Altruism and Identity in Evolutionary Perspective


Edited by Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Frank K. Salter


Berghahn Books, New York



CHAPTER 1: Introduction 

- by Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Frank Kemp Salter

- Page 1


1 – Why do cultures and cultural diversity exist in the first place?  ‘Why’ in an evolutionary perspective means what were the selective pressures? And how are we phylogenetically prepared to act?


3 – How do large-scale societies strike a balance between administrative nurturance and authoritarian dominance?


Karl Popper used to say “All organisms are in search of a better world.”  We too.  But we have an advantage, we can deliberate, debate and plan.


4 – A problem is our disposition towards the now.  In evolution, who won now mattered most.


5 – Niko Tinbergen’s 1963 questions:

1)     How does a behavior develop?

2)     What is its evolutionary history?

3)     What are its immediate or “proximate” causes?

4)     What are its functions; how does it help an animal adapt or reproduce?


This volume addresses each of these questions, except the first, in separate sections.


5 - Part one concerns phylogeny EiblEibesfeldt argues ethnonationalist ideologies work by creating a sense of “we group” and elicit bonding from the mother / child (and other family members) bonding mechanisms. 


This is not just an analogy: humans follow a flag like ducks imprinted on a ball follow it. He looks at pseudospeciation and cautions against multiculturalism.


6 - Detlev Ploog compares aggression and appeasement between preschool children and New World Squirrel Monkeys. They are homologous.


Pete Richerson and Robert Boyd’s chapter uses math to compare Homo sapiens to the social insects on corals. They look at New Guinea highlands’ selected cultural markers to signify group boundaries and facilitate the discipline of would be free riders.


7 - Lionel Tiger looks at our ability to adopt cultural solutions as a low – cost alternative to changing our body shape or neural wiring.  Hence cultural diversity supports it being culturist (biological) not “culturalist” (freed from biology). (pages 7 and 100)


Part Two looks less directly at phylogenetic themes by looking at non-institutionalized societies.


Wulf Schiefenhovel looks at the indoctrination processes of the Eipo.  He finds exaggerating differences a common practice.


8 – Polly Wiessner looks at the reverse, not the separation of groups, but the homogenation of two adjoining societies to facilitate trade between kin. She says indoctrination evolved due to individual selection to counteract kin selection (which can inhibit trade networks) by standardizing people.


Johan van der Dennen looks at mechanism underlying war and peace in many societies. In traditional socieites the destructive potential of war is mitigated by practices and rules like exogamy, arbitration, trade, diplomacy, intercommunity rites and feasts, hospitality, etc. 


Part three looks at causation.


9 – Siefgried Frey looks at prejudice in the age of communication.  The mainstream says it is rational indoctrination and decision.  But nonverbal stimuli creates stereotypes too.


Karl Grammer looks at sexual selection mechanisms in advertising.  The two ways are associating a good with a woman to make it feel good and comparison with a normative image. How did ad folks intuit sexual selection mechanisms? 


10 – Jim Schubert  Men are quicker to a call to arms and ‘rally ‘round the flag’ than women.  This jibes with women’s more ‘humanitarian’ role in nurturance.


Michael McGuire, et al, look at brain processes that look at integration feelings that religion provides, the well-being transmitters.


Part four also looks at proximate causation with two analyses of symbolism in art and tv.


11 – Christa Sutterlin art pases on ethnical and social norms non-verbally.  It uses our adapted perception biases to release aesthetic pleasure.  Buildings and the half naked woman, liberty, are examined.


Robert Deutsch says indoctrination is possible because people need to belong and feel powerful. Political ads thus lead us to expressions and gestures that are ritualized. Personality dominates.


12 - Part five looks at group processes looks at Tinbergen’s final theme: that of function – how it serves reproduction.  This section argues that we are a group animal and so group selection is right.


Hiram Caton fights the negative connotation of indoctrination: it integrates people into social groups via ‘pride, energy, commitment and a sense of well-being.’ Eat that!  He looks at the SLA and the motivational speaker movement.


Kevin MacDonald looks at group selection and Judaism, drawing on Boyd and Richerson’s argument that culturally based strategies push group selection more than genes. They increase altruism towards the group, punish cheaters and create cohesion.


Philippe Rushton looks at genetic similarity mediates human relationships in that people marry and befriend people like them.  This allows group selection. So indoctrination should follow ethnic lines.


14 - Irwin Silverman and Danielle Case reject similarity theory saying preferential treatment is only between kin. After that it is pragmatism. They look at how strong / weak ethnocentrism is in the face of pragmatic considerations. And, they ask whether perceived ethnic differences are a cause or effect of war.


Part 6 is synthetic.


Gebhard Geiger compares Weber’s charismatic authority theory and considers it a ritually created feeling that someone has superior powers. Indoctrinability is “an evolved predisposition to ritualized submission” not necessarily adaptive in industrial societies. It can justify war.


15 - Frank Salter looks at Chinese Communist brainwashing and ‘deprogramming’ from cults and finds the techniques are highly transferable.


16 – Roger Masters presents a mathematical model of ‘recognition markers’ such as symbols and myths of the state. The five types of markers are: kinship, phenotypic similarity, language, religion and territory. He sees how these functioned after the demise of the USSR.



Biology can aid cultural issues.  But, there is disagreement within.  Rushton and Silverman disagree on ‘similarities attract.’  A huge fissure is also between those who say indoctrination helped make groups units of selection and those who say indoctrination was required more to overcome groups’ tendencies to conflict.   Can we say self-inculcation is a type of indoctrination, like Caton?  Or is it more of a thing imposed from above, like Salter says?





CHAPTER 2: Us and the Others: The Familial Roots of Ethnonationalism

- by Iraneaus Eibl-Ebesfeldt

- Page 21


He will argue that familial dispositions are the basis of mankind’s prosociality. He will trace indoctrinability to imprinting.  This was necessary to get us to larger communities that were capable of internal cooperation.


 Cultural experiments from nurturant to dominant tapped into our pre-existing social dispositions.




22 – Iguanas are not social.  Even their mating is dominance and submission displays. Reptiles have no “us and them.”  Mammals and birds often discriminate via us versus them category.


24 - Caretaking and protection created individual bonding mechanisms that adults can use. 


Female birds use the childlike in courting, males when encountering someone bigger.  So nurtured nurturing are expanded.


25 – Likewise adult male wolfs become as infants when they submit.


26 – In humans, bonding via kissing, caressing and embracing clearly stem from childhood mechanisms. Crying also triggers sympathetic responses.


27 – Also in humans, acquaintance creates trust whereas strangers are not trusted.  At 6 months the babies distrust strangers mechanism begins.


28 - This is “us two” versus “others.”


29- Note the word “familiar.”  Extended kin led to group selection strengthened by reciprocal altruism. This can facilitate trade.  In the Kalahari !Kung each adult has 16 exchange partners. This is all over in kin based societies.


32 – In the majority of kin based societies males stay with their local groups while females migrate. Chimps too.  Males are, therefore, closely related.  But dispersed  females can help separate groups interact.


33 – Xenophobia is universal.  But, fear of strangers is not hatred of strangers (which is a result of indoctrination). But, we are wired so that one negative interaction with a stranger can create a stereotype. Agonistic behavior is reptilian and so older (they didn’t affiliate).


Even chess players feel a drop in testosterone after a loss; the winner an ego boost.  Within groups repressive dominance tendencies are tabooed.  Affiliative behaviors predominate.


Those who have a special skill and protect the weak lead.


34 – Repressive dominance is often, however, shown towards strangers.


35 – Wilson hypothesized that groups easily indoctrinated fought better and so their genes were passed on.  And, individually, those who conformed best might have the benefits of membership with low risk.


Mothers indoctrinate, in a way, and perhaps tied to the infantile following response that can be imprinted upon crude parent substitutes.


“In human phylogeny, warfare has worked in a group-selective way.”  “War is a culturally elaborated form of destructive group aggression.”




With the onset of animal husbandry and agriculture, group size became important for war. So large anonymous societies were born.


36 – “Through indoctrination a fixation to culture-specific standards of behavior ethical concepts, values, symbols,  and other characteristics takes place, seemingly similar to he learning process called “imprinting.”  It is “Quite resistant to therapy.”


Many mothers and children (sea lions for example) make exclusive bonds via vocalizations.  Oxytocin is crucial to the bonding.  Lambs bond in five minutes, then the sensitivity period is over, and the bond can’t happen.


37 – Ewes who have their cervix mechanically opened (as in birth) release oxytocin and then bond with whatever youth it is presented with.  Sex and nipple manipulation also create oxytocin. 


38 – He thinks the indoctrination period happens before juvenile sex identification in humans. Before puberty, boys choose boy body illustrations; girls, girls.  This changes with puberty.  The anthem makes people get larger and back straight, head up as in gorilla fight stance.


