Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Unbelievable but logical relationships

Unbelievable but logical relationships

A review of Sergei Morozov, Sex and Rank: Modern Man’s Ancient Programs, 2012, translated by David Gillespie. 3.99$.  E-book. Russian edition ISBN: 9781301018383. English edition ASIN: B009V4B7US
Prof. Evgeniy Ivanov, (ret.)

Sergei Morozov is independent researcher, he is known in Russia as social philosopher, his work is about actual special features of modern society. Really Sergei Morozov is not sociobiologist or evolutionary psychologist. His specialism is problem solving. He usually formulates popular problem and then finds its solution. He is using sociobiology and evolutionary psychology as an instrument.  He also works with questions of mass society, mass psychology, and his most popular hardcover book (on Russian) is about tribal structures in modern society.

 “Sex and Rank” is a book of general subject area, book about everything, or book about everything that is important for most of people. Main accent is made on male-female relationships. Book is built on system of prevailing themes. The main elements are:

- Relationships between man and woman, especially innate system of partner choosing
- Origin and progress of these relationships
- These relationships in civilization, their deformation, fate of nation of civilization on this deformation.

The book is written with very simple language, the Russian books of Sergei Morozov are read likewise light fiction.  But it is difficult to say, how this style has place in English translation. As a main instrument author uses sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. As additional instruments are used primatology and social philosophy of Oswald Spengler. One of the most interesting and innovating ideas of author is building of synthetic bridge primatology - sociobiology / evolutionary psychology - social philosophy.

There are two way to read this book. The first is to read as investigation, this way should be better for specialists. The second is to read as self-help manual (as ‘DIY’). In this case you would read from chapter 15 to end, and then from beginning.

Peculiarity of this book is scheme from the general to the particular and from the evident to the incredible and the unbelievable.

At first glance book may seem some boring as result of specific methodology; author tries to be pointedly logical and explains every step somewhat 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 1 = 3 and so on. But results appear to be incredible and conclusions to be unbelievable.

In addition, results are arranged for practical usage. Author does not write about moral questions, author does not recommend how to act. Author just writes, “if you have made A, then you have got B”, “If you have made X, you have broken innate program Y”.

Author speaks about redundant information about “sex and rank” question, and so is using deliberately limited set of references in the book. It has some positive sense, because books from list of references are well-known and do not contain disputable information.

Author tries to avoid special scientific terminology. Terms are used once, and then are described with simple words. For example, for complex innate behaviors is used term “program”, although link for FAP is present. Specialist without any problem can recognize scientific terms in simple text.

Author takes attempt to create self-sufficient book, in gist the whole course of sociobiology/EP from the scratch. But this book is not a popularization; it is a fundamentally new work of research made purely on the basis of biology.

Human is highest predator. Human is social being.
Citation: Man belongs to the top predators, standing at the top of the food chain. Therefore man’s behaviour should share some behavioural features of other predators. The higher the predator is in the hierarchy, the harsher is the interspecies competition.

As far as the highest predator is social being, the fight for resources is group fight, so that significance of group selection is highest. This condition forms social phenomena, which author calls “The world of conflicting groups”.

The second main premise is declining of biological qualities of men in modern (and every) civilization. That is a medical problem too. Author comes to conclusion that if men’s qualities are declining, in civilization something is wrong.

One chapter devoted to synoptic retelling modern Darwinism and Wilson’s sociobiology. Accent is made on transition from quantity to quality in populations.
Then author describes norms. He demarcates biological norms and social/cultural norms. Biological norms predetermine survival and success in the “The world of conflicting groups”. Concept of group success predetermines the needed qualities which are derived from; these qualities are health, intellect, self-control, physical strength.

Next base term of book is “Evolutionary highway”.
Citation: The evolutionary highway (EH) is the sum of the lines that connect the generations, so that the descendants of our present time have the capacity to continue these lines into the future. The EH simultaneously encompasses physical carriers, the temporary directional vector, and a set of rules. Everyone alive today has arrived in the present on the evolutionary highway. ... The EH will recur again here in a number of instances. For example, the growth of the intellect and the increase in memory capacity are also aspects of the evolutionary highway, whereas the growth of physical strength on the evolutionary highway stopped and at some time even became diminished.

