Political Theory of Darwinism: Zoon Politikon and the Evolutionary Case for Social Democracy

Author: King, Ian T.
Year:2008
Pages:552
ISBN:0-7734-5140-4
978-0-7734-5140-7
Price:319.95
This study explores the theoretical impact the evolutionary sciences, in general, and holistic Darwinism in particular, have for any one political ideology that seeks to ground itself within a scientific view of human nature. The text demonstrates how several Marxian ideological principles are quite at odds with the view of human nature espoused by holistic Darwinism, broadly conceived. The author tentatively suggests that it is Social Democracy, as opposed to Marxism or liberal-democratic capitalism, which is the most adaptive political ideology in the twenty-first century.

Reviews

"Throughout his analysis, King offers a stunning sweep of the recent literature in evolutionary biology, and is quick to alert us to the points where he makes novel interpretations or is questioning our received wisdom. This is a book not only of great learning, but also of deep integrity.” - Dr. Mark Schantz, Professor of American History & Associate Provost of Engaged Learning, Hendrix College

“King’s treatment of holistic Darwinism and dialectical Marxism must, by definition cover a very large territory.. . . .[He] successfully integrates these two approaches by unpacking the variety of crucial topics including culture, human nature, behavior, altruism, intentions, and more. . . .King vigorously remains within a dialectical framework for his own analysis and thus paints a complex and complicated picture of the human condition.” - Dr. Howard H. Lehman, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Utah

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction: In Pursuit of Zoon Politikon
Part I: Holistic Darwinism: The Major Elements
1 The Cooperation-Competition Dialectic
2 The Brain and Human Nature
3 Cultural Evolution and the Power of “Memes”
Part II: Non-Holistic Darwinism and Politics
4 Genetic Hard-Wiring, the EEA, and the Persistence of Foundational Political Behaviors
Part III: Marxism and Holistic Darwinism
5 The Marxian Dialectic and Holistic Darwinism
6 Revolution and Revolutionary Praxis
7 Class and Class Struggle
8 Exploitation and Equality
9 Initial Motes on Other Marxian
Ideological Issues
10 The Holistic Darwinian Case for Social Democracy
Part IV: Conclusion
11 Have We Found Zoon Politikon? Cautionary Tales on Political Ideology and Holistic Darwinism
Appendix: Evolutionary Biology as a “General Systems Theory” of Politics
Bibliography
Index