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GENERAL THEORY OF PSYCHOLOGY
THE LAWS OF PSYCHE
Alberto E. Fresina
CHAPTER 1 -(pages 7 to 26 of the book of 410)
Index of the chapter:
THE NATURAL SELECTION AND THE ORIGEN OF THE HUMAN PSYCHE
1. The natural selection applied to man
2. The sexual selection
3. Natural selection of tribes and sexual selection
4. Subordination of the sexual selection to the natural selection of tribes
6. Complementary considerations
DEVELOPMENT OF THE THEORIC WORK
. The biological evolution and the human psyche formation
. The general psychological laws and its particular trends
. The levels of the psychic operation
THE NATURAL SELECTION AND THE ORIGIN OF THE HUMAN PSYCHE
Darwin has already explained the general laws of the biological evolution. In his statement, he observes multiple factors at stake, which, interact among themselves, creating the slow evolution and transformation of specie.* Some of the most important factors will be reviewed, as they shape the central idea of the evolution of the species theory.
* Darwin Charles. El origen de las especies. Editorial EDAF. Madrid 1985 (Charles Darwin. "The origin of the species". Editorial EDAF. Madrid 1985)
One of these facts, is that any species tends to generate a great deal of descendants, in a geometric progression. In case the uninterrupted multiplication of members has no limits, each species should cover the surface of the Earth shortly. However the limit exists and it is the food mainly; this means that more individuals are born than those that can be fed. In this way, those having a better innate capacity to get food, will survive, while the rest will be eliminated. Such survivors will reach the reproduction time and they will have children with similar capacity. Therefore, species will be made up of members that have useful features to achieve food. When only the capable ones are left and upon their reproduction in geometric progression, food limit is again surpassed, and a new more demanding selection will take place.
That selection occurs under the premise of the following factor: variability. This means that each generation of species, gives rise to a certain quantity of descendants, and most of them almost inherit the same capacity than progenitors, but minimum innate differences of capacity appear in some of them. That difference will be in favor of few people and against others. Thus, considering the fight for scarce food , the ones who have inherited some minimum innate difference in favor of them will be able to survive with more frequency and the rest will be eliminated. Again, the subsequent reproduction will count with those survivors like the starting point, and the process will be repeated over and over again, being species slowly transformed.
As from further researches, especially those of Mendel and De Vries, the knowledge of genes was attained, with their capacity of being able to combine themselves in different ways and to undergo many mutations. These new discoveries explained what Darwin ignored about concrete mechanisms through which individuals variability took place. But such discoveries, as well as the most advanced and up dated knowledge on genetics, don't alter the basic notions of the natural selection theory at all. In his outline, Darwin limits himself saying: variability is present; and, in that general approach, it does not matter too much, either which are the ultra mechanisms acting to allow it, or whether they are small changes or sometimes relatively big changes (macro mutations).
The basic idea emerged one century before in the R. Malthus's theory on human population*, and the one that Darwin applied to the rest of the species, is that in all the cases, a reproduction tendency takes place in a geometric progression. This implies that in the absence of limits or hindrances, a quantity of descendants would be generated reaching to astronomical figures in short time, surpassing all feeding possibilities. If we add this to the simple fact outlined by Darwin that "the variability exists", then it necessarily occurs the natural selection process, making those organisms experience positive variations for that end, to be able to survive with more frequency or probability; and those that vary in the opposite side will be extinguished, like those which show no changes, as they are in disadvantage regarding the first ones. Such process, occurring uninterruptedly during millions of years, necessarily ends up transforming species.
* Malthus Robert. Primer ensayo sobre la población. (First trial upon the population) Ediciones Altaya. Barcelona 1997.
Undoubtedly, many other factors must be considered, apart from the scarce food, like conditions to which organisms have to be adapted to, for example: weather changes, the defense capacity against natural depredators of the species, immunity to infectious agents and many more. But food limitation is the factor considered as the most important one, as it is the most appropriate to understand the natural selection laws, and mainly for its enormous and permanent influence on the evolution of the species.
One concept to which Darwin pays special attention, is the fact that the fundamental fight occurs among members of the same species. As they share the same region, the same environment and same kind of food, as it was already said food is scarce, the ones that eliminate those who are unable to feed themselves, are their own species partners. However, as it may be deduced, the fight among the members of the same species should not be conceived like express or direct, but it is rather a peaceful and objective fight. Each animal tries to eat, but he "does not know" that he is depriving some species partners from having food. Neither "he deduces" that his failure is because the others ate all available food.