40 – Accent is early in life too. This seems to have to do with territoriality.  When we move away we get homesick. People who move a lot as youth seem to not have this affliction.  Indoctrination usually happens formally in adolescence.


Still, family comes prior to group first in bonding.  Indoctrination seem to help neutralize such centrifugal forces.




41 – When pre-state groups split, they used to do so on a kinship basis. They get distinguished via dialect.  Fission happens when kinship ties are weak.  Fusion where groups need each other. 


Erikson in 1966 called fission “cultural pseudospeciation.”


As pressures of war lessened, Yanomami split more. 


42 – Distinctive cultural markers are often variations of the same belief system. Three groups, one makes boys men via injecting sperm orally, the other anally, the last via masturbation and rubbing.


43 – Often kinship categorizations represent bonds and fissures. Non-kin are called ‘brother’ or ‘father.’


Family ties are of course stronger than those between village members, which are stronger than those between inter-village.  Myths also help establish fictive kinship. 

44 - But such myth-descent, joined groups still war.




46 – Repressive dominance is usually achieved via agonistic behavior.

Nurturant behaviors can also be domination moves as giving incurs obligation. Giving can be aggressive until one is unable to reciprocate.


47 – The will to nurture is so strong that it even happens to those who resist it.  Sometimes, this can lead to elongated infantile dependence.


48 – People who don’t know each other bond in nations.  But, it is weak.  And, people will use dominance against others that they do not know within a society that they would not use towards kin.


Often repressive dominance is partnered with supposed protection. In repressive dominance the rulers stay far away from the ruled.


There is a positive correlation between the size of the society and a belief in high gods. 


49 – Caution about multiculturalism.  Peaceful coexistence of different etnic groups within one state is certainly possible if none of the groups need fear the domination of others. This is best achieved when each group owns its own land and has sovereignty, like Switzerland.


CHAPTER 3: War and Peacemaking: The Fusion of Two Neighboring Captive Monkey Colonies

- by Detlev W. Ploog 

- Page 55


55 – Chimps are capable of strategic thinking.  So do the evolutionary roots of war form the basis of cultural war behavior?


56 – Each monkey group has a specific set of calls that are aimed at other groups.  Hierarchy within groups and formations of new groups are determined by the distribution of such calls.


This chapter argues that non-human primates and humans engage in homologous and phylogenetically determined  conflict and resolution patterns. We must recognize these or our ‘humanized’ resolution methods will fail.


He will argue from individual interactions to those of groups.


Signaling both sends a message and expresses the giver’s inner state. Such signals go all the way to flies, ritually fighting and thus gaining women!


57 – Squirrel monkeys do genital display.


61 – Two groups were separated by a wall.  The Y group (3 males and 13 females) was more stable.  The B group (5 males and 6 females) was more dynamic.  In B group there was a rivalry for alpha status.


62 – In the 8th week the barrier was lowered.  Y incurred into B territory with the females shrieking and the males displaying their genitals. Y was clearly dominant.  Y initiated peace by rolling on his back and showing his erection.  A b female inspected it with her nostrils. 


After 24 hours Y alpha attacked B2 and B1 backed his former rival. Two weeks later, Y1 and B1 attacked B2 severely.  After that B1 was submissive to A1. B2 kept being attacked.  The former B alpha then became inactive.


64 – The signals within and between groups are the same.  The sources of the fighting are hard to see to the human eye, but potential territory invasion is assumed.


65 – Preschool children do the same as primates.  More attention is given to the dominant.   Children from 17 months to 5.5 years were watched.  In the youngest group most interactions were agonistic. 


66 – In the 2 – 3 year olds agaonistic behavior decreases and affiliation increases. Competition, however, continues.  And, attention goes to popular hubs. 


67 – He notes that the stable group won the battle when the primates were put together.   Though there may be conflating variables.  The invaders had more subjects, though two less males.  Also the attacked group had a bit more space and sun (which squirrel monkeys like).


68 – An ancient illustration of Thor in war with erections displayed is used to suggest homologous nature of agonistic and peace signaling.


CHAPTER 4: The Evolution of Human Ultrasociability

     by Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd

– Page 71


73 – The basic argument is that cultural evolutionary processes drove the evolution of human ultrasociality.


“As cultural group selection began to produce primitive patterns of in-group cooperation and out-group hostility, human cognitive capacities and emotional responses, presumably coded in large measure by genes, responded to adapt people to living in culturally definined cultural groups.”


In chapters 3 to 5 of Descent Darwin outlines a theory of the evolution of the psychological basis of human ultrasociality. 


Genetic group selection is likely to be weak in humans.  But group selectionon cultural variations is another matter.




Most biologists believe nonhuman animal cooperation can be explained by kinship and reciprocity.


75 – Axelrod and Hamilton’s tit-for-tat.  “Lead with altruism and then copy what your partner did on the previous round” is the best.  These results do not, Richerson and Boyd found, scale to large groups.

76 – Punishment doesn’t clean this up either.  Until one big punisher per group emerges.  This is like a big man.


77 – In games of cooperation it is best to do what everyone else is doing.

Some experiments suggest we are very good at detecting cheaters.


78 – Reluctant cooperation was seen in an attractive experimenter getting people to make televised speeches against a hated exam system.




79 – The above work in small groups, perhaps, and clearly have some effect, but not enough.   If dominance alone could create large scale cooperation, we’d see lots of it in the animal kingdom.


80 – Cultural group selection does explain ultrasociality. 

A theory as to why Japan and Germany bounced back is that they had rooted out all the small scale groups that compete with larger group allegiance and so were unified. Denazification helped the recovery by smashing smaller groups.




 81 – They deny genetic group selection because wife capture is so common.  So the genes of the captured group persist. In pre-contact New Guinea they think defeated groups were dispersed into other groups.   Furthermore, violent conflict increases migration rates.




81 – We are unique in how much social groups are marked by symbolic means.  Really?


Theoretical models of cooperation and cultural group selection

82 – Intuitively, we can survey more than two parents when adopting cultural models. So this scales up.


So long as the rate of immigration is not overwhelming, weak conformity biases, if people use the prevalence of a practice to choose behaviors, differences between groups are maintained.


Groups with culture will stabilize faster than groups without, so they will have an advantage.




83 – Societies with internal warfare have small-scale fraternal interest groups composed of males as the dominant social order.  Thos that suppressed internal warfare, did external, and emphasized socialization of warriors into age sets, police societies, and other military institutions that cut across units of male relatedness.


For cultural transmission by conformity mechanism to work effectively, cultural groups must be formed by splitting of old groups, not by drawing random samples of random migrants. The former way preserves variation between groups.


Group extinction in New Guinea was 10 to 20 percent per generation. 


84 – They say that rare cultural institutions can become widespread within a millennia?


If cultural group selection worked over substantial periods of time, and defectors were punished, coercion bias could become genetic – as lactose did.  [But lactose was very quick so is he proposing a mental adaptation in post-Diaspora man?]


85 – Brilliantly, Batson had people either watch traumatized Elaine get shocked, leave early or take her place.  Those told they could leave early and had not been primed for empathy, they did not take her place.  If primed for empathy, they did – watching or not watching was not a factor. So, with empathy, altruism exists; group members can have each others back.


Ideology and symbol system evolution: In –Group Marking


87 – Indirect bias:  Young people have biases in choosing a role model.  After they pick up a number of other ideas, norms, skills, and attitudes without further bias.


Stylistic features of culture that mark apparent ethnic differences  fir appear at the Upper Paleolithic transition about 35,000 years ago.


88 – People use prestige as an indirect bias.  And people use symbolic , stylistic markers in the form of body adornment to communicate and negotiate personal and social identities relative to others. People use other markers too, like bead work.


Tajfel divided groups by who supposedly liked Knadinsky and who liked Klee.   This generated favoritism.


90 – Experimental evidence shows that unliked, ungrouped children usually favor the liked.  But grouped unpopular children bias rewards towards their outsider compatriots.


91 – Groups spend a lot of time maintaining ethnolinguistic tribes as an institution.  And, while higher primates organize into units as large as a band, there is no nonhuman social unit corresponding to the ethnolinguistic tribe. Such symbolism is how we breached the small band size.


CHAPTER 5: Notions of Nature, Culture, and the Sources of Indoctrinability

    by Lionel Tiger

– Page 97


 We often create a distinction between repressive society and the rich inner life and desires of man. 




98 – Culture is to circumscribe nature in children.  This means they can be indoctrinated.  There is no alternative.  Cultures people appreciate the arts. Adepts are consumers and yet superior individuals.




99 - Romer’s rule claimed that animals make small changes to avoid making large ones.  In animals, feather color.  In us skin color.  Is cultural variation the same thing?




100 – The “culturalist” view of culture is a sort of creationist story where culture is invented without reference to biology.  Even science is conditional cultural bias.


101 – They corrupt Heisenberg, which is subatomic.  Newton’s apples continue to fall, even if he is not looking at them.


