From Darwin to Eternity

Evolutionary moral psychology.

Punish the Shirkers! Especially the Low-status Ones

When politicians speak of punishing freeloaders, they portray it as a matter of fairness. But their moralizing is too often undermined by a status-based selectivity that isn’t fair at all: low-status people don't freeload more than high-status people, but they're more likely to get punished for it. Why does this bias exist? Read More

Two wrongs

..don't make it right. I think the issue brings to light the fault in extremes. Both groups feel equally entitled to hand-outs...celebrity swag bags...Don't you know who I am?...and at the opposite end of the spectrum are generations of individuals raised on government 'hand-outs' vs hand-ups. Before anyone shoots flames, please know that I grew up in a housing project, and then lived in a condemened building to get out of the projects. The difference between our family and those we knew, was an outlook and education. Neither one of my parents believed in government assistance and instead believed in Public Libraries and working any job available to climb out of destitution (my father was born into his poverty, but my mother chose it.)
I don't think either very rich or very poor, or anyone one for that matter, are 'entitled' to special treatment or extra special punishment when they do take more then what is being given or offered. I think when we over-give to someone, we dis-able them either way. A very wealthy child who is constantly handed every luxury, is robbed of the process of self-discovery and goals achieved through personal effort...the confidence gained through problem solving. (see Poor Little Rich Boy by the Johnson & Johnson heir; its brilliant)
Equality could mean just that...I will not favor you because you are very wealthy or very poor. If you are human and alive you have experienced pain and therefore have the right and the responsibility to pursue your own happiness.


The two extreme groups finger point at one another from their own fear within...from their victim place..their shame...their fragile EGO. One group fears becoming like the other and so they mock and harass each other...but the truth is, they are just the same on the inside... I know we all loathe the thought of being middle anything, but I do think that's the sweet spot to aim for.

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Michael Price, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the psychology department at Brunel University, West London. He is also the co-director at the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology.


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