Another fact to keep in mind is that, in general, the innate differences of capacity among the members of a species are always slight. If we make a "cross section" of any species evolution, we will see that the shoot of each litter is almost the same. If we pay attention to that traverse approach and we observe a generation of any species, we will find that in fact, the chance determines one or another individual’s survival. For example, between one animal having fingernails of 2 cm. plus "a micron" and his partner that has exactly fingernails of 2 cm, where the biggest longitude is the useful feature, there isn’t almost any difference of capacity. If survival between one or another one is excluded, we can only state that the first one would have, to say, 50,001% of possibilities to survive against 49,999 % in the second one. Only when a considerable time has passed by and the chance has given a "complete turn" in its influence, having been distributed homogeneously for all the types of features, the imbalance will take place and survivors will be, as an example, those having fingernails of more than 2 cm.
1. The natural selection applied to man
Principles outlined on the species evolution are undoubtedly correct. But when Darwin has the intention of applying those laws to the human evolution, he falls into some errors*. Among the facts that he must skip or not know in order to apply that scheme to the man's evolution, firstly we find the social nature of labor, as well as the equal distribution of the product, within the group, as a result of the common work. These facts are contradictory if we suppose the fight and the natural selection of isolated individuals. Engels demonstrated that error, while he contributed to the discovery that labor was the main factor which turned the monkey into man.**
* Darwin Charles. El origen del hombre y la selección en relación al sexo. (The oriigin of man and the selection in relation to the sex). Editorial Albatros, Colección Los Grandes Eruditos. Buenos Aires. 1943
** Engels Federico. Dialéctica de la naturaleza (Nature dialectics). Editorial Catago. Buenos Aires.1987. pag.138 (art.: El papel del trabajo en la transición del mono al hombre)
Anyway, it is still missing the definitive connection among the laws of the biological evolution and the fundamental labor role that after being merged obtained as a result the progressive change of certain group of anthropoid simian in the human society. The correction of a single but an important Darwin’s mistake, will make it possible the integration of his general laws with the decisive influence of the social work. That mistake means that Darwin referred to the treatment of the human species evolution, stressing the approach in the individual subject, and only conceiving the tribe secondarily, as if it were a simple physical group of individuals with slight relationships among themselves, without perceiving what he clearly noted in ants, bees and other insects, that means, the existence of a functionally-organized community around the common work, from whose product the group lives, and without that common work the social organism is extinguished in its entirety. The tribe is a unique alive system, with a complex internal organization bearing the capacity to subsist, and even to keep its identity, in spite of the continued renovation of its members. It is a true social organism in which, the same like other social organisms, the common work is the central element of its functional organization. The global product of that work has, in natural state, an equal distribution inside the group. For that reason, the survival of all and of each one, depends on the success or failure of the group, thus, the social organism survives or perishes according to the results of the common work. Therefore, according to the laws of the biological evolution, the individual of the human species is not an isolated subject, but a social organism. The tribe is here the true individual of the species.
Stopping now the approach halfway of the transformation process of the group of simians into a human social organism, we find the man-monkey tribe. But we also notice an important fact: it does not exist a single singular tribe, but there are hundreds or thousands of similar tribes in the region, thus, we find the species of social organisms. Let’s suppose as an hypothesis, that there are thousand tribes simultaneously in a region, in which the food is not enough for all of them. If we take the rest of conditions and the chance annulment for granted as time passes by, there are not doubts that the tribes better trained to achieve means of subsistence will survive, and the remaining ones will be eliminated. The feature that shows one tribe’s capacity to achieve its subsistence, lies only in its working efficiency as a whole. Accordingly we can affirm, that the natural selection, in each step of the human evolution, acted directly on whole tribes. The tribes better qualified for the job were able to survive, while the less effective groups in terms of their working performance, were gradually eliminated by natural selection.
Let’s see how Darwin’s general laws in man are re-asserted with just one observation. This one consists in correcting the approach that had previously been aimed at the individual who was “pulled out” of the tribe and he was considered abstractly , and now it will be fully focused on the concrete tribe or social organism, as the authentic "individual" of the species.
