March 30, 2017

r/K theory: Conservatives = r, liberals = K (reminder to the ignorant)

A recent comment blithely asserts that liberals show the hallmarks of a group adapted to an environment that is abundant in resources relative to the number of individuals competing for them, where life is cheap and time horizons are short, and where thoughtless rapaciousness is the norm. That contrasts with conservatives, who are alleged to show the hallmarks of the opposite end, where resources are stretched thin, where time horizons are long, and where stewardship is deliberate.

This way of thinking goes under the name r/K selection theory in evolutionary ecology. It is sometimes applied usefully to human beings, but usually not. Not because human beings transcend ecology, but because the people doing the thinking aren't very good thinkers.

I left a bunch of comments in response, but the topic deserves a post of its own because I can't stand when people bastardize SCIENCE! to prop up their half-baked ideas. Those comments are below, which also cover the moral dimension to this half-baked evolutionary thinking (shades of latter-day Social Darwinism in our neo-Gilded Age).

I'll add a few more things about sex, violence, and impulsivity:

Frontier Mormons began as a polygamous cult and only gave up polygamy, reluctantly, in order for Utah to join the Union of states. Saloons, brothels, and red light districts were more common per capita out in the libertarian / individualist / conservative utopia of the Frontier, than in a sleepy town back East. Conservatives get married earlier, have kids earlier, including higher rates of teenage pregnancy.

Whites are locked up at far higher rates in Arizona than in Alabama, showing higher violence and impulsivity in Conservative (TM) bastions.

Time horizons are so short in conservative strongholds like Texas that the state has given its name to a form of card gambling, not to mention Las Vegas being in Frontier land. And the tendency toward making a living by shiftless get-rich-quick schemes (cattle, gold, oil, etc.), shows how short-term-oriented the Frontier people were compared to the settled, more liberal folk back East.

So if anything, conservatism as a political movement is a reaction to the kinds of behaviors that pop up in a r-selecting environment.

* * * * *

Who has larger families, lives in low-density areas, where land has not been over-developed, with abundant resources, lower threats to their security, etc.? Not liberals.

Only a retarded and ignorant idea, i.e. that conservatives are K-selected, can lead to the prediction that conservatives would be pushing a "one child policy" rather than being the most fervently natalist.

Getting back to healthcare, or any welfare policy, and r/K:

Dull minds look at the black clamor for welfare goodies as a sign that the welfare state is an r-selected outcome, as blacks are more r-selected than whites. They conclude that conservatives must be K-selected, and therefore eliminating welfare would be the K-selected outcome.

It's totally backwards.

Urban blacks shoving their open hands in the white man's face is as r-selected as it gets -- abundant resources (white people's money), squeaky wheel gets the grease, intense competition amongst each other and against other non-white groups to get the biggest piece of the white money pie.

They have no fear of over-grazing the white cash commons, or killing the honky goose that laid the golden egg. See post-colonial southern Africa.

But that's just the demand for welfare from blacks.

The actual provision of welfare comes from whites, and it's K-selected -- part of a stewardship strategy to take care of one another, now that in an industrial urbanized ecology, resources are no longer so abundant that anyone can sustain themselves and their family.

For that matter, "liberal" regulations against unlimited resource extraction (say by oil companies) are also K-selected stewardship strategies. It's the r-selected conservatives of the less-developed Great Plains or Alaska whose answer is always "drill baby drill".

The demand for welfare by whites is of course not r-selected -- they don't shove their hands in the man's face, trying to suck up as much as possible, more and more over time, with no mind toward whether there will be enough money for everybody.

Whites are ashamed to receive welfare, are loathe to use it because "it's there for those who desperately need it," and do not want to over-burden the system into collapse.

Those are all signs of K-selection.

BTW, which non-white societies have a functioning welfare system -- K-selected Chinese or r-selected Nigerians?

Only whites in r-selected areas view welfare as unnecessary and in need of elimination. Land is abundant and cheap, resources are plentiful, crime and war are mild or even gentle -- who needs welfare?

You can split hairs and refer to "individualist" conservatives (r-selected) vs. "collectivist / communitarian" conservatives (K-selected), but that's on top of the liberal vs. conservative distinction. Too many spectrums.

The Trump "conservatives" (especially in the new ground zero of the GOP, Appalachia -- not the Plains and Mountains) are K-selected and see welfare state policies as necessary so that our industrial urbanized ecology doesn't allow people to slip through the cracks.

The heyday of individualist Frontier conservatism was the Reagan years. Anyone pretending that it's still a pre-NAFTA, pre-HMO environment is going to be wildly out of touch, and acting on the wrong side of history.

To summarize, the anti-welfare fanatics on the Right are guilty of anti-white demonization, whereby they portray poor whites as having the same characteristics of poor blacks.

Namely, demand for welfare is r-selected greed that will over-burden the system until the whole thing collapses, and the individuals extracting the resources don't give a damn about causing such a collapse.

That is the black behavior regarding the welfare system, not the white behavior.

Casting white recipients of welfare as a bunch of parasites hell-bent on sucking the most sustenance out of their captive host, is why community-minded white people don't just write off the wacko part of the Right, but are disgusted by it.

How dare someone portray the less fortunate among our in-group as though they were a parasitic out-group like the Gypsies?


  1. Just so the motivation is clear, I wouldn't fire off all these remarks based on one comment. But I thought, "Did I just read that right?" and googled around -- sure enough, there's a whole "literature" among alt-right types that liberals are r-selected and conservatives K-selected.

    It's most common among those with white nationalist leanings -- wanting to portray conservatives as whiter (better) than liberals, and since whites are more K-selected than other races, conservatives must be more K-selected than liberals.


  2. Good stuff. A lot of these evolutionary arguments have grains of truth, but get blown up by autistes into just-so stories that clash with common sense and readily observable evidence. HBD stuff is useful for helping people understand that differing group outcomes aren't just due to White Privilege(tm), but if you try to make it explain everything about everything you're going to make some dumb leaps of logic.

