The Sociobiology of Democracy: Is Authoritarianism in Our Genes?

Peter A. Corning

in Holistic Darwinism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226116136
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116334 | DOI:
The Sociobiology of Democracy: Is Authoritarianism in Our Genes?

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This chapter focuses on the sociobiology of democracy and the genetic aspects of authoritarianism. It criticizes political scientists Albert Somit and Steven A. Peterson's Darwinism, Dominance and Democracy: The Biological Bases of Authoritarianism for their failure to consider the elements of human nature and provide a more adequate conception of the role of nurture in political life. This idea argues that modern-day authoritarian regimes bear no resemblance to the small, egalitarian, and mostly kin-based groups that characterized our evolving hominid ancestors and that the relationship between contemporary authoritarian governments and the Darwinian criterion of reproductive success is problematical to say the least.

Keywords: sociobiology of democracy; authoritarianism; Albert Somit; Steven A. Peterson; Darwinism; dominance; human nature; nurture; reproductive success; Darwinian criterion

Chapter.  5075 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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