But there is no reference.. if true this is some clever social engineering by the nobility!
I have no opinion on the truth or otherwise of this theory, but find it fascinating.
Just my recollection from having read the book - don't guarantee it is 100% as the book presented...
The opposite occurred with the Roman Legions. The Legions started out as a voluntary honor carried out by citizens -- no place for the family in that situation. Then being a Legionnaire became a career, and after awhile the rules changed so they could have families live with them. At that point, the "military industrial complex" was permanently cemented in place for that society.
The book "The Shoes of the Fisherman" by Morris West is a good fiction novel, sort of related to your comment.
[ In an unforseeable literary coup, the book was published on 3 June 1963, the very day on which Pope John XXIII died. The book reached No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller List for adult fiction on 30 June 1963, and became the No. 1 best-selling novel in the United States for that year, according to Publishers Weekly. ]
I just googled about Quinn, and it seems he has played a role in some other famous movies too, including Zorba the Greek, Lawrence of Arabia and Lust for Life:
He also played the title role in Barabbas.
The scene between (actors) Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in which Tom tells Jack "I'm not your son, and you're under arrest, you $#%#%@^!" is a good one. I forget the name of the film though.
Another one is the scene in the movie Julius Caesar (maybe based on some classical novel about him, possibly by Shakespeare?), which occurs just before his death. Powerful performances by both the actor playing Caesar and other Roman officials of the time.
I believe the Catholic Church is the oldest corporation (they were the first non-human entity recognized by law as having similar rights and responsibilities as an individual).
(apologies if misremembering Xenophon)
We were always violent. It's just that before agriculture the scope and the resources for violence were limited, so the amount of violence fell into equilibrium, mostly by hunter-gatherer groups establishing clear borders between them.
To be truthful, most of them are leaving the villages because they see better career and living opportunities in the cities which is why they are adopting mainstream values.
> That's most of the work.
The wikipedia sounds like livestock and fishing is also big part of their lives.
(Note the very first photo in the wikipedia article)
I do, however, think it sounds like a huge bummer, speaking as a father who is very involved in raising my kids and would not like to be shut out of the role.
Possibly if you would want in that society to raise the children you fathered it'd be akin to you in our society wanting to raise your sister's children.
The wiki articles are not especially well written. I'd love to read a book about this.
I can absolutely see how this behavior could be a more reliable way of passing along diverse genetic material in hunter gatherer societies. Raising children was more or less communal anyway, so the identity of the father mattered way less (plus I assume many of the fathers died young).
It actually carries a lot of benefits over pair bonding in these scenarios: less conflict for romantic rivals given the expectations, addresses the fact that men were far more likely to die young, and children without fathers were simply raised by the women of the village by default until the boys were old enough to hunt. Some level of genetic diversity would be provided by mixing pairs, which was likely augmented by exchanging or abducting women with other tribes.
Again, monogamy is also evolutionary useful once we organize into bigger societies — if land / property ownership becomes a thing, knowing the identity of the father presents a way to ensure resources are consolidated in eldest sons to ensure there is a line of descendants with a much better chance of passing on their genes — with less conflict due to the social norms. The levers that ensure genetic material is passed on changed, and I also believe monogamy is innate for a lot of humans. There is probably also a middle group who, in the absence of social norms either way, would be okay with a polyamorous situation to various degrees.
In modern society, patrilineal inheritance is no longer the norm, so the advantages of monogamy are reduced. In fact, monogamy carries some disadvantages relative to polyamory that I think aren’t obvious at first.
My family are TINKs (triple income, no kids). This enables a massive jump in standard of living without having to sacrifice our passions — my husband and I have high-paying tech jobs while my wife is a social worker. Once we’re ready for kids, we have an extra parent to pitch in on household chores and child rearing. I’m genetically infertile anyway, so if my husband were monogamous with me he wouldn’t be passing along his genetic material. If he were monogamous with my wife, their earning power would be severely reduced. Bonus if you’re “50/50” bisexual — there’s no need to have to choose which half of your identity gets erased to avoid “cheating” on your partner. When one of us just isn’t in the mood for sex or is traveling for work, it’s way less of a problem. I’ve noticed a huge influx of well-off, “socially mainstream” people into the poly community in recent years, which tells me this idea is getting more popular as taboo around sex start to subside (tho most of us are closeted at work to avoid judgment).
That said, it takes some pretty evolved emotional intelligence and communication skills to balance 3 sets of interpersonal relationships. It’s taught me to be able to be radically open about very personal things that initially seem difficult, but I also have to compartmentalize my life at work — we agreed my husband would be my “official” spouse at work as my wife has zero interest in networking with a bunch of techbros anyway.