But there is something naturally human about the ability to create variable cultural patterns. Tiger and Fox, following Chomsky, proposed a “cultural acquisition device.” 



101 – But why would we need such a device? Because we are so variable, biologically, that we need some unifying capacity to coordinate socioeconomic, political and military behavior.


102 – Culture reduces our variability to the point of the military.  Religion coordinates via behavioral and mental regimentation.


The cultural acquisition devise evolved to create quick and reliable inculcation of social values.  Humans are ready for inculcation.


104 - In 1965 Julian Huxley organized the Zoological Society of London meeting in which Erik Erikson introduced the idea of “pseudospeciation.” 


105 - We mark others for damage and elimination by conceiving them as impersonal, nonhuman prey.


These mechanisms are the work of the higher cortical and symbolic faculties. 




CHAPTER 6: Indoctrination Among the Eipo of the Highlands of West-New Guinea

     by Wulf Schiefenhovel

– Page 109


110 – Based on two years of field study, this paper looks at indoctrination in gender, moral behavior, male martial powers, and ethnicity.


When he studied them in 1974 – 1980 they knew little of the outside world and used stone tools. (prior to Christians stopping infanticide and providing medicine).


112 – The social levels were, nuclear family, extended family, lineage / clan, men’s house community, village, and political alliance of a number of villages.


113 – Big men led village communities based on intellectual, oratorical, social and physical skills. They had some social control, but social norms and gossip and the belief in witches were just as important.


Initiation ceremonies happened every 10 years. Other huge ceremonies / feasts could have overrun local ethnicity, but did not.



114 – Gender relations can be described as antagonistic. 


115 - Men wear devices that make them always look somewhat erect, a “frozen dominance erection.”  Differences in houses, male initiation, gender specific work, food taboos and mythically founded fear of the vagina and female sexuality also distinguish men and women.  Boys were separated from mothers early and placed with men so that they could become real men.


117 – Trobriand Islanders, Malinowski found, are much less gender divided. They are mothers and caregivers, but also involved in politics.



118 – The torturing and killing of witches seemed to involve no empathetic feelings. Children and men, mostly, were seen to brutalize a body for 2 days and found it highly arousing.   The village allowed other villagers to kill her to appease them and avoid war, he thinks.


120 – As a sort of punishment for breaking norms (against sending black magic) might have been involved, this killing could be considered moralistic aggression. It is a form of indoctrination.




121 – Every Fourth male was to die of violence.  During their stay, 3 per 1,000.

The Eipo have internal and external violence.  Three men were killed because a dog thought his dog was killed.  They have ritualized cannibalism. 


124 – Boys, taken from their mothers at 3 or 4, engaged in war games for a long time.  Many folks had only one eye because of this socialization.


One aggrieved person led into and in battle. He may not have gotten more women (though it was believed).  But to lead he had to not only be strong, but personable.




126 – Cannibalism is done because it destroys the enemy.

The authors witnessed a war over a woman who eloped to an enemy man and his village.  The brothers went to war to get her back.

127 – The enemy were seen as ghosts, not human.

128 – Upon returning from a battle, they had a dance spectacle. ON going public shows of arms by men reminded them that they were still at war – elongating it.  129 - These “standing with arrows” also helped to show they were not others!



130 – Joint ceremonies did not dispel ethnic hatreds.   Indoctrination  did not take place during special occasions, except for cannibalistic rites and triumphant dance feasts after the killing of an enemy.  It was day-to-day.   Low-key ever present indoctrination seems to be effective. 

131 – The Eipo did not do, ‘my country right or wrong,’ they did ‘my people.’


CHAPTER 7: Indoctrinability and the Evolution of Socially Defined Kinship

by Polly Wiessner

– Page 133


133 – “Inctrinability, the predisposition to be inculcated with values or loyalties that run contrary to immediate individual interest, is a universally found characteristic of humans.”

But how to explain it?  Group selection, like Eibl-Eibesfeldt does, linked to warfare?


She proposes an alternative:

- Pressure came from the evolution of socially defined kinship.

- It acted to counteract “natural” in-group family loyalties via cultural standardization.


It could then be strengthened by group selection.  But, she sees it as coming from an extension of family loyalty.



134 - These fictive kinships allowed people to spread to wider niches.

The cognitive prerequisites are the ability to:

1)     categorize and symbolize

2)     Engage in relationships of reciprocal altruism

3)     Treat less familiar individual members as if they were family members, even if their behavior or ideas seem foreign or repellent.


135- Evidence will show that kinship is natural, but that socially defined kinship needs constant reinforcement.



Body ornamentation is an integral pat of social kinship’s start.

This article is based on 2 years with the !Kung San peoples.


136 – It is only in the Early Upper Paleolithic (50,000 – 10,000 years ago) that nonlithic artifacts and pierced pendants used for self-decoration are found in large quantities and on a regular basis.  It is reasonable to suppose that this coincided with the formation of relationships with those outside the group.


137 - These are homogenous over large areas.  Only in the later Upper Paleolithic do we find stylistic evidence of closure of groups and the expression of sociocultural boundaries.


Trade also expands at this time to 100 to 300 KM.  In the lower Paleolithic  (2.5 million years ago to 300,000 years ago) there is a virtual absence of imported raw materials. 


138 – She will present evidence that the first evidence for indoctrination appears with the formation of social networks outside the group and this gave access to resources and assistance of other groups.




139 – They were largely egalitarian and leadership based on respect and persuasion. During food shortages or conflict people often left.


Adults had partnerships with approximately 16.5 other folks with a radius of up to 200 kilometers. They went there when times were tough.  The !Kung spent 2.2 months a year “visiting” such partners.


140 - They are among the least indoctrinated people on earth. They are individualistic.  The movement of a whole camp can be stopped by one child’s tantrum.  They won’t work for long on group projects, to the despair of aid workers.  Missionaries cannot convert them.


But there is indoctrination (if we look closely). 


1) Children’s necklace beads are to be given to others at 6 months to a year.  This continues through adolescence.



2) Males are initiated with wide groups after having gone through trials of hunger and thirst, tattooing, and learning about the !Kung ways of life by a stranger, saying, “I am not your mother, I am not your father, but I tell you this: we !Kung do things this way.”


3) Trance dances performed during illness or social tension.  Neighboring camps participate.


The indoctrination is for opening, not closure.




142 – They are pig farmers. They war, but make up in ceremonies with live pigs and pork.  They compete for big man style and if they don’t win, they fall far.


They have true kin (agnatic) and social kin (affinal).


143 – Warfare took the lives of about 25 % of the men between 1900 and 1955.

144 – The need for large pig exchange ceremonies with 40-70,000 people came from the need for peace once warfare declined after the introduction of sweet potatoes 240 years ago.


Bachelor cults and marriages grew just prior to meeting Europeans due to  the mounting competition between groups the sweet potato created.  But though competition was escalating, these cults preached openness, not closure.


146 – She says the bachelor ceremony doesn’t overly bond, but only bonds those in them.  They help people speak to a wide network.


147 – Fighting skill enhancement was bought privately in the form of magic formulae. 




Thus the rituals counteract in-group tendencies. 

Yes, indoctrinability appears to have a biological basis.  But its contents are culturally stipulated.  Socially defined kinship and supportive indoctrination can be molded to suit the context and needs of each society, whether to open or close boundaries. 



CHAPTER 8: The Politics of Peace in Primitive Societies: The Adaptive Rational Behind Corroboree and Calumet

-          by Johan M. G. van der Dennen

-          Page 151



152 – Many people (the author?) says that going to war is a utilitarian decision.  People stay at peace when they can avoid it and solve the “male fierce warrior syndrome.”  Those who think war the natural state, need to explain peace.


He says the claim of universal human belligerence is grossly exaggerated.  It is utilitarian.





154 – Richerson says that war is an evolutionary tragedy, no one can pull out or fail to prepare upon penalty of death.


And, Van der Dennen adds, such a stalemate can only hold if there are big men with negotiating power that can suppress private grievances, raids, and revenge. 


155 – And often people don’t like the treaties and their masculinity is undermined by accepting them.




 155 – Many fierce people are terrible warriors.  Many Yanamamo do not fight as much as Chagnon said. [He is unaware of the recent studies and doubts Richerson’s figures.  They are correct]. 




156 – Hunger-gatherers are not as warlike as agricultural societies cause the latter have property and classes.


His surveyors of past surveyors found people to be often peaceful.  War, he concludes only happens as calculations necessitate it.


158 – Clans sometimes put people to the death if they are hell bent on avenging a killing, and so may throw the clan into war – especially if he is wrong.


159 – Another study found only 11 out of 130 peaceful societies.  Another found only four among 50.  Those they found were small foragers and geographically isolated.


He thinks these numbers low because it classified only as peaceful, those who didn’t even have inter-tribe warfare.


