who had suffered defeat had irrevocably lost their morale. water.were executed by slow hanging with piano wire. induced him to destroy Germany as completely as he knew how. His scorched earth policy. He wanted everything destroyed. as he called it. and that only the cowards were left. Hitler was also callous about his own troops. almost unanimously. right down to personal records held in banks and public offices. Hitler had the more important executions recorded on movie film.

Hitler often insisted that a grant of authority be balanced by another grant somewhere else. An authoritarian wants. was Hitler’s love of the principle of divide and rule. An extreme dictatorship inevitably leads to a decline in efficiency. Everyone was positively required to keep to his own group. No individual was permitted to take an interest in the activities of any other group. but that it should be allowed to “bleed to death” completely. above all. This was another aspect of his authoritarian personality.Page 364 . and ended in chaos. to be in control. Farming and Us . One of the many reasons for this. these groups were called ‘chambers’ and the members of a chamber were restricted to the activities of that chamber. and this was another aspect of divide and rule. particularly as Hitler made himself the sole arbiter in their numerous disputes. responsibility for a given task would usually be divided between two or three different organisations. and he was famous for his reluctance to delegate authority. there was a strong tendency to confine people to technical groups. apart from the general corruption. Among professionals. Throughout the entire German administration. and the Nazi system was no exception. This was one of the reasons his government and his administration became increasingly incompetent. Equally. The equivalent of a multi-disciplinary science was prohibited.unit that had retreated before the enemy should not be replenished. Hitler reserved all decisions to himself. No organisation should become powerful enough to threaten Hitler’s own position.

The Afrika Korps habitually had up to a fifth of its men incapacitated by malaria. In physics. The Nazis never succeeded in producing these drugs. all the internationally renowned scientists of Nazicontrolled Europe had left. This policy of divide and rule also contributed to the waste and inefficiency of the Nazi system. because this was considered a form of malingering. In medicine. and six new Laureates were later created among other Farming and Us . the Allies developed penicillin. Five Nobel Laureates left Nazi and Fascist Europe in this way. any soldier who contracted malaria was liable to be put on a charge for not taking his anti-malarial pills. Similarly. contradictory. By way of contrast. such as the date and place of the D-Day landings. which they needed urgently for their troops in Africa. but they never managed to produce any of their own. it was invariably lost under an avalanche of rival. which was apparently shared among some thirty competing agencies. Consequently. The Nazis knew about penicillin. which was incredibly valuable for treating war wounds. as happened on occasion. The political infighting between these organisations ensured that the quantity of output became more important than the quality of output. for example. the British had developed new synthetic anti-malarial drugs.This division of authority was perhaps at its worst in military intelligence. and were working on the atomic bomb in either Britain or the United States. Hitler never did have reliable information about his enemies. one agency managed to discover a gem of invaluable and accurate information.Page 365 . in the British army. If. and untrustworthy reports.

Hitler abandoned his people. as Albert Speer called them. Indeed. the German High Command consisted of nonentities. and evaded all Farming and Us . they could not be obtained in any other way. the “nodding donkeys”. Even if he had conquered Britain and the Soviet Union. Hitler’s authoritarianism was perhaps at its most prominent at the time of his death. Neither of these belligerent nations was remotely close to having an atomic bomb of their own. at the end of the war. these scientists were non-authoritarian individualists and. Hitler could not possibly have won the war. and Enrico Fermi. As a matter of historical fact. The same was true of Japan. it would have been Germany rather than the United States that would have been first with the atomic bomb. Leo Szilard. although their loyalties could be earned. and impossible hope of victory had finally disappeared. drama. We can be quite certain that they would not have been willing to work on an atomic bomb for Hitler. had the Axis managed to retain scientists such as Albert Einstein. who would subserviently nod agreement to every remark that Hitler uttered. architecture. music. futile. It is theoretically possible that.Page 366 . There was a drain of many other intellectuals in the realms of literature. and similar fields. When the last. John Von Neumann. psychology. their only reason for working on the atomic bomb in America was their very real fear that Hitler might get one first. medicine. he would still have been defeated by the atomic bomb. There was also a notable decline in German military efficiency and. However.refugee physicists.

and said that his successors must always aim to gain territory in the East. more than anything. Farming and Us . and no orders or instructions to his followers. and he killed himself. indicated his true interests. and destruction. which were those of control.responsibility. When he could no longer control. and so disastrously. He left no message of any significance. by committing suicide. no repentance. which is responsibility in the face of failure. he expressed no word of regret. and who were now in the direst of straits. and the ruin of most of Europe. no suggestion of compassion or concern. He blamed the war on international Jewry. And. meant nothing to him. unambiguously. no remorse. This was his final comment on his career. Furthermore. when he was threatened with a total loss of control. for the death of some forty million people. This was in spite of the fact that. Hitler wrote a last will and testament. no contrition. he named his successor. Before this act of desertion. he was solely. and his concluding political statement. no acceptance of responsibility or blame. who had obeyed him so faithfully. and his responsibilities as leader. but otherwise he abandoned his people. following surrender and imprisonment. so blindly. life had no further meaning for him. This. and. above all. rather than patriotism or leadership. In it. the real test of leadership.Page 367 . because of his undisputed position at the top of the male dominance hierarchy. and because of his fuehrerprinzip . no apology. death. and personally responsible for all this misery.

because no one should ever feel guilt for crimes committed by their forebears. because the German populace learnt a horrible. and the German military. But. it is often thought that Hitler was competent. that competence disappeared and was never regained. he was highly successful. that they understand the dangers of authoritarianism. after 1941. however. It consisted largely of his recognising. Certainly. and that they never again allow such an extreme of it to develop within their society. Hitler’s competence was superficial. the obedience and authoritarian efficiency of the German nation. two very special points must be emphasised. In fact. The first is that the Germans in Germany today are not the people who subordinated themselves to Hitler. even deep regret. German industry. before they were even born. when discussing Hitler. in terms of his own system of warped values. He established an absolute control over Germany. They are entitled to feel sorrow. His opponents’ errors occurred mainly because no one appreciated just how pathologically authoritarian Farming and Us . It also consisted of his recognition and exploitation of the mistakes and weaknesses of his opponents. This phenomenon deserves examination. They are also a much less authoritarian people. but not guilt. perhaps. at least for a time. Second. and ruthlessly exploiting. and his early political. lesson from Hitler and his war. It is very important that these new Germans should never allow themselves to feel guilty about Hitler and his Nazis. They are a new generation of very different people.Finally. economic. and military successes were spectacular. but unforgettable. It is far more important.Page 368 .

in spite of his detestation of the man. he completely failed to recognise Hitler’s pathological authoritarianism. incredibly. The British Prime Minister. Later. impossible though this may seem. Stalin was conceivably even more pathologically authoritarian than Hitler. although Chamberlain considered it his duty to negotiate with Hitler. and this error precipitated a world war. Roosevelt was spared such misery. because this psychological condition had not even been recognised in those days. This is unjust. There were two main reasons why Hitler’s apparent competence eventually disappeared. his opponents made the mistake of judging him as if he was a rational human being. A closely similar story can be told of President Roosevelt who. Chamberlain was a gentleman. and he had an intense personal dislike of Hitler. Chamberlain was unfortunate because he lived to appreciate the full consequences of his misjudgement. Consequently. Neville Chamberlain. when Chamberlain guaranteed the integrity of Poland. Hitler automatically assumed that he was lying. They trusted him. when Britain’s situation was desperate. and he died at the end of 1940. The first was his arrogance. There was no reason why they should. But. Hitler completely failed to recognise Chamberlain’s fundamental honesty. Equally. and before any amelioration was in sight. has been severely criticised by most historians for not recognising Hitler for what he really was. His successes went to Farming and Us . believed that Stalin could be trusted.Page 369 .Hitler really was. who was undoubtedly an uncouth and obnoxious person to meet. in the best sense of this term.

his head. They ruined such political judgement as he possessed, and they convinced him that his genius made him infallible. Consequently, he overestimated the capabilities of himself, and of Germany, and he hopelessly under-estimated the capabilities of his opponents. Second, of course, Hitler’s opponents stopped treating him like a rational human being. They finally realised that he was criminally insane, and an international menace, who had to be stopped at any cost. It was in this that Hitler under-estimated his opponents so completely. He never did appreciate the extent to which he was despised, or the violence of the reaction to his crimes. Consequently, after 1941, Hitler ceased being successful, and his military career became one of unmitigated failure. We must recognise that the personalities of Hitler and Stalin were probably not uncommon. What made these two individuals stand out was their access to, and exploitation of modern technology, particularly in the field of communication. This gave them unprecedented control, far beyond anything that was available to earlier tyrants. Once again, it is control that is the fundamental. It is important to note that Hitler and Stalin also had total control of communication in the sense that freedom of speech was denied. One of the many advantages of the Internet is that it guarantees our freedom of speech in the future. Readers interested in pursuing the subject of Hitler further should consult two outstanding books. Indeed these books should be regarded as compulsory reading for anyone interested in the subject of authoritarianism. The first is Alan Bullock’s Hitler and Stalin; Parallel Farming and Us - Page 370

Lives (Harper-Collins, London, 1991, ISBN 0-7710-1772-3), which makes it clear that Stalin had an even nastier personality than Hitler, difficult though this may be to believe. The second book is Gitta Sereny’s Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1995, ISBN 0-394-52915-4). Perhaps her most important revelation is the fact that Speer was an unloved child, and that he became, in his turn, an unloving husband, and an unloving father. My own conclusion is that he and Hitler had an immensely strong, surrogate father-son relationship, made stronger by the fact that neither man was capable of making friends. This Hitler-Speer relationship was apparently as strong as the surrogate father-son relationship that developed between Samuel Johnson (1709-84) and James Boswell (1740-95), and it became crucially important to both men. It was not homosexual. But Speer had an intense need for an admiring father figure, who had both rank and authority. And Hitler had an intense need for an admiring son-figure, who had both youth and creative ability. When Speer commented that, “If Hitler ever had a friend, I suppose I was that friend,” he might equally have put it the other way round and said, “If I ever had a friend, I suppose Hitler was that friend.” The top Nazis were all extremely jealous of Speer because of his relationship with Hitler, and they suspected him, apparently quite falsely, of aiming to become Hitler’s successor. Having become Hitler’s architect, and then his incredibly successful Minister of Armaments, Speer learned the full details of Hitler’s holocaust for the first time, late in 1943, and his perception of his father Farming and Us - Page 371

figure was shattered. He then suffered a fairly extreme psychosomatic illness that incapacitated him for several months. After his recovery, he secretly worked against Hit ler, trying to save Germany from Hitler’s nihilistic policy of ‘scorched earth’. But, until the very end, he was unable to break with Hitler. Equally amazing, Hitler knew of Speer’s opposition but, most uncharacteristically, he did nothing to avenge it, other than dropping Speer’s name from the new government to be formed after his suicide. The surrogate father-son relationship was clearly strong.

The Authoritarianism of Martin Luther Martin Luther was almost single -handedly responsible for the German Reformation and, transcendent thinker though he may have been, he was also remarkably authoritarian. He was an out and out racist with total contempt for the Jews, and he published a scurrilous pamphlet called On the Jews and Their Lies which is now embarrassing in its intolerance. His prestige was such that his opinions were immensely influential, and his anti-Semitism undoubtedly influenced the views of Richard Wagner and Adolf Hitler. Luther was also convinced that the State was more important than the individual. He compared princes to the gods, and the common people to the devil. He commented, “I would rather suffer a prince doing wrong than a people doing right”. This primitive elitism also had a profound influence on many generations of Germans, and on Hitler in particular.

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Adam Smith and Friedrich List Adam Smith (1723-1790) was one of the founders of the liberal traditions of the English-speaking world. In 1776, he published An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in which he postulated the very modern idea of self-organisation. In modern terms, we would say that an adaptive, complex, non-linear system, such as economics, should be left alone so that it can self-organise. Adam Smith recognised that some control was necessary but he insisted that this control should be kept to a minimum. His ideas were based originally on his dislike of the medieval practices in continental Europe where every farmer was controlled to the point of being told what crops to grow. Smith’s ideas led to the ideals of the English-speaking world. These included international free trade, and the minimal control of both internal trade and the social order. He believed that the rights of the individual should take precedence over the convenience of the state , and he recommended the independence of colonies. Friedrich List (1789-1846) was equally influential in Central Europe but his ideas were the exact converse of those of Adam Smith. In modern terms, List would be described as a typical Nazi. List believed that the State was more important than either the individual or humanity as a whole. He advocated the expansion of Germany eastwards, but also westwards to include Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. He recommended the possession of many colonies because he believed that the superiority of the German race entitled it to rule others. He wanted high tariffs to protect Farming and Us - Page 373

Germany from external economic threats, and he insisted that the State should control all education, art, music, literature, and culture. He was a control-freak. The sharp contrast between these two men is a useful illustration of the difference between a liberal personality and an authoritarian. It must be remembered that authoritarianism was normal at that time. Adam Smith was quite exceptionally liberal for his time. Friedrich List was the closedminded authoritarian, who hated everything that Smith represented. This conflict of ideas may be said to have culminated in World War II, with the English-speaking world representing Adam Smith and liberalism, and the Nazis representing Friedrich List and authoritarianism.

The British Empire In 1900, the British ruled one quarter of the globe. The essential feature of this rule was control. There were various justifications for this control, including the promotion of trade, the provision of coaling stations for both merchant ships and navy, global communication with undersea cables, Pax Britannica, the building of railways, and so on. The real reason, of course, was authoritarianism. Britain may have been relatively non-authoritarian, at that time,, compared with other countries in continental Europe, but it still had a long way to go towards liberalism. It had an acutely stratified society with an almost endless distinction of social classes. The middle class, for example, was divided into upper and lower middle class. The former included Farming and Us - Page 374

professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The latter were usually self-employed small business owners. Each of these subdivisions was further subdivided in an endless refining of “us and them”. Your class was defined mainly by who your parents were, by which school you had attended, and by your English accent. It was almost impossible to change your class. This class structure was a male dominance hierarchy, with a less prominent female dominance hierarchy. It was the very existence of these hierarchies that led to the desire for control. This desire occurred at various levels. First was the personal level in which one individual controlled another. This was seen in small communities, such as a household, with its rigid family and servant hierarchies, and ‘the master’ who was in charge. A similar hierarchy occurred in small country communities, with a Squire who was the local landowner and who was also the magistrate. Below the squire were a few professionals, such as the parson, the doctor, and the lawyer, then the squires’ tenants, then their farm workers, and so on. Endless etiquette surrounded these social distinctions. The Squire’s wife would keep an address book of neighbours who could be invited to the house. But they would be categorised with abbreviations such as ‘GPO’, meaning ‘garden party only’. Relatively few could be invited to dinner, and even fewer to stay. The lower classes recognised that dinner with the Squire was “not for the likes of us”. It was the desire for control at the national and governmental level that led to the growth of empire. All independent nations had similar Farming and Us - Page 375

desires but Britain was the most successful for three quite basic environmental reasons. First, because they lived on an island, the British had relative freedom from the threat of being invaded, when compared with the Continental nations. This freedom gave the British more scope for colonialism. They were also good sailors and they took pride in the efficiency of their navy, which gave them command of the sea. As a consequence, they gained control of most of the far-flung, and lessdeveloped, territories beyond Europe and the Americas. Second, the industrial revolutio n started in Britain because all the necessary raw materials, such as iron ore and coal, just happened to be locally available. This gave Britain an industrial and commercial advantage for most of the nineteenth century. Third, Britain, like the other countries of Europe, experienced a population explosion that resulted mainly from the introduction of potatoes and beans from the New World. It was accelerated by a steadily improving medical science. This population explosion provided the greatly increased numbers of people necessary to both control and populate an empire. Many of these people were authoritarians. They positively wanted to control others. They formed an entirely new social class consisting of overseas civil servants. In their overseas posts they were the local aristocrats, ruling with an absolute authority. There would be a District Commissioner who was a ‘tin god’ in his own district. He was alpha male in a hierarchy of British civil servants. At a lower level, there might be another hierarchy of native civil servants. However, no social contact was Farming and Us - Page 376

allowed between the two hierarchies. The British invariably had a social and sporting club, which no native was allowed to join. It is not always appreciated that British children of that period were actively taught to be imperialists, racists, and snobs. If this sounds a harsh judgement, it must be realised that many other nations were even more authoritarian. Germany, for example, claimed Tanganyika (modern Tanzania) in 1891 and then ruled this territory with military harshness. The Maji Maji Rebellion occurred only a few years later, in 1905. It was called this because a native sorceress had prophesised that she could turn the German bullets into water (maji) and make them harmless. The rebels had killed German civilians, and the colonial Germans responded like Nazis. Their savage punitive raids led to a famine that caused the death of 200,000 people, and the disappearance of an entire ethnic group of Africans. At roughly the same time, a simila r suppression of the Herero people in German South-West Africa exterminated three quarters of an entire population, by deliberate military action. These crimes were genocide, and they remain little -known forerunners of Hitler’s holocaust. However, let it be remembered also that the British has an infamous incident when they killed four hundred Sikhs at Amritsar, during a riot in 1919. And other nations had colonies. These included Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Japan, and the United States. None of these colonial powers can claim to have been entirely blameless. Farming and Us - Page 377

The point of this discussion is not to argue which nation was more or less authoritarian, or imperialistic, than another. What matters is that imperialism is now dead, even among the Soviets. Authoritarianism is declining, rather more rapidly than most people may realise. It must also be appreciated that there were always two sides to this coin. Many of these overseas civil servants were sincere and conscientious people, fully committed to the well-being of the subject peoples whom they governed. They dedicated their careers to this task and, when they returned home to retire, often quite poor, they were usually dismayed at how little their efforts were appreciated by anyone, either governors or governed. It is worth noting also that colonialism changed fundamentally in the course of two or three centuries, as authoritarianism gradually declined. Initially, colonialism was entirely exploitative, and it involved such outrages as the slave trade, and the stealing of huge quantities of gold from the natives of the Americas. Later, colonialism became more humane, and it involved commercial exploitation only, in the form of cheap mining and the cheap produce of tropical agriculture. Later still, it became paternalistic, and the interests of the natives were made paramount, even though these people were still considered unfit to govern themselves. After the horrors of two World Wars, the evils of colonialism were finally appreciated. Colonies all over the world became independent, and the industrial nations agreed to devote 0.7% of their national budgets

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as aid to the less developed countries. However, few of them have achieved this target. The most enduring remnant of British imperialism is the widespread use of the English language. This is comparable to the widespread use of Latin in medieval Europe, and it possibly explains the popular belief that the spread of language depends on conquest rather than on agriculture (Chapter 9).

Authoritarianism in Modern Science Scientists are people too, and we should not be surprised to learn that some of them have authoritarian personalities. Such scientists exhibit the various characteristics of authoritarianism, already described, and authoritarian science is frequently very efficient, and superb at factual analysis, but it is rarely innovative, creative, or productive of new ideas. Authoritarian scientists dislike doubt, uncertainty, and ambiguity. For this reason, they usually prefer facts to ideas, and they prefer catalogues of facts to theories. The technical term for this preference is empiricism. Some authoritarian scientists carry empiricism to an absurd extreme, even denying the role of ideas and theories entirely. There is a spectrum between this extreme, and its opposite, which is usually called rationalism. Rationalists love ideas, hypotheses, and theories, and they employ creative thinking and logic to develop new concepts. Mathematicians are rationalists, and no one can deny the Farming and Us - Page 379

precision and accuracy of their results, on the grounds that they do not do experiments. Some people, particularly theologians, carry rationalism to an absurd extreme. Such people love to discuss insoluble problems, such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. For an authoritarian scientist, research consists exclusively of experiment, and the discovery of new facts. Any sort of speculation is taboo, because this deals with ideas. A non-authoritarian scientist, on the other hand, regards research as a harmonious blend of both facts and ideas. He regards speculation as a valid form of research, and he recognises that, just as there can be high and low quality experimentation, so there can be high and low quality speculation. For him, the purpose of an experiment is to test an idea. Liam Hudson, in The Cult of the Fact (Jonathan Cape, 1972, ISBN 0-224-01221-5) has described the dangers of an excessively empiricist attitude. He relates how the science of psychology, which supposedly deals with the workings of the human mind, and the study of human emotions, personalities, and behaviour, had been reduced to completely meaningless experiments involving rats in mazes. This was done by empiricists who wanted their science to be exclusively experimental. Most of Freud’s discoveries, of course, were speculative, but they were based on people, and a lifetime of clinical experience. Non-authoritarian scientists recognise the importance of both facts and ideas, because the use of one, without the other, is meaningless. Theories must be based on a solid foundation of fact. And new facts are Farming and Us - Page 380

and the improvement of old ones. they believe not only that all knowledge consists of facts. or atomistic. this reductionism is likely to result in suboptimisation. and they insist on a terminology that is entirely descriptive. And yet others cannot see the leaf for the leaf cells. if the molecular biologists went one systems level lower. as well as abstract terms and definitions. Authoritarian scientists tend to be reductionist.essential. intelligent authoritarians can produce superb analyses in science. But. Others cannot see the tree for the leaves. means that authoritarian scientists usually dislike abstract notions. for this reason. but that the finer the details of these facts. make no mistake. Suboptimisation in Farming and Us . A few cannot see the leaf cell for its molecular biology. some scientists cannot see the forest for the trees. the less is the possibility of error. they like to work at the lowest possible systems level. In the terminology of systems theory.Page 381 . The authoritarian love of facts. They often have outstandingly good memories for facts. But facts on their own mean little and. As a result. and they often resist the new. They are analytical. or even absent. many university archives contain vast graveyards of useless data. both for the construction of new theories. and they are recognised as good scientists for this reason. In terms of systems theory. they would no longer be biologists. and fear of ideas. which means analysing or managing the entire system in terms of only one or a few subsystems. And. but not creative. particularly if the information comes from an unrecognised source. That is. but their other cognitive powers may be very limited. They would become chemists.

For the following century. which supposedly measures a quantitative variable that has yet to be defined. in 1859. including fossil species. or the investigation of details. but of little else. It also transformed Western religious belief because. it was no longer possible to believe in the literal truth of the Bible. which was a superb blend of facts and ideas. can be immensely important. if the theory was correct. One example will suffice to illustrate this point. Nevertheless. biology consisted of a large and well-organised catalogue of facts. Charles Darwin published his book The Origin of Species. These comments are not intended to denigrate empirical science. in more general terms. at all systems levels.Page 382 .systems analysis usually leads to false conclusions. Darwin’s theory transformed biology. Then. In other words. But. One of the many effects of Darwin’s theory of evolution was that the whole of taxonomy could be reorganised on the basis of evolutionary relationships. biology consisted almost exclusively of taxonomy. A classic case of suboptimisation occurred with the IQ test. Farming and Us . Modern biology may be said to have started with the great Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) who devised the hierarchical system of classifying plants and animals that is still in use today. and new details. and was the result of years of both data collecting and speculation. The discovery of new facts. And suboptimisation in systems management usually leads to material damage to the system. great science is impossible without a blending of both facts and ideas. the describing and naming of previously unclassified specie s.

without the slightest sympathy or compunction. or wants. too ignorant. Their conceit convinces them that only their own superior knowledge. But it is intolerable that any young person who is good enough to get into a university should ever be considered a weed. Authoritarian professors believe that only they can decide what a student should learn. and their experience is sufficient to decide this matter. and theories in science. Authoritarian scientists are often very rank-conscious and. of the importance of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Authoritarian professors often treat students like pawns on a chess board. the bottom of the pecking order. and who deny the importance of speculation. Non-authoritarian professors. ideas. as widely as possible. they are intolerant of juniors and the young. and probably ruining their careers. to learn.There are many modern biologists who are strongly empirical. He must be told what to learn. But it is the young scientists who the most likely to be creative. their age. A student is considered too young. with the relish and excitement of a small boy exploring further and further afield in the countrys ide around his Farming and Us . on the other hand. In a university. believe that a young mind should be encouraged to explore the whole of human knowledge. These professors talk of “weeding out” the failures. the most junior rank. he retorted angrily that evolution is not a theory. for this reason.Page 383 . it is a fact. original. is the student. and too inexperienced to be able to know for himself what he needs. Once. and keen. failing them. when I reminded one of them (who shall be nameless).

because many scientists are at their most creative when they are young. In order to become a research scientist. and finally he must have several years of post-doctoral experience.Page 384 . These older scientists probably feel threatened by the Farming and Us . It is possibly even harmful. quite obviously. the older. Students. usually take ten or more years out of the student’s earning life. during those largely wasted years. A student would probably learn far more by doing a real job. where no one seems to care whether or not a bright computer scientist has a degree. There is a good case for abolishing the Ph. a student must first obtain a bachelor’s degree. then a master’s degree. These undergraduates may well discover that their real interest lies in an entirely unsuspected. in a real research laboratory.home. and it is consequently their most creative years that are lost in this way. This amount of training is not only unnecessary. and previously unfamiliar. authoritarian scientists do not like the threat of competition from promising juniors. and they tend (subconsciously. Undergraduates should be encouraged to seek out the best teachers. no doubt) to keep their juniors in subordinate and unproductive positions for as long as they can. are at the bottom of the scientific hierarchy and there seems to be a covert desire among many senior scientists to keep them there for as long as possible. recommended by other students. and all these hurdles. This has been amply demonstrated quite recently in the computer industry. All this training.D. and Master’s degrees. then a doctorate. However. area of knowledge. and regardless of what subject they teach. before he is even considered for a research post. to say nothing of his research career.

partly because of their desire to control. so knowledgeable in some respects. if in a university. For this reason. They then become scientific die -hards. judging information by its source. and they usually stop learning soon after their formal education is completed. and insufficiently keen to make real contributions to science. and there is almost certainly an element of envy. would no doubt be horrified if they were told that their authoritarian conduct resembled the behaviour of dominating male baboons.Page 385 . and research funds. it is these same scientific administrators who gain control of research policy. with dogmatic and obstinately inflexible belief and disbelief systems. fitting well into the mould that requires excellent memory in order to obtain good examination results. But they are likely to be uncreative and closed-minded. they also tend to reject the new. They become research directors. in their attitude towards them. as well as promotions and demotions. Besides. even anxiety. who are increasingly out of date. rather than judging it on its own merits. but the very word ‘director’ is Farming and Us . These foolish professors. Authoritarian scientists are easily recognised because they are too eager to climb the ranks of the scientific hierarchy. Unfortunately. Young authoritarians can be highly intelligent. and so ignorant in others. graduate students can be very useful in doing professors’ research for them. their teaching.young. authoritarian scientists frequently become administrators. and partly because they have stopped being productive in their scientific research and. and they can make brilliant science students. In later life.

And. under different guises. the principle of “publish or perish” does serious damage to this academic freedom by allowing authoritarian administrators to put considerable pressure on individual scientists. of course. and the academic freedom that this provides. It has also led to authorship clubs in which scientists share authorship solely in order to increase the number of papers per scie ntist. Modern universities take pride in their system of tenure. The head of a research team or department should be called the ‘assistant’. but this control should be by consensus. is easy to measure. and in different journals. any unnecessary control becomes authoritarianism. he would probably have been denied Farming and Us .Page 386 .an affront. whose job it is to assist his researchers to do as much as possible of whatever they do best. Unfortunately. The last thing he should do is to direct them. often with the same result being published several times. Some impartial control of team research is clearly essential. This has led to a plethora of unnecessary scientific papers. which has resulted in scientists being judged by the number of their publications rather than the quality of their publications. but quality is difficult to measure. Had Darwin worked in a modern university. with the clear implication that he knows better than they do. and been subjected to measurable productivity. Quantity. within a general research policy. Science flourishes best when individual scientists are given as much freedom as possible. and counter-productive. A deplorable development in modern science is the concept of measurable productivity.

Fortunately for science. anything from a junior. no doubt. An anonymous referee. With many edit ors. Alternatively. and anything that his closed mind cannot grasp. However infrequently this may Farming and Us . who is also authoritarian. This is known as peer review. Darwin had a private income. anything general.Page 387 . can kill with impunity anything new. he might never have written the book. secret science is a contradiction in terms. tenure also. they can be quite unscrupulous. One of the methods used for judging the quality of a scientific paper is whether it is published in a refereed journal. occasionally .promotion and. and no one could tell him what to do. because of the pressure to publish purely factual papers. But this must make us wonder how many modern Darwins have been destroyed by an excessive authoritarianism in our universities and research institutes. anything theoretical. anything non-conforming. Unfortunately. and this cloak of anonymity provides endless scope for authoritarian referees to put other scientists down and. and it is an old and respected system of quality control. In particular. long before The Origin of Species was finished. anything emanating from a wrong source of information (particularly from an outgroup). This means that the editor of the journal sends the paper to several experts in that field for assessment of its scientific merits. However. the referees remain anonymous in order to preserve confidentiality. he can kill anything that discredits his own research. this too has been spoiled by authoritarianism.

and free from the purifying winds of public scrutiny. Authoritarian scientists like to make their publications as esoteric as possible. just like the witnesses of the Inquisition. in spite of many positive opinions that may also have been expressed. and this means that scientific argument and opinion should never be secret or confidential. the second from geology. Curiously. Science. because this limits criticism. had Darwin’s The Origin of Species depended on authoritarian. which means ‘unintelligible to the uninitiated’. on the grounds that it was far too theoretical. and far too speculative. One is from medicine. justice must be seen to be done. Owing to the huge volume of papers waiting to be published. The author of a killed paper is usually shown the referees’ comments but. A scientific discipline can then become something of a secret society. the names of the referees are withheld.or may not happen. and the third from agriculture. it might never have been published. protected from outside criticism. and the accurate assessment of scientific quality. like justice. mainly because there are too many papers and too few referees. must be seen to be done.Page 388 . which can amount to a secret language. anonymous referees. One suspects that. a single negative opinion will usually kill a paper. an appeal is usually impossible for administrative reasons. Another aspect of the secrecy in authoritarian science is the use of jargon. The technical term for this is ‘esoteric’. Perhaps the most conspicuous feature of authoritarian scientists is their resistance to the new. Three examples will illustrate this point. Farming and Us .

Lister had to endure numerous. Many of them still quoted sacred texts written by ancient Greek and Roman authors. Joseph Lister revolutionised medicine when. attacks in the medical journals. The last Farming and Us . now called aseptic surgery. there were only three kinds of surgery. Lister lowered the surgical death rate to about 5%. acting on the then controversial germ theory of Louis Pasteur. and hostile to anything new. often undertaken only after gangrene had set in. and often vicious. and the most dangerously septic places were the hospitals themselves. that they inevitably failed. Perhaps the most extraordinary feature about Lister’s career was the amount of opposition his new methods attracted from his medical colleagues. The second was amputation of a broken limb. The third kind of surgery involved opening the abdominal cavity. and used obsolete techniques. he developed ‘anti-septic’ surgery. and so inadequately. because the mortality rate for amputations varied between 25% and 60%.Page 389 . Medicine was a very authoritarian profession in the nineteenth century. The first was the lancing of an abscess. and he made abdominal surgery both possible and safe. but this was considered little short of murder because the mortality rates were so high.In the early nineteenth century. such as letting blood with leeches and cupping. with many doctors and surgeons being extremely closed-minded. These high mortalities resulted mainly from post-operative bacterial infection. usually from surgeons who had tested his methods so inefficiently.

this doctor from the backwoods must not be allowed to carry on this sort of business”. “Gentlemen. Lest it be thought that the opposition to Lister was unusual. and enduring. Farming and Us . Dr Groves. some thirty years after the first introduction of Lister’s new methods. of Fergus. to remove an ovarian tumour. It is not the truth. Groves was among the first to use aseptic surgery.published attack on Lister was made by a gynaecologist. to treat skin cancer with X-rays. they would embrace with enthusiasm any new method that showed promise in this direction. In his very Victorian style of English. Doctors are supposedly interested in saving lives and. The fact that Groves had saved the boy’s life was apparently immaterial. were open-minded. and it is an example of how authoritarians can resist the new. in 1898. Tait wrote: “Let us hear no more of the nonsense about the bad results in surgery of pre-Listerian times as having been cured by Lister. But this is not the point. It is only fair to comment that not a few doctors and surgeons. regardless of how important and valuable it may be. The point is that the opposition to Lister was very conspicuous. When he reported this to the Toronto Medical Society. one would think.Page 390 . a colleague shouted. and they adopted Lister’s new methods with alacrity and success. operating on a twelve-year-old boy in 1883. Robert Lawson Tait.” The resistance to Lister was as blatant an example of prejudice as it is possible to find. Ontario. performed the first appendectomy in North America. worldwide. this thing has got to be stopped. a similar example can be quoted from a small town in Canada. to remove bladder stones.

