How r- and K-type Psychologies Affect Societies, and What This Means for our Political Dialog

The underlying purpose of this blog is to promote the idea that Liberals and Conservatives exist within our species because each is an intellectual manifestation of the r- and K-type psychologies found in Population Biology. For those who do not understand what an r or K-type psychology is (in population biology), please read the first chapter of the book, available for free here in pdf format:

Chapter One, The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics.

It will be necessary to understand the rest of this post.

So Liberalism is just an intellectual manifestation of an r-selected psychology and Conservatism is an intellectual manifestation of a K-type psychology. This is great geek fodder, and it’s interesting to see how both political ideologies evolved, but outside of that, why should it matter to our political dialog?

There are several reasons.

First, this will end the argument over which ideology is “right.” If both Liberalism and Conservatism are distinct, imbued, biological reproductive strategies, then each will have it’s own innate moral frame work. Each will be “right” by it’s own standards.

Once this is realized, there will be no more argument over which is right, and the argument will shift, to which is better for the health of a society, which will advance or devolve a society, and which will produce governmental collapse or economic success for a society. In putting to bed the idea that the Conservative vs Liberal debate is one which can be solved by logic, this work will allow us to focus more on the purpose of our ideologies, and what their effects upon our societies will be.

Second, this theory will serve to more clearly define in-groups and out-groups. Liberalism thrives when it can conflate these terms. This work clearly separates our society into producers who contribute to society, and leaches who take from the producers through force of the mob. It further creates a group who supports the right of the producers to have freedom, and a group who supports the right of the leaches to take earned wealth from the producers. This definition of in-groups eliminates the r-type psychology’s ability to blur the lines between in-groups and out-groups, and exploit the confusion and in-fighting which it produces. Here, in light of this work, we have two groups and they are at war. One will reward effort, ability and determination, producing a successful, moral, loyal society, and a more evolved population through the rewarding of industriousness. The other will punish ability, effort, and determination, to reward lack of ability, no effort, and no determination. This will inevitably produce a society of incapable idiots, prone to failure and dependent upon the few producers whom they have enslaved. Once the debate is so couched, we can merely tell observers to feel free to pick a side. Our innately group conflict prone psychologies will take care of the rest.

Third, this work lays out the end game of the r-type psychology, and it’s purpose in nature – and in humans. As an r-type psychology, Liberalism is not some super-intellectual, ultra-compassionate psychology designed to produce a perfect utopia in which no one ever suffers. Indeed quite the opposite. It is a simple, biologically imbued psychology, designed to exploit conditions of free resources by fostering the reproduction of specimens which most aggressively satiate their basest urges, without contributing to the success of their society. Promiscuity, single parenting, early onset of first intercourse, and conflict and risk avoidance through cowardice. This is the society which Liberalism seeks to foster. Worse, it does it not for intellectual reasons, but out of a desire to satiate a simple, base, r-type biological urge.

What does the r-type psychology create in nature? In nature it is well known that the r-type traits of aggressive promiscuity, single parenting, conflict avoidance, and early age of sexual activity are all associated with the “invasive species,” which rapidly reproduces beyond the carrying capacity of it’s environment, consuming all available resources, only to then experience mass mortality. At that point, a population that is designed to exploit freely available resources suddenly finds it must work to acquire resources, and as a result, there is a massive die-off.

Think what will happen among the welfarites, once China shuts off the debt spigot, and our economy collapses. A massive r-type population, designed to graze the freely available resources they are provided with by government, suddenly placed in a situation where there is not enough money to provide them with free resources anymore. Even if they were all able and willing to simply take jobs and contribute to society (which they apparently are not), the economy by that point will have collapsed, and there will be no jobs. A massive population, unable to sustain itself, and unable to be supported through governmental largesse. Utopia indeed.

Fourth, this work explains why simple, freedom loving Conservative societies emerge from conditions of K-selection, only to then slowly become more Liberal, and collapse. The motivation, drive to succeed, morality, loyalty, and decency of the K-selected populace produces societal productivity, which in turn yields conditions of resource excess, and that places an r-selective stress upon the population. r-type individuals proliferate, and then a populace’s productivity, morality, and decency gradually give way to selfish demands for free stuff, immorality, and an absence of concern for the freedom and wishes of one’s fellow citizens.

Eventually, the population grows (fueled by r-strategists, promiscuity, single parenting, and ever earlier ages at first intercourse and birth), to the point that r-type consuming leaches exist in greater numbers than the K-strategists can support. Liberalism wins! At that point, the society finishes out it’s decline with a collapse, and conditions of K-selection return, with a vengeance – something no one will find pleasant. Suddenly, all of the values and mores which the r-type society held to be so backward are the standard again, and the society begins the cycle anew. To date, no one has laid out a credible explanation for this phenomenon, beyond noting that no nation lasts forever. Yet, here, with a most cursory examination of the science of population biology, we see the simple explanation which has been laid bare there for so long.

Finally, this work demonstrates that Liberalism is not some super advanced philosophy of the future. Rather, Liberalism is a philosophy which will inevitably devolve any population which adopts it, taking moral, decent, courageous, productive specimens, and gradually replacing them with a population of cowardly and entitled imbeciles, unable to fend for themselves, and all too willing to enslave the productive to serve them, using force of government. Yes, smart Liberals, you are merely the upper 1% of a mob of innately cowardly idiots, whom you are programmed to exploit for your own personal Darwinian gain, at the expense of your population’s freedom, and success.

