Thursday, October 28, 2010

Liberalism, It's Where We're Going

Over at Real Debased Wisconsin a post entitled Liberalism a Genetic Problem linked this very interesting article:

Of course liberalism, it's not the problem, it's the solution. All human behaviour is explainable in context of our evolution. It's how we've evolved to live together very successfully as social animals in complex societies. To find that there are genes involved in this is predictable and hardly surprising.

Since liberalism is based on the higher human brain functions of empathy (concern for other individuals) and altruism (concern for the community) that have evolved to allow us the great evolutionary success we've had, I'd say the golden rule that has evolved out of these traits has started to serve us well. And since these are the traits that have the chance of allowing us to live together as a community of humans and preserve the planet, I'd say we're on the right track. With hope, we'll get there before our technology combined with our darker traits of individual and tribal greed and fear bring that evolution to an end.

It's also interesting to note that the expression of this gene is linked to healthy socialization in adolescence, reflected by having a lot of friends which tends to come from having empathy for others and getting along well in group. Thanks Real Debased Wisconsin for bringing this issue to the fore!

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