Our first assertion was that, because of the scarce food, more individuals are born than those who will be able to survive. The tribes’ reproduction which survived in the hypothesis, are due to new laws. On one hand, we can mention the reproduction and renewal of the members of each tribe, which we can be called primary reproduction. But the new way of reproduction of that strange individual which is the social organism will be called secondary reproduction. This means that when a tribe is efficient in the achieving of means of subsistence, a number of members begins to "put on weight", until due to certain circumstances, it is divided into two groups which are separated, and two new tribes are formed. The daughter-tribes, arisen out of that division, bear the same type of genetic characters as well as the same culture as a whole (language, knowledge, customs, working techniques). After the division, and upon the succession of a few generations of primary reproduction, we will see that the two tribes are still persisting, but we will realize that their members are different. Each tribe has renewed its members in a complete way and perhaps, nobody knows each other between both groups.
The mechanism of secondary reproduction takes place over and over again during the long evolution of species. The tribe that is able to demonstrate that its working efficiency is the best among all, will show a tendency to grow up and to reproduce itself geometrically. The daughter-tribes inherit the same working efficiency, at genetic as well as cultural level; therefore, "they also put on weight" and they reproduce themselves in a secondary way. If there are already four efficient daughter-tribes, and they are the best trained for productive work like the mother-tribe, they will reproduce themselves again. In that way, there will be 8 capable tribes, then 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc. Then, the new type of tribes is the first one in getting the food of the region, making the others which have less working efficiency, extinguish gradually.
Let’s suppose that less trained tribes have already extinguished. Now, the species is made up of one thousand tribes which are the most capable ones to achieve the means of subsistence; all of them, are descendants of that efficient tribe which started the geometric reproduction. However, the food of the region is not enough yet for that quantity of tribes. If we consider the chance and the cultural development of each tribe as a constant, we will realize that there will always be some minimum genetic difference in favor of the members of some of them. Such difference will determine that upon the lapsing of many years, the tribe holding that difference, and its descending tribes, will be over the rest and will occupy the food space that species have, displacing the before-capable tribes, which have been turned into inefficient by the higher efficiency of the new ones.
One of the facts noted by Darwin, is that the principal fight takes place among members of the same species. Indeed, the contradiction or principal fight occurs among the tribes that objectively compete for food. Here, it becomes necessary to avoid wrong suppositions with the fight concept. The fight or direct fight among individuals of the same species, is hardly ever mortal or of serious consequences, under natural conditions. The explanation is within species whose members have the intention to fight among themselves to death or until its opponent is useless. Those species have the tendency of self-extermination quickly. No surviving species is able to have normal individuals with an "innate interest" in those mortal internal fights. Instead, we have to admit the possible fights and sporadic hostilities among the tribes; even the likely death of the enemy of the same species. But this situation will always be the exception and something accidental. On talking about the fight for the food, if our tribe comes back disappointed at night, for not having found any prey, that tribe will not suppose that preys missing there, were the ones caught by the tribe that is "behind the hill". In the same way, if we are members of this last tribe and we come back happy because of the excellent result of our hunting, we won't know that with that act "we defeated" a tribe that is not even at sight, in the fight for the limited food of the region. It is fundamental that objective dispute, different from subjectivity among social organisms, for the always limited food of the region. Always limited, because the more the gross quantity of food increases the more the number of tribes will increase, due to the geometric reproduction, that usually makes the alimentary space surpass.
Another factor observed by Darwin is the great influence of the chance determining the occasional survival of one or other individual. Again, on making a "cross section" of human evolution, we will see hundred or thousand of tribes and their thousand or hundred of humanoids. All these beings are more or less the same, all of them come from the same type of social organism that some time before the evolutional branch started and it is still present. Although there exist tiny genetic differences in favor of some of those tribes, it would be impossible to detect them. The difference will only become apparent after thousand years, when chance and multiplicity of the other factors annulled one to each other, being imposed the tribe that shows the favorable genetic feature and marking the new feature of the species.
Darwin has also discovered the important role that sexual selection had in the evolution and transformation of species, including man, in which that role was undoubtedly very significant.*
* It is also recognized to A. R. Wallace, contemporary of Darwin who had developed similar ideas to these ones, that is the reason why both of them decided to present their discoveries in a combined way.
The way that sexual selection acts, in general terms, consists in that the single preference towards individuals who have certain features, leads to a bigger reproduction of these individuals. This causes that after a long time of successive generations, all the new members of the species, bear in the same way that feature in question, being gradually extinguished those lacking it.
