Re: Rites of Passage

Len Piotrowski (
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 16:33:54 GMT

In article <4vajjl$> (Gerold Firl) writes:


>Consider also the initiations of the masonic orders, which have little
>or no sexual connotations. Here we see more clearly the importance of
>broader-based social roles as defined by the rite of passage.

Not to necessarily align myself with the other side of this debate, but
aspects of the Mason initiation ritual require stripping and prostrating
before the rank-and-file.


>I like the idea of society as an extension of kinship.

And so it is - and so is "politics," authority, and responsibility (see below).

>It has the right
>evolutionary feel to it;

Why try to force everything into this "evolutionary" metaphor?

>start with an existing structure, and build
>from that. Using pre-existing structures based on kinship seems like
>the easiest way to develop novel organisational structures for wider

Well, in fact, that's what happens. No brainer there!

>This view puts the message of jesus into a clearer focus: "all men are


>Sexual competition is a major concern for people, but the creation of
>human society relates to more than that. In the heirarchy of needs,
>food comes before sex (at least for womyn).

Jesus said that? Jeese oh womyn ...

>Think of human political history as a search for better ways of
>selecting leaders or decision makers, and developing ways for them to
>effectively coordinate the efforts of larger numbers of people.

In kin based social systems, this doesn't happen!

>choosing the right leader or leaders, and having some system by which
>large numbers of people can act in a coordinated manner, a society can
>optimize its chances for success relative to neighboring societies.

Can't choose what lineage you're born into, or in what order your sibs are

>There are lots of ways to look at the evolution of social units, each
>casting their own light and shadows.

There are lots of ways of looking at social units without even using the term

>People are always calculating the costs/benefits of cooperating vs.
>defecting in each exchange with others.

Only "Economic Men," not the rest of us "People."

> An emphasis on sexual
>competition is appropriate, but not to the exclusion of other human
>priorities which can be just as important.

Thanks for this bone, at least. Didn't know you were aiming to coach the sex
game, sport!



"If you can't remember what mnemonic means, you've got a problem."
- perlstyle