  3. "...shades of latter-day Social Darwinism in our neo-Gilded Age"

    I see r/K differently, as an attempt at biologized metasociology, not socialized metabiology, with meta- indicating surreal levels of meaning. It's like a video game soundtrack - emptily epic. It doesn't describe much, but it feels resonant, important, special. And Darwinism appeals most to materialistic people who don't know biology, but think it's obvious and more important than the humanities, while metaphysicalizing people assume social science is more meaningful than physical sciences, and of course that means it's obvious to virtuous people, leading to similarly egregious bullshitting (but there's less impact to faux social science among secularists, because Darwin is the greatest modern anti-Christian hero, despite his mental illness and lack of scientific success, and humans-are-primates "biology" is seen by materialists as more essential evidence against Jesus the God-Man than anything social, or Nietsche, or Sartre...).

    I guess stupid people have an easier time identifying with sensory theories than abstract ideas. And actually, bullshitters tend to be metaphysicalizing materialists- they're either r/K Darwinists, or "my DNA is 88% the same as that of a banana" communist Darwinists, or both!

    And older people were taught that different domains of knowledge are metaphysically separate, as if God does everything one step at a time, as in Genesis 1-2, so "sociobiology" instinctively offends those who are Boomers and older. They think it's fake and insults their ultimate intelligence. Young people grew up with "interdisciplinary studies," secularism, and like making up their own alternative facts.

    The offensive thing about Kellyanne Conway doing away with the establishment media's fact-checking that is that she's too officially old to get involved in the "you're lying, I'm not" game. Old people like pretending they have the same facts- they dispute interpretations and value judgments, not basic theoretical underpinning and what the data is. But now, NY Senator Schumer got into a hissy fit telling an elite, elderly Trump voter, one of the few people whose opinion he considers politically important, "Trump's a liar" as if Trump doesn't admit that himself, in his auto-biography.

  4. "Frontier Mormons began as a polygamous cult and only gave up polygamy, reluctantly, in order for Utah to join the Union of states"

    Those who participate in cults now are often much worse than when cults are normal, or at least more popular. I think cults have gotten a bad reputation because of the violent, cruel ones being the only prominent ones in the media. Nobody likes, for example, the peaceful Bruderhof. I don't actually like them better than most churches, but they are respectable. The key distinction is whether people are allowed to leave the group. Mormons might have needed polygyny in part because would-be monogamous husbands were gay men, or otherwise ineligible, leaving few male spouses for the many women desiring husbands. Few consider that issue- doesn't gayness greatly contribute to a few powerful men hoarding many women, while the majority of men are left celibate, including gays?

    I don't think Mormons gave up polygamy to join the Union, in a coldly calculated move. They maybe decided to accept more conventional norms because they normalized in general. They probably have become more typically American with every generation, except that they import new immigrant-Mormons. But that is typically American...and monogamy has been weakened so much, that I think "we're all Mormon now" (especially out West, but really, everywhere with no-fault divorce and socially accepted fornication as a form of polygyny).

    "Saloons, brothels, and red light districts were more common per capita out in the libertarian / individualist / conservative utopia of the Frontier, than in a sleepy town back East.

    Conservatives get married earlier, have kids earlier, including higher rates of teenage pregnancy."

    That's measured from a corporate organization perspective. I don't think Westerners drank much more alcohol per capita, or had more sex per capita. The issue is more a sex relations / romance market one, from the Western outlook- alcohol prohibitionists were all feminists. Prostitution is a replacement for marriage when the church is weak and people lack faith in sacraments (eternal socioreligious contracts, in crude legalism) and long-term contracts in general. Islam has one-hour marriages, to allow prostitution, but not all of their legal scholars and religious leaders accept this. I am very interested in how different Muslims handle sex issues, because they generally do have more polygamy, but not everywhere.

    I would also like to know what Indians think of those who stay on reservations versus those who live in cities or suburbs.

  5. It all goes back to, as you said, conservatives mostly being descended from pastoralists and liberals mostly being descended from farmers.

    Pastoralists need to have present-orientation. They need a strong focus "on the moment", in order to participate in battles and tend to their cattle(which, being living creatures, have moment-to-moment demands). The flip side, though is that they have bad future-orientation - can't foresee long-term consequences of their actions. Though they can learn, through experience, that certain types of behavior leads to disaster over the long-term - they'll never be able to reason out a long chain of events the way farmers can.

    Agricultural farmers, at least in their ancestral environment, were selected for future-orientation. Success in farming is dependent on good planning, since one thing that goes wrong, like a famine or whatever, will lead to disaster. Farmers can imagine all kinds of bad things happening in the future. Because they have long-term vision, they are much better at strategy than tactics - plotting a long-term strategy, rather than moment-to-moment tactics. The flipside is that they are not as observant of present reality as pastoralists - this is why liberal intellectuals tend to come up with bad or weird theories(though, to be fair, conservative intellectuals also do, becaues they are also farmer-types). Also, they can't serve as well as soldiers - not moment-to-moment enough, though farming societies can be very warlike, it is because they have others do the fighting. So some K-selected, strategic politician plans a war and has working-class guys go fight it.

    I don't see r-selected/conservatives as being necessarily more aggressive or promiscuous. Those things are incidental to present-orientation - they don't think so far ahead, so tend to be more self-indulgent in the moment. Though, as I said, r-selected have more of a keen eye for reality, so they can learn not to do those things through painful experience, or seeing how others have screwed their lives up.

  6. That said, I believe that in modern-day, most conservatives are probably K-selected as liberals are. Most people are basically descended from farmers.

    Trump himself is probably more k-selected. As you say, he is strategic, cautious - which means he has more of a future-orientation. but that is a good thing for his supporters, because you need future-orientation, and a strong sense of strategy, to get anything accommplished in modern politics. The last "down-to-earth" president we had was Nixon, and he was a poor strategist, totally outmaneuvered.

  7. I've long seen r/K theory as mostly nonsense that means whatever people want it to. People who bring it up love to fantasize about larping as noble wolves while everyone else is rabbits and sheep.
    I think of this tru-con fixation on it as Darwinian Calvinism. The elect are the K selected, supposedly favored by nature.

