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Peter Turchin The Strange Disappearance of Cooperation in America - Peter Turchin
Putnam has argued, in particular, that last several decades saw lower levels of trust in government, lower levels of civic participation, lower connectedness among ordinary Americans, and lower social cooperation.

This is a puzzling development, because from its inception the American society was characterized, to an unusual degree, by the density of associational ties and an abundance of social capital. Almost 200 years ago that discerning observer of social life, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote about the exceptional ability of Americans to form voluntary associations and, more generally, to cooperate in solving problems that required concerted collective action. This capacity for cooperation apparently lasted into the post-World War II era, but several indicators suggest that during the last 3-4 decades it has been unraveling.

Robert Putnam points to such indicators as the participation rate in voluntary organizations (Masonic lodges, Parent-Teacher Associations, sports clubs and bowling leagues
Latino  war  inequality  state  Leadership  Violence_y_Power  Power_materials  pol.639  Pol._185 
15 hours ago by Jibarosoy
Peter Turchin The Z-Curve of Human Egalitarianism - Peter Turchin
Thus, until c.10,000 years ago, before agriculture was invented, the human evolutionary trend was that of increasing egalitarianism. The adoption of agriculture, however, enabled the rise of large-scale societies organized as states and empires with highly unequal distributions of power, wealth, and social status. In other words, the trend to greater equality reversed itself. What accounts for this U-turn? Why did humans allow inequality to develop?

The answer apparently is that the U-turn was a side effect of the transition from small-scale to large-scale societies. Small-scale societies of hunter-gatherers were integrated by face-to-face sociality. Such a diffuse, non-centralized social organization was well-suited to maintaining egalitarian ethos. However, once the size of cooperating group increases beyond 100­–200 people, even gigantic human brains are overwhelmed by the demands of face-to-face sociality (this is the argument made by Robin Dunbar). Shifting from diffuse, uncentralized social organization to hierarchical organization (as chains of command) allowed evolution to break through the upper limit on society size imposed by face-to-face sociality. A member of a hierarchically organized group needs to have face-to-face interactions with only a few individuals: a superior and several subordinates. Such links can connect everybody in a group of arbitrarily large size. The group size grows by adding additional hierarchical levels.
Latino  war  fear  state  Leadership  Violence_y_Power  Power_materials  SON  Society  Passions  pol.639 
15 hours ago by Jibarosoy
When Does Equality Flourish? | The New Yorker
All primate societies, Boehm notes, are governed by similar dynamics. If any one individual has the opportunity to climb the hierarchy, he or she is likely to seize it; unfortunately, as soon as power is gained, others resent it. In such a society, Boehm writes, there are three potential outcomes. One is conflict, in which newcomers continually and overtly challenge the powerful for a position at the top. Another is stable dominance, where the powerful relentlessly and permanently dominate the rest. And a third is an equally stable social structure which Boehm calls “reverse dominance hierarchy,” in which those on the bottom of the pyramid figure out a way to band together and “deliberately dominate their potential master.” In such a society, dominance is still exercised. It just comes, collectively and consistently, from below.
Latino  war  Pol.11  pol.639  Leadership  SON  Power_materials  Violence_y_Power  Psychology  Passions  reasoning 
16 hours ago by Jibarosoy
Political Primates | Greater Good Magazine
This new interpretation meant that by nature, today’s hunter-gatherers were prone to try to dominate one another, just like the other three species of living apes—and therefore so were the Common Ancestor and humans all down the evolutionary line. In fact, because this urge to dominate is so intrinsic to humans’ political nature, hunter-gatherers who wish to stay egalitarian have to use not only ostracism and shaming but also ejection from the group—and sometimes even capital punishment—to hold down power-hungry political upstarts. We must ask, then, why a species so inclined to domination has been motivated to insist that power be shared so equally. And here, I believe, is the answer: Just as all four of the aforementioned species have strong propensities to domination and submission, so do they also naturally resent being dominated.

