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All works on this website are in the public domain.
Hierarchical Instinct and Human Evolution. Socio-biological approach.
by Valery Chalidze, 1989
Summary: In this book Valery Chalidze presents an iconoclastic concept of social conflicts from an evolutionary perspective. The author also discusses the role of hierarchical instinct in human behavior and the anthropology of law and religion, as well as the evolutionary significance of homosexuality in human society.
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Automatisms Of Will
Interaction With Other Wills
Automatism Of Total Will Augmentation
THE VICTORY OF THE WEAK
Models Of the Victory Of the Weak
The Victory Of the Weak And Homosexuality
The Level Of Culture And Civilization
Women And the Victory Of the Weak
The Cultural Suppression Of Passions
On the Genocide Of Violent Criminals
THE REVENGE OF THE STRONG
ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR
The Collective Will
The Automatism Of Evaluation
Outlets Of Will Manifestion
Examples Of Fulfillment Of Individual Automatisms
THE COGNITIVE AUTOMATISM AND HUMAN HIERARCHIES
ON CONSCIOUSNESS AND THINKING
A MODEL, AND THE ROLE, OF PRIMITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF RELIGION
Development of consciousness and religion.
Development of consciousness and cognition.
Overcoming knowledge accumulated by the brain.
ON THE DIVERSITY OF CHARACTER
EVOLUTION'S LEGACY TO THE LAW
Legal And Ethical Imperatives
Equivalence Of Exchange
Reinforcement Of Automatisms
Compensation For Will Damage
Destruction Of Evil Will
Procedure For Enforcing the Equivalence Principle
Stabilization Of Hierarchies
Authority Of Leaders
THE INDIVIDUALIZATION OF THE PERSON
Myths About Progress
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The forerunner of the present book was my manuscript entitled "Reflections on Man," written in 1971. It set forth my ideas on the biological basis of human motivation and social interrelations. The manuscript itself was never published, but a number of the ideas expressed in it, particularly my concept of hierarchical struggle in society, found their way into my books Victor Over Communism and The Future of Russia.
Twenty years of reflection on the gregarious nature of society and the animalistic quintessence of humans, plus discussions with friends on this subject, have revealed the influence of traditional idealization of humans; neglect of the biological roots -- sometimes obvious -- of the motivation underlying individual and social behavior; and the belief in the exclusive role of culture in social phenomena. This subject matter is very pertinent to the present day. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the revival of the natural-philosophical approach to the cultural evolution of humanity reflected in socio-biological research, particularly in the works of Edward Wilson from Harvard University, whom I have read with great pleasure.
In general, though, the socio-biological trend is out of favor in academic circles. I therefore owe all the more gratitude to those who supported me, took my ideas seriously and extended their constructive criticism. First of all, I want to thank my sister Francheska, who shares my views on human nature to a large degree, and my friend Aron Katsenelinboigen, a distinguished analyst, whose interest in my philosophical fantasies is always inspiring. Discussions with my wife Lisa Chalidzewere very valuable, often restraining my emotional zeal and channeling my thoughts along a more traditional logical course. I am very grateful to my friend Alexander Volpin who read the original manuscript and made numerous valuable suggestions. Discussions with Gregory Freidin, Victor Yakhot and Pavel Litvinov were most beneficial.
My friends have pointed out two major flaws of this book, which have not been rectified and about which the reader should be warned. First of all, the constituent elements of my model of human behavior lack rigorous definitions, especially the notion of will which plays an important role in my constructs. In responding to this criticism, I have become convinced that more precise definitions would narrow the scope of the concept. I believe that while certain aspects of behavior yield to formal description, this does not negate the value of an informal global overview of the problems of psychology and sociology. In principle, an analytical investigation should not preclude a holistic inquiry even if the former turns out to be a success.
This leads me to the second drawback of the work pointed out by my friends, namely that I have neglected the discoveries of mathematical psychology of the last few decades. I confess that the present book belongs to the nineteenth century as far as the outlook of the author is concerned. Also, acquainting myself with the tens of thousands of works of our century dealing with the subject matter of the present book seemed too formidable a task, so I may inadvertently have repeated much that has been said elsewhere. I ask for the grace of all those concerned. I want to note in this connection that the current information boom must sooner or later force our civilization to give up its tradition of citing all of one's predecessors. We will have to distinguish knowledge from the history of knowledge. The twentieth century has seen strides in this direction, but to this day literary references by the hundreds are considered an indispensable adornment of a scholarly work.
January, 1991 Valery Chalidze Benson, Vermont
Sociologists do not merely present facts that quench our curiosity. They supply statistics, stipulate the margins of error of their conclusions and, on occasion, advance hypotheses explaining the observed phenomena.
Sociology is a serious and valuable science, but reading the works of sociologists sometimes tends to make me smile. The reason for my skepticism is the solemnity of the author, or, more precisely, scholarly earnestness prevailing over common sense. Accuracy in statistical surveys is not going to make those surveyed more sincere, or promote greater self-understanding or improve the formulation of the question. In short, the misfortune of sociology is due to its unwillingness to recognize its own helplessness. Billions of people inhabiting this planet are moved by perhaps millions of different motives. How can one assimilate all this diversity, how can one comprehend the causes of wars, conflicts, revolutions, murders, and suicides? How can all these events be predicted? By polling the people? But people are more often than not ignorant of their own motives! In fact, one of the greatest paradoxes of psychology is that people guided primarily by unconscious motives construct in their mind various masking explanations for the way they act. "I do not know" is a very uncommon response to the question of one's motives, in spite of the fact that one's consciousness may be utterly ignorant of the real motivation but is still eager to come up with some arbitrary -- or rather socially commendable -- motive, if asked for one.
Another forecasting technique is to study the statistics of the phenomena. This seemingly objective method is very limited because the most significant events occur very seldom if not once only. There are no statistics of Bolshevik revolutions in Russia; Stalin carried out collectivization but once; and stock market crashes are rather rare.
Sociology is a young science and, as is typical of teenagers, it aspires to look and act like an adult. Most sciences went through a prolonged embryonic development in the womb of philosophy. Sociology has practically bypassed this stage. Therefore, scholars should have prefaced their attempts to understand human society by creating sociosophy - a protoscience which would lay the cognitive groundwork for the future science. So sociology boldly borrowed the objectives and methodology of more mature sciences - a move which exalted the high priests of sociology but which has also, in my opinion, impeded its potential development. As a result, accomplishments of sociology are purely technical, in the area of sociometrics and in sampling public opinion through polls. Mathematical models of social phenomena that have been constructed exact too great a toll, in the form of assumptions that over-simplify complex situations. Sociology is unable to forecast major events, particularly crises. Therefore, sociology is not a science in the precise sense of the word.
The inability to forecast is clearly manifest in the stock market. Stock market research is one of the better-financed disciplines in the United States, so economic sociology is better off than other areas of sociology. Nevertheless, stock holders continue to rely upon inconsistent reports of prophets rather than scientific models. We cannot rule out the possibility that stock market fluctuations, as well as numerous other aspects of collective behavior do not, in principle, yield to prognosis. In that case, science must realize its limitations, explain them and continue to evolve within the constraints of its theoretical weakness. In other words, we must recognize that sociology is not destined to attain the same results as are usually expected of science in a positivist sense. We could then state with confidence that methods of sociology should be closer to those of sophy rather than of logi, for the ways of wisdom are different from the methodology of descriptive or exact sciences.1
One method that should not be adopted from exact sciences as long as a cognitive foundation of sociology is lacking is a "proof." Here, substitution rather than adoption of concepts takes place. This pertains to the humanities in general. In humanities, a set of facts illustrating a given supposition in the absence of direct refutation is considered a proof. These kinds of sciences often evolve the discovery by a new generation of scholars of new facts, which refute previously "proven" assumptions; these scholars then use the same illustrative method to "prove" new hypotheses. Remember that theorems once proved by Euclid are still proven theorems, unshaken by any new discoveries in geometry simply because they were proved.(Here, I ignore all the well-known and yet unknown riddles in the logical foundation of mathematics.) The same applies to reproducible experiments proving certain facts in experimental sciences provided, of course, that they were carried out correctly. Science can be helpless in certain cases, but it must be honest. To call a verisimilar result confirmed by some illustrative evidence a proof, is a misleading substitution of terms.
Therefore, I warn those seeking such "illustrative proofs" in sociology or psychology that they will not find them in the present book. I aim for conclusions that are likely to be true, reasonably derived from some general assumptions. I never claim they are proofs. Examples given in the book are mere illustrations, helpful but often unnecessary if the reader himself possesses enough imagination. Naturally, my approach leaves room for "unscientific" speculations based on one or several facts. In sociology and even in psychology, however, this lack of rigorousness is inevitable, for some events occur seldom or but once, and some phenomena we know very little about. I do not share the positivist view that it is better to avoid speculation altogether than to conjecture based on insufficient information.
My attitude toward the role and the merit of "proofs" in humanities impels me to resort to models. Rather than asserting "so and so" I propose a model -- a possible explanation. If the model seems well-founded, those who wish to do so can find supporting evidence. This approach leaves more leeway for the author, and at the same time it does not insult the pride of those who seek "proofs." I find this convenient.
Because I choose to reject faith as an epistemological method and I concede the ineptness of proofs in informal sciences that defy reproducible experimentation, I must admit the equivocality of the conclusions. A proven theorem, at least in a simple formal system, represents a unique truth regarding the objects and the interrelations which it describes. Once a theorem is proved, hypotheses about it are irrelevant. On the other hand, in humanities most assertions are hypothetical, a notion which should be stressed. No statements can be fully proved; so while they may seem true or legitimate -- perhaps even attractive -- they are never uniquely true, even if some of them correspond to the observed phenomena with reasonable precision.
Although the above considerations are apparent to me, the history of science abounds with examples of illustrations being taken for proof. Perhaps the human brain encounters a major barrier when a thought is felt to be inconclusive; when something is not perceived as a final truth; when at least an illusion of a uniquely-correct solution is not attained. It's quite possible that it was only relatively recently that European civilization encountered the logic of probabilities in science, and even that was limited to specialists in certain formal disciplines. Conventional "scientific" thinking operates on dichotomous logic that ignores common sense experience in using the probabilistic approach. This logic embraces truth and falsity with nothing in between. Below, I will give an example of a legitimate train of reasoning, each explanation of which may be true in itself or in combination with others. Perhaps all of them are correct. My brain feels no discomfort over not being able to terminate its search at any one particular theory.
The example is: altruism is common among people, but how did it become fixed in the struggle for survival? One possible theory is that of kin-selection,2 which provides the following explanation: families that displayed altruism had a better chance to survive because of mutual help among the relatives, and therefore the genes responsible for altruism were passed on to the offspring.
Another hypothesis that to me seems more sound, is that all creatures who care about their offspring possess genes responsible for altruism, but the behavior that is the product of these genes is directed primarily toward the children. Under certain circumstances, especially in herd animals in which altruism can be observed to be mutually beneficial, altruism is extended to other members of the community at large, rather than only to the young.
There is a third hypothesis that would be interesting to develop: altruism manifests itself as an element of hierarchical symbiosis. Domination evolved along with altruism so that a higher position in the hierarchy brings not just advantages but also obligations, including protection of subordinate individuals. (Examples of this development can be found in the literature.)
These three theories are all socio-biological answers. Other theories, conforming to the tastes of those who tend to explain human conduct in terms of cultural norms, could be advanced. This I leave to the reader. In my opinion, the proper approach is to allow a number of answers to the same question. I will call this the multi-variant approach. The multi-variant approach would help to lay the foundation of knowledge, especially in a non-experimental field that, as a rule, defies formalization. Naturally, this is what happens in practice. Different authors advance their own theories, but often the author presents his own particular theory as the final truth. Perhaps genes of altruism have not been securely entrenched in the scientific community.
Interestingly enough, the multi-variant approach toward the study of humans and society facilitates our understanding of the diversity of these complex subjects. It seems as though the search for the one true solution leads to an over-simplification of both the problem at hand, and our notions about the subjects. Formal and experimental sciences cannot avoid this deficiency, but at least in these disciplines the simplifying assumptions are clearly stated. In humanities simplification, or rather reduction, of a subject proceeds unnoticed -- and often even unstated -- simply as a result of the author's primary conceptual framework. I cannot guarantee that my work is not suffering from the same drawback. Oftentimes, this reduction of permissible scope of research is really a concession to group, ideological, or even political interests; this is a disgrace to humanities and it should not be overlooked. Formerly, exact sciences suffered from the same predicament. Recent political accusations directed against socio-biologists at Harvard reveal that sociology is not exempt from all this turmoil, not to mention the traditional persecution of "bourgeois" sociology in the Soviet Union.
One dismal example of this oversimplification is a belief in the perfect sameness of the evolution of all races and ethnoses. This doctrine exerts great influence upon the many sciences concerned with humans and their society. Simple common sense suggests that such a belief requires more firm and reliable proofs than those at hand in these fields, in which proofs are illustrative and imprecise. Further, common sense is not the only source of authority that would demand more persuasive proof of this particular belief: even considerations of an entropeic nature cast doubt on it. That is, generally speaking, dispersion of a given characteristic over a spectrum, or range, in nature can be readily accepted without hard proof while uniformity, on the other hand, requires meticulous verification. For example, one does not need to examine a big tree to conclude that the leaves on such trees vary in size; yet even examing a thousand leaves and finding they are all the same size would not be sufficient to prove that all the remaining leaves are also of the same size.
To demonstrate the sameness of evolutionary development of different peoples based upon an arbitrary percentage of corresponding genes is impossible. How can uniformity be established when even its criteria are lacking? But the roots of this prejudice in favor of the uniformity of evolutionary development of all peoples are simple. Assuming we have evolved differently, a primitive dichotomous mind would want to arrange this variety of evolutionary results in a one-dimensional scheme, to establish which peoples are more developed, and which are less so. The popular notion is that this would be akin to racism, and since we do not want racism let us believe that we are all identical. It seems that we have not evolved far enough to understand the diversity of the results of our evolution.
Nevertheless, any mention of biological differences among peoples or races is immediately interpreted as a precursor to discrimination in the law. This is the result of at least two misconceptions. The first misconception is the reduction of the whole, incredibly complex evolution-development phenomenon to one-dimensional terms (better/worse or more/less), in spite of the fact that differences can rarely be reduced to such simplistic comparisons. The second misconception is that scholars are perceived as having more power than they actually do -- or should -- have. If scholars "prove" that whites should not play basketball or that Papuans should not try to become mathematicians, the legal status of either group in a democratic society that upholds the principle of equality before the law should not be affected. I agree emphatically that these principles of equality before the law should be preserved and developed, but imposing a public taboo on the scientific discussion of biological diversity among people is a foolish way to do it.
Of course, we should not forget that non-democratic states can practice racism or other forms of discrimination under the guise of scientific theories selected for the purpose. In that case, however, the burden of responsibility rests with those in power. A scholar is not responsible for others using his conclusions, arrived at on the basis of observations or logical reasoning, as justification for political acts, as long as the scholar is impartial in his work.
We know very little about the evolution of the fine structures of the brain network. We know the approximate similarity of the general anatomical structure of the human brain, but this alone is insufficient to illustrate complete uniformity of the fine structures of the networks in the brain that are responsible for various abilities and predispositions, or the power of various instincts. We know people possess specific abilities, and it seems unlikely that these abilities are entirely due to the environment. Many of us believe, and justifiably so, that people possess innate abilities. But these differences in ability do not -- and should not -- affect our legal rights, whether or not they are linked to race, ethnos or any other genetic population.
I choose to dwell on this topic because this widespread prejudice concerning our biological similitude damages not only scientific inquiry, impelling those weak of spirit to conform, but this presumption of innate sameness also predisposes one to desire uniformity in teaching methods. Variation in the success of these methods for different peoples, races or other genetic populations is typically blamed on differences in the cultural environment: pre-school training, parental influence, etc. While these factors are significant, they do not warrant a total rejection of a more thorough examination of the possible biological causes of diversity rooted in the fine structures of the brain.
One example of the harm inflicted by this kind of attitude should suffice. The Chukchi, an ethnic group in the northeastern part of the USSR, frequently live far from schools, so many Chukchi children are brought up in boarding schools. Often, initial examination of the mental abilities of these children shows them to be below the standards uniformly set based on European standards of intelligence. As a result, the children are then confined to boarding schools for retarded children. Every so often a "retarded" Chukcha child runs away from school and finds the way to his parents' home, hundreds of miles away across frozen tundra!3 Now what facilitates racism more: uniform requirements and the assumption of sameness, or the recognition of possible variation and distinctness of different races, ethnoses or other gene pools?
White civilization has long practiced cultural imperialism. In previous centuries in Europe and North America, and in Germany in the 1930s, this sin was manifested in declarations that any culture different from the West European one was necessarily inferior.
Similar -- although less publicized -- policies were followed by the Soviet authorities against the peoples of Siberia and the North as well as the Kazakhs. The ways of life of these peoples were coercively converted to a more "civilized" one. Contemporary doctrines of biological uniformity of the brain of different peoples and races reveals, in my opinion, the same cultural imperialism or, if you wish, racial arrogance and condescension toward the culture of other races. Rather than preventing racism, these doctrines could, in fact, be considered an expression of it, in that they implicitly assume that racial variations, if they exist, must necessarily be inferior to the standards or characteristics valued by the dominant culture. In my view, an honest and impartial study of potential biological brain variations among different peoples and races would be a worthy, and humane, scholarly undertaking aimed at acquiring more knowledge and promoting more individualized methods of teaching.
It is quite possible that the intellectual abilities of an ethnos, race or genetic population, and almost any individual, could be developed much better than is currently achieved by traditional teaching methods. Typically, people strive in areas where they have a chance to excel. At this time, the choice is made empirically or, to be more precise, by guessing. In most cases psychology cannot predict the area in which an individual is most prone to success. If the biological characteristics of different genetic groups or individuals would predict, with reasonable certainty, success in particular activities, many people would benefit by realizing their innate abilities more fully. Of course, such scientific recommendations should not be abused by the government or employers as a basis for discrimination. I repeat, however, that the prevention of discrimination in law is not the task of individual scientists to be achieved by stifling scholarly inquiry, but of society as a whole.
I note with pleasure that a number of scientists in the United States have already stressed the need for a pluralistic approach in testing the intellect. In all probability this approach will not gain widespread recognition any time soon. I.Q. testing is still predominant, and many gifted youngsters with unusual talents will be insulted and discouraged by the results of this type of testing. Even a pluralistic approach to intelligence testing in schools can be socially detrimental, for it is based on an assumption that the schools' objective ought to be the development of the students' intellect. A preferable goal for schools, however, would be to encourage development of the conscious will and the cultivation of specific abilities that might benefit the individual and society, whether these abilities are intellectual or not.
To be sure, there is a social scale of values -- the prestige associated with various abilities -- that will continue to exist, and the study of the biological advantages of certain individuals or groups will not change anything in this respect. In fact, in spite of any occupational hierarchy, success means more than just belonging to a prestigious profession. People do not need scientific explanations to realize that it is better to be a successful farmer than a bad lawyer. Let's suppose it would be possible to formulate a scientifically-substantiated list of occupations to be recommended for each race, ethnos or genetic community, or for each psychological type within these groups. Those who choose to rely on the list would be able to select an occupation that promises a greater chance of success. Others would have a competitive desire to achieve success in areas not recommended for them, which should also increase their chances of success, just as women today succeed in areas traditionally considered unsuitable for them.
Another area in which cultural imperialism has probably inflicted irreversible damage is the economy of Third World countries. Neither Africa nor Latin America have been able to duplicate the Japanese miracle. Judging by their investment in these regions, Western countries expected such a miracle. Further attempts to shape economic development in these countries along Western lines will most likely lead to new rounds of debt forgiveness, not to mention social and ecological repercussions.
I want to note in conclusion that simplification of the subject matter is typical even when unscholarly motives are not involved. It seems both psychology and sociology tend to reduce the complex to the simple. To an extent this tendency is characteristic of all sciences, something which is not always explicitly stated. A scientist seeks to establish causal connections and reduce a multitude of apparently diverse phenomena to one or several causes -- to establish simple laws governing complex processes. Classical mechanics is a prime example. This pattern cannot always be followed, however. A complex entity might be based on something even more complex, and discovering the latter is also a goal of science. We should realize, particularly with regard to living creatures, that nature has invested a much greater variety of abilities than becomes manifest during the lifetime of most higher animals.
I stress this point because my own approach, which distinguishes many biological factors underlying human behavior, can lead the reader to suspect me of trying to "mechanize" or simplify human beings. I believe, however, that my emphasis on the diversity of possible types of behavior demonstrates the contrary. (In a sense, a religious approach differs from a scientific one by its willingness to "reduce" complex entities to more complex ones, in that God is typically assumed to be immeasurably more complex than his creations.)
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The subject matter of the present book is human hierarchies and their role in the life of an individual or a society. A natural question arises immediately: what kind of hierarchies, and what is the criterion or characteristic according to which they are formed? The discussion that follows reveals a multitude of such characteristics. Hierarchical structures, whether actual or merely potential, are formed on the basis of different characteristics or sets of characteristics. It does not take much to realize that the possession of a rare item, unusual strength, a substantial bank account or a beautiful wife affects how one is perceived by others, and how it affects one's status in society. (The notion of social status itself testifies to the presence of a hierarchy.) The one of these -- or other -- characteristics that is of prime importance to any given hierarchy, and based on which the hierarchy makes its judgments as to the relative status of its members, is what I call the hierarchical distinguishing characteristic.
The multiplicity (large number and variety) of hierarchical distinguishing characteristics is very interesting. These characteristics are set ordering, i.e., they must be of value to the members of the set (in our case, individuals in society). In number theory sets of numbers can be ordered according to different principles; but the amount of ink required to write down a number is irrelevant in constructing a hierarchy of numbers (at least from a number-theoretical standpoint). Similarly, the value of different human traits is not absolute, but depends on the prevailing circumstances and social norms. For instance, possession of a rather common sea shell is hierarchically irrelevant. But in a society where such shells are used as a medium of exchange, they acquire value.
Another important condition is that the distinguishing characteristic be possessed by the members of the set to varying degrees. A feature possessed by everybody equally cannot serve as a set-ordering criterion; for instance, having a head is excluded as the basis of a human hierarchy. If decapitation is regarded as a disgraceful form of execution, however, then in the hierarchy of corpses a headed body would possess a significant characteristic.
Because the formation of a hierarchy is set-ordering, any given hierarchical distinguishing characteristic must be significant to at least two people. One can, however, imagine a one-person hierarchy in which an individual conceives of hierarchical qualities and strives to attain them, whether or not these qualities are esteemed by any other members of the society.
Elaboration of new hierarchical characteristics is common not only in one-person, but also in normal hierarchies. Generally speaking, this process is rooted in the human search for new values and new patterns of behavior.
Thus, hierarchical distinguishing characteristics in contemporary societies possess at least the following attributes: a) multiplicity; b) significance for some group of people; c) a varying extent of possession of the relevant characteristic by different people; and d) the possibility to create new distinguishing characteristics.
Faced with this diversity of characteristics and the constant introduction of new ones, it makes sense to devise a classification to evaluate the significance of different hierarchical distinguishing characteristics, as well as of hierarchies based upon them. One can study hierarchical characteristics according to their roles in various societies. For instance, one can compile a long list of observed hierarchical characteristics, measure how prevalent they are, and then estimate -- by means of surveys, for example -- the significance of different characteristics in different societies. This course, I believe, would be followed by traditional sociologists if they were interested in studying inequality in human societies. (Orthodox sociology follows this canon in studying some characteristics, such as material inequality. It seems to me that the importance of hierarchical characteristics other than wealth has not been recognized, and this is unfortunate. The process by which society as a whole, rather than the "upper classes" -- which, in the opinion of many scholars, are responsible for most decisions made and for originating inequality in society -- makes hierarchical decisions, has also been neglected.)
Another course of investigation is to trace the roots of hierarchical differences in society and examine them in their primitive form, to study the origins of inequality and its subsequent diversification and accompanying increase in the number of hierarchical distinguishing characteristics. This would help us to understand that inequality and selection based on specific attributes date back clear to our pre-human ancestors. It was a barbarian and cruel hierarchical struggle that gave birth to civilization, and subsequently led to its humanization in some societies. We would see that the kind and gentle nature of those who now reject the role played by hierarchical struggle in society, is derived from that very struggle.
How far must we trace our steps to recognize the dawn of inequality and hierarchies? One can observe the group behavior of monkeys, or any herd mammals for that matter; or one can speculate on the behavioral patterns that preceded herd-like behavior. In any case, it is apparent that Darwinian selection based on the survival of the fittest played an important part. Survival does not depend solely on any one characteristic, however; along with individual abilities, it requires faculties not directly linked with behavior, such as the capacity to adapt to a changing climate.
Disregarding characteristics not expressed in behavior, though, we can characterize an individual by his total will: that is, by his physical strength and the readiness and skill with which he uses it, plus his innate or acquired knowledge of when to use it. (Later in this work I discuss will surrogates, and how individuals acquire them to augment their total will. The knowledge component of total will I shall discuss in detail in the chapter on the cognitive automatism.) Thus, total will is a combination of characteristics, so no one characteristic can be selected as primary. Strength is undoubtedly important in combat, but strength coupled with clumsiness or any other disadvantageous quality can be a losing combination.
I would be hard pressed to construct a universal language to describe hierarchies, or to formulate a uniquely-true concept. My approach is based on the multi-variant approach to the interpretation of phenomena. I am choosing my own terminology for the subject matter, but undoubtedly the same thoughts can be expressed in other terms, and the better choice between the two is not at all obvious. My aim here is not to fashion a new "breed" of psychology. I need a model of human behavior expressed in my own language, a language that must be well-suited for the description of the social phenomena of hierarchies.
Automatisms Of Will
All human activities controlled by the brain I call manifestations of an individual's will, or will manifestations. I cannot concoct a brief definition of will. This entire book may be construed as an endeavor to define the notion of individual will and its role in society. In speaking of the will of our pre-human ancestors, I defined it in terms of physical strength together with the abilities to use it. As human behavior became more and more complex, so did manifestations of will. Therefore the notion of total will is no longer limited to the ability to use one's strength. It is precisely this diversity of volitional manifestation that is discussed on these pages. It is important to distinguish between my understanding of "will", and its everyday usage. Expressions such as "will power" or "willful" denote attributes of conscious will, which I discuss below. "Will" as used in such expressions as "will to power" or "will to freedom" more or less coincides with my understanding, since these terms connote conscious or unconscious motivation in attaining the goal at which the will is directed. The physiological nature of will, and how it is generated, are outside the scope of this book, and are open to all kinds of speculation.
The Principle Of Locality Of WillIt seems that will is something which allows an individual to perceive his body as being his own. Indeed, in comfortable surroundings (in the absence of external stimulation), by relaxing the hand muscles one can feel the sensation of a hand missing. Only by volitional exertion via the hand, by channeling will into the hand muscles, does one regain the feeling of the hand as belonging to oneself -- as a part and manifestation of the "I". Perhaps experiments such as this one gave rise to the well-known concept of dualism of body and spirit, provided that this concept arose after conscious will became sufficiently proficient at controlling bodily movements.
This detachment of part of the body from the will is not always plausible. Many manifestations of will are autonomous, i.e., independent of our ability to turn them on and off consciously: for instance, inducing the will to feel heat or hear sounds, and manifestations of the will in autonomous organs (heart, genitalia, etc.). It seems that recognition of such autonomous actions comes neither from scientific knowledge nor from developed consciousness. I believe that self-knowledge at this level exists in many animals. Observing the autonomous will of body parts suggested to our ancestors the principle of will locality: every organ (whether governed by consciousness or not) was endowed with a will of its own. This led to the establishment of relations with these local wills, similar to relations with the wills residing outside of one's body (relations of submission, arousing attention and evaluation, fear, and others). Obviously, this perception of localized wills within the organism is due to a lack or inadequacy of conscious control over the volitional currents. This topic will have to wait until I discuss my model of primitive consciousness.
Automatisms And Instincts. This easily-diagnosed autonomy of the spatially distinct wills of the organism does not exhaust all the autonomous manifestations of will of the "I". There exist many categories of unconscious acts, known as instincts, habits, conditional and unconditional reflexes, reactions, etc. I call all of these automatisms of will. Here, the criterion is independence from consciousness, rather than the biological or the evolutionary level of the mechanism governing the act. An automatism denotes all acts that are independent of the conscious will, including those acquired through learning; by instinct I mean only genetically-programmed will manifestations.
The term "automatism" is appropriate in discussing human beings, because childhood rearing and imitation supplement innate instincts, with a multitude of programs that the brain follows just as it follows instincts. The essential point here is that the brain executes these programs independently of the conscious will, i.e., without the direct intervention of the latter.
Character. In a simple case we can assume that an individual commands certain volitional reserves that are replenishable. In interacting with the environment and other wills an individual expresses his will according to the ways prescribed by nature (following instincts), which ensures a stable state (homeostasis) for the organism and promotes the stability and development of the population. Different automatisms require different intensity of will manifestation, a trait which also varies among different people. Thus we arrive at the notion of character, that is, the relative role of different automatisms in the individual's complex of automatisms, including both the innate distribution of the intensities of will manifestation along various paths, and later shifts in this distribution due to learning. In other words, character can be described with a set of numbers denoting the relative weight of each automatism. These numbers, determined partially by nature and partially by upbringing, indicate the ratios of will expenditures among various channels of will manifestation.
Environment imposes its own constraints upon the outlets of will manifestation. We can introduce the notion of suitability (adaptability) of a given character to a given environment, an important factor of survival. Channeling the will along a particular course can naturally lessen the intensity of other will manifestations that may be necessary immediately, in a given set of circumstances, for purposes of survival. Automatism expression is characterized by initial arousal, the intensity of will expenditure, and satisfaction. Starting with arousal, the entire process of automatism fulfillment (whether or not successful) is one or more constituent elements of behavior: in the simplest case, gratification represents a behavioral objective. In more complex sequences, the purpose of behavior is arousal or some intermediate stage toward eventual gratification.
Automatism Interaction. External stimuli do not exhaust the causes of will manifestation; an individual possesses an instinct for will manifestation. This means that when there is a lack of external stimulation, the will can be propelled by inner factors of arousal; in particular, will might be directed at searching out external stimulation. In case the stimuli or the capacity for excitation are insufficient to satisfy an automatism within the will expenditures typical for a given individual, we observe interaction of automatisms: substitution, when the arousal and fulfillment of one automatism weakens the will to search and try to fulfill another automatism; and symbiosis, when the arousal of individual automatisms leads to mutual intensification, thus compensating for weak stimuli or will expenditures required to fulfill a particular automatism. This pattern of interaction and complementary action of different automatisms, when the fulfillment or arousal of one automatism causes the arousal of another, is often carried out automatically. This process can become very involved, as symbiosis and substitution are performed with combinations of many primary automatisms. This kind of automatism interaction might represent an individual's response to complex messages from the environment; or it may be due to the inadequacy of the individual's character for the given environment.
Conscious Will. By the term "manifestation of conscious will," I mean the ability to consciously control the interaction and manifestation of automatisms, thus making the response to a stimulus indeterminate, at least in principle. (As I have said previously, it is in the sense of a conscious will that the term "will" is usually used.)
Naturally this uncertainty of response is only presumed. It seems there exists no criterion to prove that the exercise of conscious will is equivalent to free will. Moreover, it seems that neither logical reasoning nor experimentation can determine which concept is preferable: that of determinism (God or classical determinism) or that of free will. To see this precariousness of response and freedom of will, it suffices for an individual to believe that he would be capable of acting differently on his "own" accord. Here, I am not concerned with locating the physiological or the psychological mechanism which is responsible for this uncertainty of response.
The capacity for variable response should not be attached solely to a conscious ability to do so. We cannot ignore the possibility that the brain is capable of variable response, i.e., of creative activity that is independent of consciousness.
Conscious will facilitates our ability to search out factors of arousal, and to form complexes of symbiotic and substitutional automatisms. "Nature-given" combinations of outlets for will manifestation are supplemented by new ones constructed by an individual himself.
I want to give an example to illustrate my terminology. When will is exerted to fulfill an automatism, the state of an individual and automatism fulfillment is referred to as pleasure, enjoyment, or satisfaction. Inability to exert one's will when an automatism is in a state of arousal leads to suffering, grief or despondency. We can view these states as results of a feedback between the brain and its various manifestations. The model presented above really stays within the traditional framework. Using other terminology, instincts can be thought of as programs of behavior that are inherited, and is the only source of behavior for creatures incapable of learning. Starting at some stage of evolution every program -- i.e., every outlet of will manifestation -- is characterized, if only approximately, by innate weights that specify the share of total will that should be exerted along each path. That is, individuals possess different characters. This point is important. Variations in the prescribed pattern of will manifestation make creatures possessing the same set of programs different from each other, a factor that is conducive to the survival of the species since changes in the environment may require different intensities of will manifestation along the various outlets available to an individual.
This stage of evolution can be referred to as the initial stage, since creatures lack the capacity to learn, i.e., the ability to construct new programs. Here, the actual number of innate programs possessed by a being is insignificant. Theoretically, one can imagine very complex patterns of behavior at this initial stage of evolution.
I want to hypothesize three important substages of possible development of the initial stage:
1. Possession of a set of programs without definite weights of intensity of will manifestation;
2. Each being having a character, i.e., a set of weights indicating the intensity of will manifestation along various programs; and
3. Having an instinct of will manifestation, meaning a certain independence of behavior from external factors -- the capacity to search for external stimuli.
I am not sure whether living creatures actually exhibit these theoretically-constructed stages of development. It is also unclear whether the second stage is evolutionarily earlier than the third stage, since both can appear simultaneously.
Later stages of behavioral evolution reveal the capacity for learning. In the simplest case, learning is limited to replenishing the set of initial programs and subsequent combinations of the existing ones, or in other words, the capacity for automatism substitution and symbiosis. The more advanced stages of learning witness the elaboration of completely new programs of behavior. Here we should distinguish between the ability to assimilate knowledge from the outside, and the capacity for self-learning. The ladder of evolutionary development can be extended indefinitely. We can imagine creatures capable of creating programs to devise new programs to devise new programs, and so on. The point at which this process terminates is unknown. In principle, consciousness is not a prerequisite to this process. Consciousness merely allows us to observe the workings of the brain, but it does not necessarily determine the amount of complex programs. This statement should be qualified, for it is really a matter of belief based on my initial concept that consciousness plays a much smaller role in human behavior than is commonly assumed.
Interaction With Other Wills
Primitive (and often modern) behavior in interacting with all ecological objects and factors is apparently rooted in the principle of will determinism: the assumption that every object or phenomenon in the world has its own will. I avoid the standard term "animism," which usually refers to primitive religion and philosophy, and is thought to have been used by pre-historic peoples to explain natural phenomena. I emphasize that the principle of will determinism encompasses the behavior of any will interacting with any object in the environment. It was valid in the evolution of living beings long before any creature endeavored to come up with an explanation. This conjecture seems sound, because the primary objective of a will is survival. It is quite plausible that a being capable of complex response acquires knowledge of the environment by initially presuming will determinism, by perceiving everything in the world as a potentially hostile will. Only after an experimental evaluation of the various groups of wills does a being adapt to the presence of those that are not hostile. Humans inherited the principle of will determinism. This principle fulfilled a very interesting function in the evolution of culture, and gave rise to many religions and philosophical systems. Will was attributed to living creatures, stones and trees, atmospheric phenomena and physical processes. Humans acquired knowledge of these wills by observing their manifestations, through experience in interacting with them and by analogy to their own human wills.
Evaluation. The power of any will, or the danger it presents to the will of a given individual, is crucial in the individual's interaction with that will. Will directed at resolving this uncertainty ensures an automatism of evaluation. This evaluation includes attention, recognition of volitional characteristics, and diagnosis of these characteristics through the use of numerous symbols already known to the individual. These symbols constitute at least a portion of the language of will, and help the evaluator make a value judgement to determine the nature of the interaction with the opposing will. By "language of will" I mean symbols that more or less unambiguously correspond with various states of the opposing will. Such symbols include standard types of behavior of living creatures, such as facial expressions, sounds, etc.4
It seems that the principle of will determinism necessitates keeping the automatism of evaluation in a constant state of arousal. Everything perceived by an individual is subject to evaluation: objects and living creatures, space, darkness, sounds, and so on. The automatism of evaluation is easily executed when contacting known objects. Analysis becomes more complicated if one's evaluation must incorporate the diagnosis of the volitional state of the familiar object, i.e., assessing which automatisms of the opposing will are fulfilled and which are not. This process is made easier by the language of will.
The automatism of evaluation is fulfilled by learning the language of the will. Unfamiliarity with the language of the opposing will invokes the principle of maximalization, which means that any unknown will is presumed to be the strongest imaginable. Indeed, no prior knowledge is required to get frightened the first time one encounters fire, depth of space, unknown sounds, unfamiliar creatures, or odd behavior. The initial "safety-fear" response may be followed by a search for valuable clues.
The automatism of evaluation therefore interacts with several will automatisms. Together they define an individual's interaction with the opposing will. The final value judgement elicits a particular automatism of response. For instance, encountering a stronger and insurmountable will stimulates certain reactions that partially depend on one's prior knowledge of that type of will. The reactions may include fear, motionlessness, catalepsy, escape, and vestigial defense responses like vomiting, defecation, etc.
Manifestations of the automatism of competition, which is activated in interacting with a comparable will, are rather intricate. Competition is a means of resolving a conflict of wills when attainment of the objective by one individual precludes the other from attaining that same objective. Frequently, competition is a continuation of the evaluation process, and so it might cease as soon as the process terminates. Competition is frequently avoided. A weaker will might provoke merely indifference or, when the weaker will impedes attainment of the goal, it might be conquered or subordinated. The existence of a herd or group, and the participation of an individual in the life of the herd or group, means that there are ways of will interaction other than those exercised in a non-herd or non-group setting.
In facing the will of a co-member of one's society, a stronger will displays a greater range of response than mere subjugation or indifference. There exists an automatism of kindness that becomes aroused in interacting with a weaker will, especially with children. There also exists an automatism of cooperation that allows for the "combining of wills" (combined effort directed at automatism fulfillment). I avoid the word "altruism", which is a rather complex combination of behavioral acts. Consequently, in a herd, response to a much stronger will is not limited to fear or acts signifying withdrawal from competition. The stronger will might incite an automatism of submission: an attempt to elicit automatisms of kindness and cooperation in the stronger will. Interestingly enough, humans developed another mechanism to protect a weak will in potential competition with a dangerous stronger will: even if the weaker will is misled and incites an automatism of competition in the stronger will, the latter might experience an automatism of laughter. Laughter is volitional relief that is detrimental to focusing the will upon one's competitor.5 Nowadays laughter is common as a response to a conflict of wills of significantly different strengths.
A comparable will can incite competition, withdrawal from competition, or the arousal and fulfillment of the automatism of cooperation. I might mention another primitive automatism: the automatism to seek bodily warmth, which is a symbiosis of two automatisms: cooperation and thermostability. Although this automatism has lost its former significance in maintaining homeostasis, it could be strongly represented in the totality of human automatisms.
As a rule, in interacting with each other individuals try to conserve energy expended upon competition by engaging in competition only when meeting a will of comparable strength, or when it becomes necessary to rectify a wrong judgment of a weaker will.6 This kind of behavior is prompted by the automatism of evaluation, which allows each individual to determine the hierarchy of wills in his hierarchy, as well as his own place in that hierarchy by constantly comparing his will with the will of others (thus establishing a set of hierarchical relations).
Automatism Of Total Will Augmentation
An individual is led to compete not only by a conflict with another will, but also by an automatism of total will augmentation: a hierarchical instinct to alter one's hierarchical status to one's own advantage in relation to an individual that possesses greater total will. The automatism of will augmentation manifests itself in the accumulation of conquered wills, in competition, in seeking out new outlets for will manifestation, and in the accumulation of various substitutes of will (will surrogates). The automatism of will manifestation, in conjunction with the automatism of will augmentation, generally follows the principle of economy and the criterion of expediency. The economy principle reflects a desire to attain the set goal with the least will expenditures. This includes preserving previously-amassed reserves of will, while avoiding will losses; although striving for the greatest gratification from will manifestation in those cases in which the intensity of satisfaction grows with will expenditures, may violate the principle of economy. The criterion of expediency reflects one's judgment of the adequacy, degree and value of the gratification in question, in terms of the will expenditures that must be made in order to attain it. I emphasize that this is a general rule only. People commonly misjudge their own abilities, or the expediency of certain actions.
The simplest means of will augmentation consists of accumulating conquered wills (subject to the principle of will determinism discussed above). This is the way a child goes about augmenting his will. Step by step, a child learns to manipulate objects and control the movement of his limbs. Training in will manifestation along "nature-given" channels contributes to the learning process, as does the cognitive automatism which, among other things, is a search for new outlets for will manifestation. In its simplest form, the cognitive automatism was the automatism of evaluation of other wills. Its development, especially in humans, eventually reached a stage at which an individual was capable of modelling situations he had not yet experienced, involving interactions with a number of wills. This cognitive automatism will be addressed in detail later on.
The search for new outlets of will manifestation leads one to devise combinations of interacting automatisms, which I call a manifestation of conscious will. The accumulation of information on outlets of will manifestation allows us to assign priorities; that is, it allows for the possibility of automatism fulfillment with the least expenditure of will, unless this is counter to the maximalization of pleasure. This suggests reexamination of previously-established hierarchical relations, and thus shifts one's position in the hierarchy of wills. So while one's prior total will remains the same, its effective capacity grows with the accumulation of information about new outlets of will manifestation. Information thus collected functions as a surrogate of will: the informational surrogate of will.
We should also distinguish the disciplinary surrogate of will. It consists of patterns of behavior ("behavioral programs") collected in the brain that limit or simplify automatism expression. This surrogate could be regarded as part of an informational one; I distinguish the two, however. The distinction is justified because patterns of behavior based on acquired information about the norms of conduct in society actually become, I would say, newly-acquired automatisms of will. A civilized person, on seeing goods displayed at the counter, does not need to refer to accumulated information in order to decide whether he should steal. Thanks to early-acquired patterns of behavior, this question does not arise: he refrains automatically. The quantity and nature of the accumulated disciplinary surrogate are important hierarchical characteristics in society, from knowing table manners to refraining from violence in everday conflicts.
During very early stages of human evolution (and in animals before that) another way to augment one's effective will was found: by accumulating the material surrogate of will. All material objects (food reserves, tools, gadgets to fulfill various automatisms) used to diminish the amount of will exerted upon fulfilling automatisms, or used as an exchange item, are material surrogates of will. These objects are characterized by the will expenditures required to produce them, or by the extent of the search needed to find them, as well as by their consequent savings in will expenditures. The value of the material surrogate also depends, of course, on its uniqueness and the scarcity of the resources required to produce it. But here I trespass into the domain of economics.
Defense of one's territory was probably one of the primary manifestations of proprietorship in animals. This suggests that in human beings this feeling arose as a result of development of brain structures formerly housing the territorial instinct (perhaps linked with an instinct of protecting one's own, or community's, prey). We could isolate another autonomous surrogate of will -- the territorial one -- but it might as well be viewed as part of the material surrogate. I can also talk of an energy surrogate of will: the accumulation of energy by means of informational and material surrogates, and the capacity to utilize such energy. The energy surrogate became widespread in the last few centuries, as evidenced by the multitude of different methods of collecting and utilizing energy. For the sake of simplifying our taxonomy, this surrogate of will I shall consider part of the material one.
The volitional surrogate of will is also very important in society. This is the ability to employ the will of others, and ranges from the will of a slave or a subordinate to the will of individuals ready to cooperate, including friends and relatives. The will of animals may be included if possession of them is not counted as part of the material surrogate. For instance, for a politician the will of supportive voters is an important form of the volitional surrogate. These examples indicate that the possession of the volitional surrogate of will is always marked by the share at one's disposal: from total possession in case of an animal or a slave, to a rather insignificant share in the case of voters. Possession of a volitional surrogate based on cooperation usually involves the "owner" of the surrogate himself being a volitional surrogate of his partner. The extent of mutual possession usually depends on the hierarchical status of the partners.
It is probably ill-advised to confuse the volitional surrogate of will with the ability to cooperate with hypothetical wills, the existence of which is dictated by the principle of will determinism discussed above. Religions evolved as people entered into various kinds of relationships with spirits, gods and other cosmic powers. Many such relationships presupposed mutual cooperation, faith in the plausibility of which exerted a strong influence on an individual's conduct. By analogy to the anthropological term "magic space", I shall call this hypothetical surrogate of will the magic surrogate.