  8. "It all goes back to, as you said, conservatives mostly being descended from pastoralists and liberals mostly being descended from farmers."

    And the type of Frontiersmen we're talking about are more of the rootless nomadic type than the semi-rooted transhumance types.

    Nomadic pastoralism is where the herders move their livestock around all over the place, either because resources are so abundant that you don't have to worry about over-grazing (Steppe grasslands) or because it's so desolate that you are fanning out desperately in search of any sign of resources (Arabian desert).

    Transhumance pastoralists follow a seasonal route, making use of upland pastures in the summer (to cool off), and lowland pastures in the winter (to warm up). It's a more predictable, recurring path that they follow, not wandering around in any direction, and it's a form of "taking turns" extracting resources from various locations so that no single one gets over-grazed (e.g. if they grazed their livestock only in the upland pastures all year long).

    Since the Frontier was wide-open and full of resources (grasslands, expensive minerals, oil, etc.), it led to a rootless nomadic lifestyle. They are more like the Arabians and Mongols of America.

    Back East, say in Appalachia where the environment is hardier, they did not wander all over, and extracted resources on a seasonal schedule. They are more like the Persians and Lebanese of America.

    Subsistence mode is a key factor, but it reduces to something a little different -- sedentary vs. nomadic lifestyle. Generally that means agrarian vs. pastoralist, but there's a big enough split within pastoralists to distinguish r-selected nomads from K-selected transhumance herders.

  9. The same applies to "agriculturalists" -- intensive agriculture is sedentary and large-scale. This leads to K-selected people.

    Horticulture, or gardening for food, is small-scale and more nomadic (slash-and-burn to clear out a new garden area). This leads to r-selected people.

    Horticulture is common in the ripe tropics, intensive agriculture in hardier environments away from the tropics.

  10. "present-orientation...future-orientation"

    Would you prefer an ally with the right time-orientation for the problems you're facing, or a smart one? I think raw IQ matters much more than r/K cognitive differences. And if more settled environments support children' brains and families' structures better, then Ks are smarter. I know there are different intelligences, to some extent, but g factor is the main thing.

    Are there any renowned nomadic geniuses? Isaac Newton was a farmer, and the practice of science, art, "genius" in general seems regularly pastoral to me. Laboratories and studios are like factories, except they require more innovation, and less repetition.

    And why are Indians the richest immigrants in America, on average? Do Indian immigrants tend to be K-selected, or just top-caste brahmins, like the ones I meet? India is tropical in the south, but hard and cold in the north. They have a major latitudinal divide, like Italy. I think most Indians here are from the south, and consider themselves superior to the northerners who can't get H1-B visas.

  11. "Are there any renowned nomadic geniuses?"

    Someone like Thomas Edison probably had more of a present-orientation, r-selected type mind. Learned through obsessive experimentation and observation, rather abstract theorizing. Same with the monk Gregor Mendel. Agnostic himself obviously has a more conservative, "empirical", r-selected mind, and he has managed to come up with crucially important theories impacting all academic subjects.

    Remember, r-selected doesn't mean that the person always moves around in modern days(no need to), or is necessarily promicuous, though they tend to be. I emphasize, its more present-orientation vs. future-orientation, or "conceptual"(more interested in possibilities) vs. "empirical"(more interested in present reality).

    "Generally that means agrarian vs. pastoralist, but there's a big enough split within pastoralists to distinguish r-selected nomads from K-selected transhumance herders."

    Its true that the transhumants seemed to have calmed down somewhat, but I still think they basically have the same type of mind as the nomadic pastoralists. Still psychologically "r-selected", more "empirical". Just culture and different circumstances changed their behavior to be more monogamous, less feuding.

    In the same way, many "conceptual", k-selected men in modern days, when getting rich, may become promiscuous and hedonistic - no drawbacks from doing so in our status-striving society. You've pointed out how most elites these days are more psychologically abstract-oriented, yet also may behave hedonistically.

  12. Jon Niednagel, of, has discovered a way to visually determine whether a person is corporeal("empirical") or abstract-oriented("conceptual") by the person's facial expressions and fine/gross motor skills. Corporeals/empiricals have superior fine and gross motor ability. From their website, this can explain best the difference between r-selected/k-selected, or present/future orientation:

    "EMPIRICAL – “E” or


    These indicate which senses you naturally use first—the five senses to OBSERVE (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) or the “sixth” sense—your IMAGINATION or intuition. Are you more interested in reality, what actually is observable and measurable? Or are you fascinated by the possibilities in a situation, following hunches, imagining what could be instead of what is? Do you find yourself focused on the “here-and-now,” or does your mind wander off into daydreams? Do you walk through the forest examining the detailed variety of flora and fauna, or do you float above the trees, seeing “the big picture”? These examples are rather superficial but you get the point. Very few people are “all the way” one way or the other. We all access each dimension. However, we are also each “wired” in such a way that we innately prefer one over the other in the majority of situations as we live our lives. In order to keep this simple for now, try to think of how you or somebody you know is “more often than not.”

    The Empirical (E) lives in the real world of the present. Empiricals are pragmatic and enjoy impressions from their environment taken in through the five senses. They’re observant and factual. They are most interested in the immediate usefulness of knowledge, and they tend to shun the theoretical. One of their questions is, “Will it work?”

    Empiricals go through life trusting the tangible, the visible. They pay attention to detail and follow directions step by step. Direct conversation is their style, generally saying what they mean and interpreting what they hear and read literally.

    Conceptual (C), while associated with Jung’s “intuition,” should not be confused with common notions of that word. Conceptual is the reliance upon one’s own insights into the world of possibilities, concepts, significance, absorbing information. In other words, the ability to easily imagine.

    The Conceptual enjoys symbols, daydreaming, and mental gymnastics that focus on the future. For the Conceptual, the here and now takes second place to the past and future. Facts are useful only to develop patterns that lead to further discoveries or that support thoughts and ideas already held. The driving force inside the Conceptual is to invent and create. Cs are more apt to “read into things” and “read between the lines.” Therefore, the Conceptual who is permitted to develop this giftedness is the dealer in ideas—the inventor, the novel writer, the research scientist, the journalist, the movie director.

