Sunday, June 03, 2012

Nothing to Fear From Governments?

Anxiety disorder rates have risen twentyfold in 30 years -- largely because psychiatry misunderstands human nature ALLAN V. HORWITBoard of Governors Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University HERE
Our new era of anxiety”
“Excerpted with permission from “All We Have to Fear: Psychiatry’s Transformation of Natural Anxieties into Mental Disorders,” from Oxford University Press. These anxieties are out of proportion to the actual danger in the present environment yet seem understandable as reactions that came down to us as part of our biological inheritance of fears that did make sense in the prehistoric past.
Early hominids had much to fear. The most ancient stages of human evolution featured environments where people without powerful weaponry faced numerous predators, could do little to protect themselves from harsh climates and natural disasters, and were defenseless against disease. Food was often scarce and in many environments was impossible to preserve for long periods of time. Dangers were everywhere at the same time that security from threats was weak and often unavailable. Small bands of just one or two hundred people faced other hostile groups of humans and other predators, without any government to protect them. Although a range of strategies could be adaptive for dealing with some specific circumstances, on average, vigilance, caution, and readiness to flee at a moment’s notice would probably have had the greatest evolutionary payoff.”
On reading this article, I was struck by the notion that one source of fear was anxiety among late hominids and early humans lived in small bands “without any government to protect them”.    One does not have to be a libertarian to consider the mixed blessings of “government” in respect of protection depends largely upon the application of justice.    Governments, of whatever nature, can inflict serious harm on the members on band, large and small, can (and did, does) inflict serious harm upon a society by compelling its members to harm nearby societies, which causes revenge retaliations and punitive ventures on its members.
Other than with that caveat, the article is worth a look.


Post a Comment

<< Home