For the sake of completeness, I want to mention another type of will surrogate, the acquisition of which is beyond human control: the genetic surrogate of will. Genetic changes acquired by the population and responsible for the evolution of a species define the adaptability of the population in the ecological system and therefore bring about the growth of the total will of the population as a whole. This surrogate can be possessed only by the entire population, unlike the previously-discussed surrogates, which are capable of being possessed by an individual, a group, or an entire population. Of course, genetic traits such as beauty or innate abilities definitely affect the hierarchical status of an individual, as opposed to the community at large.
Thus, the effective total will of an individual or a society (I shall refer to it simply as total will) is characterized by one's own total will, plus the amount of accumulated surrogates. Both factors are taken into account in defining hierarchical relations. The material, disciplinary, volitional, and informational surrogates have the most impact in establishing and maintaining hierarchical relations, although the hierarchical self-placement of many people is still affected by the magic surrogate. The genetic surrogate undoubtedly played a significant role in inter-population conflicts. Perhaps even in our day and age it should not be neglected, but analysis of it is hampered by the diffidence of scientists and scholars who have misinterpreted the ideals of equality (more on this later).
One manifestation of the automatism of will augmentation is the desire for hierarchical advancement, an aspiration that pervades human behavior. In this regard, a constantly-alert automatism of evaluation controls the status of an individual in the hierarchy through the observation of his hierarchical neighbors as, for example, in their attitudes toward a given individual, their actions, and their will surrogates. Views on one's hierarchical neighbors frequently serve as the main criterion for ascertaining one's hierarchical status, although the possession of will surrogates unknown to the neighbors may be another independent criterion. Evaluation of the hierarchical status of an individual (and how adequate it is for the position which he occupies) takes into account the fact that different hierarchical levels have their own unique outlets of will manifestation and their own unique will language. What's acceptable in one stratum is not necessarily acceptable in another.
So far I've been talking as if there were only one hierarchy in society. In speaking of a single hierarchy in society, I am referring to very distant times when the total of one's own will was a major hierarchical indicator. As humanity evolved, this primary hierarchy began to split up into more or less separate hierarchies, each with its own distinguishing hierarchical characteristic and, frequently, with its own language of will manifestation. The dominant distinguishing characteristics of major hierarchies include the amount of accumulated surrogates (disciplinary, material, volitional, informational), sexual attractiveness, and so on. These hierarchies that have split off from the original sole primal hierarchy, in turn splinter into other -- including internal -- hierarchies, so one can speak of the hierarchy of hierarchies. Hierarchical splintering may be demonstrated, for example, by the process of scholarly specialization, with many different schools of thought being formed within the same scholarly discipline.
It is difficult to judge the comparative hierarchical status of individuals belonging to different hierarchies, in view of the lack of a common will language. We can evaluate the hierarchy of hierarchies, but judgements pronounced in this realm are always subject to dispute that, owing to the automatism of will augmentation, leads to competition between various groups. Judging the relative worth of different hierarchies is rendered even more complicated by the fact that not every hierarchy attaches the same value to any given characteristic. For example, it is difficult to compare the hierarchical status of an army general and a university president.
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THE VICTORY OF THE WEAK
The biological evolution of humanity unfolded very rapidly, owing to the human capacity to kill fellow creatures - an endeavor humans were actively engaged in over many a millennium. In addition, humans have culturally-predicated marriage customs that are very different from those of primates. The notion of natural selection as applied to the evolution of other species ill-befits a discussion of humans. These two factors, culturally-predicated marriage customs and the killing of fellow humans, are means of psuedo-artifical selection, in that the selection criteria were humanly defined (albeit without recognition of them as selection criteria). It is irrelevant whether we regard this as a continuation of the evolution of the species, or as the creation of a new breed within a species. What is crucial is that this pseudo-artificial selection proceeds like a very speedy evolutionary selection.
Culturally as well as biologically, we are different creatures than the humans of ten thousand -- or perhaps even a mere two thousand -- years ago. This difference is not belied by a similarity between our basic anatomical features and those of our predecessors, because this speedy selection involves not conspicuous anatomical features but the development of the brain itself, whose fine structures do not yield to comparison. The evolution of this fine structure can be traced through the development of human intellectual capacities and the non-instinctual aspects of human behavior.
Socially-adapted individuals exhibited a greater propensity for survival than did the biologically adapted. This new criterion of adaptability encompasses features other than those found valuable in natural selection. Social adaptability entails such qualities as the abilities to hide in the shadow when the bright are being exterminated; to be weak when the strong are being killed; to be smart when the stupid fight. Selection based on physical strength and the ability to use it (i.e., the selection rooted in one's total will proper that is so widespread in the animal world), was replaced by this pseudo-artificial selection that promoted the survival primarily of the weak and submissive, who were capable of assimilating culture.
Models Of the Victory Of the Weak
Start with a simple case of two characteristics: physical strength and submissiveness. A stable social organization calls primarily for submissive individuals. (The value of insubordinate ones who pioneer new avenues for society is indisputable. This, though, calls for moderate insubmissiveness that does not violate accepted social norms -- just as the insubmissiveness of leaders must be moderate, at least in most cases.) Apparently, strength is conducive to both social and biological adaptability. The fact that it is the strong who are enlisted by society to fight in wars does not make strength a winning quality, however.
Human history has led me to the following conclusions.
1. Individuals who were strong and insubmissive were eliminated in wars and in hierarchical struggles, except for the few who achieved leadership;
2. Individuals who were weak and insubmissive were eliminated in the course of hierarchical struggles;
3. Individuals who were strong and submissive suffered radical elimination in wars; and
4. Individuals who were weak and submissive survived, multiplied and formed their own hierarchies based on principles other than strength.
Consequently we are, for the most part, a society of physically weak, non-aggressive and relatively submissive individuals. Generally we obey the law. In tyrannical societies people obey the tyrant. Most men in our society do not spring on a woman even if they feel a strong urge to do so. Our conflicts rarely lead to blows. Even duels have gone out of style. Sometimes, collectively, we can even withstand the pressure of a small number of strong individuals.7 The victory of the weak during the course of pseudo-artificial selection (which victory is the reverse of that brought about by natural selection) has had major evolutionary and social repercussions. Civilizations began to emerge. The weak instituted their own rules of hierarchical competition, gradually banning aggressiveness as a form of competition. Even in sports hierarchies, strength is circumvented to a considerable extent by rules. The same holds true for armies and police, in which the romance of direct force is still cultivated.
Wars are the sole exception. Although constraints on the use of force do exist in this realm (and had existed in some form or other before the Geneva Convention), their role is primarily symbolic. Generally speaking, wars are a lawful method of direct-force competition that allows for unrestrained relief from the accumulation of a nostalgic yearning for aggression (at least until recent times, and even to this day in some underdeveloped countries). The ever-growing role of weapons in the last few millennia has not, until very recently, altered this aspect of war. We should bear in mind, though, that during the last two centuries the size of the armies involved in major wars required the service of individuals more apt to prefer a peaceful career. The impact of war upon pseudo-artificial selection was thus partially cancelled out. But even under compulsory military service, obviously weak individuals do not usually make it to war. They stay behind and continue to reproduce.
Only recently has this situation changed, at least in technologically-advanced countries. A push of a button is not a war of the strong. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not reflect the level of aggressiveness of the victims. As a consequence, populations that owe their civilization to the victory of the weak -- reverse selection based on aggressiveness -- face an evolutionary crisis. The weak have so perfected the art of war that war no longer serves as a means of selection directed against the strong. However, biologically-inherited aggressiveness did not disappear completely. The innate predisposition toward the use of force has declined over the last few millennia, although it is still widespread in some segments of the population. If this pseudo-artificial selection against the strong does not continue, the share of people predisposed toward aggression may increase. In order to maintain the level of civilization already achieved, society would have to devise more sophisticated methods for the cultural suppression of aggressiveness in future generations. It is unclear which frequency of occurrence of the "gene of strength" should be recognized as conducive to further development of civilization. Excessive suppression of the strong may prove detrimental to development, for we cannot rule out the possibility that innate aggressiveness is indirectly responsible for a person's activeness and ambitions. Without it, we might eventually face irreversible stagnation.
It must be noted that this impact of war on the process of selection occurs only if the weak manage to survive. The impact of war is reversed if the defeated population, or even its male contingent, is completely exterminated (as is the case with chimpanzees).8 If the females of the defeated group are spared, their use by the victors improves the latter's chances to secure their heredity in the progeny, even though the females also carry the heredity of the defeated.
Let me examine a number of alternatives within the framework of the proposed model. The term "gene of strength" is used for illustrative purposes. It encompasses a broad range of hereditary traits symptomatic of subjects inclined toward aggression or direct use of force in cases of conflict. They must possess sufficient physical strength to prevent their aggressiveness from turning into an empty threat.
These inherited traits depend not only on the gene package responsible for aggressiveness, but also on the lack or insignificance of the gene package responsible for screening the aggression, i.e., for discovering alternative outlets for will manifestation. To an extent, aggressiveness is inherent in everyone, as are the ancient brain structures responsible for it, in all probability. Whether aggressiveness is expressed directly by the use of force in resolving a conflict seems to depend on the extent to which the brain structures that evolved subsequently have advanced in terms of discovering alternative outlets for will manifestation. The origins of these structures are both genetic and cultural, that is, inherited and the result of learning. Owing to these structures aggressive urges are not extinguished, but are screened and transformed into a source of motivation for socially-acceptable behavior. Keep this proviso in mind when I use the illustrative term "the gene of strength".
For the purposes of my model, it suffices to predicate a gene of strength passed on according to Mendel's scheme. Group A, endowed with a greater frequency of occurrence of the gene of strength, conquers group B -- which has a lesser frequency of this gene -- and suffers no losses. Group A proceeds to annex the territory of the defeated group, and kills all its members. As a result Group A, superior in terms of the gene of strength, has more territory to live on and reproduce. Every time, the "gene of strength" has won out.
Now imagine that Group B is annihilated except for the females. The gene of strength comes out a victor anyway, but less so than if the whole of Group B was destroyed. Simple calculations can prove this, provided the gene of strength is not linked with the Y-chromosome (in which case, we see the genetically-averaging inertial role of the females).9
Let us see what happens if certain males in Group B are spared. If the victors destroy the weak contingent of Group B, the gene of strength gains and the group of victors becomes stronger, due to reinforcements of strong males from Group B. But usually the reverse takes place: those were killed who could resist in the future, i.e., the strong. Here, if destruction is limited to the strong subgroup of Group B and the weak are admitted into Group A and allowed to reproduce, the frequency of the gene of strength decreases: it has lost out.
Most likely, this simple model uncovers the origins of civilization. Human populations, without understanding it, found a way to reduce the frequency of occurrence of the gene of strength, which seems to go counter to our ancestors' natural instincts geared toward increasing the frequency of this gene. Of course, this model is simplified. Survival of communities of gatherers-hunters is due to selection based not only on strength, but also on the development of the brain. Selection based on these two factors prepared the groundwork for the next step, namely reverse selection based on strength and the subsequent victory of the weak.
Methods devised by mankind to inhibit the frequency of occurrence of the "gene of strength" within the population were two-fold: first, spare the weak among the defeated; and second, do not hinder their subsequent procreation. The first part probably occurred naturally, as soon as human societies began to divide, roughly speaking, into warriors and workers. I have not heard of a similar specialization among communities of chimpanzees, in which each male, except the very lame, is a warrior when called upon to be one. But it makes no sense for chimpanzees to distinguish a subgroup of laborers, since they do not perform any work requiring specialization. It is plausible that this functional division took place among our ancestors when there arose a need for professional craftsmen. Potters, arms-makers and herdsmen did turn warrior on special occasions. Generally speaking, however, they formed their own social groups since very early times. Craftsmanship and productivity of labor profited from specialization, so these groups contributed to the adaptability of the community. It would not make sense if the strong and the aggressive were also included in these groups. On the contrary, the strong were more likely to make it into the ranks of warriors, especially since strength and the calling of a warrior were enviable hierarchical attributes.
This specialization in society provided the foundation for the first component of the civilizing discovery of our ancestors: to spare those males who did not present any danger, and were valuable as workers. The "gene of strength" in this group was probably less pronounced than among the warriors. As a result, the population of victors improved its adaptability not just by conquering new territory and females, but also by securing workers for itself. It could be said that the winners gained in strength as a group, but lost in the frequency of the "gene of strength."
The full impact of this paradox is not felt unless the second component of the civilizing discovery is implemented: weak workers who are conquered must be allowed to procreate. While depriving them of wives would not detract from their immediate worth, it seems that the knights of the "gene of strength" rarely chose to follow this path. Crafts were family-oriented. The children of craftsmen learned the craft by helping their fathers. Socially, this was a very advantageous mode of production. It perpetuated the craft, thus improving the society's adaptability. It is irrelevant in this context whether workers were slaves. Nonetheless, the overall balance of the hereditary gene of strength, or talents for certain crafts, was strongly influenced by the fact that many slaves, at least in historical times, were not allowed to reproduce. Such deprivation was probably instituted when slaves, including former warriors, were used as a primitive unskilled labor force not requiring knowledge handed down socially from generation to generation. This practice reduced the inherited frequency of the "gene of strength", while allowing craftsmen to reproduce might have increased the frequency of genetically-fixed gifts for craftsmanship, including intellectual and artistic abilities.
It should be noted that the impact of this civilizing process could have been cancelled out by marriage customs. Even if the workers, i.e., the subgroup with the least-pronounced "gene of strength," did obtain wives to ensure the transfer of their productive skills to their children, society's strongest individuals could still get all the remaining females and ensure a high reproduction rate of the gene of strength. Maybe societies in which polygamy was not prohibited followed this course. I consider it characteristic that the greatest triumphs of civilization were achieved in countries having monogamous traditions, that is, in populations in which the decreasing frequency of the gene of strength caused by the deaths of the strong individuals in wars, was not compensated for by a systematic conquest of females by the remaining strong individuals. (I say "systematic" because in spite of strict monogamous traditions the strong still managed to beget children on the side.)
The Victory Of the Weak And Homosexuality
In this section I discuss the evolutionary impact of banning or allowing homosexuality in human society. It seems that the taboo upon homosexual relationships, which has been imposed until very recently by many civilized societies, was one more factor contributing to the victory of the weak.
At present, the role of hereditary factors in passing on a homosexual predisposition can be considered an established fact.10 For the sake of brevity, I shall tentatively refer to a passive-homosexual predisposition in males as "femineity".
At this point I should qualify the term femineity, since it seems unsound to frame our discussion in terms of dichotomous logic. Statistical studies have shown that there exists no clear-cut boundary between passive homosexual and heterosexual preferences in men. In fact, the presence of femineity in men cannot be excluded on the basis of heterosexual behaviour, because only in extreme cases does feminity in males manifest itself in actual passive-homosexual behavior. I believe we should talk about a spectrum of femineity in men. The extreme band of the spectrum corresponds to a certain share of men in a population who are completely averse to heterosexual relations. It seems that a significant percentage of men with femineity is quite capable of family life and reproduction, and therefore of passing on their predispositions.11
What causes existing femineity in a man to manifest itself in passive-homosexual behavior? I only want to note in this connection that functioning as the passive partner in an act of anal sex can trigger further homosexual behavior in men endowed mainly with femineity; while men endowed primarily with "masculinity" retain their heterosexual preferences even after such an experience.12 The custom of some ancient peoples to use a young man's anus for ritual copulation might have played an important role in evolutionary selection. The mere toleration of widely-practiced homosexuality in antiquity (which may be viewed as a consequence of the commonality of homosexuality among primates) produced the same effect. Individuals with pronounced femineity did not participate in the reproductive process after undergoing such an initiation, or after they made their decision with regard to their homosexual preferences. As a result, femineity was constantly reduced in the population's gene pool. A question arises: was femineity in men ever in danger of complete eradication?
Intuitively, I can see two possible ways to answer this question in the negative. First, I find some appeal in Wilson's hypothesis that homosexual individuals, although not engaging in reproduction, extended social help to their relatives and thus facilitated the passage of similar genes to the progeny of those relatives (kin-selection).13 Second, it is reasonable to suppose that femineity is self-reproducible (for it did originate at some point in time). If femineity in men is in fact self-reproducible, then at a time when a man's masculinity-related characteristics, including aggressiveness and physical force, were decisive factors in the survival of the relevant population, a mechanism to limit femineity in men must have developed, to counteract its excessive regeneration.
This gradual sifting out of femineity was accomplished by permitting homosexual freedoms, and homosexual initiations of youth. From the standpoint of present-day Judeo-Christian morality, this is a paradox. Contempt for passive homosexuals is rooted in the notion that men must be real men. At the same time, however, these feminine men helped the population maintain a certain level of masculinity just by abstaining from procreation. By the same token, forcing them to become "real men" by requiring them to lead heterosexual lives and thereby participate in reproduction, could have been detrimental to the masculinity of the population as a whole.
If masculinity is linked with a propensity for aggression, then toleration of homosexuality, which serves to deflect genes of femineity from the gene pool, most likely functioned to preserve a sufficiently-high level of aggressiveness in the population; in uncivilized times, this could have affected population survival. On the other hand, banning homosexual relationships must eventually have led to the growth of femineity in men, thus lowering the population's level of aggressiveness and creating the basis for men to become "gentle men."14 It is probably impossible to prove this conjecture, but illustrations might be helpful.
Among Jews homosexuality has been banned since antiquity. In fact, this prohibition was taken more seriously by the Jews than by, let's say, the Muslim East. Perhaps the long-term impact of this taboo is linked with the general non-aggressiveness of Jews. Judging by the Bible, Jews have always counted on God's protection. In fact, this task was part of God's obligations.15 A ban on homosexuality in Christian states also correlated with a gradual decline of aggressiveness in European civilizations.
On the other hand in Japan, where until recently the cult of violence was still powerful, homosexuality was a common practice. Today, lifting a ban on homosexuality in a number of countries could have interesting evolutionary repercussions because, as noted above, it would lead to a growing masculinity in society and, as in ancient or pre-civilized times, this in turn would lead to an increasing level of aggressiveness over the course of generations. It is hard to predict the actual impact of increasing masculinity in men with a high level of civilization, when so many restrictions are imposed on aggression. Also, youngsters are protected by law, and sometimes by parent's supervision, from infringement by elders, thereby drastically lowering the probability of a homosexual "initiation" as compared with antiquity. On the other hand, greater toleration of homosexuality and the idea of its naturalness, could lead to a greater number of people practising homosexuality, thus contributing to the exclusion of femineity from the reproductive process.16 I know that many questions arise here that I do not address, but nonetheless I want to emphasize the importance of this balance between masculinity and femineity in men.
If correct, the above considerations regarding the evolutionary role of homosexuality raise the following question: why has nature chosen such a seemingly strange mechanism to implement selection based on masculinity? I realize this rings of anthropomorphism with respect to nature. Still, it is permissible as a rhetorical formula, and perhaps as something more substantive. Depending on our definition of the mind, we can introduce the notion of the mind of nature and ascribe to it the wisdom of choice. (After all, our mind operates by a combinatorial search for the best, or merely possible, alternatives. Nature makes its decisions by the same combinatorial search method, except that its search is of real situations and not imaginary ones, as in our minds.)
The Level Of Culture And Civilization
In our age of positivist science it is somewhat odd to operate -- even verbally -- with magnitudes that are immeasurable, perhaps even in principle. With the help of sometimes-inconspicuous shuffling of facts, such parameters are simply declared to be non-existent. In my opinion, immeasurable parameters have every right to figure in the discussion, especially about the unexplored and complex entities that constitute the subject matter of the present discussion, namely, the nature of humans and society. The recognition that certain characteristics of an object cannot be measured simply or precisely, should not discourage a philosopher from attempting to chart out the ways to measure it, or at least to stipulate the conditions -- perhaps unattainable -- under which such measurement is possible. The mere feasibility of measurement within the framework of a simplified model justifies taking these parameters into consideration.
Those immeasurable, or hard-to-measure, characteristics of a population or a society that I find useful -- and that called for the above proviso -- are the level of culture and the level of civilization.
Actually the level of culture, if defined in simple terms, is a measurable characteristic, at least in theory. For instance, the level of culture could be defined as the totality of rules assimilated by a given population; or the average number of rules assimilated by an individual up to the present time or over his entire life span, could be taken as his level of culture. I mean to include all learned rules, be they rules of mixing clay to make pottery, rules of courtesy, rules to compute trancations of the diffusion of elementary particles, etc. For the sake of clarity, I must point out that complex rules need to be broken down into elementary ones, a procedure that is intricate, but that must be assumed to be executable. I am speaking of a set of rules, the number of which is definitely incalculable even for societies with so-called primitive culture. We know these rules are not inherited genetically; they are stored in social memory. This definition of culture precludes the possibility of its quantification. Nevertheless, this notion of the level of culture can be applied in inter-society studies, at least in regard to those societies intuitively perceived as different in terms of their respective level of culture. The cultural level of individuals can be measured along similar lines. As always, there is a great deal of risk involved in relying upon one's intuition.
The level of culture thus defined does not necessarily coincide with commonly-held perceptions of culture. For example, one country's success in space exploration does not necessarily prove its average cultural superiority over another, perhaps non-industrial country, that has a wealth of theosophical or ritual traditions. It is apparent to me at the intuitive level that the cultural level of, say, England is higher than that of Papuans. Still, there is no way to compare the cultural level of such countries as China and India.
It is easier to compare the cultural level of different strata in one country. Here, we can use averaged-out valuations, such as average time expended to master information on the rules necessary to function in a given stratum.
As can be seen from the above discussion, the level of culture is correlated with (but not equivalent to) the amount of assimilated information. It does not set forth the relative worth of this information in attaining particular goals. The cultural level of a Vedic priest is probably higher than that of an auto mechanic, under this definition. Still, the latter's contribution to what we regard as the progress of civilization is probably greater. We must introduce other procedures to assess the value of various cultures relative to some specific objectives. Here, one must not dismiss the fact, which to many people is not obvious, that over the course of evolution humanity has exhibited a great diversity of cultural forms. Our own cultural preferences should not affect our intuitive judgment of the cultural level of different civilizations.
The level of culture, defined as the number of socially-acquired rules, tells us nothing of the dynamics of development. It does not show whether a given culture is stagnant or whether it is developing and, if so, how rapidly. I can imagine frozen cultures whose development has come to a standstill. Nevertheless, the culture of any human population has undoubtedly undergone development, at least in the past. Tracing the tree of cultural evolution to its roots, I eventually reach a point characterized by a zero (or practically zero) level of culture. The cultural level of chimpanzees, for instance, is not zero; perhaps it was also not zero in our presumed common ancestors. Compared to the cultural level of human beings, however, it is negligible -- virtually zero. Taking a point in time as the point of zero cultural level allows us to speak of the average rate of cultural development. This presents us with a major question: did culture emerge concurrently in all human populations, or did the process of "humanization" of populations living in isolation from each other commence at different epoches? This area suffers from a complete lack of data; there is not even a reasonable basis for speculation (although there are numerous prejudices).
There are three possible hypotheses for the existence of populations with noticeably different cultural levels:
1. The zero level was at the same time for all humanity, but the rate of development varies by population.
2. The rate of development is the same, but the starting point was different.
3. Both the rate and the starting point are different.
As to the likelihood of the first of these three hypotheses, I am totally in the dark. The second hypothesis seems highly improbable; it is likely that the rate of cultural progress varies depending on the circumstances of the struggle for survival, and on cultural contacts. Moreover, an historical overview reveals profound non-uniformity of cultural development over time. (These considerations will not sound convincing to the proponents of radical biologism. One can create theories according to which the rate of cultural growth is solely a function of genetic changes in the population. Assuming these changes occur uniformly, the rate of cultural growth would be uniform, on average; the observed historical disparity can then be attributed to inevitable fluctuations. I do not subscribe to such radical biologism. Nevertheless, I realize that genetic changes and initial genetic endowments figure in the dynamics of growth of the level of culture.)17
So far, I have dealt with the average rate of growth of the level of culture. Even ascertaining the rate of growth, however, would not tell us anything about the current capacity for development. Cultures of very high levels might have ceased developing many thousands of years ago. In principle such populations are possible, but there is not enough information to give examples without risking accusations of prejudice. A propensity for development can be characterized either by results (the current rate of cultural growth), or the potential for development (the number of rules for creating new rules and the severity of social bans on discovering new avenues for will manifestation). The first criterion -- results -- denotes the overall capacity for development based on both internal resources and borrowed or appropriated ones. The second criterion is more indicative of the potency of internal resources, and can be designated as the level of creativity of various cultures.
As may be recalled from above, the level of culture is defined here as the amount of learned rules, i.e., those not inherited at birth. Some of these rules may be assimilated in a way that allows no room, or very little room, for choice; these constitute what I termed the disciplinary surrogate of will. Other rules allow for the freedom of choice. The numerical ratio of these two indicators, perhaps arrived at intuitively, might serve as a valuable characteristic of a given culture or population.
The cultural level (hereinafter "CL") refers to the number of acquired, as opposed to nature-given, outlets for what I call will manifestion, meaning all human activities controlled by the brain. (This phenomenon is discussed in detail in the chapter entitled "Basic Concepts.") By itself, the numerical value of this indicator does not tell us anything about how extensively these outlets are utilized. Obviously, cultural outlets of will manifestion are an important supplement to the set of instinctive, innate ways of expression. By analogy to the cultural level (CL), the level of instinctive outlets of will manifestion is denoted by IL. Roughly speaking, IL can be treated as a constant for a given population belonging to the same biological species. Therefore the ratios
IL/(IL+CL) and CL/(IL+CL)
convey nothing profoundly new about a given society.
These ratios merely reflect the share of purely cultural or purely instinctive behavior, provided people utilize all inherited and acquired outlets for will manifestaion in a uniform fashion. Such uniformity cannot be assumed, however. It is important to characterize the relative intensity of utilization of cultural outlets, as opposed to use of instinctive outlets. I will define the level of civilization (LCV) as the fraction of all behavior that is cultural behavior. It is hard to give a precise definition, but I would start by calculating the number of behavioral acts, both cultural and instinctive. It is by no means apparent what exactly constitutes a behavioral act. Frequently an act deemed an elementary act of behavior involves a concurrent exercise of both cultural and instinctive outlets of will manifestation. Another criterion might be the share of waking hours a person spends following acquired rules and the share he spends following biological programs. Or I can speak of the relative expenditures of will or energy. It seems all my definitions describe the difficulties of defining LCV. All in all, a precise definition is not really essential. The variable LCV is definitely unquantifiable, but it is useful in making intuitive judgements of a population.
I wish to emphasize that the level of civilization (LCV) of a community or an individual is not necessarily linked to what is commonly perceived as the success of a civilization. Strictly-ritualized conduct of a chief of some "semi-savage" tribe, or a monk who mortifies his flesh, might be ascribed a higher level of civilization (LCV) than the behavior of a physicist who is unrestrained in his passions but who has made a significant contribution to the progress of our civilization. Note at this juncture that the level of culture of the physicist is most likely higher than that of the others, due to his knowledge of a greater number of rules.
LCV as denoting the relative share of cultural behavior apparently ranges from 0 to 1. Assume that the behavior of our ancestors prior to the appearance of homo sapiens is characterized by an LCV practically equal to zero. From that time to the present, the progress of individual humans, as well as humanity at large, has been marked by the growth of LCV due to: 1) the advancement of culture, i.e., a growing level of culture as compared with the presumably constant level of instinctive outlets of will manifestation; and 2) the taming of human passions.
The former can be viewed as a purely cultural factor -- society developed its culture from "nothing" -- but one should not belittle the genetically-predicated ability of humans to develop and preserve culture. Evolutionary selection, akin to raising a new breed within a given species, was undoubtedly involved, although this would be difficult to prove at the present time. We know that the brain weight of our ancestors drastically increased in size until it reached the average weight characteristic of homo sapiens. It would be premature to conclude that our brain ceased to evolve upon reaching its present weight. It is reasonable to conjecture that evolution has terminated (perhaps temporarily) as to this rough anatomical attribute, i.e., the brain's weight, or the general features of our anatomy. But the brain's fine structures -- the networks that assimilate and transmit information as well the ability to develop such networks -- were and still are undergoing evolution.
The second factor, the taming of passions or the suppression of instincts, stems both from cultural pressures that screen our instincts arising very early in childhood, and evolutionary selection directed against those who are ill-adapted to live in society due to their unrestrained display of passions.
It is important to bear in mind this two-fold cause of our capacity for instinct suppression: cultural and genetic. We are in the dark about the optimal extent of passion-control in terms of the development of a given civilization. In our civilization, the maximum possible restraint of passions is esteemed as ethically commendable. Is this really advantageous, and how far should this quality be taken? Clearly there is a limit. If we reach the level of civilization (LCV) equal to one, we shall cease to be human beings as we understand the notion today. We shall forfeit our ability to be moved by natural instincts, and God only knows what that would lead to. Of course, LCV=1 is an extreme and unattainable limit. But approaching this threshold too closely is fraught with the danger that we shall transform into something like socially-interconnected computers.
One can speculate about the losses we might suffer due to an excessively high level of civilization (LCV). First, we would lose in the realm of sensual feelings, because they are largely rooted in our animal nature. We would become less active, for we are driven by the instinct of will manifestion and the desire to fulfill our instincts, including the hierarchical one. (The concept of a hierarchical instinct is dicussed elsewhere in this book.) That is, we would lose in terms of motivation since cultural behavior is a mode, not a driving force: it is impossible to prove logically to a computer that it ought to exist and work. We would lose even in terms of reproduction: in the absence of instinctive urges this would turn into a very burdensome and uninteresting task. (Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the birth rate in the more cultured strata of society is below average.)
From this standpoint, culture-induced taming of passions is preferable to evolutionarily-based control, for it leaves open the possibility of the reverse process: once we recognize we have gone too far in subduing our instincts, the ethical pressure to do so can be reduced and we can utilize retained reserves of instinctive outlets of will manifestion. Historically, it seems some cultures did make such a retreat. More than once, oases of high culture and civilization were conquered by barbarians, another reminder that excessive deviation from our animal nature carries with it poorer viability and a lesser capacity to defend ourselves. On occasion, cultures have managed to make such a retreat from civilization -- letting loose human passions in spite of deeply entrenched taboos -- in a peaceful manner. The sexual revolution in the West after the war is an example.
I say "once we recognize we have gone too far." Generally speaking, though, how far is "too far" is not at all clear. How shall we recognize it? How shall we judge that the level of civilization (LCV) we have so proudly attained has come dangerously close to the critical level? There is no answer. A catastrophic drop in the birth rate or a general collapse of "viability," motivation and the will to live -- only such a social crisis can tell us unequivocally that it is time to retreat from civilization and come back to nature, if the opportunity to do so still exists.
This possibility would no longer be available to a population that has gone too far in taming human passions at the genetic level; if the primordial power of instinctive urges has become genetically uprooted. I do not know whether this situation ever took place or whether it is plausible. But it is a very sad prospect indeed, and the danger should not be ignored in our self-adoring cultural pride. Intuitively, it seems to me that heterogeneous societies derived from a variety of populations -- as are the United States or Canada, for example -- do not face this danger, at least as of yet. There is hope that members of various populations exhibit different levels of civilization (LCV) due not only to different cultural pressures, but also to genetic differences. Inter-population marriages in case of a crisis can help society to recuperate genetically, or significantly delay the crisis.
The situation might be different for more homogeneous societies. They really do incur the risk that the taming of passions in conjunction with the victory of the weak, has come dangerously close to the threshold. It is worth while to speculate which criteria might be taken into account in pronouncing such judgment. The first factor which comes to mind is the level of violent crime. A very low rate suggests that the level of civilization (LCV) is high, but tells nothing of the reasons for it. Take Japan as an example. The level of violent crime there is low; nevertheless, judging by the cult of violence that existed until very recent times, and the strong influence of social mores on a person's conduct, one can assert that the high level of civilization (LCV) in Japan has a cultural, rather than a genetic, basis.
Another pertinent indicator is the birth rate. On the intuitive level, it seems that a low rate of birth points to the genetic character of a high level of civilization (LCV). Still, there is a multitude of other external factors, such as the cost of medical care and child-rearing expenses. (One could raise a sound objection that these factors are irrelevant when the reproductive instinct is strong.)
Generally speaking, one can always argue that there are many other factors involved, whatever criteria are proposed. It seems a complex of factors ought to be considered, and we have to assume the risk of being wrong. Making no claim to propose a precise method to evaluate the genetic component of the level of civilization (LCV), I shall examine the following indicator: share of suicides (SS) in the overall quantity of homicides (H) plus suicides (S) (during peace time). By definition, the share of suicides equals the number of suicides divided by the total number of suicides and homicides
SS = S / (S+H).
Why is this indicator appealing as a method of judging the level of civilization (LCV)? Homicide is banned in all developed cultures -- even in meagerly-developed ones -- except in a few special cases. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most strictly-prohibited forms of instinctive aggressive behavior. Therefore, the homicide rate in a given society indicates rejection of the prevailing culture by a certain contingent of the population.
On the other hand, suicide reflects rejection of the instinctive component of behavior. It consitutes denial of one of the strongest instincts: the instinct of self-preservation. In societies with a very low level of culture, suicide is unthinkable. The concept of suicide is simply incomprehensible even to some contemporary "primitive cultures."18 Suicide apparently arises from culture, and it does not appear automatically. One can raise the following objection to use of the suicide rate as a determination of the level of civilization (LCV) of a population: in some cultures society assumes a strictly negative stance toward suicide, while in others a positive or approving stance is assumed.19 For instance, suicide is condemned in countries with Judeo-Christian morality. On the other hand, suicide is sanctified in the traditions of the topmost stratum in Japan.20 In interpreting the statistical data pertaining to India, one must distinguish between "everyday" and religious suicide.21 All in all, one must exercise caution in comparing the shares of suicides (SS) in populations with different cultures. Also take into account the possible distortion of statistical data fostered by the negative attitude of society (or insurance companies) toward suicide. Even with all these caveats, however, data regarding the share of suicides in the total number of homicides plus suicides can be beneficial in evaluating the level of civilization (LCV), especially if this information is analyzed in conjunction with other sociometric data that characterize the intensity of the instinctive component of behavior, such as the rate of other violent crime, the birth rate, etc.
Women And the Victory Of the Weak
I have described the dangers stemming from the victory of the weak, and from genetically-fixed excessive suppression of human passions. This is not to say that the victory of the weak has been clinched in all segments of society. (I am leaving aside those subcultures which, even in the most civilized of countries, still esteem strength as a hierarchical attribute.) I would like now to discuss women in this regard. On the average, women comprise the physically-weaker chapter of humanity. Until recently women were deprived of rights even in countries that are most progressive in terms of human rights. For example, a democracy as advanced as the United States did not grant women the right to vote until the beginning of this century. Only in the last few decades did women gain practical entry to many professions to which they had not been encouraged, and even that was not without a struggle. Indeed, it was just recently that courts and legislators began to acknowledge that the rape of one's wife constitutes a criminal act! In this context even the most civilized countries were partially in the grip of physical strength, although in many respects the use of force as a method of competition has been banned for many centuries.
The movement for the liberation and the equality of women can be deemed the last act of a drama that commenced on our planet many thousands of years ago, at a time when culture and civilization engaged in a struggle with social mores accumulated over the course of evolution. The victorious side in this struggle was determined a long time ago, but the winner -- the weak man -- has been clutching until very recently at certain privileges stemming from his physical strength, since on average he is stronger than a woman.
I realize the importance of the women's movement as part of the struggle for civilization, but I want to note that this process has had its share of paralogisms and excesses. There are women activists who appeal to people to ignore all biological differences between the sexes, not only in the realm of legal rights but also in ascertaining the abilities of the sexes connected with their role in society. Then there are those who judge whether equal rights have been upheld by evaluation of statistics on the representation of women in different spheres of social life.22 It is apparent that women's victory in the struggle for equal rights is being achieved in the most civilized countries. Still, it is hard to imagine that, in the future, humanity will adopt the idea of a genderless society that is now being advocated by radical feminists.
But who knows? The further we move from the evolution-based order of social interrelations, the more vulnerable we become to unexpected twists of human fantasy, and to unpredictable types of social structures not even dreamed of by utopians in the past. But we continue to be biological beings, and so the stability of new types of social structures will be determined largely by the extend to wich harmony is reached between social innovativion and nature-instilled behavior. Harmony can be achieved if we exercise caution, wisdom and knowledge. It is important to shed our prejudices favoring a purely cultural basis of human behavior, and study our beastly nature. In spite of all the success in the realm of culture, and all our sophisticated manners, we have until recent times practiced the animalistic right of strength with respect to women, keeping them with us as domesticated animals. This fact is very instructive. Let it remind us of our close proximity to savagery, and that the road back to savagery is not very long.
The Cultural Suppression Of Passions
At this point I want to present a general outline of devices used by civilization to cultivate the taming of passions.
1. The rerouting of aggression, or the cultivation of human capacity to direct one's aggression into areas where the use of force does not lead to success and may even hamper success. In this case, the rerouted aggression functions as motivation for non-violent success. This strategy is an indirect and clever way to suppress aggression without the build-up of frustration. This method is not suitable for everybody, since the person must be gifted in the field he or his educators have selected, in order to become successful and thus fulfill his aggressive urges in an indirect fashion.
2. Channeling aggression into areas that involve the use of strength but that demand adherence to certain rules. These include sports in schools, and a predilection for occupations that appear heroic in the child's imagination (police officer, soldier, air force pilot, astronaut, etc.). A hired army of volunteers is much more adept at utilizing those in society attracted to force. (I am leaving aside military considerations on the value of various methods of recruitment.) It seems that people who enlist voluntarily, hierarchically cherish the idea of aggressiveness and have not found a suitable peace-time activity. The army does not advocate contempt for force. As a rule, however, it teaches one to adhere to certain rules in the use of force.
3. Intelligent suppression of aggressiveness, i.e., suppression devoid of the use of force. Nowadays this method is widely, albeit not always successfully, implemented in countries with a high level of civilization (LCV). A child is schooled in civilized behavior by means of explanations of the advisability of civilized behavior, pleading, light (not physical) punishments, and so on. This method seems adequate for the suppression of moderate levels of aggressiveness. Even if one sees success from such methods of upbringing, the success actually should be attributed to an initial low level of aggressiveness of the children so trained.
These three methods require greater sophistication, and much greater psychological sensitivity, on the part of educators than is to be expected from an average school teacher, even in countries with a well-developed school system. Traditional pedagogy is prone to fail in its attempt to cultivate the subjugation of passions, especially in aggressive youngsters. I get the impression that today's school systems in countries with a large percentage of such difficult youth simply is unable to handle the task. (My judgement is based on the USSR and the United States.)23
4. Coercive suppression of force. This method has been of great service to civilization. Of course, successful suppression of aggressiveness in children does not affect the frequency of inherited aggressiveness, but it does result in more civilized individuals, who are therefore builders of civilization. The advance of civilization by means of social mechanisms facilitates suppression of aggression in society, including by means of cultural/genetic co-evolution, and creates preconditions for the introduction of new alternative hierarchical distinguishing characteristics, other than strength.
One can reject this method of the coercive suppression of force in principle, and ascribe its past popularity to the savagery of past generations. It would be wiser, however, to try to understand their reasons. It seems as though humanity simply lacked any other effective method in its struggle to make the progeny socially adaptable. Undoubtedly, those with the power to punish, frequently vented their own aggression in inflicting punishment upon children or criminals. As savage as these methods seem today, one should bear in mind that this was a time when the percentage of aggressively-inclined individuals was much higher than it is today. Moreover, the use of force held much greater hierarchical attractiveness. There was much less hope of succeeding by appealing to the conscious will of the punished ones, i.e., less hope of educating people in the present-day sense of the word, not to mention the fact that the conscious will of an average person was not very strong, at least inferior to what it is today. The gradual decline of the severity of punishment of children and of criminals in Europe suggests not only the softening of the punishers, but also the efficacy of those earlier cruel methods that brought about an overall softening of society, and a consequent lesser need to resort to cruelty or intimidation. I can state that less severe punishment is partially symptomatic of the growth of conscious will in society, and the intense pace of cultural/genetic co-evolution.
On the Genocide Of Violent Criminals
Prolonged isolation of violent criminals is requisite to the protection of society. At the same time, however, one should keep in mind that prolonged isolation, as it was historically practiced and is still practiced in many countries today, affects selection and leads to at least a partial exclusion of violent criminals from the reproductive process. For millennia humanity has carried out genocide, executing or subjecting violent criminals and rebels to prolonged isolation and thereby facilitating selection based on traits endorsed by civilization: submissiveness to social norms and a low level of aggressiveness. If there is a gene responsible for violent crime, such selection would provide definite social benefits, since it would protect future generations from the descendants of violent criminals who, due to their own genetic predisposition, would probably also become criminals.24 Nevertheless, such a gene of crime does not exist. The most we can say is that there exists a certain predisposition to the use of direct force, aggressiveness and savagery. Even if this predisposition were directly inherited, it might not be harmful to society. A moderate level of aggressiveness can be channeled by proper upbringing along lines beneficial to society. I do not intend to criticize what has been done already. The genocide in question undoubtedly contributed to the attainment of the present-day level of civilization. (As paradoxical and sad as it sounds, humanity could not make its way from savagery to civilization using civilized methods).
Humanity should be warned, however, that an unrestrained and persistent continuation of selection through genocide of violent criminals can inflict "genetic wounds" on the population, and create a deficit of the valuable genetic material that ensures activeness and leadership qualities. Perhaps in some populations selection may have crossed the threshold, so that the genetic material of violent criminals is valuable in terms of the future survival of the population. In such cases it might be advisable to freeze the sperm of violent criminals rather than the sperm of geniuses, as advocated by traditional eugenics. If a crisis strikes, the criminals' sperm can come to the rescue of a population that has gone too far in genetic subjugation of human passions.
At the same time, in some populations the civilizing selection of the "weak" has not fulfilled its role as genetic censor, so such genocide of violent criminals could be viewed as beneficial. I realize this field suffers from a complete lack of data and research methodology to provide any answers. Purely empirically, one can judge the value of the genetic material of violent criminals as a remedy for a crisis by the rate of violent crime. Without claiming scientific validity, I am willing to say that if the level of civilization of a given population is too high, judging by various indirect indicators, then one is justified in suspecting that selection has gone too far and that the population might benefit by enriching itself with the genetic material of violent criminals. If the rate of violent crime in the population is relatively high, then perhaps the civilizing selection has not yet made its impact, and several thousand years may pass before this process becomes manifest. I speak of populations rather than countries. In heterogeneous countries populated with unrelated ethnoses, the above approach is inappropriate because it could lead to discrimination against the rights of criminals based on race or nationality. Basic principles of human rights must not be sacrificed in the name of even seemingly-plausible genetic conjectures.
I want to stress in this connection that I have discussed the matter from an evolutionary point of view. My position on legal issues is based upon another principle, namely that a criminal sentenced to isolation must not be completely deprived of the opportunity to procreate. But this is no place to discuss the practical implementation of this suggestion.25
Civilization And the Meaning
Of the Hierarchical Structure
I want to call the reader's attention to a peculiar phenomenon linked with the advent of civilization and the victory of the weak: changes in the biological significance of the hierarchical structure. Prior to the rise of civilization, hierarchies in society were generally in line with evolutionary objectives: ensuring transmittal to the progeny of genes corresponding with success, since hierarchically-successful individuals enjoyed preferential procreation. For a long period of time following the advent of civilization, when physical strength was gradually displaced as the leading hierarchical distinguishing characteristic,26 the customs governing society did not come in conflict with the primordial, evolution-based meaning of the hierarchy. What I have in mind are the polygomous traditions still observed by some peoples; the feudal right of "first night," i.e., the right to introduce young female peasants or serfs to sexual intercourse; and also the opportunity (not legally sanctioned but widespread among the upper strata) to beget children outside of marriage. (I am leaving aside for the moment the fact that better living conditions were conducive to the survival of the progeny of the upper strata.) At the present time, however, the upper classes in the leading nations (as identified by level of civilization) fail to exploit their advantage in terms of procreation. In many countries, the birth rate in the upper strata is below the society's average rate.
This situation seems paradoxical. For the first time in many millions of years, successful individuals are not, in general, trying to secure their success in their progeny. Unsuccessful individuals, on the other hand, have an improved opportunity for procreation, due in part to progress in medical science that has reduced infant mortality; and often due also to help from society. One could suspect that, from an evolutionary point of view, the success of those in the higher strata in passing their traits to offspring is not so valuable, so nature has somehow discouraged them from active procreation.
I have no explanation for this paradox. It seems people play their own games and are indifferent to evolutionary objectives, although one cannot rule out the possibility that this paradox conceals some shifts in evolution of which we are unaware. Nor can one rule out the eventuality that the revenge of the strong (see the following chapter) is nature's attempt to recapture lost ground, to reinstate the damaged equilibrium between success and the securing of these successful traits in the progeny. If so, the explanation of the above paradox is of practical relevance to the development of civilization. In any case, I believe that an understanding of this paradox constitutes one of the main issues in the study of the interaction between nature and culture.