This is obvious enough in a human hunting band, where upstarts who attempt to dominate others are dealt with so harshly. But it’s also obvious with chimpanzees that have been studied extensively: Both wild and captive males are extremely ambitious politically, and they invariably form political coalitions to try to unseat the alpha male. More striking is the fact that large coalitions can form in the wild to challenge domineering former alphas and run them out of the community. Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal’s studies with captive chimpanzees show that females, too, can band together to partially control their alphas. Captive gorillas, like wild and captive chimpanzees, may attack a dominant silverback they don’t like. And bonobos have relatively small female coalitions that routinely raise the power of female subordinates to a degree that puts females virtually on a par with the individually-dominant males in competitive situations.
Latino  war  Power_materials  SON  Pol.11  pol.639  Violence_y_Power  state  evolution 
yesterday by Jibarosoy
Leadership in small-scale societies: Some implications for theory, research, and practice.
SSSs, particularly hunter–gatherers, tend to be egalitarian. By “egalitarian”, anthropologists generally mean equal rights and privileges among group members, though women and children tend to have lower status, on average, compared to adult men (Fried, 1967). Both ecological and institutional forces help maintain egalitarianism. In the absence of significant material wealth or storable or predictable food packages, widespread resource sharing emerges to buffer risk in production and creates inter- dependence among families (Cashdan, 1980; Kaplan & Gurven, 2005; Winterhalder, 1986). To express commitment to sharing, individuals criticize those who brag and successful producers deprecate their own achievements (Lee, 1979). Humility is not optional but is normative. There are also checks on individuals acquiring coercive influence over others. Coalitions of subordinates will ostracize or, more rarely, execute individuals who display dominance (Boehm, 1999).
Yet it is a misconception to believe that egalitarianism and status-leveling pre-empt leadership in SSSs. Leadership emerges informally when there is demand for coordination or conflict resolution. Service (1975) describes the self-effacing, “first among equals” role of leaders in the most egalitarian SSSs, who lack coercive authority but have differential influence over their peer's opinions and the group consensus-seeking process. Of the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari, Shostak (1981) writes: “Each group has individuals whose opinions carry more weight than those of others... These people tend to be more prominent in group discussions, to make their opinions known and their suggestions clear, and to articulate the consensus once it is determined. Despite their lack of formal authority, they function very much as group leaders” (pp. 245). Coordination often occurs in the context of food production. As examples, rabbit drives by the Washoe of eastern California were coordinated by hunt leaders (Lowie, 1948), and whaling among Inuit off the Alaskan coast required coordination among a crew overseen by a captain (Spencer, 1959).
Latino  war  Leadership  SON  Power_materials  Pol.11  pol.639  Violence_y_Power  state 
yesterday by Jibarosoy
Egalitarian Behavior and Reverse Dominance Hierarchy
How hunter gatherers prevented alpha people from taking over as rulers.
Latino  war  Leadership  state  SON  Pol.11  pol.639  Power_materials  Violence_y_Power 
yesterday by Jibarosoy
People Don't Actually Want Equality. They Want Fairness. - Evonomics
This analysis helps us explain why such huge power differentials exist in the world right now, where it’s far harder for the weak to team up to dominate the strong. As Boehm tells it, in a small society, a wannabe dictator can be ignored or ridiculed by everyone else, and if he doesn’t get the message, he can be beaten up, expelled from the group, or killed. But this is a harder trick to pull in a society of millions where interactions are no longer face-to-face and where the powerful have guns and gulags.

What we see from studies of children and studies of small-scale societies is an early-emerging desire for fairness, and a particularly strong motivation not to get less than anyone else. But we don’t find a smidgen of evidence that humans or any other species naturally value equality for its sake.
Latino  war  Leadership  state  Power_materials  Passions  reasoning  pol.639  Pol.11  SON  Violence_y_Power 
yesterday by Jibarosoy
The Harder They Fall – What a Shrink Thinks
Giants cannot be defeated on their own ground.

