No pussy, no peace

It is somewhat more accurate and certainly more family-friendly to say “no love, no peace,” but this formulation of an anonymous commenter at Marginal Revolution, summarizing my comments about the lost boys, combines a nice allusion with a naughty alliteration, and instills a greater degree of necessary shock, so at the risk of being auto-censored, I will keep it. Despite this blog’s name, in order to analyze the connections between family and civilization this blog delves into the deepest and darkers corners of evolutionary psychology, which are often also the deepest and darkest corners of human sexuality, so I have no hope of this blog being family-friendly anyway.

For those red-staters and non-Americans who have never seen a blue-state radical protest, this slogan is a play on the common left-wing chant, “no justice, no peace”, which translated roughly means “pay more taxes and give us more money, or we will riot.”

The new form of this slogan sounds even more over the top, but unfortunately it describes a historically and evolutionarily ubiquitous part of the human condition. “No pussy, no peace” is how primate mating has generally worked, and can be seen today with the high correlation between crime rates and polygynous urban cultures, with the hittistes of polygamous Algeria (h/t/ Eurosabra), with the demographics of terrorists and gang members, and so on. There is a commonly observed correlation between poverty and crime, but there are closer correlations that get closer to the ultimate cause between differential sexual success and crime and, moving up in scale, differential sexual success and political violence.

The ultimate genetic reason for this is that in the evolutionary environment of adaptation a genetic loser had nothing to lose. He might as well risk everything, up to and including his life, to try to gain his genes access to future generations. As a result the genetic loser is extremely risk-seeking as opposed to the risk aversion and stability of women and of men who feel confident in their long-term access to women.

Because of the threat of violence from genetic losers with nothing to lose, in polygynous societies the alpha tends to become alpha through skills in violence — from defending himself as an alpha, and often from using violence to move from beta to alpha — more often than through the peaceful, peer-to-peer voluntary exchange that characterize most competition within monogamous societies. Unless the betas can be very strictly controlled through a hypersecure totalitarian regime, polygyny results in barbarism. I’m not sure whether I prefer totalitarianism or barbarism, but I sure know I like traditional Western civilization, with its values of liberty and volutary exchange that utterly depend on monogamy, far more than either polygynous extreme.

“No pussy, no peace” summarizes a theory with a surprisingly high explanatory power. It’s almost a theory of everything. Why was President Clinton impeached, but many Presidents committing acts of seemingly far greater and certainly far more direct political harm were not? Why in most democracies does an affair often disqualify a politician from high office, whereas oriental despots with not much greater power than our President often controlled large harems? Why do male celebrities get assasinated far more than female ones, and more generally why do some celebrities and politicians get assassinated and not others?

The short answer may be that politicians in a democracy need popular votes, including the votes of beta males and faithful couples to get elected, and in almost any kind of polity if you have any security vulnerability at all to violent acts of peons, you’d better not be too open about your sexual conquests, or one of these beta males may get pissed off and kill you. By this theory harems only worked where emperors were secure from the most nutty or otherwise very pissed betas, i.e. before the coming of the handgun.

The pussy/peace theory also predicts that male Presidents and celebrities with well-known affairs, like the Kennedies and John Lennon, are more likely to get shot than sexually boring presidents like George W. Bush. It’s an interesting paper for somebody to write, to see to what extent this correlation holds up.

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8 Responses to No pussy, no peace

  1. Jesse says:

    Some observations:

    1. When I think of celebrities who had sex with a lot of women, I think about Wilt Chamberlain, Charlie Sheen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, and maybe a million other people before I get to John Lennon. No one tried to shoot Bill Clinton, but Ronald Reagan and William McKinley were shot. Not to speak about Lee Harvery Oswald and Malcolm X. Have you heard of confirmation bias?

    The idea that your theory contributes anything to the understanding of assassination attempts is ludicrous. Your evidence is simply that a couple of famous men who got shot also had lots of sex; since famous men in general are likely to have lots of sex anyway, this is useless.

    2. The Bill Clinton impeachment effort was led by people like Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde, serial adulterers who faced no political backlash for their activities. So much for this theory of everything.

    3. Essentially this whole line of thinking comes across as a threat: we want faithful women, we’re scared that we can’t get them, and so things better change or else civilization will crumble. To reinforce the threat, it becomes grounded in science — evolution dictates that unhappy men with nothing to lose will become dangerous to everyone else. Not surprisingly, this argument is essentially appealing to brainy losers who are preoccupied with the fact that they aren’t on top of the food chain. A tip: women prefer confident and self-reliant men, not men who are so obsessed with their beta-male status that they write long screeds on the internet justifying their insecure world view.

  2. cassius says:

    1. Obviously, only a tiny fraction of celebrities of any lifestyle are assassinated. My claim is obviously relative: a miniscule fraction of monogamous male celebrities vs. a higher but still very small fraction of openly polyginist celebrities.