    In contrast to conventional psychological type theory, Brain Type analysis has found that Conceptuals approximate over half of the U.S. population—far more than commonly believed. These Conceptuals (especially those who are Back-brain dominant, which we’ll get to shortly)—often feel out of step in school until they reach college, which is more Conceptual-oriented and leaves more Empiricals behind."

  13. the distinction between empirical and conceptual also explains why farming cultures tend to be low trust, and pastoralist cultures are high trust.

    Farmers have a vivid imagination and are more interested in possibilities than present reality, but one effect of this is that they tend to be phobic. they exaggerate all the things that could go wrong. This creates the mentality of "Woah, that guy has mismatched socks. Must be a child molester." Ironically, this mindset helps them when planning a farm - since you need to create contingency plans for all the things that could go wrong - but makes them asocial in modern day.

    Pastoralists/horticulturalists, and modern day conservatives(on average), have a more realistic threat assesment - since they pay more attention to facts, they're better at picking up red flags, less likely to automatically mistrust a stranger(unless the person really is dangerous or makes them uncomfortable).

  14. Family size is a poor indicator of reproductive strategy. Much more important is parental investment. If you are just looking at quantity, you are missing the point as much as anyone.

    I also question the assertion that there were more brothels/saloons/etc per capita on the frontier both as a fact and as a useful measure. Brothels and saloons were extremely common in 19th century American cities, and there was no shortage of prostitutes as shown by the 75% STD infection rate of NYC men in the late 19th century and the Murder Row on Pennsylvania Ave in DC. I suspect this is more perception that reality, like the alleged murder rate in the Wild West (which turns out to actually be lower than the murder rate in cities at the time and in America now.)

    In any event, it's a poor measure, because the Wild West was overwhelmingly male. The women who went west either did it with a mate, or for the purpose of prostitution, willingly or unwillingly. That's going to skew the numbers in any event.

    Resource extraction is likewise a poor example, because it misses the point of resource consumption. You see Trump as K-selected, yet isn't he always trying to make more money? That's resource production.

    At the end of the day, r/K is a spectrum, both in nature and humanity. The idea of slotting people into one or the other isn't nearly as useful as examining what situations promote one strategy or the other. As you've noted, there's far too much of our society that encourages (r).

  15. This is why the concept of "r-selected" vs. "k-selected" is flawed. Its more like "impulsive vs. inhibited" or "present-oriented vs. future-oriented". Inhibited/"k-selected" types can still have large families, they just plan it ahead of time intentionally as a strategy, instead of it just happening by accident.

    Of course, abstract-oriented types would also want to make a lot of money. they're just more likely to do it by planning ahead, and do it more carefully.

    I do see Trump as being future-oriented/abstract-oriented. First of all, he's a good strategist, which means he's good at creating longterm plans. All that insulting was an intentional strategy to demoralize the opposition. As Agnostic pointed out, he tends to be more cautious and strategic, which points to future-orientation.

  16. "Much more important is parental investment."

    Who is more likely to have offspring living at home, consuming resources invested by their parents, well into their 20s -- liberal parents, or conservative parents who emphasize kicking them out ASAP and starting their own household?

    Who's more likely to pour money and other resources into the kid's upbringing while under 18? Especially if they're seen as helping the kid, in adulthood, be able to make their own big bucks. Tutors, music lessons, etc. Not conservatives, but liberals.

    Didn't read the rest of the comment, after such a basic failure to reality-check / lack of curiosity.

  17. For that matter, whose policies are described as "nanny state"? -- must be those high-parental investment conservatives.

  18. Re: kicking them vs. letting them live at home
    I assume that this one is more based on class and ethnicity: the English are hyper-nuclear family and eager to have their children away from them; lower-classes kick their children out because they assume it is easy to make a living like it was in their day.
    I have an aunt who is incredibly intelligent though she had eleven children that were hard financially to take care of. A couple of the older ones went to live with my grandparents, nearby, upon adulthood. The others went off to college, taking out student loans and getting by with help from my grandparents.
    Years later, when the baby was around 11-years-old, my grandma paid for my aunt and uncle to have a two-story house built for the family. Some of the kids, though adults, returned back home because of this! They are very German.

    This all greatly vexed my mother, highly intelligent, though from a modest background and of mostly British/Briton descent. Don't those kids know they're torturing their parents by not leaving? But my aunt and uncle weren't bothered at all. "It's a disgrace!" Mom would say. My German family saw it as smart and prudent: if the kids stay home and save to buy a house isn't that better than trying to make them do that while also paying rent, etc.? And if anything's disgraceful, isn't it a child who can only make a meager down payment because of the parent's selfishness or stupidity?

    Both families are conservative, but the Germans more so.

  19. My comment at CH about this post:

    Agnostic does excoriate conservatives’ two ugly impulses: the “drill baby drill” impulse to burn through our resources and habitat, and the Pharisaical contempt for any fellow White who didn’t quite manage to pull himself up by the bootstraps. As he puts it on the latter point:

    “How dare someone portray the less fortunate among our in-group as though they were a parasitic out-group like the Gypsies?”

    As to the former point, resource extraction and infrastructure expansion is not what we elected Trump to [focus on].


  20. Good to read a thorough-going critique of this line of thought. I bought the book by Anonymous Conservative and twigged to the thought that there was something wrong when the author lauded the alliance with Israel. Say what you like about the value of a friend like Israel, you have to admit that with all the money that country sucks up each year, that alliance cannot be justified using K strategy. It's a major r strategy money-sucker-upper.

  21. OT

    I'm off Twitter now. If it is still around in three years, I'll see y'all on there again when it is time to help re-elect the Madman :)

    What an absolutely fun, emotional, and exhilarating ride it was! Looking back, it doesn't surprise, but I'm still in awe: the denizens of the Steveosphere, particularly GNXP and Unz, played an absolutely outsized and perhaps even pivotal role in electing Donald Trump.