This was blatant prejudice. However. and that he should be run out of town. and Alfred Wegener. Most geologists of the time Farming and Us . Wegener was also postulating a new idea. Part of the trouble was that Wegener was not a geologist. independently proposed their theories of continental drift in 1908 and 1910. Wegener published a famous book on the subject. Taylor. than a normal scientific controversy. in Germany. Half a century later. Scientists. B. in the United States. most geologists denied the theory of continental drift. by definition.Page 391 .and to voice the idea that tobacco was a leading cause of lung cancer. and continued to deny it long after their position had become embarrassing. Yet. are supposed to be open-minded. but the majority of geologists formed themselves into a scientific ingroup with complete uniformity of opinion on this matter. The second example of authoritarian science concerns one of the most extraordinary cases of scientific closed-mindedness on record. some of his colleagues insisted that he must be prevented from such dangerous experiments. It is pleasing to add that the new hospital in Fergus is called the Groves Memorial Hospital. and a target for hostility. and that made him a wrong source of information. and a new theory. a member of an outgroup. In 1915. F. and authoritarians do not like ideas or theories. Antonio Snider-Pellegrini first proposed the idea of continental drift in 1858. but this example was more reminiscent of the ecclesiastical opposition to Darwin. He was a meteorologist. respectively.

Furthermore. and explain the fossil distribution. This. was absurd. some geologists came very close to finding the correct mechanism. which suggested that the light rocks of the continents floated on heavy rocks. some geologists went to absurd lengths to find alternative hypotheses. Arthur Holmes. was one of the few geologists who actively and vigorously supported Wegener’s theory. As supporting factual evidence for continental drift began to accumulate. proposed a mechanism with his boiling jam analogy. and the same fossils in different continents. in South Africa. The light rocks supposedly moved very slowly in Farming and Us . in Scotland. such as matching geological formations on opposing sides of oceans.Page 392 . Alex du Toit. A few geologists recognised this absurdity and supported the theory. The most prominent of these was the theory of land bridges. of course. Geologists refused to recognise continental drift mainly because there was no known mechanism for it.were strict empiricists. And they would permit trans-oceanic migration by plants and animals. like the froth on boiling jam. which linked the continents at some periods but not others. The fact that we are unable to explain a phenomenon does not mean that the phenomenon could not have happened. It means only that we are ignorant. rather than admit that continental drift had occurred. and they believed that facts were the only thing that mattered. These land bridges would form when the sea level was lowered because of the accumulation of polar ice during an ice age.

Tuzo Wilson. Then. and based on insufficient data. and geologists all agreed. Farming and Us . of Princeton University. But. Lawrence Morley. away from mid-oceanic ridges. of Cambridge University. In 1963. had independently made the same discovery. that continental drift had happened after all. and it was widely accepted. a Canadian geophysicist. Incredibly. Fred Vine and Desmond Matthews. published an important paper relating paleomagnetism to the spreading of the sea floor. mainly on the empirical grounds that it was too speculative. There was also considerable resistance to Vine and Matthew’s discovery. Harry Hess. and more than a century after Snider-Pellegrini had published his idea. which was later developed more fully by Jaon Morley of Princeton.Page 393 . of the Canadian Geological Survey.response to convection currents within the heavy rocks. anonymous referees from two different journals rejected his paper. proposed the theory of plate tectonics. proposed that the oceans were expanding. The opposition to continental drift then died down. A further partial explanation came with the discovery that the Earth has expanded very considerably during its geologic history. which are quite plastic over periods of geological time. in the late 1950s. far too late. In 1965. but he too had been ignored. this idea of convection currents in the relatively fluid subsurface rocks had first been suggested by Osmond Fisher in England as far back as 1881. when he attempted to publish it. This theory unified various theories and mechanisms.

because our massive use of crop protection chemicals. need not be necessary. which faced ruin from a new disease accidentally imported from the New World. This book says. during Farming and Us . and plant breeding. available as shareware at www. When people had tried to explain geological phenomena on a biblical time scale. and it need be only summarised here. Consequently. which is a fungicide discovered in France in 1882.Page 394 . It has been described in detail in another book of mine (Return to Resistance.sharebooks. which had caused the Irish famine. many geologists refused to accept this possibility on the false grounds that all geological changes had to be gradual.A similar example among geologists comes from the concept of gradualism. The mere possibility of a catastrophe was totally denied. The third example of authoritarian science comes from agriculture. Breeding Crops to Reduce Pesticide Dependence. and it concerns genetics. costing billions of dollars annually. This situation can be explained by comparing two famous pesticides. This fungicide saved the French wine industry. Gradualism became a geological dogma to the extent that a curiously illogical premise developed. It also controlled potato blight. they had to resort to catastrophes as an explanation. when Luis and Walter Alvarez and their colleagues developed the idea that an asteroid collision with the Earth had caused the extinction of the The first is Bordeaux mixture. and this conclusion influenced Darwin’s theory of evolution. let’s kick the pesticide habit. The Scottish geologist Charles Lyell first proposed that geological changes occurred very slowly over very long periods of time. in effect.

We might. and typhus. and we are compelled to use somewhat lengthy descriptions. it was used in such huge quantities. And it was cheap. Consequently. that it caused serious environmental damage. with such reckless abandon. perhaps. insecticides such as various compounds of lead. Consequently. DDT was incredibly effective in controlling insect-borne human diseases. describe Bordeaux mixture as being a ‘stable’ protection. Farming and Us . yellow fever. But. dengue fever. plague. It also controlled a wide range of insect parasites of crops and farm animals. while DDT is an ‘unstable’ protection. and very dangerous. typhoid. new strains of fungi resistant to Bordeaux mixture never appeared. There are no scientific terms to label this phenomenon.Page 395 . in that region. resistant strains did appear. This cheap and safe insecticide replaced earlier. rendering this insecticide useless against those insects. The difference between these two pesticides is that new strains of DDT-resistant insects soon appeared. arsenic. Unfortunately. no resistant strains ever appear. The second pesticide was discovered in Switzerland in 1939 and is DDT. and it was eventually banned in the United States and other countries. Its effects were spectacular. mercury. DDT is within the capacity for change of various insect pests such as houseflies and malarial mosquitoes. Bordeaux mixture is beyond the capacity for change of fungi. cholera.the so-called Hungry Forties of the nineteenth century. such as malaria. and cyanide.

It is unstable and. These flowers are called pyrethrum. called ‘horizontal resistance’. and they contain pyrethrins. hence.Page 396 . called ‘vertical resistance’. The other kind of resistance. Asia without any suggestion of resistant lice appearing. temporary resistance. It turns out that we can breed crops for two entirely different kinds of resistance to their pests and diseases. some of them even insisting that it does not exist. is beyond the capacity for change of the parasites. the resistance stops functioning.E. is within the capacity for change of the parasites and. hence. crop scientists have been working with vertical resistance.This problem of pesticide-resistant strains of crop parasites has proved so common with modern pesticides that many crop scientists now believe that all pesticide chemicals are within the capacity for change of our crop parasites. One of them. Similarly. and it has been used for centuries to control body lice in S. to control bed bugs and fleas. The repeated failures of vertical resistance proved so disappointing that the plant breeders eventually gave up breeding for resistance to many important parasites of Farming and Us . It is stable and. and no bed bugs or fleas resistant to these natural pyrethrins have ever appeared. durable resistance. when new strains of the parasite appear. and unstable. for many centuries. the people of Dalmatia put the flowers of a species of daisy in their bedding. But this is not so. For the whole of the twentieth century. Rotenone is extracted from the roots of a plant called derris. This brings us to the main problem of twentieth century crop science. They have ignored horizontal resistance.

and that the received wisdom is bound to be the best available information. It is Farming and Us . either way. And this would be true of most crops. Final proof is not yet available. in order to concentrate on other objectives. and comprehensive. sadly. or the ‘collective wisdom’. which is the view held by the majority of the specialists in a scientific discipline. complete.Page 397 . if the discipline is a relatively authoritarian and conservative one. such as the yield. the steadfast refusal of twentieth century crop scientists to investigate horizontal resistance will become even more reprehensible than the failure of geologists to recognise continental drift. who had little alternative to the use of crop protection chemicals. the received wisdom is frequently unsound. This left the problem of controlling crop parasites with the entomologists and plant pathologists. if my position is correct. without the use of crop protection chemicals. particularly the important food crops. But. It is very easy to assume that the majority cannot be wrong. along with a very small number of scientific colleagues. in spite of these pesticides. This is why we now use crop pesticides costing billions of dollars each year. we can obtain a control of crop parasites that is permanent.crops. that we should be working with horizontal resistance. But. It has been my contention for many years. Scientists often speak of the ‘received wisdom’. and the quality of the crop product. Perhaps it is. we are still losing about 20% of our crop production to pre-harvest parasites. in most areas of the world. If I am correct in this assumption. And.

is often a measure of its worth. which threatens to make many existing publications redundant. rather than an indication of its worthlessness. Authoritarian science is unlikely to be good science.likely to reflect the views that the current scientific elders held when they were young. And good science is not authoritarian. the received wisdom in geology was that continental drift did not happen. For this reason. the two words ‘authoritarian’ and ‘science’ should be regarded as contradictory terms. and to tarnish many existing scientific reputations. such as continental drift. is likely to attract considerable hostility and opposition. generates. Such a scientist may also attract covert sabotage from the scientific authorities within his discipline. such as Wegener. is simply ignored and remains low in the scientific pecking order. After all. some thirty or forty years earlier. He may even find himself unemployed. Farming and Us . or one with silly but harmless views. and in the acceptance of papers for publication. For these reasons. the amount of hostility and opposition that the work of a scientist. The hostility is also an indication of the poor state of the scientific discipline in question. And students are actively discouraged from studying or accepting his views. and this ‘wisdom’ persisted for more than half a century. But a scientist with a radically new idea. a bad scientist. And these scientific elders may well be closed-minded.Page 398 . scientific die -hards. When a branch of science is authoritarian. He is then likely to find that he has very serious difficulties in obtaining research grants.

clearly. neither side had gained any territory. Being young. and both armies were in the approximate positions that they had occupied at the start. they were the most expendable of all the troops. This was in spite of the fact that both sides were Muslim. Consequently. The war is reputed to have cost about one million lives. the easiest and cheapest method of clearing land mines is to explode them with the feet of unwanted schoolboys.Page 399 . And it was suggested that this was a possible psychological basis of the extraordinarily high mortality rates during World War I. Iranian schoolboys were sent to the front in a holy war in which they were promised immediate entry to Heaven. that they kill them. It is perhaps worth commenting that this Iraq-Iran war lasted ten years. which are both very authoritarian countries. if they died facing their enemy. and they were at the very bottom of the military hierarchy.The Iran-Iraq War It was mentioned earlier that the old males in some male dominance hierarchies sometimes feel so seriously threatened by the rising strength of the younger males. When it ended. if they died facing their enemy. that both sides prayed to the same God for victory. and they could be written off without compunction. This phenomenon appeared again in the recent war between Iraq and Iran. and about six Farming and Us . and that the enemy soldiers also believed they too would have immediate entry to that very same Heaven. They were often made to walk across enemy minefields because. these boys were also junior. and they so despise these juniors.

This raises the fundamental problem of how Farming and Us .hundred billion dollars. to the detriment of anyone who comes into contact with them. It is easy to make the gruesome calculation that each killing cost $600. who can behave as if they were not human at all. If let loose in a non-authoritarian society. who lack all humanity and all compassion. That is. not to people. The more fanatical Nazis gloried in their military efficiency and ruthlessness. The word that really covers this situation is inhuman. achieved nothing. and the brutality of the military mind. each killing cost about two hundred years of average income.000 in countries where the annual per capita income is below $3000. These individuals are themselves authoritarian. and shame. in which these external controls are lacking. Transition Phases An authoritarian society is relatively stable and ordered. the important point is that all this waste. widespread misery. and there were one million killings. This is because all individuals are controlled by church and state.Page 400 . other than destruction. But. It is only extreme authoritarians. mainly with fear. And who can ruin their own society with this kind of monstrous behaviour that belongs. whatever the accuracy of these estimates. and the loss of all these lives. and lasting hate. and not even to the wildest. The fact that fanatics make such effective soldiers is a reflection on the military. they are likely to run amuck. but to a complete distortion and degradation of that primitive desire to control. guilt. most savage jungle.

the problems will be considerable. This country. and to both love and trust relationships. This is seen in the high rates of crime. However. Many innocent people live in a fear culture. At the beginning of the transition. Here is an intrinsically nonauthoritarian country in which the concept of democracy is the very basis of the social organisation. the high frequency of litigation. it should be remembered that this transition is only a phase. aggravated by an extraordinary excess of violence in both television and films. There is an even more difficult problem of how to cope with the difficulties of changing an authoritarian society into a non-authoritarian one. are powerful. an authoritarian society can probably become relatively non-authoritarian in two or three human generations. First. the over-crowded prisons. suffers from the misbehaviour of authoritarian individuals. Many societies such as these revert to a dictatorial regime. and individuals who are Farming and Us . by good government and good education. This is seen in many of the countries of Latin America. The United States is a case in point. The human tendencies to altruism. and the previous satellites and Republics of the Soviet deal with authoritarian personalities in a non-authoritarian society. If these tendencies are encouraged.Page 401 . Africa. and the pressing need that ordinary citizens have for the carrying of handguns. again and again. however. But they will decline steadily. to non-authoritarianism. several points mitigate these difficulties. The transition from an authoritarian society to a non-authoritarian society is clearly a difficult one.

they convert very few. obnoxious though some of them may be. they can be allowed to operate freely. and the apartheid government of South Africa. Third. In the interests of freedom of belief and speech. The Internet is even more powerful because it provides a global freedom of speech that no authoritarian government can control or block. and should recognise the good grounds for optimism. Second is the nature of sects with fundamentalist belief systems. And. such as the NeoNazis. These sects are mainly religious but a few are political. If the society as a whole is moving away from authoritarianism. such as the Mafia. at least within their own ranks. They have a powerful urge to grow. and to preserve authoritarianism. There are many of these sects in the democracies of North America and Western Europe. There seems to be little doubt that worldwide condemnation on television was responsible for the fall of regimes such as Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. provided that they commit no crimes. to convert others to their way of thinking. we have some incredibly powerful new weapons in the information revolution. in spite of a few notable exceptions. But it must be remembered that only very authoritarian individuals join such sects. these sects will dwindle.worried about them should take the long view. These include television and the Internet. they do relatively little harm. or criminal. In a society that is moving towards non-authoritarianism.Page 402 . Farming and Us . A similar condemnation put an end to whaling.

and they can probably do so in a shorter time. with his unsuspected and unrecognised borderline personality. Iraq. the experience of Hitler has taught the world a lot. Iran. the authoritarianism can be very dangerous indeed. Furthermore. deeply committed to democracy. and Yugoslavia cause much less damage. Afghanistan.Occasionally. North Korea. and the dangers of another Hitler are remote indeed. Hitler filled this need and.Page 403 . and most of Europe. Most other countries need to change far less. has become a non-authoritarian society. only half a century later. an effective alpha male. he ruined Germany. Just think of Bin Laden. This danger was also demonstrated in Germany during the twentieth century. What is important is that the Germany of today. the few mini-Hitlers in countries such as Cuba. In comparison. of course. This was a very authoritarian country that experienced real democracy for the first time with the Weimar Republic. Farming and Us . The authoritarian Germans of that time hated democracy and they positively wanted a strong leader. set up in 1919.

religion can also be non-authoritarian. that they discourage freedom of speech. criticism of an authoritarian religion becomes sin. in an open. Criticism of an authoritarian government then becomes crime. loving. the origins of the authoritarian aspects of religious beliefs. and Stalin’s Russia. This chapter describes the biological origins of human belief systems and. particularly the fear of divine retribution. and free criticism of those in control. and Farming and Us . who make up their laity. the major religions have some aspects that are strongly authoritarian. and that they abhor criticism. Equally. It was written on the assumption that. particularly by someone who is in the lower ranks of the hierarchy. and fear. It is a notable feature of democracy that it positively requires freedom of speech. In a word. guilt.Page 404 . that they are not democratic. and authoritarian systems. And it is a notable feature of most religions that they are strongly hierarchical. as it was in Hitler’s Germany. nonauthoritarian society. punishable with shame. more specifically. especially when it comes from their lower ranks. Authoritarian Belief Systems Reader Discretion is Advised It is a feature of all authoritarians.7. that they hate being criticised.

may find the following discussion extremely offensive. When discussing the earliest origins of human belief systems. who are quite unused to hearing their religion criticised. or any other component of culture. To paraphrase the television warning. a belief system can evolve in exactly the same way that language. for example.beautiful. need no emphasis. The authoritarian aspects of religion merit criticism. The enormous beneficial effects of non-authoritarian religion. a mere component of a wild ecosystem.Page 405 . It consists of knowledge. and of being just another wild animal. individually acquired by learning. and this belief system is a component of culture. This chapter was also written on the assumption that religion should be exposed to the beneficial effects of criticism as much as any other social activity or belief. and the following descriptions concern only these authoritarian aspects of religion. It is also necessary to return to that distant time when the human species was first developing away from the state of having only a proto-culture. Farming and Us . readers with sensitive religious feelings. such as Christian charity. Furthermore. it is necessary to make imaginative reconstructions. And a belief system is culturally inherited. Nevertheless. science. Religious Origins The chief component of a religion is a belief system. evolves. reader discretion is advised. by being passed down from generation to generation in a process of teaching.

Our remote ancestors probably entered into a kind of control relationship with their surroundings and. are peaceful and benign. This was particularly true of the early agriculturists. the chimps feel immensely satisfied when the storm finally dies away. people improved their control over their own ecosystem. are frightening and even dangerous. and the changing of the seasons. And. eclipses. tidal waves. and being controlled by it. that this return to calm would never have happened at all. and make obvious attempts to subdue it by vigorous ritual. Farming and Us . except as a result of their own ritualistic exertions. As these increasingly intelligent. and to change it to their own advantage. Jane Goodall has observed chimpanzee reactions to violent thunder storms. smugly. we are unable to control. Some of them. Nevertheless. sunshine. and volcanic eruptions. They control us. and no doubt they believe. such as rain. There are various components of our environment which. the alternation of night and day. we are unable to control these phenomena. such as earthquakes.Our remote. No doubt. to this day. they must have become more and more conscious of the fact that they were both controlling their environment. clouds. while others. is of crucial importance to farmers. in particular. it seems. The highest males in the hierarchy defy the storm. lightning. hunter-gatherer ancestors were in the process of slowly learning how to control their own ecosystem. The weather. tides. floods. this control relationship has dominated our belief systems ever since.Page 406 . rainbows. the phases of the moon. but culturally nascent. comets. hurricanes.

and they might even have claimed to have caused the eclipse. the priests of Stonehenge were apparently able to predict eclipses. Similar feelings of being controlled would come from the various appetites. they repeat these exertions. They would tend to assume that these natural phenomena were aimed specifically at themselves. But. and can be very impressed by the apparent ability of the priests to stop it. Similarly. hunger. because any gullible person can be seriously frightened by the thought of an eclipse continuing forever. they very possibly indulged in ritual. with its suggestion of being totally controlled by a strong. Primitive people were both ignorant and self-centred. with its Farming and Us . and that storm dies down also. like the chimpanzees. But. and lust. such as thirst. Humankind. They must have been aware of the fact that they were being controlled. There are other aspects of biology. like the chimpanzees. it is easy to recognise natural phenomena for what they are. primitive humans must have felt very differently. which have an even greater personal impact. either as punishments or rewards. There can be little doubt that their priestly power would have been greatly increased by accurate predictions. specially designed to stop the eclipse. The most obvious of these is death.Page 407 . particularly when the appetite was so strong that the drive to satisfy it over-ruled all other considerations. rage. And the eclipse did stop.when there is another storm. This would enhance their priestly power even more. With modern knowledge. external power. The phrase ‘being possessed’ springs to mind.

If such a person were contemplating his own death. possibly. is probably the first and only instance of a species whose individuals understand that they are going to die. a control that we often describe as divine. in the slaughter of domestic animals. Nor can he control when or how it occurs. a person has no control over his own death. He certainly cannot prevent it. there is a powerful sense of an external control. They did this routinely in hunting. It must be remembered that. As Charles V of Spain said. Yet again. Authoritarian Religion Any biological examination of the origins of religious beliefs leads inexorably to this question of divine control. or their sex. The major Farming and Us . exploited by priests as priestly control.enhanced consciousness. in battle. Equally. in those early days. and its powers of anticipation. it would be natural enough for him to assume that it too would be deliberately caused. Except when he kills himself. and. people could not choose their parents. in executing criminals. although the Garden of Eden may be a dim folk memory of a pre-agricultural past. and nothing is more uncertain than the time of it”. everyone was entirely familiar with the idea of causing death. or prisoners captured from another tribe. Again. However. death provided this feeling of being controlled. and that it would be controlled.Page 408 . the major religions apparently cannot trace their origins to before the development of agriculture. the time or place of their birth. “…nothing is more certain than death.

of course.Page 409 . because hierarchies were unknown. developed with the high population densities. It is also probable that a major religion can retain its essential features. and become both widespread and long-lasting. and to be controlled by others. The essential features of any kind of hierarchy are the two kinds of control. and concern for others. with considerable individuality. we can conclude that the major religions do not pre-date agriculture. It seems that the origin of most mystical belief systems lies in this sense of control. to control others. therefore. that many of their essential features emerge from our sense of hierarchy. For this reason also. and that they are hierarchical. In the early religions of the pre-agriculturists. and they were authoritarian. These small hunter-gatherer societies were organised on a basis of multiple pair bonds. exchanges of conversation and gifts. The people who first developed the great religions had high population densities. of agricultural societies. This sense of hierarchy. They knew all about being controlled by the higher ranks. and the sedentism. human altruism. and they probably involved numerous gods and goddesses who behaved very much like the hunter-gatherers themselves. equality. They must have been very conscious of their hierarchies. Their belief systems would reflect this. there was almost certainly no sense of hierarchy. and of recognising just which members of the group were in those higher ranks. only if it is culturally anchored by writing. Farming and Us . It is probable. They knew also about being able to exert control over the members of ranks lower than their own.religions all take crops and domestic animals for granted.

Like the society. and occasional flashes of temper. the nature of the hunter-gatherer religion must have changed. With the development of agriculture. he has a more senior rank. by various natural phenomena. The most logical conclusion for such a belief system was the assumption that the control exerted over us. and he controls them. was really being exerted by more senior members of the hierarchy. the pixies. often called saints. is perhaps a survival of our hunter-gatherer way of thinking. sprites.. by ancestors. That is. elves.the making of bargains. Many people even put ceramic gnomes in their gardens. People who have a strong sense of hierarchy (i. The age-old desire of ordinary people for an army of lesser gods. and the high population densities that resulted from it. he has a more senior rank for this reason also. Monotheism. possibly in response to a remote folk memory of veneration. alpha males. It is possible that these beliefs still survive in our folklore of the ‘little people’. the belief system would now be dominated by a sense of hierarchy. A father is older than his children and. therefore. And it probably changed as profoundly as the society itself. a rank fixation) always associate rank with age.e. goblins. gnomes. imps. And a father is the creator of his children and. therefore. Medievalists believed that the divine control was so complete that a sparrow could not shed a feather without the father of us all knowing and approving. The same ranking is true of a father’s relationship to his Farming and Us . and hierarchies belong to authoritarians. who controlled all aspects of our lives. leprechauns. and fairies.Page 410 .

is indisputably senior to them. And an authoritarian man would inevitably believe himself superior to his own sons. “because my father created me. the ultimate alpha male. has complete authority over them. and so on. in which the male seed was able to grow into an infant.father. a mere lodging. the belief that. it was commonly assumed that the male semen (Latin = seed) alone developed into a foetus. and of fathers being the sole creators of their children. And monotheism would have developed out of the biological principle that there can be only one alpha male. It should be remembered that ancient people usually believed that the father was the sole creator of the child. who has the most senior rank. the original ancestor of us all. the absolute ruler. the final apex of the pyramid. But it did encourage authoritarian beliefs in the superiority of men over women. Above all. Each father. being the creator of his sons. backwards in time. it emphasised the male dominance hierarchy. The importance of the hierarchy in connection with ancestor worship is that there is increasing seniority. For people without scientific knowledge. and is the original creator of everyone. and is superior to them in every respect.Page 411 . he is senior to me”. The hierarchy stretches backwards in time all the way to the original father. particularly during the period when they were helpless infants. is irrefutable and unassailable. This was a reasonable conclusion for such medically and scientifically ignorant people to reach. and increasing veneration. and that the female womb was only a kind of incubator. of male gods over female. the all-powerful. and upwards in the hierarchy. In those days. This is God. And such a man would Farming and Us .

It is then indisputable that the original ancestor. It is in this sense that we speak of the fall from grace. They prefer to look backwards in time. in a word. always degenerating. Non-authoritarians are forward-looking. until his dying day. It was controlled by ancestors who have seniority. the older the better. is the most inferior of them all. and it involves sacred texts. there is an insuperable problem with such a hierarchy of ancestors. and always diminishing. and they want to be controlled by the past. always sinking. They are largely uninterested in the past. but they are profoundly interested Farming and Us . of necessity. ourselves. and has the most authority of all. it follows that each human generation must. and superiority. it would be amazing if our own level of inferiority had any quality left whatever. is the most senior of all. Unfortunately.insist on having authority over his sons. The past is unalterable and safe. Are we really to understand that our own generation is so immeasurably inferior to those of our remote ancestors? A belief system based on ancestor worship possibly explains a very characteristic feature of authoritarians. the first creator. be inferior to the preceding generation. If there is increasing seniority. after all this descending. with successive generations of descendants. And the most recent generation. Indeed. These beliefs would apply to every generation backwards in time. This belief would also explain anthropomorphism. There must be a steady deterioration from generation to generation. backwards in time.Page 412 . in which God is given the shape and attributes of a man. and the descent of Man. always declining.

because it implies a steady deterioration from generation to generation. And this. They tend to be optimistic. when it is the future that really matters. the future.Page 413 . Nevertheless. It is curious. we recognise the possibility of periods of evolutionary stagnation. this veneration of the past. This difference between authoritarians and non-authoritarians suggests at least one reason why religious fundamentalists have been so hostile to the theory of evolution. The belief in ancestor superiority. perhaps. as ancestor worship implies. A hierarchical belief system based on ancestor worship represents the exact opposite of both genetic and cultural evolution. and a deterioration from generation to generation. on the other hand. may also explain why authoritarians tend to be pessimistic. to esteem the young. was what prompted J. or even regression. rather than inferior. after all. improvement. believe in evolution. This improvement. to despise the young. the overall trend is one of growth. this evolution. and increasing complexity. is the meaning of the word evolution. and to fear the future. and to relish the future. Nonauthoritarians. in both Darwinian and cultural evolution. Bronowski to call his famous television program on human cultural evolution “The Ascent of Man”. Both genetic evolution and cultural evolution represent a steady improvement from generation to generation. Extinctions and dark ages are not unknown. Naturally. ever since The Origin of Species was Farming and Us . and progress. means that each generation will be superior to the previous generation.

generation.first published. more democratic.Page 414 . Without Farming and Us . in spite of culturally disastrous episodes such as two world wars. less prudish. and possibly improved. more wealthy. These were the people. more travelled. more knowledgeable. When compared with even a century ago. they were almost invariably inferior to us. This was a clear assertion of the ancestral pecking order. height and strength. This theory. Western society has undoubtedly become less authoritarian. less diseased. we can recognise that our ancestors may be senior to us in the ancestral hierarchy but that. better nourished. who will be better than us. and better educated. the Cold War. and with a better distribution of wealth. because this is the only way in which each generation can be replaced with a new. more than any other. None of this cultural progress would have been possible if the die hard. less class-conscious. The progress in our cultural evolution has been remarkable. And it is our descendants. and it emphasises the importance of the future. Evolutionary progress from generation to generation indicates the biological importance of death. more literate. authoritarian Vic torians of the nineteenth century were still in control of human affairs. and other horrors. The death of individuals is essential to the process of evolution. after all. repudiates their authoritarian veneration of the past. who brought up their sons to fear God. In contrast to our Victorian forebears. and to obey their parents. with improved teeth. more technically competent. not our ancestors. by any other standard of measurement.

indeed. because it permits the concept of an afterlife for the believers. almost certainly originated with our experience of Farming and Us . This afterlife. This concept of going to heaven also bears a close similarity to joining a council of elders. This was possibly the nastiest side effect of our evolutionarily improved brains. insisting that the ancient.death. this knowledge each one of us has that we have to die. In biological evolution. Obviously. And. that their deaths were a mere transition to another kind of life.Page 415 . of course. A belief in an afterlife then becomes very attractive and. all but irresistible. inhabited by disembodied spirits. in both our genetic evolution. Closely associated with the belief in an afterlife is the concept of heaven. first because it permits the ancestor worship itself and. in cultural evolution. Such a belief is doubly attractive. as well as all their other ancestors. But it is exactly this discarding of ancient nonsense that the major religions resist so vigorously. sacred texts are infallible and unalterable. and our cultural evolution. would allow them to join their deceased parents. second. the abandonment of ideas and behaviour patterns that are obsolete. At an early stage in their enhanced consciousness. Evolution is a form of selective replacement. the people who are enjoying this afterlife must be located somewhere. or just plain wrong. primitive humans must have begun to anticipate their own deaths. the elimination of both the old. is equally imperative. Ancestor worship depends totally on the belief that our ancestors are not really dead. is imperative. and the less fit young. The idea of another world. there would be stagnation. inaccurate.

which would then become a shrine. but far from obvious. to see Lenin’s corpse. which occur in no other species. Pagan sacrifices also took the form of burnt offerings. are typical modern examples of the authoritarian love of ancestor worship. and difficult to know or understand during our real lifetimes. and a distant paradise.Page 416 . in Beijing. to meet and talk to dead friends and relatives and. during a dream. the great purifier. A dead person must be assisted in the journey to paradise. There is an inevitable. would magically transform the corpse into a disembodied spirit that could ascend. first appeared. Fire. Two highly mystical procedures were developed for this purpose.dreams and hallucinations. and of alpha male adulation. and this worship of the oldest Farming and Us . and to mark the grave. which is mysterious. The other mystical procedure was to bury the corpse. It was probably at this stage in our cultural evolution that funeral rites. a soul that survives the body. like smoke. Buddhists have a similar idea when they write a prayer on a piece of paper. even to hear them give us instructions or commands. The very nature of the dream world is suggestive of another life. and still do develop in Tiananmen Square. to see Chairman Mao’s corpse. occasionally. One of them was to burn the corpse on a funeral pyre. to Heaven. a place for ancestor worship. which they then burn. conclusion to be drawn from this hierarchy of ancestors. It is not uncommon. The huge line-ups that used to develop every day in the Red Square in Moscow. in order to send it to Heaven.

philandering rogues. This possibility of man making god was first recognised by the Phoenicians. culturally. ignorant. But it never seemed to occur to these early Christians that their own belief system might have had a similar origin. and the Greek philosopher Euhemerus recorded it in the fourth century before Christ. The idea that man made god in his own image is of interest in a number of ways because it tells us so much about the god-makers themselves. and they even used it to prove that man had created the pagan gods. who were mostly rumbustious.ancestor of all. it must be recognised that. Christian. uneducated. individualistic. for example. And different Christian sects emphasise quite different aspects of the one Christian god. deceitful. The early Christians knew about this viewpoint. biologically. in much the same way that the Romans deified their emperors.Page 417 . religions have fulfilled an essential function in society. and unruly. There are. This conclusion is that man made god in his own image. Think also of the ancient Greek gods. In a purely sociological context. This function was to control a population that. selfish. was unnaturally and dangerously large but which. and Muslim descriptions of the one God whom they have in common. manipulating. One of the very few ways to study the personalities of ancient peoples is to study the personalities they gave to their gods. This need for religious control was one of the Farming and Us . in the past. and it is the exact opposite of the biblical claim that God made us in his own image. some quite marked differences between the Judaic. was backward.

particularly as the religious subjugation was never fully effective. These authoritarian beliefs must be held on a basis of faith. the efficiency of government control has improved dramatically. This control often became excessive and. and the fear of sex being sin. Under no circumstances must the Farming and Us . We now appreciate that this misery was too high a price to pay for pacification of the people. The religious beliefs controlled by such an establishment will inevitably be very authoritarian also. and the listing of mortal. as we have seen. When a religion is controlled by a strict hierarchy. with increasingly sophisticated law-enforcement. Consequently. and minor sins that individuals were required to know and avoid. When control of the populace was shared by the combination of Church and State. and fear. and the laity are required to maintain their faith in a manner that is blind.Page 418 . it has caused endless misery from the fear of hell. with women totally excluded from all positions of power. and totally uncritical. during life. this need for the religious control of a population has been greatly reduced. the religious control was achieved mainly by shame. rebels. as the need for the Inquisition demonstrated. obedient. To criticise any aspect of such a religion is deemed irreverent and sacrilegious. There were always freethinkers. it is obviously very authoritarian. guilt. and by unverifiable promises of punishment and reward after death. cardinal. and the heretics. which is an unequivocally male hierarchy. We have only to think of the ten commandments.many consequences of the greatly increased population density produced by agriculture. Furthermore. absolute.

