Why is Socialism so Divisive? A Biologist’s View

15 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2023

Date Written: January 18, 2023


The socialist ideal remains rooted in unacceptable injustices and the truth that capitalism has not worked well for nearly half of the planet’s population. Socialism stands for the social ownership of means of production and the organization of society along collective lines. Though it represents a legitimate aspiration for a more altruistic and empathetic society, its implementation attempts across distinct cultures has been extremely divisive. An understanding of its pitfalls and obstacles should inevitably consider the biological underpinnings of human social conduct. This article presents a biological perspective on this matter based on evolutionary theory and recent developments in human behavioral sciences. Progress in these fields provides compelling evidence that the centerpiece of Marxist doctrine, abolition of private property, is in conflict with our evolutionary path and present cognitive biases. This conflict creates a psychological distress that feeds into polarizing narratives and encourages economic demise, political unrest and mass migrations.

Keywords: Socialism, Marxism, Evolutionary biology, Behavioral genetics, Psychology, Cognition neuroscience

JEL Classification: B14

Suggested Citation

Benitez, Jorge Antonio, Why is Socialism so Divisive? A Biologist’s View (January 18, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4328942 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4328942

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