TLDR: evolutionary diversity is amazing in how it has provided the basis for the survival of the species across many varied types of society over a long period of human development. Polyamory is one of those where the taboo is starting to disappear.
I agree with your statement about religious orthodoxy, but it's just a part of a larger issue; we have been living in an unnatural, deviant environment for 6+ thousand years, based on agriculture.
This Mosuo culture is just another part of that, but you try to use them for your argument anyway.
In a natural environment, there is no 'evolutionary diversity' in the way you try to paint it. Main drivers in human sexual evolution are hidden ovulation and a monthly cycle, we are one of the few rare mammal species that have it. Its purpose is to make monopolization by a male costly, because he doesn't know when the female is fertile. This generally results in serial monogamy - a male and female are together until their child reaches age of around four. The female, being fertile from cca 14 to 30, will generally enter cca 4 pairings of this kind. With high child mortality in hunter-gatherers, that generally results in slightly above replacement rate.
No matter how much you rave about 'evolutionary diversity' and your type of relationship, you are not rediscovering the natural ways. Yours is just as deviant as the forced lifelong monogamy with the woman having 12+ babies, and just as dogmatized.
> In a natural environment, there is no 'evolutionary diversity' in the way you try to paint it. Main drivers in human sexual evolution are hidden ovulation and a monthly cycle, we are one of the few rare mammal species that have it. Its purpose is to make monopolization by a male costly, because he doesn't know when the female is fertile. This generally results in serial monogamy - a male and female are together until their child reaches age of around four. The female, being fertile from cca 14 to 30, will generally enter cca 4 pairings of this kind. With high child mortality in hunter-gatherers, that generally results in slightly above replacement rate.
I'm bi, in a monogamous relationship. My identity isn't at all "erased", because I don't define myself by who I have sex with. Nice scare quotes around cheating.
The quotes were only there because in a poly relationship, it’s not really cheating as long as there’s open communication within whatever framework you’ve agreed upon. Being poly takes like 10x more talking about your relationships.
This assumes all men would be equally likely to get to have sex with the women. Otherwise, if the whole society has to take care of the children, but only a few men get to procreate, it just means many men working for free (like drones) to support other men's children.
Of course that would be a good scenario for some members of society - the women who can choose to mate only with the most attractive men, and the few lucky men. I doubt it would automatically create a happier society, though.
> This assumes all men would be equally likely to get to have sex with the women.
I think the OP meant since no one was expected to be monogamous, there is no "cheating" and no conflicts of "infidelity". More women having multiple partners means potentially more different men would be having sex.
> it just means many men working for free (like drones) to support other men's children.
Well, not just anyone's children, because they would all be related by blood. They'd be taking care of family.
Exposure to unorthodox social positioning is good for everyone. There's way too much rigor mortis around it. I'd say, in the context of the modern society, exploring different modes of relationships and integrating that into everyday life in a holistic way is the social equivalent of discovering that the earth is round, or colonization of the Americas. Your nick name is fitting.
Either way, again, thanks for talking about this, and I hope you'll continue to do so. You'd be doing a great service to everyone.
How did you end up in such a relationship? Was there a couple that added a third, or did you all start the relationship together?
Who are you out to? How did that go?
I’m out to everyone in my personal life: we tend to hang out with a lot of polyamorous people / swingers and LGBTQ people. I’m also out to a few people at work, though only in an LGBTQ diversity context (I personally lump polyamory under the category of “Queer” along with heterosexual people into “lifestyle kink”). I know a few people at work who are also in poly relationships — which is how I learned it helps to designate one spouse as the “work spouse”.
When open-minded monogamous folks find out, their reaction is mostly curiosity — which is why I think an openness to polyamory is way more natural that we would think. When I mention the three income thing it really strikes a chord: when we have kids, we can have one parent stay at home full-time without sacrificing quality of life. And it’s not much more expensive than living in a monogamous pairing since we have one grocery bill, one mortgage and one set of utilities.
So, also non-monogamous.
> Is patriarchy is associated with monogamy whereas matriarchy is associated with non-monogamy?
Not from the evidence you've marshalled so far.
Chimps live in what could fairly be called a polyamorous society.
Matriarchy is very rare in the animal kingdom. Thus it is hard to say what it is associated with. Even when species have a female dominance hierarchy, it may not be the dominant one, if you take my meaning. Observationally, female dominance hierarchies are characterized by inter-generational immobility: dominance is for the most part inherited.
What about Bonobos? If Chimps are already polyamorous, maybe we need a different term for Bonobos?
There's a lot of good material online about what chimp mating behaviour is actually like.
Monogamy is rare in the animal kingdom, more characteristic of birds than of any other creatures.