[Marxism] Genes, behaviour and dialectics (was The transition to capitalism...)

Rohan Gaiswinkler rohanger at yahoo.com.au
Wed Aug 8 23:19:10 MDT 2007

My analysis is based on the rule not the exception to the rule, as is the case with those suffering from conditions such as autism and obsessive compulsion, which cannot be included in such an analysis as they each constitute and illness and/or disability. Any illness or disability is a huge factor in human behaviour, of course, but what we are talking about here are causal determinants of behaviour in otherwise healthy human beings. To expand the topic to include those who develop an illness or have a congenital condition would render this particular discussion void.

  First of all, without wanting to make too much of this, I take exception to your addage that people with disabilities are "special case" humans for whom
  a different rule about the influence of genetics on behaviour applies, and that people with disabilities are best not be included in this discussion.  Your boundary between ability and disability is a wall - it is completely reductionist and undialectical.  The truth is we ALL have different skill levels and abilities and "disability" is SOCIALLY defined.
  Your "exception" argument is invalid because it assumes that those who are socially defined as abled [disability is a social category not a scientific one] don't carry any of the same behaviour influencing genes that the people with behaviour-traits carry.  Of course the behaviour of people with various "behaviour-trait" disabilities is more influenced by their genes than is the case for the rest of us.  But to assume that the rest of us are completely uninfluenced by those same genes when we carry them (or some of them) is to misunderstand dialectics, genetics and neuropsychology.
  Many "normal" people actually have what is sometimes called a "shadow-syndrome autism spectrum disorder" whereby they exhibit some isolated autistic traits while simulataneously being "otherwise healthy human beings".  
  The children of engineers have autism spectrum disorders at a higher rate than average.
  Some people have profound obsessive compulsive disorder that dramatically affects their life everyday.  Others lead "normal" lives but more often than not triple check that the gas is off when they go out and hang their washing according to an elaborate routine that has no real basis in practicality.  Are you saying that genes only play a role in the former behaviour and not the latter?
  Rohan G
  For anyone interested in a refresher course on dialectics I can't recommend any more highly the following work:

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