    We did something beautiful, as individuals and together. God bless everyone who is continuing on those forums, but I've gotten the message loud and clear from the men in my life that it's better now to step back and be kept at home and at the Steveosphere ;) And I've been wanting to step back from it anyway, especially now that the violence seems to be receding; exposing and stopping this was my specialty so...

  22. The r/K spectrum is about resources. In high resource environments the optimal breeding strategy is r. In low resource environments the optimal is K. What are some r characteristics? Low impulse control, for example, would encourage superior resource acquisition in high resource environments. High impulse control, planning, is required when resources are thin. So low impulse control is r. Another example is sex. An r strategy is to have lots of sex as often as possible, with many partners. A K strategy is to limit breeding, and to limit sex with better partners. This is independent of family size for modern humans because of modern birth control. So definite r strategies are low impulse control (like stealing) and sexual liberation. These are clearly more common amongst more liberal populations. K strategies such as saving and chastity are clearly more common in conservative populations. Anecdotes and outliers aside, modern conservatives clearly have strong K attributes and this is probably due to greater amygdala development, which is the part of the brain devoted to risk avoidance.

  23. r/K is not about "resources" but rather resources per capita -- the terms come from the logistic population growth model, where r refers to the exponential growth rate when the pop is far below carrying capacity, and K to the carrying capacity.

    Chastity, sexual liberation, etc. has nothing to do with it -- r says breed as much as possible, since resources per capita are abundant. K says breed less because few of those offspring would find enough resources per capita in order to thrive and reproduce.

    Conservatives are obviously the r-selected reproducers, and liberals the K-selected small-family making-ends-meeters.

    Modern birth control is irrelevant -- lib vs. con was apparent before modern birth control.

  24. Modern birth control is irrelevant -- lib vs. con was apparent before modern birth control.

    Lib vs.con was different before modern birth control. It prevents women from suffering abortion-related deaths... so it is relevant. There were ~100,000 such deaths each year before Roe v. Wade! Regretted promiscuity was quite dangerous. Legal, professional feticide makes non-reproductive sex seem safe, ok, and good. It also increases privacy, in that pregnancy is a very visible sign of sexual activity, and that's the real reason the supreeem court decided for Roe, against Wade.

    The 'right to privacy' is not meant to keep women's bodies sovereign from an unwanted fetus or prevent family formation caused by bad sex, it's about being immune to scrutiny by others, not subject to the regard of society. Body politics did not motivate those 'justices,' who were old men. From blue suede shoes to patchouli oil, bodily things are generally outgoing, and subject to conflict during striving times. The justices were, I guess, born around 1910. So, they cared about eugenics, which was at a peak then, pregnancy pathologized as an infectious disease, and also the flapper aesthetic, things from their childhood.

    As for Planned Parenthood, their last 'clinic' in Kentucky is being closed for not having an agreement with a hospital and paramedics. And in CA, the court case about undercover recordings of PP might involve prison time for the rogue journalists, but Trump or a populist (pro-fetus) governor would immediately pardon them, for a nice shit show. They have only begun to release their recordings. The gag order is not the point, they could have easily violated it ahead of time.

    It's just too early, because Kennedy's tax cuts preceded Roe v. Wade, and that's how American politics happens. When people are rich, with tax cuts and a Great Society and huge war spending, they want to be promiscuous. It's not true that high sociosexuality is typical of the poor. It might be unclassy, but that's different- I think relative poverty correlates with fertility, but anti-correlates with sex partner counts. (The underclass has lots of leisure and discretionary income, so they are not really poor.)

  25. "There were ~100,000 such deaths each year before Roe v. Wade!"

    Bullshit. US population in 1970 = 200 million, half being women.

    So death rate from abortion would be 1/1000 for all women -- looking at reproductive-age women would send it up to the order of 1/100.

    In other words, in a Mad Men style office building with 100 reproductive-age women, 1 of them would die every couple years -- and from an abortion, rather than other cause?

    Utter BS.

  26. Ignore any science-y claims or arguments coming from people who cannot do basic arithmetic, or are so out of touch with nature / reality that they can't immediately spot BS like that.

    (There goes 95% of "social science".)

  27. Maybe I remembered it wrong; I'll check my source soon. It could have referred to the whole world's fertile age women.

    But the issue is that before Roe v. Wade, abortionists claimed that many more women were dying, up to, I think, 1 million every couple of years. This lie was somehow convincing, just like the lie that only Catholic bishops and weirdos are opposed to abortion. They made up statistics about public opinion, and all sorts of propaganda.

    The 100k figure I remember does strike me as unbelievable, of course, but it comes from a reputable source, a converted Catholic doctor who, long after even aborting his own child, exposed his former claims and whole agenda as totally false. I'll find the references today, soon. The general idea that many women died of abortions is easy to exaggerate. I think penicillin for STDs was a bigger factor, and cars and films for dating and sociosexuality.

    And the effects of excess imported childcare laborers, including au pairs, is quite underrated- women could not go a-careering unless other women were doing their homemaking for them. Gavin McInnes wrote well about this, in advocating for young, childless American nannies who can later marry and become mothers, not taking away older foreign women from their own families.

  28. Here's what I remembered quite wrong in scale, but not relatively:

    We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000.

    10,000/year was ridiculous too- it would be a hugely visible crisis. I know that, but I relied on my faulty memory. Thanks for noticing my mistake.

    Here's an even lower estimate, incredibly low, indicating that illegal abortion just is abortion, regardless of 'coathangers':
    According to the Center for Disease Control in 1972 the death rate from abortions was only 39 in the entire country.


    It was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.” I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the “morality” of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the laws [against abortion] eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.

    98k abortions per year, out of ~100 mln women, is arguably lot, given that birth control was much more available than abortions were. I wonder what the demographics were. If women 15-35, those I consider reasonably fertile, were... maybe 1/4 of the total female population, then 98k/25mln = 0.4%, year after year, with some repeat abortions. 0.4% = an estimated 1 abortion for every 250 women 15-35. That's much lower than the post-legalization abortion rate. And 90% of providers were licensed doctors.

