Humans have been naturally selected for Free Market Capitalism

In Ayn Rand’s Anthem, a dystopian fiction novel, she describes a Communist society organized by a centralized bureaucracy called the World Council of Scholars. Children are raised collectively by the whole society and not their biological parents. These children are not given names, but rather numbers – the protagonist is referred to as Equality 7-2521. Roles are assigned to them once they become adults and they are expected to fulfill these economic roles. There is no concept of salary though; equal communal living arrangements (housing and food) are provided for everybody by the World Council. The workers are also fully expected to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the collective, if necessary.

Ayn Rand may have been describing a well-functioning colony of ants or bees. E.O.Wilson, the famous sociobiologist, once quipped: “Marx was right; he just had the wrong species”. He was referring to the fact that eusocial animals with reproductive division of labour like ants and bees exhibit traits remarkably similar to communist societies.

In eusocial species, brood care responsibilities are shared by the entire hive. Since the workers are infertile, there is no need for any genetic competition between them; they can all work together with communal ownership of resources. Since the workers are clones, there are no distinctions between them. The worker bees work as a collective to serve the Queen, who is their genetic clone sister capable of reproduction. Worker roles are typically assigned by the Queen at birth (based on dietery differences in feed to the larvae). And the workers often sacrifice their lives (they are infertile, their lives don’t mean much) for the sake of the hive.

Humans, unlike bees, are a parasocial species (but not solitary like some members of the cat family). We live together in a shared community and there is inter-adult male cooperation but we are not wired for communal child-rearing. We are genetically different and fertile, which means that there will be competition among us resulting in economic inequalities. But, being social creatures, we also trade and cooperate with one another.

The notion of property rights also seems to be genetically determined. Children often make distinctions such as “this toy is mine and that is yours!”. When a child’s toy is stolen, it creates an emotional outburst. Property rights are not a social construct; Adults often have to teach children to share. That implies that sharing is the social construct and property rights are genetic.

Successful farming and dairy collectives are in existence, but they are typically family owned affairs with genetically related members. The Free Market does not impose corporate structures; it gives participants the freedom to organize their enterprises any way they want. Organizing an enterprise as a collective would require a very high degree of trust among the members and such collectives do not scale well; enterprises organized as corporations scale up more easily. This implies that the social construct called ‘sharing’ only works in genetically related, small scale units.

One of the primary corollaries of Natural Law is that the legal constructs used to govern a species must closely match the intrinsic nature of that species. All mismatches between the legal constructs used for governance and the intrinsic nature of that species create social tension and disharmony, eventually leading to violence.

When property rights are not legislatively mandated, societies remain poor and dysfunctional. When Pol Pot attempted to raise children in a communal basis, parents protested, eventually leading to a mass genocide. The Free Market, which allows competition but also trade and cooperation, is easily the best way to organize human economies.

But, process patents seems to be unnatural. Children often copy one another in sports. A child who develops a better strategy to play a game might attempt to keep that strategy secret. But, if another child manages to figure it out and copy that strategy, it is accepted as a natural consequence and is not a source of any emotional outburst. I believe that removing process patents altogether will actually make us more prosperous. Companies can keep their best practices as a secret if they can, but they should not be suing one another if their strategies are copied. Process patents will just result in making lawyers richer and consumers poorer.

You can read the original at my blog here: http://humancivilizations.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/humans-have-been...

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The Inca did not have capitalism. nor a currency.

Very True. A forced labor tax, however, that the nobles were exempt from performing, was exchanged for food. I wouldn't say they didn't have capitalism nor a currency, they did trade gold to outsiders for supplies, and used food as a currency for the labor. But their system certainly would appear to be a "different version" of capitalism, though people with letters behind their name have said otherwise, so what do I know?

They must have used something to store and exchange value. Free market capitalism is a naturally arising phenomenon, that always occurs unless the state violently interferes

There are a few false ideas here.

Your example of the child's behavior (regarding the ownership of the toy) demonstrates the lack of understanding that other people are individuals (like the child himself) who have their own needs and wants. So your example demonstrates nothing about property rights.

Also, if there was any support for your idea that genetics plays a role in the idea of "property rights" then the Native Americans would have understood the idea of land ownership but they didn't.

You also argue against property rights yourself when you argue against patents. You should figure out whether you support the idea of ownership or not.

Also you are wrong about children not having emotional outbursts when someone else copies their own personal way of doing something.

If we were to use the "intrinsic nature" of our species then everything should be geared towards tribal structures of on average 150 people and absolutely prevent any government or corporation of more than 230 people (Dunbar's number).

Our "intrinsic nature" also featured rules the tribes had regarding behavior which - in terms of capitalism - means regulations. So "Free Market Capitalism" - no. Controlled, regulated capitalism which prevents egregious behavior like polluting and monopolizing - yes.

"Your example of the child's behavior (regarding the ownership of the toy) demonstrates the lack of understanding that other people are individuals (like the child himself) who have their own needs and wants." - We're biologically programmed to own and protect property that is ours. That's my point. Other people having needs and wants does not change our biological wiring.

