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Sapiens 7 No Justice in History

Page history last edited by Ian Kimber 6 years, 3 months ago


7   No Justice in History


Segment   1    8 - 1 Lesson 7 There is No Justice in History - Segment 1.mp4  17:30m

How did humans organise themselves into large complex organisations when they lack the instincts to create these orders"

This was done using hierarchies of groups based on shared myths and ideals communicated between the group members.

As illustrated in the previous lecture.  

This lecture will examine how this affected the members of these groups.

The benefits on most were rather dubious because they were hierarchical with  a small elite getting most of the benefits a middle with some benefits and an underclass with very little or nothing.  How these hierarchies evolved was different in different isolated large groups  sometimes it was by birth(caste ,  sometimes race or religious structure or wealth.  Modern US citizens are divided by all these factors simultaneously! whatever the categories are the result is the same  for example Hindus are divided by birth family name or caste.


Hindu creation myths define the basic castes as natural and eternal.

Chinese myths describe the creation of two classes  Aristocrats or commoners

Modern USA class is mainly defined by wealth.  This is seen to happen through intelligence and hard work.  In fact most rich people are born into rich families.  Race religion and sex also have visible effects even though there are theoretical social equality rulings that are generally agreed


Class structures tell how we should deal with others and help us to work with people that we do not know personally.  They also put up barriers that prevent people from progressing up the levels in the hierarchy.    There is no clear genetic evidence of much variation in intelligence or skills between races across the world.  Although education and environment play a big part in how these may be demonstrated.


It is true that there are differences between people through natural abilities but these need to be supported and nurtured and this support is not in generally available to less wealthy people.


The next stage is to look at why different societies have different hierarchies. 


Segment   2   8 - 2 Lesson 7 There is No Justice in History - Segment 2.mp4  33:02m


Theaser originated as a result of


Looking at the caste system in ancient India

Mic current thinking suggests that invaders from north in central Asia subjugated the native population.   They were in a minority and feared the dilution of their own race so they divided up the population based on a perceived "purity".   This is based on mythology deep held feelings about cleanliness and avoiding disease.  

This trick is not unique and crops up again and again in religions and societies.  It does have some roots in biological realities.


The caste system evolves there are initially about 4 or 5 castes but this increases with time.  This is based on birth Jati as they are called have now up to 3000 divisions. It determines what you eat where you live and the sort of jobs that you can do and who you can marry

Modern India the state has tried very hard to eliminate caste discrimination.  This is being continued by family opinions and predjudice


The story of modern America similar to caste.  Invasion from Europeans and the importing of slaves from Africa.  


Why Africans?  The europeans brought new diseases which killed the native americans.  Africa is closer than others, The African slave trade existed already due to Arabs,  The crops of sugar, cotton, coffee, were grown in hot area with tropical diseases to which Africans are partially resistant.  


So two groups of superior white masters and inferior black slaves forms.  Stories were invented to explain this   Black Africans descended from Ham  (Noah’s second son) cursed to be slaves,  Black people are less intelligent,  Blacks are used, to accept and survive poor conditions. Blacks are a source of pollution and disease


After slavery was abolished these caste differences continued.  Initially freed slaves were much poorer with poor education.  Also seen as a source of pollution.  Prejudices became stronger with time and racial segregation developed. particularly as there were also a considerable number of poor white citizens.


Even modern anti segregation laws have taken a long time to reduce the prejudice.  Although much progress has been made.


Wealth nowadays is a big divider of classes and quality of education and social aspirations in western society.  Sex discrimination is the next thing to look at


Segment   3       8 - 3 Lesson 7 There is No Justice in History - Segment 3.mp4   32:02m


Looking at  Sex discrimination on societies and is seen across almost all societies.

Caste not now prominent in Europe but sex discrimination was as in most other states  Women were property of their father or husband.

Rape punishable by fine and forced marriage. The Bible supports this see Deuteronomy 22 vs 28-29 damage compensation for the father's property.  No possibility of rape inside marriage.  This still  applies in around 25% of countries today.


Are there biological reasons for this? some important differences are obvious

Child bearing is the obvious job for women.  

Cultural ideas also exist with no firm biological basis.   Women emotional not rational and intelligent and lack moral standards?

Most cultures ban Homosexuality as not natural but has been acceptable in many societies e.g. ancient Greece.

Biology does not force all women to have children but social morays can force this. Women who are childless are unnatural.

Concepts about "natural" and "unnatural"are products of society and not physics or biology.  Unnatual things in physics or biology just cannot happen.

Religion often has a good deal to do with what it is conceived that a creator God designed it for.  

Real life is not like this all organs and functions have multiple uses and have evolved over time.  

Sex and courtship rituals are used in pair bonding, cementing relationships and also reducing tension in humans and many other animals and not solely procreation.


Images of masculinity and femininity have changed greatly over the centuries.

Modern man is very understated nowadays.  Not so in the past or for many other animals these things are cultural.

Males in any period strive to look like men and females female as defined by the current fashion. 

Females nowadays are the opposite in western society but not on other societies 

Gender boundaries do not generally accept crossovers this relates (mostly) to genetic structure and bodily (and mental) equipment.

