Memes and wars.

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun 02 Jan 2005 - 04:14:19 GMT

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    I thought you might enjoy this little snip.

    "When it comes into traditional societies, which are pretty much defined by male control over females, it suddenly alters the character of some of our most important relationships and decisions: marriage, sex, births, family economics, the whole shebang. And globalization has proven itself time and time again to empower women disproportionately over men. That is a direct threat to the nature of traditional societies."

    Of course, empowering women (and other factors that go with the globalized high tech life style?) has the effect of lowering the birth rate to near replacement. (Why isn't entirely obvious, as EO Wilson says we are just lucky.)

    When that happens, and after a generation, economic growth gets ahead of population growth. The effect of rising income per capita shuts off the psychological traits that give rise to wars or related social disruption. That's what happened in Northern Ireland.

    The psychological traits that lead to wars evolved over the millions of years human ancestors lived in hunter gatherer tribes. War was the way populations stayed in balance with the ability of the ecosystem to feed them. If you don't have the pressure of population growth, you don't start wars. Of course you can still be attacked which is why the well being of other tribes is important to you.

    Keith Henson

    PS. Memes are involved, but the actually content of the meme that whips up warriors into jumpin' up and down, yellin' "KILL! KILL!" is not important. :-)

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