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Love the comment!!!.. but alpha males .. I am sorry I do not buy it.. no proof about it :)

I can give you all the names of matriarchal societies where the dominant roles in magic and shamanism were given/lead by women you may want. I love the bolivean matrairchats.. love them... it is so nice to see the alpha discoursed crushed so nicely with a simple ethnography! This basic antrhopological data destroy all alpha related discourse. It is actually an artifact a particular western vision of the world, not science (as far as I know)

And actually , most of the people do not believe alpha male stuff is even close to anything that happens in all primates ( it hink there is littel doubt it never happened in humans where geneder roles ara a mistery and only hints that they were as complex as now have surfaced.. if I remember correctly). Actually bononos do not have alpha primates in any meaningful use of the term.. and bononos are primates.

I agree with the rest though.. :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 07:55:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, alpha does not have to be male thing in this context. My core suspicion is that social systems without clear leadership structure are not sufficiently developed in human "practice".

Nevertheless, I am concerned that there were no big matriarchal societes thriving until the modern times. Can agression of male tribes be the only reason? Or is there some complication (of over-excitement?!) that feminine societies have yet to overcome?

But women can be the only thing to save this world. You see, a big lot of modern consumption comes from men doing their best to please their women. If only women would say that they don't necessarily need a landscape destroyed to have own happy corner created, or would shift their choice preferences somewhat, the world could be saved amazingly easy.

by das monde on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 08:47:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It all depends on how you define trhiving.. if by thriving you mean technological development .. you are right.. but there were only a few of them who get clearly ahead on that area.

If you think thriving is solving the social instabilities... and social problems.. or that thriving is having a complex socio-symbolic structures (rich and amazing).. then patriarhal and amtriarchal cna give you examples of both (and the eskimos with their family being our"type" of family as well).

Would you like some reading about it?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 05:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By thriving I mean a relatively stable society continuing up to modern times. I am keen to see an interesting example (by any definition), but I would like then to know what happened at its end as well.
by das monde on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Myabe you woudl like this

http://www.second-congress-matriarchal-studies.com/du.html

Of course fighting back means exaggerating a little bit your claims like they did in the congress.. but I could get the data from the narrative behind.

Egalitarian gender societies exist indeed and they could be the majority thousands of years ago before civilization... Gender division is a civilaztory characteristic I would dare to say (almost without porrof).

Even int he last two hudnred years the number of soceities where both gneder roles were different but equally relevant and even they can be interchangeable did exist.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 05:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What would they say in this diary?
by das monde on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are lot of societies where the concept of self-interest does nto exist.. Actually the great majority ... actually only ours has a concept of self so much in the "extreme".

We and the bororos (not to be confused with the bononos) have two extrme vision .. we believe in "self" explicitly, bororos believe in the "colletivity of minds" explicitly.. most of the others society do not give a damn about those mythes. I mena they do nto have it, they do not exist. Most societies are positional.

It is not that they do not give a damn.. it is just no in their world view.. like adolescence for most of socieities except us this concept doe snot exist. (well actually even my grandma did not know about that adolescence stuff sicne the adolescence myths is quite recentn like fifty years).

The proper question is how you change such a basic and fuandmental mythology of western societies like the one about "you are one entity whose sense in the world is to become a person adn become better,and improve..and grow".. well you know all that stuff about being one person aand independent which must look for self-realization.

It is an absolute fact that in this case our culture is not really the mainstream one (by mainstream I mean number of societies, not of people) and actually this mythology came quite late in our technological development.. although some people claim that it helped to give the last push in the industrial revolution.

So Colman problem is "our" problem .. not the problem of human kind.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:31:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree much. It is tricky to accept that your world view is not mainstream in a large picture, especially when it is most influential at the moment.
by das monde on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are lot of societies where the concept of self-interest does nto exist

I don't believe you: citations please?  I can believe that the expression, phrasing and emphasis is different but I have a hard time believing that there is no concept of self-interest. How do you avoid starving to death if you're not willing to act in your own interest?

You're generally citing precisely the isolated cultures outside the mainstream. The Chinese were discussing the tension between self-interest and group-interest thousands of years ago as well. Not sure about the Indians, but since they tended to act as the bridge between China and Europe I'd assume they were infected too.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're generally citing precisely the isolated cultures outside the mainstream.