as in “My country. It will be recalled that control relationships are based on dominance hierarchies. An essential feature of ingroupism is loyalty. or their control. much of the faith that members of an authoritarian belief system are required to accept uncritically is also based on deceit. This attitude to loyalty is the basis of religious faith. Sadly. which would represent a very real loss of control by the controllers. for that matter. and of sex being sinful. and even killed. Should the laity lose their uncritical faith in these deceptions. This is necessary because the grounds for the loyalty are tenuous indeed. it is fundamentally weakened. So too. did the Christian Inquisition. Should this kind of blind.Page 419 . a disobedience. often beyond any chance of recovery.controllers. and that they are characterised by deceit. because it automatically stifles all criticism. This deceit includes the concepts of hell. uncritical loyalty ever be doubted or questioned. they would be exhibiting an independence. and the loyalty itself is praised as one of the greatest of virtues. Hitler and Stalin had a similar dislike of criticism. and nonconformists. to the extent that they incarcerated. and a desire for freedom. be doubted or questioned. of punishment after death. their doubters. Consequently. critics. And this loyalty must be totally uncritical. This definition of irreverence and sacrilege is very convenient for the controllers. And a loss of control is the ultimate disaster in an authoritarian system. drunk or sober”. right or wrong” and “My mother. criticism of authoritarian loyalty is totally prohibited under threat of dire consequences. which demands a totally uncritical loyalty to a Farming and Us .

it is also easy to conclude that this Supreme Being is vindictive. The second kind of religious control is the purely human control imposed on the laity by ecclesiastics. usually in the form of a moral code. and that natural disasters are punishments. propitiation. and faith in the supreme power. in spite of its absurdity. It is also very easy to conclude that anything good. There are two kinds of religious control of the laity. It is very easy to conclude from the personal impact of natural events that a Supreme Being. obedience. and religious injunctions. is a reward for which we must express gratitude. and the faith itself is used as a test of religious sincerity. to doubt is to criticise. After all. Priests put great emphasis is on the necessity for this faith. without doubt. Devout people believe that this divine control determines everything. For people who have strong feelings of guilt. is controlling us. Obedience of the religious control is further imposed by unverifiable Farming and Us .Page 420 . such as the birth of a child. Obedience of the religious control is rewarded by unverifiable promises of eternal life and paradise and. One is the sense of divine control that is exerted over us by a Supreme Being.belief system. however absurd some aspects of those beliefs may be. natural events and calamities. of mysterious. or even a meal. power. The only possibility of avoiding such punishments is by subservience. and even inexplicable. including our own birth and death. and those disasters which insurance companies so irreverently call ‘acts of God’. which must be obeyed. a bountiful harvest. a very real joy in the entire belief system.

he is automatically given an authoritarian personality. These unpleasant characteristics of authoritarian religion have long been recognised. When authoritarians envisage a Supreme Being. who destroyed entire towns. He is then visualised as the alpha male in a male dominance hierarchy. In 1838. and all their inhabitants. Guilt and shame are also used as instruments of control. some twenty years before he published The Origin of Species. demanding unquestioning loyalty. this God was no different from the Nazis. After all.Page 421 . and the punishment order. at worst. controlling everyone with the total authority of an absolute monarch in an oriental court. Charles Darwin commented that he could not trust an Old Testament that attributed to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant. and these too are very real. he is envisaged as being dominating almost beyond belief. and reputedly punishing Farming and Us . particularly the fear of divine vengeance and hell. At best. and servility.threats of punishment. According to Genesis 19:24. were little different from our own permissive attitudes. the rudeness order. And. an authoritarian god is merciful. as well as by real fear. obedience. for example. only because he did not like their sexual mores which. That is the most that an authoritarian believer can hope for. in fact. this Old Testament God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He is at the top of the pecking order. and slaughtered all their inhabitants. such as Lidice and Orodour-sur-Glane. Such a god is commonly believed to treat his dependants with the callous indifference of an oriental despot who nevertheless insists on veneration and subservience.

and a nonconformist is likely to be expelled as a heretic. genuflection. The religious attitudes of authoritarians are typically hierarchical. complaining of the General Council. Supplication. no doubt. including ordination. to the lowest rank of all. O Lord. and kneeling are the gestures that an ancient Roman slave would make to his master. and charitable. “There seems to be a Farming and Us . Two modern examples will suffice. When a very enlightened. and ordinary folk are at the very bottom of the hierarchy. and that is downwards. from the belief that we are at the very bottom of a huge ancestral hierarchy. Authoritarian religions can also be very intolerant. These appeasement gestures are little different from the prostration and kow-towing of an oriental court. in 1988. The phraseology of authoritarian worshippers is also subservient (“Forgive us. the hierarchical control is in one direction only.even the most minor delinquencies with the tortures of hell. to welcome homosexuals into full membership of their church.Page 422 . As with Hitler’s fuehrerprincip. particularly if he were in serious trouble. and it is supposedly absolute. The gestures of authoritarian worshippers are gestures of appeasement. and it too resembles the self-abasement of slaves to their angry owner. And the obedience is upwards. said. we beseech Thee!”). A spokesperson of one of these groups. General Council of the United Church of Canada voted. Authoritarian religion also requires uniformity and conformity of belief. some of the more authoritarian members were horrified. These subservient attitudes spring.

more than that. however sincere. and hanged. is rectitude. This is a conviction of righteousness and virtue. Consequently. It is not always appreciated that bigots like these really believe that their authoritarianism is both praiseworthy and admirable. and rivers flowing with milk and honey. It seems that he really believed that he was doing the right thing. An essential feature of authoritarian religion and. and that. is no defence. Death to Tolerance”. in the mid-nineteenth century in Mexico. indeed. which effectively put priests above the law of the land. and to abolish the privileged ecclesiastical courts. therefore.Page 423 . with its physical tortures of the most brutal and ruthless kind. Authoritarians are not normally creative. anyone who disagrees with it must be wrong. Authoritarian crimes are still criminal. a humanism. It is another aspect of the closed mind. Hitler had rectitude about killing Jews. they are very unimaginative in their descriptions of paradise. The Church responded with green and white banners carrying the slogan “Long Live Religion. And. Authoritarian descriptions of Farming and Us . and rectitude. Fortunately. Had Hitler and Himmler not committed suicide. rectitude is not a valid justification in law. that has crept into our church”.crass liberalism. an anti-clerical political party threatened to confiscate the inordinate wealth of the Catholic Church. they would undoubtedly have been tried for murder. this total conviction that the authoritarian’s belief system is correct. Nor does it constitute legal grounds for insanity. with its golden harps. and of hell. of authoritarians generally.

mandarins. Farming and Us . authoritarian descriptions of oriental courts and palaces. Authoritarian descriptions of hell were equally banal. This was the underground mine. Peter resembles the court official who consults his book. The entrance to paradise. is seated on the highest throne of all. jagged. it is likely to be very different from these unimaginative. being served by a hierarchy of viziers. the oldest ancestor. It is unlikely that the slave miners were given protective clothing. if a paradise does exist. the pearly gates. and the rock was hard. and St. or China. Mesopotamia. and dark as hell because there was no effective lighting. the alpha male.Page 424 . And there is an overwhelming emphasis on the completely subordinate position of the person being admitted. or officials. to determine whether an applicant can be admitted. there was no effective ventilation. But. such as ancient Egypt. The supreme authority.heaven have a remarkable resemblance to an oriental court in an authoritarian culture. and sharp. resembles the entrance to an oriental palace. which were hot as hell because. They were apparently based on the most unpleasant known work for the lowest of slaves. Descriptions of the entry to heaven involve procedures and difficulties comparable to the penetration of an ancient oriental court. and the superiority of those already inside. indeed clothing of any description. in those days. These comments are not intended to deny the possibility of an afterlife to those who wish to belief in one. with its narrow tunnels and crawl spaces.

He would probably find it easier and cheaper to dig a new shaft. The priests who invented hell were deliberately creating a fear-culture. and of being left there for all eternity. fears of hell. with a god who Farming and Us . daylight.Page 425 .unto the third and fourth generation”. greater even than the dogma of sex being sin. crime. There were plenty of real fears in those bad old days of plagues. The invention of the fear of hell is possibly the worst villainy of authoritarian religion. The fear of hell is a fabrication that can conceivably be equated with a god who is omnipotent or. tyrannies. and to reward them with fresh air. An ancestor might even have been responsible for this misdemeanour. There can be little doubt that these two concepts have caused more human misery than all other factors put together. To our more enlightened generation. tortures. and to buy new slaves. To be captured in war. enslaved. because authoritarians never hesitate to punish children for their parents’ misdeeds “. Like an uncaring and authoritarian god. but nonetheless palpable. war and rapine. was a personal disaster easily explained as divine retribution for some past misbehaviour. and the predominant. and very real fear of any slave miner was the horror of a rock fall. an indifferent slave owner would not make any very great effort to rescue his trapped slave miners. to release them from their hell. and injustice. and put to work in a mine..The mines were also quite unsafe. And his slave miners knew this. of being trapped in the mine. it is inexcusable to augment those real fears with the spurious. famines.. and life. alternatively.

It is bad enough for individuals to know that they are going to die. but it cannot possibly be equated with a god who is both omnipotent and merciful. and love can be obtained only by purchase. like obedience. even a child. and people believe that goods. It is intolerable that they should be threatened with the horrors of hell after their death. people are mutually supportive. The abolition of this fear of hell is among the greatest achievements of modern non-authoritarians. Authoritarians who want something from their god are likely to make a sacrifice to that god. and concerned for each other. an offer of payment. or by subservience. The concept of religious sacrifice is another characteristic of an authoritarian religion. in an authoritarian hierarchy. something very precious to them. Typically. and that their real lives should be spoiled. are made only in an upward direction in the hierarchy. or love. by barter. generous. had to be sacrificed in the hope of their wish being granted. In the bad old days of Homer. this human altruism and generosity is largely lacking. these payments. These offerings are the equivalent of bribes in an oriental court. for no other reason than to increase their powers of control. And the whole ghastly fiction was invented by authoritarian priests. by this fear. even ruined. But. They constantly help each other with gifts of goods. Farming and Us . services.Page 426 . merciful. and the prophets of the Old Testament. In a non-authoritaria n social group.

for this reason. are believed to be especially influential. this belief persists to this day. even a child. It is often used as a consolation. expectations of reward for the parents. and the prayers have apparently been answered. Only an extreme authoritarian could believe the unbelievable. made as a bargain with God. by their parents. when the children used to have their marriages and their careers decided for them. a small percentage of the wishes that are Farming and Us . The simple mathematics of this situation are easily overlooked by the faithful. in various ways.Page 427 . no doubt. and votive offerings are the fulfilment of a vow. and is supposedly merciful) should actually want to deprive the poorest peasant (who has so little) of something. Nonetheless. or a daughter to a convent. naturally. that he values so much. that God (who has everything. Some shrines are loaded with hundreds of votive offerings and. and they differ from sacrifice only in that the gift is made after the wish has been fulfilled. without any guarantee of fulfilment. it was not uncommon to give a son to the church. by parents who have lost a child. and who wistfully describe their loss as a “gift to God”. a comfort. In authoritarian families. Votive offerings are also gifts to God. in a diluted form. On average. and it probably never occurred to the callous parents that this was not much different from selling their child into slavery.where favours can be obtained only if they are paid for. in advance. The word ‘votive’ is derived from the Latin word for a vow. This too was regarded as a gift to God with. The wishes of the child were not a consideration of any importance.

As we have seen. come true. Typically. and it will also garner the most votive offerings. and in the desire of the all-male priesthood to control the belief systems and. Think of Hitler and Himmler. There is positive feedback here.Page 428 . through these. the more prayers that are offered. Throughout much of its history. It will then appear to fulfil the most wishes.expressed as votive prayers. The cure of psychosomatic symptoms. a run-away system. of the laity. the extraordinary rationalisation for this excessively cruel form of execution was that it was un-Christian to shed blood. who made no secret of their belief Farming and Us . Obviously. the Inquisitors handed the heretic over to the civil arm for execution. subordinate people do their dirty work. The shrine with the most votive offerings on display will attract the most worshippers. among pilgrims visiting famous shrines. the Christian church has been both powerful and authoritarian. So does the spiralling sale of lottery tickets from an outlet known to have sold several winning tickets. Authoritarians always prefer to have other. who never personally killed anyone. also. has the same mathematical basis. they professed great shock at the human sacrifices of the Aztecs. and receive the most prayers. There were also authoritarian excesses. such as the Inquisition. There was much manipulation and falsification of the belief system to serve these ends. When the Spanish conquered Mexico. The authoritarianism showed in the rigid church hierarchy. which was very willing to have heretics tied to a stake and burned alive. the more wishes will appear to be answered. the actions.

The Inquisition used people. to their gods. in this rather dry region.that these sacrifices were offerings or bribes to their gods. it probably was.Page 429 . The ancient Greeks and Romans regularly sacrificed burnt offerings to their gods in this way. This period was at the height of the Spanish Inquisition. The Aztecs of that time could scarcely be blamed if they concluded that this burning of heretics was merely the Christian form of human sacrifice. and they burned them alive. and they slaughtered them first. indeed. if one’s gift to God arrived dead. This was because it was wrong (don’t you know) to shed blood. and Inquisitors soon arrived in Mexico. and only the hearts were offered. as a method of conveying them to the gods in paradise. The Christian altar was derived originally from the stone table on which sacrificial victims would be burned. The Inquisitors chose to burn their victims. they used domestic animals. It would never do. The burning of sacrificial victims. because the Aztecs tore out the hearts of their living sacrificial victims. is a very ancient idea. Farming and Us . As. However. eager to find heretics to burn. obviously. probably because the burning of a living body was necessary to ensure that the gift would go up in smoke. the Christian method was the more refined form of sacrifice. usually in support of prayers for rain. and is closely associated with the practice of burning a corpse on a funeral pyre. and burning it alive would ensure that it arrived at the mystic oriental court in an undamaged condition. still feebly beating. In fact.

Both were humourless. his most senior. indeed. each wanted to ensure his own immortality with these bribes to his god. It seems there were only two important differences between these two men. as well as members of hated outgroups. Many thousands of innocent women were burned alive because they were held responsible for the fact that other people. without the slightest compunction. his Pope. possibly. and most powerful ancestor. mild-mannered. As recently as 1888. who burned only two thousand victims. reinforced by the celibacy of priests. and the concept of sex being sin. pathological. The first favoured Himmler. compared with Himmler’s eleven million. of course. colourless. were also bigots who ordered the killing of nonconformists. Both men. his Fuehrer. However. who killed his victims before he burned them. And. authoritarians. the last witch to be burned alive by Christians was immolated in South America. had sex dreams. Both men were extreme. later inquisitors burned many more. in a mystical oriental court. and the practice of witch hunting developed directly from the Inquisition. The second favoured Torquemada. Each wanted to ensure the approval of his alpha male. and kind to their staff.The first Grand Inquisitor in Spain was Tomas de Torquemada (1420-1498) whose personality was remarkably similar to that of Heinrich Himmler. who was seated on the highest throne of all. It is entirely possible that the behaviour of both these men was based on a subconscious desire for human sacrifice. especially the celibate priests.Page 430 . Farming and Us .

A comparable dissolution. A similar situation in England led Henry VIII to break from Rome. while much writing was undertaken.Page 431 . it usually involved the copying of old books. and convents. Farming and Us . a religious establishment would grow rich by convincing its laity that bequests of land or money would guarantee them a place in heaven. often in an inaccessible spot. All knowle dge and study was concerned with the past and. The new communist government promptly confiscated. Traditionally. There was also a strict celibacy. A wealthy monastery or convent was built like a fortress. and a strict discipline. controlled by the ringing of bells. in order to keep out the rest of the world. rather than the authorship of new books. occurred in Mexico as recently as 1926. and monks and nuns were carefully segregated in entirely separate establishments. and virtually every minute of every day was filled with religious observances and monastic duties. with their monasteries. There was a rigid hierarchy. among the inmates. when this country’s hereditary monarchy was finally ended. The medie val monastic life was incredibly controlled. The Coptic Church in Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian establishments in the world and.Authoritarian religions also create ingroups within their own hierarchies. and confiscation of disproportionate church wealth. and kept. its Church owned ninety percent of the arable land. such as the church establishment. and various religious orders. all of it. in 1974. and to confiscate their wealth and land. to dissolve the monasteries.

They also exhibited great hostility to other relig ions. This meant that there was a reward hierarchy also. in which the area that is modern Germany was totally devastated by this conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Farming and Us . (After all. because the rich ostensibly had a better chance than the poor of getting themselves and their relatives into heaven. naturally. and they made much use of propaganda. and other non-verifiable promises. and to other sects within their own religion. while the poor could not.. and their superior merit. Anyone who doubts this should study the history of. They would actually sell church offices. consequently. almost any lie. that is normally reserved by extreme ingroupists for outgroups. this ecclesiastical abuse created a wealth hierarchy. say. and any crime. These authoritarians were people who believed that the end justified the means and that. Among other problems. was permissible if it was for the good of their church. it was the selling of indulgences that prompted Luther to nail his ninety five theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg). for cash. The wealthy believed.Page 432 . the Thirty Years War. which they treated with all the contempt. Incredible suffering has been committed in the name of religion. that this was only fit and proper. and hatred. as well as indulgences. The various church establishments also had some very authoritarian promotional organisations. The rich could afford these expenses. or their religion. benedictions. being due to their superior rank.There is no question that ecclesiastics have been disgracefully acquisitive at times. to heretics.

and the more likely to be the right source of information. Until 1966. This censorship was made in advance of publication.Page 433 . the Catholic Church had an index of forbidden books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum). So too would any book that was in any way lascivious or sexy. their belief in their own infallibility. and any book judged harmful to faith or morals would be censored. Copernicus. or criticised official doctrine would be put on the index. Darwin. Newton. or even banned outright. This censorship had existed for the whole history of the Catholic Church but it became prominent only at the time of the Reformation. It must not be inferred from these comments that Catholics were the only authoritarians among Christians.Authoritarian Christians were closed-minded. Erasmus. questioned. This showed in their attitude to the sacred texts. The older the text. Galileo. The best measure of their authoritarianism is perhaps the rigidity of their Farming and Us . which were considered dangerous to either the faith or the morals of the laity. For many authoritarians. and they regarded the source of information as the sole criterion of validity. and Freud. Calvinists were possibly even more authoritarian than Catholics. and their total rejection of information that came from a wrong source. the more secure and safe it was. that there was much to criticise. fundamentalist Protestant sects today are even more authoritarian than extreme Calvinists. There was an additional censorship of new books written by Catholic authors. This deep fear of criticism implies. the wrong source of information included such transcendent thinkers as Luther. Any book that doubted. of course. and some of the smaller.

However. And only the best singers.belief and disbelief systems. like their Muslim brothers. The emotional suffering was easily induced with fear. guilt. often with a whip. They were then known as castrati. They preached that a life of suffering was necessary to achieve beatitude. So. but women could not be admitted to the exclusively male choirs. Occasionally. while Catholics. They positively relished the suffering of others. The physical suffering was often self-inflicted. Sopranos were necessary for musical reasons. No doubt. and the sufferer was then known as a flagellant. would have their testicles cut off. shame. Additional kinds of physical suffering included fasting and other forms of self-denial. Authoritarian priests could be sadistic. Anaesthetic s Farming and Us . and it did not matter very much whether this suffering was emotional or physical.Page 434 . their male dominance hierarchies. To quote an obvious example. and even crusades. the lack of compassion and consideration for others would lead to behaviour that was sadistic almost beyond belief. boys with particularly fine voices. and humiliation. preferred a government that is closely linked to their religion. it should be added Protestants generally believed in the separation of Church and State. they used choirboys only. and their total exclusion of women from decision-making and positions of power. in order to preserve their singing voices. as well as arduous pilgrimages to distant shrines. and this practice continued into the nineteenth century. this belief was a comfort to the wretchedly poor who were suffering anyway. But these priests liked to impose suffering on people who were otherwise happy. young boys would be castrated.

and knowingly. deterred these authoritarians. or from experiencing any feelings of pity. was quite irrelevant. hence. We are mere sheep and the Lord is our Shepherd. nor the irrevocable deprivation of marriage. so very junior. No doubt. As we have just observed. sympathy. The fact that these mutilated children were given no choice in the matter and that. celibate priests were also sadistic. in any event. in the hierarchy? A special feature of authoritarian Christianity is the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep.were unknown in those days and neither the pain. And their authoritarian callousness would have prevented them from seeing anything beyond their own immediate and selfish needs. parenthood. Christians hasten to add but. A good shepherd. it was clearly God’s will that some of these sheep Farming and Us . they would no doubt relish the thought of ordering a boy’s castration. when they are to be shorn. These priests probably rationalised their behaviour by describing each boy’s loss as a gift to God. nevertheless. even to the point of deciding when they are to be born. or empathy. and a full sex-life. this bribe. If the sex-starved. one who has complete control over his sheep. Why bother about the feelings of someone who is so young and. They overlooked the point that a gift can be a gift only if it is given willingly. the priests tried to convince these deprived children that this gift. was greatly to their own advantage. without any suggestion of coercion. and when they are to die. they were too young to comprehend what they were being required to sacrifice. compassion.Page 435 . this sacrifice. because they would be rewarded for it in heaven. and subordinate.

should even be castrated. our rank in the hierarchy is now so low that we are mere domestic animals. But they still accept the idea of the hierarchy.E. and of us being at the very bottom of that hierarchy. In spite of these criticisms. replaced the fish as the symbol of the religion. and the symbol of their religion was the fish.Page 436 . and pulling oxcarts. They prayed exultantly. praying became subservient. They loved the non-authoritarian aspects of Christ’s teaching. This was the immense appeal of their religion. which have been castrated to make them into passive oxen for ploughing. Asia. When the authoritarians gained control. with appeasement gestures and phrases. there is not the slightest doubt that an authoritarian religious faith can be a great solace in a hard world. and who Farming and Us . and his concern for his sheep. and the cross which. the punishments of hell were emphasised. and sex became sin. It can provide immense comfort for people who are unloved. It is in this sense that authoritarian Christianity can be regarded as a slave religion. Very soon after this. Authoritarian Christians emphasise that we are only sheep and must expect to be treated accordingly. just like the many millions of bulls in S. An intriguing aspect of the Christian religion concerns the change from an early non-authoritarianism to a later authoritarianism. After so much descent. by standing up and looking upwards with widespread arms. his forgiveness and charity. is an instrument of torture. The early Christians were clearly non-authoritarian. after all. Less authoritarian Christians emphasise the goodness of the shepherd.

they are all characteristic of an authoritarian personality. nevertheless. and who desperately need a sense of order.desperately need love. and who desperately need dogma and certainty. he will be highly susceptible to a spectacular religious conversion when adult. and desperately need a sense of belonging. for an authoritarian. where no bonds had existed before. has no need for the props and support of such a belief system. or in an inadequate religion. Also for people who doubt. and emotional security. A non-authoritarian. As well as for people who feel uncontrolled. are extremely important to a child. and to know their place. and the emotional security that goes with them. reared from infancy with great love. dread death. and long for an afterlife. And for people who are insecure. It provides comfort for people who lack an ingroup. because a pair bond with a living person is either difficult or impossible for him. These needs are very real and very important but. the intense emotion of a very real religious revelation can come from the completely new recognition of a surrogate parent bond. during childhood. If he had been reared without religion.Page 437 . and desperately need to be unafraid. if the bonds were absent. and desperately need a rank. to feel safe. and desperately need security. or inadequate. Farming and Us . These bonds. that person will be crying out for a pair bond. To say nothing of people who fear hell. But. And for people who lack a hierarchy. And. which he then forms with his god. in order to feel physically and emotionally secure. And for people who are afraid.

the religious dependency bond can be extremely important. For an authoritarian plagued by doubt. who is kind and merciful. The ecstasy of religious revelation can also be provided by the feelings of a lonely. in reality. An enormous emotional satisfaction can also come from the relief of suddenly being able to believe that someone else will accept total responsibility for everything. and submitting to the control of a Supreme Being who is both completely competent.For an authoritarian. authoritarian individual being received into an ingroup. until the very moment of conversion. A shared belief system can provide a very special sense of ‘togetherness’ that is particularly important for an authoritarian. who is the most competent of all. subservient authoritarians would promote him into a god. reared without pair bonds. This idea of Farming and Us . who is omnipotent and. or love of any kind.Page 438 . indeed. This is the equivalent of a return to an ideal and emotionally secure childhood when. and utterly lost. above all else. and absolutely kind. This would be particularly true of subservient authoritarians. of the emotional security that was so totally lacking in infancy and childhood and. there can be great comfort in revoking all responsibility. It would provide a sudden and total feeling of safety. For similar reasons. only a lonely and insecure childhood had existed before. Such an authoritarian would also obtain a great sense of security from the idea of being totally controlle d by a supreme authority. who occupies the highest rank of all. when a greatly revered leader died.

Alexander the Great was widely believed to be the son of Zeus. for these reasons. a new prophet. clearly derives from the more fundamental concept of ancestor worship. and this put his father. King Philip. About two centuries after the death of Christ. In the same vein. Such claims were common in the ancient world. When Christ was declared the Son of God. deification must take the form of various subordinates of the one god. Tyrant of Syracuse. called Mani. This practice of apotheosis was common among the ancient Romans and the deification of Christ conformed to these traditions. the higher is his rank in the male dominance hierarchy. in the same cuckold category as Joseph the carpenter. with a monotheistic religion. such as saints. Dionysus II. even at the time of Christ. This very conveniently put him above all the older and. founded a new religion known as Manichaeism. However.promoting people into gods. deification was usually reserved for males. The older the man. Judaic saints and prophets. in addition to Christ. he was automatically promoted to the top of the hierarchy. This religion was intended Farming and Us . hence. It is notable also that the funerary rites of an Egyptian pharaoh were specifically designed to make him into a god. Death gives an ancestor a seniority that is superior to any living person and. This concept of a living person being the son of god was thus a very ancient one. and for dead men only. second only to God himself. so that the new pharaoh could be proclaimed as the son of god. more senior. who recognised the older prophets. claimed to have been fathered by Apollo.Page 439 . this concept of deification.

These Cathars were critical of the worldliness and corruption in the Catholic Church. and by the state. for several centuries. woman. and less tolerant. However. The last traces of it in the West were represented by a neo-Manichaean sect called the Cathars (Latin cathari = pure). where they were slaughtered to the last man. much of the Far East.. and be truly ecumenical (i. Many historians regard this episode as the beginning of the Inquisition. and its reaction to this sect was an example of extreme hostility to an outgroup. in Southern France. The less authoritarian religions and sects were stamped out by their more ruthless. It is perhaps inevitable that it was the most authoritarian religions that survived. and it eventually became extinct. The Albigenses were declared heretical. This was Christian genocide. competitors. Mani lived in Persia and his religion became very influential from the third to the fifteenth centuries. in 1244. Their city was captured in 1215. About six centuries after Christ died. often known as the Albigenses. as well as all of North Africa and. quite a lot of Farming and Us . in many areas.e. The Christian establishment felt seriously threatened by the Albigenses. which were to dominate the Middle East. Manichaeism was persecuted by other religions. in Languedoc. and their final stand was at a castle called Montségur. and a holy crusade was mounted against them by Simon de Montfort in 1209. and from Europe and North Africa in the West.Page 440 . named after the city of Albi. to China in the East. Mohammed made religious contributions. embracing the entire world) and to integrate all the earlier religious teachings.

In one infamous holy war. against heathen Muslims. Jehovah. the three religions all worship the same god. Mohammed recognised both Judaism and Christianity. With yet another inexcusable falsification. for example. if they died in war facing the enemy. but many of them failed to return home. with all their sins automatically forgiven. in which children were recruited in Europe in order to fight for Jerusalem. and it is significant. Perhaps the most infamous crusade of all was the so-called children’s crusade. Muslims would fight a holy war. Yahweh. and their plight gave rise to the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. and the soldiers were promised instant heaven. Authoritaria n believers are entirely prepared to go to war over their belief and disbelief systems. Nevertheless. Christians would also fight a holy war. which they called a Jihad. which they called a crusade. but not the Son of God. that Christian Arabs refer to their Christian god as Allah. against infidel Christians.Page 441 . the priests would declare such a war to be holy. an army of Christian and Muslim allies was fighting another army of Christian and Muslim allies. and he differed from the Christians in that he believed that Christ was another prophet. and Allah are linguistic variants of the same name. They never got beyond the South of France. and all believing that they would attain instant heaven if they died facing the enemy. all worshipping the same god. He differed from the Jews in that he recognised Christ. Farming and Us .Europe.

One aspect of mystic control is the belief that the future is determined by the conjunction of the stars. This was particularly true when many authoritarian men. Guilt and shame. This is because either would be reduced to glaring inadequacy. at a time when no other controls existed. Most notably. Finally. Second. First is the fact that it is in direct opposition to control by ancestors. we should consider the religious control of sexual behaviour. It is possible for a religion to postulate control by either stars or ancestors. but whose lives invariably turn out to be quite dissimilar. Control by the stars has two features of interest in the present context. were behaving like wild primates. if it had to share control with the other. It is entirely possible that the early Christian emphasis of free will was intended both to discredit astromancy (now called astrology) and to stress the importance of guilt. there is no possibility of free will and. but not both. which results from individual responsibility for sin. are essential mechanisms of religious control. This control of people’s sex lives was probably necessary with the crowding of agriculture. This kind of philandering really was sinful. everything becomes preordained. and weakness. no such thing as sin.Page 442 . hence. even if only in Farming and Us . the conjunction of the stars at the time of one’s birth supposedly determines one’s entire future. after all. incapable of pair bonds. This foolish idea is easily refuted because there are countless cases of two infants being born in the same place. when a belief in the control by the stars is carried to its logical extreme. at a time when there were no contraceptives. and at the same time.

are positively promoting this disaster. and they tended to damage rather than promote pair bonds. and enhance pair bonds. This is consideration for others. by creating neuroses. Otherwise. an over-population disaster is inevitable. by their opposition. this will be the only control that is needed. the injunctions were altogether too severe. and to eliminate the neuroses that are derived from sexual inhibitions. It was perhaps an understandable attitude at a time when there were no contraceptives. now. Activities Farming and Us . and the deep-rooted apprehensions that it induces. when unwanted babies were left on the church steps. our more conservative ecclesiastics are opposing such developments and. We must replace this religious control. and an effective elimination of all the fears of sex. and was based on shame. and from being born an unwanted or unloved child. But. and to the world. Control of people’s sex lives was by religious injunction. with a guilt-free society. If we can gradually achieve a reduction of authoritarianism. based on good contraception. Sadly. In theory. both to control our population size. guilt. drastically. unfortunately. times have changed. above all.terms of over-population. and when infanticide was common. There need be only one simple rule in sexual behaviour. But it was a mistake to declare all sex to be sin. by causing over-population. these injunctions would promote the sanctity of marriage. we must develop entirely new concepts and practices. Now. because it is very damaging both to individuals.Page 443 . And. and fear. It is clear that this religious interference in people’s sex lives must stop.

in the Eastern Orthodox Church. rape.Page 444 . When all such inconsiderate activities. and any practice that one’s sexual partner does not want. and that married men were prohibited from being priests. and Jainists. including an irresponsible procreation. But it was not until the first and second Lateran Councils of 1123 and 1139. Adultery. particularly among priests and members of religious orders. invariably shows a total lack of consideration for one. possibly two spouses. largely unaware of love for a Farming and Us . anything else becomes permissible between consenting adults. in Spain. It is obligatory for Roman Catholic priests. the abuse of minors.such as adultery. It would produce curiously ignorant priests. The early Christians also believed that self-denial would facilitate communion with God. The Council of Elvira. in Islam. in about 306AD. This self-denial referred to all forms of pleasure but it had a special emphasis on the pleasures of sex. be it remembered. obviously represent a lack of consideration for others. and in Judaism. there was a pre-Christian idea that sexual activity was wrong for those who officiated at the altar. are avoided. and the vestal virgins were specially revered for this reason. Among the ancient Romans. It occurs also. the celibacy of the priesthood is a total deprivation of the pair bonding and love relationships of marriage and parenthood. Buddhist monks and nuns. to a limited extent. even when married. that priests were forbidden to marry. decreed that all priests and bishops should abstain from sex. Celibacy occurs to a greater or lesser extent in many religions. Unfortunately.

this means that they establish love relationships. they are far less likely than their more authoritarian colle agues to rise in the ranks of the religious hierarchy. They are meek.spouse. and we should make the most of it. This is precisely the Farming and Us . Jews. In effect.Page 445 . guilt. with unverifiable promises and threats. and they are prominent only in themselves. and they are patient with bad behaviour in others. compassion. in the Christian sense of the word love. When a Supreme Being is envisaged by non-authoritarians. and Muslims were. and are. and with shame. They love their neighbours. self-sacrifice. kind. Authoritarian priests establish control relationships with their parishioners. generosity. Non-authoritarian priests establish trust relationships with their parishioners. and fear. and unselfish. If they are priests. he is automatically given a non-authoritarian personality. And they show far less desire to control their laity. Non-Authoritarian Religion It is not necessary to comment that non-authoritarian Christians. and love for children. without any interference by the injunctions of ancient and ignorant ancestors. tolerance. and they manipulate them. They believe that “all men are brothers”. charitable. Celibate priests inevitably remain uninitiated in the most important things in a human life. their intelligence. common. and concern for others. They are usually individualistic. they trust strangers. Life is a brief period between birth and death.

