It is an axiom of evolutionary psychology, more honestly termed evo psycho thought (or what is loosely called thought but is actually a misanthropic ideology), that there is no such thing as altruism in human beings; everything is motivated by our “selfish genes.”
Evo psycho is just the latest rendition of corrupt human nature & original sin theory with a veneer of science. Media & universities peddle this tripe as gospel truth because it justifies economic, social, & political inequality. They use misanthropy & an anti-scientific fetish of genes to justify racism, misogyny, & social hatreds of all kind. Richard Dawkins is the epitome of that intellectual genre. With him, I rest my brief against evo psychoism. His writings are a cornucopia of flatulent prejudice & stupidity.
In 1902, Peter Kropotkin wrote one of most powerful answers to misanthropy called “Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.” It’s perhaps a more powerful piece than even the extensive rebuttals of evo psycho by Harvard scientists Stephen J. Gould & Richard Lewontin.
What makes me bring this up is that yesterday I took my six unkempt, ill-mannered mutts to the pet store to get food. They love to stand in the cart & bark & snarl at all the other dogs in the store. As I was leaving, an older woman with a tiny teacup Chihuahua came up to me with $27 & asked me not to be offended but she wanted to contribute treats for them. She told me her own little dog was rescued from abuse & showed me scarring on the dog’s back. She also told me she’s caring for her husband who has leukemia. I don’t know why she selected me; perhaps I looked as unkempt as my mutts. But I was simply overwhelmed with her kindness.
When I was sick over the past few weeks, I received phone calls & a package of soups & herbs from a FB friend I consider my sister; a dear friend/sister here came over two or three times with all kinds of foods & medicine; & I received many lovely get well messages & blessings from FB friends. Evo psycho would have me dismiss all that kindness as expressions of selfish genes–though what your selfish genes derive beats me.
Evo psycho cannot explain anything but only justify inequality. Kropotkin, Gould, Lewontin, & so many other writers & activists are not romantics or sentimental fools. The science of altruism is based solidly in human history. It’s the very nature of solidarity with the oppressed. It’s the very heart of human kindness which I have been more than blessed with. What it is to its core is not noblesse oblige or pity but a recognition of our common humanity.
Perhaps I wrote this whole thing to express my immense gratitude with the kindness I receive. I’m truly overwhelmed. heart emoticon