Almost all societies are patriarchal.  Some universal biological reason appears to show this.  It must be more basic.


Segment 4    8 - 4 Lesson 7 There is No Justice in History - Segment 4.mp4  28:57m


No clear reason has been described for sex discrimination in socieries


1 most common theory,  men stronger than women.  


not completely true, women survive better in adverse conditions.   Leaders are not always the strongest. they are the ones who can gain support from others.   Mankind became top by organisation not strength


2 Men are more aggressive


They fight wars and control territory.  Men are indeed more violent because of brain structure and hormones but their leaders do not have to be men.  in many societies there was a big gap between basic soldiers and the officers that led them people did not rise from the ranks.  You need leaders that can negotiate, women are best at this women at the top are rare.    Why no women you need leaders that will be accepted?


3 Men and women have different reproduction strategies


Men are out to impregnate as many women as possible.  Women must invest a long time in pregnancy and child rearing and needed a man to stick around to help her.  This is not necessary true as the support of other women can be just as effective.   Males are not indispensable.  Males can spend their time fighting for supremacy. 


This last reason would suggest that women should dominate and remains as the greatest unsolved mystery in human development.


return to  1 Index page Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

Comments (9)

Miall James said

at 9:40 am on Feb 7, 2018

At birth the male to female ratio for humans is about 1.1:1. What is it for chimps and bonobos? I ask because one of the concerns about artificial control of babies sex is inevitably leading to more boys in societies such as India and China, and excesses of testosterone with no sexual oiutlet leads to war!

Ian Kimber said

at 9:29 am on Feb 7, 2018

Looking at a reason for the male domination question may come from evolution itself and we have a very good example in our closest relatives the two sorts of chimpanzees chimps and bonobos. The chimps have a male dominated society and the bonobos (or pygmy chimpanzees) have a female dominated society. The male dominated chimps rule by strength and force and fight wars to control and expand their territory but the matriarchal group bonobos rule in a very different and more controlling way with sexual intercourse being a great controlling factor and have a much less warlike society. It maybe that for mankind to expand and dominate the world the male domination approach was essential.

There is a very interesting development here particularly in relation to current trends towards female equality and the recognition that sexual relations are an important part of society in the most developed areas of the world. We may be heading slowly towards a change from male domination to female controlling in society. This may be the only way that the human race can survive for a long time on a finite sized planet. Now there's a topic worth discussing a bit. Any opinions anyone?

Miall James said

at 7:50 am on Feb 7, 2018

I've finished 7 now...... yes, I'm listening. I'm not sure by any means that the explanation for the caste system is correct; I've read another couple of explanations, and generally, as I've posted elsewhere it seems unlikely that 'invaders from the North' imposed a caste system. They might have imposed, as with the Normans, an aristocracy, but no further.
I'm inclined to agree about section 3, although the big problem about homosexuality to me as a biologist is that only recently has it become possible for a homosexual, as a homosexual, to apss on their genes, and biological entities are programmed to do that.
Section 4 reamins a mystery; how and why have women, in the vast majoity of cultures, been subservient, or seen as subservient, to men. I is rare to find anything other than male primogeniture being the basis for inheritance, too.

Miall James said

at 10:17 am on Feb 1, 2018

There are also new oil pipelines being put in place Eastward from Iran and Iraq and other areas where there are substantial deposits of oil & gas, towards China.

The really important invention, of course, was the zero, which was Indian.

Ian Kimber said

at 9:53 am on Feb 1, 2018

Don't worry ask away although if I feel I need to do a bit more study to discuss your comments It might take a bit of time to catch up

I am not sure if you are just reading the book or following the videos on the vU3A site. I have now put the video of lessons 6 and 7 on the site. and hope to ne able to spend quite a bit of time watching and updating my notes today.

I agree with you that we Europeans easily forget that a great many of the inventions that we think we created were in fact first made in China.

The middle east is I agree an important area where many things happen but much international trade now goes by air and see to avoid that area. The axis of land trade may now be moving further north towards the Caspian sea because of new planned rail links in the Belt and Road initiative QV. The Belt one Road is a multiple route improved trade interface between Europe and the Far East notably China. Lots of western countries are looking for a bit of the investment action and it is in the news at the moment

Miall James said

at 1:21 am on Feb 1, 2018

Sorry to appear to nag, Ian, but one of the great advantages of being in Bangkok is that I don't have any household duties, or grandparental ones until after about 5pm, so can sit in the sun and read.

Ian Kimber said

at 5:47 pm on Jan 31, 2018

You are now ahead of me I will repost and catch up later. Hopefully tomorrow

Miall James said

at 6:37 am on Jan 31, 2018

Re-reading my comment, I neglected to mention that Frankopan, the author of The Silk Roads, regards to last 600 or so years as an aberration, and that from now on we will return to reacting to what happens in the Middle East.

Miall James said

at 6:28 am on Jan 31, 2018

I gather, Ian, that as yet you've been unable to download anything after 6, Building Pyramids. As well as following this I've downloaded and read The Silk Roads, about the way that, throughout history with the exception of, roughly, the last 600 years, the axis of the world, the place where everything important happened, or at least started was what we call the Middle East, where the great trade routes between East and West actually come togther.

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