You're clearly an unreconstructed evil imperialist and must be reeducated.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:20:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We knew that already.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:44:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Resistance is futile.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:03:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a side issue, how isolated in breeding terms are the populations you're talking about? To what extent have environmental pressures differentiated the balance of their innate tendencies from those of the mainstream? And to what extent is the balance of tendencies in 21st C humans different to that of 18th C humans. Does improved nutrition change mental development? How many complicating factors can I dig up here?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How many complicating factors can I dig up here?

You're just trying to confuse the issue.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, just trying to point out that the issue is confused.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:01:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You see, a big lot of modern consumption comes from men doing their best to please their women.

Because women don't spend a lot of effort consuming and displaying, no.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 05:50:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. Only men compete for mates and status. Well known fact.

Please ignore the fashion industry, if you wouldn't mind.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 06:00:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My snarkometer is giving me an ambiguous reading.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 06:01:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Much of the fashion stuff comes onto guy's account anyway, eventually ;-)
by das monde on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:58:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is an old fashioned male chauvinist comment

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Mar 9th, 2007 at 04:01:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant something more mysterious. But yeah, I realize I did not make myself look good. I will have to pay for this...
by das monde on Fri Mar 9th, 2007 at 04:39:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually bononos do not have alpha primates in any meaningful use of the term.. and bononos are primates.

Hey, bonobos have sex for fun, are matriarchal and the women exchange sexual favours for material goods. We can't allow people to know that we're as close to them genetically as to the patriarchal, warlike and cannibalistic chimpanzees.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 06:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be certainly dangerous.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 06:15:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I the only person unconvinced by the 'Some monkeys do it this way, and since we're monkeys our natural state is to do it that way too'?

It looks like a pseudo-explanation no matter which side you come at it from.

The idea seems to be that there's a natural form of expression which we could all enjoy if only if it weren't for our social conditioning, and which is 'better' than our social conditioning because it's 'natural.'

What if being conditioned socially actually is our natural state?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 08:53:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The analogies with our relatives are useful insofar as they give us some idea of the range of behaviours of other animals similar to us in many ways. The assorted ape's behaviours are social conditioned to some extent as well. The ape studies are mostly in opposition the the myth of male-dominated hierarchy as the "natural" state of mankind.

Being socially conditioned is our natural state, but we don't start from a blank slate - we are primed in all sorts of ways and the innate tendencies vary from person to person. If the social conditioning is too much in conflict with our instincts and needs then there is excessive tension and the situation isn't very stable or much fun.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:00:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The analogies with our relatives are useful insofar as they give us some idea of the range of behaviours of other animals similar to us in many ways.

That would be useful if it were true. But that's not how I see these studies being used. The Social Darwinists and the Bonobo Fans both seem to be intent on creating narratives that say we 'should' be like their subjects because it's 'natural.'

I don't think that's a valid premise. In fact I think it should be challenge vigorously.

As for the possible range of behaviours - when you have anthropological studies that seem to cover almost every imaginable social structure - the range of actual human expression is already wide enough without needing to draw on animal studies.

Being socially conditioned is our natural state, but we don't start from a blank slate - we are primed in all sorts of ways and the innate tendencies vary from person to person.

That's also true and personal differences seem to be under-appreciated in these models.

But that's more or less the point I'm trying to make - there is no 'right' culture, and no 'natural' one. And the range of possible cultures is huge.

It's the diversity and adaptability that's unique to humans. Not some specific ethological instantiation.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Social Darwinists and the Bonobo Fans both seem to be intent on creating narratives that say we 'should' be like their subjects because it's 'natural.'

We have an ongoing cultural problem with the conflation of 'natural' with 'desirable'.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:15:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So there's one narrative that says "whatever is natural is desirable". What are the alternative narratives?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:21:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr Natch has spoken!

And a 10 for Melanchthon!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 12:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So who is Mr Natural here? (And where did you find this?? This is great!!)

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 02:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where did you find this??

Melanchthon's Dual-BrainTM Technology


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 03:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So who is Mr Natural here?

I suggest a poll...


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 03:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The narrative isn't about being desirable, but about being inevitable.

You can't argue with human nature, after all. Although oddly no one seems to agree what human nature is.

It's just another variation on the traditional 'God says you should...' gambit, with more a pseudo-scientific gloss.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 12:28:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I coudl not agree more.

Nothing is natural in humans.. or all almost nothing is natural..

And now let's gonna discuss why there are some universal traits to all humans... That's tough , man and as I say either you can explin it purely on cultural terms or as a combiantion of environment biology and cultural cahnge.. but each case is different. Stuff is complex as Migeru's says :)

And the last sentence.. you nail it my friend.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 01:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Count me unconvinced as well.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 11:43:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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