  29. I was really vague, not misremembering. Excuse my bad writing.

    It prevents women from suffering abortion-related deaths... so it is relevant. There were ~100,000 such deaths each year before Roe v. Wade! Regretted promiscuity was quite dangerous. Legal, professional feticide makes non-reproductive sex seem safe, ok, and good.

    I like to focus on women missing their dead unborn children, because that's what I hear happens, from said women. "such deaths" were of the killed fetuses, with, I guess, only 39 pregnant women's abortion-caused deaths per year. I shouldn't pretend that fathers don't suffer from their children being aborted, but that's a popular opinion. I do think the babies themselves suffer most,from being dismembered or vacuumed to death, not their parents.

  30. "Subsistence mode is a key factor, but it reduces to something a little different -- sedentary vs. nomadic lifestyle. Generally that means agrarian vs. pastoralist, but there's a big enough split within pastoralists to distinguish r-selected nomads from K-selected transhumance herders."

    Come to think of it, I see what you're talking about now. R-selected vs. K-selected exists apart from what I'm talking about.

    Nomadic pastoralists were more individualistic and competitive than transhumant pastoralists. They probably had higher self-awareness, more self-conscious and self-absorbed, and less conscious of the needs of others. this is why nomadic pastoralist cultures tended to become extremely ritualized, usually with formalized codes of behavior(Islam, for instance) - because their natural tendency is to be selfish and ignorant of the needs of other people, even those in their community, they need more explicit codes of behavior to tell them what their obligations are.

    You see the same thing with horticulturalists - hundreds of taboos, rituals, giving detailed instructions for how they are supposed to live their lives.

    In transhumant pastoralist cultures, the culture is less obsessively ritualized. There's greater freedom for the individual to figure out on their own what to do, following general principles and rules. Transhumant pastoralists were less self-aware, less self-absorbed, more aware of the needs of others. More empathetic and communitarian. They don't need myriad taboos or something like radical Islam to tell them what to do; because they are more naturally empathetic, they can get along with other people just following their own instincts.

    I don't see r-selected populations as being totally selfish or promiscuous per se; its just that, they need other people to explicitly articulate their own needs, they have problems figuring it out naturally. Too self-aware.

    This self-awareness is probably why horticulturalist, nomadic pastoralist, and hunter-gatherer cultures never developed high technology. Creativity is more associated with lower-selfawarness, those who are less self-absorbed. Not afraid to let the ideas flow out of you.

  31. This is also why Islam never took off in the Mediterranean - the population was too low in self-awareness to find something like that attractive. It attracts more those who are self-aware, obsessively self-monitoring their own behavior, but generally unaware of the expectations of others.

    Descendants of horticulturalists, for instance, have descended into crime and violence. Without all the taboos and rituals, they've become too competitive and cutthroat.

  32. This also explains the paradox of why r-selected types are so likely to become fundamentalist Christians or radical Islamic(as someone else pointed out, conservatives seem more K-selected because they advocate celibacy). Because their natural tendency is to be self-absorbed, violent, horny,etc., they need a strict code of conduct to regulate their behavior. Also why radical Islam has a steady supply of overly aggressive sociopaths who think they are getting virgins in the afterlife.

    K-selected types tend to be more secular, or at least more moderately religious, because they don't need a strict religion to keep them in line. They are naturally more empathetic and considerate, so can be nicer to other people without having to be told to. This is why r-selected types paradoxically preach celibacy(they can't handle free sex, because they end up abusing it), whereas K-selected types are more moderate in their views.

  33. Anonymous conservative respond:

  34. I'm like 10 paragraphs in and no substantial response yet, just passive-aggressive bitching...

    Finally, some substance.

    Frontier culture is still more sexualized, not just due to high men / low men 150 years ago. Las Vegas, Texan strip clubs, etc. Far more sexualized and promiscuous than places back East at similar latitude, like the Deep South.

    More attempts to re-frame liberal helicopter over-parenting, with offspring staying around home toward 30 years old, as conservative. Wrong: conservative parenting is more hands-off, and wanting to kick them out ASAP so they can start their own household unit.

    If r/K breaks down when you factor in density, he's illiterate. r/K comes from logistic pop growth model (he has never used differential equations, though, so why expect him to know that?). That's a basic feature, not bug, of the model -- that at low densities, the pop is not stretched thin for resources, while at high densities it is closer to carrying capacity.

    Defines "resources" as urban yuppie jobs, rather than rural or small-town jobs -- an interesting way to make cities more "abundant" than the country. He defines entire modes of subsistence out of being. "Resources" are whatever allow you to thrive and reproduce, and have your offspring thrive and reproduce in turn. Doesn't matter if you need a degree to do it.

    And at any rate, cities have always been black holes for individuals -- they have lower birthrates, greater poverty, higher disease burden, more starvation, and so on and so forth.

    Further attempts to downplay the impulsive risk-taking nature of Frontier life. Las Vegas may have been built by mobsters from back East -- but it only took root out West. Same with Mormon polygamy, another case he cannot discuss because everyone agrees they're one of the most conservative groups, yet they were rooted in polygamy on the Frontier.

    Texans have always had a rootless high-risk get-rich-quick lifestyle -- cattle, oil, and the like, not just card players. They relish the image, contrasting themselves with the risk-averse weenies in liberal Milwaukee.

    White liberals are not r-selected, as they do not rape rape rape the economy with no mind toward sustainability. That would be the laissez-faire deregulation ideologues on the conservative side. Poor old Paul Ryan, George Bush, et al, had no choice but to ratchet up the debt by the trillions.

    The Democrats playing along like Clinton and Obama are all recognized as "New Democrats" or Neoliberals, the kind who like the death penalty, harsh crime laws, "Ending welfare as we know it" (who said that one?), and so on and so forth. That's obviously a turn toward the conservative for Dems, compared to their New Deal / Great Society phase before.

