Re: Are humans competitive and aggressive?


Richard Moore


Lots of you responded on this topic, as you'll see below.
Sorry to be so slow in posting.

My main focus remains book promotion. Here's my model:
     -the book sells the ideas
     -the website sells the book
     -my job is to get people to look at the website

I'm starting to get excited about the potential of promoting
on the net. Lots of opportunities, and lots of work to
follow up on them. Leverage is the critical factor.  I'll
keep you posted. Suggestions always welcome. Both
sites have been majorly redone over the past few

As regards our usual cyberjournal postings, I'll be devoting
more regular attention to that now that the basic ETM
website is in place. I believe the cyberjournal blog can add
a lot to our community dialog. The responses below, for
example, could have been available as soon as they were
written, whereas some of these are now a week old. That
makes a big difference, as regards a sense of dialog and

Our first contribution below is about the blog, and then
we get into our headline topic.


Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 15:32:23 -0800 (PST)
From: natalie omara
Subject: Re: re blog: cyberjournal forum * how to register *
To: •••@••.•••

Richard I'm having trouble signing in the blog. Natalie


Hi Natalie,

As you now know, I've been working to remedy the defects in
the Blogspot user interface, in response to messages like

I did this by adding new links to our blog page. One link
goes to a detailed "How to register" recipe, complete with
screen shots, error conditions, etc. The other link, for
team members, takes them directly to a screen where they can
create a new posting. These two links are also now included in
the signature at the bottom of cyberjournal postings.

I'm very pleased with the basic functionality and
flexibility of the Blogspot architecture, and I'll continue
to make it easier to use as the need arises. You've been
very helpful by managing to bump your head on every
available obstacle!  :-)

much appreciated,

From: "Laurie Gillett"
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: cooperative system "harmonization"
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 08:24:49 -0500


Yes, this is quite apparent to those of us who have grown up
on a family farm in America in the "50's. It was our
survival, everyone was important in different but essential
ways doing what they did best according to the Dad/Mom
running the farm. Agribusiness has destroyed this, not from
it's intrinsic fault, but from the impositions of the powers
that be running the government with their "farm,
policies".It was the most efficient system too, not just as
an economic unit but in producing the workers of the world
whether they be business men, CEO's,  physicists, builders
or writers; all found in our family. Thanks for what you've

Peggy Conroy

TB breeder, rider, trainer in upstate NY

From: "Jerry Gutenschwager"
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Are humans competitive and aggressive?
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 12:50:54 +0200

Richard, If I haven't already mentioned it before, you may
want to refer to some of the writings of Urie
Bronfenbrenner, especially his "Two Worlds of Childhood:
U.S. and U.S.S.R." (1972, Simon and Schuster), who verifies
what you are saying with concrete examples from these two
cultures. Jerry

From: R Suter
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 13:50:52 EST
Subject: Re: Are humans competitive and aggressive?
To: •••@••.•••


Below is the introductory summary of a recent article in
Foreign Affairs that you may want to read and ask the person
you're having the dialog with to read. The whole idea that
"human nature" is the cause of warfare, etc. has never been
very well substantiated. It's basically a lazy thinker's way
of explaining very complicated realities that can't be
explained at all adequately with simple-minded concepts
like "human nature," at least as that concept is popularly


A Natural History of Peace
By Robert M. Sapolsky
 From Foreign Affairs, January/February 2006

From: Chris Shaw
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: RE: Are humans competitive and aggressive?
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 10:05:34 -0700

suggest to him that he read Kropotkin's Mutual Aid.  One of
the most widely misinterpreted parts of Darwin is the notion
that all is competition.  Darwin clearly recognized that
cooperation played as large -if not larger - role.

Christopher A. Shaw, Ph.D
Research Pavilion
828 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada, V5Z 1L8

From: "Kevin Carson" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: RE: Are humans competitive and aggressive?
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 06:00:53 +0000

Survival of the fittest isn't a myth, but "survival of the
fittest" is.

That guy's idea of "survival of the fittest" is a Social
Darwinist parody of Darwin.  What constitutes "fitness" is
whatever characteristics promote survival and passing on
one's genes--it is most decidedly NOT the same as being some
kind of Nietzschean or Randian superman.  As Kropotkin
argued in Mutual Aid, in a world of competing groups, the
group whose members display empathy and social instincts of
reciprocity is often the one that survives.

Kevin Carson
Mutualist.Org:  Free Market Anticapitalism
Mutualist Blog

Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 22:48:10 +0800
To: •••@••.•••
From: Betty Daly-King
Subject: Re: Are humans competitive and aggressive?