160 – Also, why is inter species war only found in humans and chimpanzees?


Also, it is different in bands, tribes and states.  In states it is not just individual battles gotten out of hand.  


161 – When we say “peaceful people” we are looking for no violence, an idyllic people.


And, even in the Yanamamo, boys fear pain and danger and heavy indoctrination is needed to make them fight.


Also, so many wars are defensive and the studies don’t take that into consideration; nor do they take women into consideration.


And, much war is due to contact with whites.


163 – We often hear that tribes were fighting and that whites suppressed it.  Quite the opposite.


163 – 165 Gregor found the characteristics of peaceful societies:

Small, low social stratification, egalitarian decision making. No monopoly over land, no economic surplus, an antiviolent value system, a psychology of defeat. Childrearing does not seem to be important; peaceful refugees are still xenophobic, they constrain violence.


166 – 167 A typology of peaceful societies. Dissociative and associative characteristics.


168 – Dissociative rule = good fences make good neighbors.  Associative, the exchange of goods, services and peoples. They use women as diplomats. Exogamous tribes fight receiving tribes less.


Short term exchange of women is sometimes part of the peacemaking process. As is compensation and festivals to mark new peace. Third party mediation, formal declarations of war which invite responses, fixing the time and place and judicial duels also mitigate war. Chivalry, peace treaties and covenants, blood brotherhood and war substitutes also minimize war.


175 – The need for purification rituals shows people feel bad about killing. 




177 – Here he actually states that Exogamy and trade are actually positively associated with war frequency.  But he contests the conclusion. 


Peacability is not a disability.  People who are peaceful can be warlike.  May people who value peace still have high rates of war. 


179 – We must more particular than ‘peaceful’ or ‘warlike.’  What kinds of circumstances for example, is important. Sometimes it is justified.





CHAPTER 9: Prejudice and Inferential Communication: A New Look at an Old Problem

    by Siegried Frey

    Page 189


189 – Rules of conduct meant to suppress hostile actions among community members are in the earliest writings.  It didn’t work so well.


190 – The renaissance humanists tried to take superstition and irrationality out of causes for war.  Since 1637, Cartesian doubt has been an object of education, not dumping info. 


191 - That held through Kant.  But today we blame the teacher for the recipients’ thoughts. This perceptual shift happened with behaviorism.


192 – Walter Lippmann created the word “stereotype.”  IT was an affective association as understood under the shadow of WWI.

193 -  And they are nearly impervious to contrary information.

But we have tried with busing and higher education to move people past stereotypes.

194 - Post the Civil Rights movement it seemed we were making real progress. But post cold war nationalism is showing us as possibly going backwards.

195 – To understand prejudice, we must go past Lippmann’s information processing view of its creation.

198 – Chomsky’s crique of Skinner led us to understand the limits of the engineering, information processing model wherein the inner workings were a mystery.

202 – We must look at the receiver’s reception of the message.

203 – And non verbal communication.

204 – There is a dogmatic nature of visual perception.  We judge people by their looks quickly.

207 – Lorenz and TInberger showed the importance of visual stimulus in eliciting behaviors.

208 – Babies’ faces elicit responses in mothers.  Visual cues of flirting are the same across cultures. Ads with women elicit responses.

210 – Voting has become more of a non-verbal thing.

212 – People judge visuals of political leaders in 250 miliseconds.

213 -The reaction was especially correlated with verbal associations when the leader was described as “powerful.”



CHAPTER 10: Sex and Gender in Advertisement: Indoctrination and Explanation

  by Karl Grammer

  Page 219


219 – Ads are a huge business.  The “Farrah-effect,” people who watched short clips of Charlie’s Angels developed unrealistic mate choices.


220 – Advertising is at the root of indoctrination. The UN mistakenly says ads only show women as sexy or housewives.  And, they blame this on over dieting, eating disorders, sexual violence, and even child porn.


221 – But, if there is exploitation, there has to be something which can be exploited – mind open to this sort of programming.



Triver’s basic theory wherein men and women have different investments and so different attitudes towards sex and rearing kids is called the “parental investment theory.”


222 – Women look for men with status to provide and so appreciate male-dominance, status, prowess, and nurturance in mates.


223 – Men want several pretty young (re: fertile) women and are more interested in women than they are in men.



With 16 characteristics and gestalt, we identify gender even in heavily distorted faces and distant figures. Women we find waist to hip ratio and men waist to shoulder.


224 – After discriminating gender, we look to see suitability as a mate.


225 – We store faces as a list of deviations from prototypes. And, we almost irreversibly link personality traits to facial prototypes.


Men like computer averaged faces, women do not, they like extremes.  Broad chins are seen as a sign of dominance in the 8 cultures studied. It gets you higher in west point and more girls in college.  A broad chin may be linked to the ability to survive the extra testosterone people with them have. 


227 – Symmetry is attractive.  In unstable environments body fat is linked to status. 

228 – Prototypes make things easier to see.  And this may explain some attractiveness of averages.



228 – ‘Triggering signals’ are a fast and dirty symbol.  But it must be interpreted. A child’s smile is not sexual interest, a woman’s may be.  Once built, triggering signals can be utilized in other domains – such as advertising.


229 – “Cultural selection” works on ads: those that work stay, otherwise, they get yanked.


230 – The author looked at 357 Austrian advertisements.  He glosses over the fact that only 52% of the ads showed people.  This is interesting.


231 – They mostly show single men (17.4 percent), then single women (15.7) and couples (9.5) groups of men (3.1) and groups of women (1.7) nearly no kids.


232 – Women are more often disembodied and men’s faces are shown more.  Men standing, women stand, sit, kneel (12.2) and lie down (19.5). 


233 – Nude women are doing anything but standing.

Women smile more.  Women show more submission. 

235 – Women are used more often to sell to women, men for men. Couples to men.


We can expect an evolution-like optimization of ads. 


236 – Males avoid eye contact with the customer, which could be seen as confrontational. Male ads to men model success. 


237 – Since male nudes do not advertise to anyone, we can assume that no one wants to see it.   If it exists it goes to gay men.  Evolutionary, women have no motivation to be interested in male nudity; it would lead to random pairings and poor survival.


Women being naked for female products undermines a feminist claim. 


238 - This analysis has bolstered evolutionary presuppositions.


CHAPTER 11: The Role of Sex and Emotion in Indoctrinability: Experimental Evidence on the “Rally ‘Round the Flag” Effect

- By James N. Schubert

– Page 241

Ragsdale studied the appearance and location of Presidential speeches.

242 – Military intervention speeches work more for men than women. They are the most replicable in “political psychology.”


243 – Four theories account for this 1) Ideology, 2) Women are poor and so want butter over guns. 3) The potential for motherhood makes women more sensitive 4) Socialization into sex roles accounts for it.

244 – All the above are weak.



They presented four variations of speeches: visual plus vocal; vocal only  (audiotape); verbal only (transcript); and control (no direct exposure – newspaper summary of event). 


One speech used national security (Bush, Iraq) and another referred to humanitarian aid (Clinton Haiti). 


Their speech found no sex difference in the general rally around phenomenon. But, it found men twice as responsive to televised presidential appeals.


253  -Males rallied more to Bush and women to Clinton.  This goes against the ‘rally around the flag’ lit so far. 


256 – But generally, females were attracted to Clinton’s humanitarian language and males Bush’s national interest.


IN conclusion, television does amplify the ‘rally around the flag’ effect.


259 – Females support humanitarian intervention more.  Why?  Perhaps inclusive fitness means they don’t want young folks to die; perhaps it is that they are more nurturing.


260 – Male collective violence for national interests, involving coalition, alliances have a long tradition – that may go back epochs.


261 – Interesting to note that ‘rally around the flag’ even happens in controlled experimental settings. Females being more into humanitarian has vast political implications.


CHAPTER 12: Ideology and Physiological Regulation

    by Michael T. McGuire, Alfonso Troisi, Michael J. Raleigh, and Roger D. Masters

    Page 263


The opiate of the masses quip is literally true.  It releases endorphins and enkephalins. 


Consummatory behavior is eating, sexual satisfaction.


264 – In monkeys, apes and humans, information may trigger changes in neurotransmitters and hormones.   Information can be divided into 1) external 2) social, 3) physiological (including emotions), and 4) cognitive.


He wants to frame this as part of regulation-disregulation theory (RDT). They hypothesize that the probability that an ideology will be endorsed enthusiastically correlates with the degree to which embracing it increases the likelihood of attaining physiological homeostasis (equated with desired pleasurable feeling).


This chapter revies RDT, experimental models, and supporting data.


Ideology 1) Explains the world; 2) sets out a program; 3) entails some struggle; 4) seeks to persuade and recruit; 5) addresses a wide public.


266 - External social information:

If people do not engage in anything, their system drifts from a regulated to a disregulated state. Prisoners in solitary confinement, for example. External information can take you up or down.  Dogs attacking is disregulating.  Loss of significant person too.  Winning in testosterone helps.


