A Reevaluation of r/K Selection and the Political Triangle.

Update 6/21/17: The theory behind this article may be incorrect, further discussion may take place in the future to deduce root causes of the Right-Left political divide.

Anyone aware of the three estates theory discussed by Butch Leghorn and the Propertarians understands the basis of what I am discussing here. The theory may be summarized thus: the first estate corresponds to the left, is feminine, and coerces with speech, the second estate corresponds to the right, is masculine, and coerces with force; and the third estate corresponds to the libertarians, is evolutionary (childish in a way), and coerces with remuneration. Some might object, saying that the first estate of the middle ages was not leftist; this is true, but it is largely due to the fact that it was closely tied with and arguably influenced by the second estate. So long as the first estate is mindful of the needs of the second estate, and natural law in general, leftism is minimized.

  • In Darwinian terms, the masculine right is clearly K-selected, and possess Nietzschean master morality; that is the morality of a sovereign (which really upsets the left). Nietzsche himself articulated in Beyond Good and Evil that some of the key traits of master morality are an honor for what one sees in himself, for one’s hierarchical equals, for ancestors, and for tradition. Likewise, K-selected organisms are competitive, in-group oriented and have inegalitarian social structures (examples being large carnivorous mammals, as well as great apes).
  • I once considered Non-Aggression Principle libertarians to be completely r-selected, but given that competition is inevitable in markets, I would go to argue that they have a mix of r and K selection strategies, and likewise a mixture of master and slave moralities. (Nietzsche actually believed that this ‘mix’ of moralities was inevitable in most higher civilizations, and also a result the intermixture of aristocracy with commoners, more on this here). It’s fine, oftentimes even helpful, if these individuals are present in the realm, just so long as they are not the ones ruling over it.
  • The left, however, given its support for ‘gibsmedat’ as though there were infinite resources to go around is clearly r-selected. Likewise, the left resents the sovereign and any group of people who attempt to claim a hold on resources (which can range from land to a civilization, to even things like one’s own biological ethnicity) as property, leading to the slave morality so characteristic of the left. The most extreme manifestation of this is in the anarcho-communists and Antifa.

It should be noted that what is termed by Nietzsche as ‘slave morality’ clearly fits within what MBTI psychology calls ‘extraverted feeling’ (emotions and value judgements are sourced from without), whereas ‘master morality’ corresponds to what is termed as ‘introverted feeling’ (emotions and value judgements are sourced from within) by psychologists. These moral phenomena are not coincidences, they are merely opposing psychological functions.

Now back to the biology behind all this. It is common knowledge that Karl Marx thought that capitalism would give way to communism due to a revolution of the proletariat. I would agree that capitalism can give rise to far left ideologies, but not so much through a revolution of the proletariat. Rather, capitalism, particularly once the industrial revolution became widespread, provided an unprecedented abundance of resources which led a gradual increase in r-selection among Westerners during the modern era; this then caused the political ‘progression’ from aristocracy (K-selected, right) to Whiggism (liberal capitalism – r/K mixture), to the r-selected, far left-wing SJW cultural norms which are common in the present day West. N.B.: Capitalism also selects for the ‘socialized’ temperament in humans, often leading to, yes, socialism. I personally suspect the North Sea trade networks of the middle ages to have begun the process of creating the socialized, liberal, cosmopolitan mindset found in many NW Europeans as well as their North American white liberal analogs.

However, now the West is reaching its carrying capacity, so K-selection is on the horizon, which is evidenced by the fact that millennials are having sex at a later age than their forefathers (K selection delays sexualization); I myself am 20 years old and still haven’t done it yet. There are also right-wing movements (the Alt-Right and Generation Identity) which have gained traction among millennials. Likewise, there is important evidence that millennials are more conservative than previous generations were at their own age (article), which is just more evidence for increasing K-selection. Gnon wins.





7 thoughts on “A Reevaluation of r/K Selection and the Political Triangle.