The second contribution made by Christ concerns a denial of the hierarchy. The first is the Christian emphasis on love. The phrase “love thy neighbour” is also non-authoritarian. Christ was suggesting a return to the love and trust relationships of the hunter-gatherers. this emphasis of love relationships. the meek are the lowest rank in the social hierarchy. to understand the significance of love relationships. at the expense of control relationships. There are two non-authoritarian ideas that Christ introduced into the Judaic belief system. a denial of dominance hierarchie s. Alas. Christ’s ideal of love relationships was not strong enough to counter the authoritarianism produced by the crowding and sedentism of agriculture. It seems that. The concept of Christian charity also refers to helping people who are either lower in the hierarchy than oneself. and to recognise the importance of human altruism. In effect. In this context.contribution made to religious belief by Christ. ranks. and love and trust among people. and control within those hierarchies. or who are members of an outgroup. and which are of overwhelming importance. Farming and Us . It seems that Christ was the first recorded person in an over-crowded. powerful though it was. has far too often been lost in a welter of authoritarianism. agricultural society. This shows in his comment that “the meek shall inherit the Earth”. and of the authority.Page 446 . and this aspect of Christianity was an entirely new element in the authoritarian Judaic religion of that time. and an abolition of the control relationships of the agriculturists. and trust relationships. throughout the history of the Christian religion. This phrase is a declaration of equality.

that are the best and the most beautiful aspects of Christianity. the Christian religion emphasises. but most of the church establishments desired power above all else. Farming and Us . and the control. perhaps.Page 447 . because there would be no need for them. be interpreted as a repudiation of ingroup hostility towards members of outgroups. In such a society. Politically. but the church establishments coveted it. goodness. but the various church establishments were almost invariably on the right. With these non-authoritarian attitudes. and control relationships would scarcely exist. This was possibly the main reason for the enormous impact he made on people’s minds. and of non-authoritarianism. Christ was always on the left. All the evidence clearly points to his being an extreme non-authoritarian. Christ himself was not an authoritarian. But it was Christ who introduced the entirely new religious ideas of love and equality. and compassion in a classless society. under the Judaic religion. Christ eschewed wealth. In personality. and in the Roman Empire. Christ was essentially non-authoritarian. He lived during a time of extreme authoritarianism. which positively relished the male dominance hierarchy. charity. Christ had no desire for power. this beautiful idea was buried by subsequent developments in the various ecclesiastical establishments.and should. of an authoritarian priesthood. Alas. but the church establishments were usually authoritarian. sociability. love and trust relationships would predominate.

and a perfect anarchy. now in Heaven. this ideal was smothered by authoritarians who were psychologically incapable of understanding the ideal. because it was authoritarians who put him at the top of their ancestral dominance hierarchy. If authoritarianism. there are few differences between these three ideals. and all its attributes. there could be a perfect communism. and of what they did to Christianity. on the entire system. the Nazi extermination camps. by declaring him to be the Son of God. and all human relationships were either love relationships or trust relationships. a perfect Christianity. and of what he did to communism. In effect. the early Christians were advocating an ideal society in which authoritarianism was entirely abolished. and a rigid dominance hierarchy. which will live forever. But we can still believe in Christ the man. chiefly because Christ the man would have been appalled and horrified by such things as the Inquisition. and in his non-authoritarian ideals. and imposing a rigid control. he would surely have had both the desire and the power to stop these horrors. Think of all those bad popes. In this non-authoritarian sense. In all three instances. and the killing fields of the Khmers Rouges. curiously enough. and the original anarchists. were the original communists. Had he really been the Son of God. were to be eliminated.Page 448 . These authoritarians insisted on taking control. So too. the burning of heretics and witches. Think of Stalin. Farming and Us . now dead.We do not have to worship Jesus Christ. We should not feel compelled to believe this apotheosis.

that we no longer fear hell. and great optimism. and are reasonably well educated. and that we now live in a permissive society. or inferior. and their inferiority. to themselves. in all respects. on average. Individualists do not consider themselves either junior. both genetic and cultural. They believe that evolution. with its obnoxious concepts of punishment after death. and the original alpha male as the most senior of them all. their children will be superior. They believe that the living are more important than the dead. and they cannot believe themselves to be at the bottom of an ancient dominance hierarchy. indicate the progress that our culture has made during the past few generations. to their ancestors. particularly in terms of abolishing authoritarian behaviour from the entire fabric of Farming and Us .True individualists. They regard themselves as individuals. is progressive. individualists consider themselves superior to their ancestors. This is a major advance away from the suffocating control of an authoritarian religion. For this reason. and that. with increasing superiority backwards in time. and this enables them to relish the future with keen anticipation.Page 449 . and sex being sin. The two facts. Nor can they accept that their descent. has reduced their current rank to the equivalent of some remote ancestor’s slaves. that the present is more important than the past. and an ancestral hierarchy. who are completely non-authoritarian. This progress also suggests that further improvements are possible in the future. usually reject the notions of mystical control. and that it normally leads to improvement. or even domestic animals. however illustrious some of them may have been.

Farming and Us .Page 450 . and quite rapid.human society. This past progress also suggests that future progress will be quite easy.

Page 451 . it is remarkable that we can maintain any sort of social stability at all. on the other. and human altruism. There can be little doubt that pair bonds. and love and trust relationships. pre-scavenging forebears. on the one hand. There can be little doubt also that our very recent cultural development of agriculture. The Alleviation of Authoritarianism Private Lives and Public Lives Clearly. with its high population densities. when our population densities are several hundred times greater than those of our pre-hunting. have compelled us to revert to the dominance hierarchies and control relationships of the wild primates. are our true nature. and our artificially induced dominance hierarchies. We usually reserve our pair bonds. and control relationships. and our love and Farming and Us . love and trust relationships. It is the distinction between private lives and public lives. There is. It is a conflict between our inherited behaviour strategy of human altruism. bestowed on us by several million years of Darwinian evolution. pair bonding. and unavoidable sedentism. Indeed. in fact. a reasonably clear distinction in our use of love relationships and control relationships. human society now suffers from an internal conflict.8.

who made such dramatic increases in the carrying capacity of their environment. in most families. Indeed. and so on.Page 452 . This is another form of cultural inheritance. it is less than this and. We would hope also that our children will not blame us for our ignorance. even to the early farmers. if not. and so unnecessary. are then damaged accordingly. and control relationships. which is so tragic. In theory. in our place of work. Far too many of our families are much too authoritarian. back through many generations. And we tend to use dominance hierarchies. that is one of the main themes of this book. and our society. this is a good arrangement but. Our personalities. A dominating authoritarian tends to control his family just as strictly as he controls his subordinates at work. for family and friends. and our deficiencies. But this is only because they received inadequate love from their parents. we must ask ourselves whether our own children will receive adequate love from us and. the larger Farming and Us .trust relationships. The second problem is that there is usually too much authoritarianism in our public lives as well. in a few tragic families. what can we do about it? If our parents failed us in our childhood. The first problem is that the authoritarianism of our public lives tends to invade our private lives. it is this damage. We receive inadequate love from our parents. we cannot blame them for their ignorance. it is entirely absent. or for the deficiencies in their parents. Love should be total and unconditional. it has two very serious problems. and in all dealings with strangers. Equally. but. As a general rule. in practice.

and in all sizes of human social groups in between. church establishments. the greater its authoritarianism. This kind of democracy is necessary in small families and large nations. military establishments. It lies in that precious word ‘democracy’. professional associations. and so on. It is also necessary in a new. It may be possible for people to live in communes. There appears to be only one answer to this problem of excessive authoritarianism in both our private and our public lives. and our public affairs. of about thirty individuals of all ages. trade unions. This word democracy also means that. the larger business corporations. and are made for the benefit of all. true democracy will keep authoritarianism to an absolute minimum in both our private lives. This would allow a return to the all-inclusive bonding and the human altruism of our hunter-gatherer Farming and Us . whether personal or social. We must consider the re-organisation of human societies. United Nations agencies. political parties. is eliminated. law enforcement agencies. This word means that all unnecessary control. they are resolved by open discussion and sensible compromise. in this way also. It means also that all necessary control and decision-making are shared. This is seen with government bureaucracies. when the inevitable conflicts of interest appear. judicial systems. In this way. or in extended blended families.the organisation. universities. rather than by strife. we can increase our love and trust relationships to the maximum. world government. And. And the shared control and decision-making are generous. and effective. which is long overdue.Page 453 .

perhaps even more rapid. After all.Page 454 . and they are then inevitably disappointed in their children. our educational system totally ignores the teaching of good parenting. All parents want to have children they can be proud of. our engineers. and others in the learned professions. None of these professions is as difficult. At present. Provided there were no population pressures. we also punish his Farming and Us . it was cultural evolution. that triggered the very rapid regression to male dominance hierarchies. have an absolute right to become parents. After all. growth of democracy and non-authoritarianism. of all human tasks.forebears. and speaking the “Me and him done it good” style of English. of whom a few even become criminal. our architects. we teach our children how to drive a car much more thoroughly than we teach them parenthood. these groups could live with complete internal harmony. Also our lawyers. And our society does little to help them in this most difficult. when we punish a criminal. our teachers. scarcely able to read or write. It is also cultural evolution that is now prompting the equally rapid. our priests. High school dropouts. we require our doctors to have university degrees. but many parents are sadly ignorant. The New Education We urgently need an educational system that is able to teach our children how to become good parents. our dentists. and agriculture. After all. and most important. Yet. as good parenting. They could also live in complete harmony with all their neighbouring groups. or as important.

in the rearing of their children. if this confidence is lacking. unloved child is likely to grow up neurotic. Otherwise. Furthermore. no doubt. Those parents are punished with intense shame and acute misery. If these children that we educate to become good parents were themselves born of parents with excellent love relationships. It follows that prospective parents should be very confident of the strength and durability of their own pair bonds. and were reared with little emotional security. their children will suffer. Because. if they are still living. they will need little teaching. each with the other. and disastrously psychotic. If they are unable to provide the emotional security. and unloving. to which every child has an absolute right. teaching alone cannot make them good parents. an infant needs unconditional love relationships with both parents. These enlightened children will make better parents than did Farming and Us . and they may eventually cause a lot of suffering to everyone around them. they should not become parents. They were ignorant. at best.parents. at worst. if they do. On the other hand. or inadequate. These prospective parents should know that an unwanted. And they must appreciate that their love must be genuine. but this ignorance was not their fault. and unconditional. They did not merit such punishment. Once again. they are likely to be bitterly disappointed in their children. But the teaching will help. Prospective parents must appreciate that an infant has a powerful innate sense of whether it is loved and wanted.Page 455 . they should sensibly choose not to become parents at all. if these children were born of parents with poor love relationships.

falling in love for the first time. This is a form of cultural growth. What should they do. In their turn. And. This is not an easy thing to teach. from either a scientific or an educational perspective. and more frequent. because it has been so little studied and. the love relationships in our society will become stronger. because authoritarian individuals are unlikely to make good spouses. This growth in good parenting could easily be as rapid as the current growth in. the children born of loving parents will need much less teaching than those born of indifferent parents. and uncertainty abounds. incredible though it may seem. and how should they behave. during the period between puberty and marriage? This is the period when the sex drive is at its strongest. computer literacy. It is also the means by which our authoritarianism will dwindle to insignificance. once again. We also need to alleviate some of the problems of adolescents. We must find a satisfactory way to gratify the sex Farming and Us . so that they can avoid partners who exhibit such symptoms. It is also the period when doubts about true love are at their greatest. after a few generations of good teaching. but the opportunities for sex are at their most restricted.their own parents. We also need to teach our children how to recognise true love when choosing a marriage partner. say.Page 456 . their children will become better parents still. And. we know so little about it. How can you teach children. to determine whether their calf-love is the real thing that will endure for life? Perhaps one approach would be to teach children how to recognise the symptoms of authoritarianism.

and they know nothing of these basic principles of good behaviour. by prudery.Page 457 . good behaviour. There will be a new kind of society in which everyone will care about everyone else. We also need greatly improved and expanded psychological services. It is these things. throughout the world. and love and trust relationships. to say nothing of an authoritarian disdain of the young. But. in fact. everyone will Farming and Us . These services would help those with inadequate love relationships. this abolition of authoritarianism. such as authoritarianism. that make criminals and crime. are ignorant themselves. and militarism will have been abolished. so that they may become good parents before any damage is done. no doubt. so that they can sensibly choose not to rear any children at all. education will have become more important than politics. And. A gradual elimination of authoritarianism will eventually produce an era when. Held back. and the callous indifference that goes with them. after all. It should also point out the negative aspects of human behaviour. Our education system should also teach the principles of non-authoritarianism. It may seem an impossible dream. They would also advise those who are incurably authoritarian. dominance of adolescents without damaging their future pair bonds. as I hope this book makes clear. born of ignorant parents. control relationships. nor educators have been willing to address this problem. Many children. sociability. governments. if someone behaves as an authoritarian. neither religions. it is not impossible.

because they recognise that it is the result of a tragically unloved infancy and him to correct that behaviour. Farming and Us .Page 458 .

Intense interest then focused on the original ancestor of the Indo-European family of languages.9. The Spread of Language The Spread of the Indo-European Languages It was Sir William Jones. and various languages of Europe could be added. in 1786.Page 459 . a judge in Calcutta who. and ancient Greek. In 1813. discovered the affinity between the dead languages of Sanskrit. This ancestor is generally called proto-Indo-European (PIE). It was assumed that PIE then spread outwards by conquest. What language was it? Where did it originate? How did it spread over such a huge area? And why was it so influential? For want of any better idea. to which ancient Persian. Latin. scholars such as Freidrich von Schlegel and Franz Bopp developed the new science of linguistics. in 1856. He proposed a single family of these languages. Soon after this. With the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Farming and Us . it was generally assumed that the IndoEuropean family of languages originated in the Caucasus. linguists quickly realised that languages evolve in much the same way that species evolve. Thomas Young proposed the name ‘Indo-European’ for this family of languages.

1987. They were primitive farmers by today’s standards. and they did build permanent houses and villages. they reproduced much more rapidly than their hunter-gathering neighbours. Because of their increased food supply. was the greatly increased population density. Their population densities were perhaps fifty times greater than those of the hunter-gatherers. obviously.Colin Renfrew (Archaeology and Language. and their improved shelters. Cambridge University Press. Renfrew’s wave of advance involved farmers. But this rate of advance would take people right across Europe in a few millennia. and the American archaeologist Albert Ammerman. He adopted the wave of advance model that was developed jointly by the Italian geneticist Luigi Cavalli-Sforza. From one generation to the next. However. Many of the sons and daughters of farmers would accordingly move into the territory of the hunter-gatherers. but they did cultivate wheat. The key feature of this wave of advance. Farming and Us . in order to start farms of their own. This movement was probably quite peaceful. ISBN 0 521 354323) has proposed that the spread of the Indo-European languages was a consequence of the spread of wheat farming. the huntergatherers would scarcely notice this slow encroachment on to their land.Page 460 . these wheat farmers continued to reproduce beyond the new carrying capacity of their environment. This model postulates a steady outward spread of a human population. resulting from large increases in the size of that population. And this could happen only with agriculture.

Although it was built and occupied by farmers. and acorns. Sheep and goats had also been domesticated. peas. in southern Turkey. and vetches. and some of the houses had open courtyards. if not actually domesticated. The entrances were through the roof. Çatal Farming and Us . Compared with the hunter-gatherer way of life.Page 461 . The town predates the great cities of Mesopotamia by some 3000 years. They are built of mud-brick. and they touch each other. barley. The town of Çatal Hüyük (pronounced Sha-tal Hooyook). was excavated during the 1960s by James Mellaart. These houses are remarkably uniform in their size and layout. on the Çarsamba River. without streets between them. pistachios.This wave of advance is thought to have started in Anatolia. They also collected wild apples. But the hunting of wild animals was still important. and it probably had a population of 5000-6000 people. The site was founded in about 7000BC and it covers thirteen hectares. A nearby site called Çayönü has some of the earliest metal working in the Near East. Çatal Hüyük was also an important centre for trade. lentils. Both their art and their religious representations of bulls indicated the importance of their cattle. It consists of an estimated 1000 houses. almonds. Vegetable remains show that the people of Çatal Hüyük cultivated wheat. in southern Anatolia. and pigs were being utilised. and was probably built by these early wheat farmers. and it represents some of the oldest architecture in the world. and it produced skilled craftsmen of various kinds. although only a small amount of it has been excavated so far.

Page 462 . and through Persia into northern India. or the extreme North. into the Caucasus. It seems that the language of these southern Anatolians was the original parent of the entire family of Indo-European languages. these farmers began to spread their language and their genes into most of Europe. These barriers. This was the proto-Indo-European that linguists have been trying to identify for so long. and the hunter-gatherers Farming and Us . they had pottery. throughout Central Europe. The spread of a particular Neolithic culture called the Linear Pottery culture. these southern Anatolians slowly spread into the lands of the hunter-gatherers. After several thousand years. and dating from around the sixth millennium BC . and the Indo-European wave of advance could not penetrate into these areas of relatively high population density. A few places. It could go no further because it had reached natural barriers in every direction. probably represents this advance of wheat farming. such as northern China. From towns such as Çatal Hüyük. clearly. Nor could the wheat farmers penetrate into deserts. mountains. These European wheat farmers lived in hamlets with permanent houses built of heavy timbers and. the tropics. As their numbers increased. were the geographic limits of wheat growing in the hunter-gatherer areas of Eurasia. already had a primitive agriculture based on millets.Hüyük provides a dramatic picture of the almost instant effects that agriculture and sedentism can have on the increase of population. and various other artefacts that became possible with the high population densities and sedentism of agriculture. the spread of this wheat farming was complete. the Middle East. obviously.

Page 463 . They could not fight back because they were numerically so inferior. probably by inter-marriage. beginning about 9. which are less productive than wheat. with crops such as sorghum and millets. was the size of the Caspian Sea. already had relatively high population densities from primitive farming. During a period known as the Holocene wet phase. adopting both their agriculture and their language. It seems that they had only two options.000 years. Two apparent anomalies merit explanation. However.500 years ago. like China. all of the southern Sahara was grassland. They could retreat and decrease in numbers as their land decreased in area. still survive in small pockets of Europe. and which still have languages that are not Indo-European. they did not disappear entirely. rather than by the spread of people. their languages and genes would be swamped by superior numbers. The North African languages are not Indo-European. Wheat culture apparently spread into this area by cultural diffusion.slowly declined in numbers. as their territory diminished. and the Nile was flowing about three metres higher than its present level. This cultural diffusion spread into both North Africa and up the Nile Valley as far as the Ethiopian highlands. Farming and Us . This period lasted some 3. It thus coincided with the beginnings of agriculture in Anatolia and it is likely that agriculture had started in the Nile Valley also. It is possible that one or two of their languages. that were unsuitable for wheat farming. along with their genes. and would all but disappear. in the western Sahara. such as Finland. In either event. Lake Chad. It is possible that these areas. Or they could integrate with the agriculturists.

and similar forms of water control. But they did not for a very simple reason. This irrigated agriculture can be highly productive and it can lead to incredible population densities. and they relied on natural flooding. In theory. the modern deserts began to develop and the agriculturists were compelled to rely on irrigated crops rather than rain-fed crops. Initially. not irrigated crops. and of towns such as Çatal Hüyük. The evidence comes from rainwater erosion. the Indus. In particular. The people of southern Turkey. This was when the great riverine civilisations appeared.There is evidence. With the ending of the Holocene wet phase. and in the Indus valley. they developed dams.Page 464 . and the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. in Mesopotamia. these large and wealthy civilisations should have become the founders of a major family of languages. But. major wheat civilisations developed in the TigrisEuphrates valley. and very high levels of wealth and specialisation. for example. These people may have conquered large empires but. it seems. obviously. irrigation channels. the Tigris-Euphrates. Only agricultural people could have built such a large structure. dikes. cultivated rain-fed crops. in the Nile. The agriculture of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilisation was based on irrigation with river water. The distinction is crucial in relation to the spread of language. the farmers occupied the flood plain. it is confined to river valleys and flood plains. which could have occurred only during the Holocene wet phase. conquest does not Farming and Us . that the great Sphinx at Giza pre-dates the ancient Egyptians by several thousand years. Later.

and not by a mere river valley. with population densities that permitted the early development of tribes. and a suitable climate. but it does have the advantage that it can spread into any area that has an adequate rainfall. and however important its cities may have been. And many of the native Amerindians did have some agriculture. due to immigration from Europe. far beyond the confines of the known world at that time. however large. who spread a new family of languages across an area extending from the western shores of Europe to India. except that the population density of the advancing farmers was considerably greater. a suitable soil. Farming and Us . This occurred in the temperate areas of the New World. The limits of rainfed wheat cultivation were remote. and in Australia. This explains why it was the wheat farmers of Anatolia.Page 465 . This was the ‘cowboys and Indians’ situation of the United States. in the history of civilisation. there was a further spread of the IndoEuropean languages that also followed the spread of an agriculture based on wheat and cattle farming. Much more recently. The geographic limits of rain-fed wheat were defined by climate. Rain-fed agriculture is less productive than irrigated agriculture. It must be remembered also that the famous civilisations based on irrigation developed much later than the rain-fed wheat cultures of southern Anatolia.spread languages nearly as effectively as a wave of advance by agriculturists. rather than the wheat farmers of Mesopotamia or the Indus Valley. when modern farmers moved into the territory of hunter-gatherers.

and wars. Indo-European speaking people. In eastern Afric a. the wave of advance theory is much more convincing to a biologist. barbecue. the spread of PIE would be associated with conquest. pyjamas. safari. who adopted the foreign horse. the wave of advance was less peaceful. Colin Renfrew’s theory has been challenged. HarperCollins. piano.hierarchies. ISBN 0-06-098403-1) provides linguistic evidence for protoIndo-European being associated with the domestication of the horse. it is likely that the southward spread of the Bantu people. and their family of languages. If he is correct.Page 466 . Consequently. And. 1992. such as chauffeur. about 4000BC. in the Russian steppe. But this hypothesis is less strong than the wave of advance. whatever the linguists may eventually decide. English itself is full of foreign words. and coyote. for example. Evidence of a wave of advance by agriculturists with other crops can be seen in other parts of the world. veranda. Farming and Us . volt. banana. resulted from the gradual replacement of hunter-gatherers and herders by Bantu farmers who had millets and sorghum. Jared Diamond (The Third Chimpanzee. We can see this kind of linguistic borrowing today. There were no horses involved here. ampere. . For example. mainly by linguists. as foreign languages adopt the English terminology of the computer. and it was also far more rapid than that of the original wheat farmers in Europe. chocolate. tea. would probably also adopt the foreign words associated with the horse. New York. rather than the wave of advance of a people with a high population density.

It turns out that almost all the remote islands in both the Pacific and the Indian Oceans are populated by people who speak the same family of languages. This accumulation of ice lowered the sea level. long before the development of agriculture. the most widely dispersed family of languages. many of the islands of S. Papua New Guinea and Australia (but not New Zealand) were colonised by hunter-gatherers.The Austronesian Family of Languages Another spread of a family of languages is possibly even more intriguing. when the sea level was so low. at least 40.000 years ago and. and Australia could be reached with very short boat journeys. by the retreat of the oceans into enormous polar ice caps that covered much of the temperate regions.E. to Easter Island in the East. possibly. and it extends to Madagascar in the West. It is. and land bridges were exposed all over the world. The ice age facilitated this process. Hawaii in the North. without question. It is centred on the islands of the Philippines and Indonesia. and New Zealand in the South. Similarly. This is the Austronesian (or Malayo-Polynesian) family of languages. having spread halfway around Farming and Us . Our human ancestors were able to colonise most of the land surfaces of the world by walking. very much earlier than this. including the Beringia land bridge that linked Asia with Alaska.Page 467 . The only habitable land that remained uncolonised by people consisted of remote islands that could be reached only by long sea journeys. Asia were joined to the continent. starting from their centre of origin in eastern Africa.

They had boats that were much Farming and Us . and they could go ashore at any time. This language dispersal by sailing raises some interesting questions. if there was a storm. and these winds propelled their boats upstream. Nor did they need to be. And. in order to know where they were. but by sailing. The prevailing winds in Egypt are from the North. because they never left the Nile. They had to have a supply of fresh drinking water. For example. They had to survive the danger of storms at sea. These sailors had no need to navigate because their boats were confined to the narrow river. The Minoans and the Phoenicians were the most prominent of the historically recorded maritime peoples. or if they wanted fresh fruit or vegetables. there is the Australian colonisation. Ancient Egyptian sailors never ran short of drinking water because they were sailing on the stuff. finally. although we know that primitive boats must have been in use in a much earlier period of pre-history. and there are Neolithic remains on many Mediterranean islands. which can only have been reached by boats. because sailors in ancient times had four major problems. It is also indisputable that this language dispersal was made not by walking. The ancient Egyptians were the first people recorded as having used boats.the world. The Egyptian boats were not seaworthy. in much the same way as a railway train is confined to its track. The river current carried them downstream. just mentioned. they had to have a source of fresh fruit and vegetables if they were to avoid the problem of scurvy on long ocean journeys.Page 468 . They had to navigate.

Page 469 . mainly because they had stop in order to plant and harvest crops. Arbutus unedo. in about 600 BC. Nevertheless. The civilisations of the Tigris-Euphrates and the Indus rivers probably developed boat transport similar to the Egyptian. and they reached Britain. which facilitated sailing into the wind. characterised by the lateen sail. These sailors would make a dash across open water in order to reach various islands. and by keeping the refuge of land in sight whenever possible. and the tin mines in Cornwall. The Phoenicians were more adventurous. and they sailed outside the Mediterranean. They sailed up the West Coast of Europe. They dominated the northern Indian Farming and Us . Herodotus reported that Necho II. sent his Phoenician sailors all round Africa.more seaworthy than the Egyptian. But this was always considered a somewhat risky thing to do. but it seems that these ocean-going boats also clung to the shorelines. Pharaoh of Egypt. and to sail only during daylight. They navigated by following the coastline. Following the coastline was also their means of navigation. and it never involved being more than a few hours out of sight of land. There was also maritime trade between these two river civilisations. It is thought that they may also have taken the strawberry tree. from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. they avoided storms by sailing only in the summer months. such as Crete. and the journey took three years. to Ireland. and the nearby land was their source of fresh water and food. which were so important for the manufacture of bronze. They usually chose to go ashore at night. the Arabs developed their ocean-going dhows. Much later.

and claimed by Portugal. He was becalmed off the West African coast when a storm blew up and carried him right across the Atlantic to South America. in 1500. The Canary Islands were colonised at a very early date by the now extinct Guanches. obviously. Farming and Us . they had reached these islands at a time of low sea levels. however. Brazil had been discovered accidentally. Plutarch. The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral was trying to reach the Indian Ocean. It seems that the Roman State never did know about the New World. during the appropriate seasons. and they relied on the monsoon winds to take them to India. on the South American Coast. those unfortunate Roman sailors never made it back home because. under very similar circumstances. They knew only about ships that did not return. because the under-water remains of a Roman shipwreck have been found in the Bay of Guanabara. resulting from a storm. their knowledge apparently derived from Phoenician sailors. most of the Caribbean islands were colonised by comparable sea journeys. possibly. well before the arrival of Europeans. Unlike Cabral. It seems that this Roman journey was accidental. After all. who would have had to cross about one hundred miles of open ocean to reach them. both wrote of these islands.Ocean for centuries.Page 470 . near Rio de Janeiro. Similarly. their ship had sunk. and Pliny the Elder. We also know that the ancient Romans actually crossed the Atlantic. and back again. These people had either lost all knowledge of sailing or.

Melanesian. had been recovered from this site before it was buried. They routinely. and. Indonesian. Farming and Us . and it apparently originated in Taiwan. The Austronesian family of languages includes the Formosan. in the entire history of navigation. the Brazilian authorities covered the entire underwater site with dredger sediments. Their navigational skills were phenomenal. and declared it a restricted zone. Despite all this. because they had no compass. And yet the total range of their ocean-travels took them more than halfway around the world. These sailors were out of sight of land for weeks. Micronesian. incredible.Unfortunately. and Polynesian subfamilies. no Pole Star. in boats that were so seaworthy that they could survive mid-ocean storms. throughout most of their area. and they put all other sailors to shame. no navigational charts. The first of their navigators started sailing from Taiwan to the Philippines and Borneo as early as 4000BC.Page 471 . The governments of Spain and Portugal did not want Columbus and Cabral superseded as the discoverers of the New World. no sextant. But more than fifty Roman amphorae. indeed. even months. At their request. They were supreme in their navigational skills. So the actual remains of the Roman ship have never been found. sailed directly across oceans. and deliberately. Malay. chauvinism has interfered with this remarkable archaeological discovery. at a time. no chronometer. of irrefutable provenance. the ancient Austronesians stand alone. They even reached South America centuries before either the Chinese or Europeans had built ocean-going ships.

Page 472 . Hawaii in 600AD. and they knew the exact position of any star close to the horizon. uninhabited land in the world. They also made use of the rising and setting of the sun and moon. Farming and Us . They could thus sail towards any known star that happened to be low in the sky. or by short sea journeys that depend on coastal navigation. Because of their sailing skills. or by the Europeans until late in the fifteenth century AD. and New Zealand in 750 AD. the shape of the clouds. and they often relied on prevailing winds. These problems. and its waves. The Austronesians navigated mainly by means of an exceptional knowledge of the stars. The question that concerns us here is how the Austronesians solved the apparently insoluble problems of sailing across oceans. They could detect land from far away by the character of the water.and they had begun to populate other islands to the South by 2000 BC. And these islands were available to the first people capable of ocean travel. And they discovered Easter Island in 400 AD. the Austronesians were able to find and colonise the only remaining. after all. and the presence of sea birds. which were uninhabited for the simple reason that they could not be reached by walking. They had incredibly accurate mental maps of the night sky. They reached Madagascar and Fiji during the second millennium BC. were not solved by the Chinese until the fourteenth century AD. This land consisted of remote ocean islands.

The only other container for fresh water was a large seashell. and the water spoils. late in the eighteenth century. with swollen and bleeding gums. but this presented insuperable problems of spillage and evaporation. Fresh water will not normally keep for more than a few days in an organic container. The Austronesians had pottery. because of its 12% alcohol. before it was completely solved. In any event. The Austronesians stored water in hollow bamboos. Wine.Page 473 . such as a bamboo. They could also squeeze drinkable water from the flesh of fish. can be stored in organic containers such as wineskins and wooden barrels. and fresh water could be collected during a rainstorm.The problem of scurvy was not satisfactorily solved by Europeans until Nelson turned British sailors into ‘limeys’. and to store fresh supplies of Vitamin C. and they even kept the water cool by floating the bamboos in the seawater below the decks joining their double canoes. or calabash. The problem of fresh fruit and vegetables was even more difficult. None of these techniques was dependable. as anyone who has been at sea in a storm will know. This decomposition is at its most rapid in the warmth of the tropics. many millennia before the days of steel tanks and refrigeration. Farming and Us . Yet the Austronesian sailors did manage to store water fit to drink. And the problem of storing fresh water had to wait for the industrial revolution. and the manufacture of steel tanks. by feeding them lime juice. A lack of Vitamin C causes scurvy. But pure water tends to rot these containers. but pottery must be glazed if it is to hold water for extended periods. pottery is fragile stuff. gourd. The problem of storing water was crucial.

and it has large nuts that are well protected with fibrous coir. These small nuts do not survive floating on seawater. This vitamin. subcutaneous bleeding. because cooking destroys Vitamin C. the modern alternative of synthetic ascorbic acid was unavailable. This produce must be fresh. These nuts can survive a fall from a tall palm. whenever the lack of Vitamin C was prolonged. which provides both drinking water and Vitamin C. they die after a few days. The coconut is possibly one of the oldest plant domestications of all. It is a dwarf palm with small nuts that are easy to reach. (North American hunter-gatherers obtained Vitamin C during the winter from dried rose hips. The domesticated coconut is the equivalent of a modern drinkdispensing machine. The wild-type palm is tall. in a living container that can be preserved unopened for months. and slow healing. scurvy led to the death of many European sailors. which is needed daily. The Austronesian sailors solved both of these problems with the coconut (Cocos nucifera). In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.loosening of the teeth. Sailors who lack fresh fruit and vegetables die after a few weeks. Equally obvious. aching joints. and to open. Without fresh water. Even if the Austronesians had had the means of bottling or canning fruit. can be obtained only from fresh fruit and vegetables. it would not have served their purpose. to pick. but the Austronesians obviously did not have this source).Page 474 . and they can float unharmed on seawater for months. which do not keep for long without refrigeration. Farming and Us . easy bruising.