Vervet monkeys with high status have double the serotonin of those with low status.  The amount of submissive signals they receive a day regulates this chemistry.  With the vervets, high serotonin is associated with frequent grooming, tolerance towards other animals, and low aggression initiation.


268 – Internal information:

Sexual fantasies and anticipation of victory increases CNS serotonin. Memory activates the hippocampus. Thoughts change biochem.


Seeking out specific social environments:

High status vervets seek out low status and display dominance.  We seek out friends when sad.

269 – Some environments, like rock concerts and parks are sought out for their emotional impact.

People may look for ideologies because they produce a desired emotional state.


Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine combinations explain features of personality types.  For this chapter, different levels of serotonin are important because they permit predictions about personality types and receptivity to ideologies.


270 - For example, Machiavellian folk use ideology for self-interested purposes.  Deferential folks use it if other big folks do, making them easier to manipulate.


Finally, ideology selection seems to be long-term.  If it were only short-term, moment to moment, strong bidirectional physiology-ideology relationships would not be expected.




Ideologies organize and prioritize thoughts and so reduce ambiguity and uncertainty about events outside of and inside of ones control.


With monkeys we see increased ambiguity increases cortisol.


Ideologies are associated with increased self-esteem, a sense of purpose and direction, and place in the world – especially taking one that is socially approved of (ie the rule of law).


Ideologies facilitate the identification of in-group and out-group members.  Sharing an ideology with someone else reveals one is committed to the same interpretations of events, and that one will behave in predictable ways.  In and out group dynamics change your physiology.


Ideologies are associated with specific in-group reciprocation rates. This is like the prior but says ideologies have rules for such reciprocation.


272        Ideologies are associated with rituals. These increase group solidarity.


                  Ideologies are associated with desirable emotional states. TV shows groups together and promise togetherness.


Ideologies create status structures.  Group membership is as important as status within the group.  Even low status is ok if it gets you within the group.


These are not bad.  There is a positive correlation between belonging to a religious group and mental and physical health.   It also tells you whom to interact with to get a desired physiological state.




Under what conditions will ideologies be embraced or rejected?

Prediction # 1 – Ideologies that organize thoughts and create stasis are more likely to be embraced.


Prediction #2 – Ideologies that give in-group, out-group identity are more likely to be embraced.


Prediction #3 – Persons who are socially isolated are more likely to be embrace ideologies.


Prediction #4 – Ideologies will be rejected if they don’t change with social customs.  Hence the reduced attractiveness of ideologies that don’t go with science.


Prediction #5 – Persons with deferential personalities embrace them. And, certain types may seek out certain types of ideologies.


Prediction #6 – Ideologies flourish when face-to-face groups and local communities are uprooted.




CHAPTER 13: Art and Indoctrination from the Biblia Pauperum to the Third Reich

    Christa Sutterlin

    Page 279


280 – Why is art such an excellent indoctrinating tool?  How are values transmitted through visual or auditory stimulus?  First she’ll answer as an art historian and then in terms of human ethology, the biological study of human behavior.




From descriptive to iconographic: primordial symbolism in painting. The biblia Pauperum were picture bibles for the illiterate that renounced the verbal form.


Certain parts of the bible were reduced and some emphasized over and over again: the Madonna with child; Christ on the crucifix; the betrayal of Judas; the pieta.


281 – Art’s possibilities were emphasis, omission, selection, and reduction.  Mary with apple made her the new Eve.  Father figure’s dominance is in his posture and gesture.  Mastery is a front on stance, an expressionless face and head and arm positions showing revelation.


Why do we respond to purely structural elements like the shape of a building or arangement of tones, which offer no ability to really represent actual events? 




284 – There is pictorial (sensual and emotional) and linear architecture (rational and distancing).


There is a long history of thinking art has meaning that ended with Bauhaus and its form emphasis, which rebelled against meaning due to WW I in 1919.


One level of meaning is in function: firehouse, versus hospital, versus city hall.


St. Denise had twelve columns for the 12 apostles.  

285 - Greek churches represent the cross.


286- Size shows power.

288 – Churches as a whole showed a family of Christians.  

And buildings can be “warm,” “capitalist,” “socialist.” “imperial.”


We DO read and interpret inanimate nature as we do human gestures.  Why we do this – even to buildings – is linked to perception and communication.




Konrad Lorenz described our disposition for “innate knowledge.” Our long hominid past gave us pattern recognition and evaluation programs to understand the environment.


289 – Early on children won’t go over cliffs.  We prefer contours of the opposite sex and “green” environments. These are hooked into our emotional system.   We think of buildings as friendly or cold.  We see faces on the front of cars.


290 – We like dogs and cats because they fit our baby schemas.  Art plays on these innate tendencies.



291 – Eibl-Eibesfeldt pointed out that we have our innate emotional dispositions, bonding or rejecting, loving and hating.  Indoctrination doesn’t make these, it attaches them to a group and its symbols. Art helps.


In general, pictorial represeentations  illustrate on a more sensual and vivid level than verbal description. 


It especially uses “symbols of identification.”


Clues and clichés used by art


Large Scale: 

We can impress, intimidate and inspire pride by sheer size of buildings.


Order and regularity: the straight line.

These inspire belief in the reliability of the political system. They say there is only one way to fit in.  Clarity, authority, human will power, and triumph over chaos and chance.


The strong foundation:

The idea of a nation is symbolized in the idea of a strong house or building.  [This bleeds into a lot of Lackoff and Johnson].   Clan houses also symbolized group prestige and invulnerability.


Togetherness and future are popular stereotypes.  This is in song and the plastic and graphic arts. 


Freedom:  Propagandists also exploit this notion. Away from slavery.


Health: Virtues are associated with physical integrity and attractiveness.  A mystical accord between the true and the right thing. 


Equality: This often works with physical uniformity and being in a large group. The new order and NAZI rallies worked on equality and belonging.


Repetition – the illusion of eternity. We hear this in speeches, rhythmic assonances which create a trance like state.


These are all clichés we have used to indoctrinate. They work by communicating ideas through our sensual and emotional perceptions.  They instill honor and symbolism.



299 - Rather than words, art can make a situation seem to be sensually and spacially present. It promises a future and can create a combination of persons, objects, and events that would normally not occur.  It allows togetherness, fraternity and unity to be demonstrated in an incomparably persuasive way.


CHAPTER 14: Probing Images of Politicians and International Affairs: Creating Pictures and Stories of the Mind

    By Robert D. Deutsch

    Page 301

301 – Starts with a Walt Disney quote on starting with the familiar.  Then, . . .


Understanding indoctrination requires 1) the design of the picture and words served up. And 2) How the audience transforms those portrayals into meaningful sentiments.


302 – We take barebones images, fill in the details and have feelings, positive or negative. The images becomes part of ourselves.


Media folks deliberately select and select to evoke an emotional response. “Spin doctors” have no choice but to compete.


303 – We also do self-image make-overs. He wants to discuss how a person’s “Self” – an emotionally invested story that uniquely defines and “I am” – can be seized upon by political image making.


The purpose is twofold:


1)     TO show that people do not create images due to overload or insufficient attention span; Images are fundamental to the way we operate; they are a prime knowledge system. Images of “self” and “other” are necessary and pervasive.  Political leaders just do more of this and are distant.  (304) But we’re all about images.

2)     The ideologies and leaders we choose are part of our image. They make us 

               look clever or . . .




305 – Falling in love happens to us.

306 – As infants we have no self, no separation from Mum.  We then differentiate, but we still see each other as similar.  And with trust, we come to understand that it is okay to be different.  [This is waaaaay Freudian].

He says a politician’s image creation process is a reflection of what we do developmentally in our own lives to separate from the “other” and develop a “self.”

308 – The politician creates familiarity, a sentiment of appeasement, and a sense of power – (he will allow me to become more than I am).



Familiarity is instant recognition of something already known.  We might orient towards the novel, but for something to have lasting meaning, it must jive with what is familiar. – The man of the people – the flag – just like us.



309 – Ultimately, though, the politician is not me.  So, we must be at least cared about.  If they are good like us, we belong, and are good too.



310 We must trust that the leader, knows the way.  We feel empowered.  If he is too intelligent or powerful,  we cannot become a part of the audiences self-referencing story. 

The leaders life too must become a referential joust with evil. Upon surviving his assassination attempt, Reagan became aligned with God. Powerful. 


Familiarity, appeasement, and power make a person look presidential.



We are parented and lead by politicians.

314 – Statements about powerful people not usually being nice can be a statement about one’s parents



Direct mental representation: This is, by itself, a weak level, as just a pictorial representation.  We must interpret it back through the self for it to have meaning. 315 - We need to engage with the totally self-indulgent question, “How does this make me feel?”