As you can see, the implications of this work are fairly extensive. Our political dialog, which had been a vague argument over competing principles becomes a crystal clear argument over the future of our society and our values. What had been a confusing morass of mashed up in-groups becomes a clear presentation of in-group and out-group. One ideology embodies everything our mostly K-selected species holds dear, while the other stands for all it opposes. One psychology will support and embody courageousness, competitiveness, industriousness, loyalty to in-group, honor, monogamy, high-investment two-parent child-rearing, and chasteness among our children. The other will embody cowardice, selfishness, disloyalty to in-group, lack of honor, lack of industriousness, promiscuity, low-investment single-parent child-rearing, and the exposure of ever younger children to ever more sexual themes and influences.

The dissemination of these ideas will do much to quash any intellectual justifications for Liberalism. But this work can only have this effect if it is understood by all, and disseminated widely.

I am hoping you might help me with that. If you like this work, and wish to see this work widely disbursed, please take a moment, and pass it along to some friends, or your favorite blogger. As you can see, it could help our cause immeasurably – but only if widely known.

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12 Responses to How r- and K-type Psychologies Affect Societies, and What This Means for our Political Dialog

  1. Robert says:

    I just wrote a long, thoughtful comment that apparently got eaten by my network, darn it. I don’t want to double post, but the essence was that this explains genetically what Robert A. Heinlein wrote about in many of his books, and his comment that the Roman Empire died because it would no longer spend the necessary blood and treasure to keep it.

    Also, in Tragedy and Hope Quigley noted the pattern repeated over thousands of years, of great nations and empires felling to the younger, hungrier more vital groups on their periphery. That’s what happens as r-types gradually thrive more in successful societies.

    I am also wondering if the increased acceptance and prominence of homosex is related to this.

    • r and K are deeply imbued within our psychologies. We K’s naturally recoil at the sight of betrayal, or an unfit individual cheating in honest competition to attain advantage over a fitter, but more honest individual. Over the centuries, I think all great writers have conjured up tales which stimulated these urges in others, likely through an understanding of how these images stirred similar feelings in themselves. So I do hope this explains some small piece of the puzzle.

      On homosexuality, I don’t know if this is involved in that, beyond r-societies seeking to see all forms of discrimination eliminated (as a means of bringing about r-selection, by equalizing everyone’s personal surivability, to give advantage to the most fecund). Theoretically, I would think K would have evolved to not care if gays were around, so long as they provided for themselves and didn’t get in the way in wartime. Gays seem to not really pose a genetic threat, since they probably don’t reproduce in any real numbers. Then again, I have done zero study of this work in relation to the gays or history, so I can’t say.

      Thank you for the comment.

    • Chris says:

      Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote informative atrciles.

  2. Ron says:

    Problem: if these are the results of genetic selection, then why do the leaders of the r-type mob exist? After all, they are descendents of K-type personalities?

    • No I think K’s are generally too disgusted by r traits to join their movement, and this combined with their loyalty to in-group would tend to prevent them from running as Liberal politicians.

      First, I must be clear, here you are dragging me away from what can be substantiated scientifically, into speculation. What can be substantiated with previous settled research, right now, are the traits of the two ideologies, the traits of r and K-selection, and that they match up, probably speaking to similar behavioral drives and evolutionary histories.

      Now, if I were to speculate on my anecdotal observations, each group of like-minded r and K individuals will seek leaders, from those within the population who offer to lead them. But those who offer to lead, on both sides, often seem to me to be rare forms of outlier personalities, not really representative of the psychologies of the grassroots they lead. Nor do these “leader psychologies” seem widely represented in the population.

      Many times I get the feeling that most politicians have few beliefs at all, and would say anything, and run as either Liberals or Conservatives, if only it would assure them their election. Many may be a sort of uncommitted pragmatist outlier on the r/K scale. Due to their rarity, we don’t see a third, pragmatist-political party arise to represent them, with views tailored solely to current public opinion. Instead they just try to fit in by joining an established party.

      Individuals are still diverse, and individual strategies will exist in infinite number and variation within a population (just as they can with r/K). There will even be individuals who are, for lack of a better word, “defective” in some way, such as personality disorders like NPD or APD. There will even be small numbers of the mentally ill, who will defy any classification. But none of them will exist in large enough numbers to produce their own parties. And they will not affect the fact that as you zoom out, the masses form two groups, identical to r and K.

      Where all of this leads, and a finer analysis of this work’s nuances, are all a path to be taken after the fundamental premise of ideology as r/K psychologies is accepted within political science. We have to take baby steps for now.

      Thank you for the question.

    • Vale says:

      That’s an inventive answer to an inetresitng question

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  4. Bill G says:

    Fascinating article. I’d been thinking along these lines recently, but had not been able to crystallize the thought. Yes, what WILL happen to the dependent class when the bottom falls out? The same thing that would happen to farm animals if the farmer were to stop caring for them: Most will simply perish.

    • Thanks for the comment, Bill.

      It it going to be ugly. None of the non-productive animals are going to say, “well, I didn’t produce, so I’ll just accept my fate.” They are going to try and take what they need, by force.

      Making it worse is how far the use of Sovereign Debt has allowed us to expand the population beyond what the carrying capacity will be, once the debt bubble bursts. Once the debt goes, K-selection, here we come.