The coconut enabled sailors to sail across oceans. sandy beaches where the seed is dispersed naturally by floating on seawater. There is enough fresh water in the seed to allow the first leaf to grow and to start photosynthesising. the rare double coconut (Lodoicea maldivica). and the agricultural cultivation of that crop. and it coincides quite closely with the centre of origin of the Austronesian family of languages. even on the shoreline. This reserve of water allows the seed to germinate on dry. or dying of scurvy. the common coconut is the largest seed in the world.Page 475 . and thin near the shore.The centre of origin of the coconut is in the general area of Singapore. But. without dying of thirst. The Austronesian boats could not carry large numbers of people. But it did not depend on a wave of advance. and it is the only seed that carries its own supply of fresh water. This effect results from the fact that coral is porous. Like the spread of the Indo-European family of languages. This floating fresh water is roughly in the shape of a lens that is thick inland. and rainwater floats on the heavier seawater inside the porous rock. The Austronesian plant was crucial in quite a different way. and to permit a root to grow down to the fresh water lens of the Ghyben-Herzberg effect. of the kind that occurred with the cultivation of wheat as a staple food. there is enough fresh water to support the growth of coconuts. the spread of the Austronesian family of languages thus depended on a crop. the longer the journey. because there was Farming and Us . Except for its close relative. the fewer the people. Obvious ly. which occurs only in some of the islands of the Indian Ocean.

and their genes. They could stay and be exterminated by hostile indigenous people. as colonisers among friendly. or coastal navigation. Farming and Us . the Austronesians could establish their language. of course. In any of these circumstances. It follows that any boatload of people arriving on a strange shore would be. Or they could stay. only in uninhabited islands. the founder population had three possible courses of action. or Africa. These islands. in which superior numbers moved into areas of low population density. South America. for trading purposes. at most. they were the very opposite of the wave of advance model. The Austronesian boat people represented migrating inferior numbers being swamped by superior indigenous numbers. and the thousands of smaller. indigenous people. They could stay only briefly. Consequently. uninhabited islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. but far more numerous. and survive. such as the Melanesian Islands. But in this last case their language and their genes would be completely swamped by superior numbers. such as Madagascar or New Zealand. and then leave. these small boat populations could not spread their language into land that was already inhabited. a relatively small founder population. However.Page 476 . In this sense. Papua New Guinea. If that distant shore was already inhabited. were uninhabited because they could not be reached by migrant peoples who depended on walking. Australia.a limit to the number of coconuts and cooking fuel that could be carried. this argument does not explain how the large islands of the Philippines and Indonesia came to be inhabited by Austronesians.

in Hispaniola. off the Coast of Virginia. failed to establish themselves in Newfoundland in about 1000AD. In a few instances. small islands that were originally inhabited may have lost their hunter-gatherer populations entirely because. The English had a similar experience when Walter Raleigh left a colony of English people on Roanoke Island. were exterminated by hostile Caribs. Had the coconut Farming and Us . Even in a good environment. It is noteworthy that other small founder populations also failed to establish themselves on territory that was already inhabited. The Vikings. in 1587. they became too small to support such a life-style. Agriculturists. with rising sea levels at the end of the Ice Age. would not have been so restricted. And the first Spaniards left behind by Columbus. for example. but mainly because their predecessors had inadvertently introduced epidemic diseases that killed huge numbers of the indigenous people. Europeans established themselves in the New World partly because of superior weapons and armour. arriving later. A small island that had been greatly reduced in size could support only a few huntergatherers who would eventually die out because of starvation and inbreeding problems. We must note also that the development of the Austronesian navigational skills depended entirely on the environment. These people simply disappeared.Page 477 . hunter-gatherers require about one square mile of land to support one adult.The most plausible explanation is a wave of advance with paddy rice farming that would have swamped indigenous hunter-gatherers.

But the presence or absence of the coconut was crucial. The genetic differences between Austronesians. or the Americas.Page 478 . and they would have felt population pressures more keenly than people living on large continents. There was a high density of islands in the Caribbean. they lived on islands. and Africans are trivial. it is clear that environment is more important than people in the growth of human culture. until Europeans took them there in the sixteenth century. Amerindians.not existed. and their industrial and scientific skills. First. and the Austronesian family of languages would have had a very limited distribution today. navigational Farming and Us . the Austronesians faced two factors that further stimulated their sailing skills. With all their civilisation. they were surrounded by thousands of islands waiting to be colonised. Alternatively. and the rice growers of China. their growth of cities. Second. it took them several millennia to catch up to the navigational achievements of the Austronesians. also lacked the coconut. The other two were navigation and storms. This density of islands did not exist in either the western Indian Ocean or the eastern Atlantic. the long-distance sailing would never have occurred. Coconuts did not reach the Atlantic. The coconut thus solved two of the problems of ocean sailing. The wheat farmers of Europe. Once again. had the centre of origin of the coconut been in the tropical Atlantic. the boat design would never have been developed. However. but there were no coconuts. As we have seen. or Africans might have developed these navigational skills. Amerindians.

in Fiji. The deck of these double canoes was large enough to have a cabin. This was a relatively small boat. constructed in 1913. they had several kinds of boat. its range was severely limited. rather than a ship’s cabin. The problem of storms was solved by the superb design of their boats. holding some eighty men. and which were entirely different from either the Chinese or the European ocean-going ships. They took 3-7 years to build. and could carry several hundred crew and passengers. it was used mainly for exploration and trade. The last of these double canoes to be built by the traditional craftsmen was the Ratu Finau. in the sense of a house. to steer the canoe. and no permanent method of recording their knowledge. As this canoe was powered by paddles. which was similar to a large catamaran. One was the war canoe. Another boat was the long-range double canoe. The double canoe was powered by wind.Page 479 . worked with human muscle. and there was a hold below the deck that Farming and Us . It required several men. passed down by teaching from generation to generation by people who had no writing. having up to three masts and sails.problems were solved by sheer memory. Although it too could be used as a warship. which were essentially tropical in design. The rudder was carved from one tree and it was up to ninety feet long. with the help of rope stays. These double canoes were very sea-worthy and they could sail into the wind if necessary. Once the Austronesian sailing skills were fully developed. which is now preserved in the Suva Museum. The largest of them were over a hundred feet long. There was also a bed of gravel for a cooking fire.

and large enough to carry a dozen head of cattle. well before the time of Christ. the Asian yam.spanned the two canoes. Other food. Even more remarkable was the regular trade in cinnamon from Java. The bed of gravel was large enough to roast a whole pig. the only factor that seriously limited the duration of a sea voyage was the size of the cargo of coconuts. At that time. as propagating material. This hold was deep enough for a man to stand upright. No one can accuse these wonderful people of being backward or unintelligent. There was also a regular trade in cloves from the Spice Islands (which are to the east of Java) to China. and as an aphrodisiac. These Austronesian navigators also took the banana. The modern inhabitants of Madagascar are descended from these early navigators.E. Asia to Madagascar. just because they lacked a major staple. The banana and Asian yam later became important food plants in much of Africa. which provided Vitamin C. directly across the Indian Ocean.Page 480 . and food as well as drink. to Madagascar. with Farming and Us . Apparently. Madagascar was an uninhabited island. in the form of fish. where they were highly prized as a culinary delicacy. And their language belongs to the Austronesian family of languages. and had not developed cities. Ancient Austronesian maritime trade included the collecting of sea cucumbers in northern Australia. and rice. The cinnamon was destined for the markets of ancient Rome. for sale in China. with some mixing of Arab and African genes in the western parts of the island. from S. was usually plentiful.

probably had little choice in the matter. They also have an ancient tradition of growing rice in the Asian manner. It was only a fortunate few who found uninhabited islands. It is clear that the people who set out in what. were very small boats. This extreme measure was forced on them by shortages of food. in the course of time. in flooded paddies. covering thousands of miles of open ocean in these small boats. that develop with over-crowding and food shortages. Austronesian exploration journeys were made with the primary objective of finding new. for us. after a typhoon had destroyed crops.Page 481 . It was almost certainly that third brutal law of nature that induced these people to undertake those incredibly dangerous and risky migrations. and by the appalling social pressures. their descendants would also reproduce beyond the carrying capacity of their limited island environment. and internal hostilities. uninhabited islands for colonisation. Early European explorers have described some of the horrors of over-population on small Pacific islands. The principle method of birth control was infanticide. to find other islands. Knowledge of this highly productive method of cultivating rice did not reach mainland Africa until quite recently. and who became founder populations. particularly of girls. and the Farming and Us . The incentive for these journeys was almost certainly pressure of population on the home island. and their chances of survival were not good. possibly aggravated by a famine.some mixing of Arab and African words. Tragically.

tragedy of over-population. no long distance navigation. it is known by Farming and Us . not waterless) islands left in either the Pacific or the Indian Oceans. at that time. In all these areas. They took kumara to all their islands. would be repeated. To this day.Page 482 .e. again and again. the New World languages are entirely outside the Austronesian family of languages. These explorers brought back the sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) which. hence. In the eastern extremity of their travels. it would be a mistake to conclude that the people of the South Pacific islands originated in South America because. deserted. the New World had no coconuts. at least one Polynesian exploration journey reached South America. Austronesian exploration was so effective that. and as far as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. at that time. Furthermore. the Portuguese took the sweet potato from the West Indies to both West and East Africa. and. no ocean-going boats. This artificial distribution of sweet potatoes provides the only really convincing evidence in support of Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki postulation that ancient people had contact between continental South America and the islands of the South Pacific. there were few desert (i. the very name Polynesian means ‘many islands’ and it is indicative of the thoroughness of their exploration. to India. However. by the time of European ocean travel. Indeed. including New Zealand. and outrageous behaviour. Polynesians refer to the sweet potato by its north Peruvian name of kumara. well before the arrival of Europeans. occurred only in the Americas.. In the early sixteenth century.

and Madagascar speak the Western sub-division. spoke the eastern sub-division.its Caribbean name of batatas. There appear to be two reasons for this remarkable disparity. Austronesians who are living on large islands. on the other hand. and rice cultivators have been producing it for several millennia. undertaken by three quite different groups of people. Indonesia. such as the Philippines. The Spanish. and the large islands permitted large total populations. and the water supply Farming and Us . Austronesians living originally on small coral islands. These people cultivate rice in flooded paddies. from Acapulco. with their galleon trade. in Mexico. Paddy rice has high yields. and the English word ‘potato’ is a corruption of this Caribbean word. Rice culture thus permitted high population densities. but only one million people speak the eastern sub-division. Some two hundred million people speak the western sub-division. Rice paddies are not possible on these islands because the coral bedrock is too porous. based on three quite separate places of origin in the New World tropics. to Manila. where it is known by its Mexican name of camote. in the Philippines. took the sweet potato across the Pacific. The Austronesian family of languages thus has three entirely different names for this exotic food crop. It is also worth noting that the Austronesian family of languages is divided into the western and the eastern sub-divisions.Page 483 . and several quite distinct journeys of trade or exploration.

rather than the quality of the people. Their population densities remained relatively low. and their culture. their language. consequently died out among the people speaking the eastern sub-division of the Austronesian family of languages. When these people did manage to colonise larger islands. Hawaii. that determined the spread of their population. These language dispersals are described in some detail because they emphasise that it was quality of the environment. they had already lost both the knowledge and the germplasm of the rice crop.Page 484 .is inadequate. and their small islands restricted their total population. at a later date. and the nature of the plants carried by that environment. their genes. and New Zealand. The knowledge of rice cultivation. Farming and Us . to say nothing of the rice germplasm itself. such as Fiji.

This emphasis of the holistic approach is necessary in order to stress again that the development of civilisation depends on the environment. a high population density. oriental courts. hierarchies and authoritarianism. This interest in detail is often called the reductionist view. Different environments produced different plants suitable for domestication. view emphasises the overall similarities between civilisations.Page 485 . and which define that civilisation.10. taxation. All kinds of agriculture developed independently. social stratification. or holistic. and ancestor worship. the growth of cities. and to emphasise features that are unique to a single civilisation. Civilisation The Holistic Approach Historians and archaeologists tend to list the differences between civilisations. sedentism. with different species of crop in each case. And Farming and Us . These similarities include agriculture based on a major staple. but they were remarkably similar to each other in other respects. that said. But. slavery. every group of humans who possessed these differing plants behaved in a remarkably similar manner. prostitution. The converse. and not on the group of humans who happen to inhabit that environment. or the merological approach.

It is this specialisation. Civilisation Defined Civilisation can be defined very simply as the growth of cities. medicine. but was remarkably similar to every other civilisation. most of the populace are engaged in agriculture.every system of agriculture that possessed a major staple produced a civilisation. It involves everything that both contributes to. In the most industrialised countries. and there is a lot of specialisation. and they can specialise. professions. such as systems of law and order. Today. in the least industrialised countries of the world. government. and even war. architecture. With the growth of a city. and its large population crowded into a limited space. These liberated people can devote themselves to other activities. there are people with time to spare. the arts and crafts.Page 486 . and a system of government become Farming and Us . and emanates from. both a system of law. and there is relatively little specialisation. sciences. When only a proportion of the populace is able to supply the entire food requirements of a society. but doing it very well. trade. Each of these civilisations developed independently. education. very few of the populace are engaged in agriculture. in farming. Each of them can concentrate on doing only one thing. this growth. that is the definitive characteristic of both civilisation and the explosive growth of our culture. An essential feature of civilisation is that only a small proportion of a large population is occupied in food production. and the various manual and intellectual skills. religion.

is it possible for villages to become cities. This population density is possible only with agriculture. and that are also reliable. It is possible only if the agriculture involves one of those three major staples called wheat. and the human population density are crucial factors. or maize. Once again. could be only wheat. based on altruism. rice.Page 487 . Major Staples It is apparently indisputable that all the early citie s were based on a major staple.g. because virtually all the control was self-control. storable. with large numbers of surplus people available for specialisation. Then. Farming and Us . And it is possible only with certain kinds of agriculture. in terms of both land and labour. There was no need for a system of government within a hunter-gatherer band. And every individual was a generalist.essential.. when only minor staples (e. and for cities to become states. and maize. and an unselfish concern for others. in which every member of the band is bonded to every other member. because there was no need for specialisation. It is also indisputable that. nourishing. rice. This law and order is very different from the hunter-gatherer way of life. These are the only staples that are sufficiently productive. it was resolved by general discussion and consensus. as we have seen. The growth of cities depends on a large population. the carrying capacity of the environment. and only then. If a dispute did occur. who knew everything that was relevant to the band. and easily cooked. which. Various artisans and professionals could develop their spheres of activity only if there was law and order.

and their artefacts never did extend much beyond stone tools. millets) are available. In stark contrast. Farming and Us . bananas. and the behaviour of hunter-gatherers. It was also an increase that occurred very recently. sorghum. hunter-gatherers had temporary campsites only. clothing. and cave paintings. which is an insignificant period in terms of geological time. This represents an enormous increase in the carrying capacity of our environment. in the terms of the millions of years of our more recent genetic evolution. And it occurred very suddenly. yams.Page 488 . had an average population density that was 50-100 times greater than the population density of the hunter-gatherers. a mere nine thousand years ago. with its surrounding agricultural land. not genetic evolution.barley. potatoes. This increase was the result of cultural evolution. This type of farming is often known as subsistence agriculture. beautiful though many of these may be. the agriculture can produce village societies only. The sheer size of the city population produced extraordinary contrasts between the behaviour of city-dwellers. and it liberates few people for specialisation. These village societies are characterised by the fact that virtually every member of the village must engage in food production. baskets. High Population Densities An early city. taro. tents. particularly our altruism. It was also an increase that put a tremendous strain on our inherited behaviour strategies.

The Origins of Authoritarianism Hunter-gatherers. and their social organisation is based on love and trust relationships. that first produced such unpleasant social features as social classes. a major target for the further development of our civilisation must be the elimination of authoritarianism from our midst. are all bonded to each other within one band. There were simply too many people living in close proximity. as we have seen. Today. This is in sharp contrast to the dominance hierarchies and control relationships of the wild social primates. There was then a reversion to the dominance hierarchies of our wild primate relatives. For the first time.Page 489 . and slavery. and to exploit one another. altruism and co-operation. once the human population densities increased with agriculture. and with the distrust of individuals who were strangers. combined with authoritarianism. to deceive one another. We can do this successfully only if we completely conquer those three brutal laws of nature. individual humans. prostitution. involuntary labour. But. within one social group. This was a complete break with the social altruism that had evolved during the course of some two million years of Darwinian evolution. in the Farming and Us . Love relationships were quickly replaced with suspicion. began to control one another. It was the high population densities. it was impossible for everyone to bond with everyone. We must not allow our population to increase beyond the carrying capacity of our environment. We must ensure that every human individual has an equal share of the total environment. peasants.

they are practicable. They are nomads. Hunter-gatherers cannot store food in any quantity because most of the products of their hunting and gathering are perishable. till. as I hope this book will make clear. they would starve. They have no choice in this matter because. Sedentism Hunter-gatherers must be more or less constantly on the move. in fact. and the store. If cultivators left their crops or their stores unguarded for even a day. Farming and Us . are in exactly the opposite situation. and regionally. in their search for wild plants and animals to eat. to find daily grazing. they must guard both the crop. and then they would starve. and the growth of human culture. Furthermore. This necessity for cultivators of crops to remain in one place is called sedentism. above all. Cultivators of crops.Page 490 . who must move both locally.widest sense of this term. and harvest them. to find more distant areas of good grazing. And. They cannot leave the locality of their crops because they must sow. The same is true of the herders of domesticated animals. These aims may sound like an impossible dream but. if they stayed too long in one place. They must also store the harvest. against wild animals and human marauders. with the changing seasons. they would probably lose them. And we must increase the carrying capacity of our environment to ensure a high quality of life for every individual. weed. on the other hand. And it has had a profound effect on human society.

marine environment. Apparently. And it is not easy to hide an unguarded food store safely in a wild ecosystem. these environments were always marine or river shorelines. that otherwise develop only with Farming and Us . They were sedentary. examples of hunter-gatherer sedentism. and they had the high population densities. the oldest known pottery in the world dates from 11. Pre-Agricultural Sedentism There are a few. much earlier than the development of agriculture itself.Page 491 . and complex hierarchies. in the American Pacific Northwest also had a marine environment. Such fisher-people could develop several of the social attributes of agriculture. in spite of having no agriculture. This is because of a highly productive fishing industry. such as the Haida. Occasionally. and to increase their population density. an environment would be so rich in natural food resources that it enabled hunter-gatherers to remain permanently in one place. Similarly. permanent buildings. there is a strict limit to the amount of food they can carry from one camping ground to the next. where there was a singularly rich. and high population densities. which are the only wild ecosystems productive enough to support a sedentary human population without agriculture.000 BC. prehistoric. rather rare. For example. Amerindians.without pack animals. Dried salmon provided much of their food. and it comes from Japan.

of course. Liberation from Food Procurement Hunter-gatherers were all generalists. emotions. It is quite possible that this sharing of knowledge and experiences. This might explain why we seem to have an apparently inherited love of sitting round a campfire. Farming and Us . probably in wonderful discussions around campfires. is a cultural tradition that goes back to the dawn of language.agriculture. and experiences with friends. Authoritarians have no patience whatever with this habit.Page 492 . The elders knew most. apart from this. preferably after a good meal. and just talking. All of these sedentary societies depended on fish and. Like possessions. in campfire discussions. for their totem poles. on the cultural development of making fishing nets. It seems that this cultural development occurred repeatedly and independently in many different societies. in the sense that everyone knew everything that concerned their band. Non-authoritarians love to share their thoughts. which they are unable to understand. They are famous. simply because they had lived longest. It is also noteworthy that modern commercial fishing is the only important remnant of a hunter-gatherer food source to have survived in civilised societies. But. presumably. and had the most experience. and the phrase ‘bottom of the totem’ is a clear indication of hierarchy. knowledge was shared. all the knowledge of the group was available to everyone. just as the discovery of agriculture occurred repeatedly and independently.

This effect would be further magnified by farming near a large river. becomes a permanent village for cultivators. initially.Once agriculture started. Farming and Us . And what would be a mere campsite for hunter-gatherers. Because a large village is stronger and more secure than a small one. and the growth of cities. the population density soared. What would be a temporary shelter for hunter-gatherers. these societies developed repeatedly. and by using irrigation. Permanent Buildings Perhaps the most conspicuous consequence of living in a fixed location is that people can erect permanent buildings. This more advanced agriculture was productive enough to liberate many people from food production. and independently. It was only with the domestication of the major staples that agricultural productivity would support really large populations. because of the domestication of many different species of plant into minor staples. and to permit specialisation. however. particularly as agricultural productivity increased. it led to village societies only. in many different parts of the world. This was the pre-city level of agricultural productivity and.Page 493 . This specialisation was a sharp move away from the generalism of the hunter-gatherers. As we have seen. there would be a tendency for the size of villages to increase. and cultivators do not want to migrate unless they absolutely have to. becomes a permanent house for cultivators.

hunter-gatherers could have erected permanent buildings.Page 494 . fired bricks. such as a thatched roof on mud and wattle walls. The only permanence about their campsites might have been an arrangement of hearthstones. which they would re-visit periodically in the course of their seasonal migrations. and they did not stay in one place long enough. These cultural developments required millennia for their proper development. thatch. painting. If these buildings are tents. masonry. These skills resulted from the pressing need for shelter for thousands of people living in one place.Hunter-gatherers can have temporary buildings only. Hunter-gatherers did not develop architecture because they had no great need for it. this was probably impossible because there were not enough people in a single band to undertake this sort of activity. plastering. are still in use in the tropics today. in practice. and so on. preferably in a cave. Mathematics possibly developed also from Farming and Us . if one was handy. and some of the early techniques. and the various associated technologies of mud and wattle. because they are always on the move. Mathematics With the development of architecture. they must be light enough to carry for quite long distances. a knowledge of mathematics became essential. tile roofing. carving. carpentry. But. mud brick. In theory. Architecture The need for permanent buildings led to the development of architecture.

This is where the dial of modern clocks comes from. and developed it according to their needs. a basic number of eight. The original Mesopotamian mathematics was based on the numbers five and twelve. to the best of our knowledge. in twelve subdivisions of five minutes each. These are the five fingers of one hand. the so-called ‘new math’.the study of astronomy and calendars (see below). and it led to the development of geometry. Every one of the original civilisations discovered mathematics. and base-eight mathematics. to say nothing of the simple counting of people and taxes. many”. but necessity is the mother of all invention.Page 495 . Farming and Us . independently of all the others. they neither needed. nor discovered significant aspects of it. is a superior system. The limits of their mathematical knowledge often consisted of counting with only three numbers: “One. It was only much later that the ten fingers of both hands became our basic number in the decimal system. two. and their product. The growth of cities necessitated both calendars and architecture. and twelve hours of either day or night. with sixty minutes to the hour. Hunter-gatherers had no necessity for mathematics and. As we now appreciate. which is sixty. and the twelve lunar months in one year. Mathematics has often been called the most perfect form of human thought. but architecture required a rather different kind of mathematics. These basic figures of five and twelve apparently derive from the most fundamental numbers of all.

They must measure the exact spot on the horizon where the sun either rises or sets each day. Nor do they need to.Solar Calendars The necessity of remaining in one place also led to important developments in astronomy.Page 496 . Nomads were compelled to use a lunar calendar because they were quite incapable of developing a solar calendar. Unfortunately. and it is so revered and loved that it is still widely used. Such a calendar depends absolutely on people remaining in one place. until the next harvest is available. The lunar calendar is thus the oldest by far. It is the religious calendar in Islam. Both farmers and city dwellers must also be able to calculate how many more days a dwindling store of food must last. It still prevails in the Judaic religion. Farming and Us . based on the waxing and waning of the moon. and it was important for millennia in China. for example. They can then formulate a solar calendar that is very reliable. it is also an inaccurate calendar because a year of twelve lunar months is out of phase with the solar year by eleven days. This does not matter very much to hunter-gatherers. Farmers require accurate timing of various activities ranging from the sowing to the harvesting of their crops. From this. and they used a lunar calendar. but it is of considerable concern to agriculturists. they can determine the summer and winter solstices with great accuracy. as well as some of the festivals in the Christian religion. Hunter-gatherers and herders were nomads. Huntergatherers and cattle herders cannot remain in one place for long enough to develop a solar calendar.

It was invented. In its day. the Indus and Chinese River Valleys. which is the peak of the megalithic tradition. and the Americas. sedentism. this monument may also have been a simple analogue computer that would predict eclipses. As we have seen. Egypt. and an accurate solar calendar could have built such a structure. for its time. is a megalithic passage grave dating from about 3. And most of them independently. in Ireland. surplus labour. and ingeniously. Pottery Pottery came into general use with the development of farming and. the Mayan calendar was possibly the most sophisticated of them all.It is notable that all the societies that cultivated wheat. Farming and Us . at the time of the winter solstice. above all. All the original civilisations. Among other things. in the Boyne Valley. or maize developed solar calendars. Newgrange. it measured eternity in cycles of millions of years. It has a shaft that allows direct sunlight to enter on only one day of the year. with a sedentary existence. This day represents the birth of the New Year. independently developed their own solar calendars. There is little doubt that this monument defined the solar cale ndar with great precision. Only people who had agricult ure.200 BC. Mesopotamia. developed a system for coordinating the lunar calendar with the solar calendar. rice. The same can be said of Stonehenge which. involved highly complex mathematics. in the Mediterranean.Page 497 . independently.

For people who live permanently in one place. Unfortunately. in sedimentary layers. relative to each other. wine. But pottery is rather heavy. by many different people. Every human group was capable of inventing pottery if the need for it existed. for this reason. for serving and eating food. The use of pottery is thus a clear indication of sedentism.Page 498 . also provides a system of dating.and repeatedly. The unlimited variety of pottery styles and ornamentation provides an accurate identification of each group of people who made pottery. and cheese. for cooking. pottery is extremely useful. The position of these various pottery shards. and used pottery. Weaving The first weaving probably involved fish nets and baskets. in many different parts of the world. the products of weaving are perishable and we lack all archaeological evidence as to when weaving first started and how it Farming and Us . manufactured. as they move from place to place. For this reason. they are one of the archaeologist’s most valuable tools. and for fermenting beer. it is not very useful for hunter-gatherers who have to carry all their possessions with them. and it is fragile stuff. The enormous variety of styles indicates the many different cultures that discovered. for storing both grain and liquids. Broken pottery shards are virtually indestructible and. usually quite independently of each other. This is further supporting evidence for the contention that civilisation depends on the environment.

the development of writing marks the boundary between pre-history and history. they were much more useful than pottery. And. Farming and Us . Human memory is fallible. worse. instead of pre-history. and both the history and the poetry were liable to become corrupted or. however. Until recently. History was passed down from generation to generation. Before the development of writing. and to teach it to the next generation. great poetry depended on bards to remember it. Belize. apart from its numerous. The essential feature of writing is that it produces a permanent record. the study of the Mayan civilisation has become history. Indeed. Now that its pictographic writing has been deciphered. and the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico. records depended entirely on human memory. the Chinese word for civilisation is the same as their word for writing. A dramatic example of this transition comes from the ancient Mayan civilisation. Accordingly. The production of cloth for clothing may have commenced much earlier than we realise. Writing Writing also developed out of the growth of cities. Baskets were particularly useful to hunter-gatherers when they were collecting small items such as berries and nuts. this civilisation was a prehistoric one because we knew little about it. which covered most of Guatemala. to be forgotten completely. verbally. being light. Equally.Page 499 .developed. as folklore. ruined stone buildings and cities.

A similar story can be told of ancient Egypt, and the decipherment of its two scripts by Jean François Champillion, from the Rosetta stone. The script of the ancient Minoans in Crete, called Linear B, was deciphered by Michael Ventris but, unfortunately, the surviving texts contain little of historical interest. Originally, writing was used almost entirely for making quite banal records of stores, taxes, and payments in kind, and this is why the surviving examples of the Linear B script are largely uninteresting. The earlier Linear A script has not been deciphered but it is thought to be more of the same. Later, as literacy became common, writing was used to make public announcements and memorials, often of king’s names and achievements, but also of codes of law. Writing also began to be used for recording poetry, as well as for diplomacy, and other forms of communication. Scholars also began to make permanent records of their work, whether it was history, philosophy, medicine, geometry, or geography. Some of these ancient scholarly works have survived to this day and, clearly, they could not have done so without writing. Another aspect of writing was that it provided an increased control of a large population. It could accurately transmit a despot’s commands to the most remote corners of an empire. It could also impose uniformity of law, as well as uniformity of belief, throughout a large empire. None of the great religions could have spread as they did without writing. Nor could they have endured unchanged for as long as they did without writing.

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Hunter-gatherers do not develop writing because their need for it is largely absent. However, some of their cave art, particularly the silhouettes of hands, with one or more fingers bent, may have served as coded messages to other bands.

Ownership With the development of permanent buildings would come the concepts of individual ownership, individual wealth, and the inheritance of that wealth. Hunter-gatherers and herders cannot accumulate much in the way of possessions because everything they own must go where they go, and they cannot carry very much. Because they own so little, they have only a rudimentary concept of ownership. Their altruism also ensures a frequent giving of gifts and, for this reason, no individual possesses anything for very long. But a secure house in a secure village can hold many possessions, including domestic animals and harvested grain. Other possessions would include tools, as well as clothing, bedding, furniture, adornments, and cult objects. Also possible, although probably rare at that early stage, was the concept of the individual ownership of land. This is a concept that is incomprehensible to hunter-gatherers who do, however, have a strongly developed sense of communal territory. Property and possessions contribute to the sense of a social hierarchy. Wealth, after all, is a status symbol, and a source of power. The higher social ranks were always wealthy, because they had the authority Farming and Us - Page 501

and the means to exploit all ranks lower than their own. There was thus a wealth hierarchy, which corresponded very closely with the social hierarchy, and the control hierarchy. The despotic king was usually the richest of them all. And the lowest peasant owned nothing. The lowest possible social stratum was the slave. He not only owned nothing. He was himself owned by someone else. There was a similar hierarchy of land ownership. The monarch would have been lord of huge estates. The aristocracy would normally have had fewer and smaller estates. The peasants, on the other hand, might not even own the land they farmed. Many of them would have been serfs, tied to the land, and bought and sold with that land.

Legal Systems Hunter-gatherers have a strong sense of justice, but no legal system. Their justice depends on a very real form of democracy, consisting of an open-ended discussion among the entire band, and all members of the band are entitled to ‘have their say’. Eventually, consensus is reached and, with the resolution of the conflict, both the aggrieved and the offender accept that conclusion. This is true anarchy (Greek = without government), in the original and best sense of the word. However, with the high population densities of cities and states, a more formal legal system, with a code of law, and courts of justice, became essential. The oriental despot, the alpha male, might make the laws, and act as the final arbiter, but there was no way that he could handle Farming and Us - Page 502

every civil dispute and criminal prosecution in the land. Hence the need for legal and judicial systems.

Sanitation Like any wild animal, hunter-gatherers defecate and urinate when and where they please. With the development of agriculture, sedentism, the growth of cities, and high population densities, however, this behaviour obviously became anti-social. It also became positively dangerous, because of the risk of epidemics. All ancient cities had systems of collecting sanitary waste, and this was usually considered work for the lowest of slaves. This human waste, referred to as ‘night soil’, was often utilised as manure on agricultural fields. In the absence of soap, the urine from the public urinals might also be used to remove the grease from raw wool, and it was an essential part of the fuller’s trade. The cities of the Indus Valley civilisation, such as Mohenjo-Daro, were the first to develop sanitary sewers. Irrigation of crops is usually regarded as one of the main reasons for locating a city on a river, and so too is river transport. But using the river for the disposal of sewage may also have been a consideration of major importance as, for example, in ancient Babylon. Taxes As the agricultural population increased, and the new cities began to grow, the government would become more sophisticated, and taxation Farming and Us - Page 503

would be required. Originally, before the days of money, taxation took one of two forms. People could pay their taxes either in non-perishable farm produce, such as grain for the public granaries, or in the form of corvée labour (see below). Obviously, both forms of taxation were possible only with agriculture, because they involved either large quantities of grain, or large numbers of people. But, clearly, this taxation was necessary only with the large populations of cities. Hunter-gatherers had no need whatever for taxation. Corvée Labour Corvée labour is requisitioned labour, and it is named after the French labour statute that existed until 1776. This kind of labour has also been called involuntary labour, and it was unpaid labour exacted as tax. It was usually enforced by the military and, obviously, it was unpopular. This was a very ancient form of taxation, which became possible only with the large populations that resulted from agriculture, and with the growth of organised states. It was normally exacted during the agricultural slack season and, no doubt, one of its many purposes was to keep idle hands occupied. Nevertheless, it was very inexpensive, and very productive. For the first time, monumental public works, that were not previously possible, began to be constructed. The earliest of these were the megalithic monuments of western and southern Europe, many of which had astronomical functions, possibly associated with some form of religion that probably involved ancestor worship linked to a gravesite. Farming and Us - Page 504

There was no way that hunter-gatherers, or even herders, could make use of corvée labour, because their numbers were too low, and their society was too liberal. Their population density was a mere 2%, or less, of the population density of the agriculturists, and their numbers were quite inadequate. Furthermore, their society was based on trust and love relationships, and no individual had the power, or the authority, to compel something as unpopular as corvée labour. Possibly for religious motives, and on an entirely voluntary basis, some pre-agriculturists might have built quite large structures, such as burial mounds. However, apparently without exception, all the megalithic, and other large Neolithic structures, post-date the discovery of agriculture.