One fact which Darwin did not emphasize, is that features of sexual attraction, in all species, tend to be always correlative to useful characters for the survival in general. Otherwise, if as a result of sexual selection, certain individuals of species develop useless or harmful characters for the survival, they will be obviously eliminated by natural selection. Thus, changes caused by sexual selection which flourish, are those that at the same time, imply a favorable condition for the global adaptation to the general survival demands. Natural selection controls what sexual selection “makes”, so that, the task of the latter is parallel and complementary to the first one, always favoring everything which is useful for the individual and the species survival. Only sexual selection would be able to flourish the development of neuter characters, or the ones that are neither favorable nor harmful. But that would only be possible up to certain limits, as organisms which make from sexual selection an “accelerator” of the useful features development, for survival in general, will be favored in the fight for life.
One of the features of sexual attraction in man has to be with the personal virtues or positive qualities in general. This doesn't happen only in the “civilized” man, as Darwin believed, but in all human beings, including the primitive ones in the first place, whom we inherited that tendency. Almost all absolute personal virtues or those universally recognized and appreciated as such, are useful for the efficiency of common work, for example: ability, courage, creativity, loyalty, intelligence, performance capacity, abnegation, etc. Such qualities, although appraised in general towards subjects of both sexes, also influence at the moment of sexual preferences. If two subjects of the opposite sex are equal in all the rest of the things, there will be a bigger attraction or interest towards the one who is more appraised because of his virtues. What it may be deducted, is that the more virtues one had, in general terms, more frequency of sexual activity they had, what led them to have more reproduction. In fact, the attraction towards the subject of the opposite sex, because of his virtues, is not only sexual, but also towards the person itself. But under natural conditions, that leads to more sexual activity.*
* An element that contributes to accelerate these mechanisms is the phenomenon of the being in love, which in fact, is unchained, in front of individuals of the opposite sex that are perceived as the ones who have the best qualities or virtues.
Let’s consider in a pre-human tribe, two men and two women with equal general conditions, similar physical attractiveness, etc., but there is one point where one of the men and one of the women are more virtuous than the other two. The woman with positive qualities, will be more frequented by the virtuous man as well as by the non- virtuous one; at the same time, the man with better virtues will be more requested by both women.
The greater or smaller virtuousness that influences in the sexual preference, is fundamentally acquired. But considering a great deal of time of the species evolution, the acquired factor, as a whole, starts annulling itself. In other words, personal virtues are determined in their grade, almost totally by the acquired factor. But if all have the same practice or experience, and equal influence of chance, any underlying genetic feature that favors a better quality of social acting; this will imply an imbalance in favor of its holder. As the other factors that achieve chance and the development of virtues through practice or experience are balanced with the time, it is evident that the tiny genetic difference will show up. Therefore, upon considering constant that universe of elements, we have left the largest virtuousness determined by the innate or genetic premises.
Let’s suppose that in a certain tribe, it appears by chance, one favorable genetic feature in some of its members. This subject will be sexually preferred with an imperceptible bigger frequency. Therefore, his genes will reproduce themselves more than the other ones.
Let’s observe this process as a summary and accelerating it in many times so it will become perceptible: that subject, because of his genetic advantage, generates 10 children for example, while another one only 9. The 10 children with the same favorable feature will give 100 more, and the 9 of the other subject, will have 9 each one = 81. Then, those 100 will have 10 children each one = 1.000; the other ones will have 9 each one: 81 x 9 = 729. In the following reproduction, the relationship will be: 10.000 with the feature in question and 6.561 without it. This growing separation, combined with the natural or accidental death of a regular percentage of each group, makes that the positive genetic features are imposed as time passes by, just with the sexual selection.
When a favorable genetic feature appears, by chance, in one of the members of a tribe, that feature will impose itself through the time by means of the sexual selection, until after many generations, all the new subjects of the tribe will be able to count with it in the same way. That tribe, where its members share the positive genetic feature, is selected in its entirety by nature. It is a social organism with a generalized genetic advantage in its members; the whole tribe is now more efficient in its performance than any other.
This way, the tribe in which a useful genetic characteristic appears in one of its members, has an inner mechanism that allows that feature to be generalized through the time, for all the new subjects of the tribe. Then, the natural selection finishes its task, selecting the whole social organism, as it is more efficient than the rest.
