[lbo-talk] Blog Post: Teaching Workers

Charles Brown cb31450 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 1 07:29:31 PST 2014

In a similar vein in an intro anthropology class, I am teaching that the original human beings , the great leap forward to being homo sapiens from ape-like species was to altruism and sharing , generalized intense generosity, away from selfishness and greed. So, the original human nature is the opposite of capitalist "nature". The bourgeoisie act more like monkeys than humans. Altruism, sharing, one for all and all for one, two heads are better than one, are a better adaptive strategy than selfishness in the Darwinian sense of adaptive. Based on the newly invented culture and kinship systems, highly social humans were more fit to migrate to all the environments on earth , unlike chimps or any other species.

I also found out that the actual Bible in Genesis and elsewhere, has a lot of agreement with anthropology that altruism and sharing were the best species "strategy" for survival at origin. It is a basis for arguing to Christians, which there are a lot of in America, that they are the best strategy now.

Anthropology 152


1)According to anthropology ( even if only as science fiction ), what were the main unique species aspects of the original human nature 10,000's of years ago ? Was the original human nature likely to be selfish and greedy ? Why or why not in terms of the Darwinian theory of natural selection ?

4) On what issues concerning the nature of the world, human nature , the origin of human life and the origin of all life might Creationists, including followers of Genesis, and Evolutionists , including anthropologists, be said to agree ?

5) What are the names of the species that have been part of the genus _homo_ over hundreds of thousands of years according to _The Essence of Anthropology_ ? Why is the Stone Age called the Stone Age ( Paleolithic and Neolithic ) ? How would institutionalized war have impacted the survival fitness of Stone Age human populations which were small ?

6) So far, what do you understand anthropology to be about ? Why does anthropology matter, if it does ? What is culture ?

On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 10:43 AM, michael yates <mikedjyates at msn.com> wrote:
> "Karl Marx's famous dictum sums up my teaching philosophy: "The philosophers of the world have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." As I came to see it, Marx had uncovered the inner workings of our society, showing both how it functioned and why it had to be transcended if human beings were to gain control over their lives and labor. Disseminating these ideas could help speed the process of human liberation. From a college classroom, I thought that I could not only interpret the world, I could indeed change it.
> Thinking is one thing; the trick is bringing thoughts to life. How, actually, does a person be a radical teacher? How, for example, can students be shown the superior insights of Marxian economics in classes that have always been taught from the traditional or neoclassical perspective--taught, in fact, as if the neoclassical theory developed by Adam Smith and his progeny is the gospel truth? My college expected me to teach students the "principles" of economics: that people act selfishly and independently of one another, that this self-centeredness generates socially desirable outcomes. And further, that capitalism, in which we, in fact, do act out of self-interest, is therefore the best possible economic system. Had I refused to do this and taught only Marxian economics, I doubt I could have kept my job.
> My students were mostly the children of factory workers, miners, and other laborers, just the young people I wanted to reach and move to action. However, nearly all of them were hostile to radical perspectives, having been taught that such views were un-American. Their animosity was sometimes palpable, especially when I pointed out the many things they did not know about our country's unsavory relationships with the rest of the world. A retired Marine told me that, after we watched a particularly radical film about U.S. imperialism, he wanted to come down the aisle and strangle me"
> I welcome comments. Please pass along to anyone you think might be interested. If you post this to a website, please let me know.
> ___________________________________
> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list