Public Granaries Every ancient city had public granaries. These were necessary to hold the grain supplied as taxes. They were also necessary to feed all the people who were specialising in non-agricultural activities. These granaries had to be very well built to prevent theft. This theft might involve people, but it also involved rats and mice. This was probably the time when cats were domesticated. If possible, the granaries also had to be airtight in order to keep out oxygen, and thereby prevent destruction of the grain by insects. This was often achieved by sealing the grain in large jars, of the kind big enough to hide each of the forty thieves in the tale of Ali Baba. And the granaries obviously had to be waterproof to keep the grain dry and free of moulds. Farming and Us - Page 505

Hunter-gatherers did not build granaries because they had no architecture, and no agriculture. They also had insufficient gathered food to justify a store which, in any event, they were unable to guard. And most of their gathered and hunted foods were perishable. Being only semi-nomadic, the Amerindians of North America used to hide their maize harvests in rock shelters, while they went on hunter-gathering forays that might last for weeks or even months. Sad to relate, the Pilgrim Fathers, good Christians one and all, had no compunction whatever about stealing these hidden food reserves, whenever they could find them. The Pilgrim Fathers were supposedly civilised, but they were also very authoritarian, and they behaved accordingly, with a deplorable lack of compassion and concern. The hunter-gathering Amerindians were supposedly uncivilised, but they were non-authoritarian hunter-gatherers who were agricultural amateurs. They must have been profoundly shocked at the outlandish behaviour of these foreign invaders. Militarism A recruitment of involuntary labour, similar to the recruitment of corvée labour, would occur during times of war, with the conscription of large armies. As a consequence, armies steadily became larger, and warfare became increasingly difficult, demoralising, dangerous, and destructive. This long and continuing trend culminated in the horrors of World War II and weapons of terror and mass destruction. It is to be hoped Farming and Us - Page 506

that humankind has finally learnt its lesson, and that war is now so dangerous, and so destructive, that it is on the point of being finally abandoned. It was the high population densities, which permitted corvée labour, that also permitted large disciplined armies, with all the men acting in unison. The control of the army was hierarchical and authoritarian. This control, and this power, produced the military mind, with its insistence on the importance of the military, and its incessant claims on the public purse. There is nothing new about the industrial-military complex. Throughout history, military commanders have also been frequently tempted to abuse their power, in order to interfere in government, always on the side of authoritarianism and conservatism. The possession of a large army allowed both just and unjust wars. That is, it allowed both defence against hostile neighbours, and the conquest of innocent neighbours. Conquest of neighbours would be followed by their incorporation into an empire or, more brutally, their enslavement or, most vicious of all, their extermination by genocide. Innumerable populations must have been destroyed in the past, along with their languages, and their cultures, leaving no trace whatever behind them. The entire motivation towards both defensive and offensive war resulted from over-population problems. Without over-population pressures, there would have been little urge to fight and conquer, and little need for defence. All warfare is the direct consequence of that third brutal

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law of nature, which makes our populations exceed the carrying capacity of their environment. There were strict limits to the amount of conquest, set mainly by distance, and the two related factors of communication and the marching of men. These limits were seen at their maximum with Alexander the Great in India, and Napoleon in Moscow. But these feats were quite exceptional, and empires that endured were usually much smaller than this. To some extent, these limits set by distance could be reduced by the use of horses but horses always seemed to be in short supply, compared with the numbers of people. The rapid transport of men was also possible in ships, and this made navies important to maritime nations. Hunter-gatherers, herders, and small agricultural villages cannot have these large armies because they have too few men. This is not to say that there were no battles, because population pressures affected huntergatherers, herders, and village-level agricult urists also. With these people, warfare was rather like the battles that occur to this day in Amazonia and Papua New Guinea. These battles are almost a sport, although a rather rough sport, in which a few players are likely to get injured, or even killed. But disputes are settled, and they remain settled. Conversely, the really huge armies of Napoleon, and the two World Wars, became possible only with the population increases that occurred in Europe, after the introduction of maize, potatoes, and beans from the New World. Napoleon earned his place in history at the cost three million soldiers killed. Eight million soldiers were killed in World War I, Farming and Us - Page 508

and even more people were killed in World War II. It should be added that these population increases were assisted by important advances in medical science, in the nineteenth century, mainly with the work of Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.

Fortifications With agriculture, and high population densities, warfare became far more dangerous. Very often, the defence was static, with fortifications. The most spectacular fortification ever built was the Great Wall of China. Some empires were blessed with natural fortifications, and they probably existed for this very reason. Egypt, for example, was surrounded by either sea or desert, and its civilisation was confined to the banks of the Nile. Nomads never have fortifications. At the most, they might surround their camp with thorn branches, but this would be a defence primarily against wild carnivores. Hunter-gatherers and herders normally have only natural defences such as mountains and rivers. Artificial fortification is a consequence of both sedentism and the growth of architecture. All the first cities were well defended, either with artificial fortifications, or with natural defences. The Aztec double city of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco was built on an island in Lake Texcoco, and it was linked to the mainland by five easily defended causeways. Similarly, Minoan Crete was surrounded by sea. Indeed, good natural defences were probably a prerequisite in the growth of all the early cities. Farming and Us - Page 509

11. That Third Brutal Law of Nature

Our Failure to Defeat that Third Brutal Law It is quite clear that it was their intelligence that enabled our ancestors to overcome the first brutal law of nature. By migrating out of the tropics, and using cultural developments to adapt to colder climates, they dramatically increased their total environment. They also overcame the second brutal law of nature and, by learning to scavenge, to hunt, and to become meat-eaters, they increased the carrying capacity of their environment. Much later, they became herders and farmers, and they succeeded in increasing the carrying capacity of their environment many times over. However, to this day, that third brutal law of nature is still defeating us. We continue to reproduce in excess of our total environment, and there is now no unoccupied, habitable land left for surplus people to colonise. During the past two centuries, the world population has been increasing geometrically. That is, the rate of increase has itself been increasing. Our agricultural production has had to be increased accordingly but it is doubtful whether we can continue to increase it at this rate. This rather horrible prospect is known as the world food problem. Very soon,

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we shall be compelled to curb our population growth. eventually. and it does little to relieve the existing Farming and Us . and in spite of our apparently unlimited ability to increase that carrying capacity in the past. Space travel involves small founder populations only. oxygen and. even if we manage to develop space travel. But. There really is an ultimate limit to the carrying capacity of our environment. we have to curb our population growth. Long before that. making use of new techniques that are predictable but still undiscovered or undeveloped. fresh water. brutally and decisively. These factors include shortages of fossil fuel. Sooner or later. Think what our society would be like with seven people for every one who is alive now. Some ecclesiastics. standing room on the planet. in spite of our intelligence. People often suggest that we can solve the over-crowding problem by migrating to other planets. argue that the world can hold forty billion people. But then other environmental factors are likely to become limiting. various kinds of pollution will have made our planet uninhabitable. timber. This is utter nonsense. who consider the use of contraceptives evil. and preferably sooner. This is where genetic engineering may become important. and space living. this will not solve our problem. We may be able to increase food supplies in other ways. sufficiently to colonise other planets that might be made habitable. otherwise nature will curb it for us. and anyone who believes otherwise is living in a fool’s paradise.Page 511 .

or even millions. if such a disaster should occur. hence. nasty. there is little doubt that this is now the only alternative left to us. it would grievously damage society. Another possibility. such a move would defeat the pair bonding role of human sexuality and. once each parent had produced the permissible number of children. if we do not want to lose our civilisation in a welter of over-crowding. pollution. Indeed. our lives will once again become “. If we do not stabilise our population growth soon. possibly billions. poor . however sincere their family planning convictions may be. apparently employed in the past. millions. society.population pressures on our own planet. of people are likely to die of starvation. and starvation. It follows that we must control the size of our own population. And. even if it were feasible. Primitive human societies could do little in the way of family planning when over-crowding and starvation became grim realities..solitary. The most obvious method is to abstain from sex. But it is entirely unrealistic to expect an entire human population to do this. Over-population is still the most important problem facing the human species. and short”. There can be no question of moving billions.Page 512 . Indeed. is to allow only late marriages.. This is one of the most horrible ways of dying. Farming and Us . of people to another planet. We will have failed to conquer that third brutal law of nature. brutish. Some would argue that this welter has already started. But this too can damage pair bonds and.

it is usually the female foetuses that are aborted in this way and. tragically. if the foetus is the wrong sex.Infanticide was the most common method of restricting family size in days gone by and. in times of scarcity and danger. These genetic relationships will disappear. in parts of India and China. and suffocated. family friends will become surrogate brothers and sisters. and cousins. In mediaeval times. The government in China is trying to reduce population pressures by insisting on one-child families. quite apart from one’s views on abortion. No one could prove that this was not an accident. Obviously. boy children are more valuable than girls. aunts and uncles. In a modern distortion of infanticide. because they are future warriors who can both defend their territory and. this atavistic preference for boy children has remained widespread to this day. perhaps. indeed essential. when the entire family slept in one bed. as a result. but they will undoubtedly be replaced by social relationships. but it will have some curious social repercussions. the sex of an unborn foetus can now be determined and. There will be no brothers or sisters. it was usually the little girls who were killed. no aunts or uncles. and no cousins. it can be aborted. yet again. Sadly.Page 513 . infants would be over-laid. This will not make for a peaceful or happy society. Sadly. conquer their neighbours’ territory. that are the more significant. male children now out-number female children by nearly ten percent. In other words. This should reveal very clearly whether it is the genetic relationships. There is little doubt that this is necessary. or the social relationships. Farming and Us .

2 children. That minimum should be adequate to Farming and Us . each couple should be allowed the statistical 2. a new ethic. And we have increased the carrying capacity of that environment close to its limits also. it is downright dangerous. It is not just the Chinese who are answerable in this respect. For this reason. That all of us should be entitled to have as many children as we want is frankly absurd. It is entirely possible that a new morality. will develop from an ecological consideration of the human situation. We have increased our total environment to the utmost limits of the available. and unethical. habitable land. This is an entitlement that can be justified only if we are willing to abandon everything we understand by civilisation. and we want to return to the law of the jungle. That every normal human being should be entitled to have children is indisputable. Indeed. until such time as our population is the optimum size. it should be universally accepted that every couple in the world should be restricted to a single child. It is everyone. It is also the most fundamental contribution we can make to preserving our civilisation. and stop reproducing in excess of the current carrying capacity of our environment.The controlling of our population size is.Page 514 . If we are finally to escape the consequences of these first two brutal laws of nature. amoral. Every human individual should be entitled to a certain minimum share of the total environment. After that. we must vanquish the third brutal law also. beyond question. the most fundamental contribution we can make to further progress in our civilisation.

of course. is based on theft. Closely associated with this primitive belief. to say nothing about encouraging the spread of AIDS.Page 515 . It should be added. This was a basic tenet of the Nazi belief system. claiming more than their share of the total environment. The most prominent of these conservatives are the reactionaries of the Catholic Church. either directly or indirectly. Future Catholics are going to have a difficult time explaining how their Church could be so closed-minded that it encouraged population increases beyond the carrying capacity of our environment. in effect. for example. It will probably seem incredible to our descendants that. This is theft. This leads to Farming and Us . and by prohibiting the use of condoms. The Catholic Church is doing these things by prohibiting contraception. is the converse idea of reducing the numbers of your territorial competitors. Many societies believe that the best way to dominate your neighbours is to increase your own numbers as rapidly as possible. that the Catholic Church is by no means the only culprit in this regard. And it is doing so on the basis of an obscure argument that. to a non-Catholic biologist. can be described only as theological hair-splitting. pure and simple.provide a comfortable and healthy existence in peace and security. and it is still common among many of the tribes of Africa. The law of the jungle. however. Parents who produce children in excess of the permissible maximum are. at the beginning of the twenty first century. conservative thinkers were still opposing this simple and irrefutable logic. and on destructive competition that is ruthless to the point of killing your competitors.

Less obviously. keep trying to cure the symptoms. from pollution and over-crowding. More People The European explorations. It is not sufficiently appreciated that all of our current environmental and pollution problems are a consequence of our own over-population.Page 516 . Only male chauvinists will disagree with the feminist claim that a woman should have control of her own body. primitive. often losing as much as ninety Farming and Us . but equally important. Some extreme feminists also seem to think that the total land available for human habitation is unlimited. was the spread of human disease. produced some dramatic changes in various human environments. sincere though they may be.genocide. which has its roots in the same. perhaps. ecological competitiveness. which is discussed below. and not the cause. Sadly. Most notable. no one should be allowed to contribute to those pollution and starvation conditions by an irresponsible procreation. They insist that every woman has an absolute right to have as many children as she wants. But it is only the female chauvinists who are so egocentric as to claim more than their fair share of the environment. most modern environmentalists. initiated by the Portuguese and Spanish. No one has a right to bring children into a world where they are going to suffer. or even die. Old World diseases. The New World peoples were savagely reduced by the newly introduced. New Crops. and that the carrying capacity of that land is also unlimited.

and poultry were also significant. as were Old World crops. in other wars. Many of these increased numbers of Europeans emigrated to the largely vacant lands of the New World. Perhaps the most important introduction was that of cattle. and Australia . which are particularly valuable because they convert inedible grass into edible beef. for the first time. And the most Farming and Us . were wheat and sugarcane.Page 517 . This was seen first in the Napoleonic wars and. goats. later. surplus men provided the manpower needed for really large armies. there was an opposite effect. who died mainly from disease. Such numbers would have been inconceivable without the introduction of potatoes. southern Africa.percent of their populations. such as sheep. But the majority swelled the population density of Europe. Also. however. In Europe.000 of them returned. The most productive Old World crops. and of maize and beans to Southern Europe. led to a major increase in the carrying capacity of the environment. maize. and to huge population increases. World War I caused the death of eight million soldiers. The introduction of New World beans and potatoes to Northern Europe. from the point of view of human nutrition. and only 10. and provided an immense labour force that made the industrial revolution possible. and they were killed in quite horrifying numbers. A similar human increase occurred in the New World as a result of the introduction of Old World domesticates. But other meat-producing animals. Napoleon marched half a million men into Russia. The Crimean war cost another half million soldiers. pigs. and beans.

have failed dismally. such as malaria. we are unable to do Farming and Us . much as we might like to eliminate many of the pests and diseases of people. And we are very close to the deliberate. they were greatly influenced by cultural developments. Tragically. And. as a result of this conflict. and possibly as many again in the Far East. these deaths made little difference to the growth of the world population. total extermination of the leprosy pathogen. and the scientific control of human diseases. and crops. an uncivilised phenomenon re-appeared. However. and our own generation. During World War II. bananas. such as a scientific agriculture. in addition to the killing of soldiers. Forty million people were killed in Europe. Indeed. and soybeans. But concerted efforts to eliminate other human diseases. citrus. These factors of food availability. have managed to exterminate other species entirely. This was the deliberate killing of civilians. and populations increased accordingly. when attempting to eliminate another species deliberately. domestic animals. we have succeeded only once. These cultural developments produced further increases in the carrying capacity of the environment. were environmental influences.significant new crops from a commercial point of view were coffee. We have invariably done this unintentionally. Manmade Extinctions In the process of defeating those brutal laws of nature.Page 518 . and the presence or absence of disease. with the smallpox pathogen. both our forebears.

such as a giant wild sheep. Perhaps the most important of our unintentional extinctions were those that resulted from over-hunting.Page 519 . that used to roam all over Eurasia. In North America. that made excellent prey for human hunters. One of the most famous extinctions was that of the so-called Irish elk. is an example of the clash between Darwinian evolution and human cultural evolution. and the Clovis point culture disappeared. and was excellent prey. The cultural evolution is several orders of magnitude faster than the Darwinian evolution. there are fossils of many extinct species of large animals. potato beetles. The wild prey species were unable to cope with the rapidly increasing human population. rabies. and it became extinct in prehistoric times. to the point of a prey species becoming extinct. At the end of this period there were no large animals left. This animal had antlers with a span of up to twelve feet. using their beautiful stone spear points to hunt large animals. Some seventy species of large mammals Farming and Us . The growth of both the human population and its culture occurred so quickly that there was no time for the Darwinian evolution to adjust. which was really a moose. particularly in Irish bogs. There is little doubt that they are extinct because of human hunting. This over-hunting. and rose aphids. and its rapidly increasing cultural skills. mosquitoes. In East Africa. Think of the common cold. Hence its quite inappropriate name. rats and mice. the Clovis point people flourished for a thousand years. But its fossil antlers are still found occasionally.

It is noteworthy that the rate of extinction was highest in environments that were previously free of humans. Quite often. the dodo in Mauritius. and this explanation is a good one. and uninhabited islands such as Mauritius. two genera of kangaroo. there is no evidence of any geological or climatic changes violent enough to explain these extinctions. and various wombats disappeared from Australia soon after the first humans arrived there. and New Zealand. We cannot be certain that they disappeared because of human hunting. where hominids had been hunting for a couple of million years. Certainly. giant beavers. Early farmers always preserved their own seed for their next crop. Thus. including the mastodon. and the carrier pigeon of North America. when there are thousands of small farms. a wild plant species would be gathered to extinction while its cultivated forms would survive in the hands of the farmers. More recent examples are the extinction of the dozen species of Moa birds in New Zealand. giant ground sloth. It was all the big animals that were exterminated. there was a better balance.Page 520 . but there is no other explanation. They did this with the greatest of care and. Madagascar. Similar extinctions occurred in other parts of the world. such as the New World. mammoth. a large flightless bird. when farming and hunter-gathering continued side by side. some forty thousand or more years ago. and many species of camel. Hunter-gatherers also harvested some species of wild plants to extinction. and the extinctions were possibly fewer. the chances Farming and Us .in North America became extinct. In East Africa.

of a cultivated species of plant being lost are remote indeed. no change. for every species that exists today. Without such discarding and replacement. there will be none left. Eventually. peanuts. when more than half of all marine animal species disappeared. Crops whose wild progenitors have been gathered to extinction in this way include chillies. such as the great Permian extinction. If a valued wild species is becoming rare. there can be no selection. killed off about a quarter of all animal species. But less dramatic extinctions are a normal component of the process of evolution. they may not matter very much. natural evolution would Farming and Us . If all humans disappeared tomorrow. and no progress. the extinctions that we are now causing are not normal. about 65 millions years ago. because replacement positively requires the discarding of the old and the obsolete. it will be searched out all the more eagerly. and tea. Occasionally. apples. no surviva l of the fittest. no evolution. depend on a wild ecosystem. Natural Extinctions It can be argued that. garlic. on the other hand. Death is essential to the process of competitive replacement. some 225 million years ago. Unfortunately. there have been some really massive extinctions. ginger. In the broad picture of the whole of evolution. The Cretaceous extinction. Food gatherers. many hundreds have become extinct. including all of the dinosaurs. and the death of species is as necessary to this process as the death of individuals. during the long course of Darwinian evolution.Page 521 .

The ancient Greeks. mainly because human hunters had reduced the carnivores’ prey to extinction. all over the world. the tree species themselves often survived these destructive practices in other areas. for example. and collapse of civilisation. used to hunt mountain lion and..Page 522 . The hunting of dangerous wild animals was also the sport of kin gs. occurred on Easter Island. But the extinctions that we are causing are nevertheless irreversible. There have also Farming and Us . once it was left to itself.recover its equilibrium quite quickly. Once the environment had been ruined. Another possible example concerns the Pueblo Amerindians of the Anazasi culture. leaving only archaeological remains. even ruined. “…send not to know for whom the bell tolls. now. by the loss of forests. However. unlike the prey animals already mentioned. the people who had felled the trees were ruined also. we can find examples of environments that have been changed. there has been an unbelievable destruction of wild ecosystems as land was cleared for agriculture. and their culture and civilisation usually disappeared. one Gaia. one biosphere. in most of Europe. there are no mountain lion left in Greece.. and our descendants may come to regret them immensely. The sabre-toothed tiger is an obvious example.” The Destruction of Fragile Ecosystems Many trees have been felled for timber or firewood and. In more general terms. The same is true of wild boar. and wild deer. Perhaps the most notable example of this loss of trees. We are all one planet. There has also been an extinction of various carnivores.

Page 523 . or even extinction. At first sight. for example. and the world food problem. being amphibians. But. has led to the decline.been inadvertent extinctions due to the pollution of lakes and rivers with industrial chemicals. because we are now finally aware of the importance of this problem. of many non-target insects and. It is to be hoped that proper adjustments will be made before too much further damage has occurred. of insect-eating birds also. The widespread use of insecticides. very profoundly. and often to the point of destruction. by crop protection chemicals. This awareness is something new. very profoundly. and they are much more susceptible to toxins than true land animals. there appears to be no amelioration of this destruction because we are still exterminating other species at a savage rate. After all. and we humans have an almost infinite capacity to adjust. many ecosystems are bound to change. Farming and Us . as a result. in fact. and acid rain. There has been similar damage to the populations of frogs and salamanders because these animals. These are just some of the costs of the world over-population problem. And many other species are bound to suffer. dramatically increases the carrying capacity of that environment. if the human species increases its total environment to include the whole world and. Other species have been adversely affected. and often to the point of extinction. often to extinction. at the same time. there has been a lot of progress. have very absorbent skin.

once the soil began to blow. These fragile ecosystems were ruined by over-grazing and. the damage was irreversible.Much ecological chaos occurred from over-grazing by herders. Movement of Species When an ecologist studies history. Farming and Us . and the Colorado beetle of potatoes in Europe. were once fragile grasslands also. he cannot fail to be impressed by the ecological upheavals that people have caused. which were once grasslands.Page 524 . such as parts of the Sahara. the transferring of animals and plants from one part of the world to another can cause ecological chaos. had they not been triggered into soil separation by pre-historic over-grazing. There is nothing new about the way humans damage their environment. and they might have survived as grasslands to this day. Parts of other deserts. Some areas became deserts. The moving of human pathogens has produced even more dramatic consequences. and the extinctions. are two recent examples involving insects. Quite apart from the spread of crops. Killer bees in the New World. large stones. already described. and to separate. and then sand dunes. Rabbits and the prickly pear cactus in Australia are possibly the two best-known examples. such as the Kalahari and the Gobi. leaving only gravel beds. first into dust storms. and bare rock.

major staples. many of those parasites died out in the new environment.Page 525 . and our genesis is tropical. and other maladies. human health was totally dependent on the environment. Our numerous parasites. both the distribution of human pathogens. also have a tropical origin. which evolved with us. because they had to endure some very debilitating diseases such as chronic malaria. It must be emphasised that. before the development of modern medicine. are powerfully influenced by environment. are unlikely to develop a major civilisation. because they could not survive under the cool temperate conditions. the more parasites they lost. into Europe and Asia. and the development of epidemics. and food supply.Human Health There is another ecological factor governing the development of civilisation. river blindness. Quite apart from the fact that some environments are more benign than others. and who have a low life expectancy. People who are chronically diseased. yellow fever. quite apart from any considerations of agriculture. As a general rule. Africa is the centre of origin of humankind. lost many of their parasites. and it is second in importance only to the availability of plants suitable for domestication. Equally important. So too is the availability of herbal remedies. and were less diseased. dengue fever. Farming and Us . the further they migrated. When people migrated out of tropical Africa into the temperate regions. The people who remained in Africa were at a relative disadvantage. The people who migrated out of Africa. sleeping sickness. This factor is human health.

The parasites of people. such as tuberculosis. These included many of the tropical diseases of Africa.Page 526 . before the development of modern immunisation and antibiotics. That is. and animals can be divided into three broad categories. the crowd diseases of Europe and Asia. the natives of the New World were entirely free of many Old World human diseases. It is transmitted to people by blood-sucking bugs. and re-encounter parasites. in another part of the world. Many of the so-called ‘crowd diseases’ are density-dependent.small founder populations were less likely to carry disease than large migrations. Chagas’ disease is caused by a trypanosome that is indigenous to the tropical New World. Old encounter parasites are those that have remained in contact with their host species ever since their first evolution. These categories are described as old encounter. Consequently. the socalled children’s diseases. plants. and it is clearly a new-encounter disease because it existed long before humans arrived in the Americas. In this Farming and Us . they can maintain themselves only in large communities and they probably moved into agricultural populations from other species. These indigenous Americans had an environment that was sensationally healthier than any the world had ever seen. An example of an old-encounter disease of people would be malaria in Africa. and the diseases associated with cattle. New encounter parasites are those that evolved separately from their new host. new encounter.

sense, they were originally new-encounter diseases. They include measles, mumps, and smallpox. A re-encounter parasite is one that is left behind when its host moves to another part of the world, and then it subsequently re-encounters that host, at a later date, in its new location. Re-encounter diseases are usually very damaging because resistance to them is lost during the absence of the parasite. The classic examples of re-encounter human diseases are all those diseases that the New World people shed in the course of their long migration from tropical Africa to the Americas. These diseases re-encountered their native American hosts when Europeans, and their African slaves, carried them to the New World after 1492. These re-encounter diseases included all the childhood diseases, from which young children either die, or recover, possessing new, immunising antibodies. The childhood diseases are smallpox, measles, rubella (German measles), chicken pox, scarlet fever, mumps, and whooping cough. Without modern medicine, these diseases usually kill adults who lack antibodies to them. Other re-encounter diseases from Europe included typhoid, typhus, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. People from Africa brought malaria, amoebic dysentery, leprosy, yellow fever, and various others. These were old-encounter diseases for the immigrant Europeans and Africans, who had antibodies to them. But they were re-encounter diseases for the Amerindians, who had no antibodies, and no resistance at all. The minority Europeans had little need to conquer the indigenous Farming and Us - Page 527

American people by military means. Their diseases did the work of conquest for them. The indigenous populations were largely destroyed, while the invading populations thrived. The New World trade in African slaves would never have developed as it did, if the indigenous population had survived these reencounter diseases. It is a chilling thought that the majority of the indigenous Amerindians were left with only two options following the arrival of Europeans. These were death or slavery. And, in the event, most of them died and, for this reason only, most of them escaped slavery. And, for this reason also, it became necessary to import slaves from Africa. These were barbaric times, half a millennium ago. The areas of the New World that had the lowest indigenous population densities obviously suffered the most from these re-encounter diseases. These were the temperate areas of North and South America, which were populated mainly by hunter-gatherers. Many tribes of these people are now extinct, and their languages and cultures have died with them. The few surviving tribes of Amerindians in these areas are sadly eclipsed by the superior numbers, wealth, and technology of the immigrant peoples. In spite of modern sympathy and protection, their native genes, and their native languages, will probably be swamped in a few generations by the overwhelming numbers of the immigrant peoples. Included in this submerging culture is the knowledge and practice of non-authoritarianism, in which they are superior to us. We need this ancient wisdom of theirs.

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In the original agricultural areas of the New World, however, the population densities of the Amerindians were much higher, and the numbers of survivors were also higher. In Mexico, for example, there are now some six million people who still speak Nahuatl’, the language of the Aztecs. And there are about one million people who still speak the various dialects of the Maya. Nevertheless, in the New World as a whole, European languages now predominate, even if many of the people who speak these European languages are of pure Amerindian descent. We should note also that Columbus and his Spanish followers were not the first Europeans to arrive in the New World. Norse people had discovered, and lived for some time, in northern Newfoundland, in about 1000 AD. They called this place Vinland, and their sagas mention aboriginal people. It is now obvious that the Norse did not introduce any of these re-encounter diseases, and there are several possible explanations for this. The Norse were a very hardy people and it is likely that none of those who reached Vinland were actually sick, or even carriers of disease. Also, they did not remain in Vinland for very long and, quite possibly, their contact with the aboriginal people was minimal. Alternatively, some of these re-encounter diseases may have gained entry, but then failed to become established. This failure could have been due to the very low population densities of the indigenous people, and the fact that the diseases in question were density-dependent. Similar comments apply to the ancient Roman sailors, already mentioned, who were shipwrecked in Brazil.

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By way of quite extraordinary contrast, when Europeans first travelled to tropical Africa, an exactly opposite situation prevailed. This time, the re-encounter diseases were indigenous, and it was the foreign invaders who were devastated. The Europeans had shed these diseases when their ancestors migrated out of Africa, many millennia earlier, and they lacked antibodies to them. This explains why West Africa became known variously as “White Man’s Grave” and “Ladder of Bones”. The Europeans in Africa introduced no diseases that could do their work of conquest for them. It was the resistant indigenous people who carried the diseases that killed off the susceptible invaders. To this day, Africa is populated by Africans, not Europeans. Even in temperate South Africa, Europeans are greatly out-numbered by Africans, in spite of their superior technology, and their brutal use of apartheid which, fortunately, has now ceased. When Europeans first went to West Africa, they met a reencounter disease of the skin called yaws. It is possible (but by no means proved) that this disease was carried by Portuguese sailors to Europe in the late fifteenth century, and that, in this new environment, the parasitic behaviour changed slightly. In Europe, the parasite lacked epidemiological competence as a skin disease, but it could cause the sexually transmitted disease that is now called syphilis. In the wet tropics, yaws tends to be a childhood disease, and it often confers a subsequent immunity to the skin disease, as well as a considerable degree of protection to syphilis. This protection was lacking in the yaws-free temperate regions and syphilis was Farming and Us - Page 530

consequently much more serious in these areas than in Africa. Until the discovery of penicillin, this re-encounter disease was the scourge of the temperate world. The tragic history of human population devastation and extinction in the New World emphasises an important aspect of epidemiology called ‘disease vulnerability’. This term means that a population of people, plants, or animals, is susceptible to a foreign parasite, which is absent from the area in question. The vulnerability is thus invisible and, quite possibly, unsuspected. But it is very real because, when that foreign parasite is inadvertently introduced, the susceptibility is revealed, and the vulnerability is manifested. Potential disease then becomes actual disease. The New World peoples were obviously highly vulnerable to all those European and African re-encounter diseases. Equally, today, there are many crops and domestic animals that are vulnerable to foreign parasites, which are still absent from their localities. One of the more important tasks of modern agriculturists is to identify these vulnerabilities, and to develop resistant crop varieties, and veterinary vaccines, in advance of the arrival of these very dangerous foreign parasites. A unique aspect of human disease vulnerability concerns smallpox. Because of remarkable work by the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO), this disease has now been eradicated, worldwide. The disease no longer exists. This means that it is no longer necessary for children to be vaccinated against it. But there is an ugly aspect of this story. Within one complete human generation, the entire Farming and Us - Page 531

human population of the world will lack antibodies to smallpox. This constitutes an extraordinary, man-made, disease vulnerability, should the pathogen survive. Cultures of the smallpox pathogen are being maintained in special laboratories for the purpose of manufacturing vaccines, should the need arise. Archival cultures are also thought to exist in many medical laboratories around the world. This means that the pathogen still exists, even though the disease is no longer manifested. The disease may be extinct, but the pathogen is not, although it is planned to destroy these laboratory cultures eventually. The potential damage from an accidental escape, or even from deliberate biological warfare, is fantastic. It is a more remote, but far more frightening, scenario than the thought of mad dictators or terrorists getting their hands on an atomic bomb. Perhaps we should reconsider the need of vaccinating our children against smallpox. And the mere thought of this vulnerability gives us some idea of what the indigenous people of the New World had to endure, following the arrival of smallpox and other diseases, after 1492. It was mainly this world distribution, and redistribution, of human diseases that turned the New World nations into people -importing countries. This happened simply because the local populations had had these incredible disease vulnerabilities, and had been devastated by reencounter diseases. No one can be blamed for this ghastly mortality, because no one knew anything of epidemiology in those days, long before the discoveries of Pasteur. Equally, no one can be criticised for moving Farming and Us - Page 532

into the vacant lands of these extinct or near-extinct peoples. The vacant land was there, in really huge amounts, and it would belong to the first people who claimed it. Europe, Asia, and Africa had high population densities, and these continents contained people -exporting countries. Populations with both agriculture and resistance to diseases expand. The populations of the Old World grew even more because the carrying capacity of their own environment had increased, following the introduction of New World crops. Maize and potatoes, with beans for protein, made a huge improvement in the carrying capacity of the Old World, especially in those areas where wheat and rice grow only poorly. Those populations which had neither agriculture, nor resistance to disease, usually became extinct, or very nearly so. Obviously, the expanding, crowded populations tended to move into the territory of the diminishing, populations. Many other factors, such as nationalism, commerce, warfare, and slavery, were also involved, but none of these could have influenced events as they did, without the underlying factors of population growth and decline, controlled by those two factors of agriculture and human disease. Ecological Reverberations The first manmade ecological chaos started with animal extinctions from excessive human hunting, because the extinction of even one species can produce ecological reverberations. For example, with the Farming and Us - Page 533

extinction of large herbivores in North America, by the Clovis-point People, certain carnivores also became extinct, probably because of a lack of prey. Other herbivores then multiplied to population densities far higher than normal. The American bison, often called the plains buffalo, is an example. It was possibly close to extinction, when the Clovis culture ended but, with the disappearance of all its predators except people, its numbers increased dramatically. The bison were hunted by indigenous Amerindians, of course, but apparently insufficiently to keep their numbers down during the long-term. When Europeans first arrived in the Great Plains, these animals were estimated to number more than fifty million. Because of the appalling efficiency of firearms, they were hunted almost to extinction. One hunter, William Cody, slaughtered so many of them that they called him Buffalo Bill. There was a calculated policy behind this slaughter, because the hides were valuable for the leather industry. The grazing was also required by cattle ranchers. It has also been suggested that the slaughter was a deliberate attempt to deprive the Amerindians of food. Modern environmentalists tend to deplore this decline in bison numbers, but it must also be remembered that those numbers were perhaps artificially high, because of the earlier disappearance of their natural predators. These ecological changes often produce secondary and tertiary changes in a long series of ecological reverberations. For example, the abnormally large herds of bison probably destroyed a lot of forest, simply by grazing young tree seedlings. The forest could not regenerate and Farming and Us - Page 534

eventually all the old trees would die, and would be replaced with grass. It is possible that some of the supposedly natural grasslands of North America are not natural at all, simply because the presence of grazing animals inhibits forest regeneration, and encourages grasslands. The grazing animals and the grasslands are mutually beneficial and, in the absence of predators, they expand together, at the expense of forests. Pollution Another way in which our civilisation threatens the environment is by pollution. This is a subject that has received so much publicity in recent years that little need be said about it. The most dangerous pollution is the long-term. Short-term pollution is usually self-eliminatin g and relatively harmless. For example, a river polluted with sewage will clean itself quite quickly once the polluting stops. And the sewage itself is bio-degradable and will disappear within a fairly short period. In the long run, such a temporary pollution causes no great harm. However, if the pollution continues for long periods, the damage will be greater and it will take longer to disappear when the polluting ceases. At the other extreme, pollution can be long-term and irreparable. Greenhouse gasses are a form of pollution that can lead to global warming. If the ice-caps melt, the flooding of all the port cities of the world, and many low-lying areas, by rising sea levels, will be permanent, at least in terms of historical time. Major changes in weather patterns could also be

