[Marxism] The transition to capitalism: is it in our genes?

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Tue Aug 7 20:52:18 MDT 2007


On 8/7/07, Auguste Blanqui <blanquist at gmail.com> wrote:

> That article's just Social Darwinism with a modern gloss.  There's
> nothing in it that says x genetic trait translates into y behavior.
> And genetic reductionism has a bad track record, the most prominent
> recent examples being the so-called "gay gene" from years back and the
> breast cancer genes (some who have them don't have breast cancer, and
> a lot who have breast cancer don't have the genes.)

We all know that genetic _reductionism_ is misguided. But nowhere is
the NY TImes article claiming that there is _a_ "single" gene that
codes for "capitalist behavior". It could be that a network of genes,
under certain sets of interaction with the environment, favor the
expression of certain traits, including psychological/behavioral ones.
There is nothing inherently implausible about this theory at all.

To say that something may have a genetic component is not the same as
saying that it is due exclusively to a gene. The latter would have
been reductionism.




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