The internal mechanism of sexual selection is present in “thousand tribes" that exist in a certain moment. For that reason, the favorable genetic feature that appears in one of the thousand or hundred thousand of individuals of the thousand tribes, points out the feature that the new thousand or hundred thousands will have after existing many years. The innate characteristic that appears in an individual is first generalized to the whole tribe by means of the sexual selection. That makes the tribe more efficient, being selected by nature. Then, this tribe is reproduced secondarily, giving place to two new social organisms (sons) that are separated one from the other one, bearing each of its members, that positive genetic feature. Therefore, as these tribes are efficient, they will be able to survive reproducing themselves again secondarily, being in this way 4 more tribes that then will give birth to 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, until covering the alimentary space of the species, displacing the rest. In that way, all the new subjects of the species, will have the same feature that once appeared by chance in a singular subject.
The mechanism of internal sexual selection, based on the preference towards the personal virtues, is something "created" for the natural selection of social organisms. On one hand, if a tribe does not count with it, the genetic useful feature that appears in one of its individuals, will not be generalized in future members. On the other hand, if a tribe counts with the internal mechanism of sexual selection, it will take advantage of the positive feature that appears, generalizing it to its future members and achieving an advantage on the rest, in the fight for existence. Thus, the tribe that owns the mechanism will survive, being extinguished the one which lacks it. Based on this, we can say that the existence of the sexual selection mechanism, is a product of the natural selection of tribes; that tribe having it will be able to survive and that tribe lacking it will be extinguished.
But once the internal mechanism of sexual selection appeared and developed itself, it becomes general for all the new social organisms. When the tribe that has it, is divided into two similar social organisms, both inherit it equally, and they keep on in this way with the following secondary reproductions. That is the reason why, the "thousand tribes" that exist in each moment , count with it in the same way.
Not only nature selected the tribes with that internal mechanism, but it also "assured" that those features to choose in the sexual preference are, in fact, those that will contribute to the working effectiveness of the tribe. Mechanism of sexual selection would be useless if preferred characters were needless for the working effectiveness of the tribe and therefore harmful for its survival. The unique tribes that survived, were the ones in which there was not only sexual selection of features, but where such features were also useful for the effectiveness of the common work and the survival of the social organism. For that reason virtues that are universally appreciated, are for example: ability, intelligence, creativity, responsibility, companionship, loyalty, knowledge, efficiency; that is to say, personal qualities that are favorable for the social work and the survival of the tribe.
From what we have discussed on the mechanisms of human evolution, it comes out firstly, the re-assertion of Darwin's general laws in the evolutionary process of the species. But not in the way that he supposed, when believing that the fundamental part was the selection of isolated individuals, but enlarging the focus and considering a group of social organisms or tribes like the true "materials" which acted over the laws of the natural selection. Each social organism is an authentic giant animal, of the territorial type, with a complex inner organization that works as a whole like a unique alive system fighting for its survival.
The habit of focusing the human evolution history in an individualistic way has always been an obstacle to understand the process which led to the man’s appearance. It has always existed, even among those who reassert the human social nature, a tendency to imagine the primitive man as an isolated being, moved by selfish instincts strolling during hundred of thousand years of evolution, until a certain day, that he decided to join with others to live in a society. Nothing can be more wrongful. That "primitive man" never existed, it is a fantasy. What it did exist, was an uninterrupted process of transformation and evolution from a flock of monkeys until the human tribe, where it has always been a social organism, of a group whose members were strongly united and interrelated. Man was being formed and structured like part of a social organism. That is his nature, his most basic social essence, that is already present biologically.*
* The element that would determine that a group becomes a social organism would be the common work. For that reason the human tribe, the same as certain insects that are characterized by the social work, like it is, for example, the case of the ants, are better adapted to the concept of social organism that the groups of animals without that factor. In these ones, it would only be group or flock, horde, etc., where the advantages of the union are very limited, example: protection against dangers, or the biggest success in the hunt. But to speak of social organism, the idea of a bigger functional organization of the group is imposed, and in such case the common work is a central element, it is the main engagement around which all the social lifetime is organized.
On the other hand, topics discussed above confirm Engels's concepts in relation to the fundamental role of work, as guider and "sharpener" of the transformation of monkeys into man. Tribes whose members have adapted to work in the best way, were able to survive and to reproduce themselves, while the rest extinguished gradually. For that reason, working effectiveness of the social organism and of all its members was the guiding principle that decided which tribes survived and which not. This process was repeated over and over again during the long development of the species, taking place in this way the slow transformation of monkeys into man. The adaptation of man to the survival, was a synonymous of its adaptation to work, as an essential mean for the safe feeding of the tribe. The better adapted tribe, in the anatomical-physiologic aspect as well as in the psychological-social one, was able to survive and the rest extinguished gradually.