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THE REVENGE OF THE STRONG
In the previous chapter, I warned of the danger that the victory of the weak could cross the threshold of safety, beyond which the genetic taming of passions might eventually result in a loss of the will to live and a lack of motivating drive. Let us not brush aside the possibility of this problem becoming a burning issue in some countries in the near millennia. Humanity as a whole is probably not in danger at present. It seems that the subjection of human passions at the genetic level -- the genetic level of civilization, if you will -- has not yet reached the danger zone. Attesting to this conjecture is the fact that the strong have arisen to avenge themselves on numerous occasions. History abounds with examples.
Statistically, it is the weak who rule society. The strong are driven down to the lowest levels of the main hierarchies in great numbers.27 Rule by the weak depends on accumulated surrogates of will, and on a social order that safeguards these surrogates (subordinated army and police force, judicial code, etc). Moreover, the weak are endowed with a superior faculty of conscious will. They can subordinate their passions to calculation, first and foremost to power calculations. The weak, however, are not always sufficiently smart and calculating to perceive an imbalance between force and submissiveness in society. To secure their power the weak have contrived so many myths of the power they possess, as having divine sanction, for example, that sometimes they themselves start to believe in these myths. Their watchfulness wanes, and they go too far in oppressing the strong. A rebellion or revolution can ensue. If that happens, the weak will see that the gods could not care less who comes out on top. They will see that almost all the advantages over the strong they have managed to acquire (I mean particularly amassed surrogates of will as discussed in the chapter "Basic Concepts") can be appropriated, and those that cannot be taken away -- knowledge and conscious will -- become devalued in a society ruled by brute force.
There is nothing surprising in this. A civilized society is an unstable structure predicated on and shaped by culture, rather than evolution. This instability of society must unceasingly and wisely be maintained, responding to many variable parameters in the process. The fact that eventually, following revolutionary jolts, this civilized instability is somehow always restored, is surprising and worthy of special investigation. Restoration of the civilized order attests to the fact that, although the instability of the civilized order is always present, it becomes apparent only under very peculiar circumstances, and the constituent parameters of these circumstances are largely concealed.
Let me propose an analogy between a civilized society and an ensemble of particles held together by an external physical field. Disabling or rendering this external field weaker makes particles revert to their natural distribution of velocities, and they therefore will not be held together any longer. The principle shortcoming of this analogy is that the "field of civilizing force" is not external to society. It is an internal, self-organizing force field that maintains a non-equilibrium hierarchical distribution in a civilized society. When this field vanishes, natural hierarchical distribution based on physical strength or one's total will proper is reestablished in society -- as was dictated by millions of years of evolution -- temporarily and to a varying extent.
The above discussion regarding the two extreme states of society -- a natural one based on strength or one's total will proper, and a civilized one with hierarchies based on one's holdings of surrogates of will and one's level of conscious will --should not be taken literally. In our day and age, these criteria are rarely implemented in pure form. In spite of all the restrictions imposed on the use of physical force, strength remains an important hierarchical attribute in peripheral hierarchies (frequently among children and in the lower strata of the social structure). Strictly speaking, every fight among children, and every violent crime, is an attempt of the strong to take revenge. I am speaking more broadly, however, of massive revenge in the guise of a violent revolution or a rebellion against the civilized order.
Even in a civilized society, many people esteem strength as a desirable hierarchical attribute, in spite of the fact that competition primarily revolves around other attributes linked with the surrogates of will. Illusory fulfillment of physical competition is widespread: movies about policemen and criminals, stories of military feats, dreams of heroism, and so on. All these things are manifestations of a frustrated automatism of physical competition. We have outgrown the automatism of aggression, but we have not gotten rid of it. It surfaces in our dreams of heroism, in romanticism in art and literature, and in contemporary pop culture. Many highly-civilized individuals are repelled not only by violence among people, but also by violence shown on television. They believe that movies showing violence advocate violence. In actuality, these movies provide a valuable outlet of volitional relief: an illusory gratification of our beastly instinct. And in this capacity such movies are of great service to society, as tasteless as they may be.
Successful revenge of the strong does not imply implementation of a hierarchy based exclusively on direct physical strength. The victors adopt many "tricks" from the arsenal that the weak employed to preserve civilized rule. In particular, the victorious strong soon begin to value and protect the will surrogates they have captured, thus laying the foundation for the restoration of the civilized order. But of principle importance in the victory of the strong is their eagerness to institute a single hierarchy resembling the archaic hierarchy based on total will proper.
This point is crucial. Even if strength as such ceases to be the decisive factor following the revenge of the strong, the mere propensity to reduce hierarchical multiplicity to a single main hierarchy based on one exclusive distinguishing characteristic, or one combination of such characteristics, should be regarded as stemming from the primordial urge to establish a one-dimensional hierarchy analogous to the hierarchy based on strength. I can go so far as to say that any social restructuring -- including a peaceful one -- that leads to major curtailment of hierarchical multiplicity is, by its very nature, a relatively clearly-expressed manifestation of the revenge of the strong (although one could imagine theoretical exceptions to this rule). This means that the revenge of the strong sometimes results from the will of the ruling classes, rather than from below.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 undoubtedly was a revenge of the strong. This is evidenced by the raging violence that accompanied it, and by the attitude of the victors to surrogates of will and to those who held prominent social posts owing to amassed surrogates. The primary target of the revolution was property. Next in line were formerly strong individuals in the realm of knowledge or the volitional surrogate of will. The revolution destroyed the existing legal order, which was functional for the most part, and replaced it for some time with the principle "might makes right." Of course, at no time during the revolution was Russia completely a kingdom of brute force. The victors immediately devised various stratagems characteristic of civilized rule, such as use of the volitional surrogate of those they managed to lure to their side. Nevertheless force, poverty, and ignorance became virtues -- a pass into the promised new world.
It is important to note that Stalin, who returned Russia to a rigid medieval type of rule, was strongly set on creating a single hierarchy and largely succeeded in his endeavor. The hierarchical pyramid erected by Stalin survived him. Only now are we witnessing a shift in Russian society toward a poly-hierarchical structure.
The victory of Naziism in Germany is a less-conspicuous example of the revenge of the strong. Germany did not experience a total reshuffling of the hierarchical structure, nor the pervasive expropriation of previously-accumulated surrogates of will. But force "exempt" from legal norms was commonplace, and there was a strong tendency toward a roughly single hierarchy. The war spelled an end to the regime created in Germany, so the German model cannot be used to retrace a society's journey back to a civilized state, propelled by internal forces of self-organization. In this context, the experience of China and the Soviet Union is very instructive in examining the process of the reinstatement of the hierarchical significance of surrogates of will in society, and the restoration of a poly-hierarchical social structure.
Close scrutiny of numerous cases of massive revenge of the strong at various epoches and among different peoples, reveals two types of revenge. First is spontaneous revenge, incited by those who themselves participate in it. Pugachev's rebellion is one example. The other type is instigated revenge. In fact, the agent provocateur and sometimes even the organizers of such revenge, may happen to be very civilized people who, however, are in the dark about the biological laws governing the behavior of the lower strata of the social structure. The moderately bloody French Revolution was largely provoked by the freedom-loving thinkers of the time. One should not infer that it was in the power of these thinkers to initiate mass mutiny, absent the requisite social pre-conditions. The conditions created by the ruling classes were ripe for social upheaval. Nevertheless, the contribution of naive thinkers is indisputable. They were naive in that they believed the crowd was at the same level of civilization as they themselves. It was tacitly assumed that the rebellious nation would wreak vengeance upon the tyrants, and then calm down and settle into the gracefulness of dawning brotherhood. Unfortunately, the socio-biology of force follows a different course. It is not so easy to rebuild the broken dam of the norms of civilized conduct.
Russia experienced the same incident, although on a much broader scale. A group of intellectuals, lacking all understanding of human nature, provoked a revolution the consequences of which the country is still suffering to this day. Awakening uncivilized forces, the intellectuals fell prey to these same forces, just like many of their French predecessors. Bear in mind that the ruling classes in Germany supported the ideology of force and "a healthy national spirit," hoping to keep Hitler under their control. I do not think more examples will do any good. My words are unlikely to have a sobering effect upon those who might endeavor to stir up dark forces in order to destroy an ungracious establishment.
It is really puzzling what combination of relevant parameters characterizing the state of a society, are required for massive revenge of the strong to stand a good chance of getting started and succeeding. I want to point out a number of factors of possibly theoretical significance. First and foremost is a pronounced hierarchical disparity in society, with too many people getting hierarchically oppressed and losing all hope of bettering their status through non-violent means. Of course, this alone is insufficient cause for an insurgence. History abounds with examples of regimes where the oppression of the lower classes was much more severe than it was on the verge of the French or Russian revolutions. Returning to my analogy of a non-equilibrium distribution of particles in an external field, I want to note that, as a rule, the greater the deviation of this distribution from the equilibrium, the stronger must be the physical field that holds it in place.
This leads us to the second characteristic of a society susceptible to the revenge of the strong, namely, the gap between the forces supporting the established order, and the extent of hierarchical disparity in society that the authorities wish to preserve. Naturally, the army and the police do not exhaust all the defending forces, which include such important elements as ideology, morality, and religion. It is no accident that the bloodiest revenge of the strong has taken place in the twentieth century, the century of disintegration of traditional moral and religious values.
The third characteristic is the level of civilization of the lower strata of the social structure. Traditional morality and religion ensure a rather high level of civilization as defined above: that is, a significant share of non-instinctive behavior. As traditional values disintegrate, the vacumn created by a lack of other civilizing factors diminishes the level of civilization of the lower strata, and increases the role of instinct-based behavior, thereby making hierarchies based on strength and the use of force more appealing. These considerations reveal the tragic mistakes of Russian conservatives of the nineteenth century who objected to educating the people, whom they believed would be corrupted by education. In reality, education furthers the growth of civilization and comes to the fore as a substitute for traditional civilizing factors in case the latter are being eroded. Russian nineteenth-century conservatives also believed that education would turn the people away from traditional moral and religious values.
The fourth symptom of an upheaval-prone society is the extent of hierarchical rejuvenation. It is safe to keep more or less submissive, but perhaps strong, individuals in the bottom classes of society. But submissive ones may bear insubordinate children. If prevented from improving their hierarchical lot, these rebels may become criminals or revolutionaries. Of course, they may be forced to succumb; but the more this group and their rebellious children suffer, the graver is the danger they pose for the oppressive regime. Undoubtedly, the stability of the established civilized order hinges largely on the extent of hierarchical renewal. Attesting to this is the fact that mass outbursts of the revenge of the strong in stable democracies with extensive hierarchical mobility (relative to other forms of government) are uncommon, although inequality in these countries can be quite pronounced.
There is a fifth risk factor involved. It seems that mass revenge of the strong is more likely to occur at a time when traditional surrogates of will are being devalued; when the civilizing role of possessing a surrogate takes an unexpected dive. I cannot give a clear-cut example of this situation, except perhaps from pre-Hitler Germany when runaway economic inflation of the previous years could not but lead to hierarchical disarray, or at least to a loss of trust in the viability of the established values. Whether or not the example of Germany is convincing, this factor should not be ignored. It is clear from a theoretical point of view that, if one important hierarchy is based upon a particular distinguishing characteristic that is being devalued, a profound reshuffling of the hierarchical structure of society will ensue. These considerations partially explain my position with regard to the harsh criticism being poured upon the bureaucracy in the USSR. Many bureaucrats undoubtedly deserve the criticism they receive. Still, one should be careful in provoking the masses, since undermining what little trust in bureaucracy there is left can lead to an alarming devaluation of certain hierarchical values, and to excessive perturbations of society's hierarchical structure, with the risk of the ensuing revenge of the strong.
These considerations point to measures which might help avert the revenge of the strong. A reader who thinks I am giving advice on how to keep the masses suppressed is gravely mistaken. First of all, my recommendations do not entail any more oppression of the masses than is forced upon all of us in order to maintain a civilized order. Second, those who regard the revenge of the strong as a blessing for the people could not be more wrong. The downfall of tyranny oftentimes begets a more harsh tyranny. Taking to heart this word of caution would dampen the zeal of "liberators," provided they really care for the good of the people. Certainly I am proposing measures to uphold a reasonable level of inequality in society: inequality based on one's hierarchical status and the amount of amassed surrogates of will, but not the inequality of legal rights. The described hierarchical inequality is natural for both civilized and pre-civilized societies. The only difference is in the hierarchical distinguishing characteristics underlying the inequality: physical strength and aggressiveness, as opposed to other criteria, elaborated by civilization.
I spoke of the risk factors involved in massive revenge of the strong from lower strata. Young people are an enduring risk factor that poses a constant threat to civilized order; and this applies in varying degrees to all layers of the hierarchy. Every young person makes a conscious or an unconscious choice: to abide by the civilized norms forced on him by society without regard to his preference, or to reject the civilized order.
Apparently the level of civilization of youngsters is, on the average, lower than that of adults. There are several reasons for the civilizing affect of age: the assimilation of culture; a decreasing intensity of instinctive behavior with age; and later, a decreasing intensity of instinctive expression linked with aggressiveness. The growing level of civilization over the centuries makes it harder for young people to adjust to the norms dictated by society. The rising crime rate in developed countries attests to these problems. Moreover, the conditions and basic tenets of child-rearing are in constant flux. As a consequence young people, on reaching a certain age when their conduct becomes socially significant, are more often than in the past unprepared to abide by the numerous demands made on them.
A more liberal upbringing, the elimination of corporal punishment, and laws against child labor are undeniable accomplishments of contemporary civilization. Unfortunately, society was ill-prepared for these changes. One cannot take a working system, eliminate one or two undesirable elements and then hope that the system will improve and continue to function. Alternative methods to prepare children to embark more or less painlessly upon civilization have not been elaborated; this is ample cause for all kinds of unsteadiness, including a higher crime rate. See my discussion in the previous chapter on earlier, more brutal methods of raising children.
Interestingly enough young people have managed, at least in part, to correct these faults on the part of adults. For the sake of clarity, I shall limit my discussion to the post-war United States. Young people, with a high level of instinctive behaviour, have dictated to society their own conditions upon which the majority of them is willing to "enroll" in civilization. I have in mind now three revolutions in the realm of volitional relief championed by young people. First is the sexual revolution: that adults tolerate the sexual games between youngsters that are so conducive to alleviating frustration. Second is rock-and-roll music: the kind of music that was "unthinkable" as recently as half a century ago, but very valuable for volitional relief. Judging by its volume and implacability, it seems to provide illusory gratification of some rather strong instincts. The third revolution, to which adults did not concede but which nonetheless took place, is the use of drugs. Not all young people require drugs to make an entry into civilization. There is no question about it: drugs are harmful. But if we limit the discussion to less potent drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana, who among us has enough knowledge to see their value in steering a youngster, who has a hard time conforming to the rules of society, away from the pain and danger that might ensue from otherwise uncontrollable instincts and passions?
I anticipate a response that I myself also lack such knowledge. It is clear to me that we can study the harm done by drugs, including the impact of drugs on crime; but there is no way we can evaluate statistically in what percentage of cases of drug use the user was saved, through this use, from committing unlawful acts of violence. There are many similar situations in social science in which we can describe one side of a social happening, but the other side is hidden from us completely. Often we are tricked into assuming that only the side known to us exists, and we disregard the unknown side. If we don't want to continue to be fooled by the situation, we should ask ourseves, at the very least, why people use drugs in epidemic proportions; why this didn't occur in previous times, when the pressure of civilization was less; why people start trying drugs when they're young and the counter-pressure of passions is stronger; and why some third-world countries, with less pressure from civilization, become primary sources of, and not primary markets for, drugs. This position of mine is wide open to attack from any side; but with a clear conscience, I can say that at least I am asking the questions, and trying to understand the answers.
I have no statistics to prove my suspicions. But I am sensitive to observing what is going on in society. Marijuana, cocaine and other substances were known since antiquity, but their use did not assume epidemic proportions. There must be a reason for today's widespread need for drugs on the part of young people. We must acknowledge and study the reason and devise ways, other than health-damaging drugs, to satisfy this need to escape reality temporarily. And as long as nothing along this line is discovered, we should not indulge in prohibitive measures and suppression. It makes sense to legalize at least weak drugs, such as marijuana, prohibiting their use by youngsters under a prescribed age.
Our attitude toward different drugs should really be determined by their character, categorized as follows.
1. Drugs that stifle our passions.
2. Drugs that alleviate stress and cause relaxation.
3. Drugs that cause hallucinations, unusual sensations, etc., i.e, that "transfer you into another world."
4. Drugs that temporarily improve one's competitiveness, such as the capacity for work.
This rather vague effect-based classification of drugs will suffice for my discussion of the drugs' social function. With respect to the third or fourth group of drugs, I have no qualms in stating that society has no obligation to accommodate anybody in trips to another world, or in artifical improvement of one's competitive edge.
The first two groups of drugs are another story. We really should admit that society bears the responsibility to help those in need of such substances. Society has instituted too high standards of subjugation of human passions. At the same time, it has created a situation where mass culture and business are committed to an unceasing and uncontrollable arousal of these passions. Moreover, society demands greater and greater competitiveness. The life of active individuals has become more stressful than many can handle without resorting to artificial means of relaxation. I see a crisis in society. But instead of probing into the problem and attempting to help, society -- at least as far as the United States is concerned -- has declared a war on all attempts of society itself to find a way out.
Legalization of less harmful -- if not all -- drugs is one thing that might help resolve the crisis. Another initiative is to enlist the aid of medical science to create means of satisfying the needs of the first two categories of users with minimum side effects on their health. Simply treating the illness is an obsolete approach to medicine. The display of passions is not an abnormality. It is a biological norm, and if a society decides to repress human passions it must come to the rescue of those who cannot do so on their own accord, before it is forced to punish the transgressors for committing a violent crime. In fact, it is commendable if one resorts to ameliorating substances in an attempt to tame his passions, rather than channel them into a violent act.
The growing civilization of the last two centuries was ripe for some retreat "back to nature," to use the words of eighteenth-century romantics. The contribution of the western youth of the 1950s and 60s in securing the stability of civilization is immense. The ever-increasing civilization of the last few hundred years had accumulated too many rules restraining volitional relief. Civilized life has become more liberated thanks to the influence of these youths, although many people continue to grumble disapprovingly at this liberalization, blaming it for the high crime rate. Although I cannot verify it, it seems to me that but for these retreats to nature, the crime rate would be even higher.
The perplexity of social interactions in today's world, technological progress requiring greater exertion of conscious will on the part of the labor force, and the overall growth of civilization will undoubtedly demand certain "retreats to nature" in the future as well. Even more essential, then, are prospective studies of the parameters available to society in making its retreat back to nature, while sidestepping the risk of significant losses in the realm of achievements of civilization and preventing the revenge of the strong.
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ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR
The Collective Will
Analysis of human automatisms will not reveal the full complexity of the motives of human behavior. As a rule, individuals are part of society. They interact not only with each other's wills, but also with the will of society: the collective will. In the simplest case, the collective will is a simple sum of individual wills directed at a common goal. In that case, an individual can observe his will contributing to the expression of the collective will, and can thus recognize his contribution to the achievement of the common goal. This is a very simple situation characteristic of small groups.
The collective will manifests itself explicitly in all functions performed by the state: foreign defense, the maintainence of order, the regulation of will exchange, etc. Interactions with the collective will often pass unnoticed. Nevertheless, the collective will exerts a strong influence on an individual. Public opinion, traditional life-styles, prejudices, good manners, and the nature of traditional hierarchies are all manifestations of society's collective will. It is this collective will that demands submission on the part of an individual, in the form of respect for customs, obeying various norms of conduct, etc.
Although the collective will curbs individual will expression its aim nonetheless, at least in principle, is to promote the fulfillment of individual automatisms (in spite of its frequent selectivity in doing so.28) This aim is illustrated by the fact that, at some stage of evolution, herds began to form and herd structure became fixed in some species as a means of survival and development. I can say that the purpose of this alliance of individuals into herds was to provide mutual help in automatism fulfillment, owing to the patronage of the collective will that such a union generates. (This is equivalent to saying that "the goal of evolution was ..." or "something conducive to the attainment of the goal was fixed in the evolutionary process.") It seems that by helping individuals fulfill their automatisms, the collective will augments the total will of the population, ensuring development and promoting homeostasis. The extent to which the collective will intrudes into individual lives ranges over a broad spectrum. The notion of what people should reasonably expect of the collective will is incorporated into various political teachings, many of which were put into practice during various eras.
One particular form of manifestion of collective will is the role of the will of a crowd -- less extreme in the case of a group, collective, or a small company -- and its impact on the conduct of an individual. Control by the collective will of an individual will, without the latter's awareness, is a very interesting but rather poorly-explored aspect of human behavior. It seems that the human brain is capable of deciphering the language of the collective will and obeying its orders by following ancient rules, communicated in archaic symbols of the will language of the crowd. In the extreme situation of a mob, the collective will may suppress almost completely all that is individualistic and civilized in the behavior of the persons in the mob. Naturally, a person's susceptibility to collective domination depends on the strength of his conscious will; nevertheless, there is evidence to show that the conscious will's ability to resist can be rather weak. Soviet experience reveals that people from all social strata can act like barbarians -- even when things do not come to blows -- when placed in a crowd. Just recall the conduct of many prominent Soviet scholars in the 1940s, when Jewish scholars were hounded by the state.
The suitability of an individual's character (the weights of different automatisms) to the prevailing conditions is important in ensuring viability. The creation of a society allows people to compensate for deficiencies in suitability to the given circum-stances, through volitional exchange: purely volitional mutual help or exchange of surrogates. This gives rise to a division of functions, partial or complete, among the members of the community. One simple example is animals forming couples or group families accompanied by specialization aimed at fulfilling each other's automatisms. This kind of reciprocal interaction is one manifestation of will cooperation; here, the collective will, at least in case of human societies, governs will exchange based on the principle of equivalency of will exchange.
Equivalency is a comprehensive notion. Hidden as well as blatant deviations from this principle, particularly ones sanctioned by the collective will or its usurpers, have served throughout history as a source of conflict in society leading to rebellions or revolutions. This principle is easy to apply to exchanges governed by specific valuations dictated by the collective will (for instance, in exchanging material surrogates of known value). If such valuations are lacking, the exchange is conducted based on the agreed price and is, generally speaking, governed by the collective will (although sometimes, for example in American contract law, its role is reduced to a minimum: invalidation of the contract if it is unlawful, unconscionable, based on false information, or was achieved through the inability of one party to understand the contract).
The availability of equivalents approved by the contracting party or the collective will simplifies the fulfillment of the equivalency condition, by allowing each participant to assess his own will "expenses" in terms of some equivalent. For instance, if I wish to save time by not going to the store, I can have the goods delivered. I need not concern myself with the will expenditures of the deliverer. I merely have to compare the amount of monetary payment he requires with my will expenditure of visiting the store. Even this simple case can lead to conflict, however, thus inciting an automatism of competition.
Conflict is more common when the parties involved in the exchange disagree over their hierarchical standing, and therefore over the will inequivalence. The point is that equal will expenditure does not adhere to the principle of equivalency if the parties involved command different hierarchical positions: in making will payments the one who is lower in the hierarchy pays more. There is no contradiction here, since the will of the higher-up is considered more valuable. Occasionally a conflict arises over the extent of this difference. That is why the invention of money as a medium of exchange was so beneficial. It provided a valuation that can be substantiated by its monetary equivalent, derived from the experience of previous dealings or by the authority of the collective will. In most cases this alleviates conflict. Therefore parties involved in will exchange prefer to use valuations reduced to an equivalent approved by the collective will. Here, the notion of a collective will should not be limited to the will of the state. A market with a large number of participants constitutes a will of its own.
Conflicts frequently arise when no prior agreement is made (as in a case of rescue, for instance). Will exchanges governed by unspoken valuations are common, on the assumption that the parties are always willing to return favors.
Differences in hierarchical status also become important when seemingly equal contributions of the parties involved in an exchange demand different will expenditures, so that the weaker side might ask for more benefits (reflected in the saying "it is nothing to him..."). In the case of parties close in hierarchical rank, one participant may find it offensive to gain more from the exchange than the other, perceiving the greater gain as an indication of lower rank. Indeed, allowing the other party to reap greater benefits from the exchange is frequently used as means of hierarchical advancement. Some people respond by being overly scrupulous in trivial matters, wishing to avoid being indebted to anybody and the consequent obligation to express gratitude for every little thing.
There is a certain amount of will, varying for different hierarchical levels, that an individual exerts without apparent reward (yielding the right of way, doing a favor for a stranger, giving alms). The lack of compensation is really imaginary, since these acts can be viewed as a form of payment to get other people to acknowledge the hierarchical status claimed by such a generous person. The extent of uncompensated will expenditure is frequently used to define one's hierarchical position and to demonstrate one's status (publicly announced contributions to charity, disregarding a coin on the ground). In societies with limited opportunities for hierarchical growth and display, such as Russia in my recollection of it, "helping one's neighbor" is cultivated more than in societies that allow for free hierarchical advancement.
Conflicts arising in will exchanges are frequently used by people to fulfill their automatism of competition. It is said that at a mid-eastern bazaar, it is impolite to make a purchase without bargaining first. Occasionally an automatism of competition is incited even after an exchange that was conducted according to an agreement: when a person believes he has been gypped. An accord might be reached as a result of the suppression of an automatism of competition, because the exercise of it may have an undesirable effect on future relations between the parties.
It is difficult for an outsider to judge whether the principle of equivalence of exchange has been upheld, in view of the subjectiveness of the valuations. Subjectiveness results from different weights of automatisms in different personalities, especially at a given moment, i.e., the relative intensity of an automatism at a given moment (taking into account that some automatisms have been "quenched" recently and are currently adapted, while others are aroused and demand fulfillment). Clearly, a hungry man will pay more for a piece of bread than will someone who is full. Gratification of a long-unfulfilled automatism is more valuable than gratification of one that gets fulfilled regularly; arousal of an inert automatism is superior to that of an active one. This factor is incorporated into the principle of equivalence: exploitation of an extreme state (extreme need or strong excitation of some automatism) in the other party to gain advantage in an exchange is denounced on moral grounds. Actually, the moral code comes into play only in extreme situations; otherwise, there would be no subculture of commercial advertisement aimed at arousing respective automatisms to make people shell out money. Deceit is a special case. It is the intentional dulling of the other party's automatism of evaluation, or abuse of its insufficient development.
Besides recognized will exchanges, an individual constantly partakes in will exchanges with others without being conscious of it. The impact exerted by the behavior of others on the automatisms of a given individual is one of several important factors. The instinct of imitation is well-known. A powerful instinct which governs human behavior to a large extent, it consists of the arousal of one's automatisms due to observation of the arousal and fulfillment of the automatisms of others. The nature of previously-developed symbioses of automatisms and the intrusion of conscious will make possible a variety of responses. Another example of concealed will exchange with society is an atmosphere of trust. In everyday life a person does not overexert himself in evaluating his surroundings. He faces more or less familiar situations in which he is sheltered, at least to an extent, from calamities (his food being poisoned at a restaurant, or being murdered on a busy street) by his lifestyle and the protection of the collective will. It seems there is a certain low level of probability of a disaster, below which a person ceases to exercise preventitive fear.
The principle of equivalence of will exchange gives rise to the categories of good and evil, which reflect violations of this principle committed by humans or other wills, including hypothetical ones (gods and spirits). Will exchanges that favor the other party are known as good deeds. Deviations from the equivalence principle that bring much greater benefits for oneself are regarded as evil. Conflicts within the framework of these categories resemble conflicts in evaluations arising in will exchanges. Valuations might be equally variable, but this is not essential and depends on the level of analysis. The point is that evil breeds watchfulness and mistrust in people. Thus evil-doers are led to devise all sorts of misleading tricks: to give an impression of kindness in order to gain hierarchical advancement or accumulate will surrogate. One might arrive at a radical conclusion that there exists no such thing as unselfish kindness, for the mere existence of an automatism of kindness renders the doing of a good deed self-serving in terms of automatism fulfillment, and therefore the deed is not unselfish. This is true, but unselfishness is not a prerequisite to kindness.
Thus, the doing of a good deed does not violate the criterion of personal expediency. On the contrary, in morally assessing the degree of evil, the benefit to the evil-doer is of particular significance. The more senseless the evil, the more evil it is. Some groups have this as an ethical norm: do no evil if nothing is to be gained. A will exchange that greatly benefits the evil-doer and that inflicts but small harm on the counter-party, is usually tolerated by society; but society condemns deriving small gains for oneself at the cost of large losses to the counter-party (for instance, the press will stress the point of someone being murdered during a burglary over a few dollars). An evil that transcends common bounds provokes fear in an individual due to the principle of maximum valuation of an unknown will, even if that individual has no reason to expect an encounter with the evil will.
By conscious will I mean individual will directed at automatism suppression, at generating aggregates of automatism interactions, and therefore at discovering new outlets for will manifestation. This term expresses the idea that the specific manifestations of conscious will are not determined by nature in a direct sense, but by the informational surrogate accumulated by the brain; expression of this will is governed by consciousness. Control over automatism expression by the conscious will is initiated by the automatism of will augmentation. Such control also creates competition between the will of an individual and his own functionally- and spatially-localized wills. Suppression of an automatism, or suppression of some local will, is gratifying because of the resultant growth of total will, although it may cause suffering due to the unfulfilled state of the suppressed automatism. Suppression frequently results from submission to the collective will, or to some other stronger will. In this case, suppression is not recognized as a victory of one's total will, but rather as a safeguard against will (hierarchical) losses.
The manifestation of conscious will in the suppression of an automatism gives an illusion of free will. Indeed, acts of will caused by the arousal of individual automatisms are determined by a small number of factors, mainly the presence of the stimulus and the extent of automatism arousal. Automatism suppression, as well as the creation of complex groups of interacting automatisms, increases the number of factors determining will manifestation. The complexity may reach a level at which it becomes impossible to trace the cause-effect chain linking actual will manifestion to external stimuli. It is commonly held that the ability to consciously control instinctive urges is a human prerogative. Yet there is no basis to assume that a mechanism that increases the number of factors determining behavior -- a mechanism analogous to conscious will and which utilizes the informational surrogate and its processes -- is lacking in other animals. In humans this mechanism has become rather sophisticated. In fact, over the course of human evolution conscious will grew in comparison to uncontrollable will.
In modern humans, the extent of conscious control over automatisms is a crucial characteristic of one's total will, and is therefore an important factor in hierarchical success. (Later in this work the relative strength of conscious will is correlated with the level of civilization of a person.) This characteristic of one's total conscious will has long been used for hierarchical evaluation. Many ways to test the conscious will are known; for instance, the ability to suppress an automatism of seeking relief from pain (initiation ceremonies of young people or thieves, Spartan whippings, and so on). The ability of knights to suppress the sexual automatism was tested with "trial nights" in the age of chivalry. A number of religions have developed sophisticated exercises to test and train conscious will. This is perhaps rooted in the concept of a single god or a chief god in the pagan pantheon, a concept which reflects one's ability to control passions by exercising conscious will (something which I discuss below). Actually, human conscious will is tested every day by society, under non-extreme conditions and without any special ceremonies. Successful trials often go unnoticed by society, while even a tiny slip is remembered and exploited in the hierarchical struggle.
The ability to suppress and regulate manifestations of automatisms reflects another faculty of conscious will: to intervene at any moment in arousing or fulfilling various automatisms, not only for the purpose of suppressing but also of accommodating them. For example, take the usual intrusion of conscious will in the initially-autonomous muscle contractions during orgasm; conscious intensification of facial expressions or laughter; or a consciously-cultivated craft of coquetry. It is common for conscious will to facilitate the search for or the intensity of the stimuli. It should be noted that conscious control over an automatism detracts considerably from the effect of local gratification derived from its fulfillment. Gains in total will and freedom of will, therefore, impose a resulting loss of local gratification, of pleasure, and therefore of happiness.
It may seem advisable to shield automatisms from conscious will so that strong will impulses can express themselves independently. This idea inspired many philosophers to preach "a return to nature." Indeed, if one is not misguided by the "higher meaning of life" (that is, does not prefer the growth of total will, conscious or otherwise, to total automatism fulfillment) then it would seem reasonable to shield local gratifications by expressing one's will through "nature-given" outlets according to one's character.
I believe this course is to be preferred by someone living on a desert island. Living in society, however, forces an individual to subject his automatisms to conscious will not only for the sake of total will augmentation, but also under pressure from the collective will. This is precisely the reason why severing ties with society is a characteristic element in teachings that profess a return to nature. The collective will delimits an individual's will manifestion by means of rules. A person must assimilate these rules as permissible outlets for will manifestion, to avoid constant expectation of coercive action on the part of the collective will. A certain minimum level of conscious will is deemed socially necessary and assumed to be known to everybody. This presumption holds for all hierarchies with respect to pre-judicial ethical limitations imposed upon will manifestion.
In reality, a person must possess conscious will greater than the minimum if he does not want to lose his sense of independence. If a person is not in control of his automatisms, someone else is -- or will be -- and the will of that person becomes someone else's volitional surrogate. Examples of this situation are numerous. Many people are subject to unrelenting control either of the family, the employer, a close acquaintance, or the government. In many cases, submission results not from a desire to fulfill the automatism of submission, but from a low level of conscious control over automatisms in general. I guess one should not worry about the people entangled in such a predicament if they themselves show no concern with their situation. Being master of one's own destiny in this complicated life is a heavy burden, and we should understand those who wish to rid themselves of all worries stemming from what society interprets as being a free individual.
The cultivation of conscious will is recognized as an important method of securing homeostasis. Automatism suppression directed at fulfilling automatisms of homeostasis or total will augmentation is one particular manifestation of the principle of economy of will. Better implementation of this principle requires the capacity to suppress automatisms. As a result child-rearing, in general, tends to emphasize the ability to suppress not all automatisms, but only certain ones (such as the automatism of competition, including aggression, and also the sexual automatism). Consequently other automatisms, including homeostatic ones, remain unsuppressed.
Since ancient times, the exercise of maximum control over one's automatisms has attracted many people who feel that their will has been bound and who aspire to be free. They seek -- and believe they have found -- inner freedom by suppressing their automatisms, while in fact suppression is, as a rule, merely an expression of another automatism: the automatism of augmentation of total will, which is hierarchical. Their program of automatism suppression in the name of inner freedom, then, is simply the traditional taming of many automatisms for the sake of gratifying another one. Yoga is a philosophical system that has succeeded in implementing these practices on a practical level. Yogis have made tremendous progress in elaborating the methods of reinforcing conscious will, and in achieving conscious control over various automatisms that to us may seem completely unconquerable (breathing, peristaltic contractions, automaticity of thinking, etc.). By attaining such freedom one can expect to merge with God, which is probably the greatest exaltation dictated by the automatism of will augmentation.
The illusion of freedom is partially justified nonetheless, since any control over one's automatisms expands inner freedom by increasing the number of behavior-determining factors. In computer vernacular, it increases the number and the complexity of the programs. This illusion of inner freedom sheds light on the views of those who ignore biological factors and contend that human behavior is based exclusively on acquired culture. Note that most psychologists, in terms of the relative development of their conscious will, belong to the higher strata of the hierarchy. It is not surprising that they have a hard time conceiving of "biological man", whose behavior is not overburdened by constant intrusion of the conscious will. Perhaps psychologists who play down the role of the "earthly" biological motives of behavior portray the people of some distant future assuming, of course, that the development of civilization will follow the same course as it has for the last ten thousand years or so; that is, with the conscious will playing an ever-increasing role.29
Generally speaking, repression of individual automatisms by conscious will entails overcoming the suffering that results from leaving oneself in a state of frustration. Attaining habitual subjugation of an automatism by conscious will does not mean disposing of the automatism itself, which remains ready to be aroused. At the same time, many other automatisms do get fulfilled, and therefore more or less reach a state of adaptation. By adaptation I mean habituation, or the dulling of a particular desire through accustoming. This means that a suppressed automatism might, at any given moment, turn out to be more powerful than other, previously-stronger ones that have been fulfilled more recently. Consequently, the conscious will has an ever more difficult time subduing the suppressed automatism because of this "growth of discontent"; situations conducive to the intense arousal of the frustrated automatism result in a strong outburst of that automatism. Many examples testify to this growth of discontent followed by an intense discharge of will tension. (I believe mass outbursts of the automatism of competition, inflamed by the imitative instinct, illustrate the point.) Growth of discontent, especially in contemporary society, is a serious social problem.
The Automatism Of Evaluation
And the Language Of Will
The automatism of evaluation is, as a rule, fulfilled without many problems, although the results do not always guarantee safety in encounters with an isolated will. In reality one has to deal with multi-will situations. In those circumstances, proper judgment must incorporate the evaluation of individual wills and their interrelations among each other (agreements about will exchanges), the state of the will of each individual (character at a given moment), and the ability to model changes in the given multi-will situation. To establish the hierarchical status of the "I", an individual must recognize not only his own character at a given moment, but also the dominant parameters (especially the distinguishing hierarchical characteristic) of the hierarchy preferred by the individuals involved at that moment, and the already-established hierarchical relations among them. The relevance of this information depends on the type of situation, as well as one's objectives in that situation. The will language of evaluation consists of hierarchical and characterological attributes, as well as the language itself. Hierarchical characteristics include the amount of amassed surrogates and patronage from universally-recognized strong wills. Character is often revealed by standards of conduct (manners, intonations, loudness of speech, type of response), physical constitution, etc. Physiognomic features are also important indicators. That is, various automatisms are displayed via certain facial expressions, such as the contraction of the orbital eye muscle resulting from intense thinking, or a "ferocious" facial expression when feeling aggressive. This causes different facial muscles to develop to varying extents. Thus, observing a face can yield information about that person's character. Often facial expression is a direct reflection of one's will state.30 Practical physiognomy, as developed primarily by actors and make-up artists rather than by psychologists, to some extent has a direct correlation between various facial expressions and one's current state of mind. With respect to character in general, however, this art has not been so perfected.
An important element of will language is eye contact. This question has been very poorly explored. Gazing at another person conveys will information, such as a challenge, that is, a message that the automatism of competition has been aroused; attention, which signifies the process of evaluation; an attempt to arouse an automatism of kindness; evidence of submission; and so on. Human beings respond to eye contact so strongly that there is widely-held belief that the gaze transmits some kind of psychological vibes. Eye contact is frequently taken as direct will interaction (animals practice this as well). It seems that the human brain is very adept in diagnosing another person's eye expression, but this happens at a subconscious level. In my opinion gaze interpretation represents knowledge accumulated by the brain but not yet assimilated by consciousness.
The role of speech in conveying information about one's will or its current state is not very extensive, except when dealing with "well-controlled" individuals. In that case, it is the content of the speech that conveys information about one's volitional state; but such purely civilized communication is rather uncommon. In general, speech is used to convey the informational surrogate, and to verify conclusions arrived at on the basis of other modes of will language. Still, such factors as the loudness of speech, intonations, and so on, constitute an important element of the language of will.
It should be taken into account that the nature of one's own speech incorporates hierarchical traits. These include literacy and speech complexity, the use of slang words (words limited to certain level(s) of the hierarchy), and even a "special" language that belongs to a specific hierarchical class (for instance, the "criminal jargon"). The role of curses in will exchanges, and therefore in evaluation, is analyzed later.
Evaluation of a situation is required in order to choose an optimal course of will manifestion in attaining one's goal. A conflict of wills generates a multitude of deceptions: actions that mislead the opposing will and cause it to misevaluate a given individual and the overall will situation.
Deceptive tricks are very diverse: behavioral mimicry in the animal world, counterfeit identifications, lying, the use of linguistic will signals that do not correspond with one's true will state, etc. Deception permeates human interactions, some stratagems of which are restricted by ethical or judicial codes. For example lying is condemned, at least at some levels of the hierarchy. In general, lying is very widespread. Lying and other deceptive tricks are a very convenient way to manifest one's will, avoid will expenditure or resolve a conflict with a stronger will to one's own advantage. People realize that lying can cause harm, not only to society but also to the liar himself since he may suffer hierarchical losses. Those who disapprove of lying but tolerate it select the following criterion of its acceptability: the harm caused by lying should be less the harm caused by being honest.
It is possible that lying gained in popularity as direct will manifestation gave way to more economical methods of manifesting one's will, including roundabout ways. It is important to note that, in the primitive communes of our ancestors in which the use of force in resolving conflicts was not so limited, a physically strong individual could allow himself the luxury of not lying to weaker ones: it was simply unnecessary, because he could use force on the weak one without worrying about his choice of outlets for will manifestion. This has transformed into a socio-biological presumption that functions in people to the present day: a presumption of honesty of the hierarchical superior.
Other factors beside the needlessness of lying on the part of a strong will might have come into play in inhibiting the strong from lying: for example, the techniques of lying (as an indirect means of goal attainment) were naturally more developed among the weak; the strong simply did not receive as much training in the art of lying. It is interesting to note that as the weak became victorious (see the earlier chapter "Victory Of the Weak"), the presumption of honesty of a strong will was extended to all hierarchically-successful individuals, including those who might not be physically strong at all. On the other hand, the development of democracy and the eagerness of the press to expose highly-placed liars have nullified, to some extent, this presumption as a behavioral factor. Nevertheless, in societies lacking such intricate poly-hierarchical structures, this presumption of honesty of a superior can be quite significant. (I am judging by the situation in the Soviet Union in the 1960s.)
Still, this presumption has left traces even in societies in which people do not have blind faith in the higher echelons of the hierarchy. Consequently, honesty is frequently selected as a hierarchically-significant parameter: some people choose honesty as a norm of personal ethics; and discovery of a lie is often more disgraceful in an upper stratum of a hierarchy than in the lower strata. The sociology of lying is a very poorly-explored topic, so I cannot conclude based on this single observation that the frequency of lying decreases with one's rise in the hierarchy.
Outlets Of Will Manifestion
Factors determining the behavior of an individual in a volitional situation include: his character traits, his evaluation of the situation, and the outlets of will manifestation at his disposal. Specific situations may generate special modes of manifestation. Generally speaking, though, previously-tested modes of will manifestation are accumulated beforehand through the amassing of various surrogates of will, primarily disciplinary, informational and volitional surrogates.
Success in collecting the informational surrogate often depends on sufficient development of the cognitive automatism. A superior informational surrogate -- not necessarily correlated with one's total will per se -- expands one's range of will manifestation, thus conserving will expenditures and providing a hierarchical advantage as compared with others whose total will might be much greater. At upper levels, the informational surrogate brings hierarchical success as well as hierarchical isolation: the intellingentsia form their own hierarchies, in which total will, as well as other conventional hierarchical attributes -- such as the material surrogate -- become rather insignificant in the overall valuation. Generally speaking, women command less total will than men because traditionally they are physically weaker than men. But by and large women possess a strong automatism of will augmentation, and they manage to fulfill it by searching for and accumulating indirect outlets for will manifestation, and by amassing the volitional surrogate of will. In this sense women have always comprised the more intelligent segment of humanity, if intelligence is understood as a preference for indirect means of manifestation, such as the rejection of force.
People have devised traditional stratagems to obtain the volitional surrogate of will, which helps economize on their own will expenditures by employing the will of others. These devices may be direct will exchange, or they may be schemes to elicit an automatism of kindness (for instance, placing oneself in a situation where other people would wish to help, such as by faking illness, etc.). Various methods of arousing other automatisms are widespread, and their expert use is held in high esteem. For example, as they become more and more crafty, children learn to elicit an automatism of kindness in adults at appropriate moments; and young people train to make use of their sexual attractiveness, enhancing it with cosmetics and clothing. Politeness and diplomatic skills, i.e., the art of eliciting an automatism of cooperation in cases in which direct competition would be more natural, are highly respected.
In manipulating the will of others with an intent to use it as a will surrogate, people resort to all kinds of artifices. For instance, they may create comfortable surroundings, thus evoking an automatism of relaxation and lowering the propensity for undesirable will manifestations (for instance, by providing a comfortable chair to a visitor who has come with a complaint). Gratification of other homeostatic automatisms is also practiced on a wide basis (a good dinner predisposes the subject toward successful negotiations). Some of these artifices have lost their original relevance and been transformed into symbols: for instance, the Russian welcome of "bread and salt"; laying out the red carpet; breakfasts at diplomatic meetings; or the tradition of smoking a "peace pipe." The symbolic aspect of these "rituals" should not be exaggerated, however, for even in civilized societies we are still guided to a significant degree by our automatisms.
The powers of music have long been known to exert a strong influence on people. Military marches, komsomol songs, funeral tunes -- all these evoke a respective automatism, and immerse people in the volitional state in which the initiator of the stimulus wants them to be. He thus gains a greater amount of the volitional surrogate.
More curt methods of acquiring the volitional surrogate are also employed: controlling an individual's behavior by means of beatings, threats or torture; or keeping a person in a state of frustration of some automatism (limited food rations in a place of confinement, excommunication from the nuptial bed, or the withholding of sweets from a disobedient child).