"Also, if there was any support for your idea that genetics plays a role in the idea of "property rights" then the Native Americans would have understood the idea of land ownership but they didn't." - They valued something else other than land then. We are intrinsically wired to value property, so that we can accumulate it and give it to our children to maximize their odds of succeeding in life.

"If we were to use the "intrinsic nature" of our species then everything should be geared towards tribal structures of on average 150 people and absolutely prevent any government or corporation of more than 230 people (Dunbar's number)." - Dunbar's number was only valid when we practiced polygyny. Monogamous societies have no such upper limit on count.

"Absolutely prevent any government or corporation of more than 230 people (Dunbar's number)" - That would not be natural then, would it? I am talking about systems that arise naturally, without interference. Any sort of violent interference would alter that.

"Controlled, regulated capitalism which prevents egregious behavior like polluting and monopolizing - yes" - Monopoly in a free market? How can that happen? If you can tell me how to monopolize my customers in a free market, I would be grateful for your advice :) The best way to monopolize would be to force the state to pass regulations hurting my competitors.

"We're biologically programmed to own and protect property that is ours." You've missed my point but you do so in a way that shows you will not accept the facts so I will not continue with this point. And in your second reply you again ignore the facts that refute your hypothesis. I will say that you need to study our social evolution to better understand things since you take the facts and rewrite them into your own distorted ideas of how things work.

Please reread the information regarding Dunbar's number and you will see that the sort of marriage a society utilizes has nothing to do with Dunbar's number.

"I am talking about systems that arise naturally, without interference." No you aren't. You said: "When property rights are not legislatively mandated, societies remain poor and dysfunctional." You can either claim to want to legislatively mandate certain things (as you claim we need to do with what you claim to be genetically sourced) or you can claim to want structures that arise naturally without interference. Currently you are claiming two opposite things arguing for something only when it supports what you want and arguing against it when it undermines what you want. I think you need to re-examine your basic ideas since they are weak and inconsistent.

"Any sort of violent interference would alter that." I did not mention or imply violence. You incorrectly inferred violence. I could speculate on why you make the wild leap to the idea of violence but that would border on an ad hominem attack so I will not.

If you can't see the developing monopolies then I'm not going to point them out since I want fewer monopolies.

I'm no particular fan of copyright protections or patents. I think 5 years is WAY MORE than long enough. And the excuse that weak laws would result in less research or artistic output is pure stinking rubbish.

As for property rights...your text implies a highly developed and mature economy with the notion of private property highly ingrained in the psyche of all citizens...and where monopolistic practices are not allowed. It "should" in effect only apply to each sector of an economy where a minimum standard per citizen is defined and well met and where competition and the trading of goods meets high standards of openness and accessibility.

Property rights and zero regulation is meaningless if it means some people rot in the gutters and where some can never count on getting a share of anything...where others keep getting a higher and higher share nearing monopoly and where data is kept hidden or secret or out of view from most people.

If I paint a painting, why shouldn't it be my property for as long as I want it to be, to bequeath to my children, and they to theirs, indefinitely? After all, if I build a house it is treated that way. By what principle does anyone else have a valid claim on it?

Perhaps we need to make a copyright distinction between the copyright of artistic works and the invention of processes which might be of general benefit and which could lead to monopolies and other abuses if ownership never ended.

If you build a house...of course it's yours. But you shouldn't have monopoly over the plans or the design of the house, the facade, the colour of paint you use around the windows.

Five years is enough time to recoup all reasonable expenses of any artistic, scientific, technological or pharmaceutical endevour, business model, innovation, genetic modification, ......

Companies hide behind the excuse that without long term patents and copyright ... no one would produce advanced or costly technologies or art. This is rubbish.

Five years is enough time to recoup all reasonable expenses of any artistic, scientific, technological or pharmaceutical endevour, business model, innovation, genetic modification, ......

Yeah, government funding of research should cover the longer range investments (e.g. through universities, or entities like NASA) for endeavors such as sustainable energy (e.g. nuclear fusion), cancer research, and so on . It doesn't make sense for only the largest of profitmaking institutions to monopolize a critical product or resource for longer than a half-dozen years or so.

Often works of art aren't discovered by the public in the first five years. And while it's clear that you hold the opinion that five years is long enough, I ask again, "By what principle does anyone else have a valid claim on it?"

In other words, if I write a novel, WHY should someone else EVER be able to profit from it or gain control over it? A novel is not in the same class as a life-saving drug or an invention or process that might enrich the nation or save lives. What is the problem with it remaining personal property. What benefit to the world is so critical that it justifies wresting ownership from the artist and his heirs?

A) Five years is enough time to recoup all reasonable expenses of any artistic... [endeavor].

B) What benefit to the world is so critical that it justifies wresting ownership from the artist and his heirs?

The owner of art has the option to keep it hidden so that no one can copy it. So a counter-question is, what gives an artist the right to state protection of his art, if he decides to publish it?

I think the answer is, "because society has come to an agreement on how to impose copyright laws, for the sake of encouraging profit in creativity". In other words, we can all ask what "justifies enforceable, exclusive ownership" of something, and the answer will necessarily be somewhat arbitrary, or at least largely contingent on legal precedents.

It's not an irrelevant question, but is a side issue to the bigger issue of the thread.

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