Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Father of Anthropology

Anthropology is catching up to One Cosmos (although not really, because with the reactionary left there is always a backlash against truth):
As any parent knows, human babies are startlingly dependent when they are born. This is due to the combination of a narrowed birth canal -- the consequence of our bipedality -- and our unusually large brains, which are six times larger than they should be for a mammal of our body size.
This has meant that, to ensure the survival of mother and baby and the continued existence of our species, we have evolved to exhibit a shortened gestation period, enabling the head to pass safely through the birth canal. The consequence of this is that our babies are born long before their brains are fully developed.
Without dad’s input, the threat to the survival of his child, and hence his genetic heritage, was such that, on balance, it made sense to stick around. Dad was incentivised to commit to one female and one family while rejecting those potential matings with other females, where his paternity was less well-assured.
The author claims that "until 10 years ago the role of fatherhood had been neglected on the grounds that it is wholly dispensable." However, I myself was highly influenced by a work of anthropology that was published over 60 years ago, The Human Animal by Weston LaBarre. It's one of those books that didn't have to convince me of anything, but rather, simply reminded me of what I already knew but had never completely worked out.

Take away the animal and Homo sapiens is inexplicable; take away God and the human person (and science) vanishes. For it is written: all attacks on God are attacks on the mind itself.

Regarding the latter, man and God are mirrors: The very word “man” implies “God”, the very word “relative” implies “Absolute” (Schuon). Moreover, The transcendent God is not a projection of the one who is our father in the flesh. To the contrary, a reflection of God turns the animal progenitor into a father (Dávila). So, a little perspective please!
To say that man is the measure of all things is meaningless unless one starts from the idea that God is the measure of man, or that the absolute is the measure of the relative.... 
Once man makes of himself a measure, while refusing to be measured in turn, or once he makes definitions while refusing to be defined by what transcends him and gives him all his meaning, all human reference points disappear; cut off from the Divine, the human collapses (Schuon).
In other words, the vertical collapses and we are in flatland, where there are no truths, only opinionated bipeds and tenured apes.

LaBarre: "The family is not a creation of culture: without the family there would be no culture!"

And feminists don't like to hear this, but in the very nature of things, men are responsible for civilization in a way women could never be: to begin with, men are selected for aggressive competition with other men (if only to protect the mother-and-helpless infant), which would appear to pose a barrier to civilization.

In order to overcome this, "a new adaptive mechanism is necessary," and this consists of abstract rules and conventions (there is a reason why men tend to be more abstract than women, and women more interpersonal than men).
Culture is the non-bodily and non-genetic contriving of bonds of agreement that enable this animal to function as human.
Such relationships -- of father and son, and of male and male -- must be forged morally. They can operate only through the discipline [or sublimation or transcendence] of aggression, through identification with one another.... 
Women often wonder that men are so passionately concerned with generalizations and with principles....
But the simple fact is that males do not have female bodies. Human males need principles and agreements by very virtue of their being males and being the kind of animal that necessarily and still usefully embodies the old mammalian male aggressiveness. No amount of feminine example and persuasion can un-teach the honest masculine animal of this knowledge of his nature (emphasis mine).
See our fatherless urban underclass for details. And increasingly our (former) civilization. And of course the systematic anti- and dis-honesty of academia.

LaBarre himself came at things from a purely secular perspective -- or at least he imagined this was the case. But one cannot simultaneously speak truth and avoid God. Thus, he speaks of "the logos that is the endless preoccupation of male metaphysics":
What connects father and son, male and male, is the mystery of logos and logos alone: logos as the literal "word" which conveys linguistic meaning and understanding; logos as laws, agreements, rules, and regularities of behavior; logos as the implicit means and substance of common understanding and communication, and of cultural joining in the same styles of thinking; and logos as shared pattern, within which father can identify with son and permit his infancy, within which son can identify with father and become a man, and within which a male can perceive and forgive the equal manhood of his fellow-man.
Not for nothing is God the Father and not Mother -- and yet there is always a deeper dialectic or complementarity between them; indeed the womb of Beyond Being is in a sense prior to Father, but that's another storey to the metacosmos.