Child-rearing has as one aim the provision to children of information about outlets of will manifestation approved by a given hierarchy in a given society, especially by developing a conscious will capable of suppressing those automatisms the gratification of which is considered undesirable or unnecessary. These tasks are accomplished by training in automatism suppression, by limiting the impact of stimuli or access to information about will manifestation leading to the fulfillment of the undesirable automatisms, and by giving false information. Traditional anti-sexual upbringing, especially of girls, is prominent in this respect in order to preserve their naivete, which will later be a valuable means of acquiring the volitional surrogate and fulfilling automatisms deemed vital in a particular hierarchy (although this statement sounds anachronistic in modern America).
Special methods to encourage a strong will to cooperate have been developed. All these methods are based on displaying one's acknowledgment of the hierarchical importance of the other party. Such behavior should not automatically be treated as artificial or based on ulterior motives. I want to reiterate that a very natural reaction of both people and animals to the presence of a strong will includes at least attention and alertness, which preclude the continuation of the task at hand. We observe that people instinctively stop talking when someone important enters the room. (Abstention from food or sex as means of demonstrating one's submission is known among other herd mammals.)
In the past, methods of accumulation of the volitional surrogate -- perhaps illusory -- by means of hypothetical wills constructed on extrapolation or deductively based on the principle of will determinism, were prevalent. Gods, spirits, souls of the dead and other hypothetical wills played an active part in the hierarchical life of people. The nature of such interactions depended on the assumed characteristics of the modelled will. In the simplest cases, which are the most common, these hypothetical wills were endowed with characteristics similar to the high and mighty of the earth. It is essential, in a relationship with a hypothetical strong will, to elicit an automatism of kindness through a demonstration of submission (by the strict observation of prescribed rituals, the assumption of submissive poses, frequent deprivation -- or at least temporary abstention -- in fulfilling natural urges, and so on). People have conceived of numerous ways of "appeasing" such hypothetical wills, and of satisfying its various automatisms (such as through sacrifices, the burning of incense, bestowing valuables, etc.) and eliciting an automatism of kindness (sometimes by direct invocation, like petition or prayer). Religious acts and feelings fill people with joy. The reason is three-fold: fulfillment of the automatism of submission; total will augmentation (belief in communicating with a strong will); and direct will release (especially in religions practicing ritualistic orgies with stormy outbursts of will manifestation).
The principle of will determinism impels people to try to contact the hypothetical wills governing various natural phenomena. In simple cases these wills are assigned characteristics similar to those of strong human wills, which define how to influence the hypothetical wills. People always seem to believe that a properly chosen stimulus can induce a strong will to manifest itself along desirable lines. Effective ways to communicate with hypothetical wills are explored in various systems of witchcraft. Current theories are so entangled that is hard to trace the roots of the various practices of witchcraft. Imitative automatism is frequently regarded as the most vulnerable spot of hypothetical wills, a notion often used to influence them. One practice of witchcraft that incorporates this notion is copulation on a freshly-planted field. Researchers tend to interpret these rituals as symbolic. I believe the symbolic element appeared later, and that these ceremonies sprang from the attribution of human-like characteristics to the wills people tried to influence. Thus it was hoped that the hypothetical wills would imitate the human-propagation behavior.
It seems that happiness is an abundance of local joy and a lack of discontent from unfulfilled automatisms. In a state of happiness a person exerts his will more or less in proportion to the weight of his automatisms (i.e., according to his character). This means that in order to be happy it is necessary to ensure certain external stimuli, and the capacity to fulfill them in ways that harmonize with one's character. This would be possible if an individual were able to compile a list of the relative weights of his automatisms. Because at each given moment a person, as a rule, can state what he wants and assign priorities to his wants, compilation of such a list (for a given moment of time) seems feasible. Not so in real life, however. First of all, intervention of the conscious will, affected by the collective will, imposes many limitations on an individual -- limitations that often are not recognized as stemming from the conscious will ("desire displacement"). Second, a person sensing a certain desire is frequently "wanting to want," in keeping with the values and ideas espoused by the hierarchies to which he claims to belong. That is, there is a partial suppression of desires by an automatism of hierarchical growth. This leads to greater frustration of the displaced desires.
Practical happiness can exist for some period of time. By "practical happiness," I mean the noticeable expenditure of will to satisfy the strongest automatisms, before they become adapted, and before strong frustrations from the non-gratification of other automatisms is felt. Some people recall their childhood as a happy time. There are so many new stimuli in childhood that adaptation to some does not preclude repeated gratification through discovery of new stimuli.
Basically, humanity made its choice between happiness and civilization a long time ago, opting for the latter. This makes the discovery of individual surrogates of happiness ever more valuable. Many people manage to formulate their own objectives, attain them and then be satisfied with this less-than-perfect happiness.
HierarchiesTo reiterate the point made above, it is my view that the hierarchical status of group members was determined by one's total will; and that this was true both in animal communities, and in human communities at the early stages of human evolution. (I am ignoring, for the time being, all the complications that arise from the emergence of groups in which individuals possessing the volitional surrogates of other individuals could successfully compete with stronger wills. This caveat applies only to inter-group hierarchical struggles.) In human society, the pursuit and accumulation of new avenues for will manifestation and will exchange, and the insatiability of the instinct of will augmentation, caused this primary hierarchy to splinter into many hierarchies. Perhaps early in the Paleolithic age other hierarchical attributes, such as increasingly-sophisticated hunting skills, the ability to make tools, etc. began to come into play. The fact that people were not equally endowed with these gifts must have been the catalyst for stratification within the primary will hierarchy. Introduction of various crafts, more complex methods of intercourse with the gods, and more intense competition among various groups eventually led to further hierarchical stratification. In the chapter entitled "Victory Of the Weak," I elaborate on the displacement of the primary or the "animalistic" hierarchical attribute: physical strength, or one's total will proper. At this point, I am only concerned with the general properties of hierarchies and of hierarchical struggle.
In observing the process of hierarchical stratification, one could say that it impelled the upper echelons to want to segregate themselves from the lower ones. More particularly, it was the wish of the successful individuals to secure their hierarchical gains, avoid hierarchical losses, and economize on will expenditures (which is important for society at large) by limiting competition. Eventually, this policy gave rise to ethical and legal measures (including the imposition of certain requirements designed to uphold segregation) intended to stabilize the existing hierarchical structure. Differences in ways of life, and the varying capacity of different groups to fulfill various automatisms contributed to segregation. The greater the extent of segregation, the greater the proclivity of the upper echelons to increase the sophistication of searching for new ways to arouse and fulfill various automatisms. As a result, such intricate and sophisticated complexes of pleasures were conceived as to defy reenactment even at this day and age, when we have vast opportunities at our disposal. Court rituals of French kings are hardly reproducible; the art of the "commissars of pleasures" back in the days of the Roman empire seems irrevocably lost to humanity. Can one hope to revive the pleasures of king Artaxerxes? According to legend, women rubbed myrrh onto his body for twelve months.
At the same time, lower strata were concerned with sustaining a minimum level of homeostasis. Different levels of the hierarchy developed their own ethics and will language. A person lacking the proper upbringing of the upper strata had little chance to advance to these upper echelons, since the will language of the latter was often too complicated to be understood by those from lower strata; and there were other barriers as well. Moreover, the will language of the lower strata became incomprehensible to the upper ones. Consequently, encounters with members of the lower strata activated the principle of maximum valuation of an unknown will. This principle, by the way, is just as relevant today, even in societies with a high rate of hierarchical mobility.31
Hierarchical segregation affirmed in customs and legal codes was something to be desired since, as a rule, individuals comprising the upper strata relied on their greater amounts of acquired (often inherited) reserves of will surrogates, and were therefore unprepared to engage in direct will struggle. Segregation takes place both within any one hierarchy, and between different hierarchies (the latter of which are formed on the basis of other distinguishing hierarchical characteristics). Therefore, members of a given hierarchy are distinguished not only by possession of the dominant distinguishing hierarchical characteristic but also by numerous other characteristics: first and foremost, their compliance with the ethical and will-language requirements of their respective hierarchy. For instance, the ability to lift weights is not sufficient to be accepted into the hierarchy of weight lifters. One must obey a certain code of mores, violation of which can lead to practical disbarment from the hierarchy in spite of one's physical merits.
The standard criterion to judge whether an individual deserves to belong to a given hierarchy is his conformity to the ethics of the group and his knowledge of its will language -- provided, of course, that he fulfills all other qualifications demanded by the hierarchy (such as a reasonable amount of material surrogate, knowledge, certain skills, creative abilities, etc.). Hierarchical neighbors oversee one's virtues through the institution of honor; that is, the danger of significant will losses stemming from non-compliance with the pertinent code of conduct. The ability to conduct oneself in accord with one's position in the hierarchy, fueled by the fear of hierarchical losses, is known as conscience. In general, the ethical code is strengthened by references to sanctions imposed by higher powers. Consequently, the mechanism of self-control that I have identified as conscience is perceived as an eye of God. (These considerations also extend to hierarchies in which a person believes himself to be the sole member and ignores the opinion of others.) Another manifestation of hierarchical self-control is shame (more on this below).
Some of the brightest and most persistent individuals managed to overcome hierarchical barriers (will-language and ethical requirements) even during periods of the most severe hierarchical segregation. We know of the examples of a poor peasant becoming a scientist, and of slaves achieving the rank of military commander or member of a royal court. Hierarchical advancement can be achieved in two ways: by patiently climbing the hierarchical ladder, or by coercive restructuring of the hierarchy of hierarchies. The latter (revolutionary) course remains popular to this day, in spite of the fact that hierarchical segregation is everywhere on the decline, making it easier for those in the lower strata to penetrate into the upper ones. Relative hierarchical mobility in modern democratic states helps maintain social peace, although it increases the risk that some people undeserving of public trust are able to penetrate into the highest echelons of the government. (The necessity of overcoming the many obstacles may provoke use of unscrupulous means.)
In recent times the creation of new hierarchies has become more prominent. Rather than struggling in traditional hierarchies, people can fulfill their automatisms of hierarchical growth by originating a new hierarchy and becoming its top member. The free enterprise system in many countries provides ample opportunity to do so. This process of innovative splintering is also reflected in narrow scientific specialization, the splitting of sports hierarchies (as thematically new categories of competition are introduced), the growing number of public organizations, the search for new directions in art, competition among hobbyists in the most unusual categories, etc. Nowadays, it is hard to stand out by collecting mummies of the pharaohs. But one can choose an original subject for his collection, say, objects found in the stomachs of dead elephants. (One can actually see many such examples in the Guiness Book Of World Records.) A person undertaking such an enterprise becomes, at least at the start, the first and foremost member of that hierarchy. Of course, founding a hierarchy upon a new distinguishing hierarchical characteristic is no easy task, since someone must acknowledge the existence of such a hierarchy. In this regard, an individual may be assisted by illusory fulfillment of the automatism of hierarchical growth, in the form of the ability to be the judge of one's own success.
Hierarchical structures arise in any group of interacting individuals. In most cases, the distinguishing hierarchical characteristics are adopted from the traditional set. The possession of major surrogates of will, especially the material, informational, and volitional ones is commonly held to be advantageous. This still leaves plenty of room, however, for one's own hierarchical inventions (for instance, in groups of youngsters the skill of imitating animal sounds or making smoke rings might be held in high esteem, in addition to the traditional qualities).
Instituting a new hierarchy is easier if others believe it will not confer any special will benefits upon its originator. Otherwise, the creation of a new hierarchy might generate grave opposition and be condemned, especially if the idea of a poly-hierarchical structure is foreign to the society in question. In that case, an individual must resign himself to struggle in traditional hierarchies, and all efforts to originate new ones are branded as ambitious attempts to rise by circumventing difficulties already overcome by others.32
One might also encounter strong opposition when trying to rise in traditional hierarchies through the use of unusual methods. For instance, guild regulations in the middle ages forbade the use of technological innovations. (I leave it to the curious American reader to find analagous examples in labor-union practice.) Animosity toward ethnic and national minorities more knowledgeable than the majority population in the ways of will manifestation is similar in nature. This disparity seems to be the primary cause of anti-Semitism in Europe and in Russia. In a direct-will sense, i.e., the ability to use physical strength, the Jews did not compete with the European nations. Jews were able to contribute to European culture owing to their preference for other forms of will manifestation: to their propensity to seek original avenues of will manifestation, and to employ the informational surrogate of will. The above opinion as to the main cause of anti-Semitism is confirmed by historical examples of parallel persecution of Jews and intelligentsia.
The above ideas regarding the splintering of the primary sole will hierarchy over the evolution of human society, and the emergence from that hierarchy of other hierarchies based on one's knowledge of alternative outlets for will manifestation, can be observed in groups of children. With increasing age, direct will manifestations give way to intellectual and emotional abilities; so the development of children's hierarchies track human evolution.
To the adults around, children actually represent the lowest hierarchical level, and children feel their subordinate position very acutely. This situation incites children to resort to manners of will manifestation typical of the lowest hierarchical levels, such as lying.
Traditionally, pedagogy regarded children as doomed to participate in traditional -- and sometimes specifically prescribed -- hierarchies independently of the children's personalities. Contemporary pedagogy, however, does not neglect the importance of a youngster's personality in selecting his future hierarchy. We can say with confidence that the present-day diversity of hierarchies allows each person who is not too deprived by nature to choose at least one hierarchy in which he will not be completely inferior, if only due to his innate abilities. This initial selection of a hierarchy is not an easy task. First of all, there are difficulties in evaluating correctly a youngster's character, especially since cultivation of the ability to suppress certain automatisms distorts the youngster's expression of his character, obscuring it to teachers and the youngster alike. Moreover, to gain an illusory fulfillment of the automatism of total will augmentation, a person's imagination can recast the actual priorities of automatisms bestowed on him by nature. Difficult as it is, optimal choice of a hierarchy that is in harmony with one's character justifies an effort on the part of society to develop more sophisticated techniques of character evaluation than the primitive procedures of assessing intellect typically relied on in schools.
A few comments about those at the top of a hierarchy. Preeminence in one hierarchy does not preclude a person from craving further hierarchical growth. One may first secure his supremacy and then increase the hierarchical gap between himself and others, while continuing to struggle with former and potential rivals. One then proceeds to struggle for preeminence in a hierarchy higher than the one in which success has already been secured; or to incite inter-hierarchical competition to promote one's own hierarchy; or to strive for superiority in several hierarchies simultaneously. Historic examples of this kind of strategy exhibit much similarity, but to contemporaries they invariably seem original.
One figure which still fascinates people is Joseph Stalin. Having gained supremacy in the party-government hierarchy, Stalin proceeded to secure his leading role in this hierarchy by eliminating his rivals, both former and potential. Subsequently, he claimed primacy in hierarchies based on other distinguishing hierarchical characteristics (military skill, knowledge of art and science, kindness and others). He promoted the status of his country in the hierarchy of nations by means of conquests, as well as illusorily through revision of history: the Russian military was always invincible, Russian scientists were pioneers in their fields, and so on.33
Individuals highly placed in the hierarchy exert much influence over others, owing to their capacity to subdue others and elicit an automatism of submission; it's as though they radiate the volitional surrogate of will, due to their ability to utilize the will of others. An encounter with an important person arouses an automatism of hierarchical growth Mere communication with a prominent figure elevates a person in his own eyes, and dulls his critical faculties in evaluating this prominent figure. Recognizing this tendency of the human mind, most leaders make an occasional public appearance. Election candidates try to shake as many hands as they can. Biological humans need physical contact with a prominent person just as much as my dog yearns to be petted by me, as much as Antaeus longed to touch Mother Earth. Those who stand to gain from the practical knowledge of social psychology successfully employ socio-biological artifices, in spite of the fact that the honorable academic sciences want to explain human behavior solely in terms of culture and downplay the animalistic core of humanity.
Several examples of the fulfillment of the automatism of hierarchical growth, and the display of hierarchical distinction, should suffice. These examples follow.
1. Illusory gratification: simulation of the desired will situations in one's daydreams; manias; a fan's joy over his team's success, faith in one's unique talent, and the constant probing for some enviable qualities in oneself;
2. Demonstrating an abundance of informational surrogate and knowledge of the outlets of its manifestations: sententious lecturing, and high-brow speech interspersed with scientific terms and allusions to rarely known facts;
3. Flaunting one's wealth of volitional surrogate: boasting or mentioning in passing one's acquaintance with prominent people, or about one's subordinates or children;
4. Automatism fulfillment attained through substantial expenditures of will or the material surrogate: luxury, and the craving for new symbioses of automatisms;
5. Demonstrating satiation of the urge for hierarchical growth;
6. Blaming random events or dishonest and scheming rivals for one's hierarchical failures;
7. Intentionally choosing a lower hierarchy out of a variety of possible ones ("better to be first in the provinces than second in Rome");
8. The attribution of another's success to luck, dishonesty, or support from a strong patron;
9. Intentional self-degradation (self-abasement: "I am a small person but I still managed to get somewhere"); and
10. Displaying ones' suffering, deprivation, and other will losses as proof of ones' will endurance (provided these privations were overcome).
In ordinary will hierarchies, supremacy is demonstrated through force or activeness. Hierarchical splintering allows for demonstration of one's capacity to refrain from will expenditures by utilizing one's volitional surrogate, which is a more convincing proof of desirable hierarchical status than direct force (examples of this include the luxury of a relaxed pose, slow movements, sleepiness and in some cases motionlessness). In some cultures, obesity is regarded as an enviable hierarchical attribute that signifies prosperity and freedom from physical labor.
A person is not content to ascertain his status just once. He wants to reassure himself constantly of his hierarchical status, and derives satisfaction from this reassurance. Examples of such reinforcement are the teaching or reprimanding of someone hierarchically lower, inflicting suffering on dependents, contemplating one's admirers or, at least, being the object of attention of those around. The particular methods selected for such hierarchical reinforcement is a matter of individual choice, based on one's overall culture and the type of hierarchy in which he has succeeded. Note that in many cases, hierarchical reinforcement is a very useful and practical tool to safeguarding attained status, at least serving as a reminder to others of one's position.
On occasion people overstep "the bounds of decency" in their desire for hierarchical reinforcement, and their conduct elicits mockery or irritation. But remember that reinforcement is a very natural human yearning. The existence of a hierarchical instinct creates a need to fulfill it. It is customary to deny even the existence of this instinct, which often makes people ashamed to express it and forces them to take an indirect and inconspicuous route of hierarchical reinforcement.
Courtesy is a manifestation of the mutual help extended by people to satisfy their instinct of hierarchical growth. It is endorsed as a mode of interaction, since many people have to settle for an illusory fulfillment of this instinct. Often courtesy underscores the high hierarchical status of one's interlocutor, and suggests his superiority in at least some respect, even if that superiority is illusory. The use of courtesy can provoke mutual arousal of the automatism of cooperation. Courtesy is expressed by the use of "polite" cliches. In essence, these cliches have survived centuries. In Russian, the polite form of address "gospodin" ("mister") has been eliminated; but on numerous occasions I have seen courtesy displayed in a more up-to-date manner, using such forms of address as "boss", "commander", etc.
The symbolic execution of submissive poses (bowing) is common. We know of an ethical prohibition against turning one's back on one's interlocutor. This is a very peculiar cultural vestige, since one's pose has little bearing on the information transmitted. Still, turning one's back is an atavistic demonstration of power, for only a strong will can afford the luxury of ignoring an opposing will.34 There is an ethical ban against going about one's business when a distinguished person enters a room; or behaving in a flagrantly obtrusive way in a conversational group. As a rule, people are very vulnerable to even the slightest derogation of their hierarchical status. Those who command the upper or the middle echelons of the hierarchy are very sensitive to discourtesy.
Still, courtesy has not, at least to date, been assimilated by all lower hierarchical strata. (Perhaps they express courtesy in other ways, incomprehensible to middle and upper strata.) Perhaps demonstration of courtesy to higher-ups is interpreted by those in a lower stratum as a real demonstration of submission, rather than a symbolic act. An observation made by the Russian poet Yevtushenko is interesting in this connection. He reproved a service lady at a Soviet airport for being rude to a foreigner. Her retort was: "What am I supposed to do -- crawl on my belly?"35 The woman's response is very characteristic. She equated courtesy with crawling upon one's belly, which we know is a pose of extreme submission.
I want to note in this connection that common complaints about rudeness in Russia, allegedly stemming from a poor upbringing, are unfair. Upbringing has almost nothing to do with the bad manners there. Subjection to constant hierarchical humiliation inevitably leads people to resort to a manner of conduct typical of lower hierarchical strata. For too long, Russian authorities have thwarted the free hierarchical development of society, including the development of poly-hierarchical structures. As a result, society as a whole became hierarchically oppressed. Money and time expended to combat discourtesy, lying, petty theft, and petty expressions of aggression is a waste of resources. Only the hierarchical emancipation of society can eventually rectify the situation.
In concluding this brief summary of hierarchical motives of behavior, I want to reiterate the ideas discussed in my book The Future Of Russia regarding the limits of hierarchical success. Civilized methods of hierarchical advancement depend on the acquisition of will surrogates. Therefore, successful individuals must eventually approach the limit both of their capacity to accumulate surrogates of will, and the maximum of theoretically-attainable existing surrogates. For instance, the volitional surrogate of will is limited by the number of living persons; and the material surrogate is limited by the total wealth of humanity.36
No known hierarch in history has ever achieved this global limit. Nevertheless, some hierarchs managed to reach this limit locally, i.e., in a given country, and if not satisfied with local success they proceeded to conquer neighboring countries or to tighten the reigns of power. At the same time, the consolidation of power by the victors caused humiliation of all the rest. It was only in the last two centuries that the human race has come up with a system granting practically unlimited opportunities for hierarchical growth. I have in mind democratic capitalism, a regime under which success is not measured by the accumulated amount of output that has already been produced, but by the vigor of the production itself. The fact that the producer's success becomes real only when he finds a market for his output -- that is, only when he ensures hierarchical growth rather than the debasement of the rest (or at least a major share) of the populace -- is socially significant.
Examples Of Fulfillment
Of Individual Automatisms
Homeostatic automatisms. This tentative term describes a class of automatisms geared toward maintaining the stability of an organism in its interaction with the environment (discounting for the moment its interaction with other wills).
The various automatisms that have to do with feeding, respiration, defecation, etc. -- including numerous autonomous reactions of individual organs and cells -- support chemical "metabolism" between an organism and its environment. For instance, respiratory automatisms are manifest in volitional commands that cause contraction of certain muscles in reaction to the chemical composition of the air; and in the ability to control and cleanse the respiratory system (coughing, sneezing, etc.). Throughout this work, I am concerned only with describing human behavior; the physiological processes responsible for the arousal and manifestation of will automatisms are not addressed.
Most sensory automatisms are sequentially linked with other automatisms, and some can stay aroused for a long time. Sequential symbiosis of sensory and other automatisms is frequently such that the arousal of the sensory automatism induces the will to try to get rid of the irritant: the feeling of pain is one example. The intensity of pleasure or pain depends on the will exerted, or which cannot be exerted, to fulfill the respective automatism. Therefore, inescapable pain is usually regarded as suffering, since the will expenditures required to perceive the pain are negligible compared with the "amount" of will that cannot be expended to alleviate the pain.
Homeostatic automatisms include an automatism for thermostability, insulatory automatisms (intended to analyze the environment, such as a reaction to odors, maintaining a clean body, etc.), and automatisms of rest, such as sleep, muscle relaxation, the search for comfortable surroundings, and others.
The hierarchical role of insulatory automatisms. This category of automatisms is linked with a number of motives of human behavior. Some motives originate in the entrenched symbiosis with an automatism of hierarchical growth. Words like "filthy" or "stinky" are administered as hierarchical evaluations, not necessarily intended as curse words, since they are accompanied by real sensations (the arousal and discontent of insulatory automatisms). Those at the bottom of the hierarchy are frequently accused of being dirty or foul-smelling. This is justified to an extent, since many representatives of this segment of society in some cultures are not as adept at fulfilling insulatory automatisms. Occasionally such charges are voiced against ethnic minorities that are the subject of discrimination, even if these minorities practice cleanliness as much as the people who level the accusations. The loss of appetite when one has to share a meal with someone lower in the hierarchy, or to eat in surroundings less clean than one is used to, is similar in nature. In India it is believed that as much as a glance from an untouchable defiles the food.
The symbiosis of insulatory and hierarchical automatisms is a complex behavioral motive inherited from our animal ancestors. I believe the same symbiotic behavioral patterns may be observed in monkeys, in that only members of the same hierarchical rank are allowed to pick insects from each other's bodies. (It is plausible that our ancestors lacked this symbiotic pair of automatisms, and that apes developed it independently. In that case, I would say that we have inherited the ability to develop this symbiotic combination.) The upper levels of hierarchies indulged in special practices designed to obtain pleasure from the fulfillment of insulatory automatisms: fancy baths, frequent or special bathing, etc.
Sensations one experiences when undressing are also linked with insulatory automatisms. It seems that to this day man feels a vestigial protest against clothing. This causes frustration that, in pathological cases, finds an outlet usually in conjunction with the sexual automatism. (Or perhaps this symbiosis is presumed more often that it actually takes place.) The same antipathy to clothing leads children to enjoy their nakedness, and prompts the upper strata of various hierarchies to be partial to delicate linen. It prompts the joy of being at the beach, or the special charm of skinny-dipping in isolated places. Perhaps the appeals of nudists (occasionally incomprehensible to the police) will alleviate the vexation of those who experience dissatisfaction in this regard. Nakedness can also evoke the feeling of extravagance of conduct, a certain defiance of hierarchical judgement.
Competition. In all probability, an automatism of competition was, at some time in the past, an active consumer of will reserves. Competition exists today, and I believe it is here to stay. Methods of competition have transformed so much, and have become circumscribed by so many different rules, that people feel the most frustrated in this area of will manifestation. Fights and duels have gone out of style due to ethical and legal limitations. Wars allow primarily for mass action rather than purely for will competition, although it certainly provides outlets for the arousal and fulfillment of personal competition. Perhaps sports competitions have gained such widespread popularity because they incite will competition.
Still, the achievement of local gratification and will relief in contemporary sports battles is impeded by strict regulations. This means that one must exercise self-control through conscious will. Moreover sports, just like movies and detective stories, provide only an illusory gratification of the automatism of competition in the great majority of people (fans). The very popularity of this illusory form of gratification is a testimony to the build-up of discontent. It is quite plausible that people would prefer real to illusory fulfillment, if such an opportunity were available. In this regard it must be taken into account, however, that illusory fulfillment of the instinct of competition protects one from real losses, so many people might actually prefer illusory competition. I believe our civilization is heavily indebted to this human ability to obtain illusory gratification.
Quarreling is another outlet of will relief via competition. This practice has not passed away, especially in hierarchies that have not advanced much beyond the direct-will stage, and in the lower strata of other hierarchies. Will relief can be obtained by transferring will energy to another object, such as by breaking dishes, slamming the door or a phone, etc. Any form of discourtesy is akin to quarrelling: being impolite, telling the other person of his low hierarchical standing, or displaying discourtesy through some act (turning one's back, displaying one's rear, (compare with swearing by a monkey taught sign language) using gestures which signify sexual possession, and so on). But real profanity must entail both the manifestation of one's opinion, and shouting or some other form of will expenditure.
By and large, profanity uses words symbolizing despicable or subdued will to describe low hierarchical standing, symbolizing evil will to designate hierarchical rejection of the interlocutor, and symbols of subjugation or suffering for "wishing well." Worthlessness is symbolized by equating one with wicked things, dirt, excrement, or the rear part of the body which discharges the above.37 Subjugation is symbolized by calling someone names associated with a conquered will, with the hierarchically inferior, or with the easily subdued. Analogies with a fallen woman (who is everyone's volitional surrogate, someone easily conquered) are popular, and with female genitalia (conquered in the sexual act). Name-calling is frequently hierarchy-specific, i.e., it refers to someone who commands a low status in a given hierarchy at a given period of time. Evil will is symbolized by various names assigned to the devil, the enemy, or the male organ (supposedly a strong will blindly stubborn in its conquest). Allegories of conquest include various epithets of the sexual act, and revolutionary and militaristic activities. These symbols uttered together, and with certain volitional intensity, are very expressive in the sense of conveying the intense will relief experienced by the speaker.
People can obtain constant, although not excessive, fulfillment of the automatism of competition within their family. People are often bewildered by the stability of families which quarrel all the time, not realizing that the fulfillment of competition and incessant squabbling can represent a valuable form of will exchange which ensures family stability when other unifying factors are lacking.
Competition and the search for outlets of will manifestation might be partially satisfied by means of games which bring will relief. Arguments over the worth of one's hierarchical status, of things or works of art and such, scientific discussions -- all these are devices to fulfill an automatism of competition. Perhaps these are somewhat illusory devices, but they still contribute to the alleviation of oppressive frustration.
Shame. Humans experience shame, a phenomenon which has long been regarded by the philosophers as the desired ethical difference between humans and animals. Nevertheless, it seems that the biological roots of shame originate in a defensive reaction to possible will losses or hierarchical disgrace. There is no reason to speak of animals as lacking these features.
There are two aspects of shame. First, this automatism impels an individual to avoid all outside presences in situations requiring will concentration. Examples are defecation and sexual intercourse. Will focused upon these acts is ill-prepared to engage in combat in case of a surprise attack. One option is to develop the ability to maintain an aroused automatism of evaluation in spite of concurrent will concentration (this seems to be implemented in many animals). The other is to possess automatisms which drive one to seek privacy from surrounding wills that might want to engage in competition. The latter pattern is observed in human beings who look for privacy when defecating, sleeping, or engaging in sexual contact. Urges predicated by this automatism have, over the years, been incorporated into various ethical statutes which sometimes allow for illusory fulfillment (Muslim ethics, for instance, prescribe that a person is to cover his face when sleeping if he cannot avoid company).
Second, the automatism of shame (and conscience as well) restrains a person from committing indiscreet acts which might diminish his hierarchical status. Such are traits associated with lower hierarchical strata -- lying, stinginess, failure to keep clean, or even preference for art works disapproved of by a given hierarchical stratum. Shame is experienced in being naked or lacking a sufficient amount of clothing. Perhaps the reason for this is that our ancestors initially associated such novelties as clothing or loin cloth (like any other innovation) with upper hierarchical levels. Over time, deprivation of clothing implied poverty and hierarchical ostracism. Hierarchical shame led people to hide their sexual organs, observation of which even prior to their concealment caused certain arousal (although to a lesser extent). So it is not surprising that shame is strongly symbiotic with, and oftentimes substituted for, the sexual automatism. Moreover, concealment has intensified the role of observation of sexual objects as a cause of sexual arousal. Take a hierarchy of which the hierarchical distinguishing characteristic is related to sexual ability. The place of many people in such a hierarchy would be secret, kept concealed due to shame, including their failures in such a hierarchy.
Arts. Arts are methods of aggregate arousal and fulfillment of automatisms. Arts are usually classified according to their medium, rather than the automatisms they stimulate and fulfill. Apparently, the hierarchical evaluation of art depends on the hierarchy to which a given work of art is geared. Judging a work of art allows people to satisfy their automatism of hierarchical growth by denouncing some art works as befitting only the lower strata, or by praising other works which are endorsed by the upper strata (frequently, "liking" means "wanting to like"). Bear in mind that art plays an important role in helping people relate to the upper strata by affiliating themselves with the art approved by the latter.
Obviously, a work of art is not judged exclusively on the basis of the hierarchical level sanctioning it. Initial evaluation of an art work incorporates, among other factors, the work's informational and emotional wealth. Generally speaking, though, hierarchical motives of various kinds (a rather poorly-explored realm) enter into our assessment of an art work. (Ample testimony of this is that no reproduction of the Mona Lisa, no matter how true to the original, will ever be as valuable.) Physiological perception of complex musical or visual works of art remains a mystery which precludes a more thorough analysis of the motives underlying spontaneous hierarchical judgements.
Generally speaking, an important component in judging a work of art is the informational surrogate of the artist. Oftentimes the artist's stock of this surrogate is vital in discerning what a work of art should not be. In fact, an artist should recognize the hierarchical level to which the work is geared, and the type of experience to which that contingent is currently accustomed. More is demanded of an artist serving the higher strata, since members of higher strata (or their experts) know more about art and therefore their perception may be dulled by adaptation over a greater range of work. Moreover, the upper strata possess different methods of fulfilling their automatism of will augmentation and are thus less dependent on art for this need.
The notion of fashionability is connected with the desire to adapt. I want to note that the real arbiters of fashion are usually those for whom artistic activity is least crucial in fulfilling their automatism of hierarchical growth, but is nonetheless important to them. Indeed, considering that some art forms are designed to excite and fulfill respective automatisms and that the affiliation with this art form serves to satisfy an automatism of hierarchical growth, only those who do not risk suffering hierarchical losses by rejecting the accepted style that promotes hierarchical ascent can afford the luxury of switching to a different style. There is a durable fashion for those things that serve to demonstrate hierarchical prominence. In the art of beauty enhancement, for instance, diamonds are always in style. But even here one can observe trends of satiation.
Works of art survive centuries. This permits artists to merge with eternity. An artist, believing he is creating for posterity, derives much greater satisfaction of the automatism of hierarchical growth. The reason is that some unusually-talented individuals become accustomed to success in accessible hierarchies rather quickly; the future always looms hierarchically above the present in human judgement. Why this is so poses an interesting question.38 People have long used the power of art to obtain the volitional surrogate, to exert a directed influence over one's partner in will exchange: serenades and sweet talk precede sexual advances, eloquence helps politicians and ardent charity collectors, the art of advertisement promotes sales. There are plenty of other well-known examples. Usurpers of the collective will ordinarily endeavor to subordinate art, realizing its efficacy in amassing the volitional surrogate: the grandeur of architectural structures and public marches excite an automatism of submission; literature and plays help direct will manifestation into "desirable" channels. People quickly become accustomed to all these artifices devised by the usurpers. Because in spite of adaptation and the consequent dulling of the desire for those artifices, the population's desire could be whetted by exposure to unaccustomed artifices, the usurpers proceed to prohibit unaccustomed forms and works of art.
One major automatism of which the usurpers of the collective will are extremely heedful is that of submission. It occupies a rather prominent place in the human character, more prominent than people are willing to admit due to hierarchical considerations. Fulfillment of this automatism through religious ecstasy gives people great joy, and usurpers of the collective will always aspire to exploit religious sentiments, claiming that their own power is sanctified by a higher being or pretending that they themselves are gods. However, usurpers of the collective will do not always choose to align themselves with the primary addressees of religious fervor. Forcing people to abandon their god makes available much human potential for submission, rewarding those who deprived people of their gods with the people's transferred love.
I spoke about art as if what art is were understood. In reality, the description of art surpasses our capacity for linguistic expression. Testifying to this is the utter helplessness and tautology of musical and visual art criticism. It has been discovered that these forms of arts are perceived by the hemisphere of the brain other than the one housing speech, so perhaps this domain is inaccessible to linguistic comprehension.39 Undoubtedly people will try to pursue this, for our cognitive automatism is reluctant to accept the existence of forbidden zones in which knowledge cannot be expressed through language.
Will relief. Art was always employed for will relief. Performing a work of art (dancing) is one way to obtain relief. Or an art work might be destined to pave the way for will relief on the part of spectators (bull fights and other spectacles which elicit powerful reactions, such as shouting or applause). Laughter (a response to will contrasts) is an important element of will relief. There are special art forms to elicit laughter. As a matter of fact, laughter is an everyday art form. It provides will relief and fulfills an automatism of hierarchical growth, since biological laughter is a reaction of a strong will to an inopportune challenge by a weak will, i.e., it is a biological response that protects the weak. Good joke-tellers are appreciated, and sometimes at parties they form their own fleeting hierarchies.
Crying as a form of will relief is frequently important in a person's life. Art works rarely manage to satisfy this automatism, although its arousal is a testimony to the power of the impression. Fulfillment of the automatism of crying, as well as other automatisms, is frequently facilitated by the intervention of conscious will. Many people realize the potency of will relief obtained through crying, so the intrusion of conscious will in initiating this activity becomes commonplace, manifesting itself in mundane hysteria. Although crying provides effective will relief it is rarely regarded as pleasurable, since it results from the inability to fulfill some automatism (competition, escape from pain, will augmentation accompanied by volitional losses, etc.). Still, crying provides a person with a "sense of relief."
Forms of will relief accompanied by the intervention of conscious will are many and diverse. Realizing the impossibility of will manifestation along the desirable course an individual tries to divert his attention or direct his will at another goal, sometimes consciously using psychotropic substances aimed precisely at delivering will relief. Other natural techniques of local will relief are exercised consciously, by means of selective arousal and fulfillment of only certain automatisms. These techniques include gymnastic exercises, the use of snuff, and stretching. In Central Asia, letting the body sweat, even more than needed just to cool it, is a popular past-time that provides considerable will relief. A number of methods of automatism subjugation by the conscious will incorporate will relief -- flagellation, for instance, although one can practice this method of relief having no ascetic intentions (as in Russian bathhouses). Apart from its role in persuading one to use his conscious will in order to avoid painful punishment, regular whippings of young delinquents -- a practice popular in the past -- also influenced one's conduct by providing forced, though unpleasant, will relief through distraction.
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THE COGNITIVE AUTOMATISM AND HUMAN HIERARCHIES
From an evolutionary point of view, the cognitive automatism is the automatism of evaluation of an encountered will, made more sophisticated by the ability to simulate volitional situations (understood broadly to encompass the principle of volitional determinism). Like other automatisms, cognitive automatism involves arousal (interest), volitional expenditure aimed at gratification, and finally the state of fulfillment. The source of interest-arousing stimuli is three-fold: external, conscious simulation of a volitional situation, or unconscious thought processes. Will manifestations directed at the attainment of gratification are quite diverse; the cognitive automatism can be in symbiosis with many other automatisms, so its arousal generates a wide range of response. At the same time, its fulfillment can be attained through thinking. Fulfillment of the cognitive automatism is accomplished by means of will manifestation (the same holds true for the automatism of evaluation), which depends on the specific volitional circumstances faced by the subject (goal-oriented cognition), and eventually leads to the state of contentment, that is, relief from the disturbing interest. Generally speaking, the state of fulfillment of cognitive urges is characterized not only by alleviation of the disturbing interest, but also by the acquisition of some informational surrogate. The latter should come in handy in the future, as it shapes one's opinion (formed as interest-arousing stimuli are satisfied) about the source of cognitive arousal. Fulfillment merely requires that the opinion be true enough to prevent the arousal of further interest with the question "is this opinion correct?". The bulk of the intellectual output of humanity that I know of, was formed based on this criterion of correctness, which is often very far from a scientific or logical understanding of what is correct. As a rule, an author (writer, philosopher, lawyer, politician, etc.) is concerned with satisfying his own or his readers' or listeners' interest without prompting the question "is this correct?". That is, he wants people to accept his opinion.
Techniques to induce a complaisant attitude range from long-winded discourse about unrelated subjects (which nevertheless alleviates skepticism) to bombarding listeners with examples. One very powerful device is to bring the reader's interest to extreme arousal, and then satisfy it with a surprisingly simple solution. Subsequently, when a person encounters different opinions on the same subject he will stick to the one associated with intense gratification of his automatism, since the ethereal truth of removed informal discourse is less dear then the affect of localized joy, even if only preserved in memory.
Bear in mind the presumption of honesty of a strong will. This presumption represents fusion of a number of motives which induce the fulfillment of the cognitive automatism through acceptance of the opinions of those who occupy a prominent hierarchical status. Note in this connection that many ancient theories of knowledge allude to statements by authority as a source of knowledge. This really makes sense not as a recommended approach, but as an affirmation of the very genuine role of authority in human cognition. The situation is not very different in our day and age, except for a number of exact disciplines in which one's authority usually cannot be taken for granted, because there exist formal and experimental means of verification.
The cognitive automatism generally tends to be auxiliary. It must provide an individual with evaluations of volitional situations. Therefore, definite but rather ineffective criteria of the correctness of knowledge are commonly applied outside the realm of exact science. In the simplest case, evaluation of an encountered will is deemed correct by practical experience. There are no philosophical riddles here. Also, one must overrate the opposing will so as to avoid the risk of hierarchical losses resulting from confrontation with a stronger will. At the same time, if the fear of loss makes one's evalutaion of the opposing will too high, goal attainment is impeded. (Suppose every volitional encounter was evaluated based on the principle of maximum valuation; then even homeostatic automatisms would nearly always go fulfilled.) Obviously, individuals who underestimate the opposing will are doomed to perish, while those who are guided by non-optimal evaluations are doomed to fail. Only those capable of reaching "correct" evaluations (i.e., not overly high) manage to survive and attain hierarchical success.
This has been a discussion of the correctness of will evaluation via an automatism of evaluation. It appears that the same criterion of correctness applies to the judging of opinions, which can fulfull the cognitive automatism. The criterion is that this opinion does not lead to will losses, and helps achieve volitional gains. This suggests different criteria of evaluation of volitional situations for different hierarchies, or for different people, since the same opinion which brings volitional benefits to one person can lead to volitional losses by another.
An individual's judgement of an opinion about a volitional situation may change over time, since he himself is a part of the volitional situation (a factor which is frequently ignored): as the volitional state of the person changes (personality at a given moment, hierarchical status, etc.) so does the situation. Occasionally, a person expresses unexpected and seemingly uncharacteristic views regarding someone's opinion only because these views evoke valuable volitional states. As an illustration, a kind and passive person might approve of cruelty only because observing or exercising cruel acts elicits memories of intense arousal of certain currently frustrated automatisms, or memories of volitional relief or hierarchical success.
Disputes over the correctness of an opinion is one of the most popular competition-arousing factors in a civilized society. Lack of a common language, i.e., the fact that the words used in the dispute have different meanings for the various participants -- not to mention the discrepancy between the actual volitional situations they have in mind (due to different volitional states of the debaters, who are actually part of the situation) -- does not stop people from arguing. Moreover, people generally believe that every question yields to a uniquely true opinion, and they even try to foist this opinion on others. This rather persistent monism in the human approach to knowledge leads to what philosophers have termed the search for absolute truth. Incidents of concordant opinions facilitate the belief in the existence of truth. Especially conducive to monism are cases exhibiting insignificant differences in the volitional states of the observers (for example, interpretation of reproducible experiments), or cases specifically modelled to eliminate the influence of observers' volitional states or possible discrepancies in terminology (formal systems).
In actuality, judgements of truthfulness rarely meet the requirements imposed on "truth" in traditional philosophy.40 Generally speaking, people's perception of an opinion (concerning social, legal, or philosophical issues) is "inadequate," even as far as the intentions of the author are concerned. Only those possessing a strongly-developed cognitive automatism, which is not subsumed in the totality of behavioral motives by the automatism of hierarchical growth or some other automatism, can strive for adequate understanding of what the author is trying to convey. Such impartiality is rather unusual. As a rule, in forming an opinion a person takes into account whether the opinion is complimentary to him, as well as to the hierarchies he accepts. At the same time, a person dissatisfied with his current hierarchical status is prone to accept wholeheartedly an opinion that opens up new avenues for hierarchical advancement.
Controversies frequently revolve around the possible development of an observed or simulated situation. This is due to practical indeterminism of the observed phenomena.41 The unfolding of a deterministic or almost deterministic situation can be simulated by the mind, using rules which reflect causality. These rules (logic) are regarded as rules of thinking. Nevertheless, rules of thinking may evade traditional logic. Thinkers have realized that the criteria of truth depends on the interests of the subject, so their goal was to achieve "pure" knowledge free of personal biases. This is difficult to achieve, especially if the topic is human deeds. Those who use knowledge for practical purposes, however, use not formal criteria but criteria of practical relevance, which are in keeping with their objectives; they do not care about the rules of reasoning as long as the resulting conclusions fit their needs.42
When applied in science, this approach to knowledge makes a disheartening impression. Many have endeavored, in the name of religious or political ideas, to bend humanistic cognitive values to comply with practical interests. This is a very human, natural approach to knowledge. Logic is not only a brief summary of the various devices to satisfy our cognitive automatism -- devices empirically generated from our previous knowledge of the determinism of the surrounding world. Logic is also incorporated into the ethical code of the cognitive hierarchy. It is called upon in this quality when opinions are shaped under the conditions of cognitive competition. Logic commands much authority. The arrogance of the cognitive hierarchy is so profound as to voice a hope that compliance with logical rules would ensure correct thinking: in the extreme we can do without acts of faith altogether.43
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ON CONSCIOUSNESS AND THINKING
My goal in this chapter is to discuss possible features of a model of the origin of consciousness and conscious will. Even if it sounds unusual, I conclude that the time when consciousness emerged is completely unclear. Perhaps consciousness emerged long before the appearance of humans, or perhaps much later, when our ancestors acquired "the final" anatomical features of homo sapiens.