  1. I know only a little bit about Nietzsche or biology (though K-selected and r-selected are simple enough concepts to understand), but this was a very interesting article. It recalled to my mind An Essay on the History of Civil Society by Adam Ferguson, a writer of the Scottish Enlightenment. Ferguson claims that, as society progresses from savagery (tribal without the notion of property) to barbarian (still warlike and tribal but with property laws) to civil society (based on peace, stability, and trade), societies become softer and there is a loss of masculine virtue. The loss of masculine virtue is so apparent in this day and age that people demand to be taken care of from cradle to grave!

    I’m not sure if reproduction rates are the best determinant to see whether society is becoming more liberal or less so. After all, women tended to have large families right up into the middle of the twentieth century. The sole exception was the rich, and there is usually a correlation between wealth and having fewer children. After all, the rich have more resources available to them, and so their children might be said to have higher odds of success. The poor have fewer resources with which to aid their children. Consequently, it makes sense for the poor to have more children to increase the odds of at least a few succeeding who can then help other members of the family. But, the Sexual Revolution, with its twisted doctrine of sex being mainly for pleasure, has caused birth rates to drop across all classes!

    One of the odd things about Leftism is that, even though their philosophy appears to offer everyone enough for their needs, they are very concerned about population control. Unlike capitalists, who believe that people create economic goods, Marxists believe that economic goods are limited: the very fact that the rich exist causes the poor to suffer lack. And so, they’re okay with abortion, contraception, and eugenics because fewer people means there is more stuff for them.

    Of course, it sounds much better to frame population control as a way of saving the planet. We have more than enough food to feed everyone on earth, but people need to contribute some work in order to keep production going. Any time there is famine or want somewhere it usually comes down to government interference in the market. If there is a real carrying capacity of the Earth–not just an artificial one caused by corrupt governments and bad government policies which discourage wealth creation, we’re far from it.


    1. I refer to carrying capacity more in the sense of a that of a certain human civilization rather than the earth itself. Regarding free markets, how well they work will depend on their cultural context. In a high trust society where fraud is penalized, free markets can usually work fine. I do think, however, that a culture of capitalism can lead to the point where people care only about profit, and forsake faith, nation, and family. I tend not to see fiscal policy in a dualistic ‘Marxism vs capitalism’ way, I think there are other ways too see the issue, such as targeting certain bad business practices like fraud and usury.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In a very important sense, faith, family, nation, community spirit, and respect for the law are all important aspects of a capitalist society in order to prevent a materialistic and greedy society from forming. I agree with that wholeheartedly. The question then is how capitalism should exist in an age of declining faith and community responsibility, which is a big problem to be sure!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “though K-selected and r-selected are simple enough concepts to understand”

      Simple enough to understand, yet Rushton misapplied the theory horribly and erroneously to human races.

      r-K selection doesn’t apply to humans races because human races aren’t local populations. Ie, he’d have had to choose, say, San Bushmen and Swedes, but study them in the habitat that the selection was hypothesized to have occurred. He hasn’t done so so his theory is bullshit. If it did apply to human races, Eurasians would he r as that occurs in cold temperatures, not K as is commonly thought. Africans would he K since endemic disease is an agent of K selection. So even if it did apply to humans he reversed it!


      Third, Rushton describes tropical savannahs (without references) as being characterized by “viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases”. Since endemic infectious diseases usually impose density-dependent mortality, they are generally agents of K-selection. Thus, Rushton’s own suggested agents of natural selection on African populations imply that African populations have had a strong history of K-selection, as well as the r-selection implied by “droughts” (also undocumented).


      In addition, Rushton lists many traits of Mongoloid peoples that are thought to represent adaptation to cold. Cold weather acts in a density-independent fashion (adaptations to cold improve survival in cold weather regardless of population density); cold weather is normally an agent of r-selection


      Thus, Rushton’s claim about the empirical ordering of life history and behavioural traits in the racial groups exactly contradicts general predictions that follow from his own claims about their ancestral ecology and the r/K model (Boyce, 1984; MacArthur, 1972; MacArthur & Wilson, 1967; Pianka, 1970; Ricklefs, 1990, p. 577).