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permanent in terms of human time-scales. They could also be very damaging. Other kinds of damage are permanent, even in terms of geological time. For example, if a species becomes extinct, it is lost forever. Many species are be ing driven to extinction by the use of agricultural chemicals, and the pollution of lakes and rivers with industrial wastes. It cannot be over-emphasised that virtually all of our environmental problems are the result of our own over-population, and of our attempts to increase the carrying capacity of our environment. When humankind was just another component of a wild ecosystem, our ancestors caused no ecological damage whatever. Once they increased the carrying capacity of their environment by becoming hunters, they began to damage the environment. Their demands for food became so great that they hunted some prey animals to extinction. Later, they increased the carrying capacity of their environment even more by becoming herders. The environmental damage then increased. Many fragile ecosystems collapsed into deserts, because of over-grazing. Herders set fire to grasslands at the end of a summer or tropical dry season. This improves the next season’s grazing. But it also destroys many tree seedlings, and even forests. Later still, our ancestors developed agriculture, which produced a truly enormous increase in the carrying capacity of their environment. With modern agriculture, and its use of machines, artificial fertilisers and pesticide chemicals, we have increased our total population to many times that of our pre-hunting ancestors. Farming and Us - Page 536

Our population is now six billion. There are very few wild ecosystems left. And, of those that still exist, not one is undamaged, to a greater or lesser extent, directly or in directly, by human pollution. Much of this pollution is the result of ignorance and carelessness. Now that we know about it, we can prevent a lot of it, even if at great cost. Nevertheless, if our population continues to increase, the pollution will also increase. Sooner or later, a flash-point, a breaking point, will be reached, and our civilisation is liable to collapse spectacularly and totally. It is doubtful is our species can survive such a disaster, even living as wild animals, as food-gatherers, ignorant of the most simple tool-making and tool using. If this seems far-fetched, consider what a single volcanic eruption can do. In 1815, the volcanic explosion of Tambora, in the East Indies, put so much dust into the atmosphere that 1816 became known as ‘the year without a summer’. This dust produced spectacular sunsets, which were recorded in a series of brilliant pictures by the British painter Joseph Turner. The volcanic explosion of Krakatoa in Indonesia, in 1883, which directly killed about thirty six thousand people, produced similar sunsets. Our total population is now so large that a major volcanic eruption could have disastrous effects. We are close to a breaking point, because the world reserves of food would last for only a few weeks, if they were not being constantly replenished. Just one year of seriously reduced harvests, worldwide, could easily kill a billion or more people by starvation. With a major failure of food production, there would be a series of secondary Farming and Us - Page 537

That limit is this flash point. this development positively hampered the development of love relationships. bribery. and at someone else’s expense. and a population collapse. Farming and Us . Some nine thousand years of extreme authoritarianism have failed to suppress our love relationships. These collapses could easily be triggered by a single volcanic eruption which. the authoritarianism must have increased to extreme levels.Page 538 . It could also lead to a failure of the water supply. by our standards. of medical services. would be really quite insignificant. Our species is pushing that third brutal law of nature to the very limit. become authoritarian.failures. In its turn. which would precipitate a civilisation collapse. and without emotional security. suspicion. in geological and evolutionary terms. to the appalling despotism of the first oriental courts. retail distribution. would make many modern houses uninhabitable. because children born without love. The Survival of Love Relationships The new crowding produced by agriculture led to authoritarianism and control relationships. A failure of the electricity supply. would be utterly disastrous but which. and treachery were normal. for example. and our multiple pair bonds. and so on. Consequently. This run-away system led quite quickly. ruthlessly. The fact that our love relationships survived this extreme authoritarianism is an indication of the strength of our genetically evolved altruism. manufacturing. In these courts. in histor ical terms. Everyone would be struggling to gain rank.

and love and trust relationships. and a renewal of authoritarianism. perhaps. Each time our ancestors increased either the carrying capacity of their environment. Perhaps more than any other argument. there would be no crowding. and no authoritarianism. It would have led. tyranny. emphasises an important fact about our history and pre-history. and there would be excessive reproduction. or their total environment.This genetically inherited behaviour strategy has survived every excess of unpleasantness that was produced by alpha male tyrants. and control relationships. It would have existed mainly as hostilities between bands. altruism. our pre-history was probably an alternation of authoritarianism and non-authoritarianism. to conclude that our pre-history was a golden age? In fact. rather than dominance hierarchies within bands. too simple. fear. this indicates the strength. Farming and Us . History and Pre-history The fact that our genetically evolved altruism has survived these nine millennia of cruelty. This means that the whole of our history was authoritarian. But then the third brutal law would kick in once again. which followed the discovery of agriculture. Would it be too innocent. and suffering. But the authoritarianism would have been relatively mild. and the importance. and really rather nice. to minor wars only. The dividing line between history and pre-history is generally taken to be the development of writing. of our inherited tendencies to multiple bonding. over-crowding. And the whole of our pre-history was non-authoritarian. and really rather nasty. dominance hierarchies.Page 539 .

It was the enormous increase in the carrying capacity of our environment. In this general sense. in which every individual is valued by all other individuals. for the good of the ingroup. because so many individuals are superfluous. in that the ingroup. Farming and Us . This law is essential for the survival of the species. Our own evolution is in conflict with this fundamental law of nature. or the species. it is probably safe to conclude that the whole of our history was generally authoritarian. In this sense. But it is brutal to the individual. This evolution produced an entirely new kind of altruistic society. Both authoritarians and evolution tend to write-off individuals with callous disregard. Fundamental Conflicts It will be remembered that the third brutal law of nature states that all species reproduce in excess of the carrying capacity of their environment.Page 540 . within each social group. After rather more than two million years of Darwinian evolution. is more important than the individual. spousal pair bonds. we have evolved into a unique species of social mammal that has a society based on a highly developed altruism. the third brutal law is like authoritarianism. and for evolution. while the whole of our pre-history was generally non-authoritarian. the good of the species. produced by agriculture. and multiple pair bonds. And herein lies the conflict. that resulted in the extremes of authoritarianism of the early cities. and they have to die prematurely.

Our authoritarianism is a mere reversion. As such. And one thing is absolutely clear about evolution and authoritarianism. a setback. Anyone who postulates that evolutionary principles govern human altruism and human behaviour. They are not compassionate. and the most likely to survive. but not between individuals within bands. the predominance of alpha male behaviour. we can no more justify Social Darwinism in our societies. in our evolutionary imperatives. but the third brutal law of nature repudiates that emphasis. Accordingly. The precedence of the individual. Our altruism has eliminated such things as the survival of the fittest. in our social imperatives. and other aspects of baboon behaviour. is guilty of Social Darwinism. our altruism is an evolutionary breakthrough and it replaces most of the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution.Page 541 . Insofar as human behaviour was affected by evolution. Farming and Us .Our evolution of multiple pair bonds emphasises the individual. there was evolutionary competition between hunter-gatherer bands. than we can postulate that authoritarianism is normal and natural. That is. It is totally incorrect to assume that human societies are even remotely controlled by Darwinian evolution. kin selection. it was by group selection. is in direct conflict with the precedence of the group. due to the over-crowding produced by agriculture. We positively require a compassionate society. but that third law repeatedly drives us into over-crowding and authoritarianism. And it is probably safe to conclude that the bands with the greatest internal altruism were the fittest.

even within a total population as large as ours. Our cultural evolution became possible because of our altruism. He argued that the only checks on population growth were starvation. and to authoritarian societies. is the fundamental problem of our cultural evolution. Agriculture was the cultural breakthrough that carried us far beyond anything achieved by the proto-cultures of the other social primates. Malthus At the end of the eighteenth century. We are also in a position to eliminate authoritarianism by our democracy.Page 542 . another very large increase in the carrying capacity of our environment is more than probable. as we shall see.This. he claimed that the human population would always grow more quickly than the food supply. It is only now that we are on the point of resolving this conflict. We are in a position to conquer that third brutal law by controlling our population size. But this same agriculture also produced the incredible population increases that compelled our reversion to control relationships. our love relationships. Provided that we prevent any further population growth. an Englishman called Thomas Malthus (1766-1834). Farming and Us . And. It will also allow an elimination of authoritarianism. wrote an unusually influential pamphlet called An Essay on the Principle of Population. this increase will allow a return to the love relationships and compassionate societies of our hunter-gatherer forebears. and our knowledge of ourselves. our liberalism. our education. In it. and our compassionate societies. perhaps. our egalitarianism.

because he did not recognise the possibility of a stabilisation of population growth. where it is invariably ‘do or die’. and to excuse wealth. he concluded that the majority of people would always have to live in poverty. The weakest go to the wall. with no intermediates. or even that humans. His arguments would not even apply to a population of wild animals. our rate Farming and Us . Malthus was a clergyman. this does not mean that we shall continue to fail. But this is not so. and war. his false arguments have been used for a couple of centuries to justify poverty. (ii) develop new techniques in order to survive in previously uninhabitable environments. and are lost totally. he could make no allowances for the fact that intelligent beings can (i) increase the carrying capacity of their environment. and healthy.Page 543 .disease. However. all the individuals in that wild population would exist at the bare subsistence level. are governed by its basic laws. as well as wild animals. The main reason that Malthus continues to appear valid is that we have so far failed to control our own population growth effectively. sexual abstinence. Consequently. Poverty is rare among survivors in the wild. and (iii) limit the growth of their population. If Malthus were right. They have also been used as an excuse and a justification for Social Darwinism. Malthus was wrong. of course. Indeed. As a direct consequence. The survivors may have a struggle to live but they are vigorous. He knew nothing of ecology. Nevertheless. well fed. at the bare subsistence level.

In most societies. or that the harassed mother could look after. And the Malthusian arguments will then be glaringly ridiculous. this fear of pregnancy applied powerfully to unmarried women also. before the discovery of antibiotics. and widely available. First. However. effective. The Importance of Contraceptives It was only quite recently that contraceptives have become cheap. for whom pregnancy was a personal and social disaster. Consequently. our population will eventually be the optimum size for universal peace and prosperity throughout our total environment. contraception has always been a somewhat taboo subject.of population growth has slowed considerably in the last two or three decades. because of the medieval concept of sex being sin. and its resulting prudery. Perhaps the most important was the fear of unwanted pregnancy. There used to be many fears associated with sex.Page 544 . This fear applied to married parents who already had more children than the over-worked husband could support. the remarkable social importance of contraceptives is not always appreciated. contraceptives have removed the fear from sex. Other fears resulted from sexually transmitted diseases and. This process has been greatly accelerated by the urgent need to control the AIDS epidemic. these fears were real Farming and Us . quite apart from the psychologically ruinous idea that sex was sin. And we can be confident that it will stabilise completely in the near future. With careful adjustment. which is only now becoming acceptable in normal conversation.

whose misery can endure for a lifetime. fornication. based on control relationships. to say nothing of homosexuality. made safe with contraceptives. Occasionally. is passed on as a cultural inheritance from generation to generation of unloved children.Page 545 . Authoritarianism. they too are unable to love their children. Think too of Stalin. and legal penalties for adultery. There is now a widespread appreciation of the deep and intense satisfaction that can be obtained from sex that is free from guilt and fear. and the deep unhappiness of an unwanted child. And. and sex that is safe. and even masturbation. It was these various fears that induced the social. Second. and have children of their own. when these unwanted children grow up. such an unwanted child can develop into a tyrant who ruins the lives of millions of others. who grow up lacking the emotional security that is so crucial to their personality development. caused by the authoritarianism in many millions of unwanted. And let us quietly grieve for the infinite human misery. the complete prevention of unwanted children and. This unhappiness can involve many others who are close to that unfortunate individual. Contraceptives are our most powerful tool for the reduction and. hence. who grew up to become domestic and workplace tyrants.indeed. It is obvious that unwanted children are usually unloved children. and who grow up authoritarian. or to provide them with emotional security. and the infinite evil. religious. contraceptives have greatly reduced the frequency of unwanted children. the elimination of both abortion. and the lack of love relationships. Think of Hitler. eventually. Farming and Us . unloved children.

correlation is not proof. Dominating human males not only dominate each other. An extreme authoritarianism appeared in human society only with the crowding and sedentism of Farming and Us . fade to insignificance. Obviously. Improved pair bonds between parent and parent lead also to improved pair bonds between parents and children.Page 546 . and the women’s liberation movement could never have happened without them. contraceptives can strengthen the pair bonds between husband and wife. the rate of violent crime began to decline. or fear. It is too little realised that the subjugation of women is a consequence of authoritarianism. for its own sake. This is because they allow sex to be enjoyed. But this does support the suggestion that it is unwanted children who become criminals. totally and profoundly. This means that there can be an improved emotional security. some fifteen to twenty years following the widespread use of the contraceptive pill. they may have grown up to become subservient weaklings. with a slave mentality. Third. It has also been suggested that. contraceptives have been fundamental in the emancipation of women. and possibly even more tragically. Cultural inheritance can increase this emotional security from generation to generation. and the male dominance hierarchy.Alternatively. They dominate their wives and children also. lacking all ambition and spirit. worldwide. and authoritarianism. Fourth. even for wanted children. guilt. and free of any apprehension. until love and trust relationships predominate. and control relationships. in America.

is a liberation of men. there will then be an increase in wealth from generation to Farming and Us . they were equal. and these unmanageable large families. If there were any tendencies of deference or veneration in these early societies. With all of this. it would have been from the young towards the old. Provided the population does not increase. Fifth. If contraceptives lead to improved pair bonds between spouses.agriculture. and the burden of having more children than they could look after with love and affection. and less obvious than this liberation of women. We are only now at the point where modern medicine can prevent these unwanted pregnancies. a liberation from the shackles of authoritarianism. Women could be liberated only when they were liberated also from the burden of having a child a year. there is a reduction in authoritarianism. men and women undoubtedly had different roles but. and we must presume that there was no subjugation of women either. To say nothing of being liberated from the misery of seeing perhaps half their children die young.Page 547 . in all other respects. and the sex of these elders was irrelevant. These are the real factors contributing to the liberation of women. and can prevent most infant mortality as well. There were no dominance hierarchies. These husbands are liberated also from the burden and the frustration of trying to support more children than they can afford. In the hunter-gatherer bands of our pre-agricultural ancestors. they are a liberation for men also. This burden is replaced with the joys of easily providing their few children with everything they might ever need. It was their experience and wisdom that were appreciated.

They spoke of ‘blood’. but the genes. Sixth. and it is an idea that dates from the days when people believed that only the father created a child. this claim is also nonsense. Authoritarians will no doubt contend that it is not the name that matters. And we can appreciate the equal genetic contribution made by each parent. It will disappear when a married woman is expected to retain her maiden name. and with eldest sons. In the old days. but it will also involve a wealth of possessions. we may finally get away from this nonsense about having boy-children in order to carry on the family name. we can recognise the origins of this idea in the male dominance hierarchy. This increase in wealth will obviously involve monetary wealth. and they referred to the ‘blood line’.Page 548 . a wealth of leisure. And when children. An adopted child can reflect its adoptive parents just as well as a natural child. and the hierarchy of male ancestors. people did not speak of genes. This idea results from the male dominance hierarchy. if the adopted child Farming and Us . to adopt some entirely new system of naming. Indeed. as well as the equal love and care provided by each parent. Even more important is the fact that genes mean relatively little when compared with environment.generation. a wealth of happiness. on reaching their majority. With our more accurate modern knowledge. before the discovery of modern genetics. are allowed to choose between either of their parents’ surnames or. with feminine equality. and a wealth of love relationships. However. indeed. which was virtually synonymous with the father’s family name. and that the mother provided no more than a temporary lodging.

and they then make great efforts in later life to find. in the forlorn hope of finding true love. the Farming and Us . this evil also. and perhaps the most important of all.Page 549 . and eventually eliminate. some adopted children are not truly loved by their new parents. And it will be then. This hope is forlorn for the simple reason that they were put out for adoption in the first pla ce because they were unwanted children. and in harmony with the whole world. and treated with resignation. Contraceptives will reduce. Monogamy The natural mating habits within a social group controlled by dominance hierarchies are polygamy and polyandry. it will reflect its adoptive parents far better than an unloved child will reflect its biological parents. However. Last. can live in prosperity. It will be then that authoritarianism can finally disappear from our midst.has suffered no emotional deprivation. and all nations. Our species will stop reproducing in excess of the now greatly increased carrying capacity of its greatly enlarged environment. and is truly loved. their biological parents. that all people. non-authoritarianism prevailed and we must presume that monogamy was the rule. Sadly. at peace with their neighbours. even tolerance. During our entire prehistory. The few infidelities that occurred were probably regarded as a minor nuisance. contraceptives will finally conquer that third brutal law of nature. But the natural mating behaviour within a social group based on altruism and love relationships is monogamy. and only then. and identify.

quite unintentionally. the perfect marriage.Page 550 . Nevertheless. produced a return to dominance hierarchies. which destroys an insensate foetus. It also produced a return to promiscuity. and it is seen generally in the present-day frequency of divorce and re-marriage. and whose love relationships. This ideal is possible only between two individuals who are entirely non-authoritarian. it is these anti-abortionists authoritarianism. Deep and lasting love. caused by the high population densities of agriculture. The fact that this birth will produce an unwanted Farming and Us . whose birth will have been ensured by their opposition to abortion. They are passionately and dogmatically against abortion. by authoritarians. are cruel. no doubt. for the simple reason that this is what people will want. This was seen specifically in the harems of the oriental courts. are absolute. a natural monogamy will become prevalent. It is an ideal that is ruined by authoritarianism and control relationships. but some of the more passionate pro-life activists are so hostile to this practice that they have descended even to shooting doctors who work at abortion clinics. let alone be attained. But they are largely indifferent to the future welfare of the sensate and sensitive child. Once we eliminate authoritarianism from our society. each with the other. and ‘living happily ever after’ are the ultimate ideal of every normal human. Pro-Life Cruelty Nobody likes the idea of abortion. It is also an ideal that cannot even be understood.

of course. a continuum. with all degrees of difference between the two extremes of being totally wanted and being totally unwanted. is a human being. reared without pair bonds. we must recognise that there are degrees of being wanted. is likely to grow up miserable. I do not wish others to impose their religious beliefs on me. is the usual fate of unwanted children.child will virtually guarantee that child an unhappy future. They argue that neither an unfertilised human ovum.Page 551 . Even less do I want a religious minority to prevent recognition of that third Farming and Us . Anti-abortionists tend to black and white thinking. and children who were unwanted before birth can easily become loved and wanted after all. At the very least. However. who will make other people miserable also. is a theological argument and. and whose only relationships are control relationships. after all. This. Furthermore. while I have no wish to interfere with the religious beliefs of others. the term ‘unwanted children’ is taken to mean children who are unwanted to the extent that their personalities are significantly damaged by an inadequate emotional security during infancy and childhood. and that God creates a new soul at the moment of conception. An unwanted child. an unwanted child is likely to grow up without any knowledge or experience of love. attitudes can change. Such a child is liable to become a neurotic. Throughout this book. and they shun any idea of shades of grey. This. or even a psychopath. of any kind. nor a human sperm. and that there is a spectrum. or love relationships.

it is biologically ignorant. The fertilised ovum represents a qualitative change in the sense that a single haploid cell has become diploid. The idea that God creates a new soul at the time of conception conveniently solves the problem of natural biological waste. It has still to undergo Farming and Us . many millions are wasted. And for every sperm that fertilises an ovum. and a fertilised ovum on the other hand. This is where the shades of grey come in. That is. But that does not make it a human being. neither the mother nor her doctor even knows about. But the anti-abortionists claim that a fertilised ovum is a human being. a hundred or more are likely to be wasted. However. the number of its chromosomes has doubled. many are lost in a process of natural abortion which.Page 552 .brutal law of nature and. This is a very similar situation to the third brutal law of nature. at best. even when it is still a single cell that is microscopic in size. As many as twenty percent of known pregnancies may miscarry. to promote both over-population and authoritarianism. A single -celled embryo is a potential human being. Because. for every ovum that becomes a human being. And. this claim is debatable and. Up to half of fertilised eggs die within ten days without the mother realising that she has conceived. but it is clearly not an actual human being. quite possibly. in doing so. and it positively encourages black and white thinking. at worst. on the one hand. in the sense that such waste is preferable to any risk of unfitness. They argue that there is a qualitative difference between unjoined sperm and ova. of all the fertilised ova.

and the necessity for quantitative changes. a year or two of infancy. a single-celled embryo is only quantitatively different from an unfertilised ovum or a single sperm. into human beings? The black and white thinkers tend to deny evolution entirely. indeed. Farming and Us . Biologically. did we change from being wild animals. In other words. but this ‘head in the sand’ attitude merely detracts from their point of view. there are many degrees of quantitative difference between a single celled embryo and an adult human being. This concerns the evolution of human beings. immediately after birth. The strength of this imprinting is the main factor that will guarantee love relationships. a second qualitative change occurs at puberty. There is a further aspect of black and white thinking. or from an adult human being. than the theoretical discussion of whether or not a single-celled embryo is a human being. Such a factor is real. and the ‘innocence’ of childhood is lost.Page 553 . before it reaches its full potential. and a mere component of a wild ecosystem. and highly meaningful. Far more so. it is most likely to occur with the almost instantaneous imprinting of the parents on their infant. when the sex hormones kick in. This argument about quantitative changes will perhaps become less obscure if it is realised that there are other potential human beings. If there is any qualitative change during the long process of quantitative development of a human individual. Arguably.nine months of foetal development. for the same reason that it is only quantitatively different from a ten-celled embryo. Just when. in our evolutionary history. and even more years of childhood and adolescence.

taken from a living person. It follows that this potentiality for countless cloned humans is unimportant. That is. The mere possibility of cloning people creates some entirely new. which are genetically identical. when a single -celled frog embryo divides into two cells. the nucleus of a single cell. bulbs. is fertilised.Page 554 . This would be the genetic equivalent of monozygotic (i. Each of these cells. The anti-abortionists cannot condemn the loss of these cells. Similarly. It also demolishes the antiabortionists’ claim that a single celled embryo is an actual human being. ethical problems. quite recently.e. Farming and Us . such as previously rare orchids.. they use cuttings. particularly when compared with the actuality of existing human beings. reared in different environments. Gardeners do this sort of thing with plants all the time. which are the equivalent of stem cells in humans. or grafts. tubers. sheep and cattle. just like a fertilised ovum. propagated from single cells. after all. because each one of us discards large numbers of them every day. and which will then grow into an exact genetic copy of that person. will be inserted into an ovum that has had its nucleus removed. such as salamanders and. normally. And there is now a regular. Similar cloning has been done successfully with some animals too. these cells can be artificially separated and they will then develop into two frogs.Science is now very close to making human clones. The point of this argument is that many single human cells are potential human beings. identical) twins. They call it vegetative propagation and. commercial production of plants. except that the two individuals would be of different ages. and very intriguing.

but their indifference to the future of an unwanted child results in the misery. We should consider also the converse of birth. It will grow up authoritarian. every human being is certain to die. If she is then compelle d to have this child that she does not want. The anti-abortionists wish to preserve potential human beings.Page 555 . Death is a loss. her life can be spoiled. it will be frightened. From the time of its earliest sensations. than it is to destroy a potential human being. which is death. Throughout its entire life. Indeed. It will become a miserable human being who makes everyone around it miserable also. maybe even dangerously criminal. It can even be argued that. even the ruin. this is exactly what has happened to many women throughout the ages. The quality of life of the child is just as important. and unloved. it will be unloved and unloving. insecure. and create evil. A pregnant woman does not necessarily want her child. a tragedy. At some stage in its life. And Farming and Us . and miserable. but it is possibly an even greater loss to the loving survivors who mourn and grieve this loss. neurotic. even ruined.It is a far greater wrong to destroy an actual human being. Nothing can be worse for an infant than to be dangerously unwanted. Perhaps this question of the quality of life is the most important aspect of the abortion controversy. the prohibition of abortion may actually produce future criminals. she may quite desperately not want her child to be born. possibly psychotic. It is a loss of life to the dead individual. Sadly. of an actual human being. while saving life.

Farming and Us . An adult. or adult. The pro-choice position is non-authoritarian. The long transition. except in an emergency. And if the dead human was loved.this is where the degrees of quantitative difference become important. And its authoritarian personality may be so unpleasant that few will mourn its death. will be all too real. But if that dead human is a sensate infant. those many degrees of difference between a potential human and an actual human. beyond which abortion is no longer permissible. and it allows for shades of grey. its loss is a minor one. being insensate. as well as those many degrees of difference between being wanted and being unwanted. to the actual human. These shades of grey also allow a choice between the lesser of two evils. for legal purposes.Page 556 . will mourn nothing more than a ‘might have been’. and the loss of life. from the potential human of a single cell. in many quantitative variables. its fear of death. with many shades of grey. The foetus. There is another side to this argument. the choice between an abortion and an unwanted child. will know and fear nothing. adolescent. is a process of growth. the grief and bereavement of the survivors will be intense indeed. And the survivors. may be so miserable that it positively wants to die. and many degrees of difference. If that death occurs in an insensate foetus. and was born an unwanted child. We are bound to enquire which of these is the greater evil. It may be necessary to define a particular stage of pregnancy. child. if they know about it at all. who was originally a foetus saved from abortion.

With modern medicine. when it persecuted Galileo for postulating the extraordinary notion that the Earth went round the sun. Such patients become so-called ‘vegetables’. it is impossible to find a clear dividing line between human and not yet human. Farming and Us . birth and death were regarded as natural. It is not always appreciated that this is a very new theological problem. while they are so blatantly wrong in their biological facts. or to the control of people’s belief systems. it is often impossible to find a clear dividing line between dead and not yet dead. and unreliable.But. in biological terms. and for choice. and sexual behaviour. And the methods of contraception were so primitive. or between wanted and not wanted. Condoms made out of sheep’s intestines were intended primarily to prevent venereal diseases. that this too was not a realistic option. and it is a moot legal point whether or not the disconnection of their life support systems constitutes murder. Life support systems can keep a person alive even though the brain is functionally dead. or to spiritual leadership. Little more than a century ago.Page 557 . when medicine was still relatively primitive. and there was little that doctors could do about either. abortion was so dangerous for the mother that it was not a realistic option. various religions are now as much out of step with modern biology as the Catholic Church was out of step with astronomy. Before Listerian surgery. These religions cannot possibly have serious pretensions to religious authority. In their prohibition of contraception. Hence the need for options. or even euthanasia.

were high in the hierarchy.It seems that. It will be difficult to find a face-saving excuse for changing its opinion. and that it is as morally wrong to interfere with God’s will concerning death. at the top of the church hierarchy. If it were strictly logical. once contraception became effective. the Catholic Church had to make a modern decision concerning the morality of this entirely new situation. and its prevention of death. of course. by the use of life support systems.Page 558 . It can be argued that both processes interfere with the will of God. and fear. the Farming and Us . and they were celibate priests who. and a divine control. who won out. Such a miracle could only have a divine explanation. It is seen as an attempt to thwart the downward control in an authoritarian hierarchy. Contraception is seen as interference with the will of God. These conservatives. for the same reasons that it prohibits contraception. were unlikely to have experienced the joy of good love relationships. and free from guilt. it was the authoritarians. after all. as it is to interfere with God’s will concerning birth. Celibate priests are not fit persons to decide this point. because their use is essential in controlling the spread of AIDS. It derives from the days when the birth of a human child was a mystery so profound that it verged on the miraculous. Alternatively. the Catholic Church should prohib it modern medicine. being authoritarian. And the Catholic Church has now painted itself into a corner. The antagonism to contraception is apparently based on a very authoritarian point of view. the opposition to condoms has become even more difficult to defend. Inevitably. and the wrong decision was made. shame. or of sex that was safe. Recently.

because the loss of an insensate foetus.Catholic Church would be entirely consistent if it prohibited neither. Farming and Us . This disaster. male priests are personally involved in death. And this misery will continue until the human population has shrunk sensationally. without love. an eventual over-population disaster is inevitable. even horrible. reared in misery. If there is then a prohibition of abortion as well.Page 559 . will take the form of vast numbers of people living in utter misery. and their authoritarianism. and under the conditions of rejection. It can be reasonably argued that their masculinity. for many people. It is highly doubtful whether our civilisation could survive such a disaster. combined with their celibacy. which are the usual lot of unwanted children. unborn child. However. they are not personally involved in procreation and birth. without food or shelter. However. The dislike of abortion is much less authoritarian than the dislike of contraception. it is perhaps a misguided desire. A prohibition of contraception makes abortion necessary. and utter poverty. it is a widely held viewpoint and. of course. it is essentially a humanitarian desire to protect the utterly defenceless. and emotional deprivation. Indeed. is preferable to the suffering of a sensate person. while celibate. disqualifies them from informed judgement in this matter. It is even debatable whether our species could survive such a disaster. the global problem is even more important. However. and with a dramatically reduced life expectancy. although disagreeable.

and the loss of an early human embryo. is not even noticed by the mother. authoritarian. and the foetus may then be aborted naturally in a miscarriage. This is a clash between our genetic evolution and our cultural evolution that has led to our high population densities. The severely deleterious combinations are aborted early. consisting of only a few cells. we must have birth control. which demonstrate that humankind cannot deny its origins. the genetic abnormality is so slight that the foetus is retained until the natural time of birth. the embryo is aborted naturally. Many of the people who are so passionately against abortion are perhaps unaware that natural abortion is common.These are inescapable. But we can mitigate this clash with the sensible conclusions of our modern knowledge. Such abnormal children show Farming and Us . Geneticists are familiar with the fact that two parents may produce a combination of genes that is deleterious. a gene combination is damaging only in the later stages of pregnancy. Occasionally. And it must be an equitable control. worldwide. Less frequently. Indeed. we have no means of assessing just how common these early natural abortions really are. and less charitable belief systems.Page 560 . and culturally unmanageable. biological facts. which are biologically absurd. and which is known as a ‘lethal combination’ because. its genetic evolution. or its genetically inherited behaviour strategies. Although these modern conclusions are in conflict with older. It is not always appreciated that the medical prevention of many miscarriages would lead to the birth of severely retarded or handicapped children. when it occurs.

a theologically ill-informed biologist. which would end an unwanted pregnancy. There will then be no unwanted pregnancies. and only then. In forbidding contraception. can only be contraception. and promotes authoritarianism. These injunctions then forbid abortion. and none of the unhappiness that develops in those unwanted children. Furthermore. these injunctions defeat the pair bonding role of human sex. no need for abortion. religious injunctions make unwanted pregnancies inevitable. this is not Christian charity. that we shall be Farming and Us . And this makes the resulting misery inevitable as well. And. unwanted children.Page 561 . To me. and all around them. So there appear to be four possibilities within this boundlessly distressing situation of unwanted children. their parents. There is contraception. It is then. The ultimate answer to that third brutal law of nature. we can confidently expect far more effective contraception techniques than we have at present. and this damages love relationships. There is sexual abstention. such as the Down syndrome. is that the mechanism of a natural abortion was denied to them. which would prevent an unwanted pregnancy. and this makes unwanted children inevitable also. It is archaic thinking that has degenerated into pure evil. these injunctions promote the global disaster of over-population.genetic defects. and the resulting problems of over-population. no unwanted children. There is abortion. and their real tragedy. Worst of all. Or there is the all-round misery that inevitably results from the birth of an unwanted child. in more general terms. which would destroy husband-wife pair bonds. perhaps. and misery.

because contraceptives did not even exist. because they could afford neither the relatively expensive contraceptives that were then available. It was only recently. possibly. Improvements in these methods of contraception will eventually ensure that only the most keenly desired of conceptions can occur and that. Usually. Besides. Bertrand Russell once commented that. the poor were often so poor that sex was the only pleasure available to them. a wife had a baby a year until she died of it. in his grandmother’s day. and often dead before menopause brought them some relief. and to abolish authoritarianism from our midst. that we shall stop reproducing beyond the carrying capacity of our environment. in those days. old before their to develop our love and trust relationships to the full. that contraceptive methods. and only then. became really effective. too many miscarriages as well. nor the servants needed to look after many children. Before that. cheap. to eliminate control relationships. This was simply the harassment of a mother who had had too many children and. wealthy women suffered also. even Farming and Us . just because she and her husband needed sex. It is also then. Women would be worn out with childbearing. and the limitation of family size. it was the poor who suffered in this way. reliable. particularly the pill.Page 562 . and easy to use. Personal Motivation for the Control of Population Size We must look back to the days before the contraceptive pill to find the most important motivation for family planning.

of any need for abortion and. Until quite recently. parents tended to withhold love from young children because emotional involvement with such vulnerable creatures was likely to result in tragedy and despair. confident that their love will not be seriously at risk. even more important. which is a source of great hope in this respect. preparation. therefore. this would lead to a virtual disappearance of all fears of unwanted pregnancy. The children who are loved in this way will have great emotional security. In sixteenth century Europe. tended to suffer from emotional deprivation during infancy. There is one special aspect of modern living. The children who did survive. and they were correspondingly authoritarian. Parents can consequently expect that all their children will survive. In its turn. a conception can happen only after some weeks of very careful. only half of all children. We must recognise also that it is this remarkable reduction in infant and child mortality that produced our dramatic population increase Farming and Us . of course. at most. King Philip II of Spain had eleven children but only four of them reached their teens. a complete prevention of unwanted children.then. The special feature of modern living. infant and child mortality was shockingly high throughout the world. is that infant and child mortality has been dramatically reduced. They need have little fear of the grief that such love engenders when a young life is cut tragically short. for example. and they will grow up non-authoritarian.Page 563 . survived to maturity. Under these circumstances. They can lavish unstinting. unconditional love on their children. and deliberate.