The terminology in this area is very jumbled. I distinguish between the notion of thinking, consciousness, and conscious will.
The definition of thinking as any processing of information is too broad. The brain of a bee processes information, charts the construction of elegant, optimally-designed honeycombs, and is even capable of communication. Yet both the capacity to communicate and the optimal design result from genetically-inherited programs.
Two factors suggest themselves in my definition of thinking: the processing of information based on previously-assimilated knowledge in the brain, and the process of learning. In cybernetic terms, thinking can be defined as the ability to create new programs on top of the genetically-fixed ones, or at least as the ability to combine genetic programs (actually, the first version encompasses the second). This definition is preferable, for undoubtedly the capacity of the brain to create new programs was a tremendous evolutionary leap. Nevertheless, my definition must be qualified. We cannot downplay the possibility that innate programs of behavior can be very intricate, qualitatively so much more advanced than the primitive stimulus-response type of programs as to merit characterization as actual thinking.
One major distinction of these more advanced patterns of behavior might be the effective uncertainty of response or the ability to incorporate many parameters in initiating a specific reaction; i.e., an inborn capacity for decision-making which takes into account the magnitudes of various parameters. So let thinking be defined as the processing of information with an effectively indeterminate result, while the ability to generate new programs or combine innate ones can be referred to as advanced thinking. The stage of evolution at which thinking, as defined above, originated remains unclear, but I could safely assume that mammals possess this ability.
Thinking is not necessarily connected with conscious thinking, i.e., a mechanism of observation in the brain capable of at least partially observing, understanding and sometimes guiding the thinking processes. The evolutionary age of this conscious thinking is also unknown, but in all probability it is younger than thinking. There is a widespread belief that thinking is a prerogative only of humans. This belief does not merit serious consideration, for it was formed at a time when the evolutionary link between humans and animals was unknown or unthinkable. Not necessarily false, this idea must be subjected to a thorough investigation, for prejudice affects the critical faculty of our mind.
I can propose only one argument in favor of consciousness being relatively young. In human beings, consciousness observes only a small fragment of thinking, and governs only a small percentage of behavior. What I have in mind, for example, is the indisputable role of intuition in the thought processes. Here, thinking unfolds by itself. From time to time it notifies the conscious element of the results of its activity through "revelations," guess-work or dreams (the latter happened to Mendeleev when he was searching for a periodic table of elements). The same idea is expressed, although less dramatically, by the popular saying "an idea popped into my head." It is also common for a person to be in the dark about the motives behind his actions, although this point pertains to control by the conscious will and its struggle with automatisms. Still, the above considerations are no proof of the relative evolutionary youth of consciousness.
Assuming consciousness is a valuable feature in terms of evolutionary progress, the fact that it exercises only partial control over thinking might indicate that it emerged rather recently, and has not yet advanced very far. Or we could discard all our prejudices and assert that consciousness is not advantageous in terms of evolution. At least, it has not become beneficial until the more recent stages of social evolution, when consciousness and conscious will in particular came to be so valued, and when these traits have proved helpful for survival under the complicated conditions which humanity has created for itself.
This latter conjecture suggests that consciousness emerged long ago, but that there was no evolutionary need for it to develop and achieve complete mastery over thoughts and behavior. This hypothesis is very attractive. Evidently, prior to the development of advanced civilization, thought processes not subject to conscious control fared better by relying upon the instinctive modes of volitional expression. It seems that even up till now, situations calling for a quick response generate reactions not controlled by consciousness. Perhaps this is the reason why we value various kinds of skills: programs embedded in the brain through training, which are followed automatically.
The evidence for exclusive human possession of consciousness is inconclusive. It is assumed, without proof, that consciousness is necessarily linked to language.44 The fact that the brain processes information means that the information is somehow encoded in the brain. Whatever the code, if the brain can read it, consciousness -- the internal partial controller of the brain -- can read it too, just as it reads the code in which we think. We use for this either our communal language or the direct representation of images. There is no reason, though, to deny the possibility of conscious thinking using only the representation of images in the absence of a communal language. So one should agree that the absence of language is not necessarily evidence of the absence of consciousness, whether or not animals use other forms of communication.
At this point, I want to reiterate my hypothesis concerning the internal proto-language of the brain. In my approach I operate with a discrete code of the brain, a scheme which goes against the grain of contemporary scientific fashion in regarding the brain as an analogue machine.45 According to my hypothesis, the processing of information by the brain would become very cumbersome if it constantly had to read long code sequences that encode images. This process would be sufficiently simplified if the brain had a sort of index of images, each with its assigned condensed name -- similar to a dictionary, the only difference being that the brain does not need to link code words in this index with articulation or other forms of communication in cases in which speech or other methods of communication are lacking. This suggests that the brain has its own internal language (the short image names in that index), whether or not a given species possesses an elaborate form of communication.
The emergence of such an internal language of the brain at some stage of evolution would, first, drastically increase the efficiency of thinking and, second, create preconditions for the emergence of the language of communication with others, since language and linguistic concepts, probably including grammar, would already reside in the brain. From that point only two more steps must be accomplished: linking language with a device to communicate information to others, and making the language socially uniform (since each individual might possess his own inner language.)46 In this connection, it is interesting that many children in their early childhood, before mastering the language, practice word creation. Their young age precludes this from being viewed as a creative activity (game) per se. I believe such word creation must have direct biological roots. Perhaps this childish word creation represents precisely the child's "proto-language," and only the linguistic environment in which the child grows shapes this proto-language and achieves consistency between the inner language of the child and the communal language. A very natural question which arises in this respect is whether the child's inner language remains his "native" tongue throughout his life (even when its link with a mechanism of articulation is lost), and whether the language used to communicate with others is learned by the child as an additional sort of foreign language.
Study of the phenomenon of synaesthesia can be very informative in tracing the evolution of animal methods of communication and the origins of language. One example of synaesthesia is that some people are endowed with a synaesthesic ability to perceive colors upon hearing sounds. Assuming the brain uses a certain code to transcribe sensations (the brain definitely uses some kind of a code), and assuming also that the physical characteristics of this code do not differ with each type of sensation, then in a normal brain different sections of the brain processing different sensations must be divided from each other by barriers. If there were no barriers separating the different sections, the brain would be unable to process information effectively, because the code phrases embedded in memory that express a particular sensation will be read by sections of the brain that manage other sensations. As a result the brain would not be able to assign a given code phrase to a particular sensation. Partial insufficiency of these barriers seems to cause synaesthesia. One can imagine that insufficiency of these barriers can occur not only between brain sectors responsible for sensory perception, but also between any sectors of the brain capable of reading a particular type of code. In such individuals a code phrase transcribed in sensory memory can be read by a section of the brain which controls, say, motor activity. Whether this actually takes place is unclear. The reader is entreated to consider this possibility as a model of generalized synaesthesia constructed by analogy with known phenomena.
I want to apply this model to explain the dance of a bee, the form of communication by which a bee, using bodily movement, tells her sisters the location of a food source. Apparently, following a successful recognizance flight the memory of bee A contains an encoded transcription of directions and distances to the discovered source of food. Bringing some food back to the hive would in itself constitute a message that food had been discovered. It wouldn't be surprising if bee A, arousing the interest of her sisters, would again undertake the flight and other bees would follow her. Perhaps at one point in time this was the prevalent technique. But it is possible that later, thanks to certain mutations, bees with synaesthesic abilities appeared; the encoded message conveying the coordinates of the desired destination was read by the motor section of the brain in a form that would lead to the execution of a dance immediately following the return of the scout-bee to the hive. Now if sister-bees possessed the same synaesthetic capability, the performed dance could be read and transcribed in their brain by the same code phrase that generated the dance, i.e., the phrase which conveys the coordinates of the discovered feeding ground. This feature might have then become genetically fixed through natural selection, since bees with synaesthesic ability had an advantage by gaining access to remote sources of food.
In my opinion, the model described above is sound. Other forms of communication might have emerged in the animal kingdom along similar lines, such as the story-dances of pre-historic peoples. For the sake of clarity, one must adopt one of the following concepts (which are not necessarily mutually exclusive):
1. The ability to communicate arose due to the need to communicate; or
Perhaps the true unfolding of the evolutionary process will elude us forever. But a scholarly discourse requires that the author's own beliefs be disclosed. I am more of a proponent of the second version. I believe that the difference between these two concepts influenced the development of theories on the evolution of language. For instance, de Saussure's postulate of the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign, interpreted in the broad sense, is hardly compatible with the second concept above. This concept suggests that nature -- or, more precisely, the biological evolution of the brain -- probably furnished society with some specific modes of linguistic constructs; and the social contract played a secondary role in selecting from this limited set of alternatives. Moreover, I believe many linguistic features could have developed along parallel lines in different peoples based on biological characteristics, so affinity of different languages by no means testifies to past linguistic contacts.47
I return now to the question of the hypothetical link between language and consciousness. The above discussion suggests that consciousness can exist without language. It is interesting whether language can exist without that inner observer of thinking, which I defined as consciousness. Apparently, various forms of "proto-linguistic" communication can be conscious-independent. The problem of language boils down to the definition of language. There is a vast amount of literature in this field, and I shall not attempt to mediate the debate between different schools. I only want to note that the majority, indeed almost all, definitions of language hinge on the assumption that language is a prerogative of humans, and that it is linked with consciousness.
My assumption of the internal code language of the brain (proto-language) simplifies both the definition of language and the problem of animal language. It suggests that every species of animal possessing a proto-language has the potential to develop a language of communication. It then becomes a matter of "communication technique" which in some species is not sufficiently developed. Moreover, every individual would have to learn to translate from the personal proto-language into the communal one and vice versa. Otherwise, the brain from very early childhood would have to choose communal language in encoded form as its proto-language. (The possibility that the proto-language itself may be shared by the population cannot be dismissed, either.) The potential capacity of animals for language is more interesting than whether such a capacity has actually given rise to a full-blown language in some species other than our own. My own curiosity would be satisfied if I had proof that some animals actually possess a proto-language. I have no proof of this, but this subject deserves serious consideration.
At the risk of exposing myself to the harshest criticism, I shall adopt a working and an a priori narrow definition of language as a sufficiently extensive set of symbols that conveys information about objects and their relations, which symbols and their relations are comprehensible to someone other than the "speaker," who realizes that the transmitted information is in fact comprehensible to another being. The natural candidates who fulfill the first qualification (limiting ourselves to communication by sound), namely the possession of a sufficiently large set of symbols, are animals capable of uttering a few elementary sounds, say about ten, and of generating other than innate sound combinations. Subsequent analysis could establish whether these sounds are actually used for communication.
These considerations extend to sign and dance languages. Actually, experiments designed to teach monkeys sign language have resolved the issue of animals' linguistic abilities within the framework of my adopted working definition. It is interesting whether this capacity for language was ever realized under natural conditions --whether that species of monkeys possessed a language of its own. Another stumbling block is the minimum complexity of the system of communication to be called a language. Bear in mind that even in primitive human civilizations, language evolved together with civilization (provided it did not spring up afterward when the civilization was already advanced, which is another plausible course of events). In any case, it is highly improbable that the primordial language was as complex as typical modern languages, even the lesser developed ones. The question is at what stage of evolution could the human language be called a language, if we could trace its entire progress.
It should be remembered that animal language, if it were found, possibly would be qualitatively less developed than the simplest human language, since the former would not have had the opportunity to evolve with the development of social structures and culture.
Assume for the moment that there is a species of animal possessing a language. Are we justified in concluding that this species also possesses consciousness, that is, an internal observer of thought processes? I think not. It is quite possible for thinking to express itself via linguistic communication without consciousness intervening in the process. In fact, we cannot rule out that human speech frequently goes out of conscious control, at least out of the control of conscious will.
My purpose in all these long-winded deliberations was to cast doubt upon the widely-held tenet of the imperative connection between thinking, consciousness, and language. The belief that these abilities are the prerogative of humans only is also unsubstantiated. Another shaky dogma is that human societies always possessed language and developed consciousness. My goal is not to refute this dogma. I merely state that we need proof, and as long as proof is lacking discussion of various possibilities is in order. For thousands of years people believed in the overblown, exclusive status of humanity, which bred numerous prejudices. As a result, theories espousing a link between the " spiritual life" of humans, human behavior, and the biology of human organisms have such a hard time making headway. There are many prejudices that must be cleared away before constructing sciences about humans.
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A MODEL, AND THE ROLE, OF PRIMITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS
AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF RELIGION
My definition of consciousness as an observer, and of conscious will as a regulator of thinking (among other functions), raises the question of the extent to which consciousness can observe, and the extent to which conscious will can control, thought processes. Consciousness is obviously a prerequisite for conscious will, since observation and recognition must precede conscious control. The extent to which thought processes are amenable to conscious observation will be tentatively termed the "power of consciousness."
This indicator can assume a range of values from one to zero, where one denotes total control of thought processes by consciousness, and zero denotes a total lack of consciousness. If one could learn to measure this power of consciousness for individuals, I would not be surprised if it turned out to be very modest, close to zero for an average individual. My conjecture hinges on the notion of the brain governing behavior as a multi-processor machine (in computer jargon); that is, thought processes occur simultaneously in different parts of the brain. There is only one observer of thought, though. Comprised perhaps of several processors, it is still incapable of simultaneous assimilation of information generated by various thought processes.48
Consciousness without conscious will can be compared to a scanning radio: the frequency of the scanner constantly changes, pausing momentarily when it tunes into a sufficiently strong signal. The duration of the pause is sufficient to allow us to decide whether we should terminate scanning and listen to that particular station. Similarly, conscious will can terminate scanning of the various processes in the brain. Conscious powers can then be focused upon observing the process of thinking upon a given topic. Moreover, conscious will can channel our thinking along a particular course by summoning the search mechanism of memory and other devices. This indicates that we are thinking about the chosen subject, and represents an act of will unlike the passive observation of drifting thoughts.
To underscore the idea that intentional concentration of thoughts (thinking) upon a particular subject represents a volitional act, I shall press my analogy with a scanning radio. Imagine for a moment that this scanner is not subject to our control: as it scans its range of frequencies, it pauses at certain ones at its own discretion. In principle, consciousness could operate in the same manner, with thoughts about something bothering a person persistently "popping into his head." (The existence of an idiom to describe this phenomenon illustrates its commonness, which is not limited to pathological cases characterized by obsessive states of mind.)49 A special volitional act is required to "chase away" stubborn thoughts and focus one's thoughts upon the chosen topic.
The notion that we have the freedom to choose the theme of our thoughts should be qualified. This freedom is very limited. The problem is that we can select for thinking only those topics suggested by our scanner or by external stimuli. It is rather peculiar that I was surprised by our lack of freedom when I recognized it.
The fact that we resort to memos or think very seldom about certain things is evidence of the limited nature of the range of our scanner, and therefore of the even lesser power of consciousness. Not only are we unable to observe various thought processes, but we do not even "remember" all of them, i.e., we do not scan them frequently enough. It is not apparent, however, that scanning only checks thought processes. In many cases, scanning may be indistinguishable from observing the contents of a warehouse of memories. If one believes psychoanalysts, though (to give them some credit), who have pioneered the study of what lies outside the conscious realm, then there are not only unpleasant records neutrally residing dormant in our memory, but also records which influence our behavior and feelings, i.e., which participate in thought processes outside of conscious control.
My aim here is not to propose any method of quantifying the power of consciousness. But as a helpful hint, it seems to me that the value should be sought near the zero mark, since thought processes yield to conscious observation to a very insignificant degree. In this sense, the consciousness of modern humans can be deemed primitive, except perhaps for the disciplined consciousness of those who spend much time thinking about a chosen subject. The heading to this chapter implied a still more primitive consciousness whose power approaches zero: consciousness at its embryonic stage. I shall proceed with the discussion of my model of primitive consciousness following the comments below about the pace of the evolution of consciousness.
The assumption that consciousness evolved gradually (rather than suddenly to its present-day power, which is unlikely) allows me to speculate about the rate of development of the power of consciousness. (For instance, ten thousand years ago its scope was close to nil, and nowadays it is substantially greater than zero, at least for individuals with developed consciousness.) The question of whether consciousness evolved uniformly is interesting but probably unanswerable, since measuring the power of consciousness even of modern humans presents serious problems. Examining leaps of cultural development, however, gives us material for hypothesis.50 Another vital issue is the non-uniform nature of development of the power of consciousness from place to place. This factor can be very revealing in understanding the inter-relations of ancient peoples.
I shall now proceed to discuss the evolution of primitive consciousness in connection with the development of religion.
Development of consciousness and religion
Imagine a being whose consciousness is just emerging (by this I mean a being with a low-powered observer), starting to observe not only thought processes but also the motor activity of the members of its body. For the moment, let the conscious will power of this being equal zero. Such a weak observer would notice the tendency of the mind to use the presumption of will determinism in relation to all external objects. Therefore, one of the primary acts of thinking was to presume the existence of multiple wills in one's environment. In other words, strictly speaking, religious consciousness must have originated concurrently with consciousness, since it was predated by religious thinking (the presumption of will determinism). At that time, this consciousness attributed animation to everything in the environment (but this was a defensive mechanism passed on from prior stages of the brain's evolution, and was not yet an attempt to explain the behaviour of pieces of the environment).
Subsequently, probably at a much later time, these personified phenomena, these beings and objects, were transformed into gods endowed with that degree of freedom of their own will comprehensible to the evolving consciousness. These gods and spirits transformed into explanations of various phenomena and events. In addition, observation of the movement of those members of the body controlled by the brain but not by conscious will (!), must have led consciousness to ascribe to these extremities an autonomous will; that is, it must have engendered the principle of the locality of will. As this principle evolved, it must have given rise to various gods. The many-handed and many-headed gods preserved in some pantheons are, most likely, a heritage of this deification of body parts, as are the gods of phallus and Kteic. The principle of locality of will has left a more conspicuous mark, namely mutilation as a punishment of the relevant body members as the guilty local will (cutting off the hand of a thief, for instance).
Meanwhile, conscious will was starting to emerge. Gradually, people started to learn to control consciously their passions and the movement of their bodily members. Naturally, gods of human body parts and gods of human passions became subordinate to a single, supreme deity which gradually emerged and gained power with the growth of conscious will. We could characterize this monotheistic deity as the god of a human's control over himself (I do not believe he has been called this in any pantheon of religion). Like unruly passions, gods of passions did not always obey their sovereign. Just as violent outbursts of nature were beyond human control, outside the generally friendly pantheon of recognized gods of various religions there dwelled the powers of chaos, various loosely-outlined but potentially virulent beings, subdued at the moment but ready to revolt any time the guards became less alert. Humanity, which had survived and won an ecological niche for itself, was still anxious about the paroxysms of natural elements.
Originating at some point in time as an amusing mutation, conscious will should have quickly proved itself advantageous in survival and attainment of success. Certainly its development was not entirely due to individual selection. It was molded by social requirements, as well as by natural selection working against those populations that did not secure this important evolutionary gain quickly enough. (We should not overlook the fact that ancient civilizations were sometimes conquered by barbaric tribes; I have already discussed the revenge of the strong.)
In any case, in many emerging civilizations conscious will became an important hierarchical distinguishing characteristic, a precondition for success. Moreover, a certain minimum of conscious will -- the ability to keep in line with the common judicial code -- became a prerequisite for survival in society. This new stage of cerebral development is also reflected in religion. No longer could the rebellious gods of human passions be tolerated; the supreme deity, without co-rulers, had to be the god of conscious will, one god who forbade the worship of other gods. (It is noteworthy that in Judaism, one of the first monotheistic religions, worship of other gods is prohibited. Moreover, the severity of god's wrath against the transgressors of this commandment attests that the existence of other gods was not ruled out. These considerations are based on the Pentateuch, with subsequent interpretations ignored.)
Bear in mind that monotheism signalled not only the victory of conscious will in the human system of values but was also self-reinforcing, and itself served as an important instrument in expanding the power of the conscious will, owing to its numerous ethical constraints designed to suppress socially-unacceptable expression of automatisms, and to its fear-instilling warnings of god's retribution against transgressors.
I believe this model of the evolution of religion makes sense. It reflects the maturation of human conscious will, and incorporates the principle of will determinism passed on from previous stages of evolution. Numerous theories of the origins of the hierarchy of gods and monotheism have been advanced. Excluding concepts which allude to god's authority, two approaches are most popular. One concept coalesces the origins of the supreme deity with the emergence of a state, and the other with the introduction of animal husbandry. The latter explanation modelled the supreme god after the shepherd leading the sheep. The weakness of these models is that they both reflect the hierarchical modelling of specific times and cultures. Another hierarchical model resembling a pantheon with a supreme god appeared long before the formation of states or the introduction of sheep-breeding, and was therefore available as an earlier hierarchical model. I have in mind the patriarchal family, which exhibits conspicuous hierarchical relations. And yet, this hierarchical family organization that was available as a basis for a religious pantheon was, in fact, not used as such until much later. It seems that this example of hierarchical structure was, by itself, insufficient to give birth to the hierarchical pantheon of gods and monotheism.
Development of consciousness and cognition
Tracing the development of consciousness and conscious will by the reverberations of this process in the history of religion leads me to conclude that strong conscious will is a relatively recent acquisition of humanity. As late as two to three thousand years ago even highly-civilized people worshipped gods/passions, lacking sufficient power of conscious will to subdue them. Consciousness, meanwhile, could have made far greater strides. Of course, we cannot dismiss the possibility that this process was not very gradual, and that during the last several millennia humanity has made tremendous progress in its average power of consciousness, or at least in that component of conscious will that guides directed thinking. This suspicion of a rather recent development of consciousness is based on the fact that the greater share of human cognitive achievement, meaning the accumulation of purely human knowledge, belongs to the last few millennia.
Naturally, this stage was preceded by a very crucial period when the knowledge accumulated by the brain over millions of years of evolution predating human civilization, was translated into human language and abstract cognitive concepts. The brain of such precultural creatures, be they primates or ancestors of primates, was empowered with a vast amount of information to guide the learning process and to utilize the accumulated information. These creatures were born with the innate capacity to learn various types of relations among different objects and actions. This means that the unconscious thought processes of these beings incorporated pragmatic logic that reflected causal connections in the environment. Herd animals are aware of the sociology of hierarchical relations; lions and wolves apprehend certain aspects of the mass psychology of their prey, and are extremely adept at utilizing this knowledge in hunting.
Let me give an illustration. Understanding the concept that if A is less than B and B is less than C then A is less than C, was an important achievement in human cognitive development. In fact, horses have known this hierarchical axiom for a long time. Horse A, ignorant of this axiom, might be kicked twice instead of once in establishing hierarchical relations (in his struggle for supremacy with horses B and C), unless he knows that his defeat by the weaker of B and C also signifies his defeat by the stronger of the two. Moreover, a pregnant horse receiving a severe blow might suffer a miscarriage, so awareness of certain logical postulates can be vital to the survival of the offspring. An undeniable achievement of humanity was the abstract formulation of the above principle.
It would be reasonable to suppose that the abstract formulation of the wealth of practical knowledge procured over the course of evolution represents a preliminary stage of the cognitive process. Although humanity has progressed to more advanced stages of cognitive development, I am not sure this preliminary stage has exhausted all of its potential. It is quite plausible that the brain's capacity for self-reflection can enrich our knowledge, in spite of the availability of other methods.51 To reiterate the point made above, certain cognitive acts performed by the brain have not yet been assimilated by consciousness, such as: interpretation of the information conveyed by eye contact, the evaluation of people based on their physiognomic features, and the choice of a sexual partner when made without the intrusion of consciousness (love at first sight).
Something is regarded as knowledge if it is expressed in words and brought to the attention of people. Therefore, before being accepted popularly as "knowledge," those reserves of information accumulated by the brain during the pre-human era, and also the experience of human civilization, had to be subject to description and cataloguing. For instance, for millennia tyrants were aware of everything --or almost everything --catalogued by Machiavelli, but these power tactics were regarded as knowledge only after they were described by him. These steps of describing and cataloguing could tentatively be deemed the second preliminary stage of the human cognitive process. Progress made during this period has definitely not exhausted itself in many realms, in spite of the fact that a number of scientific disciplines have advanced far beyond this second preliminary stage in their knowledge of the world.
This second preliminary stage also includes linguistic games: juggling with words in attempts to understand what cannot be expressed by the communal human language. Exercises such as this have revealed the inadequacy of our language for exact sciences. It was therefore necessary to invent adequate formal languages and formalized models. (Actually, a prior stage of juggling with formuli was required, and the scope of applicability of these formalized methods, especially to the science of humans and society, is unclear.) Our language is unfit, as of yet anyway, to adequately express feelings aroused by image thinking, especially music or visual art, or to apprehend the peculiarities of poetic perception.
accumulated by the brain
Mastering the knowledge accumulated over prior stages of evolution has laid the foundation for human cognition, not only in the substantive but also in the procedural sense. Cognitive goal-orientation, i.e., the ability to pose a question before nature or one's own brain, was instilled in us by nature in the form of the cognitive automatism, which evolved from the automatism of will evaluation. We have also inherited the rules of the cognitive process. But cognitive humans had to overcome and revise much of their heritage.
I should repeat that I am speaking of the intellectual elite of the human race. Even nowadays an average individual routinely utilizes, possibly with some modifications, the cognitive experience accumulated by the brain during the previous epochs. In order not to sound as if I am condescending toward the "average" person, I stress that each one of us inherited his brain from many millions of our ancestors who managed to survive long enough for their heritage to pass on to the progeny. In other words, we inherited a brain that was put to the test trillions of times and proved itself to be an effective tool of survival. Not surprisingly, such an apparatus can ensure human survival even under very unexpected or unfavorable conditions. Therefore, an average person need not overexert himself in developing his cognitive automatism. There is no need to modify nature-given cognitive procedures.
But for the progress of science, such a modification was a must. It turned out that the same cognitive methods that ensure survival do not always satisfy the standards of cognition required by scientists. This problem merits a more detailed analysis, but here I shall settle for an illustration of its relevance.
Note first of all that this issue is of practical importance in elaborating techniques to promote mutual understanding among people. The point is that the intellectual elite that modified natural cognitive procedures and improved the language of describing knowledge, isolated itself, at least to an extent, from the rest of humanity. This resembles the loss of a common will language between remote levels of a hierarchy. Lack of a common language between kings and paupers, however, is not as disturbing as that between educators and pupils. To an extent, the intellectual elite comprises the educational staff in society, at least as far as discovering new avenues for volitional expression. Moreover, this elite supplies school teachers. Although at the present time teachers, at least in public schools, represent the lower echelons of the intellectual elite, they have largely absorbed the methods of thinking which have produced this gap between the elite and the rest of humanity.
The problem is not limited to differences in cognitive procedures. Intellectuals have become accustomed to perceiving themselves as more or less pure products of culture, forgetting that they are animals refined by culture, while other humans are also animals, only less refined by culture. Consequently, intellectuals extend their model -- which they have contrived in their self-adoration -- of human beings as shaped exclusively by culture to all of humanity. Undoubtedly, this model impedes the intellectuals' self-understanding, but this is their problem. For society, it is more important that they are unable to understand their potential pupils, the rest of humanity. In fact, they cannot adequately study humanity. Is this not a consequence of the pitiful state of social sciences as compared with natural sciences? To repeat, the problem did not arise in our century. Neither is it limited to American academia, which is particularly ardent to portray humans as solely a product of culture. Intellectuals have idealized humans for centuries. Perhaps this tendency was passed on from priests or philosophers in monasteries who were more concerned with what god-like man should be, rather than what he really is.
Returning to the various modifications of nature-given cognitive procedures, some illustrative examples should suffice.
Induction has undoubtedly long been known to the brain as a cognitive method, but it required major modifications in its application to science. The point is that the brain of a creature struggling for survival (I shall designate it as a brain in nature) and science have different cognitive objectives. The brain in nature does not need complete and precise information about the confronted will which, due to the principle of will determinism, is any object encountered in nature. The brain in nature must be quick to assess the danger presented by the opposing will, memorize its conclusion from the very first encounter, and then apply this knowledge at the next encounter. Therefore, the brain in nature operates based on the principle of induction with the number of cases tested as n=1. Subsequent encounters with that will may enrich one's judgement with n growing, depending on how dangerous the opposing will is. This simplified induction is definitely inadequate in the realm of science. In mathematics, clever inductive procedures prove a statement for all n; experimental sciences are concerned with statistical verification, and even informal disciplines require several examples to prove the validity of a statement.
In spite of sophisticated scientific modulations, people continue to subscribe to the principle of simplified induction. Oftentimes, we judge people based on our first impression or a single act, and sometimes just on the basis of rumors about such acts. Propagandists, more versed at human psychology than psychologists, use this feature of our brain in nature to their advantage. Entire groups of people, including ethnic groups, are frequently judged based upon one or two of their representatives.
Whether people should be informed that they are using scientifically-wrong cognitive methods is an interesting question. (This uncertainty extends to the following examples as well.) The answer to this question is not obvious to me. The principle of induction with n=1 (or a few) has evolved in the brain in nature over millions of years of successful survival of the species. Do I have such strong faith in my own cognitive approach to challenge this authority? In science refinement of this principle is justified, and in a number of disciplines it has yet to be introduced. The incompleteness of the information makes the use of limited induction inevitable, but a scholar employing this procedure should be careful in proclaiming his results as conclusive. One would be well advised to follow the spirit of the multi-variant approach in the realm of informal knowledge, an approach discussed in the introduction to this book. Although it might be unacceptable to those who commission research, that is, the corporations and governments that frequently require conclusive knowledge, the multi-variant approach is not unusual in the practice of corporations. This, more than all my discussions, should convince the reader of the fruitfulness of this approach.
Another example of remoulding natural cognitive procedures is the modification of the combinatorial search for decision-making. It seems that human brains, except for very disciplined ones which have chosen another path, think by going through combinations of possibilities (parameters and their magnitudes, variables, etc). The simplest and probably the most common case is the search through two possibilities. To flee or to stay, to eat or to abstain, to compete or refrain from competition -- these are problems every one of our ancestors solved many times by combinatorial search and, judging by the fact of our existence, their solution was frequently correct. This simplest case is peculiar, for the number of parameters equals the number of combinations (2!=2). It is no accident that anthropologists are so preoccupied with binary relations in modelling the behavior and thought patterns of our ancestors. Indeed, such pairs of opposites as light-dark, good-evil, my own-someone else's, and many others played an important part in the perception and behavior of people endowed with primitive or perhaps completely undeveloped consciousness.
But the brain in nature was often confronted with problems which defied the binary framework. As the set of options increases, the complexity of the problem grows disproportionately. For instance, the number of combinations grows as n! if we choose to go through all the combinations of elements. A simpler problem is selecting one parameter from n parameters. It seems the brain in nature can handle such cases provided n is not too large, say three or four; but with problems involving pairs or triplets of parameters, the brain in nature is not able to complete a combinatorial search through all combinations, not to mention branching search problems.
Such problems are undoubtedly solved by simplified combinatorial search, i.e., the brain examines various possibilities terminating its search at the first "acceptable" combination (meaning a combination which ensures safety and produces an acceptable result). This combination is deemed the solution. The brain is not concerned about the fact that continuation of the search might have led to a better solution. In nature, a simplified search strategy makes sense: the time allotted to arrive at a decision is limited and the animal need not answer to anybody for saving its hide in a non-optimal way. Undoubtedly, this strategy was inherited by humanity from "the brain in nature."
This combinatorial search is analogous, but not equivalent, to the method of trial and error employed by animals in searching for a solution, for instance, the method of escaping from a box in Thorndike's experiments. It is not equivalent, since in these experiments an animal does not turn over the various options in its mind but performs its search by means of actual actions. Each action is perhaps a result of a conscious search, although I concede the possibility that in a state of excitation or panic the poor animal can perform its search by means of actions which are not thought out.
Note that the brain in nature probably recognizes the difficulties of a search with many options, and of the ensuing higher probability of error. One observes living creatures trying to pick circumstances which reduce the number of variable factors which must be evaluated (although we should not forget about the inquisitive innovators among both animals and people). Generally speaking, the conservatism of living creatures, their longing for stability in their environment, can be viewed as an attempt to reduce the number of variable parameters so that they can rely on a simplified search, imbued with less risk of error. Examples of this kind of behavior range from living in a den to entering into marriage, to demonstrations calling for a ban on firing employees. To be sure, alternative explanations can be advanced for these phenomena.
Whatever the actual causal connections, stability of lifestyle reduces the number of factors the brain must take into account. As the number of variable factors grows it becomes impossible to identify all the links of the cause-effect chain. The cognitive process might thus become more indeterministic and, due to the principle of will determinism, the brain develops a greater propensity to incorporate more supernatural forces in its interpretion of the observed world. This leads me to conclude that the role of religious interpretation of interwoven events must diminish with a greater stability of lifestyle.
The method of simplified search propagated by the brain in nature is utilized not only in the realm of everyday life, but in science as well. It seems that a scientist has ample time to construct a table of all the relevant parameters of the problem, provided they are not too numerous; to construct all possible combinations; and to suggest a few plausible solutions. Yet only in recent times has this method become widely used, although there are still plenty of problems that defy an exhaustive search even by a computer. As a rule, in dealing with multi-parameter problems the brain dictates its own course of simplified search. The scientist or scholar terminates the investigation at an acceptable solution, looking for neither an optimal solution nor for alternative acceptable solutions. Moreover, the brain is satisfied with this solution, and this solution is treated by the scientist or scholar as the uniquely true one. The owner of the brain that arrived at the uniquely true solution is ready to condemn all those who dissent -- some were even ready to die in the name of the chosen solution.
Most chapters in the history of science lack such drama, but almost every paradigm of non-exact sciences originated on the basis of such a simplified search. In this sense, the progress of science follows a well-beaten path. Another scholar initiates a search and terminates it at another combination of parameters, which he proclaims as the new uniquely true solution. This process continues until a genius comes along and introduces a new parameter in the old scheme.52 The cycle then begins anew. (Solutions which incorporate new parameters or novel combinations of old parameters are frequently regarded as beautiful. I refrain from defining intellectual beauty based upon the above considerations. There are plenty of works on this subject and I have not attempted to conduct an exhaustive search of all the parameters in circulation.)
The following few examples should illustrate my critique of impure reason. (This pun on Kant's Critique Of Pure Reason only underscores the animalistic origins of brain procedures and is not meant to insult the reader -- a scholarly reader at that.)
Aristotle, for instance, summarized the philosophical concepts of the quintessence of the soul and concluded that all elements except the earth had found their champions. No one had avowed the earth to be the soul, save those who thought that the soul was comprised of all elements, or represented a totality of all elements. Another illustration is the age-old argument between the advocates of the corpuscular and the wave theory of light. Fusion of the two approaches could be regarded as beautiful, although not necessarily conclusive. Another example: shifting of the continents was first explained by the shrinking of the earth's radius, then by the increase in the radius, and then by the fluctuations in its length. I would be hard-pressed to find an analog of this procedure of unification of search parameters in the animal world; perhaps this is a purely human achievement.
In all probability, this human exclusivity does not extend to the introduction of new parameters into the search. Perhaps my criticism of social sciences for their backwardness is unjustified. The study of an individual or a society requires so many interacting factors to be taken into consideration that the brain of even the most intelligent of people must relinquish the search unless the object of study is greatly simplified. This reduction decreases the application of the results to real human beings or real societies.
Limited induction and simplified search are both symptomatic of the brain in nature, or more precisely, of its feature of not requiring the achieved solution to be precise. This does not prevent the brain from regarding its solution as the unique truth in all cases where the solution did not lead to clear-cut failures.53 The logic underlying the principle of complete induction as applied in mathematics (here I circumvent all the criticism of this principle), or theorems proved within the framework of traditional axiomatic constructions, can be designated as point-set logic. These cases yield uniquely true conclusions with respect to objects and their relations within the framework of a given formal theory. The brain in nature frequently utilizes point-set logic, for instance, in establishing its hierarchical position in a group. Still, for plenty of problems point-set logic is inappropriate and its application is fraught with danger.
For example, to avoid potential danger one needs a guarantee rather than an exact solution. Logic that provides such guarantees could be referred to as the logic of guarantees, or the logic of an open interval. If we arrange all potential perils on a line according to their severity, the judgement faculty of the brain in nature must chop off an open interval of perils which the bearer of the respective brain can handle (starting at some point which designates real danger and toward a decreasing extent of the danger ad infinitum). We can also introduce the logic of a closed interval. In such a case, the solution applies to some finite set of objects bounded both from above and from below. For instance, take a herd with stratified rather than individual-specific hierarchical distribution. Here, an individual belonging to some intermediate stratum of the hierarchy assumes another member of the herd is his equal. His guess will be correct only with respect to those who belong to the same stratum as he. We cannot dismiss the possibility that scholarly investigation of objects that fall outside the formal domain, reflect the influence of the brain structures of the investigators, who operate using the logic of guarantees.
Two other features of the cognitive process characteristic of the brain in nature, undoubtedly inherited by us, exert a strong influence upon the creative process and merit a brief discussion. One is the dependency of the cognitive automatism upon the state of other automatisms, and the second is the role of the principle of will determinism in the cognitive process.
With regard to the brain in nature, the first point is obvious. The cognitive automatism fulfills an auxiliary function in facilitating the gratification of other automatisms when the latter are unfulfilled. Still, we should not downplay the role of inquisitiveness among more developed animals, which is aimed at obtaining information for the future. Supposedly, the process of accumulation of information for the future is more intense when the cognitive automatism is free from its subservient task of promoting the fulfillment of other automatisms. Childhood is optimal in this respect, especially among mammals with extended child-rearing periods under the auspices of parents. Analogy with the cognitive development of human beings illustrates the point: fundamental knowledge not needed in routine fulfillment of human needs was amassed in those strata of society (such as priests and, nowadays, scientists) that for various social reasons had free time to satisfy their curiosity. Society reimburses these people for their inquisitiveness, which leads to the accumulation of information for future use; society provides for them and gives them reasonable security so that these people can devote themselves to knowledge without being too dependent upon the state of other automatisms.
But such detachment from earthly concerns is not unbounded. How often do scholars exhibit complete aloofness from life and total devotion to knowledge? By and large scholars, just like other people, are ruled by passions. Aspiration toward pure knowledge is rather rare. A major factor which comes into play is the fulfillment of hierarchical ambitions, especially since the rewards bestowed by society are usually correlated with a scholar's success. Volumes could be written about scholars trying to conceal their failures, or presenting their minor discoveries as major revelations or even as the last word of science. Such a history would make a useful addendum to the traditional history of science which, for the most part, describes hardships en route to knowledge and its acquisition.
Hierarchical competition among scholars limits their collective ability to cheat that unenlightened commissioner of research, society. Still, the spirit of unity looms strong among scholars, and all too often collective failures are veiled in a sea of special terminology incomprehensible to the uninitiated. (I do not mean to imply that this is always done intentionally.) Fortunately, the success of those natural sciences vital in fulfilling the needs of society is tested more easily. Even in this sphere, however, limitations on social control leave plenty of room for charlatans. The history of Lysenko, and the scientifically-corroborated plans to irrigate Central Asia that led to the dehydration of the Aral Sea, are just a few examples. Social sciences, on the other hand, lag too far behind to present society with testable theories. In social disciplines the ratio between paid-for words written by the scholar, and the number of his conclusions useful to society, is especially high.
Non-commercial science merits much praise. Nevertheless, it is commercial science that is expected to produce concrete testable results and protect society against mere phrase-mongering. Perhaps this situation is normal or inevitable when society supports a large number of scholars, including those whose work does not bear tangible results. All this is probably true, but the drawbacks in the structure of the scientific hierarchy in contemporary society are all too evident: every instance of a scholar succumbing to conformity in the face of pressures stemming from the prejudices of the scientific community, testifies to the flaws in the system.
Political conformism must also be taken into account in judging the impartiality of social sciences. In countries where scholars feel strong ideological pressure from the state scholarly nonpartisanship is rare, and can be esteemed as an act of heroism. Still, political conformism exists even in countries where science is spared government intervention; the pressure exerted by the hierarchical prejudices of the scientific community is intrusive. The point is that many intellectuals feel they are unjustly exiled from influence in the social sphere. In free market countries, the informational surrogate of will is generally valued by society less than the material (wealth) or the volitional (political influence) one. This social disparagement of the scientific and scholarly community is perhaps responsible for the generally critical attitude of scientists and scholars toward the establishment, or the leftist tendencies so typical of academic circles in the United States, for instance.
I have been discussing the impact of hierarchical passions on the impartiality and self-criticism of the scholarly creative process. As to this, we should bear in mind that, in many cases, a scholar actually may fail to realize he has violated the ethics of the cognitive hierarchy. This raises a central point: our brain is a very clever guide of consciousness, channeling it inconspicuously toward gratification of our passions even when consciousness wants to purge itself of their influence. The state of cognitive fulfillment is a result of the biological function of the brain, except for those very rare cases when predisposition toward such fulfillment is created beforehand by a disciplined mind within the framework of a more or less formalized system of values. This means that the brain can regulate our cognitive behavior by providing incentives in the form of satisfaction, just as is done by an employer. In practice, the brain can terminate the process of cognitive search by giving us a feeling of satisfaction when the results of the search are in accord with our passions or the needs of our safety. In this sense, compromises between a scholar and a repressive ideological system frequently go unrecognized.
The hierarchical instinct intrinsic to the human race affects our cognitive process in still another way. The hierarchical nature of society is undoubtedly linked with structures in our brain responsible for observing hierarchical relations. Quite possibly, these structures shape cognition in such a way that the brain tends to ascribe a certain hierarchical status to the perceived objects, an operation which also agrees with the principle of will determinism. Such hierarchical creativity results in the typical aspiration of many sciences for pyramid-like logical constructs, and the drive to reduce the manifold of problems and phenomena to one or a few basic principles (the monistic approach).
The success of this approach in a number of disciplines is no proof of its universal validity. Nevertheless, scholars are strongly inclined toward such pyramid-like constructs. Perhaps in doing so, scholars are inspired by the beauty of converting from paganism to monotheism. We cannot rule out a direct influence of the brain's hierarchical structures upon our tendency to form hierarchical logical cognitive constructs. If we try to assess the popularity of the monistic versus the pluralistic approach in the cognitive process, the former will be an undisputed winner by a large margin in spite of the fact that the diversity of observed phenomena would seem to lend more philosophical credibility to philosophical pluralism.
The last feature inherited from the brain in nature that I should discuss is the principle of will determinism. At one time, this principle safeguarded our ancestors from accidentally neglecting a potential source of danger. It then gave rise to many interesting religious systems. Nowadays, many of us do not ascribe will to stones or to storms; we are reluctant to believe in scheming spirits. Nevertheless, the principle is retained in our brain, even if we distinguish consciously-adopted religion from the impact of the principle itself. Many of us believe in luck, in the existence of the supernatural, in signs, etc. This serves as an indication that our brain has inherited from our ancestors certain structures meant to operate with parameters belonging to the "magic space." From time to time, and differently in different people, these structures rise to the surface to affect our consciousness.
Perhaps consciousness can resist this intrusion by initiating a reaction that manifests itself in militant atheism, in the idealization of humans, and in the rejection of the possibility of psychological events in animals. In societies that persecute religion, the impact of brain structures operating within parameters of the magic space is reflected in the political conduct of people, and helps them adjust and survive by worshipping earthly gods.
Naturally, reaction to magic logic, and the conscious rejection of everything dictated to the mind by the sectors of the brain operating in the magic space, does not prevent one from resorting to this magic logic. The point is that the passion in our mind for reaching the unique and final truth is enormous, even when there is insufficient data actually to reach such truths. Therefore, a consistent materialist must either suppress this urge and respond with "I do not know" to quite a few questions, or succumb to this passion and inadvertently use the logic of the magic space to fill the inevitable gaps in the logical chain. To those who believe in supernatural forces, the solution is simple: when they see inexplicable phenomena they can overtly refer to supernatural authority, without having to resort to the uncontrolled use of magic logic.
To admit often that one does not know is unacceptable to many people, if only because their passion for final truths is not under control. The second alternative -- the use of magic logic by materialists -- is widely implemented. All those who claim to be adherents of Marxism illustrate the popularity of this approach. It is very uncharacteristic for these people to say "I do not know." A multitude of paralogisms (in terms of common logic) and purposely hazy definitions, as well as other attributes of magic logic, is evidence of the extensive use of the logic of magical space. The reader versed in formal logic will easily discover examples to confirm this. In science, the influence of magic logic is more concealed than in everyday life or in politicized ideologies, but certain trends in modern physics suggest a possible link. I do not want to cavil at every word. When physicists speak with a straight face of the freedom of will of an electron, I can write it off as unfortunate terminology. But two other points cannot be so easily discarded, and they do warrant our attention.