316 - Emotion without specific representation is like Lech Walesa – a man of the people, blah, blah, blah Warm feeling.  It’s not him, it’s the feeling we have of him and little substance in terms of ideas. It tells me I can be more.


317 – Emotion with specific representations are like Tiananmen Square tank confrontation. 


318 – When great photography makes me see something in a way I have never seen it before, it is again about me.


320 – Myth is the objectification of prototypic self-other interactions that lie deep in the human spirit, the outcomes happen in terms of destiny, they are universal, they empower us over evil.


Many of the symbols that are politically significant are overtly nonpolitical.


Taxes and abortion are about the self and other in relation. “Immediate re-cognition (self-congruency)” not analysis is what is important about images.


321 - Images prop up the “self” with hope and resilience in the face of disaster. They help us “hold it all together.”


[THIS CHAPTER DOES NOT BELONG IN THIS BOOK, it is half-baked Lacanian crap].




                  PART 5: GROUP PROCESSES


CHAPTER 15: Reinvent Yourself: Labile Psychosocial Identity and the Lifestyle Marketplace

    Hiram Caton

    Page 325



Indoctrination has a bad rap due to totalitarians and it ‘dumbs down’ people and takes control from their ‘inner’ selves.  But this is very cold war.


326 - Also, the masses almost always like indoctrination.  It is the only known way to “mold individuals into cohesive, coordinated groups capable of carrying out complex operations.” Elite schools, corporations, and police do it.


327 – It is ancient – neither left nor right – and a good thing, instilling pride, energy, commitment, a sense of power and well-being, and operational competence. These rewards create a craving for indoctrination – the tougher the better, since the capacity to endure hardships and pain are signs of strength.”


Beyond our biases, the study of indoctrination is se t back by people thinking the rituals and games involved are childish.


Edward Bernays called it “consent engineering” and considered it logic proof.  He advised politicians to use pseudo-arguments, not rational persuasion.


Democracy is a phrase to lull the herd into believing they have power, while they don’t.


“Coke it’s the real thing!” “You can trust your car to the man who wears a star!”



We must understand children and how they imitate to get propaganda. Our identity is made of self and other.  This is apparent when we put a person in solitary confinement.  They hallucinate.


329 – Via imitation we develop a “theory of mind” and an “internal working model (IWM).” Which compares actual behavior to outcomes.  This is how infants get coordination down.


This includes 1) Imitation; 2) Play (including feigning, Just kidding!, 3) hoaxing and self-hoaxing also contribute to a child’s social competence. Our interactions also include mood – kids learn to fake these in play. 4) Social play includes mood, character imitation and actual intended signals. Mix ups often end in tears. But, negotiating this is an important part of development. 5) The child of ten has memorized many behavioral scripts including ones for defiance, submission conscience and transgression, bully and comforting, exaltation and sadness, reverence and blasphemy. 6) Shamming and games leaves the knowledge that identities can be faked.  Then adolescents learn new social roles, become conscious of competition for status and play evasion games with teachers and parents.



331 – It is a fundamental property of culture that the expression of self through roles is enhanced by material signs.  Think police badge.  Many animals can enlarge themselves. Many animals puff themselves up for battle.  We do so with costume.


Techniques for play took a big leap with photography, radio and high speed printing. We have “continuous universal posture.” Now there is no end to the variety of selves that can be mimicked, packaged, and marketed.  Cosmetic surgery and transvestitisms. We have, as Kevin Kelly said “a hive mind” that is in continuous play.


332 – SLA’s actions were televised and so made the guerillas feel like real guerillas.

333 – They altered Hearst’s sociopolitical identity and her psychosocial identity.  She had all but threw it away for crime.


The whole generation did it by attaching stigma (hypocrisy) to heir parents generation and so defiance anger signals. 


Many cults use parent renunciation as a litmus. Bosheviks, Nazis, maoists, Moonies.  This is not odd as switching from parents to peers is a stock, even in Asia.


The SLA were mixed sex; Bolsheviks all male and Mao had women, but as shamers.  SLA’s model here was Latin America. 


336 – Hearst was tried as herself; as judges are only themselves; thus they are bores in the world of info.  Patty reconciled and has two selves – the romantic past and now.



337 – Leaders in this motivational industry include Edward de Bono!

These people sold “team building” to corporate types. And they slowly replaced the top-down structure of corporations.


This all came from California’s humanism that built on Freud to reconcile libido to ego structure via challenging the family structures’ suppression.  


338 – They did group therapy; and told their anger, lust, fantasies, etc.,  The paradox?  You found your true-self by mirroring in others.  And, the emerging folks are very similar in their tastes, values, and lifestyles; they are ‘open,’ ‘sensitive,’ and ‘unconventional.’


338 – (Unfreeze) Motivational speakers break taboos by getting participants to rub each other’s shoulders.  Thus giving a feeling of new self-image of unlimited power and the ability to do things they couldn’t do before. They also do fire walking and such, telling off their bosses, these are highly emotional. 


339 – (move) The leader cheerleads and each individual goes in the hot seat  to declare their personal desires and why they think they’re not achieving them. 


(freeze) they leave them with a feeling of unlimited power.  If there were, no ads would be needed, they just deliver promises.  This gives the same elated feeling as those whose cult is to save the world.


The feeling needs an interpretation.


340 – We don’t know of general results, but over the top puff piece endorsements are standard.


341 – Rapturous, exalted states, like just after the seminar are not a good time to make decisions, but that’s why it happens then: “Oh what a feeling!” Toyota, buy!


Unfreeze, move, freeze is the way. And, heightened states leading to bad decisions.


CHAPTER 16: Indoctrination and Group Evolutionary Strategies: The Case of Judaism

  By Kevin MacDonald

  Page 345


345 – Indoctrination happens in groups. This raises the question about the relationship between the individual and the group.  This chapter looks at evolutionary group strategy as an idea. And, it posits that indoctrinability is an adaption.


 346 – Jews separated themselves many ways and there is evidence for genetic differences. 


347 – To maintain differences defections must be discouraged. Ideology does this.


Boyd and Richerson looked at punishment creating group altruism.  With groups, elaborate ideological structures are common.


348 - Religion is the most popular.




Social control would create resistance, ideology gets accepted.


There is a range between individualism and collectivism: Judaism is a collectivist culture.  Socialization in collectivist cultures stresses group harmony and conformity, submission to hierarchy and honoring parents.   Inner trust and outer hostility are part of it.


349 - It involves kin recognition mechanisms. 


350 - And these, such as clothes, reinforce individual identification with the group.  Happy group events “love bombing” (see Salter) are a part of the indoctrination from an early age.


351 – There is group singing and dancing – especially at weddings.  There are also punishments for violating norms and all know all of everyone.


352 – Among secular Jews the trip to Israel is the big bonder. 




353 – Social identity theory proposes that individuals engage in a process whereby they place themselves and others in social categories.  They then over-emphasize the in-group similarities and out group differences.

Social identity theory say self-esteem is the main mechanism herein. 


The amount of characteristics by which they differentiate themselves from the out-group increases over time. 


355 – Both Jews and Goyim reciprocate by calling each other animals or non-human.




356 – People feel relief when they join authoritarian cults.  He proposes guilt at the possibility of conforming to group norms as a possible mechanisms too – but has no research.


357 – Social categories bring people self-esteem, relief, distress, and guilt, these are the best candidates for biological underpinnings of highly cohesive groups.


The fact that social identity process increase during times of competition suggests that the mechanisms are group mechanisms.


Anti Semitism provides this emergency for the Jews.  Holidays (Channukah) and trips to Israeli border trips make people feel besieged. 


Evidence of threat leading to cohesion comes from the extreme cohesion of Jews under the Ottoman empire.


360 – Jim Jones: people are sometimes ready to die for the group, which increases commitment by feeling besieged.   People who join cults may have felt threatened before they joined.  Joining increases the sense of well-being.


361 – Martyrdom is the feeling that one cannot live outside of the group. 


362 – Defection became a family blot.


363 – He thinks Jews may have self-selected to the point where there is a genetic propensity for group fealty.  This is why they are over represented in non-Jewish religious cults. Maharishi and Moon for example.


364 – Those who joined groups were more likely to have religious relatives.


CONCLUSION: genes that led to success also keep people tied to the group – social capital. 


CHAPTER 17: Genetic Similarity Theory, Ethnocentrism, and Group Selection

    J. Philippe Rushton

    Page 369

Married couples and friends tend to have similar genes. 

Spouses are similar in age, ethnic background, SES, physical attractiveness, religion, social attitudes, level of education, family size and structure, intelligence and personality.


370 – Darwin wondered how altruism could emerge in survival of the fittest.

Kin selection says because it  is not the individual, but the genes that are selected for.


371 - Reciprocity is another mechanism that makes us help others at our expense.



There is no genetic ESP.  So how do we know who we may share genes with?

Four mechanisms: 1) Innate feature detectors; 2) matching in appearance; 3) familiarity; 4) location.