Obviously. and their love relationships with each other and. have given our species a marked reproductive advantage over all other species of comparable body-size. this high rate of reproduction has many dangers. combined with a male contribution to family care. And. Being as objective as we can. the pleasures of sex are essential for the maintenance of both the pair bonds between spouses. and our pair bonds. Farming and Us .during the twentieth century. in evolutionary terms. indirectly.Page 564 . Our excessively large population is responsible for virtually all our environmental and pollution problems. Our medical advances have been unbalanced. our altruism. and food production. with their children. and the consequent increases in the burning of fossil fuels. These problems have emerged relatively recently from the huge increase in our population. this is a neat biological trick. In humans. from a social point of view. and multiple child-raising. Our sexual rewards have ensured that we have utilised that reproductive advantage to the full. these pleasures also ensure maximal rates of reproduction. that third brutal law of nature has become more prominent in our lives than ever before. It has been by far the major cause of poverty and hunger. manufacturing. as a direct consequence. we must recognise that. It has been responsible for authoritarianism. and the sole cause of genocide and war. and we really must match our reduced death rate with a correspondingly reduced birth rate. for our male dominance hierarchies. Our intelligence. a home base. and for the subjugation of women. It is abundantly clear that.

And our remarkable ability to overcome the first two brutal laws of nature has failed to provide an adequate compensation. A total of eight sons was often considered the ideal. most religions insist on the exact opposite and. This will require two essentials. and there must be effective motives for contraception. because they did not count the daughters. these Farming and Us . we must curb our reproduction. it can be argued that the third brutal law of nature. they would insist that their laity restrict their families to only two children. and our excessive reproduction. have been responsible for virtually all of human misery. the motivation for contraception is likely to vary. worldwide. It must be cheap. utterly and absolutely. Unfortunately. they are making a dangerously negative contribution to modern society. However. and the life expectancy was so low. we need a pill with four properties. couples positively want many children because these children provide them with security in their old age. If we are to live in peace and prosperity. It must be contraceptive. throughout the whole of our history and pre-history. And it must be addictive. and control our population growth. In many of the poorer countries of the world. It must be aphrodisiac.Page 565 . in this sense. We must overcome the third brutal law also. it was necessary to have many children because the infant mortality was so high. Traditionally. with improved life expectancies. Our entire future depends on this. Be that as it may. There must be effective methods of contraception. As one cynic remarked.Therefore. If the great religions of the world were to make an entirely new contribution to modern society.

adults. It will depend on the knowledge that children need unconditional love. Consequently. who will themselves become good parents. and that they too can provide their parents with old age security. too little money. and overwrought. to provide the unconditional love that their many children need. We can argue. when parents are distracted. and who are well educated and prosperous. as more and more governments provide pensions and other contributions to old age security. Furthermore. if they are to grow into contented. And it is now being recognised also that daughters can be well educated and prosperous. who can be expected to survive. that contraception is probably necessary for the maintenance of all love relationships. non-authoritarian. Unconditional love is difficult. this thoroughly selfish motive for having many children will disappear entirely. but only two children. It is often at this point that the love relationships between the parents also decline to insignificance. regardless of gender. This is because they have too many children.attitudes are now changing.Page 566 . and too little time. it is not two sons that are necessary. and the good education of the parents. Farming and Us . and emotional security. even impossible. It is gradually being realised that only two sons. the motivation for contraception will be largely personal. therefore. and will be based on the good sense. Among the more prosperous societies. to the point of despair. This unconditional love for children is far more likely to thrive in a small family. and who are ill-educated and poor. provide a better old age security than many sons who die young.

there is a struggle for existence.We also need a new morality. and quite unintentionally. and even the means of contraception. providing information. Social Darwinism Charles Darwin was greatly influenced by Malthus when he was formulating his theory of evolution. And parents who indulge in an irresponsible procreation are damaging that ethic. a new ethic. They called this evil concept Social Darwinism and they argued that. inducements.Page 567 . People are becoming increasingly aware of the need for environmental protection. There must also be government measures to encourage the limitation of family size. within a human society. non-authoritarian parents who are infertile. It is just nature’s Farming and Us . These should function mainly through the educational and medical services. can give an infant to loving. so that parents who inadvertently have more than their allowance of two children. As mentioned earlier. the new ethic will state that every human individual is entitled to a fair and equal share of the total environment. and that only the fittest survive. In his turn. They are also becoming increasingly aware that virtually every environmental problem is a direct consequence of our own over-population. to the betrayal of everyone else. and to the living conditions within human society. There should also be an effective system of child adoption. he greatly influenced many other people who mistakenly applied his theory of biological evolution to the growth of human culture.

More specifically.Page 568 . on differences in Farming and Us . as Hitler demonstrated all too clearly. the manner in which they had ruined their competitors. by sterilising those who are unfit. It was an argument commonly used by extreme right-wing capitalists. above all. Or. regardless of how unscrupulously that wealth may have been acquired. that many of the differences in human ability depend on differences in environment. and excuse. and William Sumner in the United States. they said. we could just kill them. who wanted to justify. and their lack of compassion and concern for others. and differences in wealth or social class were believed to result from genetic differences in ability or vigour. and we should not interfere. Social Darwinism is obviously a concept that appeals to authoritarians. Alternatively. The concept was used to justify the class structure. they depend on differences in education and. of course. The possession of wealth was believed to be the result of a superior fitness. It is now appreciated. if we must interfere. and other races. of course. It is also a concept that is abhorred by nonauthoritarians. and the uneducated. and to praise the accumulation of wealth. It was also an argument used against various attempts to improve the lot of the poor. Pseudo-philosophers such as Herbert Spencer in England. they implied that we should assist nature.way. and foreigners. promoted this pernicious idea of Social Darwinism. such as the poor. their contempt for people in ranks lower than their own. with their strong sense of hierarchy.

or the survival of the fittest. Social Darwinism postulates that human ability. We must recognise also that competition can be either destructive or constructive. human ability depends on environment at least as much as it depends on genes. But destructive competition is debilitating. In a prosperous and peaceful society. particularly in Germany. or the lack of it. In a word. but utterly false. So does unbridled capitalism. In this wide sense.Page 569 . It does not require a struggle for existence. the concept of social Darwinism was taken up by racists. quite apart from the quality of that child’s school and teachers. Eventually. existence should not be a struggle.the opportunity for education. and it can destroy a society. And reproductive ability is no longer a measure of fitness in any human society. if it is not curbed. This distinction depends on whether one is trying to do better than one’s rivals. Social Darwinism is also fallacious in postulating that the laws of the jungle apply within human society. we recognise that a major part of education is the intellectual and emotional climate of a child’s home. in everything from sports and commerce to scientific endeavour. suggestion that individuals with the wrong genes should be prevented from propagating their kind. or trying to damage them. of course. his Farming and Us . and this doctrine has a strong. depends on genes alone. Constructive competition is healthy in a human society. and it culminated in Adolf Hitler. involves much destructive competition. The health of any human society depends on co-operation and altruism. The law of the jungle.

Genocide cannot be self-defence.Page 570 . This makes their deaths a form of self-defence. at this point. because they are trying to kill you. This subject has been reviewed by Jared Diamond (The Third Chimpanzee. Moralists will no doubt argue that it is not wrong to kill enemy soldiers. It is. Four of the genocides in this list involved the slaughter of more than one million people. 1992. or enemy civilians. But. and it is Farming and Us . in either event. this vicious concept was finally discredited.concept of the master race. of whom six million were Jews. perhaps. It is just a question of whether you are trying to kill enemy soldiers. his need for living space in the East. Genocide is closely related to aggressive war. the basic idea is to kill the enemy. to kill the civilians. in the minds of a few ignorant fanatics. and his holocaust. It survived briefly in such ideas and practices as apartheid in South Africa. and easier. One of these was the most infamous of all. However. because they cannot fight back. genocide is practised by authoritarians. ISBN 0-06-098403-1). which involved a total of eleven million people. to discuss genocide. much safer. Harper Collins. and was Hitler’s holocaust. He lists twenty known genocides since 1492. After World War II. These moralists will also argue that it is wrong to kill enemy civilians because they are not trying to kill you. but there were undoubtedly many others. but it is now dead at long last. except. of course. Genocide It is perhaps appropriate.

when he was still a youth. and was not distressed about anyone’s death. and this amounted to genocide. grossly exaggerated by modern technology. However. or see the bodies. All the members of that outgroup have been stereotyped as inferior. Non-authoritarians are concerned to prevent unnecessary death. And it is clear that only extreme authoritarians can practise genocide.practised on a hated outgroup. The crux of this horrible business are the two words enemy and kill. But we do get seriously distressed about the death of people we know and love. It is often argued that wild primates kill each other. Our first reaction is to ask how is it possible that one group of humans can make an enemy out of another group of humans? And how is it possible that this enmity can be so intense that people want to kill each other? This really is the result of an extreme authoritarianism. and his niece. except possibly that of his mother. It was a measure of Hitler’s authoritarianism that he had bonded with no one.Page 571 . and extreme over-population problems. unless we happen to witness it. Jane Goodall has observed repeated lynching of rival chimpanzees that eventually destroyed the rival band. The death of strangers leaves us relatively unmoved. with whom he had an incestuous relationship. dangerous. this is the primitive behaviour of wild animals whose societies are regulated by Farming and Us . even of strangers. His behaviour was that of an alpha-male baboon. and deserving of death. Our inherited tendency to altruism and pair bonding is relevant here.

some three hundred thousand Chinese people were deliberately murdered. In spite of this. then it is natural enough to prefer your enemies. with modern technology. rather than your friends and yourselves. the crowding became far greater. And the return to authoritarianism increased the ingroup hostilities. and love relationships. and the killings became far larger. This anomaly is apparently the result of authoritarianism combined with that third brutal law of nature. soon after World War II. More recently.Page 572 . the callousness. even in modern times. or your unknown neighbours. and it produced yet another euphemism for mass murder. and the savagery. in Rwanda. but was no less horrible. Humans have supposedly evolved away from this form of social regulation. In Indonesia. With the appearance of agriculture. If our over-population and crowding is such that the surplus people have to die . we practice genocide. killed nearly a million people. because there were so many more people. to die. At one stage in my career. The southern State of Kaffa had been an independent kingdom Farming and Us . Hence the temptation to mass murder. the killings have become more efficient. altruism. I was working in the coffee areas of Ethiopia. increased by the fear that those same neighbours may be thinking of killing you first. and even larger numbers of victims have been involved.dominance hierarchies and control relationships. and the over-population was so much more intense. ‘Ethnic cleansing’ in Yugoslavia killed only a few thousands. in the heart of what used to be ‘darkest Africa’. A recent genocide. to multiple pair bonds.

and they were sad proof of a massive. (for whom the poet Rimbaud wanted to act as a gunrunner) then conquered Kaffa and. As primitive ideas go. It was also an idea that was dear to Himmler. on old farmland. as it were. genocide. and in other non-industrial areas. but almost entirely unknown. The coffee was the self-sown remnants of cultivation. This is the converse of genocide. The King of Abyssinia. about eighty years old. who seriously hoped to see Germany become a nation of “one hundred and twenty million Germanic souls” durin g his own lifetime. of which we know nothing. The old hut sites could also be seen. because few plants will grow on a hut site. The idea is that we must breed faster than them. But it was not wild coffee at all. and it is an idea that is often passionately held by rival peoples in Africa. Menelik II. and the forest was secondary forest being. These observations were a form of botanical archaeology.until about a hundred years ago. casually. for about a century. In a phenomenon that is closely related to genocide. this is clearly preferable to genocide.Page 573 . I was interested in the apparently wild coffee growing in the forests of Kaffa. many authoritarians show an unreasonable desire for their own population increase. This idea is seen also in many religious Farming and Us . in other parts of the world. and it is just another ‘us and them’ problem. which had been used as boundary markers. at that time. in order to outnumber them as quickly as possible. slaughtered all the inhabitants. There have undoubtedly been many others. and the original farms could be traced out by the exotic Dracena trees. And the secondary forest had established itself in old fields.

and just as unethical. It may also be the origin of the proselytising aspects of some of the major religions. at least in theory. these three brutal laws of nature no longer apply to us. The Nazis were dead against the use of contraceptives and abortion by ‘pure’ Germans.sects. This ingroup desire for the increase in its own numbers is possibly the source of the very common hostility to homosexuality throughout the ages. the stronger and safer it will be.Page 574 . it entirely ignores the risk of emotional insecurity among the resulting children. the larger one’s own ingroup becomes. Clearly. The increase of us may be preferable to genocide. inevitably. and it is probably the real basis for the prohibition of contraception and abortion. the killing of them. as genocide. And the promotion of high birth rates will be just as amoral. an idea favoured by all authoritarians and. are unwanted. as murder. We must recognise that irresponsible procreation will eventually become just as amoral. Farming and Us . of course. It will be remembered that these laws are essential for the survival of the species. typically. but it is still a deplorable idea. many of whom. We need a new word to describe this alternative to genocide. It is a form of proliferation that means the increase of us. and just as unethical. The Conquest of those Three Brutal Laws of Nature The real significance of our cultural evolution is that. Our over-crowded environment cannot tolerate any further increase in our numbers. as opposed to the decrease of them. This attitude is.

but that they are cruel. human populations have exceeded the carrying capacity of their environment. And. and the huge increases in the carrying capacity of that environment. One of the primary functions of democracy is to ensure a more even distribution of wealth. in terms of controlling that society. and to renewed crowding. the vast majority of humans who lived in historical times have had to endure some degree of poverty. Throughout most of recorded history. to do this. Consequently. and the quality of life of every human individual. As Henry Thoreau once said. In effect. the people in the bottom rank of the social hierarchy. and to regulate its reproductive rate. In a word. this function is to eliminate social hierarchies.Page 575 . “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. but it is also the poorest rank. and power. We are the only species that has been able to increase the carrying capacity of its own environment. and the weakest rank. indeed brutal. Farming and Us . We are thus in a position to ensure that the world does not become over-populated with people. to the individual. education. this is the lot of the peasant. or suffers from pollution. we must conquer all three of those brutal laws of nature. that there are no more wars and conflicts. As a result. our high reproductive rate has always led to fairly rapid population increases. and that no one dies of starvation. The survival of our own species is not in doubt (unless we destroy ourselves). In spite of the huge increases in our total environment. to increase its total environment. It is the largest rank. we can afford to concentrate on the individual.

a block of land. and death. and must. The born are more important than the unborn. each family’s share of the environment Farming and Us . we will inevitably end up with the ecological and social disaster of massive over-population. But we can. and. If we were a wild species. The wastage becomes tragic only when it involves sensate individuals who may be highly articulate and selfaware children and adults. But we are not a wild species and. On average.Page 576 . a mosquito. and the extinction of our species. our most important problem is the final conquest of those three brutal laws of nature. Each family would have only two children. when contemplating the future. a surplus of individuals would be an evolutionary necessity in order to avoid any risk of under-population. There seems to be no doubt that. after all. We must not prevent the natural wastage of human reproductive potential. We should aim at a situation in which every family owns an equal share of the environment.Our tendency to over-populate our environment is irrefutable. This confines the wastage of human reproductive capacity to the vast surplus of insensate sperm and unfertilised ova. starvation. which we kill without the slightest compunction. if necessary. by abortion. A one-celled embryo. An over-population disaster destroys sensate people. to insensate embryos and foetuses. if we permit our excessive reproduction to continue. say. or a housefly. misery. ensure that the wastage occurs where it matters least. What is both important and humane is to ensure that our own excessive reproduction is prevented by contraception and. is considerably less sensate than. if necessary.

an increasing quality of life. Wealth would increase. but the population would not.would be inherited by one of those children. and that child’s spouse. and prevented from accumulating.Page 577 . had its doors closed only when there was peace throughout the Roman Empire. as the family wealth increased. Nor should it be allowed to increase by purchase of other families’ share of the environment. With increasing wealth. war has been the norm. from generation to generation. According to Livy. Once we master that third law. our population will stabilise. an increasing altruism. and Farming and Us . in addition to the accumulation of mere money and possessions. during war. resulting from our failure to conquer that third brutal law of nature. this happened only twice during the first six centuries of the Empire. Throughout our recorded history. would involve the quality of life. The incredible recovery and rebuilding of Europe from the devastation of this war. in only fifty years. there will be increasing leisure. This wealth.) There can be no question that the root cause of war is overpopulation. (The temple of Janus. and an abundance of food and happiness. with an average of one major war in each generation. war will cease. Consequently. The destruction of much of Europe during the six years of World War II indicates how wealth is both destroyed. and wealth will increase. of course. But it would improve in quality. in ancient Rome. indicates how quickly wealth can accumulate in the absence of war. This would be the final refutation of Thomas Malthus. the family share of the environment would not diminish by sub-division between many children.

The movement started by Fourier. Charles Fourier In the early 19th century. This was apparently the reason for their failure.500 people who would share labour. a social group organised on a basis of human altruism should not exceed the number of people who can Farming and Us . known as Fourierism. in 1841. However. If it is to be successful. A few phalanxes were founded. as a co-operative Fourier community. with a corresponding diminution of authoritarianism. These were groups of about 1. Brook Farm was established. which he called ‘phalanxes’. Charles Fourier (1772-1837) proposed a system for social reform that advocated that society be organised into small communal groups. his ‘phalanxes’ were also authoritarian.Page 578 . wealth. he got his numbers all wrong and. in Massachusetts.improved love and trust relationships. is of exceptional interest in the present context because he was apparently advocating a return to communities similar to hunter-gatherer groups. In the United States. Their social organisation was closer to the first cities than to hunter-gatherer bands. but none endured. allowing people to live free and full lives. with rigid rules of conduct. but it failed after a decade. but it failed in 1847. Another American phalanx was founded in 1843. New Jersey. and housing. His aim was to achieve a perfect harmony in which social restraints were eliminated. by Albert Brisbane in Redbank.

Of all the solar energy that falls on agricultural land. agriculture remains a ludicrously inefficient process.Page 579 . Farming and Us . I described the possibility of another major increase in the carrying capacity of our environment. vitamins and other essential food components.successfully bond with each other. Breeding Crops to Reduce Pesticide Dependence. Ideally. and that every individual should be non-authoritaria n.sharebooks. by genetically engineered micro-organisms. such a group would be a rather large extended. A New Carrying Capacity of the Environment In spite of the incredible effect that it has had on our population density. in fermentation tanks similar to those of a modern brewery. In an earlier work on plant breeding (Return to Resistance.1% is actually ingested by people as food. and other complex drugs. Constructive fermentation that can produce antibiotics. blended family. available at www. There is room for huge improvement. and they were very authoritarian. mentioned earlier. Hence the fundamental importance of molecular biology. One acre of such a food factory might produce as much food each year as one thousand acres of agricultural land. can also be made to produce delicious flavours. less than 0. The details do not matter here except to comment that there is a very real possibility of an artificia l production of natural food. Fourier’s phalanxes failed because they were many times too large. The two critical criteria are that every individual in the group should be bonded with every other

This is because agriculture is such an inefficient process. It will be remembered also that our first thousand-fold increase was made at the expense of many other species. our second thousandfold increase could have the reverse effect. or an extended blended family of 30-50 individuals of all ages. when they first became scavenger-gatherers. in which every individual was bonded to every other individual. And it would make a total of about a million-fold increase since the days when our plant gathering ancestors first used naturally shaped stones as tools to break open large bones abandoned by carnivores.Page 580 . Provided that we prevent further increases in our own populatio n. and our system of love relationships. about two million years ago. The restoration of our system of love relationships would result from living in some form of commune. our second thousand-fold increase in the carrying capacity of our environment. And every individual would be unselfishly concerned about the welfare of every other individual. and the damage. Each such Farming and Us .This development would represent a second thousand-fold increase in the carrying capacity of our environment. even the total destruction. requiring huge areas of land. It will be remembered that much of our first thousand-fold increase was made at the expense of our love relationships and pair bonds. could restore the environment. of many ecosystems. The significance of such a modern development is enormous. It could also restore our human social altruism. Provided we keep our population size close to its present level.

obtained from the use of solar power and fuel cells. But there would be none of the land pressures that limited food production in the past. And renewable clean energy. A complete restoration of the environment is obviously impossible because we cannot resuscitate all those species that humankind has made extinct. Our rivers. Farming and Us . which would be mainly forests and nature reserves inhabited by these small communes. Cities would tend to disappear as their functions were replaced by automation and the information revolution. and ground-waters would recover from many of the ecological strains and stresses that we have imposed on them. and that led to such debilitating conflicts and wars. Really large numbers of trees would do much to solve atmospheric pollution problems. The use of crop pesticides and artificial fertilisers would cease. Visiting and social co-operation between communities would be greatly encouraged. Huge areas of land that are now devoted to food production would become available for other uses. lakes. would replace our current use of fossil fuels. and the greenhouse would have plenty of land and would be able to grow their own produce if they so wished. Each community would be surrounded by similar communities.Page 581 . But the elimination of commercial agriculture would restore the environment in a way that is difficult to contemplate in its entirety. All this space would become availa ble from the abandonment of agriculture. but would be well-separated from them by nature reserves and forests.

environmentally. This period also produced the reversion to authoritarianism. but it was only the last nine millennia that produced both agriculture and the enormous population increases. and they were made at the expense of the environment. It could lead to an entirely new style of living in which everyone consciously aimed at non-authoritarianism. this new availability of land could lead to an elimination of authoritarianism.This would be the reverse effect of the enormous crowding caused by agriculture. when Farming and Us . Their increase was exponential. and there would be low population densities. and trust relationships. This would approximate to a return of our original social groups. These groups would not be hunter-gatherer bands. because they would have ample food and considerable sedentism. and at the elimination of control relationships and dominance hierarchies. The second major increase in the carrying capacity of our environment could undo the damage caused by that first increase. and caused our relapse to authoritarianism. the most devastating increases of them all. which compelled most of us to live in over-crowded villages and cities. and greatly improved systems of communication and education. Combined with a modern knowledge of psychology. it was only the last hundred years that produced the most rapid human population increases of them all and. But they would involve comparable numbers of people in each group. The first increases in the carrying capacity of the human environment required several million years. groups or families in adjacent communities could form non-authoritarian social links.Page 582 . On a basis of total freedom. However.

loving. Farming and Us . Above all. There would be no population pressures. tolerant. Combined with the greatly increased leisure that will emerge from the information revolution. caring. both within families and between families. And humankind could eliminate forever the horrors resulting from those three brutal laws of nature. and safe. Altruism would be universal and intense.compared with cities. and human leisure. or commune. hospitality. There would also be plenty of scope for individualism. These land holdings would ensure that each human family could enjoy nature to its utmost. and wealth. could be transformed. and the society would be non-authoritarian. Everyone could live in complete harmony with everyone else. there would be excellent bonding. travel. creativity. and in complete harmony with the whole of nature. and social intercourse. and the elimination of poverty with a system of well-distributed education. work. Each group. peaceful. There would be no weapons of any kind. the quality of human life. would consist of several land holdings.Page 583 .

on the other hand. a few systems in the hard sciences. such as fluid turbulence. A new discipline has recently emerged. They have parameters that are easy to measure. and sociology. The phases of the moon can be Farming and Us . Non-linear systems. indeed impossible. Control and Self-Organisation This book ends with a br ief note on a very new and important development in science. such as the life sciences. including psychology.. levels of either democracy or corruption). Some examples will illustrate these points. supply and demand. comprise the ‘soft’ sciences. Complexity theory has le d to the classification of all systems into two categories called linear and non-linear systems. (However. physics.g.Page 584 . Planetary and lunar movements constitute linear systems. and it arose out of the general systems theory. and chemistry. artistic ability.12. Linear systems comprise the so-called ‘hard’ sciences. This brief account is necessarily an over-simplification. and their future behaviour is easy to predict. such as astronomy. and particle physics. and also nonlinear). economics. They have parameters that are very difficult to measure (e. to predict. called complexity theory. and their future behaviour is difficult.

are now beginning to be considered much more important. However. Clearly. and the man may never get out. Weather. their fundamentals are antique. But. accordingly. and scientific. But a maze in which the position of the walls keeps changing is a nonlinear system. A game of snooker is a linear system because a skilled player can predict where the balls will go and he is often able to sink all the balls in his first turn. is only turbulence on a large scale. a man in the middle of a maze can eventually find his way out. Their study has been Farming and Us . the more ‘soft’ the science. and Galileo. and the easiest to study. But the ‘soft’ sciences. and unscientific. the ‘soft’ sciences were considered relatively inaccurate. But weather systems are non-linear. The ‘hard’ sciences are beginning to be considered rather simple. and any weather forecast for more than a few days ahead is notoriously inaccurate. many of the ‘hard’ scientists doubted whether disciplines such as psychology and sociology could be described as sciences at all.measured with very great accuracy and. after all. the ‘hard’ sciences were considered the more accurate. and it is entirely unpredictable. rather elementary. if the snooker table is on a ship at sea. fundamental. In comparison. Indeed. this perception is now changing. and the more difficult it is to study. we can predict the movement of the tides with equal accuracy for centuries ahead. and are associated with ancient names such as Pythagoras. superficial. the more complex the system. the game is a non-linear system. Copernicus. Similarly. Newton. For most of the twentieth century.Page 585 . For this reason. and the non-linear systems.

Each farmer is free to decide for himself which crops he will cultivate. according to the laws of supply and demand. but he believed that this control should be kept to the essential minimum.Page 586 . and the recognition of its crucial importance in non-linear systems. published in 1776. although he did not use this term. and to treat the soft sciences as if they were hard sciences. He recognised that some control was necessary to prevent abuses. The details and mechanisms of this self-regulation are not important here. One of the more important properties of non-linear systems is their ability to self-organise. What matters is the recognition of the self-organisation itself. He argued that the economy should be left alone. and it requires entirely new tools and new concepts that are only now being developed. Adam Smith was among the first to recognise this kind of self-organisation. This has caused considerable damage to the soft sciences. and current market prices.delayed because it is so difficult. A large array of merchants and Farming and Us . A useful example of self-organisation comes from the food supply of a self-sufficient nation. and this damage is only now beginning to be recognised and corrected. including his own preferences. and that it should be allowed to organise itself. They are self-regulating. His decision is governed by a wide variety of factors. the climatic limitations of his agro-ecosystem. and which animals he will nurture. in his book The Wealth of Nations. There might be a million farmers. A major problem with twentieth century science has been a tendency to treat non-linear systems as if they were linear systems.

of course. The public consists of everyone in the nation. is external control.g. the most important aspect of complexity theory is the concept of control. with every articulate individual. and distribute them. or quality. and to prevent cartels and monopolies. even children. (Our absurdly high use of crop protection chemicals is an example of the damage that can be caused by of over-control). trying to ensure that the public gets what it wants so that their goods will sell well. otherwise the entire system is damaged. pack. and the idea that control is the converse of self-organisation. and buying it on a basis of kind. But this government control must be kept to the essential minimum. and it may even wreck the system. In the context of this book. This is clearly a self-organising system. This control. A small amount of external control can be very important. In many of the communist countries. Farming and Us . Wholesalers and retailers market them. A non-linear system can be externally controlled by people. there must be some government control. cost.Page 587 . making individual decisions concerning the food they want. and it is quite different from the internal controls of self-organisation. for example.. But too much control can be destructive. because it ruins the self-organisation. the food supply was ruined by overcontrol. an agroecosystem) in the direction we want. External control interferes with self-organisation. Obviously. because it steers a self-organising system (e. to ensure purity and hygiene.manufacturers purchase these crops and animal products. and they process.

But. the resulting damage may be little short of calamitous. in each case. or society is a self-organising system and. the computer industry in the United States is an example of the progress that can be made with unfettered self-organisation. So long as all individuals are allowed to pursue their own incentives. is normally described in a social context as freedom. group.Two examples may be useful.Page 588 . is exerting an external (and unnecessary) control over a non-linear system. as we saw earlier. the system will self-organise. a group. an authoritarian controlling another person. is the definitive characteristic of authoritarianism. after all. Soviet agriculture is a classic example of the damage that can be caused by over-control. Farming and Us . This over-control of a non-linear system is unnecessary control which. On the other hand. That other person. as far as possible. its self-organisation should be allowed to function as fully and as completely as possible. Perhaps the key factor in any human system is individual incentive. pluralism. too much external control tends to destroy individual incentives. and democracy. In terms of complexity theory. egalitarianism. The only external controls that are necessary are those that prevent any individual from damaging the interests of any other individual. or a society. It is important not to attach special meaning to words that have been taken out of context. clearly. And. This self-organisation. But it really does seem that the unnecessary control of authoritarianism is very close to the over-control of non-linear systems.

The most obvious examples of over-control in a human society are dictatorship. politics. Human society consists of many non-linear systems. or even eliminate. by authoritarians. If we are to reduce. food production. and all our non-linear human systems have been over-controlled. All of these non-linear systems have been over-controlled. and these unnecessary control relationships. social stratification. And the most obvious example of self-organisation in a human society is democracy. it will happen because of self-organisation. our societies were self-organising.Page 589 . economics. and male dominance hierarchies. Throughout our pre-history. These over-controlled systems included government. medicine. the military. And this over-control has been debilitating and damaging. religion. have been the bane of Farming and Us . law. which started with the appearance of agriculture. as well as many other public and social activities. It seems that our culture has grown in spite of this over-control. not because of it. and with writing. when we lived in hunter-gatherer bands. Collectively.This argument in favour of self-organisation is probably true of any non-linear system. authoritarianism from our midst. to a greater or lesser extent. and this may well be the most important development to emerge from the Internet and the information revolution. these decisions will constitute self-organisation. the arts. This unnecessary control. Throughout our recorded history. the authoritarians have predominated. Millions of well-informed individuals will make a personal decision to move in this direction. These hunter-gatherer bands were also non-authoritarian.

It is now suggested that the frequency of geniuses in Athens was the normal frequency for any human society. and that this is the normal frequency for any society that is allowed to self-organise. our future will be bright indeed. were over-controlled. this industry has attracted so many geniuses. During this Golden Age.Page 590 . and has developed so quickly. until it ended in military defeat by Sparta at the end of the fifth century BC. It is possible that Silicon Valley may now be producing. in more disciplines. than any other comparable population. simply because there are so many of them. Starting with the transistor. if we can eliminate this unnecessary control. It was also the first civilised society that was not over-controlled. Farming and Us .civilisation. geniuses at the Athenian frequency. and these unnecessary control relationships. or in any other comparable period of history. in all other periods of history. more geniuses. or hosted. If this is so. and that was allowed to self-organise. and hosting. geniuses were suppressed by over-control. we cannot begin to compute the number of geniuses lost to civilisation. Supporting evidence for this hypothesis comes from the computer industry. and that. The Golden Age of Athens lasted for a mere hundred years. that the individual geniuses within it remain largely unknown and unrecognised. It seems that all other cities and states. This Golden Age was the first major democracy in recorded history. Athens either produced. in all other periods of history. And.