I never wrote that we could not form big groups.
Yes, I know what you said and what I said and how they are related. I guess I need to explain it.
You wrote the following (which is what I quoted and responded to) in order to mock social theorists who believe it:
"there is no reason why we cannot live in huge societies even though we are the product of millions of years of evolution in small hunting/gathering groups"
"Is there a specific reason that we cannot live in large groups if we evolved in smaller groups?"
You mocked the idea that "there is no reason"
and I asked "Is there a specific reason"
. Relevant in the verbatim sense, yes?
I said that we evolved biologically as small group primates and manage to function in large groups only because we have ideologies that unite us into them and enable us to adapt to and function in them.
I'm asking for what reason "biologically-limited group size"
is a necessary property of species that evolved in groups of 'small' size. Whether you think the biological limitation is overcome by ideology is beside the point.
Yes, this forum has the most amazing collection of graphic characters.
And some real characters as well
Is there anything in social science that you cannot find an exception to? It is not like physics. We have to deal in generalizations.
Years ago I was acquainted with the former XO of a Korean war era navy cruiser who told me very credibly that he knew all of his crewmen, well over a thousand, by name.
If you can find an exception to anything you would do well to avoid saying things like:
Also, psychologists have recently discovered that none of us can feel compassion for, recognize faces of, and feel connected to more than 200 people.
That would prevent people like me from giving a counterexample to refute your statement... which I did, eh?
Oh come on! Be honest with yourself...
Without yet reading the rest of your paragraph I'm going to predict that a strawman is fast approaching. Just the tone of "Oh come on! Be honest with yourself" seems to announce it.
Do you feel the same compassion and concern for some eleven million black and Muslim people supposedly near starvation in NW Africa as for the thousands killed or still suffering from the 9/11 attack?
Hummm... I'm afraid the nasty overtones of your statement overwhelm the gratified feeling I was expecting for having called the strawman.
The pertinent answer is that I don't
feel equal compassion and solidarity with every living human in desperate straights. But, that neither supports your claim nor contradicts any of mine.
Aside from that, let me think of the best way to put this...
Did you see the woman in Libya who showed up at the international hotel after being raped by Gadafi's thugs? Everyone's heart, the international media, the west, everybody, went out to her. By your reasoning that kind of sympathy and solidarity for someone of a different culture, language, religion, and worldview, is impossible. I stress, impossible
The only reason we are able to identify with and feel that more compassion, for example, for the 9/11 victums, is that our common ideological systems bonds us into the larger groups ("nation" and "society", the one bonded by Christianity and Secular Humanism).
The victims of 9-11 were Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, nearly 50 nationalities and all different races and ethnicities.
Saying that my compassion, or anyone's compassion, is somehow predicated on the victim's personal beliefs and social backgrounds is unbelievably offensive, indecent, and just not true.
Likewise with other tragedies. Who could follow the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and think "Japanese people are quite different from me so I just don't feel much for them"? Is this really how you see humanity?
If we had no common ideological systems, our nations and societies would all collapse into small groups again.
No, that is not necessarily true. Other things besides ideology can and do hold groups of people together. Look at the Roman empire as an example. From the tribal level to the level of an empire you find counterexamples of your assertion.
In his 1972 study, The Notion of the Tribe, anthropologist Morton H. Fried provided numerous examples of tribes the members of which spoke different languages and practiced different rituals, or that shared languages and rituals with members of other tribes. Similarly, he provided examples of tribes where people followed different political leaders, or followed the same leaders as members of other tribes. He concluded that tribes in general are characterized by fluid boundaries and heterogeneity, are not parochial, and are dynamic
And look around you. In the slow decade by decade social evolutionary way, it is happening.
No it isn't. If anything societies are becoming more homogeneous. But, this is all beside the point.