Evolutionary trajectories (?)

Tue, 10 May 1994 14:24:32 CDT

The answers to M. Tomaso's good questions are interrelated. The level
of aggregation I have in mind is twofold: global population has
increased in the last 10,000 years without significant expansion of
inhabited territury, entailing density increase; and this density
increase has generatied larger societies, in the political sense of that
term. As societies grow, they become more differentiated structurally
and functionally, and they grow more dangerous to their physical
environments due to agricultural intensification and pollution and so
on. They also becom socially stratified, and as such produce
interpretations of reality that justify the stratification, along with
competing interpretations that challenge it. The latter of course is
where Marxism fits in. The idea that cultural evolutionism is itself a
right-wing ideology justifying the status quo, hinted at by someone in a
different post, would have been a surprise to Leslie White! Not that
this proves there is nothing to it; I admit I think about that
possibility quite a bit. --Bob Graber