At the Crossroads of Civilization, wiredsisters inform us that “[w]e know, from centuries of observation, that the market economy is basic to human nature.” Unfortunately for my purposes, that article is presented in religious terms. In other words, no attempt is made to challenge the positivists on positive grounds on the inevitability of markets. According to observable human nature, perhaps nothing is more unnatural than equality. In nature social groups are always hierarchical, and in mammals there is most always an alpha male to whom other individuals defer. Parrots may be a partial exception to the rule, in that at least their hierarchies appear to be “tangled,” or nonlinear, but even with them there is still the overall pattern of male dominance. Individualism, like egalitarianism, is unnatural. “Survival of the fittest” contributes to the increase in sophistication of species, not of individuals, which are the sacrificial element in that mode of development.
I find that treating everyone I meet as an equal takes a certain amount of willpower. Maybe that’s just a symptom that I’m more of a nebbish than the average human (and badly in need of some self-directed re-imprinting, perhaps), but dominance and submission does seem to be a more typical dynamic in group behavior. Needless to say, nowhere is my practice of forced equality more risky than in the workplace, which is why I insist that the workplace is a political place, quite independently of the formal construct called the state.
One person credited with bringing psychology into the natural sciences is B. F. Skinner. Is it any coincidence that the popularizer of the naturalistic approach to psychology is the author of a book titled Beyond Freedom and Dignity? I think not. Freedom and dignity (and importantly, equality) entail a relentless struggle against nature; a deliberate effort to do what does not come naturally. Therefore, I announce another component mental widget to add to my worldview-in-progress: unnaturalism. So far, the list of mental widgets reads as follows: