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

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Thu Aug 9 00:27:26 MDT 2007


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?


Reply:
 
This is ridiculous. Autism is a disability - fact. Obsessive compulsion is  
an illness - fact. Most people in society have neither, are healthy, therefore  
that is the 'norm'. Now this IS dialectical. Attempting to insinuate that I  
am being offensive to such people by creating a straw man is offensive to me.  
Every person with either a disability or an illness, congenital or otherwise, 
 will be affected in ways unconnected and also connected to their 
environment. I  know this, having spent considerable time in hospital with a severe 
spinal  injury in the past myself.
 
Disability may indeed be a social category in terms of how  people with 
special needs are judged, treated and prejudiced against in society.  However, the 
fact they have a disability which requires special needs is an  objective and 
scientific fact.  
 
That people with special needs and/or disabilities should be accorded equal  
rights with those who do not and have not is not up for debate. However,  the 
thrust of this discussion was the role that genes play in human  behaviour, in 
support of the suggestion that the economic development of a  given society - 
in this case England (which by the way should have been Britain)  - as 
opposed to others, could be attributable to some innate  characteristics bestowed on 
the English middle class by  Mother Nature. A suggestion of which Adolf 
Hitler would have very much  approved.
 
J 
 
 
 
J 



   



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