Regarding human psyche, it becomes evident that its essential functions (the subject matter of our study) are the result of that social orientation of evolution. When selecting the tribes that better performed the common work, obviously the individual psychic system better adapted for that efficient group performance was also selected. For that reason, different psychological functions inherent to man are product of that natural selection process; they only exist just because they have been useful for the survival of the tribe. In other words, considering the strictness of natural selection, that it only keeps useful things for life and eliminates useless things, the diverse essential psychological functions, shared by all men, could not have existed as they have meant a support for the best working yield of social organism, as condition to get the regular means of subsistence. As well as there are not organs that don't fulfill (or have fulfilled) some function in the organism, in the same way, there can not exist properly human psychological functions, that have not had a clear utility for the tribe, regarding the advantage to its favor in the fight for the survival of the group.
In order to understand better the above statements, it would be worthwhile to make a reconstruction of the process that led to these conclusions. Let’s forget, for a moment, what it was said up to now. Firstly, one of the phenomena that has called the most attention to the research on the history of the man's evolution, has been the unusual development of the brain and of intelligence, as outstanding elements regarding the rest of animals. The real question was why a phenomenon that "theoretically" would not have to have happened, took place; this is, because, according to the found fossil skulls, human brain was developed so much and relatively so quick in the last hundred of thousand years, until reaching a volume of about 1.400 cm3, when apparently with 1.000 cm3, for example, it was already enough for the survival. If we keep in mind that the intelligence given by that brain capacity was already superior to the one of any animal. No other species could mean a serious competitor. Neither the tribe partners could be competitors, since, apart from some competition or emulation in the moral field, it is unquestionable the tendency to the cooperation inside the group, as well as the distribution of the product of common work.
Apparently, the human brain would have been developed, more than necessary for survival. That development seemed to have occurred outside the laws of natural selection. Apparently, it had been an unusual career of brain and intelligence development that it could not be in the outline of those laws.
But the phenomenon required some explanation. So that, it comes out the idea of the sexual selection, already suggested by Darwin. The explanation obtained was that the most intelligent subjects (and correlatively with more cerebral volume) were more attractive and sexually preferred with more frequency, reproducing themselves more than the others. Such a mechanism would have caused, then, that development of the brain in the species. In that way, natural selection was not essential. It was not necessary the death of some so that others could live, but rather all finished their lives without important frights, and the selection was only genetics, according to the most benevolent laws of sexual selection. This reflected the social work and the man's fraternal tendencies, and explained such a curious phenomenon.
Undoubtedly, it was a quite satisfactory explanation. Its only consequence was the fact of having to accept the idea that the man's evolution would have occurred without the intervention of the natural selection, or at least with its secondary participation, while the sexual selection had the main on*. Such a situation was really accepted, since natural selection, after all, was not a religious idea to trust blindly like a supreme cause of species transformations. Darwin himself ended up resigning to this, and he was in charge of reducing the range of his natural selection. It seemed suitable to say: O.K, if there are no competitors, and survival capacity exceeds, all new development of qualities could take place peacefully by means of sexual selection and without the strict laws that rule natural selection.
* Without the intervention of the natural selection in their direct or traditional way". Because it is obvious that the sexual selection, in absolute terms, is a form, an indirect derivation of that one. It is an equally natural mechanism, for which the genetic selection is operated without any preset plan.
However, something didn't work well. If this solution was taken into account, focusing it from different angles, in all the cases it gave the impression that something was missing. Certainly, it seemed an absurdity to leave the natural selection out, as an explanatory source of such an important process as it was man's formation, and therefore of the human psyche, object of our interest. The natural selection has always been very active and constant in its influence for the development of all the species, and some leading role had to be carried out in ours.
But it was difficult to give "location" to it. In the attempt, it crashed with the fraternal tendencies and cooperation, with the trend towards the equitable distribution of the product obtained from the common work. That was contradictory with natural selection. Because either natural selection took place, through the inconsiderate competition among individuals where each one only cared about himself, or they were interested in the common welfare and distribution of the obtained goods, and consequently natural selection could not exist.
The development itself of this contradiction between two facts that had to be present, but they were shown excluding (on one hand, the common work with distribution of goods, and on the other hand, the natural selection), it found his resolution in the natural selection of tribes. Indeed it turned out that there were serious competitors for those beings of superior intelligence. But the other species were neither less intelligent, nor the innocent partners of the tribe, they were the other social organisms. Upon conceiving a quantity of other tribes as independent social organisms, each one with its inner cooperation and fraternity making efforts in the work in order to achieve the means of subsistence, always limited, the natural selection returned with all its influence.