And later, when facing down the Twelve Labors, Hercules took note of another important pattern:

A celebrated exploit of Hercules was his victory over Antaeus. Antaeus, the son of Terra, the Earth, was a mighty giant and wrestler, whose strength was invincible so long as he remained in contact with his mother Earth.

He compelled all strangers who came to his country to wrestle with him, on condition that if conquered (as they all were) they should be put to death. Hercules encountered him, and finding that it was of no avail to throw him, for he always rose with renewed strength from every fall. ~ Bullfinch’s Mythology.

A giant’s skills cannot be used against him.

If you use the giant’s methods, he will only be strengthened.

If you try to take him down with brute force, he will rise again.

Hercules found his own solution, he raised Antaeus high up, lifting the giant’s feet from the ground, and strangled him in mid-air.

When David faced Goliath, it seemed he had learned or thing or two from Hercules.

“We are overpowered by giants, as we are by natural disasters. In our inner lives, we also have storms and tantrums and moods which can sweep through us like tidal waves. Perhaps we tell stories of battling and subduing giants as a means of gaining control over our uncontrollable, illogical, thick-headed, reactive, and irritable emotional lives”
giants  trump  war  philosophy 
yesterday by JohnDrake
Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Tweeting While Rome Burns | TomDispatch
At the end of World War II, the United States invested its prestige in forming an international community that would promote peace and shared prosperity through permanent institutions, including the United Nations (1945), the International Monetary Fund (1945), and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (1947), the predecessor to the World Trade Organization. To govern such a world order through the rule of law, Washington also helped establish the International Court of Justice at The Hague and would later promote both human rights and women’s rights.

On the realpolitik side of that duality, Washington constructed a four-tier apparatus -- military, diplomatic, economic, and clandestine -- to grimly advance its own global dominion. At its core was an unmatched military that (thanks to hundreds of overseas bases) circled the globe, the most formidable nuclear arsenal on the planet, massive air and naval forces, and an unparalleled array of client armies. In addition, to maintain its military superiority, the Pentagon massively promoted scientific research, producing incessant innovation that would lead, among so many other things, to the world’s first system of global telecommunications satellites, which effectively added space to its apparatus for exercising global power.
latino  war  pol.639  IPE  international  Power_in_America  Violence_y_Power  empire  history  Trump 
yesterday by Jibarosoy
A Dagger to the CIA | GQ
On December 30, in one of the deadliest attacks in CIA history, an Al Qaeda double agent schemed his way onto a U.S. base in Afghanistan and blew himself into the next life, taking seven Americans with him. How could this have happened? Agency veteran **Robert Baer** explains, offering chilling new details about the attack and a plea to save the dying art of espionage
espionage  war  gameResearch 
2 days ago by basemaly
Putin’s ‘hybrid peace’ more threatening to Ukraine than his ‘hybrid war,’ Portnikov says
Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric about Ukraine has changed in order to curry favor with Russians in advance of the presidential poll, but his approach on the ground has not changed, laying a potential trap for Ukrainians and meaning that his “hybrid peace” is even more dangerous than his “hybrid war,” Vitaly Portnikov says.
There is the great danger that Ukrainians and their supporters elsewhere, the Ukrainian commentator says, will focus on what Putin says rather than on what he continues to do and thus decide that Kyiv should make concessions to someone who has made none except at the level of propaganda.
In the weeks between his televised meeting with the Russian people and his more recent meeting with media editors, Putin has changed his tone in comments about Ukraine in remarkable ways.  He is no longer talking about the need for regime change in Kyiv but instead about the requirement for improving relations between the two countries.
But “nothing in the situation around Ukraine has changed,” Portnikov ways. “What has changed is Putin himself, above all from the point of view of rhetoric.”  The Kremlin leader wants to present himself as a peacemaker because that is what the Russian people want given the burdens his military efforts have placed on them.
russia  ukraine  propaganda  war  hybrid 
2 days ago by rgl7194

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