In Perth we had a seminar on human aggressiveness and
invited comment from peace researchers around the world.
One of them pointed out that England used to be constantly
at war with Wales and Scotland but now they are not.
Scandinavian countries were constantly at war with each
other but now they are not.  While they are no less
aggressive in their 'human nature' they have found other
ways to resolve conflict. 

Matthew Melko wrote a book back in the early 1970s, 52
PEACEFUL SOCIETIES.  He studied 52 societies that had
enjoyed 100 or more years of peace which meant that
generations had grown up without having to fulfill some
biological drive to make war.  Most of us do not go to war
or commit murder or acts of violence.  [Matt continues to
study dynamics of peaceful societies and churning out books
on topic.]

In his book, SANITY AND SURVIVAL, Jerome Frank [social
psychologist] states that war is not a biological drive but
that each generations has to be taught and learn its
patterns.  This reflects the wisdom of the prophet Isaiah
when he talks of a time when [mankind] turns spears into
pruning hooks and swords into plough-shares and that
[mankind] does not LEARN WAR anymore.

I would like to see a day when the same amount of resources
- money and personnel - are spent on learning peace -
positive skills in cooperation and skills in resolving
conflict through persuasion, conciliation, mediation and
adjudication as are spent on military/defence academies!!
May the day come when people trained in above skills 'man'
centres dotted around the world for UN to step in to help
with above peace-keeping techniques when conflicts first
emerge within and between nations.  We need leaders with the
political will to bring these conditions into being.

Betty Daly-King

PO Box 397
Armadale WA 6992

Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 21:22:15 -0800
Subject: Re: Are humans competitive and aggressive?
From: Liz Burbank <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>

fascinating, important issue--so many otherwise 'cool'
people believe in the metaphysical 'human nature' myth--a
big political obstacle--or copout-- that &
biological/genetic reductionism need a good materialist

have just skimmed your book richard and am struck by one
thing: that someone w/ such vast, truthful
information/knowledge/bibliog. winds up promoting
"alternatives " to a clearly necessary and logical
revolutionary conclusion!

see you at the barricades i hope!

Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 12:47:41 -0800
From: anita sands <>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: Are humans competitive and aggressive?

Last nite on PUBLIC TV channel, a fab documentary. EVERY
AMERICAN PROGRESIVE, the triangle fire progressives who used
that horrific event to change work laws, health, hours, w.
legislation... It told of the liberals, progressives of the
day, the governor of wisconsin, lafolette, on and on and how
they used STATE legislatures as 'laboratories' to see what
socialistic, humanistic law changes did. But it went thru a
group of little known american heroes.

I happened to be READING while I watched, "WHAT DICKENS KNEW
and what JANE AUSTEN ATE about changes in legislation in
britain, fooling around with POORHOUSE LAWS so as not to
encourage the gutter breeding, but so as to give them
minimal roof, (a hall, no privacy, but at least beds,) much
the same territory as Newt Gingrich vs the Bleeding heart
liberals duked it out in USA ending up with all welfare
progress in shreds by the CLINTON ERA! So in my mind was the
ever evolving LAW and the HEROES that drove it..and the
villains who BLOCK it in the name of social Darwinism.

NOW last week I was rereading MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL
"FINLAND STATION" by EDMUND WILSON, an intimate and very
READABLE look at the psychological matrix/ family life,
parents of every great european radical!

major delight cuz it was written by a poet (WIlson was, at
least 'til then, then being 1939,) PROSE very fine.
READABLE. A polished literati, not like most history texts
at all. His Insights were keen. Reading about how this great
liberator's father let the family starve, or how an older
brother was HUNG or shot by the CZAR, motivating the hero to
choose his lifework.. was just the most fascinating way to
look at history.

Imagine it being readable for teens? But I'm watching TV
with one eye, historical early l9th century american
progressies is the theme. Well it clicked. I think one could
do such a book on the american breed of radicals, not have
it be dry and comic book cartoony like my school's
historybook back at HIGH SCHOOL "Carrie Nation is famous
because she took a hatchet, hacked up a tavern, that's dry.
But Carrie's mother was always fishing her husband off a
baroom floor, and carrie had to go to bars and do the job
later when mom got old ---  and details about life then, how
the drunk pop set the house on fire. You gotta LOVE IT!

YOU WRITE WELL, big money in them thar hills. Could be a
text book even. my client suzanne finstead did life of
howard hughes, now her latest is life of warren beatty (my
photo is in it) she got forty k for advance. That also is

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