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

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 01:32:53 MDT 2007

On 8/8/07, Einde O'Callaghan <einde at gmx.de> wrote:

> I don't know how long peppered moths live but 200 years is probably
> hundreds of generations. That is why evolutionary changes are observable
> in such a period. With human beings, even assuming that each generation
> reproduces immediately on sexual maturity 200 years would at most be
> about 15-20 generations, not long enough for such dramatic evolutionary
> changes -

But notice that, in the "transition to capitalism" case, you don't
actually need to have individuals literally dying and being replaced
by others in the population. All that happens in the model is that
those with the "more-favorable-to capitalism" gene set acquire more
wealth, and thus become socially/culturally dominant in society. The
process repeats with their progeny, of course. So four and five
generations could be more than enough.

> even if you accept "punctuated evolution" as a possible model.

Punctuated evolution is not a "model", but a phenomenon. It's what
happens in nature! A model simulates (and hopefully explains) the
phenomenon. A model is not the same as the phenomenon itself.

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