How Tribal Evolution Brought Present Masochism

Ancient Mental Structures From Tribalism Foster Present Day Masochism Imposed By The Wealthy:

Humanity is fundamentally tribal. A tribe is a number of humans, say fifty. Enough to scare off, and kill, a sufficient numbers of predators. Not enough to tax the land so much, one could live off it.

Predation is something hard to imagine nowadays (and yet, ironically enough we are becoming victims of it again!) For tenths of millions of years of human evolution, before an alliance could be made with wolves, human beings were in a constant war with super predators. The notion of super predator is the stuff of legend. Why? Because humans eliminated most of therm in the last 50,000 years (around the date when Neanderthals exterminated the giant European Cave Bear).

California Scene, 15,000 Years Ago: Smilodon Not Smiling For 4 meter Tall, One Ton Arctodus

California Scene, 15,000 Years Ago: Smilodon Not Smiling For 4 meter Tall, One Ton Arctodus

Eurasia and the Americas enjoyed their respective lions, at least 25% larger than today’s largest African lions. Homotherium (Eurasia), and Smilodon (America) were saber tooth cats, the latter was huge. The path into America was probably barred by the extremely carnivorous, lion faced Short Faced Bear, Arctodus Simus, represented above, who probably ran down bisons and horses (it was made for running). Standing, Arctodus reached four meters tall. Smilodons hunted in packs, and where altruistic (they fed their crippled brethren). California also enjoyed the American Lion, and its own heavy, non-hibernating version of the grizzly bear.

Giant hyenas and giant baboons prowled in Africa. A super giant, three meter tall sort of gorilla in Asia. And so on. The jungle, forest, taiga and tundra was incomparably more dangerous than now. For millions of years.

Human beings evolved in fear, finding safety only in numbers and military discipline. Fascist obedience behind rulers was a life-saver during millions of years. Those life-saving psychological charascteristics probably evolved into an instinct (a natural neurological pattern for human beings).

I call this the fascist instinct. Religions, superstitious or not, the madness of crowds, hyper nationalism, blind obedience to orders, lynching, all come from this natural human tendency to mob the enemy.

In particular, there is in human being a natural tendency to be subjugated, scared, so as to all unite in the terror of the moment.  Politicians exploit it. This tendency is no doubt at work in the rise of the present plutocracy, and the revered myth that we don’t have the means to serve our Lords, except if we engage in more austerity, and subjugation to the laws of the market (that is, the laws of those who had the capital to start with, often obtained by hook and by crook).

We live in strange times, when the real issues are blocked by a mess of red herrings and other irrelevant stuff. Contemplate the so-called “gluten allergy” (disclaimer: I have myself celiac disease). Gluten, a catch-all word for a number of proteins, is the major constituent of wheat, barley, and rye.  It is formed by the interaction of gliadin and glutenin proteins. Corn also contains related proteins called “corn gluten”. These proteins enabled civilizations, starting in the Middle East where they evolved by natural and artificial selection, and in Mesoamerica, where corn was literally created by human genetic engineering.

Now we are told those proteins, at the root of civilization, well tolerated for 500 generations, are poisonous. And people worry about this, frantically… Instead of the poisons and general denutrition agro-alimentary plutocracy has found convenient to stuff food with. People need enemies to feel united, but they are careful to not take plutocracy itself head-on. Just as prehistoric man could not take Arctodus head on, in the beginning.

Ultimately, Arctodus, having blocked the Americas for three million years, was defeated.

We don’t have that kind of time.

Patrice Ayme’

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8 Responses to “How Tribal Evolution Brought Present Masochism”

  1. brodix Says:


    I would still argue that it is not so much the crest of the wave, but the force down within it, that is the real power. The seeming powers that be are only riding the wave.

    Right now, there is an industrial and technical revolution that is overwhelming the planet. There is also a parasitic, i.e. rent seeking private financial circulation system that is effectively sucking the energy out of this system. So it is being strangled from within. Capitalism is eating its children.

    The issue will be how to construct and plant an economic paradigm, that is premised on storing value in the social fabric and its environmental context, where it can go viral, as the current model, that is maniacally draining value out to power this socio-economic wave and presumably store the extracted value as abstractions in a corrupted financial system, finally implodes.

    We can thank the “Masters of the Universe” for this opportunity. Hopefully it can be fully exploited.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      For the same height, a wave crashing on a beach is quite different if it is a regular wave, and a tsunami wave.

      There are no “Masters of the Universe”, just “Miseries of the Universe”: they are the poorest powers. Not surprised that Thomas Picketty is falling for them. The “industrial and tech revolution” is slow motion relative to what it could be, slowed down by the “Leeches of the Universe”…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Your “seeming powers that be” have the ability to destroy civilization, to wit the Decline and Fall of the Roman Republic, and 4 centuries later, that of the Roman empire; to wit the fall of China to the Mongols, and Baghdad to their children. To wit the Fall of Russia to same Mongols, or to wit the Battle of France of 1940 (the result of which nearly extinguish European civilization), etc.


  2. Andrej Dekleva Says:

    It is telling that we worry about gluten instead of gluttony in our comfortable warm kitchens roasting all kinds of yummy flesh while the agro-industry is literally torturing livestock, with industrial concentration camp mentality… and feeding us is that foods actually rich and healthy, like most fats, are deadly (!) while carbs can be had cheap aplenty! oh, no, but my muffins with gluten are making me ill! Our fellow early creatures deserve much more respect then our deserts.
    Had we become true ‘masters’ of our universe we’d respect other creatures now that we have won our peace from claws. What we’re scared of most as human is looking at the truth we create, obviously.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, indeed, and this from a phenomenon akin to what creates allergy… I did not have quite the time to finish the argument yesterday. Maybe I find it today.

      We need real enemies, we have lost them, as we exterminated our traditional earthly enemies. Thus, we don’t even know what real enmity is. And it shows in our inability to deal with the enemy now.


  3. indravaruna Says:

    Jews are the most tribal race and religion around.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      That sure was the Jews’ undoing in Germany. This being said, some will opine, when one saw the Germans, who would not want to stand apart? An inspection of old maps show that Eastern Europe was madly cut into small tribal territory where everybody hated everybody not in the tribe. An American university professor is turning this observation into a juicy business, selling books about it. He is saying the problem with the Jews there was part of a larger problem, as I have argued on this site for years. (See what I said to EugenR about the rise of anti-Jewish hatred in Prussia, yesterday…. something I actually said before).

      Teddy Roosevelt said that the rise of “Hyphenated America” would be the end of the USA (like in Irish-American, Italo-American, Afro-American, Jewish-American… interestingly used less than “American Jews”…. “American French” is not used at all, BTW…


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