There is really good news available for human beings. We are all united to one another via our physical, chemical, and biological inheritances. Furthermore, there is a unity in all of man's societies because man's development is the result primarily of the accidents of ecology (here used in the widest sense to include geography, climate, vegetation, and animal life). These findings reject racism and culturism and stress that all humans are share common heritages.
More specifically, there is good news for the liberal arts. The new findings in the various disciplines have finally allowed a new synthesis showing the continuity of all the liberal arts disciplines.
There have been great strides in the various disciplines that now enable the development of unified theory. The main cause for this is the breakthrough in the concept of social evolution applied to man and the new findings in the evolution and biochemistry of the brain. These findings enable the uniting finally of the "hard" or natural sciences and the "soft" or social sciences.
There is further good news for not only those who believe in the importance of the liberal arts, but for all humans. The first is the finding that indeed there is a unity to all that surrounds us. The world is very orderly and readily understandable with a small amount of effort. This is a very comforting thought indeed which will be heartening to everyone.
There is a unity of all life via common chemical and physical origins. All life shares a very common chemistry that unites us with all of nature. It is comforting that the wonderfully heartening Romantic view of nature might have considerable truth in the stress on unity.
Furthermore, mankind shares a common unity. Modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens) arose only somewhere between 140,000 and 50,000 years ago. This fact alone stresses the unity of humans. But furthermore, from an evolutionary viewpoint this origin is so recent that all the races are very similar indeed and that even the concept of "race" is more of a social prejudice than a reality. Given the recent origin of man it is also unlikely that one group is biologically superior to any other, which is good news indeed for those who have to battle the terrible scourge of racism.
More good new arises from the study of the rise of man's civilizations. The primary cause is primarily related to ecology. Indeed, one could almost predict ahead of time from simple ecology the places where high civilizations would have the greatest chances of developing. Those people fortunate to live in areas that have a unity of peoples (because the area is geographically similar and isolated from constant fights with others) developed to high levels of civilization. However, this has nothing to do with the superiority of peoples or the superiority of cultures. Indeed, culture is primarily derivative; a justification for the self-interests of privileged members of a society or of the self-interests of the society as an entire unit. Indeed, what emerges is that there must be a rejection of culturism -- that is, the belief that one culture is superior to another because it caused the economic development of man.
This does not mean that ideas are not important. Of course, they are. It just means that some ideas are harmful because they are inherently divisive and narrow-minded -- primarily the result of some group's self-interests. There are those who write ideas primarily to serve those self-interests of the society and those which serve to further the truth that lies beyond any one society or culture. The student has to learn to tell the difference between the two.
Indeed, the twin evils of racism and culturism have gone hand in hand to justify the exploitation of other peoples not so fortunate ecologically speaking. The new findings of the liberal arts disciplines go a long way to destroy these prejudices. This means that if students want to partake fully in this new knowledge they must purge themselves of any thoughts that the white race is superior to others or that western (and American in our case) culture is superior to other cultures.
The study of the development of societies also quite clearly shows the clear continuity of social structures (and their associated cultures) over time. Even though various societies have clearly gone through stages of hunting and gathering, horticulture, agriculture, city-state, centralization, feudalism, industrialism, and post-industrialism, the continuity of their social structure and associated culture is brought along. Thus knowledge of any one stage helps understand a society at any other stage. This should be comforting to all students since it makes acquiring an understanding of humans all the more easier.
The final overall message is that for any individual human being he shares in the entire unity of the universe. Through his/her biology the person is related via physics and chemistry to all life forms. Their own personal history is also affected by their own biochemistry via heredity and socialization. They are also related to all of history because what they are taught in their own culture is related to the entire history of his own society and culture.
Given the increasing global economy we are all becoming dependent on one another. Via this we all need to understand other societies and cultures. Furthermore, the knowledge that the world is a fragile eco-system encourages us to seek unity in all man so that we can prevent the oxygen starvation of the entire world.