The first is the idealization of equations. An equation valid over a certain range of variables assumes a will of its own to move universes because it is applied to magnitudes far outside the initial range. This took place with the equation of gravity (Friedman's solution), which infused the universe with black holes, from which, many assert, the universe originated. To be sure, I do not mean to refute any hypotheses. I merely state that such hypotheses are too readily accepted as tested theories, perhaps owing to the influence of brain structures which operate in the magic space (or due to the need to fulfill automatisms geared to operate in the magic space).
Secondly, expanding the boundaries of logic leads scientists to adopt procedural rules from the sectors of the brain which operate in magic space. Our traditional logic was passed on to us from the brain in nature as a tested tool of interacting with the environment. Undoubtedly, the brain stores special logic relevant in the magic space. This logic helps fill those gaps in the logical chains that arise from insufficient knowledge of the parameters of the observable world. This seems to make sense when we speak of "savage man," but we should bear in mind that we have inherited his "savage" brain. This logic defies formulation in terms of clear-cut rules. Nevertheless we probably use, unconsciously, some of these rules when we deliberate higher matters like the nature of indeterminism, multi-dimensional space, or parameters which are considered to be theoretically unobservable, when determinism comes to the fore. Our normal logic derives from a deterministic perception of the world. At the same time, the brain invariably lacks sufficient knowledge to construct a causal network of all observed phenomena. The principle of will determinism, helping us view the world as an ordered and causally connected entity (by invoking supernatural forces), came to the rescue. In this sense, sectors of the brain which operate in the magic space help fill the gaps in traditional logical chains and facilitate indeterministic thinking. Here one can see an analogy with an artifice employed in theoretical physics: construction of multi-dimensional space, which model brings together various types of interactions that seem independent in three-dimensional space.
The influence on our thinking of the cognitive role of brain structures which operate in magical space need not be rejected. I believe these notions enrich us. It might be worthwhile, though, to learn to recognize their impact. In particular, it should be taken into account that the present-day oversaturation of some disciplines with paradigms accumulated over the last few centuries have caused people to become used to "earthly" reasoning. Unusual answers to eternal questions are more apt to attract attention. On occasion, intricate intellectual constructs are a result of greater depth of parameter search, or a beautiful fusion of parameters which were formerly considered incompatible. But not infrequently an innovative theory digresses into magic space to fill logical gaps in the chain of "down to earth" reasoning. As a result, the author of the theory not only manages to quench the curiosity of people, but also fulfills their craving to arouse and satisfy their religious sentiments. These considerations come to mind in connection with a famous aphorism by one physicist: "This theory is not crazy enough to be true."
Generally speaking, the belief of many scientists that we have outgrown traditional earthly logic, and that further development of some sciences calls for bold new innovations in the realm of logic, should not be dismissed. At the same time, our origins should not be cast into oblivion. Remember that it was precisely this logic of magic space which we struggled for so many centuries to overcome, in order to formulate our knowledge in "earthly" terms. Quite possibly, the body of knowledge grows by means of constant digressions into magic space, through the introduction of bold ideas that initially defy formulation within the framework of traditional logic. It is quite plausible that the joy of knowledge stems from the arousal of the sectors of the brain which house our religious feelings.
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ON THE DIVERSITY OF CHARACTER
I defined character as a set of numbers denoting the relative weights of various automatisms in an individual's overall set of automatisms. The parameters comprising this set are definitely immeasurable. Nonetheless, I will try to discuss this subject.
My task is somewhat simplified when dealing with just a few instincts. Going down along the evolutionary ladder, we see various creatures exhibiting a very narrow range of nature-programmed behavior. Suppose these creatures lack instinct substitution or symbiosis, which is not unthinkable since these types of response originate from programs more complex than those regulating primary instincts. Extensive observation of such a creature would allow us to construct a table showing the time it expends to satisfy its various instincts, such as food gathering, building a nest and attracting a partner (the problem of establishing correspondence between various behavioral acts and instincts is not to be ignored). Although an interesting table, it still would not show the relative will expenditure required for each task, or at least the energy expenditures. The latter could be used to characterize will expenditure in the absence of better characteristics. This illustrates the difficulties of character evaluation even in the simplest case. Still, rough measurements are feasible, and we could work with such a table, tentatively called the table of durational character. This table would pertain to the relative amounts of time spent on the fulfillment of the various automatisms.
Such an evaluation of creatures belonging to the same species, conducted under different natural conditions, would most likely reveal that character measured in terms of the time or energy spent on the fulfillment of various automatisms, is not constant but is a function of natural conditions. Variability is to be expected, since only a simple machine or the most primitive creatures lack the capacity to alter and adjust their behavior to changing circumstances. This means that in a nature-instilled program character is not a rigidly-fixed set of numbers characterizing relative will expenditures along each and every channel. Rather, character is more likely to present guidelines of a preferable allocation of will expenditures. By preferable I mean: in case the required deviation from the range of changes of character stipulated by nature is too excessive, the being does not survive. Therefore, even in the simplest case of just a few instincts, the creature is characterized not only by its average character but also by its range of changes of character, which ensures its survival under changing conditions.
One can argue that the notion of character is invalid altogether, that one should not presume a nature-predetermined range of changes in character and preferences of parameters of will expenditure along various channels. In other words, the behavior of both simple and complex creatures is totally dependant upon the demands of the environment. In support of this point of view situations can be cited in which, due to unfavorable conditions, certain instincts are unfulfilled altogether. For instance, animals deprived of food or freedom are known to refrain from reproduction in some cases.54
In my opinion these cases are covered by the concept of the range of changes in character. Postulating a creature devoid of character suggests the concept of a living creature as a machine possessing pre-programmed abilities but lacking pre-programmed goals. Such a machine would obey randomly-selected goals. The behavior of such beings would lack the similarity to each other that we actually observe, although with some variations, in nature. On the other hand, the presence of pre-programmed goals makes it natural to assume a pre-defined allocation of the will (energy) expenditures required to attain them. More precisely, this is exactly the manner in which the goals are programmed, that is, by allocating a particular will expenditure to the satisfaction of certain instincts.
The human case is much more complex. It involves not only innate instincts (limiting our investigation to instincts would cause major difficulties in linking character with behavior), but automatisms in general, i.e., all behavioral manifestations independent of conscious will. This means that the magnitudes of behavioral parameters are affected by behavioral programs assimilated in the learning process (including imitation), that is, the entire disciplinary surrogate of will. In addition, we must account for all the possible and habitual substitutions and symbioses of automatisms, as well as cognitively discovered novel methods of will expression. So there is really very little hope of accurately assessing all the character traits of an individual person.
The task is greatly simplified if one drops the idea of finding all the character parameters of an individual. Character can be described based on population averages, or on parameters which, in a given individual, deviate significantly from these averages. The two approaches are different; the latter approach is sometimes successfully applied in pedagogy as well as in everyday life. Without philosophical corroboration, people oftentimes speak of an individual's inclinations, actually pronouncing a rough relative assessment of certain parameters of character.
For instance, people are distinguished as being active or passive. This evaluation denotes the overall (if no specific area is indicated) level of the automatism of will expression. Ambitious individuals, those possessing leadership qualities, and those who succumb to others without strong resistance are distinguished. In other words, people are judged on the basis of their automatisms of submission or subjugation. Interestingly enough, the psychology of everyday life is very sensitive to various biological traits inherent in humans. Nonetheless, those who endeavor to explain human behavior solely in terms of acquired culture will not be convinced by millenia of folk experience, any more than by my discussions on the subject. I believe psychologists could profit by analyzing folk proverbs.
Actually even scholarly psychology, as well as that of the everyday, acknowledges the importance of innate traits. Unfortunately, character traits are rarely examined in their totality. Innate as well as biological traits in general are either regarded as a nuisance that prevents the total idealization of humans, or the analysis is limited to individual biological behavioral factors, such as sexuality, aggression, submission to a father figure, etc. Subsequently, one or two factors are used to explain a broad range of behavioral acts (broader than seems reasonable). I do not know whether this tendency stems from the philosophical conviction that the complex must invariably reduce to the simple, or from the application of the procedure of simplified parameter search discussed in the section on the model of primitive consciousness. In any case, psychology will have to overcome its reliance on simplification before it can cease to be a mere collector of facts and become a theoretical science.
At this point, I feel the following comment is in order. Quite often, biological features of behavior come to signify innate or even, more narrowly, genetically-programmed behavior. Testifying to this is the notion of the possibly biological nature of crime, whatever is meant by the term "crime." At issue is whether criminal tendencies are innate. The development of genetics led to a reformulation of this question: is a criminal predisposition programmed in the genes? A negative answer suggests that the person is not born a criminal but turns to crime as a result of certain cultural influences. It actually makes sense to pose the question in another way. Laws defining what constitutes a crime are much younger than our genes. Over the course of many thousands of years, laws and rules dictated by society served to sift out behavioral patterns which were more or less common, until most people learned to obey the rules and the laws.55 Isn't it better, though, to start with the very different premise that, to varying degrees, all of us are born potential criminals? We are born with our own peculiar complex of inherited passions that might lead us to commit a crime. But due to "genetic submissiveness" as well as socially-acquired obedience to the law, many of us never turn into criminals. Some people, however, are unable to overcome their criminal nature, either because of biological features of their character, or due to random circumstances beyond the control of the educators, or because of the negative influence of the environment.
In speaking of pre-cultural aspects of behavior, I wish to distinguish between biological (food, sleep, disease), innate (genetic plus pre-natal physical influences), and genetic elements. It is important to bear in mind the possibility of individual biological changes both before and after birth. We should also take into account that the same biological factors, whether or not innate, manifest themselves differently in different people due to the unpredictable impact of cultural and biological experiences. These considerations qualify the reliability of the results of the studies of twins. A trait is commonly regarded as hereditary if it manifests itself simultaneously in identical twins more often than in non-identical twins. Thus, a positive result speaks for itself.
We should not ascribe, though, too much significance to negative results. The common upbringing of twins does not shield them from different cultural and biological experiences. Fleeting impressions can affect automatism substitution and symbiosis. As a result, many biological parameters of character are masked behind other avenues of will manifestation. Behavioral manifestations of these traits are different, even when both individuals possess them. We should remember that automatism substitution and symbiosis are frequently deeply instilled in us (to the joy of psychoanalysts), and so they bypass control by the conscious will.
I guess even those skeptical of psychoanalysis will not dispute the commonality of consciousness-independent connections between various behavioral patterns and stimuli. These connections may be innate, they may form randomly over the course of the biological development of an individual, or they may result from various combinations of external factors. One should take into account all these sources of multiplicity -- innate, biological and genetic, as well as random environmental and cultural influences -- when discussing the multiplicity of human behavior. The following schematic picture of the variety of inherited characters then takes shape.
Each individual is allotted some average parameters of character, which parameters have a certain range of changes. Assuming nature has molded specific social herd structures, this scheme is reflected in the statistical distribution of character types within the herd. (In fact, the specific social herd structure is a result of the distribution of character types. One could easily surmise, for example, that there would be no polygamous group structure among primates absent a desire in the character of males to acquire as many females as possible.)
If some people are endowed with certain instincts more (or less) pronounced than average, then under certain conditions and due to the range of changes in character, their natural predisposition to specific social functions may not play the decisive role. Nonetheless, a certain percentage of the population having character traits that deviate significantly from the average, or are endowed with a narrow range of changes in character, suffers from greater dependency on society (since mutual help frequently compensates for character flaws). It may also happen that an individual fails to display sufficient flexibility in adjusting, even with society's help, and he will therefore suffer distress caused by the conflict between his character and the environment. Perhaps he will not survive at all. (I believe the motto of the state of New Hampshire "Live free or die" reflects a certain idealization of this inflexibility in adapting to the environment.)
Interestingly enough, most likely there cannot be many such inflexible individuals. Except perhaps in pathological cases, one should look for the evolutionary reason that nature deprived some share of the population, in terms of certain character parameters. Here is an example. Polygamy is widespread among primates living in communities. Consequently "extra" males (those who fail to get females) must be deficient by nature, at least in part, with regard to their territorial instinct, in order to maintain a reasonably peaceful way of life (more on this below). Apparently, nature did not intend to get rid of the "extra" males, an objective which would be fulfilled by shifting the birth ratio of males to females. A meaningful evolutionary objective in this situation is to keep these "extra" males as a reserve. In this manner a certain healthy level of competition between males is assured, yet at a level that is not unacceptably high. Because the dispersion of the reserve males is sufficiently broad, these males retain the ability to assume the place of group leaders and defend their territory when the need arises. In other words, by subjecting a certain share of the population to reduction -- but not eradication -- of a particular character trait, nature retains the capability for them to develop this particular trait if so required, while in the meantime allowing them to survive with the reduction.
Such deprivation serves to protect both the individual and the society at large. This is confirmed by the distribution of leadership qualities among human beings. In order for the hierarchically-organized communities of our human ancestors to enjoy the benefits of more or less peaceful co-existence while keeping competition alive but reasonably limited, a certain biological distribution of an innate capacity to lead must have formed, with the number of leaders exceeding the number of groups by a slight margin (moderate overabundance ensures evolutionarily-beneficial competition to determine the strongest and most capable). This means that in the majority of males, the leadership quality is less pronounced. But total deprivation of this quality in the majority of males would not make sense; it was worth while to keep it in reserve.
This is the way it was and still is. Individuals exhibiting a propensity to obey still possess certain leadership qualities. If they happen to be without a leader, their group will not become non-hierarchical: a leader will be found from among them. In other words, "a soldier carries a General's baton in his rucksack." You can experiment on rats or on humans and see the same result. This flexibility of nature emerged and proved its viability a long time ago.56 The instinct of submission is strongly represented in most people, which allows them to obey leaders and fulfill their social and biological functions without enduring too much suffering. If nature had not taken care to endow most people with a well-pronounced instinct of submission, the hierarchical structure of society would be very different. In fact, societies would not exist at all if this instinct were lacking completely. This point should be taken to heart by those freedom-lovers deprived of the instinct of submission who, regarding themselves as the crowning point of creation, despise the obedient masses and frequently try to free these masses without first securing their consent.
Many people oversimplify the Darwinian struggle for survival, as if nature were concerned with survival only of the strong, and not with survival of the rest. It is easy to see that nature becomes more prudent the greater the complexity of an organism. Nature's prudence is visible in the wise fusion of struggle and coexistence ensured by the biological regulators of behavior. At the level of the brain structures that control behavior based on specific parameters of character, nature's wisdom manifests itself in the balanced distribution of the ability to lead and the ability to obey. A certain range of changes in character ensures flexibility. It was only in the last few decades that those who study the science of behavior have recognized that competition among higher animals is restrained in nature by numerous flexible innate mechanisms. A narrow perspective on the Darwinian struggle in nature has left a profound popular impression. In particular, application of this theory to human societies (social Darwinism) makes many people reluctant to seek the biologically-predicated motives of human behavior.
The above considerations have a direct bearing on human societies. Deeply-entrenched hierarchical structures in society indicate that we have inherited from our ancestors a statistical distribution of inborn parameters pertaining to leadership qualities and submissiveness. For instance, for thousands of years armies were structured based on subdivision into groups of ten to fifteen people, which approximately corresponds with the size of many primate communities.
It seems that hierarchical expansion beyond this average size was not implemented among primates. Larger herds, when they do form, are comprised of subgroups so they are not ruled in a totalitarian way. But mergers of groups, tribes, or nations turned out to be conducive to survival. The road to a hierarchical structure for such huge associations was not paved by evolution, at least in the case of primates. Humans had to devise their own structures and methods to govern such conglomerates, even when culture was only beginning to emerge. Naturally, people used prototypes conceived by nature for small groups and created a single will hierarchy, in spite of the fact that this hierarchical prototype was not meant for large associations. All that is unnatural in society must be upheld by violence. It is common knowledge that strong violent measures were required to maintain the stability of huge conglomerates of people such as empires. In these circumstances, it seems, people were forced to stretch the range of changes in their characters with respect to their capacity for submissiveness. To illuminate this point, suppose nature predicated an average of one leader for, say, every ten people. Within the huge and cumbrous human associations that later developed this ten percent of the population, in spite of its character for leadership, had to show no less obedience toward the supreme leader(s) than the other ninety percent (except, of course, for the supreme leader) showed to the ten percent. Of course, even leaders are endowed with a certain degree of submissiveness; but man-made multi-level hierarchies demanded greater submissiveness on the part of these leaders than it seems was conferred upon them by nature.
This situation was unnatural both for the intermediate leaders and for those at the bottom of the hierarchy, as the following example demonstrates. Suppose society is split up into hierarchical levels based on the powers of ten. Let slight bowing connote the minimal submissive pose, which symbolizes one's recognition of the leader of ten. Then in confronting the leader of one hundred one must bow low; of one thousand, one must fall to his knees; and in front of still higher figures, one must prostrate himself completely. Artificially-created structures actually suffered from a shortage of submissive poses. The bottom layers of such hierarchies were probably required to exhibit greater submissiveness than was instilled by nature, since nature-predicated degrees of submissiveness were based on the small group experience. (Measures to stabilize hierarchies only aggravated the unnaturalness of the situation, as is discussed below.) Interestingly, evolution-predicated prototype societies organized in the image of a single will hierarchy left room for an alternative form of social structure different from the one usually implemented: namely, a society based on the principle that "my vassal's vassal is not my vassal." Such structures would not experience any deficit of submissive poses, and those at the bottom would not feel so suppressed. Nevertheless, this alternative was rarely implemented in history.
It is probably impossible to establish, unequivocally and with respect to different populations, the precise connection between the distribution of character parameters in society and the distribution of people by occupations or types of work. There must, however, be some such correlation, and I believe it must be pursued and taken into account both in forecasting society's future and in the anthropology of social structures. Let us examine the cognitive automatism, for instance, with which everyone is endowed to some extent. Routine judgement of hierarchical relations, knowledge of economical ways of will manifestion, and even the assimilation of the rules of conduct in society all demand that the cognitive automatism in the character of an average person be pronounced. For most people, however, this automatism is auxiliary. It helps fulfill primary automatisms such as homeostatic and sexual ones, those for hierarchical growth, etc. We can only wonder at people's lack of curiosity when it comes to things beyond their everyday or hierarchical concerns. People remain indifferent to many very interesting things which they encounter even in their daily life and which might have aroused their curiosity. Millions of people watch television, but how many have ever made an effort to find out how this toy actually works?
Only a small percentage of individuals is endowed with a much more pronounced cognitive automatism. These people comprise the intellectual elite of humanity, responsible for discovering innovative ways of what is called the progress of civilization, ranging from the making of the first stone implements to the invention of computers. There are more and more educated people now. Scientific and technological progress calls for more and more participants, or at least operators capable of mindful handling of complex systems devised by the most intelligent ones. So far the needs of progress have been met by educating more and more people. It is not apparent, however, that the biological potential of human populations in this field is inexhaustible.
Note by analogy that already certain models of military aircraft have reached the threshold of speed and maneuverability beyond which even a well-trained human being is no longer a reliable operator. By the same token, the large numbers of designers and operators required for sophisticated high-tech systems may exceed the biological capacity of society to meet the needs of progress with people endowed with a highly-developed cognitive automatism. We cannot rule out that the most technologically-advanced countries are already on the brink of this. Perhaps it is as a consequence of this situation that we may already observe a certain lag in social sciences, the sad state of public education, and a number of other social problems. Roughly speaking, perhaps we have advanced so far in our technological development and the complexity of social relations that society is faced with a deficit of "smart" people who could ensure reasonable reliability of the things created by the intellectual elite, which failed to consider the probably limited capacities of society. Three approaches to this problem merit discussion.
First, the problem may be deemed non-existent, i.e., one can assume that society is capable of an unlimited or only slightly-limited supply of intelligent individuals. Perhaps this viewpoint is correct, but it is dangerous to pursue it. It is advisable to assume a scarcity of resources until the contrary is proved. Suffice it to say that a certain percentage of the population has turned out to be incapable of handling successfully even simple technologies, such as mechanical equipment. Cautious assessment of human resources suggests that an even greater share of the population will be ill-adapted to work with electro-mechanical machinery, a still greater percentage with electronic equipment, etc. It seems this "ignorant" approach to the problem behooves only those who downplay the biological differences among people and regard every person as capable of learning anything, independently of his innate abilities. Even assuming, however, that someone like me could be taught to write good music, or that someone with little mathematical aptitude could be taught to design computers, even then consideration of one's innate inclinations is crucial. This is so because education that goes counter to the individual's inclinations will exact a great toll on society -- great in a direct way, as well as in a build-up of discontent within individuals resulting from having to go against the grain of one's nature.
The second approach is to hope that the capacity of the brain of future generations will keep pace with the demands of technological progress. Thus we shall always have (perhaps with some lag) sufficient resources of people intelligent in their respective areas. One objection which could be raised thereto, is that it is unrealistic to expect the brain to evolve so quickly. But I have another point in mind. The underdevelopment of the brain of those inept at handling sophisticated technology is not the problem. Their brains are probably capable of developing as much or nearly as much as the brains of those we regard as the intelligent ones. Rather, the key point is the allocation of will expenditures predetermined by biological regulators. If this distribution is inherited, changes in the distribution among a population cannot be quick.
To aggravate the situation, judging by statistics those who are successful at intellectual activity are less successful at reproduction. Further, if the distribution of parameters does not pass from the parents to the offspring but instead is predicated by nature, the situation is even worse; the birth rate of such individuals is defined by the gene pool of the population, and no eugenic dreams can hope to increase this rate. One cannot even exclude the possibility that our hope for the unlimited growth of the intelligence of humanity is actually -- and unwittingly -- a hope to circumvent an important safeguard devised by nature: a conservative mechanism directed against rapid changes. That is, it makes sense in terms of evolutionary progress to have a certain percentage of the population endowed with a strongly-pronounced cognitive automatism; inquisitive individuals are needed to discover new territories and new avenues for will manifestation. Nevertheless, such pioneering urges must be curbed by nature in order to protect the population from drastic and risky shifts in its lifestyle. If indeed this is so, it is another example of the wisdom of nature in maintaining an equilibrium, this time between stability and the desire for change. Thus, limiting the number of pioneers represents a defensive mechanism which nature will most likely not give up easily, and this means limiting the number of those with highly-developed cognitive automatisms.
This conservative mechanism entails a division of labor: some master the new and other, perhaps the majority, defend the old. Functional specialization was introduced by nature a long time ago, and it turned out to be an invaluable socio-biological mechanism for survival. Sometimes nature instituted strict functional division (for instance, a worker bee in a hive can never become a queen bee), as well as flexible specialization with functions prescribed as mere preferences (for instance, if all musically-inclined people were to perish, there would be a reason for me to become a bad composer).57 It is apparent that nature managed to implement its program of functional specialization in society through careful regulation of the distribution of character. This rings of anthropomorphism with respect to nature, so I shall rephrase it for the sake of those alarmed by this statement. Functional division emerged as a result of various automatisms existing to different degrees in different people. After such specialization proved advantageous for survival the distribution of character traits became fixed at the genetic level. We can ignore this fact, but in the end nature will have the upper hand.
The third approach to a potential scarcity of people capable of utilizing our technical and scientific innovations is reliance on the equilibrium force of the market. In other words, we can hope that the process of development and the implementation of technology will be automatically slowed or terminated by the lack of qualified personnel. On this point we should recall that the market does not forecast, but merely reacts to, the depletion of resources. It is probably ill-advised for society to arrive at this threshold at which the market is forced to react to a deficit of human resources, because even prior to that point technology might have lured and absorbed resources vital in other areas. To put it in a nutshell, it is dangerous to attract all the intelligent people into the scientific-technological sphere. This would inevitably lead to the intellectual impoverishment of other spheres of activity, such as production and social life (including public education), which are currently not in the market's spotlight. Quite possibly this process has already begun in the most technologically-advanced countries. One evidence of this is the decreasing return on capital investment in education in the United States. Sooner or later, however, the market will have its say and technological progress will be retarded by a deficit of human resources. Trusting the market to resolve this difficulty means exposing society to severe social disequilibrium and the risk of decreased reliability of social mechanisms.
Another example of how the nature-predicated distribution of character parameters affects behavior is theft -- a social phenomenon forever typical of almost any population. Naturally, this raises the question whether a tendency to take secretly another's possession is innate or otherwise predetermined biologically. The arguments advanced below seem so obvious to me that quite possibly this approach has been proposed before. All the same it is merely a conjecture, and I would not be surprised if it makes some readers very indignant.
For the sake of clarity I speak only of traditional theft, not to be confused with violent theft, swindling, and tax fraud, not to mention modern-day organized crime. The knights of the craft of theft probably always belonged to their own peculiar subculture with its own ethical code, slang, and even procedures to settle disputes without enlisting the aid of the authorities. This fact is interesting in itself. By demonstrating its abilities and social potential as well as a tendency toward self-organization and isolation from society, this group flaunts its socio-biological distinction from other people. In analyzing data on the Russian world of thieves, my attention was drawn to one rarely-noticed feature of thieves' psychology: namely, that the thieves' sense of ownership is distorted altogether.58 Not only do they fail to recognize the property rights of everyone around them (except their colleagues), but they are also indifferent toward their own possessions, gambling and drinking away with an easy heart what they have acquired at such risk.
I shall try to trace the origins of the human sense of ownership. We do not know exactly when property rights were instituted. Obviously, society began to protect property only after the concept of property appeared. It would be natural to suppose that the need for communal protection of property was not invented in a vacumn by our ancestors; that the institution of protection was predated by a certain feeling that rebelled at infringement upon one's property.
There are at least five categories of values in the animal world, infringement on which arouses an aggressive defense. These categories are territory, prey, an animals' own body, a female in a mating situation, and offspring. Different animals care differently about defending these values; but in seeking the biological basis of the sense of ownership it is natural to focus on the instinct to protect these items.
We should, however, select out those values which one could suppose nature had a reason to reduce or abrogate in a certain percentage of the population. It immediately becomes apparent that deficiency in all these instincts except the territorial one is inconsistent with the goal of survival. Territorial instinct, on the other hand, was not conferred equally upon every creature, given the nature-predicated polygamy of our ancestors. Studies of primates have revealed that, in the course of territory apportionment among polygamous groups, many males remain outside of groups and outside the settled territories. Their evolutionary purpose is to be "in reserve." Under a "happy" conflation of circumstances, or the successful outcome of their challenge, they assume the place of family males. In any case, not all males are able to obtain and secure their own territory. This means they must stay in between settled territories and plunder the territory of others, or settle new territories. So it made sense in terms of evolution to deprive a certain share of the male population, at least to an extent, of the territorial instinct. Otherwise, domicile males could not stay at peace with homeless males. Nature enlists struggle among males to improve the strain of its creatures. At the same time, it limits this struggle in order to prevent self-destruction.
In short, my hypothesis regarding the biological basis for a thieving inclination boils down to the following: first, people's sense of ownership evolved due to brain structures housing the territorial instinct; and second, in order to restrain competition this instinct was made less pronounced among a certain share of the population. It seems that the possibility to "engage" this territorial instinct when circumstances call for it was preserved. With the development of culture and ownership this biological deficiency ceased playing the valuable role it was once destined to play. But this is of no concern to nature. Automatisms manage to manifest themselves owing to the aforementioned range of changes in character parameters, even with an insignificant average value of the respective parameter. We know that the division of territory is practiced among traditional thieves. But the respective brain structures lack sufficient development to cultivate the sense of ownership, which presumably is based upon these structures. I spoke of the population in general, but it makes more sense to speak of the percentage of males. Under the polygamous mode of cohabitation, curbing the territorial instinct of females would be nonsensical. Statistics indicate that theft is primarily a male crime.
The above hypothesis sounds plausible, provided we do not reject outright the notion of biological predisposition toward certain patterns of behavior.
In concluding my discussion on the diversity of characters, I want to call attention to the important question of the evolutionary origin of this diversity. It is unclear whether certain useful characteristics were genetically fixed in the process of natural selection, or whether nature was simply unable to secure the uniformity of character types of such complex creatures as primates or other herd mammals. Maybe these considerations are irrelevant in terms of my discussion of biologically-motivated behavior; what is crucial is the current distribution of character parameters in the population.
I am inclined to answer this question in a simple manner, namely by asserting that both these possibilities are true and, in fact, compatible. It is reasonable to assume that discrepancies in the genotypes of different members of the same species are sufficient to cause a certain dispersion of parameters of character, and even to cause the appearance of creatures with characters ill-adapted to prevailing conditions. This latter group theoretically would be eliminated in the process of selection. The characters of the survivors determine their behavior, both as individuals, as members of a group of a given species and, if you will, as elements of a given ecological niche. For instance, lack of a cooperation instinct would lead to a lack of mutual help among the representatives of a given species. Only in conjunction with an association of individuals endowed with different characters (in terms of the instincts of submissiveness and of subjugation), however, would the cooperation instinct give rise to herds having a hierarchical structure.59 One would suspect that the ratio between creatures with a strongly-pronounced instinct of leadership, and submissive individuals (in a stable case) would determine the average size of the hierarchical group. In non-stable cases, it would be determined by the intensity of the inner-herd struggle and possibly, by the percentage of lethal outcomes of battles among those struggling for leadership. I could give or construe other examples of various distributions of character parameters in a population determining the social structure and group behavior.
Unfortunately, the proposed simple solution of the evolutionary origin of character diversity does not resolve the problem of what is happening now: does nature maintain the attained statistical distribution of various character parameters, or does the process unfold randomly? The reader's guess is as good as mine. Undoubtedly, however, successes in the medical field, and social assistance extended to people in some countries, significantly distorts the distribution of character parameters as compared with the distribution conceived by nature, and promotes the survival of some genotypes that might have sufferred extinction under natural selection.
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EVOLUTION'S LEGACY TO THE LAW
Legal And Ethical Imperatives
The automatism of cooperation guided our ancestors to gather into herds (groups, packs). The only plausible goal of such association (I cannot envision any other goal) was mutual help in automatism fulfillment, particularly the protection of group members by the collective will.60 I believe the assistance of the collective will in will confrontations between herd members and outsiders is indisputable. What is less clear is whether the collective will always intervened in intra-herd interactions.
Let me call the reader's attention to a subtle difference between the intervention of the strongest of the herd and that of the collective will. Herd structure seems to have undergone a critical "phase" transition. Initially, the leader of the herd exercised his authority on behalf of himself. At some stage of evolution, however, the leader began to exercise his authority on behalf of the collective will of the herd. Perhaps this "transition phase" was concurrent with the development by strong individuals of the ability to form coalitions in a joint effort to control the behavior of other herd members.61 This bloc of the strong can be viewed as the emergence of collective will, that is, the point of transformation from a herd to a society. (I realize this definition might be objectionable if examples of pre-human societies can be found.)
At any rate, at some stage in evolution the collective will, rather than the herd leader, began to intrude upon intra-herd interactions. In fact, there is no evidence that this took place among humans as late as the historic epoch. I believe the transformation occurred at a much earlier time, and the nature of the intervention of the collective will was predicated on biological utility. A human's basic ability to express his will (his natural individual rights) is intruded upon not only by the collective will, but by any stronger will of a co-member of the community (by the right of the strong). Use of the collective will to shield an individual constituted a major restriction on the right of the strong, including gradual curtailment of the rights of the strongest. Bear in mind that the collective will is presumably far more powerful than the will of any individual member, and its rights represent the rights of the strong as well as the weak. The implication is that the development of law was true to that principle "might makes right," which was passed on by evolution.
It is natural to assume that the collective will interceded in a consistent manner, with analogous volitional situations calling for similar measures on the part of the collective will against the individual -- measures designed to curb his will manifestation. The code of principles of uniform and effective restraint of individual wills by the collective will constitutes the Law.
I want to note at this juncture that ethical norms and legal norms, formerly undifferentiated and together comprising customary law, are characterized by different spheres of influence as well as by different methods of enforcement, generally speaking. (The fact that legal and ethical requirements were interlaced with religious dictates is insignificant at this point. But keep this in mind, particularly in connection with my discussion regarding the parallelism of the development of religion and conscious will.) The above categories can be defined from different perspectives. When I say ethics, I mean intra-hierarchical demands; and by law, I mean those norms established by the collective will of society at large, as opposed to any particular hierarchy. I realize that the border line is not and cannot be precise, for ethics may be considered as law within one hierarchy, since a hierarchy possesses its own collective will. Moreover, different hierarchies may abide by similar ethical norms. The obstacle to drawing a clear-cut line between law and ethics stems from the overlapping of the two. Nonetheless, the distinction made here may be useful.
The definitions set forth above illustrate the basis of the practical inseparability of ethical and legal norms in a more-or-less mono-hierarchical society, a situation characteristic of the early stages of social evolution, when the collective will of the hierarchy was almost identical to the collective will of society. Law and ethics branched out from each other with the emergence of different hierarchies in society. This branching process was very gradual; the ideas of a single social hierarchy persisted for a long time, even in societies with complex social structures. It is interesting to note in this connection that revolutions (such as the revenge of the strong) are typically followed by attempts to simplify society's hierarchical structure, as well as to merge ethics and law and infuse law with the imprecision and obscurity characteristic of ethics. A striking example of this pattern is the Soviet Union for the seventy years following the Bolshevik revolution. It was not uncommon for a person to be punished not for some specific transgression, but simply because he was a bad person: an enemy of the people, an alien in terms of class origins, socially a hazard, parasitic, etc. Even post-Stalinist judicial reform did not eliminate this muddle in the Soviet legal code, although the criminal law was made less arbitrary.
The Soviet constitution of 1977, for instance, explicitly makes ethical norms part of the legal code, calling for compliance with the "standards of the socialist community" -- of course without listing all the standards. Prior to that, Soviet law required parents to bring up their children in the spirit of the moral codex of the builders of communism. (Such a codex was never published. In fact, its existence is questionable if we discount excerpts from it in the Communist Party program, a document that is not part of the law.) As this example demonstrates, hierarchical regression in society, i.e., simplification of the hierarchical structure, is accompanied by a tendency to regress in the realm of law, namely, to revert back to the ideas of customary law and to merge law with ethics. I believe this observation could be important in diagnosing changes in any given society.
There is a vast amount of literature devoted to the differences between ethical and legal norms. I cannot even begin to compare my approach with all known ones. But one rather popular approach merits a few words. I am speaking of the definition of ethics as the totality of norms of human conduct. Under this definition, legal statutes are deemed an all-inclusive mandatory minimum constituting a subset of the ethical code. This approach introduces a certain order in the totality of behavioral norms, and explains why most laws are also illumined by many ethical maxims. Another appealing feature of this approach is that it makes positive law subject to criticism if it deviates from the ethical norms endorsed by society.
Nonetheless, this approach makes sense only if humans are idealized, since it accounts only for the ethics of "good" members of society. We know society is not made up only of good people; in fact, it is not even made up exclusively of average ones. It includes thieves, murderers and other law-breakers. These groups have their own hierarchies and their own ethics, which are often incompatible with the judicial norms of society. Therefore the position that the law is equivalent to a mandatory minimum subset of the ethical code, really refers to the ethical code of law-abiding members of society. This position is easy for me to agree with, but it fails to convey the relationship between the law and the variety of ethical norms governing human conduct in society.
People often desire to corroborate their benevolent and reasonable intentions by citing a stronger will, such as the will of the almighty or, at least, the laws of nature. The same thing is true in the realm of law: the school of natural law was firmly set on uncovering the natural or divine foundation of law. It regards many of the more benign aspects of jurisprudence as rooted in the nature of humans and society. It is reasonable to seek precursors to the present discourse on the legacy of evolution in the realm of law, among the theoreticians of natural law. Before proceeding further, I want to note that disciples of the school of natural law were less concerned with searching for the origins of law than they were with the idea of corroborating what to them seemed reasonable requirements, which nonetheless often conflicted with the precepts of positive law espoused in their country and their historic period. In order to establish a legal code based on reason and its cultural accomplishments, these theoreticians appealed to nature. Nature, however, fell short of affirming anything created by culture.
I have to concede that, literally, a natural right would be the right to do anything within a person's power, including exercising his right of the strong and offending the weak. To the present day, the right of the strong (including one's total will proper, i.e, hierarchical strength) prevails in many areas. People are limited only in their methods of exercising their rights, by the right of a still mightier force: the collective will. Often, however, the collective will also protects the right of the strong in the broad sense of the word "strong": the right of the highest bidder to buy an item at auction; the right to enjoy the prestige of being a champion in some form of competition; the right to hold a scientific post won through merit; or the right of the elected to rule.
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the theory of natural law is the idea that a person's rights are not limited to those acknowledged by the authorities. Positivism, on the other hand, regards as rights only those defined as such by the powers that be. Many positivist arguments seem logical, but people struggling for other rights thought it better to leave logic behind than to sacrifice additional perceived rights. Because history has shown that the credo of natural law did indeed help many people recognize their rights, the theoretical basis of the doctrine is not too important. This is not a paralogism. One should avoid confusing different concepts. It is necessary to distinguish between the notion of a right in general and the notion of an accorded right, a protected right, a guaranteed right, and so on. Perhaps the development of legal thinking in some countries outpaced the evolution of language -- a typical source of confusion in terminology.
A common objection raised against natural law is that at various periods of history faith in the natural order reinforced contradictory doctrines. This is a consequence of the fact that the interests of the people enlisting the help of natural law were extremely varied; the temptation to cite nature itself as authority for one's position is hard to resist, and there is plenty of room for illusionary proofs. The roots of the theory of natural law extend back to antiquity. It is therefore not surprising that this multi-faceted theory defies discussion as one coherent entity. One can, however, pinpoint two primary objectives posed by those who thought within the framework of natural law.
First, the dictates and ideas to which some people aspired -- and which they attributed to nature or to gods -- were used to criticize positive law, and to fight for the rights of classes or for human rights in general. The historic contribution of the ideas of natural law in this area are beyond doubt. Second, the proponents of natural law searched for a universal foundation of positive law at various epochs and among different peoples, an undertaking that was not necessarily politically motivated. Theoreticians of natural law made little headway on the problem, since most of them postulated an idealized human being. Too often they presumed that the gods were not indifferent to human choice of law. The origins of law were sought in divine or human wisdom. This approach was doomed to fail in constructing a coherent anthropology of law. Nevertheless, it was fruitful in fashioning many instrumental concepts for theoreticians of natural law, without realizing it, were actually solving a different question than the one they posed. That is, they were not answering the question of the primal and reasonable rights of humans or gods, since these primal rights were not based on reason. Rather, in actuality they were grappling with this problem: since we are sapient, what should the law be in order to overcome the legacy of our savage past?
I am convinced that the origins of law are rooted in the principles underlying social formations that emerged long before "the triumph of human reason." Just as society was born from a herd, so did law originate in herd structures. Social arrangements within the herd were strictly hierarchical. The notion that humans are born to be happy and free was irrelevant at the time. As strange as it is, an interpretion of natural law as the system existing in savage times would much more readily give rise to the principle that "everyone capable of being a slave will be a slave," rather than to any concept of human rights. Nevertheless, the great service performed by the champions of natural law is precisely the provision of ideas on basic human rights.
Unquestionably, the herd origins of law exerted a profound influence on the evolution of positive law in nations. The ideas of protection of an individual by the collective will, the curtailment of the right of might, equivalence of exchange (more on this below), and others can be traced back to a time when humans were, perhaps, not even "human." The embodiment of freedom and human rights in the legal code must be regarded as a purely human, purely cultural achievement although, in the irony of history, people cited the natural order of things to promote these concepts. Of course, this does not imply that humans, endowed with the capacity for submission, are completely lacking in a biological need for freedom. (Pavlov even spoke of the instinct for freedom in dogs.) Without such a biological drive our civilization would never have arrived at the ideas of freedom. But humans had to elaborate the legal precepts of freedom themselves, in the absence of evolutionarily-provided standards.
Equivalence Of Exchange
At this point, I will discuss exchanges in society: dollars for food, help for help, and so on. By the term "equivalence of exchange," I mean that in exchange transactions within a hierarchy there is an underlying -- and probably unconscious -- assumption that, because the exchange is for items or actions of equal value, each transacting party maintains the same relative hierarchical position. That is, each has given up only an amount that is hierarchically equal to that which he has received. Therefore, equivalent exchanges are not hierarchically threatening, nor are they a means of hierarchical advancement.
The collective will, in general, promotes the principle of equivalence of exchange, and represents the right of might, although it should not be endowed with all the attributes of an individual strong will. The latter strives to fulfill its own automatisms, while the collective will is concerned with protecting individuals as well as the social order itself. Another distinctive feature of the collective will is that, for sufficiently large groups, it is incomparably more powerful than any individual strong will. This gave rise to a legal fiction that all individuals possess more or less the same power relative to the collective will (a consequence of which is the maxim that all people are equal before the law).
This fiction does not always function, because the usurpation of the collective will by the upper echelons of hierarchies suggests that the will of certain individuals is on par with the collective will. The principle of equality needs no comparative corroboration, however. If one assumes a voluntarily-formed society, one can assume compliance with the principle of equivalence of will exchange, which governs interactions between individuals (except for cases of coercive subjugation). Moreover, the role of the collective will is limited primarily to enforcing the equivalence principle, which really epitomizes equality before the collective will. Among such measures are the numerous guidelines governing specific categories of will and surrogate exchange including labor laws, trade laws, etc.
The general principle states that the acquisition of a certain amount of will, or its surrogate, creates an obligation on the part of the receiver to provide compensation -- the right to be indemnified in accordance with the valuations established by the collective will, or in the agreement between the parties involved in the exchange. The collective will checks whether the contract conforms to the principle of equivalence of exchange. Cases in which contracts were invalidated because they violated this principle are well known, even if the contracts were concluded by mutual and voluntary consent. Here, we are dealing with rights -- a possible means of will manifestation -- enforced by the collective, i.e., rights that are specifically protected. This is the usual concept of rights. The word "rights" gives rise to widespread terminological fallacies (rights and protected rights), often abused by the usurpers of power in conjuring up theoretical justification for limiting human rights.
The assumption of a voluntarily-formed association is a weak link in this chain of reasoning, and should be qualified. Voluntariness is only a theoretical precept, and the inferences hold true only to the extent to which this assumption is true. There are situations in which members of society have no opportunity to leave it, perhaps because of a ban on emigration or the hostility of the surrounding peoples. Illusory compulsion is more common: a person has no place to go without incurring substantial losses of property, social protection, etc. As long as he is not restrained by the collective will, however, it cannot be said that it violates the principles of equivalence and voluntary association.
The principle of equivalence of will exchange gave birth to a negative dictate known since ancient times: "do not do unto others that which you do not want done unto you". This maxim requires the agents of the collective will to treat members of society as being equal. As a rule, however, what is implied is not formal equality but equality that takes into account the person's capacity to inflict total will losses, including surrogate losses. Associated with this rather non-trivial interpretation of the idea of equality, which accounts for individual and hierarchical differences, is the concept of equity. For instance, it is considered unfair to impose the same material or will tax upon all members of society and lose sight of the fact that some people are rich and some poor, some strong and others weak. A more fair solution is to levy a certain share of one's will (or its surrogate) as a tax. In many countries this is taken even further and, in the name of equity, more is demanded from successful individuals through the imposition of a progressive tax. This also illustrates the variation with which the question of what is just or equitable is answered differently over time.
Some aspects of formal equality violate the spirit of equity. Nonetheless, in a number of areas these aspects have been incorporated in the legal code in order to combat greater inequity than that which arises from formal equality. For instance, it is apparent that the same punishment imposed uniformly (due to formal equality) will not affect every person in the same way, and will have a more severe impact on some than on others, which in my view is unfair. (I do not claim to have the prescription for preventing this kind of unfairness.) Even in our day and age, however, one may strive for equity.
One could note in all this a peculiar circular development. In many countries, formal equality under law has become prevalent thanks to the allusions of its champions to the unfairness of previous norms of social differentiation. Many standards of the consequent equality turned out to be unjust, however, because they failed to take into account individual differences among people or social classes. What ensued was a struggle to deviate from the principle of equality and confer "fair" privileges to specific groups of people (the development of American law abounds with examples). This, in turn, provokes protests and appeals to equality -- for instance, protests against affirmative action or subsidies to the American farmer. It may be that this kind of circular development is a natural process, and it's possible that a static equilibrium between equality and equity will never be attained. Law that is sufficiently elaborate for this phenomenon to manifest itself is a relatively recent development. Right now we simply lack enough experience to make more conclusive statements.
Let us not forget that the collective will should not be equated with the will of those authorities that govern society. The agents of the collective will (authorities) are sometimes incapable of striving for an adequate expression of the collective will, or simply do not want to do so. In judging the performance of the authorities, it is natural to assume that the primary goal of a collective will is to help people fulfill their will automatisms, and to protect them from outside wills. If the goals pursued by the authorities are very different than these, we can speak of the usurpation of the collective will.
Reinforcement Of Automatisms
To reiterate, in antiquity the ethics of the single hierarchy constituted the legal code of society. Over the course of hierarchical splitting the law gradually became supra-hierarchical, although to this day there exist legal norms designed to regulate the ethics of individual hierarchies. Standards derived from the ethics of specific hierarchies and incorporated into the legal code, are illustrated by norms that reinforce automatisms.