372 – Bees were bred for 14 degrees of relatedness.  The amount to which they were let in the hive varied directly with said relatedness.   Squirrels are born with siblings and half-siblings.  They prefer siblings.



373 – Human babies recognize their mother’s voice from others at 24 hours; mothers breast smell at 6 days; face photographed at 2 weeks.  Mothers recognize their infants smell at 6 hours after one exposure.  Cry within 48 hours.


In societies wherein paternity is uncertain, people give resources to sister’s kids.  Grandparents spend 35 – 42 percent more time with their daughters children than with their sons.   Step kids are more abused.



374 – People marry similar folks even in bad ways – alcoholism, aggression, criminality, and psychiatric disorders.


Those who marry inter-ethnically, are more similar on personality tests. They make up for it with extreme homogamy.   Assortative mating also happens in insects, birds, primates and plants.  


375 – To have arisen in so many species, it must confer advantages.  In humans it is thought to give: 1) Increased marital stability; 2) increased relatedness; 3) altruism; 4) fecundity.


This stops at incest.


He tested 1,000 paternity challenged cases.  People who have babies are the most related.


376 - Heritable features show greater assortativeness.  This makes children more than 50% related to each child.


377 – 74% of the time parents grieved more for the dead child who took after their side of the family. 


378 – Friends are most similar on heritable traits. People rated weighed heritable traits as more important in prospective friends.


379 – What makes people / siblings / twins alike? Genes or nurture?  People get few attitudes that are social; they mostly reflect genetic propensities.   Academics or military? The choice is genetic.


380 – Since you’re more likely to be related to someone of the same ethnicity, you help them more. Animals often show fear and hostility towards strangers.


Johnson (1986) created a theory of patriotism in which indoctrination engaged kin – recognition mechanisms so they relate to each other more as kin than they are.


381 – Johnson notes the use of “fatherland,” “motherland,” ‘Brothers,” and “sisters.”  Ethical systems would not last if they worked against fitness.

Ideology does not only serve economic interests (as Marx contended) it serves genetic fitness. We’re so inclined.


Two sets of falsifiable claims come from this: 1) Individual differences in ideological preferences are highly heritable: 2) Ideological belief increases genetic fitness.


Twin studies bolster the first.  Twins have similar ideologies.

382 – Members of ethnic groups often share the same ideologies.  Perhaps ideological conservatives are more like each other and ideological liberals are too.   This would preserve the ideology, but also the gene pool.


Genetic similarity theory would create a genetic basis for xenophobia.


Eibl-Eibesfeldt found ethnocentrism in all cultures studied thus far.  And, it, he thinks is built on the mother / child bond, which begat altruism in vertebrates and is a step up from submission dominance organization which is all earlier groups.


383 – [It is interesting to wonder what markers of ethnic similarity would fly.  He says subtle genetic visual cues over cultural.  But he acknowledges that linguistic divisions, clothes, would do the same thing.]


A mechanism for genetic similarity helps explain the continuance of feuds despite the USSR’s environmental attempts to stamp them out.  It seems a tendency is involved.


Linguistic and genetic trees track closely.


This would all mean, the more genetic similarity, the easier it would be to foster patriotism.   “Ethnicity can be manipulated, but not manufactured said Van den Berghe.


384 – Genes or “culturgens.” (bits of culture).  Shakers continue via adoption even though they are totally celibate. 




385 – Hamilton is seen as an extension of individual selection, not a call for group selection.  Wilson tried to mediate, saying the group and individuals could help individual genes go forward.  Similarity theory extends the group level and explains reciprocal altruism to a certain extent.


386 – People, he says without documentation, pick up trends more readily from role models who are similar.


CHAPTER 18: Ethnocentrism vs. Pragmatism in the Conduct of Human Affairs

    By Irwin Silverman and Danielle Case

    Page 389


390 – Silverman denies similarity theory because natural selection would have favored those who could best build alliances. And, the key is plasticity.  WW II enemies are now friends.  We do this readily.


In warfare, slavery and famine, people enhance themselves at the expense of others.  Conflicts, though, happen between neighbors and folks relatively closely related.


391 – And he claims that conflicts usually have not happened along racial lines.  But Vanhanen looked at India and found that 90 % of clashes DO happen between clearly different ethnic groups.



392 – This test tried to see how much risk one would personally undertake to help their ethnic group.


393 – For example, the hardware store owned by your co-ethic is the same distance from one owned by a different ethnic group or a bit farther away or far away and a storm is coming.


398 – If there were no cost, people overwhelmingly chose their own.  When there were cost (excluding one wherein more overhead in helping their ethnic group’s relief agency), there was a sharp drop off. People were more pragmatic.   Males showed a higher group orientation, when there were personal risks involved.


399 – Students were the main group and the average age was 24.56, but they found no effect based on age.


400, They take this all to mean that ethnocentricism is relatively weak in the face of pragmatic considerations.  They do, though, note all the ethnic wars going on.


401 – So next they look at the genetic relatedness of people in The former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.  In Yugoslavia, the Croats, Serbs and Muslims are all of Slavic origin.  And, they have high intermarriage rates.  He finds Hutus and Tutus are indistinguishable.


402 – The fight in the former Yugoslavia is not historically based.  The divisions there were not more pronounced than old French ones.  It is new.  And, the groups didn’t really divide until the fighting started. And, even then it required relentless hate mongering to get people to buy into it.  


403 – A poll about the basis of the nation shows that religion and culture were small factors until 1990, after war broke out. 


The prior election in Rwanda saw Prince Rwagasore win amongst all ethnic groups by a landslide.   Serbia tried to pull away after the richer 2/3rds of the nation declared independence, leaving them only Russia to rely on. 


404 - Inequitable distribution and poverty caused Rwanda too.   It is not ethnicity, but power politics that make these wars.


[I might challenge that the survey was with first world college students].  And, He provides no ethnic data, except to say that Croats and Serbs married and lived together for a long time. Lets look at genes. But, his polling data is strong].





CHAPTER 19: Ideology, Indoctrination, and Noncognitive Foundations of Belief in Legitimacy: A Biobehavioral Analysis of Legitimate Violent Social Action

    By Gebhard Geiger

    Page 409


410 – When employing force, legitimacy is important because being involved in such action goes against self-interest (because, I guess, you could get hurt!). 

411 - It is also distinct from kin selection. 

He will look at the concept of ideology as a noncognitively induced belief; then establish a close relationship between ritualized dominance – submission interactions and charismatic authority.  Then he looks at the possible outcomes of indoctrination.




414 – Animals signal their dominance.  This tells folks to back off.  The relevance here is that submission can come, not from demonstrations of power, but belief in the opponent’s power.


Western moral, legal, and political thought have tried to ultimately justify human action by philosophical reasoning.  But is this why people engage in non-selfish  behavior that is not enforced?  No. He says Charisma.


415 – To Max Weber legitimacy is an individuals subjective belief in the normative preference order of social actions. These are normally held independently of subjective interests.  People vote against their economic interests.

The deep roots of this legitimacy often goes back to a charismatic leader.


416 – He defines the charismatic legitimacy without any reference to its content.  And, it is distinct from coercive sanctioning.  It is irrational.  It happens in devotion ot the leader’s will, which they perceive as their duty, rather than to their own mind.


Accepting such irrational submission does not seem to make sense, until you realize that accepting a subordinate position, keeps you in the group – it is better than being expelled as marginal.


419 – Dominance should look legitimate to prevent the need for violence within a society.  This is a cultural and biological mechanism. 


CHAPTER 20: Indoctrination as Institutionalized Persuasion: Its Limits and Variability and Cross-Cultural Evolution

 By Frank Kemp Salter

Page 421


Indoctrinate teach (a person or group) systematically or for a long period to accept (esp. partisan or tendentious) ideas uncritically. – Concise Oxford Dictionary


This paper will agree with Eibl-Eibesfeldt that humans have an evolved capactity to be indoctrinated and identify with some group.   But E-E has a bottom up approach.


422 - And Salter asks, If indoctrination is such a valuable tool of social control, why are the methods for achieving it so limited?


Indoctrination relates to method and content.


Not all group formation involves indoctrination; people feel belonging with out it.  This is called “informal socialization,” which includes “spontaneous imprinting.”


423 – Kin selection does not need to be triggered by consciously deployed stimuli.

Indoctrination is the opposite of imprinting.  The more you need to indoctrinate, the weaker it is. 


This would mean that those with “high indoctrinability” not to be the real targets of indoctrination – they’ll easily accept group identity.  


In this context it is interesting to note that most indoctrination efforts target young males [this though may represent their importance, not their resistance]. 


424 – Basic types of “emotions in command are “dominance infrastructures” and “affiliation infrastructures.”


425 – Infrastructure must work with our psychology. He calls this the infrastructure theory” approach.  He’ll look at the mind via found or not found universals.