Evolutionary highway (EH) is key conception of the book; it is a criterion of every norm. Biological norms can change, and it is difficult to say where evolution has to go. For example, types of human what were culled on the stages of clan and tribe became successful on stage of nation. Norms of evolutionary highway already cannot change, because EH is really exists now. Norms are applied to instincts and behaviors. Norms of EH are very similar to biological norms, but do not coincide at every point. 

Then author approves that innate programs optimized for group, not for individual.
One more value of evolutionary highway is way from ape to human. It is also EH. By comparison of man with chimpanzee resemblances and differences are written. System of ranks and privileges is described. And vectors of EH are built. 

The book contains critique of some most popular concepts. Kanazawa’s “Savannah principle” is affirmed positively. But ideas of reciprocate sex, “sex in exchange for food” are strongly criticized. Author writes about just two resources what were in savannah - territory, what belonged to clan, and women. So any reciprocation contradicts to “Savannah principle”. Yeah, reciprocation behaviors widely-distributed in modern civilization, but they do not have any relation to evolution and just social/cultural. And these behaviors are one of the causes of degeneration. Real love is always selfless and wants only to give without any reciprocation.

Also author criticize some popular methodology. It is very popular now to show to participants some photos and ask questions. Some scientist thinks that so they have to find the innate. Kanazawa did it so and has got his scandal results. Author proves that these scientists will find just the sociocultural unconsciousness and the whole such a methodology principally wrong for evolutionary psychology. 

Family is written as lessen primordial clan. Author describes three types of family, which exist in chimpanzee and humans: alpha-family, prolonged honeymoon trip and the “the chosen one” - women relationships for youngsters.

Alphas are identified by women’s innate program by set of qualities: health, intellect, self-control, physical strength and age.

Next base premise is “free choice of partner” by woman. Author writes what only woman has innate program of partner choosing. Programs switch with age. There are only two programs of choosing - the choosing of alpha and choosing of “the chosen one” for young. Men do not have analogical programs and their choice based on health of woman. Men just cull some woman and do not have any innate preferences.

Programs interact with conditional reflexes, which processes provoke internal conflicts. There are many descriptions of typical code error and men with those errors numerous enough to form special groups. Programs interact with civilization environment, and author is made conclusion what civilization environment cannot support human nature. Humans do not adapted for civilization, and as a result nation of civilization quickly lose biological qualities and degenerate.

These ideas seem somewhat unbelievable, but Morozov has tough logic. Some can agree, but nobody could disprove. 

In the book there are next hypotheses and their proofs:
Citation: The impossibility of adhering to the biological program causes subconscious stress and discomfort.
People have not yet learned to live in cities, that is, they have not learned to live in them by complying with biological rules.
Chimpanzee and human females do not have ranks. All apart from the alpha are omegas.
The image of the alpha is a female program. The alpha does not suffer refusal, the alpha is supported, the alpha receives submission: this is prescribed in other female programs.
The refusal to follow innate biological programs when selection is being made leads to the selection of incorrect partners and subsequently to degeneration.
Man are polygamous in parallel with time, women sequentially.
The choice of the woman is positive, she makes the choice. The choice of the man is negative, he rejects.
Grooming lies at the basis of many woman traits.
Women do not like female characteristics and female behaviour in men, even though very often they demand these characteristics.
A woman demands of a man behaviour which is accepted in society, but perceives as genuine his correct biological behaviour.
The alpha rank is the sole effective anchor of social morality and justice. All other anchors such as religion and tradition, despite the power they exert, are open to a multitude of interpretations.
The distinction between the alpha and the chosen one is prescribed in female programs. What is legitimate for Jupiter, is not legitimate for oxen.
Women now and again verify how robust the alphas and pseudo-alphas are.
The same terms in traditional use that apply to men and women have a completely different physical expression, including love and orgasm.

Author thinks that he has found solution for Spengler’s problem of “metaphysical fatigue” of civilized nations by means of sociobiology / evolutionary psychology. He suggested that “fatigue” is result of losing of primordial biological qualities (health, intellect, self-control, physical strength) owing to humans do not adapted for civilization life.

It is difficult to say in which degree this book is scientific, but it is beyond all doubt what it is the most interesting, innovative, thrilling book on sociobiology / evolutionary psychology ever existed.
Four first chapters of book are free for distribution.
This review is free for distribution.

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