    2. You get the facts wrong — Newt Gingrich had to resign as Speaker, and Henry Hyde had to take a largely silent role in the impeachment for just this reason. If the impeachment had really been about perjury rather than monogamy, these adulteries wouldn’t have mattered: Gingrich and Hyde were not perjurers. But the fact that they had to dump Gingrich (and the next choice as speaker, who also turned out to have had an affair) to pick the faithfully monogamous Dennis Hastert as speaker shows that the impeachment was really about monogamy and only nominally about monogamy.

    3. “Not surprisingly, this argument is essentially appealing to brainy losers ” — Now you trot out the slanderous ad hominem intended to ostracize betas and shut down discussion. Do you think your rhetoric of insult and ostracism of those presumably less fortunate than you (or less fortunate than you fantasize yourself becomin) is going to convince betas who have awoken to their plight to just quietly go away and stop bothering you?

  3. cassius says:

    “was really about monogamy and only nominally about monogamy.”

    Should read “was really about monogamy and only nominally about perjury”, of course. 🙂

  4. Burton says:

    Not surprisingly, this argument is essentially appealing to brainy losers who are preoccupied with the fact that they aren’t on top of the food chain

    The article appeals to me — and I go out with more women than I care to think about. Last time I checked, I was pretty high up on the food chain. So why don’t we try your argument again, but this time try using something like “logic”?

  5. Jesse says:

    My claim is obviously relative: a miniscule fraction of monogamous male celebrities vs. a higher but still very small fraction of openly polyginist celebrities.

    Yes that is your claim, but you have zero evidence for this claim. Of course you are leaving that for further research, so more to the point I also don’t see any reason why it’s likely to be true. What evidence is there that JFK and Lennon (your examples, presumably supplied to provide intuition) were killed because they slept around? Absolutely none. Meanwhile they were both extremely popular in a Western democratic society. (Isn’t that a problem with your almost-theory of everything? It should be.)

    Newt Gingrich had to resign as Speaker, and Henry Hyde had to take a largely silent role in the impeachment for just this reason.

    Um, no. Gingrich had to resign as Speaker because the Republicans lost seats in the House in the 1998 elections (because the Clinton impeachment politically backfired! — something your theory fails to account for), and Hyde spearheaded the impeachment case. Gingrich’s personal life was known about well before the late 1990s, so of course your theory completely fails to explain how such a paragon of virtue managed to lead such a democratically important political crusade. It also spectacularly fails to explain how someone like Bill Clinton had such a successful political career. (Yes, a two-term President of the world’s greatest superpower who left office with a 65%+ domestic approval rating is very successful, even if he got impeached.)

    Click on my name for the link to the Wikipedia article on confirmation bias. It’s easy to have a theory of everything when you completely neglect all contradictory evidence. For example, vast numbers of celebrities and politicians have affairs, even in democratic societies — in fact, the USA is somewhat unusual in that it’s a somewhat important political issue (although not necessarily a dealbreaker, as the electoral fortunes of JFK and Bill Clinton indicate). Then again all good evolutionary scientists know that the French and the Americans have very different genetic material.

    And Burton, OK, this article appeals to brainy losers and it also appeals to you. But to think that we almost have a “theory of everything” here — that requires an emotional commitment to the importance of sexually faithful women that transcends the given facts. Sure, sexual fidelity is important to very many people, many men in particular, and there are clear evolutionary reasons why this is so. But is sexual fidelity crucial to Western civilization? I see no evidence for this, only some hand-waving about angry beta males, and allusions to John Lennon, John Kennedy, and Bill Clinton that don’t actually support the theory (in fact, these very popular promiscuous alpha males undercut it!)

  6. Burton says:

    I always find I it odd that a term such as “losers” is used. It implies that one’s worth as a human being is wrapped up in the ability to attract the opposite sex. More fundamentally, it seems to imply that the worth of an argument is related to a person’s ability to attract the opposite sex. By this line of reasoning, a Charles Manson or an Adolph Hitler (both of whom were “babe magnets”) were the epitome of human reasoning.

    Care to explain that one to me?

    Of course, the reality is that Manson and Hitler did have fanatic followings, especially among women. Perhaps there is some sort of underlying genetic drive at work here. Beneath the veneer of logic and reason, humans are so much collections of DNA looking for a way to perpetuate themselves. Women choose to mate with the “alpha” ways for the usual Natural Selection 101 reasons.

    In a roundabout way, that is one answer: if we want to maintain Western civilization, perhaps we need to maintain a sexual order? It is a reality that over the last several decades that we have had a Sexual Revolution. This era has also seen the collapse of the Western World, as evidenced by the withdrawal from colonies and the inability to deal with massive (and often illegal) immigration from third world countries into Europe/North America.

    In any event, this bears more study.

  7. Jesse says:

    It is a reality that over the last several decades that we have had a Sexual Revolution. This era has also seen the collapse of the Western World, as evidenced by the withdrawal from colonies and the inability to deal with massive (and often illegal) immigration from third world countries into Europe/North America.

    This cannot bear enough repeating. Shout it from the rooftops brother.

  8. Knarf says:

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc. No arguing with that, eh?

    BTW, Burton, “losers” are very, very real. I am one. If you question the concept, it’s likely you are, too.

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