For instance, the history of jurisprudence presents a number of behavioral norms that reinforce human insulatory automatisms, even when they are of no consequence to other people. These include standards of ritual cleanliness, and ablution upon entering a mosque. Another example deals with sexual preferences: heterosexual attitudes are oftentimes enforced by a country's legal code. Such canons of conduct originate in the desire on the part of the authorities to rule based on natural (or divine) laws. It seems that not only the critics, but also the proponents of positive law endeavored to conform to the natural order as understood at the time.
Legal mores inhibiting personal freedom to commit suicide (discriminatory burial regulations in some cases, special inheritance laws, and right to this day psychiatric measures taken against those who make unsuccessful attempts at suicide) are similar in nature. Fearing the appeal of suicide, the authorities have imposed special restrictions on this right in penitentiaries, precisely the place where people often feel an acute need to exercise this apparent human right.62 Self-mutilation is persecuted on similar grounds, both in prisons where it results from mounting will frustration, and in exercising the patent right of an individual to make himself unfit for military duty. Another example: shortly after the Russian revolution, the government imposed a ban on the self-flagellation practiced by Shiites in celebrating Mageramma (Mohoremam).
Needless to say, natural human urges hardly require legal reinforcement. It is deviations from the allegedly normal that naturally arouse interest. Provisions against various aberrations from the alleged norm, provided they do not violate the legal rights of other individuals, are nothing but the craving for hierarchical advancement on the part of the leaders, who are providing an illusory help to god or nature. Summoning the natural order of things also happens to be an efficacious justification for the limitation of individual rights.
Value judgements aside, I have observed that reinforcement of automatisms is one of the most ancient features of the law. Considering the fact that the legal system of more civilized nations gradually dropped this kind of automatism reinforcement, the inclusion in the country's legal code of rules that reinforce the presumed expectations of nature indicates how far a given system has progressed in overcoming ancient ideas of the scope of power of the state.
The protection extended by the collective will aims to accommodate individuals in automatism arousal and fulfillment, as well as in the blossoming of those will exchanges in which people who are pursuing that goal participate. The legal code reflects specific cases of uniform intervention of the collective will in securing or curbing human automatisms. Generally speaking, the list of guaranteed subjective rights consists exclusively of explicitly-proclaimed rights, the proclamation of which is a consequence of, and reaction to, previous limitation of those rights, especially by the usurpers of the collective will. It is commonly held that the collective will must protect all basic human rights to the best of its abilities. In other words, whatever the declaration of rights might be, it must at least try to accommodate the fulfillment of automatisms deemed essential in a given hierarchy (homeostatic, cognitive, hierarchical growth, etc.).
This obligation of the collective will is frequently fulfilled in practice, and often its solicitude is not linked to legal declarations. For instance, one's right to breathe air is not explicitly proclaimed. At the same time, there exist legal statutes concerned with the automatisms of respiration. We have laws on proper ventilation, measures against air pollution, rules governing smoking and snuff tobacco, an international ban on the use of poisonous gases, and many others.
In most cases, the task of the collective will is to be diligent in preventing anyone from impeding other people in expressing their will in automatism fulfillment. When it comes to participating in the support of the automatisms of members of society, however, the collective will takes heed and obligates others to partake in such support only under very special circumstances. Such is the assistance extended to the victims of natural disasters, a practice prevalent since ancient times among many peoples (for instance, Kazakh customary law obligates a person to help a relative who has suffered a loss of cattle). Similar measures are enacted to care for orphans, the ailing, the elderly, etc. Until recently, however, the collective will has basically assumed that each person must take care of himself according to his abilities. Only recently have some countries enacted measures to support the socio-economic rights of people.
Automatism RestraintThe collective will ensures automatism security, and observes the principle of equivalence, primarily by demanding that people limit themselves in their choice of means by which they arouse and fulfill their automatisms. For example, the collective will protects the right to life by excluding murder as a method of competition.
It is assumed that the collective will, unlike individual hierarchies, imposes bans that are unconditionally essential to the viability of society. Ethical norms of specific hierarchies are broader and not as crucial. This assumption really echoes a general wish that the collective will not get carried away with prohibitive laws. In reality, the dictates and the attitude of the collective will reflect the overall hierarchical state of society, calibrated by the proximity of this hierarchy to the primal sole will hierarchy. I believe that precisely these gaps in the hierarchical state of nations whose legal systems are being compared (i.e., nations at different stages of social evolution), account for the failure of comparative jurisprudence to discover a basic affinity between different legal systems. (Take this statement with a grain of salt; it does not imply that all nations must undergo the same stages of development and eventually arrive at some ultimate universal state.) Only societies similar in their state of hierarchical development possess similar legal and ethical codes, at least in the realm of human rights.
Bans imposed by the collective will are sometimes illuminated with divine meaning, and subject transgressors to unconditional hierarchical demotion (on top of the punishment aimed at abolishing the evil will). At the same time, however, these bans are no more than suggestions as to how one should behave, combined with warnings of the ramifications of breaking the rules. Indeed, the maximum achievement of any strong will -- like a collective will -- in this regard is merely to obstruct an individual's will manifestation and impede the actualization of his or her right to do what is prohibited; it cannot take away that right. (One should keep in mind my earlier discussion on the meaning of "rights.") A literal application, therefore, of natural rights, would mean that a person has the right to commit any criminal act and bear the responsibility for it. No code of positive law guarantees or acknowledges this right. (In some cases, the right to shoulder the responsibility is crucial and must be defended, for instance in the Soviet Union where one may be held not subject to criminal prosecution -- but still subject to lengthy imprisonment in the form of institutionalization --on the basis of dubious findings of insanity).
It is well known that "noble" ideals can lead to crime as well: mercy killing, for instance, such as killing the terminally ill to save them from suffering, or killing deformed infants perceived as inevitable victims of great suffering. Such phenomena will always breed controversy, and I doubt whether the collective will can ever resolve these issues unequivocally. But any person has the right to "sin", to perform a non-trivial and benevolent deed, from compassion or perhaps some other motive, and be prepared to answer for it. The same considerations apply to acts devoid of any benevolent intentions, but involving the fulfillment of some automatism contrary to the dictate of the collective will.
Also keep in mind that, to date, prohibitions imposed by the collective will reflect the ethical norms of those hierarchies that are most strongly represented in a given society. Usurpation of the collective will might lead to the curtailment of the cognitive automatism, especially if the usurpers represent hierarchies resembling primal sole will hierarchies that fear free expression of the cognitive automatism due to the principle of maximum valuation of an unknown will. There are many such examples: the historical Index Of Banned Books of the Catholic Church, book burning in Germany, the limitations on exchange of information in Russia, and so on. Also, legal bias against minorities resulting from the influence of the traditions of dominant hierarchies is common.
In their totality, legal norms can be viewed as a system of minimum requirements designed to accommodate human automatisms. This perspective on legal aims may be helpful in judging the laws of society. For instance, in some countries a thief might be spared punishment if extreme need can be shown, i.e., maintaining a minimum level of homeostasis is deemed very important. Another example regards the enforcement of equality in the distribution of mates, in the form of a ban on polygamy, which may be seen as an attempt to guarantee the existence of a mate for everyone. (At present, when laws are evaluated with an eye to protection of human rights, a ban on polygamy or polyandry is, in my view at least, a violation of the right of association.) Among other things, every human being is guaranteed a certain minimum of will surrogates (such as the proscriptions found in some countries against abandonment of helpless persons, guaranteed assistance for the sick, etc.) Developed countries enforce a certain minimum of the informational surrogate by obligating parents to see that their children are educated, to a certain degree.
Compensation For Will Damage
Violation of the principle of equivalence of will exchange provokes competition. The collective will might step in, and the offense is considered rectified if the state existing prior to the violation is reinstated, whether the compensation is real or illusory.
Real reinstatement of the prior situation entails exacting from the offender the profit he has gained by breaching the principle of equivalence, and returning the profit to the injured party. (This includes all the diverse conditions and rules dealing with the repayment of debts, compensation for material damage, getting reimbursed for work or information, and so on.) Generally speaking, such civil/ legal sanctions do indeed restore the status of the parties involved in the exchange to what they were prior to the violation. It seems that only the will expenditures of having to deal with the collective will are often not reimbursed; this may be unfair but the social benefits are apparent, since people are reluctant to bother the courts with every trifling matter.
Illusory restoration of the parties' prior status is attempted when the provision of real compensation is beyond the power of the collective will. In these circumstances it can attempt only to keep the offender from reaping the benefits of the violation, possibly by re-establishing the prior relative reserves of total will of the offender and the victim. That is, illusory reinstatment of the status quo is aimed at restoring the relative hierarchical situation as between the offender and the victim only, regardless of the fact that the victim could lose in his hierarchical position relative to others. The talion principle found in certain bodies of ancient law is one such device. See, for example, the Code Of Hammurabi, 196, 200 (citation to Russian edition). To illustrate: literal application of the maxim "an eye for an eye" would result in the offender being burdened with a disability equal to that he inflicted. The victim, however, is still lower in capacity (and therefore presumably in hierarchical position) in regard to people except the offender than he was before, but this is beyond the power of the collective will to rectify. The offender, however, has been lowered hierarchically in the same manner in which he brought about the lowered position of the victim. Naturally, this principle was applied when the offender and the victim were close in hierarchical rank.
Otherwise, the working assumption in rectifying the will status of the parties involved was that minor injury to the hierarchically superior party compels the infliction of greater harm on the offender. For instance, a slave who has uttered a rude word to his master (in a sense inflicting injury to the master's ear) was subject to having his own ear chopped off (Code Of Hammurabi 282). I would like to emphasize the compensatory (albeit illusory) nature of this action of the collective will, which is in sharp contradistinction to punishment, originally meant to destroy the local evil will of the offender. (Example: cutting off the tongue of an offender who used profanity. Hammurabi 282.)
Practices of illusory compensation evolved along well-known lines. Initially, talion was replaced with material compensation. Subsequently this method was practically abandoned: only punishment -- elimination of the evil will -- could make up for irreversible will damage. With punishment of the offender, the injured party is proferred no illusion of compensation (discounting the possibility of a civil lawsuit along with a criminal trial). The transgressor himself is punished, rather than some local will of his -- although mutilation, which is rooted in punishing the guilty local will, persisted for quite some time. This transformation from punishing a guilty member of a person's body to punishing the person himself certainly reflects the growing role of conscious will, and its domination over local wills (I discussed this point earlier, in the section on primitive consciousness).
In ancient times, it was the family unit that was recognized as a "person" before the law, more than any individual. This was reflected in the legal defense of the principle of equivalence. That is, the relative hierarchical position of the victim's and offender's families, not the victim and offenders themselves, was restored. The populace held similar views (witness the tradition of vendetta). Therefore, the due compensation was often paid to the family or by the family (such as payment to make up for a murder, or for kidnapping a woman). Illusory compensation based on the family's collective responsibility is also known as, for example, killing the daughter of the offender as a compensation to the injured party (Code Of Hammurabi 209-10).
Destruction Of Evil Will
One may try to imagine the attitude of our remote ancestors toward brazen and persistent transgressors of the dictates of the collective will, before they learned how to kill their own kind for the purpose of punishing violators. Undoubtedly, individuals who failed to abide by the canons of their respective hierarchical group were, and still are, punished by hierarchical demotion. However, it is wishful thinking to conclude that these measures had the desired edifying effect on everybody. Obviously, hierarchical demotion was not always a sufficient deterrent. Presumably, persistent and flagrant delinquents were expelled from the herd in order to rid the community of a will that was evil -- evil in that consistent violation of the principle of equivalence of will exchange to the offender's own advantage was considered an evil deed.
Unlike compensation, punishment always involves some form of banishment of the evil will (but not necessarily the banishment or the execution of the bearer of the evil will) from society. Often it has been deemed possible to destroy the evil will existing in a person without killing the person himself: cleaving off the part of the his body that, owing to the principle of locality of will, was believed to house the evil will. (Examples include chopping off the hands of an unsuccessful surgeon, of a son who has raised his hand against his father, or of a thief; and cutting off one's tongue for uttering forbidden words. (Code Of Hammurabi 196, 218, 253.) The same idea underlay castration of certain evil-doers. In cases in which the hypothetical evil will was thought to be fused with the individual, its extirpation was accomplished through religious rites (excorsism of the devil, etc.).
People observed over time that, often, delinquency was a temporary condition that eventually ended simply in the self-destruction of the evil will. This idea suggested such forms of punishment as exile for an unspecified period of time, or isolation. The latter was often administered in conjunction with other steps aimed at training the conscious will of the offender: corporal punishment, and labor so exhausting that the will necessarily expended to perform the work could be realized only through considerable exertion (and thus training) of the person's conscious will directed toward suppression of the automatism of rest. Starving or otherwise depriving a person pursued the same basic objective.
Initiative on the part of the agents -- including usurpers -- of the collective will to devise more effective methods to combat "evil will" in people is not the only reason that methods of punishment have evolved. Other reasons for changes in punishments were desires for their own automatism fulfillment (such as killing) on the part of sovereigns and executioners, and a perceived deterrence affect on the public as a result of the particular punishment of a given offender. In some countries this form of art reached unsurpassed peaks of sophistication, and executions turned into much-awaited public spectacles, potent in arousing automatisms (as of fear, for instance).
As a rule, hierarchical demotion was administered in addition to the specified punishment, at least in hierarchies in which judgement depended on the collective will of the community or its usurpers. (This is unlike the hierarchy of delinquents, in which endured suffering elevates one in the hiererarchy, except when the offender is punished within the delinquents' hierarchy itself.) Rather elaborate and diverse ways of demonstrating another's hierarchical degradation are still administered today. Some mechanisms are hierarchy-specific (stripping one of medals or titles, confiscating one's property, etc.). Other mechanisms pertain to general hierarchical values (unclothing in public, all kinds of public punishment, being confined to a filthy space, etc.). Some countries still subject people to humiliation, although it may not be explicitly incorporated in the sentence but rather justified on the grounds of the prison regime: subordination to people from lower hierarchical strata (from which jailers are usually drawn), humiliating strip searches, and so on. Human ingenuity in this realm knows no bounds.
Having a criminal history has always been fraught with hierarchical ramifications. Since antiquity known criminals have been mistrusted, and frequently were prevented from rising in certain hierarchies (possibly through stigmatization, legal prohibition, or simply the inability to find work).
When punishment is administered, an individual is relegated to such a low hierarchical status that he is sometimes deprived of the most basic rights, such as the right to seek freedom. The absurdity of punishing someone who is sentenced to die for an attempt to flee is patent; but punishing someone sentenced to a term in jail for trying to escape is different. Like any other form of punishment, imprisonment is enforced coercively, against the will of the punished one. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the punished person will strive to alleviate his discomfort by any means whatsoever (good behavior, bribes, escape, killing the guards). Just like any other person, the offender must bear the responsibility for committing a new crime other than escape itself. But imposing criminal liability on a prisoner only for trying to escape contradicts the notion of coercive punishment. If an escape is made successfully and therefore constitutes a violation of the sentence imposed by a collective will, responsibility for that violation should be shouldered only by those entrusted with guarding the prisoner, since an escape is a failure on their part. (It is different in cases of "honorable" punishment, in which the punished person enjoys the trust of the authorities and his sentence appeals to his honor and implies a certain cooperation on his part, such as drinking a cup of poison or living in exile.) Punishing an imprisoned person for an attempt to escape evidences the desire of the authorities to have the offender cooperate in his own punishment.
Over the centuries of development of criminal law, the concept of punishment of local will and, later, of evil will of the offender was replaced by the concept of punishment of the conscious will, in the hope that the conscious will would direct the offender to rehabilitate and be good. Ironically, in an offender there is not always enough conscious will to recognize the goal of the punishment and direct the offender to good behaviour. Very often punishment plays the role of distracting an evil will in the old way, without too much participation of the conscious will. A natural question arises: in cases when the conscious will is not strong enough to be an ally of those who punish an offender (I believe such cases are numerous), should society use the ancient ways of punishing evil will, in hopes that it will become less evil or even good? Should the human law of civilized countries accept the position that criminal punishment is done not with the goal of rehabilitating the offender, but with the goal of isolating the offender in order to defend society? Here is why this idea sounds attractive.
Punishment for the sake of social defense does not assume that we have absolute, true knowledge of how the offender should behave. We simply exercise our right of the strong (meaning strong collective will) to deprive the offender of the opportunity to do future harm to society. Punishment aimed at changing the offender, at destroying his evil will, however, does assume that we know more than we do. To be exact, it assumes that we know he shouldn't kill, steal, or engage in other criminal acts. How do we know this? If these prohibitions are merely what we consider undesirable, they are not necessarily absolute and universal truths. They do not authorize us to play God by altering those creatures who do not accept our rules. In other words, we should be modest in our self-defense. We can defend ourselves, but not by proclaiming that we know, better than the individuals involved, the true destiny of those who consider their true destiny to be harming us.
This is a very deep philosophical question, connected with the whole history of humanity. The fact that humanity chooses to forbid certain behavior as criminal doesn't mean that we have any justification for this prohibition loftier than our own interests, and other than our strength and our consequent ability to suppress such behavior in people. The concept of rehabilitation of criminals goes much further, however. We are saying we know what kind of person the offender should be, and we will use force to mold him into a shape we prefer. In the course of human history, there have been many sculptors who tried to mold people one way or another. Viewing these sculptors from the level of civilization we have now achieved, we can conclude that in many cases they were wrong; they were trying to play God, and twist people into preferred shapes. Most of the time we oppose those who would mold people so; and yet we do the very same thing ourselves, in accepting the concept of rehabilitation of criminals. Of course, regardless of the concept of punishment we choose, punishment will play both the ancient role of distraction of an evil will and the more modern role of assisting the punishers in directing the conscious will of the offender.
Procedure For Enforcing
the Equivalence Principle
People recognized long ago that the judge of a will situation is himself part of the situation, making his judgment contingent on his own will status, his hierarchical interest, and other goals. Therefore, enforcement by the collective will of the principle of equivalence naturally came to include entrusting the decision to less-interested parties. Elders were often picked for the task because many of their automatisms have become less active with age, they are not as involved in competition, and they possess plenty of informational surrogate which is helpful in checking whether the collective will is consistent in its judgements. Those elders who had demonstrated hierarchical success were especially favored for this judge-like role. (Such success is apparently considered an important qualification, due to the presumption of honesty of the hierarchically strong.) The traits of impartiality and honesty in those who are called upon to judge on behalf of the collective will are still as important today.
In ancient and medievil procedural systems, any strong (and therefore presumably honest) and disinterested will was frequently deemed fit for judging (for instance, ordeals by fire or water).
Those who are mighty in the hierarchy are believed to fulfill both prerequisites, truthfulness and impartiality, at least in judging someone hierarchically inferior. The same holds true for societies with a sole will hierarchy. The splintering of the primal hierarchy, however, provoked inter-hierarchical competition. As a result, the strongest one in the hierarchy could no longer be considered impartial if the conflict involved more than one hierarchy. This factor illustrated the need to separate the judicial power from other branches of power, and led to the institution of a separate judicial hierarchy.
I want to note that the search for hierarchically-strong and impartial judges was initially based on instinctive trust and reverence for a strong will, and not on some explicitly-formulated principles of the judicial process. Children, for instance, frequently enlist the help of an adult as a judge to settle their disputes (if the adult is believed to be impartial). Later, when these feelings no longer sufficed to ensure trust in the non-partisanship of the judge, certain explicit qualifications were imposed upon the conduct and selection of judges. One of the requirements was a thorough investigation of the case at hand (for instance, the right of all the concerned parties to summon witnesses). Notwithstanding all these regulations, however, the judicial process was based on trust in the court system.
Even while the one primary hierarchy was splintering into many, power was usurped by certain hierarchies and the court assumed an active part in the hierarchical struggle. As a result people might have lost faith in the impartiality of the court but not in its truthfulness, especially if they had never confronted the justice of such a court system. The reason for this blind faith is that the presumption of truthfulness of a strong will (and the presumption of truthfulness of the authorities) is biologically-motivated behavior. In other words, our cognitive automatism is satisfied with what is conveyed by a strong will; this is a natural response in encountering a strong will.
Gradually, over many centuries of inter-hierarchical struggle, in particular the struggle for legal guarantees, certain judicial canons were introduced whose mere existence attests to the rejection of a blind faith in the court system. Among them are the requirements of a public trial and the observance of many legal procedures. These principles are designed to prevent unjust judicial practices; to this day intentional injustice usually includes measures to seal court proceedings from that segment of the public that is sceptical of the truthfulness of the authorities. Other measures designed to ensure some degree of impartiality and autonomy in the court system have been introduced. These principles are all the more essential in view of our sad but extensive experience of the consistent abuse of the courts in inter-hierarchical struggles. Efficient and stringent enforcement of the requirements of publicness and independence certainly depends on the current hierarchical state of the society in question. It seems that, even if formally assimilated by a society resembling the primal sole will hierarchy, these principles are of little worth if the public continues to cling to a blind biological faith in the authorities (judging by my study of the Soviet court system prior to recent reforms).
Stabilization Of Hierarchies
At one time, being the strongest in a community was sufficient to act as the agent of the collective will, which purported to accommodate community members in fulfilling their automatisms and thus strengthen the collective viability of the community and augment its total will. In other words, since the automatism of hierarchical growth of the strongest member could only be satisfied by increasing the total will of the community, an important element of which is success in confrontations with other communities, the goals of the strongest largely coincided with the goals of the collective will. As the expressor of the collective will, the strongest was obligated to enforce (or provide effective supervision of) compliance with the principle of equivalence of will exchange.
Selection of the expressor of the collective will in the primal sole will hierarchy was simple: the topmost member of the hierarchy. The splintering of the primal hierarchy and its subsequent inter-hierarchical competition has made it more complex to choose the representative of the collective will. In fact, the right to act on behalf of the collective will is socio-biologically linked with primacy in the illusory primal sole will hierarchy, in spite of the existence of many other hierarchies in society.
It seems that a reasonable and impartial method of choosing a ruler would be to select the individual who has acquired the most volitional surrogate. This would be analagous, socio-biologically, to the head of a primary sole will hierarchy. It further appears that people understand this. The struggle for power has always centered around the possession of volitional surrogate. History reveals that contenders for power are rather proficient in amassing volitional surrogate, frequently violating the principle of equivalence of will exchange in the process, such as by killing their opponents, forcing people to support them, and so on. It so happens that representatives of the collective will are responsible for seeing that the principle of equivalence is adhered to. Not uncommonly, though, they themselves are the transgressors, and as such they should be regarded as usurpers of the collective will.
Violation of the equivalence principle is a popular method in hierarchical struggle, in enforcing the principle of economy of will expenditure, and in trying to avoid will losses. (Such violations are often committed in order to maintain an already-achieved hierarchical status.) Each person wants those below to stay where they are, and not to challenge his superior hierarchical status. Hierarchically-successful individuals are especially concerned with safeguarding their achievements. The more attractive the usurpation of hierarchical power in a given society (meaning advancement resulting from the breach of the equivalence principle), the more worried they are.
This anxiety over one's security has given rise to a huge number of preventive measures throughout history, designed to ensure hierarchical stability. The rules of stabilization are amply represented in the legal code and in the ethics of various hierarchies (for example, castes in India, hereditary class distinctions in Europe, discriminatory measures against national minorities, etc.). In many cases these measures stipulate the conditions in which the principle of equivalence of will exchange (and justice) may be violated, depending on certain specific attributes of the parties involved in the exchange. Norms nowadays rejected by international law as discriminatory are but a drop in the sea of measures of stabilization so widespread in the past.
Yet not all stabilizing measures are objectionable from the standpoint of the equivalence of exchange.63 As examples, consider the right to retain the title of a professor once the title is conferred, or the rights of proprietorship. The lawfulness of other methods of stabilization is more controversial, which is not to say that they were immediately rejected outright. Take inheritance laws, for instance. They breed inequality in terms of exchange with previous generations, and we know of an attempt to do away with inheritance rights in post-revolutionary Russia.
In all probability, measures aimed at promoting hierarchical stability will never be totally rejected. But it seems many such measures (privileges of the upper classes, and so on) are being preserved not at the level of the legal code.
Authority Of Leaders
In the struggle for primacy in the hierarchy, for the amassment of will surrogate, power contenders skilfully and rather unceremoniously (especially in societies resembling the primal sole will hierarchy) manipulate the various biological motives of human behavior. In societies not greatly distanced from the primal sole will hierarchy, biological motives of behavior in regard to a leader are submission, trust (the presumption of honesty of a strong will), and a desire to arouse an automatism of cooperation and kindness for the purpose of gaining hierarchical promotion. Considerations relevant for societies at close hierarchical proximity to the primal sole will hierarchy hold true, for the most part, for societies with an elaborate poly-hierarchical structure as well, since vestiges of biologically-predicated motives of social behavior surface in the latter also. Naturally, the intensity of their manifestation depends on one's hierarchical status and the overall culture.
As to societies which still hold the values of the primal sole will hierarchy in high esteem, the process of splintering of the primal sole will hierarchy is hard to accelerate, and the hierarchical growth of such a society requires many generations, no matter how ardently the proponents of freedom for these societies try to borrow from the lessons of kindness and reason of their more civilized neighbors. In this type of society the agents (usually the usurpers) of the collective will enjoy much authority by inciting the rather strongly-pronounced instinct of submission in the populace. Moreover, the usurpers (an individual, a group, a party, a religious organization, etc.) engage in consistent violation of the principle of equivalence of will exchange, employing whatever means necessary to generate submission, either to themselves or to the representatives of their authority. Societies having this form of government are currently called autocratic, monarchical, totalitarian, etc. It is not clear, however, whether the regime that we regard as counter to human nature is really alien for the majority of the population there.
In our day and age, almost any society possesses some form of poly-hierarchical organization and inter-hierarchical competition. As a result, the usurpers resort to subordination and, in fact, they try to inculcate submission into the public mind. The claim of those in power upon the love and loyalty of the people to them -- and not only to them, but also to the state, to the regime and often to the country's natural beauty -- attests to the strong emphasis of the authorities upon purely biological motives of behavior, including submissiveness. Specifically, I have in mind the propagation of patriotism induced by those in power under every guise imaginable (nationalism, love for one's hearth, hatred of other nations and incomprehensible ideas).
It is a matter of complete indifference to me whether such rulers understand that they are using purely biological motives of submission, or whether they simply follow the example of predecessors or their own biological instincts of leadership. Somehow, notwithstanding a lack of firm proof, I have a strong feeling that Stalin was a highly-accomplished socio-biologist. No matter how primitive his ability to express theoretically his knowledge of the biological nature of human behavior, he used this knowledge in a very sophisticated manner. In choosing which scientific theory to support he was definitely on the side of Pavlov, seeing in the theory of conditional reflexes a source for useful practical applications on people. He also chose to support Lamarkism in its most vulgar form, as presented by Lysenko. Apparently, the belief was that it is possible, through certain conditions of life and suppression, to promote stronger submissive tendencies in future generations. Of course, Stalin's belief in Lamarkism wasn't decisive. He did rely on artificial selection of the human breed by eliminating millions of bright and self-reliant people from the population of his slaves.
The authorities also play on will frustration by channeling hierarchical aspirations and volitional relief. This is illustrated by their obstruction of free will manifestation, and the imposition of certain permitted outlets of volitional relief in line with the dictate of the authorities (such as promoting enthusiasm for collective work and official celebrations and marches; relieving public frustration by exciting collective hatred for certain scapegoats like Jews, foreign spies and enemies, and so on). Often the authorities curb freedom of sexual expression (for instance, through hypocritical moral propaganda). Sermons on the desirability of freedom are likely to fall on deaf ears in a totalitarian society if one appeals to the cognitive automatism, already fulfilled by the authorities due to the presumption of honesty of a strong will. Ideas of freedom will fall upon more fertile soil if they actually help people alleviate will frustration and provide outlets for free volitional relief.
Authorities who exploit these biological motives of human behavior, as in societies with a structure similar to a sole will hierarchy, typically strive to fortify this sole hierarchy by enacting measures designed to impede hierarchical splintering in society, and they also endeavor to break up those poly-hierarchical structures instituted in the past. Such measures include appeals to unity and consolidation, and the suppression of hierarchies which do not fit the prefabricated hierarchical mold. As a result, various legal dictates (including discrimination based on hierarchical attributes) are sometimes repealed, and sometimes revived, in order to secure or restructure the existing hierarchical system. The student of Soviet history can find many examples of government-imposed class-discriminative measures, and of the struggle against attempts in society to create a poly-hierarchical structure.
In concluding these rather sporadic notes of the interconnection between law and the legacy of herd practices, I want to stress the pertinence of this topic. The human race has made great strides in the realm of cultural law, but the complexity and elegance of these constructs should not eclipse the foundation of the edifice. I believe that accounting for those origins of law that are propagated by our innate programs of behavior, which governed the interactions among our ancestors, will give us a better historical perspective on the evolution of legal systems, and could be helpful in identifying or constructing more reasonable avenues for the future development of law.
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THE INDIVIDUALIZATION OF THE PERSON
It is difficult to imagine to what extent our ancient ancestors perceived their individuality and their individual freedom. I believe there was a very high level of biologically- and socially-determined behavior, and a very high correlation between individuals and other members of the group. There is much evidence that individuals were not, as a rule, regarded as a subject before the law (to use a modern term), or as an element in the hierarchy. Primal sole will hierarchies were made up of elements not of individuals, but of families as represented by the head of the family, who possessed the volitional will surrogate of all that family's members. Families, more than individuals, were subjects before the law. We know of many social norms aimed at defining the intra-family status of individual family members: legal and ethical affirmation of the automatism of submission on the part of women and children to the head of the family hierarchy, disapproval of adultery, etc. These, however, functioned more to stabilize the family unit than to defend any particular individual. (I can go so far as to say that the attention paid by the law to the stability of the family can be viewed as proportional to the degree to which the family is a person before the law. In contemporary law, the family in general is not a person before the law, and the law cares less than previously about the stability of the family.)
In ancient times, the formation of a family represented personal hierarchical growth for those who managed to do it; for them, it was a path to increased individualization, since they themselves were now at the head of their own hierarchy, and did not have to conform so closely to the strictures of other hierarchies. Having a family and children is still regarded by many people to be highly conducive to hierarchical growth, especially in cultures resembling a primal sole will hierarchy. Among other hierarchical value judgments, it is customary to ask how many children one has, and whether one is married. The notion that one should have a family is prevalent in social ethics. All this attests to the fact that having a family affects one's hierarchical value; it is a way to fulfill the automatism of hierarchical growth.
It seems that freedom and the level of individualization grow with one's improvements in hierarchical status.64 Stabilization of the family hierarchy was pursued to a different extent by different peoples. We know of rather stringent measures of hierarchical stabilization of families in the past. Over time, however, all peoples underwent splintering of the extended family. Most likely this was caused by competition, and by the desire on the part of the heads of smaller groups within the extended family for hierarchical growth.
Therefore, competition and withdrawal from the extended family with one's smaller nuclear family meant broader rights in society for the head of the nuclear family. Of course, protection by the extended family's collective will was important, so leaving it at one's own discretion was not easy. But the automatism of will augmentation helped channel social evolution in the direction of greater individualization, and eventually the collective will extended its direct protection to individual persons (in recent times to women and, to a certain extent, to children).65
Along with such hierarchical emancipation from family dependence, there is a noticeable tendency in many countries for society to devote less attention to hierarchical requirements within a family. As to children, training their automatism of competition via family conflicts, overcoming entrenched obedience to adults, and questioning authority that is based only on the presumption of truthfulness of a strong will, are all important steps to their individualization and future hierarchical growth. Children also interact with hierarchies outside the family, such as in school or other groups. This helps children recognize that they can choose a hierarchy at their own discretion, without limiting themselves to the traditionally-prescribed family hierarchy. It makes no sense, after all, to stick to the values endorsed by the family hierarchy if the child's position in that hierarchy is low, which breeds discontent and a sense of humiliation. This is especially true if the peer group in school, a gang of delinquents, a sports team or another group provides the child with an opportunity to participate in other hierarchies in which the youngster's generally strongly-aroused automatism of competition receives gratification.66 This drives human beings to strive for greater freedom of choice of hierarchies. Ultimately, it helps form a poly-hierarchical structure in society.
Freedom is largely a function of the number of factors determining one's behavior. In this sense, a person having an opportunity to choose from and participate in more hierarchies, is relatively more free. It is hard to pinpoint which is the cause and which is the effect: whether the hierarchical splintering arises from the desire for freedom, or whether the acquisition of freedom leads to the splintering of hierarchies. What is important is that the basis for the individualization of humans (i.e., attaining greater freedom and reducing the correlation between one's behavior and the behavior of community members) is the automatism of will augmentation in all its diverse manifestations: hierarchical growth, economizing on will expenditures, the desire to make more accurate evaluations of the will of others, development of the cognitive automatism, etc.
Democracy is a tentative term for the type of rule that allows for largely-unchecked competition among hierarchies, and the freedom to create new ones. Naturally, this characteristic does not exhaust all the features of democracy. It is more pertinent, however, than the commonly-held notion of democracy as the rule of the people. Certain aspects of the democratic process really do allow citizens to express their views, possibly having some impact on the decision-making process. But by and large, society is ruled by professionals and individuals who have managed to amass a substantial amount of volitional surrogate. All the known functioning democracies are elitist democracies. To claim that the people rule the land is really to pay tribute to tradition or political mythology.
The term "the rule of the people" does indeed make sense, however. In fact, it is more profound than is implied in speaking of people merely as governing the affairs of state. The rule of the people in democratic societies is manifested more in people enjoying greater autonomy in managing their own affairs without -- or at least with strictly-limited -- government interference. This implies freedom of intra-hierarchical struggle and struggle between already-existing hierarchies, as well as the freedom to form new hierarchies, possibly based on new distinguishing characteristics. In political language, this structure is expressed as freedom of enterprise with a relatively free market -- not only in goods but also in information, services and emotional exchanges -- generally speaking, of all values discoverable or producible by humans. This would also include the freedom to assemble.67
Attaining freedom of inter-hierarchical competition in the struggle against the dictates of the primal hierarchy and the usurpers of the collective or expressors of the collective will was a painful process. In fact, hierarchical splintering and restructuring is a continuous process. In general, freedom of hierarchical competition and hierarchical splintering is increasing (including personal freedom to choose or reject a hierarchy). To follow the course of freedom, society had to develop considerable mistrust for authority as such, and to introduce numerous guarantees to prevent the usurpation of power by individual hierarchies. One important class of guarantees includes measures against state intervention in hierarchical relations, elimination of privileges and discrimination, and gradual eradication from the legal code of standards dictated by the ethics of individual hierarchies. Over the course of the last few centuries the legal code of western countries has gotten rid of many laws, including discriminatory laws, intended to promote hierarchical stability; many norms based on ethical maxims of questionable universal merit and norms that reinforce human automatisms were also abolished. Thus, in order to develop a democratic, poly-hierarchical structure, society had to rid itself of much of evolution's legacy to the law, discussed in the previous chapter.
The fact that democracy triumphed in some countries only after a prolonged struggle against the usurpers of the collective will, or against the dictates of the primal sole will hierarchy, inspires the champions of freedom to fight for democracy in countries that have not progressed very far from the primal hierarchy. Nevertheless, it seems that the struggle for, and the propaganda of, the rule of the people is inadequate in societies that cherish the values of the primal sole will hierarchy, and lack a poly-hierarchical structure.
In reality, a struggle for democracy is often equated with revolt by the lower classes. It is often perceived as what I have termed the revenge of the strong who, owing to their strict segregation from the upper and middle layers of the hierarchy, have been relegated to a rather sorry state because the upper classes, having usurped power, engage in consistent violation of the principle of equivalence of will exchange. We know that the revolt of the masses, especially a victorious one followed by consolidation of power by new usurpers, is a national tragedy. Of course we have to concede that people who, because of the usurpation of the collective will, have been relegated to the destitute bottom layers of the hierarchies, have a natural right to try and reshape the prevailing hierarchical structure -- although the process might involve violation of the norms of positive law.68
Hierarchical reorganization resulting from the revolt of the lower strata usually awards power to those who had not formerly belonged to the upper strata. Having secured their authority, they begin to rule using methods (including lying) characteristic of the hierarchically weak. The more the new leaders resort to lies, the more they count on the presumption of truthfulness of a strong will holding up. Such regimes typically suffer from a frustrated automatism of will augmentation. Symptomatic in this respect is the self-glorification of the leaders, sometimes so blunt and undisguised that the public gets tired of it before those who actually indulge in such self-glorification do.
The revolt of the lower strata followed by the usurpation of the collective will is not the only course of struggle under the banner of democracy in societies resembling primal sole will hierarchies. Such struggle can be orchestrated by the upper or middle strata, and it might never come to the revenge of the strong. But if a given society lacks an elaborate poly-hierarchical structure and does not even aspire to it, then attempts to institute a democratic regime (as understood in countries possessing a developed poly-hierarchical structure) are doomed to fail. On the surface, the established regime may incorporate many features characteristic of democracy, but it continues to function as a dictatorship of those who are technically or actually elected by the people. Some notable features of such pseudo-democracies are pervasive corruption of all kinds, enforcement of legal stabilization of the existing hierarchies, and lack of genuine observance of human rights.
Corruption is a multi-faceted phenomenon. One essential feature of any corruption, however, is the disarrangement of hierarchical values, which often flows from attempts to establish a single hierarchy in society. Let me give an illustration. Suppose there are three hierarchical attributes most admired in a given society: political power, or the amount of volitional surrogate; wealth, or the amount of material surrogate; and knowledge, or the amount of informational surrogate. These categories are very typical, but corruption in other hierarchies would demonstrate the same point. The three hierarchies based upon the above criteria can coexist peacefully, and their mutual non-intervention in each other's internal affairs would attest to the rather elaborate poly-hierarchical structure of that society (even if the freedom to form new hierarchies at will is not granted). It may so happen that the political hierarchy aspires to become the chief hierarchy. In other words, it might want to engage in inter-hierarchical struggle. Under favorable conditions it has a good chance to succeed, especially if the traditions of a sole will hierarchy are strong in that society. Wealth and knowledge (i.e., scholarship, political information, education, and so on), would fall under the control of the political power, which has thus created a society resembling a single hierarchy. Such a system is properly described by the term "politically corrupt."
We have many examples in our own time of the political hierarchy in many so-called socialist and developing countries establishing control over the economy and culture. The rulers typically say that this is done to assure the rule of the people. The obvious view would be that this is a lie, and that in actuality it is done to assure the rule of the usurpers; but it's not that simple. From my discussion it seems clear that it is also done in the interests of that lesser-cultured portion of the population whose level of social evolution is close to a state of primal sole will hierarchy, who would easily get lost in a society with a poly-hierarchical structure and who therefore serve as a power base for those usurpers who engage in the political corruption of the system.
Another possibility is that the hierarchy of the rich may come out on top in the inter-hierarchical struggle, and subordinate the political power (and information hierarchy, if necessary), thus also creating a system resembling a single hierarchy. Such a system can be said to be corrupted by material values. This and political corruption are most pertinent to real life. They engender mutual corruption of the values of different hierarchies, and are accompanied by attempts to revert back to a single hierarchy. Such pseudo-democratic regimes are not unusual and, though they might differ in specifics, I believe their general features have now become clear.
Democracy proper typically incorporates a meticulous separation of values of the political hierarchy and values of other hierarchies. This aspect of democracy is crucial, although individual persons or groups do try to corrupt the system. The underlying idea of a modern-day democratic system is to separate the political hierarchy and to place it in an environment where it cannot intervene -- or at least is prohibited from intervening -- in the internal relations of other hierarchies in a prejudiced manner. The converse also applies: the political hierarchy must be independent of other hierarchies. In the United States, for example, there are prohibitions not only against government interference in academic life, but also against government propaganda inside the country. The use of government power for the personal enrichment of government officials is, as a rule, forbidden by law.
This scheme entails the notion that representatives of the collective will must abstain from hierarchical struggle in society. This is an unattainable ideal: the agents of the collective will are only human. Moreover, they are active and have a propensity for competition. The great accomplishment of democratic societies is that they have managed to find a compromise. Representatives of the collective will are allowed to engage in competition and enjoy their success, but only in a certain hierarchy, thereby avoiding the confusion of values of different hierarchies. (Parallel competition in different hierarchies might be allowed; but a political figure who pounces on such an opportunity exposes himself to harsh criticism, and he might be suspected of having a conflict of interests). In conjunction with measures designed to isolate the political hierarchy, the principle of the splitting of that hierarchy itself was also introduced. This principle commonly manifests itself in separation between the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches of power.
Of course, this successful compromise between the real and the ideal is not the only triumph of the founders of democracy. It was essential to have assurances that those entrusted with acting on behalf of the collective will, will in fact do so. It is precisely this complex of guarantees that is usually emphasized in speaking about a democracy. It stipulates how to elect the representatives, how to control or replace them, etc. Many ideas in this domain work quite well, but no practice deserves to be canonized. There is a multitude of plausible concrete forms of political structures, provided the principle of separation of the political hierarchy from other hierarchies is adhered to, and the society preserves its poly-hierarchical structure.
Myths About Progress
Success in increasing the amount of individualization since the times of a sole will hierarchy is noticeable. If one tries to dissect the term "progress of humanity" to see what it actually entails, one would have to regard the individualization of persons as an indispensable element of progress. Moreover, progress usually entails the accumulation in human societies of material and informational surrogates, as well as the reduction of the price of these surrogates. (Putting it bluntly, less will expenditure is required to produce the surrogate, thus economizing on will expenditures.) The processes of accumulation (the obtaining of wealth and information) and price reduction (relative ease in acquiring them) attract the most attention in trying to forecast the course of progress. Thus interpreted (i.e., oblivious of the process of the individualization of the person) progress, after the love for God or Caesar, serves as a fetish for human aspirations. The notion of progress hints at an answer to such human predicaments as wondering "why do we live." Not many people had the courage to accept the total absence of a reason to live in the "classical" sense of the word; that is, there is no externally-predicated purpose of life that people must stick to. As far as humanity is concerned, we observe a tendency to try and channel the course of its development. What is not apparent to everyone is that channeling the course of development is not a goal, but an inherent attribute of society. And certainly this goal has not been dictated to humans by nature. As trivial as all this sounds, the spiritual leaders of societies persist in making individual participation in progress an ethical imperative, and usurpers of the collective will enlist their own interpretation of progress as a goal to justify their usurpation of power, their breaches of the principle of equivalence of will exchange, and their limitations on human rights.
To some extent, aspiring toward progress saves the non-religious contingent of humanity from a despondent lack of ethical imperatives to guide it in selecting or understanding the purpose of life. It seems that people crave such ethical imperatives. The desire to have a universal goal reflects the characteristic of utility, which governs will manifestation. Moreover, humans derive satisfaction of hierarchical aspirations by believing that their actions are conducive to progress, or are appreciated by God. The need to possess a tangible universal purpose must constitute one of the biological motives of behavior. Perhaps at some future time this motive will sink into oblivion, but as long it is around and very much alive its abuse by worldly powers to dictate their will is a very real possibility. A word of consolation: fortunately, most people aspire to more personal and earthly goals associated with their career, family, or simply with volitional relief. Nonetheless, the need for a universal purpose in life affects hierarchical judgement, and in many societies it cuts into personal freedom, especially the freedom to choose a hierarchy.
Amassing surrogates of will over the course of a society's development promotes individual freedom, in that a greater number of wills subservient to a given person increases the size of the whole "pie," of which each person gets at least a tiny piece. This notion assumes that the principle of will determinism is active in motivating modern humans: everything that requires will expenditure is perceived by people (via the automoatism of evaluation) as a subdued will, or as a will that has engaged in a struggle. The importance ascribed by people to the accumulation and cost reduction of the surrogates as a basis for progress, stipulates new regulations to promote behavior that presumably is conducive to progress. Some societies entertain an idea that will expended on competition is unproductive and that therefore, in the name of progress, people should live in harmony and abide by arguments of reason in selecting tactics to be used to achieve quick success. Even from the tactical standpoint this maxim is questionable. More important, however, is that restrictions such as these lead to a mounting frustration of the automatism of competition. Prohibitions of this type were introduced in the name of progress by some social systems having a state monopoly in the economic realm (in the USSR, for instance), usually in conjunction with the curtailment of freedom of enterprise and its offshoot, freedom of competition.
People still cherish a hope that competition, presumably an economically-inefficient mode of aspiring toward progress, will die off in the bright and reason-ruled future. I believe that the element of competition will still be active in the future, but perhaps people will come up with ways to replace competition with other automatisms not inhibitive to intensive volitional relief. The fact that people living in economically-advanced countries crave more intense forms of volitional relief is evidenced by the development of popular culture in these countries, including greater sexual freedom. We can only hope that all this will help alleviate the frustration resulting from limitations on the opportunity to engage in direct will competition.