    In short, he's a know-nothing social scientist who has never studied ecology, and is unfamiliar with the most basic model there, the logistic pop growth. He's trying to steer the dead-end of evolutionary psychology into the mix by saying that only "urges" matter when determining who's r and who's K.

    Wrong: it's how they actually behave. No ecologist looks at urges of cads vs. dads -- only whether they behave like cads or dads.

    Conservatives behave like r-selected, and liberals like K-selected, so that's what they are. The attempt to re-frame modern liberalism, especially helicopter parenting, as a quintessential conservative "urge" is the most abjectly moronic idea I've heard in a very long time.

    But it's evo-psych, so just give it a year, and it'll be something else.

  35. Those doofus dads who have tears streaming down their face when they see their kickass daughter soldering her first circuit board, after having taught her for so long -- it doesn't get any more conservative than that.

    The father who tries to find his daughter a suitable husband early, so she's out of the house and tending her own house and family in her early 20s -- why, that's just heartless liberalism run amok.

    These crunchy-con faggots have worn out their welcome trying to re-define everything so that liberals will respect them, or so that they score imaginary linguistic points. "Liberals are the REAL heartless ones -- conservatives are the REAL compassionate ones."

    It's not the Bush years any longer -- we can stop jerking ourselves off about Compassionate Conservatism.

  36. Why do crunchy cons want to re-define modern cities as the apex of human lifestyles? They're supposed to be the ones who want to stay rooted in human nature, tradition, rural / small-town life, etc.

    That's where this impulse comes from to re-brand conservatives as "those who thrive most in modern urban hives," compared to their liberal neighbors who are re-branded as "those who fall through the urban cracks". Again, very Social Darwinist and self-congratulatory.

    When you look at crunchy cons' obsessions, they mostly revolve around the moral dimensions of harm and fairness -- in the case of r/K, the obsession with providing and caring for offspring, at the expense of other concerns in childrearing, like teaching respect for authority, practicing tough love, etc.

    Actual conservatives are closer to mankind's past -- more corporeal and emotional than the cerebral and autistic liberals. (Brain imaging studies show this.) More concrete and common-sense than abstract and clever-silly. More motivated by the "yuck" factor in morality, tied to the sense of smell and taste. More salt-of-the-earth.

    It's only insecure liberal yuppies who view this as a bad thing. Obviously the outspoken liberal says it's a stigma for conservatives to be more of an evolutionary throwback. But then the typical crunchy con thinks the same thing, prizing "civilization" over rural living, and "Western Civ" over regional folk cultures.

    Elitist urbanite conservatives are just standard-issue liberals in their moral worldview and much of their behavior, just with more of an appreciation for High Culture. That's it.

  37. Also had a real-life LOL at his complaint about how dare I criticize his ideas without first reading his 888 blogpost anthology! ("online publishing")

  38. WallaceLeMay19684/2/17, 6:52 PM

    Butt fuck you Agnostic

  39. George Wallace would disavow helicopter parents like you for producing a generation of liberal crybabies.

  40. "I assume that this one is more based on class and ethnicity: the English are hyper-nuclear family and eager to have their children away from them; lower-classes kick their children out because they assume it is easy to make a living like it was in their day."

    Relatives who visited Germany say it has villages in rural areas, where all the housing and town stuff is, and then everyone goes out, from that local urban core, to the farmland around it. So, it's important to realize their social life, when they are around their friends and neighbors, is mostly similar to city life. In Great Britain and America, I think always, because they are consistently lonesome, houses are placed, for selfish convenience, on a family's own farmland. They don't go to town so often. They are less social; their economy, even now, is much weaker, I think by one third, even though Germany was split into East and West for decades, while G.B. only had a hot, but minor, war in Ireland.
    The Britons don't want to have communal, multi-generational, family households the same way they don't want rural-urban hybrid areas with their neighbors. And the Germans, in my opinion, are right that living together is better, and the seeming flaws present in Germany are not exclusive to it.

    I think we could compare other regions, too. In the Middle East, clans have inbreeding, but also, children add on to their family's complexes. In India, where inbreeding is also a problem, but which is more Aryan, I think they immediately establish their own separate homes. I suppose the British leave-home model is intended to prevent incest, which might be a bigger problem for them, paradoxically, because they are distant, emotionally and geographically, from neighbors suitable as spouses. So the Germans don't worry about that coming up.

    I have noticed that only upper class families can afford to pay for their children to live in dense, big cities. Poorer families, the vast majority, cannot pay so much, just in rent, so their children would like to be like the cool (rich) kids, but it's not an option. The rich kids have better educations, greater IQs and looks generally, and the economic networks to get much higher-paying jobs. So they take over cities, and yet 'gentrification' is only about race, because whites don't care about class anymore. It's weird to me, so I wonder, do you mind being evicted from cities by rich, hypocritical liberals, who can only keep their children safe in said cities through price-mediated segregation?

    As Agnostic noted, this past fall, the class-housing connection has to do with the Bernie movement- yes, they were basement dwelling-kids, and the upper middle class said,

    "my kids had their college paid for by mommy, daddy, grandpa, grandma, and friends' generous contributions to the college fund, so what's the matter? What student loan debt are they talking about? What's a student loan, if college only costs, say, $20,000 a year? That's not too much!"

    So...Bernie failed because the bourgeoisie are not communist enough, only in the selfish sense of fending off wealth confiscation and actual equality (like being forced into sex with ugly people). LOL, especially in my slightly Bernie-supporter heavy region, full of urban bobos, suburban nimbys, and elite Damn-immoral-crat party fundraisers. If a single liberal stronghold had been pro-Bernie, and anti-Her, he could have won. Feminism is the other issue, but that's off-topic.

  41. This is why r-selected types paradoxically preach celibacy(they can't handle free sex, because they end up abusing it), whereas K-selected types are more moderate in their views."

    Are monastic people, who makes vows for celibacy, poverty, staying in one place, and obedience, really r-selected in their sexuality (as if monasteries do not have strict limits on resource consumption, which simulates high population density)? I have met many monks and nuns, and they are generally patient, kind, and do not struggle with their vows. Maybe they should struggle more, I don't know.


