Wars and Revolutions

Dario Maestripieri

in Macachiavellian Intelligence

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780226501178
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226501215 | DOI:
Wars and Revolutions

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The reason racism is so difficult to eradicate is that differences between the races, though meaningless, are always there, right in our faces. Our aversion to strangers is not simply a case of fear of novelty, or what we call neophobia; it is something more specific that applies only to other people, and therefore it deserves a term of its own: xenophobia. Much like humans, rhesus macaques do not like strangers, and their first responses to them are fear and aggression. Wars between groups of rhesus macaques with lots of casualties have not really been observed anywhere, but they probably happen. During their wars and revolutions, people commit cruel and atrocious acts of violence against other people, acts they could not even conceive of during their normal lives. Likewise, the behavior of rhesus macaque females during a matriline overthrow becomes dramatically different from anything they would do in the course of their everyday lives. Aggression and fighting happen every day in a rhesus macaque group, and only a small minority of fights result in serious injuries.

Keywords: racism; neophobia; xenophobia; humans; rhesus macaques; wars; revolutions; aggression; violence; fighting

Chapter.  5571 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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