His review of indoctrination techniques will especially focus on techniques wherein the indoctrination is thorough.


Chinese communist:

426 – This method is highly effective against resistant mature westerners.

Lifton interviewed 25 released Chinese communist prisoners found they were brainwashed and that it was persistent. After three years it seemed to have diminished. But they were still grappling with such issues.


The technique is:

1)     The victims are abruptly arrested without charges and thereafter all info is controlled by the captors. Thereafter every word is monitored.

2)     (428) Sleep deprivation and extreme badgering, being only comforted by those who advocate cooperation. This created infantilism and esteem for captors.

3)     Physical and psychological breakdown to the point of suicidal thoughts.

4)     Leniency after the breaking point. This creates gratitude.

5)     This is all aimed at confession. (429) this is like other experiments wherein people agrees with sides they were made to argue.

6)     Denunciation of others.

7)     Up to 12 hours a day of self-denunciation.


The Spanish inquisition and USSR used similar techniques. They were partially Freudian: Help, analysis, and insight were a part of it. They break down resistance and divulge secrets.


8)     Re-education via study groups and close individual instructors.


431 – This technique is nearly irresistible, but costly and inefficient on a large scale.  It seems the order is degrading rehearsals of conversion behavior and then the belief follows.








Summary: These techniques work, though mostly with doctrines and values compatible with informal socialization.


432 - Soviets and NAZIs did the leader and monopolization of loyalties. 


Heller says the main tools are hatred of out-group and affiliation with the leader.  Control of info is big too.  Ritual praise and love in school for Lenin.  Trotsky and Lenin sought rituals to replace those of the church.  


433 – The private realm was attacked: the family was attacked via free love and women’s lib. As well as easy divorce.  They also used Freudian therapy to attack conventional sexuality. 


Stalin reversed this either because goals were met or dysfunction was giving new appreciation for the nuclear family.


434 – Here again we see a limited repertoire, intimidation, info control, severing previous relationships, and ritual hatred of the enemy.



Summary: Of those who attended a single weekend-long workshop, 5 – 13% joined the Moonies in the 1970s.


They meet folks on the street and then invite them to a weekend workshop. Here they have discussions (using the “response-contagion” effect). They then offer a 7 day workshop.  They fill out reflection notebooks at these (like Chinese self-analysis).   Then a 21 day workshop, that includes a week of fundraising and one of witnessing.  This is 6 am to midnight.   435 - After this they are asked to move to the Church.


They do “love-bombing,” sleep deprivation, sugar buzzing, repetitive lectures, familiar music with the lyrics restored too.


436 – Some note similarities to the Church with baptism and confirmation and such.


437 – Key differences between brainwashing and cults are a lack of coercion, intimidation, and overt degradation.  The cults have a lower success rate.



The idea is to have them disavow cult membership via guilt for having rejected the family, family plans, refuting the groups doctrines, challenging motives of the leaders. Isolation is also important.  The longer the person has been in the group, the worse the deprogramming rate.



Summary: Success rate is unknown.  But here too we have rehearsal of obedience, extreme fear, physical deprivation and loneliness, and then the secret knowledge.


439 – Intimidation and infantalization, via complete dependence, factor in here.


A survey of Australian aborigines, some Native American tribes, the natives of Zaire and New Guinea found exclusion, dietary restrictions, beatings and scarification in common. The secret info gets transmitted at the initiates’ low point of fatigue and possible intoxication. 


440 – This is accompanied by weird costumes, unearthly sounds, and frenzied stomping, screaming, singing, warriors  threatening your destruction.  It is a nightmarish horror.


The assertion is made that this happens to tame males’ normal rebelliousness.  This includes hatred of the rejected identity and positive emotions for the manhood they have now achieved.



Summary: Weak, but widely spread.

441 – It works best when you can silence the opposition and just have your message out there 24/7.  

Great orators are key, they need not be totally understood.

People buy products they associate with good feelings. But how to tell what people will associate with good feelings?  Hard to evoke. Also different personality types gravitate towards different sets of emotion. 


442 – Men like friendlier politicians, women angrier ones.  Really?

Since people can change channels, positive messages are probably the best.



The transferability of indoctrination across cultures is remarkable. 

443  - Its being similar in many places makes it look homologous and so a part of ‘human nature.’


446 – There is a chart of techniques and who uses them and their success. 

Repetition is the strongest non-affective component shared by all.  But this is common to all learning:


What is unique to brainwashing?  Coercion and institutional control, including associated features of hierarchy – routine obedience and threat.   They also all use rehearsed petty compliance, sleep deprivation, peer pressure and affiliation.  And, it is not so much quality of effort, but quantity.


447 – Emotional disorientation makes one susceptible to indoctrination.

Finally, he wishes to highlight coercion and routine obedience.   Both entail dominance.


448 – The only technique of cults not found in coercive indoctrinators is “love bombing,” though there was a close relationship with the instructor. 



CHAPTER 21: On the Evolution of Political Communities: The Paradox of Eastern and Western Europe in the 1980s

  Roger D. Masters

  Page 459


454 – The state is a mystery because it is so much larger than our traditional social environments.  And, it would seem to invite cheaters and free riders.  Yet, children are very easy to indoctrinate.  Fads proliferate, and new religions too.


Herein he will develop a theory of the ease and paradoxically fragility of large groups. 


455 - Why was the West moving towards a greater community as the East was splitting?




“Recognition markers” tell animals if others are predators, interlopers, or likely to reciprocate help.  Humans are social animals with an exceptionally large variety of mechanisms for recognizing others.   Babies combine imprinting markers with symbolic recognition – such as the culture’s kinship system.

456 – Language and clothing help too.


We can recognize politicians from our nation – without sound – and like them more.


457 – Five “recognition markers” 1) Kinship; 2) phenotypical similarity; 3) language; 4) religion; and 5) territory.


Small tribes without central government will rely on all 5 of the above.   Then there is the Austro – Hungarian Empire, in which only territory was really shared. 


458 – Inclusion and inclusion make feelings and so it is very emotional.




The fewer the markers, if only territory, we can have an empire.


He assumes indirect reciprocity and indiscriminate helping are high cost.  This means that the State needs explanation and likely required the guidance of an exceptional leader.


459 – Good example, child-free couples and singles funding public school.  Since the cost is high and the reward indirect at best, either coercion or civic pride are needed.


Many pre-modern states were heterogeneous and protection from attack were the main benefit conferred.


460 – If a state provides limited benefits, compulsion is a more likely means of securing obedience;  As the state provides more benefits, some form of ideological, mythical, or  religious legitimacy is needed.


Limiting the state’s members or identity to a single ethnic or cultural group is a way of justifying the support.  He thinks contemporaries nation – states with common language, shared culture and defined territories are not natural.  They are historically conditioned devises for “recognition markers” that facilitate economic  cooperation.




He reviews the math behind inclusive fitness theory.   He looks at it as cost-benefit; but also looks at it as a ration of [r] relatedness to (n) the size of the group benefiting from cooperation.


In small groups, face-to-face can prevent free riders.  But in states?  Thus indoctrination must be necessarily reduce the average genetic relatedness within the group – and hence the likely hood of refusing to pay taxes.


A key is our ability to plan for the future.  We can then think of future benefits for our children and kin.   This doesn’t replace immediate costs, but it becomes a factor.


464 - Investing in public school raises our property values.  Perhaps this reduces the burden by 20%? 


But then, what if we tell residents that we’re all related descendents of a distant ancestor.   This will, of course, also attract strangers. So the mythic recognition markers will also be used to keep newcomers out. 


466 – The builders will likely overshoot the immediate needs in planning for the future, creating a boom / bust cycle.


Early states usually invested lots in infrastructure.  This coincides with growth, new inequality and status formation.


469 – “For humans . . . it is possible to calculate or estimate future values – and, as we have just seen, this capacity seems to be related to the emergence of cultural, political, or religious communities that create collective goals.”


469 – Monks even put off their entire lives, in a sense, for future rewards. 


He calculates Vp for Vf (Value present for V future). 


470 – He emphasizes schools because they are “recognition marker” generators.   When you consider five generations, the Vf gets bigger.  You’re helping a wide group of folks.  When rich people invest in a Library with their name on it, they get status for generations.  In some ways this is better than investing in only individual descendants. 


471 – In building communism, Lenin had generations sacrifice Vn to Vf.  Consumer goods mean Vp has increased greatly in Eastern Europe.   Vf has receded and now there is more Vp there.  The level of Vp Lenin advocated is psychologically untenable.   And the category of Workers of the World too wide.


472 – The Polish people is a more tenable breadth of people to have a Vp connection with.


473 – In Western Europe, there was a general slow rise from 1945 to now.  This leads to cautious investment in Vf.    He again considers Europe and Lithuania fictive.


As E Europe went to a smaller future orientation, its scope diminished.  As W Europe went to a larger future orientation, its scope could expand.