    Compassionate Conservatism"

    Even Michael "Savage" Weiner, who explicitly identified with compassionate conservatism, has moved on to nationalist "borders, language, culture," and meeting with Trump and writing Trump's War. And he's a suburban hippie, really. It's funny that true progressives like Trump, yet there are incredibly few such true prog's. Most are phony, self-deceiving neoliberals.

  42. "re monastic people, who makes vows for celibacy, poverty, staying in one place, and obedience, really r-selected in their sexuality"

    I don't really know, there are lots of reasons why someone would join up. I take your word for it that monks tend to be nicer than the average person. Actually, joining a monastery would be much different from something like radical Islam, the example that I gave, because radical Islam encourages things like taking multiple wives and invading other countries. I may have misused the word "celibate", since r-selected cultures generally don't preach total celibacy(but nonetheless have strict proscriptions over behavior). Horticulturalists, for instance, allow promiscuous sex, but have very strict rules about the allocation of resources and socializing between men and women.

    there's no denying that what Agnostic identified as r-selected cultures - horticulturalists and nomadic pastoralists - generally develop strict, prohibitory religions or religious traditions. The reason I believe that is because they tend to be selfish, low empathy, and need explicit rules that teach them how to get along with others - because they can't figure it out by themselves.

  43. "radical Islam encourages things like taking multiple wives and invading other countries. I may have misused the word "celibate", since r-selected cultures generally don't preach total celibacy (but nonetheless have strict proscriptions over behavior). Horticulturalists, for instance, allow promiscuous sex, but have very strict rules about the allocation of resources and socializing between men and women."

    Ok, now I hear what you meant. I read that there are Muslim sex stores, selling all sorts of products, to married couples only

    I don't know horticulturalists well. Does that mean Africa, the Caribbean, and... Central America?

    I think r-selection is so tense, that invading k-selected territories is a popular 'solution' to their issues. Maybe that explains Islam being aggressive. But it seems like a desert-oasis thing, too. They believe in a mirage of getting virgins, like an oasis of sex, somewhere over the rainbow. Kind of understandable.

  44. I actually just finished reading The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics, which is the book that seems to have started all of this r/K stuff. If I had more time, I'd challenge all of the points here, but I thought it was a fantastic read that certainly warrants some thought. The main point is that the #1 difference between r and K (liberals and conservatives) is the sense that open, honest and fair competition is a threat to you (r/liberal) or is good for you (K/conservative). I'm at work, so I can't continue now, but I find it hard to argue with most of the book as it fits with basically everything I've ever observed on the issues mentioned.

  45. r/K comes from the field of evolutionary ecology called "life history theory" -- it has nothing to do with openness, honesty, or fairness.

    It has to do with the behaviors we observe in species that have a fast life history (r-selected) or a slow life history (K-selected). "r" in environments where the resources are not stretched thin per capita, where pop growth is driven by exponential increase. "K" in environments where resources are stretched thin because pop is near carrying capacity, and where further growth is near zero (also no decline though).

    Race-oriented people, drawing on Rushton, noticed that blacks are more r-selected than whites, and Asians least. His stuff was mostly about applying life history to the various human races -- age at puberty, number of offspring, squeaky wheel gets the grease (the experiments showing black babies pitch a fit when turned on their faces, while Asian babies just turn their heads to breathe but otherwise accept their fate), etc.

    Then, whether it's Anon Conserv or other amateurs on the internet, they tried to apply r/K to political / moral groups like liberal vs. conservative.

    Knowing that blacks are more r-selected than whites, and blacks are more liberal than whites, simply replace "blacks" with "liberals" and "whites" with "conservatives". Libs are r-selected and cons K-selected, QED.

    It's a dumb argument -- identical, in form, to this:

    1. Blacks are more athletic than whites (fast-twitch)

    2. Blacks have shorter lifespans than whites

    3. Ergo, more athletic people have shorter lifespans

  46. Curious about whether Anon Con has even read a textbook on life history theory -- the foundational stuff, not applications of it in novel ways.

    I went to the Amazon page for his blog anthology, and there's no Bibliography or Works Cited listed in the table of contents.

    I doubt he's done his homework by reading Derek Roff (or whoever else), and is winging it based off of Wikipedia and secondary sources like Rushton.

  47. While flipping through the ToC, I noticed several sections about sexual deviance and r-selection, tying both to liberalism.

    We know that liberals are more sexually deviant. The question is: is deviance r-selected?

    Of course not: sexual deviance is what you find in a K-selected species / environment. Black Africans do engage in some freaky stuff, but they're nowhere near the Chinese or Japanese in how single-mindedly they indulge in deviant sexuality such as pornography consumption, sexualizing cartoons (humans are too scarce), buying used panties in vending machines, coprophilic fetishes, and so on and so forth.

    The reason is simple: where resources per capita are abundant, you get on with getting it on. There's little reason for your offspring to not thrive, so might as well have more of them.

    In an environment where resources are stretched thin, it will be hard to raise a large family, so you delay sexuality in various ways -- later age of puberty, later age of losing virginity, later age of getting married, and later age at first offspring.

    And even then, you can only indulge so much with your mate -- otherwise they pop out far too many children than can be sustained by the precious little livelihood that you're managing to eke out.

    It's that environment where you'll be sexually frustrated for a longer period of your life, and turn to deviant substitutes like pornography, masturbation, and homosexuality (Asians are gayer than Africans).

    Only an idiot cannot see that.

    So, liberals being more sexually deviant is further proof of being K-selected, not r-selected.

  48. Anyone from MPC should have already made the connection here between K-selection and SCALE (the pernicious effects of high population size and/or density, or simply of greater social complexity).

    Those effects show up where there is a large population size relative to its carrying capacity, not in the far smaller and sparser populations where resources are abundant relative to the pop size.

    So now the casual Alt-Right reader has a choice to make -- do you believe My Poasting Career or Anon Con?

    I'll take good sociology over half-baked evo-psych.


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