Another reason to limit competition is the fact that not everyone is successful in it. Harmful side effects resulting from being a loser are important. But let us not forget that preventing some from failing in competition, means preventing others from succeeding.
Generally speaking, life is very difficult for people. The great majority of humanity invests tremendous effort just to fulfill primary automatisms on a regular basis. But this does not bring them joy, because they become accustomed to it (a form of adaptation). And for many human desires there is insufficient will -- or will surrogates, or variety of arousing stimuli --to prevent one from becoming accustomed. Even a variety of stimuli is not always sufficient to save a person from adaptive boredom. Some desires cannot be fulfilled because of external limitations or one's ethical position. An oppressive frustration sets in; and it's something of an achievement even to ascertain the lack that is causing the frustration. Frequently our mechanism of sublimation is so potent that it greatly distorts the self-perception of one's own character. A minute's reflection on one's place in life will reveal that the "I" engages in the inexorable bustle of life, driven forth by internal or external motives of behavior, many of which are beyond the control of the conscious will.
There arises a desire which echoes the human aspiration toward freedom: the desire to intensify the effect of local joy and overall will relief and to shed the shackles of automaticity of behavior and dependence on external constraints. Yet gratification that awaits a person in the future is illusory, thanks to the following paradox. Being drawn toward happiness leads a person to aspire toward freedom; but attaining the chosen types of freedoms is not attaining happiness. Even freedom gained at the most basic level, that of overcoming the determinacy of behavior stemming from the fulfillment of automatisms, i.e., by suppressing automatisms via conscious will, leaves a person in a state of frustration due to the loss of local joy. Suppression of automatisms, this sweet devil in the human soul, may help a person to assert himself, or to elevate himself hierarchically in his own eyes, but it does not bring happiness. And any kind of freedom is perceived by an unhappy person as illusory, as a state bearing only technical affinity to real freedom.
Many people have chosen inner emancipation as their life's goal or the pivotal point of their teaching. The accomplishments of yogi in suppressing automatisms by conscious will are enviable in this respect. Still, their understanding of freedom does not have universal significance. Suppression of "animal" urges in humans for the sake of cultivating more noble desires, and the attainment of spiritual freedom, constitutes the essence of many religious and philosophical systems.
These ideas of higher freedom in the extreme form of noble desires did not find many disciples. Real-life followers are even fewer, for the payment for such freedom is great: everything one is driven to by his natural volitional urges, all his roots, all the pleasures of life. And all these things must be sacrificed on the altar of what is basically a hierarchical idea. Not too many people have such a highly-developed hierarchical instinct that it dominates all other ones so completely.
The idea of freedom is often linked in the mind with the idea of redemption or willingness to accept retribution. This fusion of suffering and freedom is reflected in the process of liberating oneself from the determinacy of response to a stimulus. Suppression of the aroused automatism by the conscious will implies freedom of choice of response, but it entails suffering since the aroused automatism is not fulfilled. Determinacy of behavior is perceived as a doom surmountable only by redemption. Freedom and redeeming suffering belong to the most noble of human ideals, and the image of Christ carrying his cross provides inspiration to many. Freedom and suffering are fused in this image, because the road leading to Golgotha symbolizes one's willingness to suffer, which may be seen as the highest attainable form of liberating one's behavior from being determined, and therefore the greatest freedom (unlike freedom to search for ways to alleviate suffering, which is in itself predetermined).
In speaking of retribution and redemption in connection with the idea of freedom, I distinguish two ways of attaining freedom (the difference is sometimes very subtle), depending on whether the principle of equivalence of exchange is violated in the act of liberation in favor of the liberated one. Freedom gained by violating the equivalence of exchange, which freedom is therefore connected with the expectation of retribution, is trivial and learned from experience, such as by stealing bread to eat and then awaiting retribution. This does not constitute a philosophical problem. For those who seek liberation without violating the principle of equivalence of exchange, however -- that is, those who want to attain freedom without infringing upon the freedom or interests of others -- the idea of redemption follows from an illusory reenactment of the equivalence principle, and lends credibility to the hypothesis that overcoming non-freedom is akin to retribution for past transgressions (what else is suffering for?). Interaction with divine forces, with destiny, is assumed to abide by the principle of equivalency, and is nothing other than faith in divine justice.
A person searching for freedom soon discovers he is trapped in a vicious circle, for the attainment of freedom leads to suffering and the alleviation of suffering leads to a loss of freedom (since the alleviation of suffering is biologically programmed). Right off, we have to speak of limited freedom; but even within this limited scope the search for ways of optimal liberation is not so simple, since the program of personal liberation might bring about nothing but another kind of enslavement, as is the case with many ethical religions and philosophies.
In my discourse on conscious will, I noted that calling for maximal suppression of automatisms does not liberate the individual. It merely leads to another kind of non-freedom: traditional suppression of many automatisms in the name of one automatism, that of hierarchical growth, because freedom is strongly connected with the impression of hierarchical success. Intermediate levels of suppression are quite feasible. In judging the scope of attained freedom, however, one should bear in mind that an increase in the number of behavior-determining factors does not generally get rid of determinism. It merely complicates the set of causal relations that really just connotes relative or illusory freedom. But one should not expect more.
To avoid enslavement brought about by the program of conscious automatism suppression, it is important to learn to turn off one's conscious will to prevent its intervention. In other words, one should be able not only to suppress but also to refrain from suppressing automatisms. There is no paradox here. In contemporary civilized society an individual is subject to extensive control by his conscious will, and the skill to let automatic behavior loose would not only intensify local enjoyment but also provide greater freedom of behavior. Actually, the ability of an average person to control his various automatisms is not this developed. Therefore, the program of liberation must also train the person in automatism suppression. Generally speaking, the level of automatism suppression required in hierarchies for educational purposes does not even approach the level which could be regarded as significant in attaining freedom. Moreover, society usually advocates suppression of certain automatisms, rather than training one's ability to suppress automatisms in general. I shall skip over the techniques of training, since they are easy to devise and are largely known.
It is harder to learn to turn off conscious will when it consistently intrudes (accommodates or controls) in the process of automatism fulfillment. Nonetheless, this is precisely the skill which confers real freedom of choice between illusory freedom and non-freedom.
An important source of determinacy of behavior is the participation of the individual in the hierarchical struggle, his concern with hierarchical advancement, and the ensuing biological regulators of behavior: ambitiousness, vulnerability, shyness, shame, reaction to a strong will, a constantly-aroused automatism of evaluation, and many others. External causes of non-freedom include the ethical norms of a given hierarchy, obstacles in choosing a hierarchy at one's own discretion (since society frequently dictates the choice or limits information about the available options), and the very real will damage inflicted by hierarchical failures. Adding to non-freedom are our inner urges: vying for hierarchical growth as an end in itself, the distress caused by failures, inability to do something that would run counter to the advancement of one's hierarchical status (such as a refusal to sell out in a corrupt society) which cannot be overcome even by the dictates of consciousness.
A person aspiring toward freedom from hierarchical fetters must convince himself that this freedom is hierarchically superior to being dependent on the instituted rules, and that it will compensate him for the suffering and discontent he has taken upon himself. As a rule, though, this is simply not the case. Most people realize that the real sense of freedom is more effectively obtained by means of hierarchical growth. The notion of freedom incorporates many aspects, including one's capacity for automatism fulfillment. A high hierarchical status is thought to provide greater freedom. This is indeed true, but only to an extent. Enjoyment of a high status provokes many concerns about losing it, which in itself contributes to a certain non-freedom. But more importantly, attainment of high status presupposes extensive training in the art of competition. Consequently, hierarchical success generates a new kind of non-freedom: an activated need to compete begs to be fulfilled, and one's dream of freedom transforms into a series of recollections of long-gone youth.
Still, there is a certain correlation between the ability to set for oneself the goal of liberation, and the achieved hierarchical status. (Sometimes, though, the desire to liberate oneself from the hierarchy arises from hierarchical failure.) Perhaps the reason for the correlation is that a person who wishes to forego the hierarchical struggle is not relegated to the lowest stratum, so his refusal to engage in the struggle is not fraught with as much suffering as he would feel if he were so relegated. (Nonetheless, this is frequently the case; for instance, when freedom is attained through systematic abuse of psychotropic substances with pathological ramifications.)
Thus, aspiring toward personal liberation implies a certain indifference toward one's hierarchical status, a willingness to incur the ensuing deprivation, and the ability to do without the things humans are driven to by biological regulators. The choice depends on the intensity of one's desire for freedom and the aptitude for diagnosing hierarchically-predicated motives of behavior. This choice also enters into certain specific acts of liberation, having to do with specific modes of expression. Here, the major and rather non-trivial problem confronting the individual is diagnosing hierarchical motives of behavior.
According to my own observations, many people actively engage in a hierarchical struggle without realizing it. Cultivating indifference to hierarchical factors of behavior does not require total isolation, or demonstration that one is outside hierarchies, although withdrawing to the desert is not an obsolete form of self-liberation. When one does not wish to withdraw from society or escape from hierarchical temptations, one can continue to follow his regular routine and to participate in everyday (including hierarchical) events. In other words, one can perceive oneself as a "hierarchical outsider" without excluding oneself from hierarchical involvement. (I observe that humans are quite capable of this as long as they are alone in it; among people who consider themselves to be "outsiders" there arises a hierarchy made up of people who have previously relinquished hierarchical involvement. What is crucial is not the act of withdrawal but mastering, perhaps partially, the hierarchical regulators of human behavior.)
It would be rather rewarding, if only for the sake of knowledge and training, to master the will language of different hierarchies while maintaining some involvement in diverse hierarchies. Exploration of the evaluation criteria used by various hierarchies and various strata cultivates one's sense of irony in evaluation and promotes greater tolerance; and tolerance to human foibles is an essential quality of hierarchical freedom.
Let me repeat that often it is not very difficult to persuade oneself of the efficacy of suppressing certain hierarchical manifestations. What it is more demanding is to discover these yearnings since human behavior is permeated by forms of expression dictated precisely by hierarchical regulators. In fact, consciousness might never recognize them if no special analysis is undertaken.
I also want to note non-freedom in selecting stimuli, and non-freedom stemming from limited information about freedom. This is merely a reminder that self-liberation requires the active participation of consciousness.
I did not try to recommend a new way to achieve freedom. The above discourse really represents my impression of the diversity of ideologies preached and practiced by many. My focus was on those systems which advocate freedom in liberation: to reiterate, many teachings advance programs of personal liberation akin to another kind of enslavement (in my terms, instead of establishing oneself outside of hierarchies, they preach success in new hierarchies). I find attractive those doctrines of liberation that allow one to recognize the illusoriness of any degree of attainable freedom.
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We are strange and contradictory creatures. We emerged from the animal world, bearing with us the legacy of millions of years of evolutionary struggle -- a successful struggle, judging by the fact of our existence. We still have our instinct of survival and our passion for aggression. What's more, we are motivated in whatever we do by these natural passions. But for the last ten millenia or more, we've also built our own world, a world born of the battle between reason and passion; between humanity and bestiality. This battle could by considered by many as a fight against nature. The new world of civilization restricts our natural passions, and forces us to submit to a countless number of legal and ethical rules in order to be -- or at least appear to be -- civilized creatures and not wild beasts.
For centuries, those who teach us lofty morality and civilized behavior have disregarded the fact that we are only partially human. They exhibit only one attitude toward our beastly nature: to reject it, to suppress it, to punish for it. Needless to say, at times over the course of history these imposers of morality have utilized their own animal passions in promoting civilization. In general they are responsible for an unrealistic idealization of humans, because they teach that we are no less than completely human and civilized. In a way, the entire history of civilization can be regarded as a stage of development in which, while raising our level of civilization, we wanted to forget that we are animals, and to disregard our nature. Maybe now is the start of a new stage of civilization -- a stage in which we can look back frankly at our hairy, wild predecssors and recognize them in our inner ego; recognize them not only to struggle against them, but also to make peace with them, and to establish cooperation between our beastly nature and our elegant, civilized manners.
The "return to nature" in the post-war United States that I described earlier was undertaken not as a result of scholarly calculations, but because our nature prevailed and demanded that we give up a good chunk of civilized prohibitions in order to relieve our frustrated passions. It does not always have to be this way, however. If our scholars in the future would not take offense at recognizing the animal roots of our behavior, then the study of humans could bring important results and might lead to harmony between the two worlds of our wild nature and our sophisticated civilization. If so, perhaps future needs for returns to nature in order to relieve our natural frustrations could be predicted and studied in advance, thereby preventing an undesirable social trauma such as the revenge of the strong.
These two conflicting worlds, one created by evolution and one built over millenia of development, and primarily by the elite in society, constantly compete inside of us. In everyday life we are pressed by our civilized values to overcome our beastly urges, not once but time and again. This conflict can be observed in our society in a stunning variety of situations: when young people resist submitting their wild nature to civilized rule; when all manner of rebellious sub-cultures, including those we call criminal, act as agents of this wild world by trying to destroy the civilized order. Further, our planet is populated by different nations, each of which has gone through its own unique civilizing struggle against its own violent and beastly nature; and there is no reason to say that though walking on different paths, they didn't achieve a sufficient level of civilization. Such a conclusion would be wrong, because each of these nations has survived for millenia as civilized nations.
Nonetheless, it must be acknowledged that their paths were different, as were their results. We should distinguish them not as civilized or uncivilized, but as embodying various kinds of civilization; and we should recognize the resultant differences in tolerance toward particular expressions of passions. We ought to remember -- not only for the sake of non-discrimination, but also for the sake of impartiality in analysis -- that the unique results displayed by each nation in civilizing itself cannot be compared on a one-dimensional scale. We must keep in mind the multiplicity of development, which is simultaneously a result and a continuation of methods tested by nature over many millions of years. These methods of nature assure the potential for further development through their very variety.
No matter how we enjoy the success of European and North American civilization, no matter how proud we can be of knowledge gained that extends deep into atoms and far into space, we should not automatically conclude that our way is the best way for humanity to survive. Let us admit that our environment can be changed unpredictably, in ways that render qualities other than those we are accustomed to value more important to the survival of our species; more important than our amazing knowledge of nature, our civilized order, and our good manners. With this in mind I conclude my discussion with the reader, and hope that I managed to deliver at least one message: we are all partly wild, and we are all different from one another. We should evaluate each other not on a one-dimensional scale, but in light of the abundance of multiplicity provided by nature.
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Adaptation: Habituation, or the dulling of a particular desire through becoming accustomed. In regard to automatisms, this means that at any given moment a suppressed automatism might turn out to be more powerful than other, previously-stronger ones that have been fulfilled more recently. [On Human Behavior]
Automatism (will automatism): Mechanism prompting all acts that are independent of the conscious will, such as instincts, habits, reactions, conditional and unconditional reflexes, etc., including those acquired through learning. Compare with instinct, which refers only to will manifestations that are genetically programmed, and therefore narrower in meaning than automatism. [Basic Concepts]
Advanced thinking: The ability to create new programs on top of genetically-fixed ones. [On Consciousness And Thinking]
Automatism of competition: activated in interacting with a comparable will, it figures in the act of competition, which is a means of resolving a conflict of wills when attainment of the objective by one individual precludes the attainment of it by another. [Basic Concepts]
Automatism of cooperation: allows for the "combining of wills" (combined effort directed at automatism fulfillment). [Basic Concepts]
Automatism of evaluation: evaluation of a will other than one's own, that includes attention, recognition of volitional characteristics, and diagnosis of these characteristics through the use of numerous symbols. [Basic Concepts]
Automatism of kindness: an automatism that becomes aroused in interacting with a weaker will, especially with children. [Basic Concepts]
Automatisms of rest: a group of automatisms including sleep, muscle relaxation, and the search for comfortable surroundings. [On Human Behavior]
Automatism of submission: An attempt to elicit automatisms of kindness and cooperation in a stronger will. [Basic Concepts]
Automatism of total will augmentation: a hierarchical instinct to alter one's hierarchical status to one's own advantage in relation to an individual that possesses greater total will. [Basic Concepts]
Automatism to seek bodily warmth: Result of symbiosis of two other automatisms: cooperation and thermostability. [Basic Concepts]
Character: the relative weight of different automatisms in the individual's complex of automatisms, including both the innate distribution of the intensities of will manifestation along various paths, and later shifts in this distribution due to learning.
Conscience: Ability -- fueled by fear of hierarchical losses -- to control oneself in accord with one's position in the hierarchy. [On Human Behavior]
Conscious thinking: A mechanism of observation in the brain capable of at least partially observing, understanding and sometimes guiding the thinking processes. [On Consciousness And Thinking]
Conscious will: individual will directed at automatism suppression, at generating aggregates of automatism interactions, and therefore at discovering new outlets for will manifestation. [On Human Behavior]
Criterion of expediency: One's judgment of the adequacy, degree and value of the gratification in question, in terms of the will expenditures that must be made in order to attain it. [Basic Concepts]
Deceptions: Actions that mislead an opposing will, causing it to misevaluate a given individual and the overall volitional situation. [On Human Behavior]
Desire displacement: Limitations on behavior imposed by the conscious will, which often are not recognized as stemming from the conscious will. [On Human Behavior]
Disciplinary surrogate of will: patterns of behavior ("behavioral programs") collected in the brain that enrich, limit or simplify automatism expression. [Basic Concepts]
Effective total will: One's own total will plus the amount of accumulated volitional surrogates. [Basic Concepts]
Energy surrogate of will: the accumulation of energy by means of informational and material surrogates, and the capacity to utilize such energy. [Basic Concepts]
Ethics: Norms formulated from intra-hierarchical demands. Compare with law. [Evolution's Legacy To the Law]
Femineity: A passive-homosexual predisposition in males. [Victory Of the Weak]
Genetic surrogate of will: genetic changes accumulated in the population that are responsible for the evolution of a species and that define the adaptability of the population in the ecological system and therefore bring about the growth of the total will of the population as a whole. [Basic Concepts]
Growth of discontent: repression of individual automatisms by conscious will leaving one in a state of frustration that, even if done habitually, does not dispose of the automatism itself (which remains ready to be aroused), but merely holds its expression in check. Meanwhile, many other automatisms are being fulfilled and therefore become more or less adapted, rendering more acute the lack of fulfillment of the suppressed automatism. [On Human Behavior]
Happiness: An abundance of local joy or gratification and a lack of discontent from unfulfilled automatisms. [On Human Behavior]
Hierarchical distinguishing characteristic: That characteristic (such as wealth, political power, beauty, physical prowess, ability to commit violence, etc.) that is of primary importance to any given hirearchy, and on which the given hierarchy bases its judgments as to the status of its members. [Basic Concepts]
Hierarchical reinforcement: constant effort to reinforce in one's own view one's notion of own hierarchical standing (for instance by preaching to or reprimanding someone of lower standing; by inflicting suffering on dependents and then observing the results; by responding to the admiration of fans; or just in feeling the attention of others). [On Human Behavior]
Homeostatic automatisms: A group of automatisms geared toward maintaining the stability of an organism in its interaction with the environment. [On Human Behavior]
Honor: Personal set of rules preventing danger of significant hierarchical loss stemming from noncompliance with the pertinent code of conduct, along with control by society of one's ability to comply with the demands of one's hierarchical position. [On Human Behavior]
Informational surrogate of will: The accumulation of information about new outlets of will manifestation and about surrounding wills; information thus collected functions as a volitional surrogate. [Basic Concepts]
Instinct: Will manifestations that are genetically programmed; therefore narrower in meaning than automatism. [Basic Concepts]
Instinct of imitation: Arousal of one's automatisms due to observation of the arousal and fulfillment of the automatisms of others. [On Human Behavior]
Insulatory automatisms: A group of automatisms intended to analyze (and protect one from) the environment, including reaction to odors, maintaining a clean body, etc. [On Human Behavior]
Language of will: symbols that help the evaluator (see automatism of evaluation, above) make a value judgement to determine the nature of the interaction with the opposing will. These symbols more or less unambiguously correspond with various states of the opposing will, and include standard types of behavior of living creatures like facial expressions, sounds, and so on. [Basic Concepts]
Law : Norms formulated from demands of the collective will of society at large, rather than from demands of a particular hierarchy; code of principles for uniform and effective restraint of individual wills by the collective will. Compare ethics. [Evolution's Legacy To the Law]
Magic space: That function or structure of the brain operating with parameters of hypothetical wills. [Primitive Consciousness]
Magic surrogate: The illusory ability to cooperate with hypothetical wills, such as gods and other cosmic forces. [Basic Concepts]
Manifestation of conscious will: The ability to control consciously the interaction and manifestation of automatisms. [Basic Concepts]
Material surrogate of will: all material objects (food reserves, tools, gadgets to fulfill various automatisms) used to diminish the amount of will exerted upon fulfilling automatisms, or used as an exchange item. [Basic Concepts]
Natural individual rights: A human's basic ability to express his will. [Evolution's Legacy To the Law]
Power of consciousness: The extent to which thought processes are amenable to conscious observation. [Primitive Consciousness]
Practical happiness: Noticeable expenditure of will to satisfy the strongest automatisms before they become adapted and before strong frustration from the non-gratification of other automatisms is felt. [On Human Behavior]
Principle of economy: The economy principle reflects a desire to attain the set goal with the least will expenditures. This includes preserving previously-amassed reserves of will while avoiding will losses -- although striving for the greatest gratification from will manifestation in those cases in which the intensity of satisfaction grows with will expenditures may violate the principle of economy. [Basic Concepts]
Principle of locality of will: The belief that every organ of the human body, whether governed by conscious will or not, has a will of its own. [Basic Concepts]
Principle of maximalization: Assumption by a person or animal that any unknown will is the strongest imaginable. [Basic Concepts]
Principle of will determinism: the assumption by a person or animal that everything in the world has a will of its own. [Basic Concepts]
Religious consciousness: Presumption of the existence of multiple wills in one's environment; originated concurrently with consciousness. [Primitive Consciousness]
Religious thinking: Presumption of will determinism. [Primitive Consciousness]
Right of the strong: Intrusion of a stronger will upon the natural individual rights of a weaker will. [Evolution's Legacy To the Law]
Set of hierarchical relations: the hierarchy of wills in a given hierarchy, as well as an individual's own place in that hierarchy, determined by constantly comparing his will with the will of others. [Basic Concepts]
Simplified combinatorial search: Examination by the brain of various possibilities, with termination of the search at the first possible acceptable combination. [Primitive Consciousness]
Skills: Programs embedded in the brain through training and followed automatically. [On Consciousness And Thinking]
Substitution: When the arousal and fulfillment of one automatism weakens the will to search and try to fulfill another automatism. [Basic Concepts]
Symbiosis: When the arousal of individual automatisms leads to mutual intensification of automatisms, thus compensating for weak stimuli or will expenditures required to fulfill a particular automatism. [Basic Concepts]
Table of durational character: An imaginary representation in the form of a numerical table that would illustrate the relative amounts of time spent on the fulfillment of the various automatisms. [On the Multiplicity Of Characters]
Volitional exchange: purely volitional mutual help or exchange of surrogates. [On Human Behavior]
Volitional state: Which automatisms of a given will are fulfilled and which are not. [Basic Concepts]
Volitional surrogate of will: the ability to employ the will of others. [Basic Concepts]
Will manifestations: all human activities controlled by the brain. [Basic Concepts]
Will surrogates: various substitutes of will. [Basic Concepts]
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1. After this book was finished, I found out that Stephen Jay Gould has some very interesting thoughts on a related topic. To quote Mr. Gould:
We talk about the "scientific method," and instruct school children in this supposedly monolithic and maximally effective path to natural knowledge, as if a single formula could unlock all the multifarious secrets of empirical reality. ... These procedures [of the scientific method] are powerful, but they do not encompass all of nature's variety. ... The stereotype of the "scientific method" has no place for irreducible history. Gould, Stephen Jay, Wonderful Life (W.W. Norton & Co. 1989), p. 277
2. As to kin-selection, see the work of Hamilton and Wilson.
3. Personal account by Sergei Kovalev.
4. Belief in the lack of ambiguity can be misleading. Nature abounds with examples of false symbols, such as a weak will exhibiting patterns of behavior typical of a strong will, deceptive mimicry and false movement. Humans have perfected the art of deception. Naturally, humans require elaborate training in the skill of judging another will.
5. N. A. Monakhov treats laughter as a mechanism that prevents killing within the same species after victory in a struggle has been achieved. (The Gospel According To Teyar, Essays On Innate Psychological Factors Of Social Behavior Of Man. Not published.)
6. The principle of economy of will expenditure is characteristic of will manifestations in general. It could be interpreted as a variation on the principle of least action (known in mechanics) in the behavior of animals. In Central Asia in earlier eras, irrigation canals were dug along the trail left by a camel, because when passing over an uneven terrain a camel picks the route that requires the least energy to travel, usually a nearly horizontal route. (Personal statement by Francheska Chalidze.)
7. It was observed among monkeys that high-ranking (presumably strong) members of the group unite for mutual help, in order to dominate others (Menning, Animal Behavior, Russian edition, Moscow, 1982, p. 307). It seems the cooperation of the weak in opposing the strong within the group originated in communities of humans.
8. An example: chimpanzee males of a herd in Gombi "slaughtered the males of a small group of chimpanzees which settled to the south. After the community ceased to exist, the victors occupied their territory." Scientific American June 1985 (Russian: August 1985).
9. I would like to make a general note here, not connected to my model. If aggression is linked to the Y-chromosome, the inertial role of the females is reduced to nil, and the destruction of the strong leads to an accelerated selection in favor of the weak.
10. Heston, L.L. & Shields, J., "Homosexuality In Twins", Archives Of General Psychiatry 18: 149-60, 1968.
11. There are numerous pitfalls en route to statistical investigation of homosexual tendencies. Still, this problem merits an attempt. Some authors claim that a homosexual bias is present in ten percent (10%) of all men. But keep in mind that the personal biases of proponents or opponents of the freedom of homosexuality affect the results of these studies.
12. The fear of homosexual rape in Soviet jails and labor camps is well known to the readers of memoirs of prisoners. The cause of the fear lies not only in the reluctance to be subjected to this presumably unpleasant procedure, but also in the aftermath: first of all, after such an initiation a man is no longer considered a man by the group of prisoners; secondly he himself is afraid, and frequently believes, that following the act he will no longer be able to fulfill his manly role. In fact, in the world of Russian thieves a thief who has undergone such an initiation will never become a kingpin, whether or not he turned homosexual. This belief that homosexual initiation triggers an irreversible change is quite strong. In my opinion this is an indication that the spectrum of "femineity" is rather broad.
13. Wilson, E., On Human Nature, Harvard University Press, 1978.
14. Wilson, E., in discussing kin-selection, noted the social role of homosexuals who provided examples of altruism in their own behaviour. Ibid.
15. I want to indulge in the following speculations. It makes sense to date the ban on homosexuality among the Jews at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Homosexuality, when it is allowed, is not geographically localized without a good reason. We can assume that these cities were epicenters of worship of homosexual and sodomic idols which brought active followers of these practices together in these cities. Contemporary events, such as the AIDS virus transmitted through the sexual act, may shed some light on the sudden death visited on these cities. AIDS or some other infection transmitted in a similar manner could selectively strike the homosexual population of these cities. Not surprisingly, such impressive wrath of nature could be perceived by the ancient Jews as a warning from God, leading them to institute a ban on homosexuality. What is significant in the present context is the feasibility of some dangerous disease, be it AIDS or something else, being transmitted through a homosexual act.
Considering that homosexuality is so natural among primates, it seems that the Jews must have had a very serious reason to impose a taboo upon homosexuality. (Later bans could be explained by the influences of other cultures.)
16. Starting in 1970 I criticized the Soviet judicial code for prescribing criminal punishment for a homosexual act between two consenting adults. Now I mention the positive role of the taboo on homosexuality in promoting the growth of civilization and the softening of society. There is no contradiction here. Sociosophic and evolutionary considerations ought not to affect one's human rights and vice versa: human rights and personal biases should not affect the impartiality of a scholarly investigation.
17. This chapter is actually devoted to the role of culture in guiding the selection process, thus affecting genetic shifts in the population. This is one example of the cultural/genetic co-evolution discussed by Wilson and others. (Lumsden & Wilson, Genes, Mind And Culture, Harvard, 1981; Wilson, Promethean Fire, 1983).
Besides cultural/genetic selection, evolution is influenced by selection through marriage. I mean the social norms stipulating the choice of one's partner in marriage, as well as the mechanism of individual choice of one's mate, still poorly explored by science. Can culture affect heredity directly, instead of by directed and marital selection? Modern genetics answers this question in the negative. Perhaps there exists some subtle and still undiscovered feedback mechanism, so I believe that someday we may see that the question is still open.
18. Evidence of this is presented by Lois Dublin (Suicide, A Sociological And Statistical Study. New York, 1963, p. 83). Other societies with "primitive cultures" do possess this concept. Here, I want to stress that at least some human communities lack the notion of suicide.
19. Farberow, N. (Ed.), Suicide in Different Cultures, University Park Press, 1975.
20Iga, M. The Thorn Of the Chrysanthemum: Suicide And Economic Success In Modern Japan, University of California, 1986.
21. Thakur, U., The History Of Suicide In India, Deli, 1963.
22. Sometimes this reaches anecdotal proportions. My friend, an orthodox priest in New York, became the subject of an indignant protest by feminists when he refused to change the phrasing of the religious sacrament and replace "God the father" with "God the parent." Fifteen years ago I myself fell prey to accusations by feminists, for criticizing the punishment of polygamy in Soviet Central Asia. (My point was that age-old traditions should not be severed abruptly and coercively.)
23. In branding someone a "difficult child," we should bear in mind that hierarchies of children tend to retrace the course traversed by humanity, from hierarchies based on strength to hierarchies based on civilized qualities. Perhaps the study of children's hierarchies, particularly the role of strength as a hierarchical distinguishing characteristic, can be valuable in evaluating the level of the genetic civilization of a given population. Hierarchical relations are discussed in detail later in this book.
24. The "crime gene" has been chased after for a long time. Different categories of crime are rarely distinguished in this context. It is clear, however, that even if there is an innate predisposition toward violent crime it would be different from, say, a predisposition to embezzle. We must exercise discretion in judging crime in general. Authorities frequently declare illegal such innocent acts as prostitution, cock fights, or gambling.
25. I want to note here the Soviet experience of granting prisoners "private meetings" (this privilege does not apply to non-marital relationships). Besides other things, this practice might be conducive to the preservation of families, although statistical data on this subject is non-existent.
26. Hierarchical distinguishing characteristic I define as that characteristic, such as wealth, beauty, and so on, of primary importance to any given hierarchy and on which judgments are based as to the relative status of members of the hierarchy; the concept is discussed thoroughly later on.
27. It should be remembered that in a civilized society there is no discrimination against the strong as such. Physically strong individuals who follow the rules of civilized competition can succeed in the hierarchy of the weak but not, as a rule, due to their physical strength.
28. The state frequently attempts to ensure the personal safety of its people, and to accommodate commerce, but often does not help people satisfy their other needs. Beginning in the last century, it became fashionable to expect more of the government. The theory of socialism proclaims that all, or almost all, needs of the people should sooner or later be subjected to the care of the government or society. Clearly the issue here is not just the greater burden of responsibility shouldered by the collective will, but also its strengthening, which curbs individual will manifestation. (Note that political parties that exhibit a socialist orientation, such as the Democratic Party in the United States, usually call for a greater role of the central government.) The struggle against socialist development is provoked precisely by this demand for a stronger government, which demand deviates from the trend toward increased autonomy of the individual and greater independence of an individual from the collective will.
29. We should keep in mind that the hierarchical instinct of the psychologist himself is one reason for the idealization of humans.
30. Many examples testify to the importance of facial expression and body language in animals. For instance, a horse pulls its ears backward when it wants to bite. (It is unclear whether horses realize this, and use it to predict bites that are administered for hierarchical purposes.)
31. The hierarchical mobility achieved in democratic societies is crucial in alleviating the frustration of the lower strata, which previously had no hope for hierarchical growth -- for themselves or even for their descendants. We should not forget that the promotion of the lower strata is frequently accompanied by the introduction into the upper strata of ethical norms characteristic of the lower. This point is well-taken by the conservative constituency of respective hierarchies who wish to limit access to the hierarchies in which they participate, or at least to institute some "membership" limitations. For instance, membership to certain private clubs or professional associations is often severely restricted.
32. In this sense, freedom in the United States and other developed democracies is much broader as compared with liberties granted by the traditional set of democratic freedoms. These countries enjoy acceptance of hierarchical self-determination (including the right to form new hierarchies) by society at large as well as by the government. This aspect of freedom is frequently ignored by those who try to introduce democracy in societies ill-prepared to absorb it, i.e., in societies lacking an elaborate poly-hierarchical structure. Furthermore, I can state that the cultivated code of political freedoms is a result of democratic development, rather than its precondition or cause. Of course, this point could be debated.
33. This example indicates the multi-variant nature of my own thinking. Stalin's conduct as presented above creates a different impression when viewed in light of my political analysis of his activity in my Victor Over Communism.
34. Turning one's back has another bio-social connotation: it can indicate trust rather than disdain. My cat usually contemplates the world with his back to me. Apparently he does not expect any unpleasant surprises from me.
35. Yevtushenko, E., "Ill-Bred Breeding" Soviet Culture, November 3, 1989.
36. It seems that the informational surrogate knows no bounds, since the cognitive capacity is exhausted prior to reaching that limit. Still, major hierarchical battles known from history did not revolve around the struggle for knowledge.
37. Showing one's rear is prevalent among monkeys as a demonstration of one's high hierarchical status. An example of people using this gesture is described by Stalin (see his "Speech at the meeting of kolkhozniks-shock workers").
38. Such judgement actually makes sense, since the total will of the community grows with the accumulation of surrogates, and so does the level of civilization, at least on the average. Why people hold the future as something hierarchically higher is an interesting question. In the Orient the past is commonly esteemed as hierarchically superior, perhaps because in the past people used to communicate with the gods. Such an attitude toward the past gives authority to someone who is a teacher. Systems of knowledge not oriented toward development must undoubtedly elevate the authority of the teacher, since it is not expected that the pupil will surpass the teacher in the name of development of the system. It may be that characteristic judgments of the hierarchical value of past and future in different societies provide clues to their potential for development.
39. There is a vast amount of literature on the specialization of the two hemispheres of the brain. Still, this field is in its infancy. In time we will probably obtain more information about mutual interaction between the verbal and non-verbal abilities of the brain.
40. I want to pinpoint one common fallacy with regard to experimental sciences, namely that an experiment can actually prove a theory. The history of science abounds with misconceptions of this sort. An experiment can verify a particular hypothesis or specific formuli over the tested segment of parameters, but never the entire theory.
41. Reasons for indeterminism at the practical level are the inability to recognize all causes, or to trace all the interconnections. This is by no means the same as indeterminism as such.
42. In my thinking on Soviet legal practices of previous decades, I termed this approach "logic of the aim." Rules of reasoning are modified according to the set goal: to achieve a certain result from the initial assumptions. See my To Defend These Rights (Random House 1975).
43. These considerations are based upon my discussions with Alexander Volpin.
44In this regard, Julian Jaynes' book The Origin Of Consciousness In the Breakdown Of the Bicameral Brain (1990 edition, Houghton Mifflin Co.) has been brought to my attention. It contains some very interesting ideas on the comparitively recent development of consciousness. Professor Jaynes, as I understand, relies on a different set of reasons than I do to support his theory of recent consciousness. Interestingly, the era he identifies as giving rise to consciousness coincides with the period I discussed as the possible transition period from a four-digit to a six-digit linguistic brain code (i.e., the transition from an eight-consonant to a twenty-one or twenty-two consonant language, with possibly a stage of a five-digit brain code, corresponding to a twelve-consonant language, as in modern Finnish). See my Brain Code And Paleolinguistics .
45. See my On the Linguistic Brain Code,and Brain Code And Paleolinguistics .
46. By grammar I mean some general notion of a grammar, not the specific grammar of some communal language. Such a grammar must be fixed in the brain prior to any language or proto-language, simply in order to operate with images when processing information. Naturally, this grammar must reflect the relations between actions and objects in the perceived world. See the works of N. Chomsky on innate grammar with respect to communal languages.
47. My books on the brain code cited in the previous footnote discuss these questions in detail, including experimental data on the link between the linguistic and visual codes of the brain that confirm my hypothesis that the development of language is linked with the evolution of brain structures.
48. It is quite plausible that consciousness is evolving toward a greater number of "conscious processors." Nowadays the capacity to, say, read and converse at the same time is not considered extraordinary. Parallel perception of visual images and speech, accompanied by simultaneous evaluation of the mood of the interlocutor is quite common. I want to quote a contrasting point of view from the Nai theory of knowledge: "If contact of more than one sensory organ with their respective objects takes place, still all the objects are not perceived simultaneously." (Quoted in S. Radkhakrishna, Indian Philosophy, Russian edition 1957, Vol. 2, p. 40.) This ancient text claimed that the mind can perceive only along a single channel of information at any given moment. This may be a theoretical assumption, but it can also be evidence of the uni-processor nature of consciousness at that time. Here I challenge another firmly-entrenched dogma, namely that the biological evolution of the brain proceeds too slowly to produce a noticeable change in two to three thousand years.
49. This shows that the operation of the thought scanner is only partially stochastic. The brain very cunningly directs its conscious mechanism at things currently vital for the organism. For instance, we may not feel hungry; yet thoughts of certain foods or food components enter our head if the brain perceives an imbalance in our diet. Here, it is unclear whether the brain perceives the body's actual deficiency of a particular nutrient, or also the discontent stemming from a particular food habit. In all probability both these factors are involved.
50. Perhaps as recently as one thousand years ago, consciousness played a much smaller role in human life. What led me to this thought was the fact that, until the last few centuries, it was commonly believed that thinking came from the heart (although even the ancient Egyptians had evidence to the contrary); as is known, changes in the frequency of heartbeats appear during stressful situations, which can be caused by any unusual event. If the ancients seldom thought, i.e., engaged in the conscious modulation of their thought processes, then every instance of such control was perceived as an unusual event, as a stress which occasions more rapid heartbeat. Consequently, it was very natural to link thinking with the activity of the heart. I trust this very speculative idea merits a footnote.
51. Let us acknowledge that people differ from each other, both in the extent of control of conscious will and in the level of development of consciousness. Psychologists who practice introspection to explore human nature should bear this in mind. Usually, their very possession of a more or less developed intellect and fairly well-subdued passions render psychologists prone to misjudge an average human being when basing their findings upon self-reflection. Typically, the misjudgment is in assuming that their own characters are representative of the population as a whole, rather than of one small, perhaps atypical, part of it. Everybody involved in the study of humans or society should keep this point in mind. Perhaps the introspection of highly-cultured scholars produces the entrenched idealization of people, and the unshakable faith in humanity as exclusively a product of its culture.
52. Still, there is no guarantee that a genius will be understood right away. People get so used to thinking based on operation with traditional factors that an attempt to introduce new ones may simply go unrecognized.
53. Survival of a species requires that the solution be statistically valid. Nature does not care if individuals commit mistakes and perish as a result. This point should be taken into account when we investigate various procedures inherited by our brain.
54. Taking this into account in conjunction with automatism symbiosis and substitution in human beings, we should perhaps distinguish between hidden character and surface character. I do not make this distinction, though, keeping in mind the assumed range of changes in character, i.e., that the values of parameters of the surface character do not fall outside the tolerable range of hidden character.
55. In tyrannical societies and occasionally in democratic ones (due to prejudices), the authorities declare to be criminal some actions that really inflict no substantial damage upon society, for instance, propaganda for freedom, or gambling, or prostitution. In this context, laws represent a certain fictional minimal code of prohibitions deemed necessary in society.
56. This was tested on humans in communist revolutions, in particular in 1917 in Russia. It seems Lenin really believed in the possibility of a non-hierarchical society having complete equality. Huge numbers of representatives of the "ruling classes" were annihilated in the name of this perceived equality. This idea soon proved to be unrealistic. A system was created much more hierarchically intertwined than the one destroyed by the revolution. Dreamers blamed the failure of the revolution upon a Russian lack of culture; the idea itself was not regarded as experimentally refuted, and humanity is not ensured against further experimentation in this vein.
57. The principle of division of labor, long known in nature, was rediscovered relatively recently by the organizers of production. Perhaps production-wise they are justified to institute a rigid division of labor at the factory. But bear in mind that mammals, unlike certain species of insects, were endowed by nature with a more flexible functional division. Perhaps it is advisable to introduce a less rigid division of labor in the production sphere, especially in executing elementary operations. The rigid division of labor along professional lines, however, is quite natural, since only a small percentage of people is inclined to master many occupations. This also suggests that the cognitive automatism of the average person is not strongly pronounced.
58. See my Criminal Russia, Random House, New York (1977).
59. It seems the instinct of submissiveness represents the more recent achievement of nature. Subjugation of surrounding wills represents one of the primary modes of interaction with the environment, with living creatures and -- if we recall the principle of will determinism -- with the world at large. Submissiveness would never have become an advantageous quality in terms of evolution unless there appeared animal communities of the same species with an elaborate internal system of interaction. Generally speaking, submissiveness outside the herd is akin to consent to being eaten (ignoring the rather rare cases of inter-species symbiosis). More precisely, submissiveness became consistent with survival when there emerged a mechanism of favorable response to a show of submissiveness. This also means that the development of submissiveness was facilitated by its role as a defensive mechanism.
60. Naturally the term goal, with reference to evolutionary phenomena, should be treated as a figure of speech. I am not unique in entertaining an anthropomorphic attitude toward evolution. I realize, however, that goals probably did not predate the genetic event which caused the respective evolutionary shift. In fact, the genetic changes which have taken place might have become fixed in the progeny not only because they are advantageous but also because they are harmless. This creates greater diversity for potential paths of evolution.
61. I have made reference to the fact that in groups of monkeys the strong engage in mutual help for the purpose of domination.
62. The right to life proclaimed by the Covenant On Civil And Political Rights certainly implies the right to take one's own life. Adoption of this position in the future seems inevitable, since the influence exerted by Christian prejudices is slowly fading away. The practical implementation of this right in penitentiaries will call for the introduction of special procedures designed to protect prisoners from possible lawlessness on the part of prison personnel and inmates.
63. Those who purport to be disciples of Marxism exhibit strong aversion to the ideas of natural law. Within a Marxist scheme, law is not linked to human nature. Rather, it is regarded as a tool of class domination. But Marxists have not been able to resist the temptation of summoning a natural authority in the social, if not judicial, realm. Marxist doctrine is allegedly based on the uniquely-true laws of the development of humanity recognized by Marxists. To the extent that classes represent hierarchical strata (although too narrowly defined on the basis of participation in economic production) the Marxist position on law really makes sense within the historical context, since one of the most ancient functions of law is to secure hierarchical stability. What Marxists failed to perceive, however, was that the evolution of law steered away from this function. Law as it evolved in countries of democratic capitalism gradually ceased to function as a hierarchical stabilizer, since the ideas of equality before the law were not only proclaimed but also mastered in their practical implementation. In Marxist terms, law under democratic capitalism no longer served as an instrument of class domination, while in countries supposedly governed by Marxist ideas the law continues to function in this capacity since the legacy of the ideas of class discrimination is still very pervasive in these countries.
64. There are some exceptions. The head of the hierarchy, being the expressor of the collective will, may become strongly dependent on that will. Further, his freedom is also often curbed by bans stemming from the interaction between the community and hypothetical wills.
65. It is interesting that even in Europe, vestiges of the earlier attitude persisted for a long time. For instance, the Portuguese Constitution of 1933 (amended in 1935-1951) granted voting rights in local elections only to the heads of families.
66. That this automatism is, in fact, pronounced and is usually in a state of frustration in a child is evidenced by the propensity of children for vandalism: the opportunity to break or destroy a thing that is hierarchically superior to what a child can make or comprehend. Conquering by other means (without destroying) provides genuine satisfaction of the automatism of subduing a strong will. Adults, frightened by the delinquency of youngsters, keep them low in the family hierarchy, and thereby contribute to the mounting frustration of the automatism of will augmentation in children. In a way, the family -- even in civilized societies -- is a vestigial remnant of the hierarchy of the strong.
67. My depiction of a free market is overly idyllic. In practice the government does intervene, often on the basis of en-trenched prejudices: laws against prostitution, pornography, surrogate-mother services, gambling, narcotics, etc. Bear in mind that democracy is an evolving entity, and a struggle for broadening of the scope of the market is quite plausible.
68. It is possible that revolt not violate the norms of positive law. The constitution of El Salvador introduced in 1950 (Article 5) declares it an obligation to rebel in case of the usurpation of power. This example attests to an unusual courage on the part of the legislators.
69. Glossary compiled by Lisa Chalidze.