However, the most important fact here, was neither to be represented by other social organisms nor to conceive each one as an alive independent system or as an individual of the species. The key element was necessary, so that, all this work could be included in the natural selection laws; that means, the reproduction capacity of those "individuals": the secondary reproduction. It was necessary to imagine the tribes like "giant amoebas" with the capacity to put on weight and experience the mitosis or division into two new cells. When conceiving a quantity of social organisms that were determined to achieve the limited means of subsistence, and that the ones who were successful counted with the property of the secondary reproduction, and in a geometric progression. It was clear, on one hand, that the tribes whose members had a great brain of 1.300 cm3, with a corresponding intelligence, could not compete in any way against the generalization of social organisms whose members had a more developed brain. Therefore, it was a hard and renewed fight against higher level competitors. On the other hand, it was clear that, fraternity in the relationships and equity in the distribution of working products were also successful inside the tribes.
Anyway, the sexual selection that seemed to be the "satisfactory explanation", does not lose its value, since it acted like a "selector of brains", although it has already been located as an "assistant" of the natural selection. But, undoubtedly, the factor that accelerated the development of the brain capacity, firstly generalizing each improvement to the whole tribe and then to their daughter-tribes which, when being imposed together with their descending tribes, it was generalized to the whole species. But in general terms, it was the natural selection of social organisms (more precisely the result of the excluding fight for the existence) the one acting strongly in each step of the evolution, being it the one that determined what remained and what not. The natural selection, always paying attention, had to direct and control the sexual selection very carefully, since this one, without that control, could promote development lines that were not able to satisfy the always renewed demands of the fight for the survival; specially because of the fact of the continuous reproduction in geometric scale of the own species, and the subsequent limitation of food. Under such situation, the minor genetic difference, caused or not by sexual selection, was an element in the dispute for the survival.
In the case of the human tribe, the development line that natural selection encouraged and controlled was, above all, the one of the working efficiency that the group had. That is the reason why sexual selection only succeeded in its guidance to promote psychical qualities and functions that were good to support and to improve the social work of the tribe, whereas intelligence (and correlatively the development of the brain) was one of them, together with the man's essential psychological functions that will be analyzed in this work.
The human evolution history, therefore, was not easy at all, but a very hard process and in a painful environment. Undoubtedly with many good times, but in almost all the cases, it ended sooner or later in the desolation and extinction of the social organism. We only have the relief of being the "only survivors". We are the descendants of the unique evolutionary line, among many lines unfinished by the extinction of the tribes that, with good capacities and luck always on our side it overcame, without any exception, all the difficulties in a successful way.
The genetic selection encouraged by the preference towards personal virtues, is something imperceptible for the subjective domain. Only when time passes by, the minimum genetics difference is having effect. At a certain moment, other multiple factors influence in the preference. The statement that it is preferred the subject that has a favorable genetic feature to some of his virtues, was made considering the countless conditions as a constant. But these ones are never constant in a certain moment, but they are always the ones with more influences. Only the lapsing of many years makes the acquired factors and the endless risky conditions be balanced and avoided among themselves, appearing the minimal genetic difference determining the slow transformation of the species. In other words, the genetic differences regarding the psychic functions “are not noted" in a subjective comparison. The multiple and countless acquired features are the ones that fill in the environment. The brain of the one who chooses can distinguish the best thing or the person that has more virtues, but he doesn't know whether the difference is fully acquired or if a "thousandth" of genetic influence is added.
On the other hand, it is evident that the internal sexual selection and the natural selection of tribes, to make the explanation easier, don't act alternately or once each one, but they rather work in a parallel way. The natural selection of social organisms does not "wait” until all members of the tribe have the positive genetic feature without exception, but it rather acts according to the global advantages that a social organism has, without caring the quantity of members that have the favorable feature.
Regarding the number of members of a tribe, a progressive increase of the average of individuals of a tribe had taken place during the transformation process of the simians groups into a human social organism. Development itself of the working organization capacity and development in other questions of social life, allows a progressive increase of individuals, qualified to work appropriately as a social organism. This way, out of some few dozens of anthropoids, as an average of members of a flock, would have been a hundred of monkey-men in the middle of the evolutionary process, to become into several hundreds of homo sapiens, with the natural proportions of men and women, children, adolescents, adults and old people, being already an authentic community or human society, at the end of the biological evolution of species.