Myth: Death of the Renaissance Man
It is a myth that as the number of scientists and social scientists has increased, the more an more the person who wants to understand the world falls behind in his knowledge. It is a myth that with the greater number of specialists, the more we fall behind in our general knowledge.
The more we know, the easier it becomes to be a Renaissance person. This is because the truth eliminates thousands of alternate explanations that we no longer have to consider. This now has been done in so many fields (thereby eliminating perhaps millions of misguided theories and philosophies) that we can easily whittle down knowledge to a more manageable lot. Thus we have reached the level of understanding in the sciences and social sciences now that we can fairly easily be Renaissance people.
But, unfortunately, the social scientists have not accepted the new breakthroughs in the natural sciences, especially concerning the uniting of the natural sciences with the social sciences through our new understanding of the evolution and chemistry of the human brain. It is not politically correct to believe in the unity of the natural and social sciences. The social scientists are fighting a rearguard action to oppose the new knowledge, because they fear its political consequences. Of course, to do this, they put on the priestly robes of the all-knowing and all-beneficent. But the fact is that currently our social scientists are not good people. They have become the new Booker T. Washingtons in this renewed period of segregation that they have blessed. So we will have to ignore the social scientists because they are both politically biased and politically unfair and misguided.
The know-nothingism of the social scientists is very unfortunate. For it they could tolerate the truth, we could revolutionize our educational system and make the acquisition of a wonderful education relatively easy to obtain. Once you know the truth, it always seems obvious after the fact. Think how much more understandable life has become with the unveiling of the theory of evolution. It is not a difficult concept to grasp. The same now can be said of other fields where previously we have not had as many good theories. But the social scientists stand in the way of our more clearly understanding the world and thereby stand in the way of making education a much easier endeavor than it has ever been here-to-fore.
The social scientists have been a real harmful influence on intellectual endeavor. For instance, they tend to demean the importance of psychiatry and believe in the myth of mental illness. This contributes to the unwillingness of many people to seek needed psychiatric attention and help. It contributes to the prejudice against the mentally ill and thereby helps prevent people from seeking help.
The social sciences have also hurt the natural sciences by trying to make the natural sciences "politically correct." The social scientists have argued that the natural sciences should not study certain entire areas of knowledge because the field(s) have been labeled "poltically inappropriate." It is one thing for the social scientists to mess up their own fields of study, but it is quite unforgivable for them to also contaminate the natural sciences. The social sciences are a real thorn in the advancement of knowledge at the present time and we can only hope that some degree of sanity will return to this new leftist-inspired field.
The Sin of Disciplinism:
In the universities of the world, knowledge is divided into many and various disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, religion. The professors of each field concentrate almost entirely on their one discipline, often with little or no knowledge of the other disciplines. Within each discipline, the professors want to teach their students the value of their own disciplines. When one studies physics or sociology, the emphasis is on physics or sociology alone, independent of the knowledge of the other disciplines. The chemistry professor wants to give the student a taste of what is means to be a chemist. And the all the professors of the various disciplines do the same for their own disciplines. If a student takes two years of general studies, he/she will come away with the narrow perspectives of all the disciplines from which they took courses.
The problem with this "disciplinism" is that there is virtually no sense of how one discipline relates to all the others. And the tragedy is that the truth is not to be found by "disciplinism" but rather by an emphasis on the unity of all knowledge, of how it all fits together. Unfortunately, disciplinism rejects the concept of the unity of all knowledge and revels in a narrow view of the world as seen from the point of view of the discipline.
To illustrate the damage that this disciplinism can cause, one only has to realize that the social sciences are almost completely divorced from the "hard" sciences (and, in fact, are seen as virtually unnecessary for the understanding of human social behavior). One of the reasons why sociology cannot make much progress is because its proponents reject the concept of evolution as applied to human behavior, cutting man off from his physical environment and evolutionary history.
In general courses taught to students that will specialize in many different disciplines, the object is to stress the importance of the discipline in how it relates to all the other disciplines. Today physics is taught in a vacuum of self-love. How does physics relate to the other disciplines? Why should a student of sociology be at all concerned with physics? The object of teaching a general course is to provide the students with answers to questions like this.