      Rushton was literally clueless about evolutionary ecology. It’s very telling how he never replied to Joseph Graves’ demolition of his theory.


      People misuse r/K theory because of Pianka’s (1970) (discredited) continuum.


      His theory on human racial differences as an explanation for why the races differ in his suite of traits is wrong. That doesn’t mean his data is wrong, but his theory is!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, I will make a second reevaluation of r/K selection theory. However, you are going to need to notify more people than me. Reactionary big shots like Curt Doolittle, Brett Stevens, and Butch Leghorn have referenced in relation to politics and if this connection is false, there is major cleaning up to do around the ‘sphere.


      2. Thanks for being objective. That’s rare to find nowadays.

        I’ve spent years researching Rushton’s theory and thinking about how it applies to humans. Then I thought ‘Why only read what I agree with here when I don’t do that for other things?’ Then I found Judith Anderson’s ecology critique and then I went back to read the Graves paper that I just handwaved away.

        Rushton’s misapplication of r/K theory was based on Pianka’s (1970) r/K continuum. That’s wrong. Describing behaviors as ‘r’ or ‘K’ is stupid. r and K describe agents of selection. Endemic disease is an agent of K while cold winters are an agent of r—which Rushton completely reversed! He literally arbitrarily put r-selection to Africans and K to Eurasians because it ‘fit with the data’. True—it did.

        However where he went wrong was 1) treating human races as local populations (he’d need to look at one population in one ecosystem and compare it to another in a different one. These populations can be on the same continent (Africa) or two different ones (say, Africa and Northern Europe). 2) to apply the theory based on behaviors in modern environments makes no sense. Organisms MUST be studied in the environment that the selection was hypothesized to have occurred. Not doing so means it’s fine to disregard what he says about r/K selection in application to humans. Even omitting the racial comparisons doesn’t save it. 3) Evolutionary biologists and ecologists don’t even use the theory anymore.

        I’ve brought this up to PumpkinPerson and he won’t take to it. I’ve explained to him that Rushton reversed r and K for humans (if it were applicable to us) and he still spews Rushton’s garbage. I know that it’s tough to change your beliefs and then the backfire effect occurs (which occurs when you’re presented with new information then do anything you can to find information to back what you originally thought after presented with said new information). That’s one cognitive bias I’ve learned to nip in the bud recently. I’ve also found it much easier to change my view by reading new information myself.

        Now I’m at the bookstore every week in the biology section buying new books (I did this anyway) that are the opposite of what I believe to see what I think after. Constantly reevaluating your views is the logical—and intellectually honest—thing to do.

        So anyone who pushes this theory is pushing a wrong theory, and applying it to other aspects of our lives also makes no sense. Behaviors are not ‘r’ or ‘K’. Behaviors are responses to the selective agent—whether it is r or K. People like Anonymous Conservative, Stephan Molyneaux and the other guys you brought up then—by proxy—push a wrong theory. Read the papers provided and follow the references to read more in depth about how to apply it—and why it’s not in use anymore.

        This, then, leaves use with one troubling conclusion: anything based off of Rushton’s r/K selection theory is wrong by proxy. Rushton didn’t understand evolution and life history theory (r/K selection). I saw one critique of Rushton’s theory saying that ‘only a bad person would push a theory like this’. That’s a flawed retort. Ad hominem attacks in scholarly discussion do not work. Theories like Rushton’s must be deconstructed to show how and why they are wrong, lest other people believe something that is horribly flawed and incorrect.

        I’ll most definitely be showing others how and why Rushton is wrong as well. Rushton was wrong about a ton from penis size to testosterone. This is just the nail in the coffin.

        Rushton didn’t even reply to Graves or Anderson in print, take that for what you will.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for clarifying the points on this subject. I know very little about how evolutionary biology applies to humans, but the subject does seem pretty interesting.


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