On the other hand, the formation of new social organisms would not be always the result of the division of a same mother-tribe. It may happen that subjects from different tribes give place to a new one. Anyway, the basic mechanism of secondary reproduction would be the division of a tribe that increases the number of its members in a growing way, thanks to its general efficiency, where the progressive increase would begin to damage the integrated performance of the social organism. This situation would favor the formation of clusters according to affective proximity and likeness among the subjects, in the same way as independent "affective whirls", more and more differentiated, that would finish in the "macro-mitosis" giving place to two children-social organisms.
What we have discussed in relation to natural selection of tribes, complemented by sexual selection, would be only the central mechanism of the process. But undoubtedly, there are many other elements that would not be left aside, for example, the average quantity of tribes; the extension of regions inhabited by the species during their evolution; the scope of migrations in search of new possibilities; the influence of "genetic exchanges" among social organisms, through sexual contact among their individuals; the possible varieties or evolutionary branches of the species, already extinguished; polygamy or absence of more sexual restrictions, as a premise so that the mechanism of sexual selection, the role of domestic animals in the social organism, etc. are effective.
Finally, Let’s say that "limited food" for social organisms took place during the species development process, when working productivity was scarce and the transforming action of nature by man, was minimal. In that time, the manufacture of tools, weapons and utensils in general, as well as the different working techniques or methods, had to be mainly developed in relation to hunting, fishing and agriculture as basic activities. There could only be rudimentary ways of cattle rising and agriculture that could not mean a definitive substitution of those basic activities. For that reason, it has always existed dependence in relation to what nature could offer, what it should be limited for a group of social organisms that pursued the same thing and with an unilateral tendency to multiply its number in a geometric progression.
But the natural selection process stopped working in man, from the moment when the development of work productivity, of its transforming capacity of nature, mainly with the development of agriculture and cattle raising, reached a point that overcame limitations caused by the rhythm that species growth took place. That objective and material factor as the uninterrupted progress of productive forces, and as it was already explained by Marx and Engels, was at the same time, the one that allowed dominance and submission of some groups over others, giving place to social classes, and formalizing the situation with Pro-slavery State. In other words, all this was possible because of the appearance of the plus product, that means, the possibility to produce more than what it was consumed. Some time ago, such a situation could not arise, because the average productivity of work, was only enough, at most, for the mere subsistence of the producers themselves.
These new facts, together with the new economical, political and other factors, that arose with the new society, transformed radically the conditions in which the mechanism of natural selection worked. For that reason, excepting perhaps some few cases of tribes that live still under primitive conditions, no topics discussed in this book, can be applicable to our times. On one hand, because the rhythm of the population's growth tends to be diminished or to be balanced with the own development of societies, because of the scientific and cultural progress and the capacity of planning the number of children; mainly for the facilities to employ different methods to avoid procreation, non-existent in the past. Inclusive at Malthus’ time (XVIII century), very effective methods were not known in this respect. He considered the sexual abstinence, not very reliable, as the only possible solution, so that his pessimism about a probable control of that growing tendency was justified in certain way. But new reality makes it normal to be limited to have two or at most three children per couple, what means a tendency to the population stabilization of the species. And if it were not like that, it would not be something so difficult to achieve, provided social and political changes are towards the future, towards improvement of social life and equality of material conditions for all human beings, and not towards the majorities setback, as it is the tendency observed in the reality of the capitalism system at this millennium change. On the other hand, in the current times, due to the great development of science and technology, as it is known, it exists material and productive potential conditions, not only for the normal feeding of the whole humanity, but also to provide food and other elementary goods to a quantity of human beings several times superior to the current one. That is the reason why hunger and misery of million people at the present time, are not due to the fatality of “natural” or biological laws, as it would be asserted by an “absentminded” Malthusian, but to socio-economic, historical and political causes, inherent to the system in force, that encourages social inequalities and hinder the rational and equal use of that enormous productive potential.
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© Author: Alberto E. Fresina
Title: "The Laws of Psyche"
Title of the original Spanish Version:
"Las Leyes del Psiquismo"
Printed in Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza, 14th July, 1999
Copyright registered at the National Copyright Bureau in 1988, and at the Argentine Book Camera in 1999, year of its publication.
Translated by Ana El kassir with the collaboration of Marcela Berenguer
Characteristic of the original copy in Spanish: Number of pages: 426; measures: 5.9 x 8.27 x 1 inch; weight: 1.2lb.
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