The fact is that the universities are afraid to teach the unity of knowledge. To do so, would require, for instance, a full acceptance of the concept of evolution. In the United States, even though evolution is the truth, it is a controversial subject because conservative religious people have rejected the concept of religion. If one accepts the truth of evolution, then this impacts on one's understanding of the rest of human life.
The truth is not politically acceptable in the United States, and in many other nations as well. I remember how fearful one of my botany teachers was when I vehemently defended the concept of evolution as applied to the discipline. She was afraid of being fired for being controversial, even though scientifically evolution is not controversial at all. It is the truth. If we don't know that evolution is the truth, then we really don't know much of anything in the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.
Since the truth is not acceptable, then there is no unity of knowledge. The whole thing does not fit together. But the truth is that it does all fit together, but this is politically unacceptable. And the education of the students of the world will continue to be second rate, for if none of it fits together then what is the real need for a general education beyond understanding what each discipline is? Students of general education often resent having to take courses not in their own field. As soon as they have passed the course, they forget 95 percent of what they learned. Why should they remember since none of it relates to their own field of interest. (That is from the viewpoint of politically accept disciplinism.)
My own personal view of disciplinism is that it is the coward's way of not having to be called controversial. Accept disciplinism and thrive. Ask how the discipline is related to all the others, then wither on the vine. And is one more reason why we need a higher sense of morality -- to help us get beyond the problem of the impact of politics on the search for knowledge. (This is discussed in Chapter 32.)
The Book Itself
This book presents a unified theory of the natural world, plants and animals, man and society. This theory constitutes a unification of all the natural sciences and social sciences.
Part I of the book discusses the origins of the universe and of life and the evolution of life to the creation of man. This covers the sciences of physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, and climatology as well as the social sciences of physical anthropology and sociobiology.
There has been a revolution in thought in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. This is primarily the result of new discoveries in the field of molecular psychology. This means that significant progress is being made in understanding the inner workings of the human brain and the many chemicals that impact upon it. This new science of molecular psychology provides the bridge to unite all the sciences and social sciences. The stress of the importance of chemistry in understanding humans allows the integration of chemistry and biology into the study of man. And, molecular psychology links to the social sciences by explaining the nature of man, which is the starting assumption of sociology.
It is important to stress right at the start that this is not an attempt to develop a biological determinism. As sociologists we realize that social factors are more important than biological factors in explaining the occurrence of social problems (and even perhaps in explaining the incidence of mental illness). The purpose of the book is to simply explain how sociologists should include the new biological and medical findings into their primarily sociological theories. Biological factors comprise only one group of the many factors that affect human and social behavior. So, this book has a minor goal of simply improving the thinking of sociologists and psychologists rather than trying to fundamentally change sociology or psychology.
The two greatest problems facing the United States today are racism and puritanism. This book aims to develop a unified theory of man and society that destroys (at least scientifically) these twin evils. Puritanism will be destroyed by showing that the social attitudes about human behavior implicit in puritanism are unscientific and misinformed. The first part of this book deals with the true nature of man, rather than a puritanical ideal man.
Once having established the nature of man, we have to turn our attentions to the nature of society. Actually man as we know him would not have developed without society. All primates live in relatively advanced social structures. Part II of the book traces the evolution of man's societies. This is largely the result of finding new ways to perform the economic function. The history of more complicated economic societies is traced, including studies of hunting and gathering, agriculture, and feudalistic societies. The way the nations handled the feudalistic disputes between nobles and peasants largely determined the political and economic choices the nations made when faced with the class conflicts inherent in the early days of the industrial revolution. Economics is very wound up with politics so that the economic system a nation chooses is often the result of the political choices one makes. And these in turn are dependent on such variables as the degree of ethnic diversity, history, as well as many other factors. Part III develops a political theory explaining why different nations made different choices. Thus, the book carries us from the origins of life to the future of capitalism in the advanced industrial societies. Along the way, we showed how this theory subsumes all the sciences and social sciences.
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