R and K reproductive strategies

r and k strategies

This begins with Restoring Britain and his Bill Whittle vid.

Bill has latched onto an idea which is fine for conservatives – the theories of R and K selection – but they will not do anything to convince a “progressive”, when applied to the two schools of political thought.

I’d say Bill got the idea from Anonymous Conservative who explains:

In r/K Selection Theory in Evolutionary Ecology, if you provide a population with free resources, those who will come to dominate the population will exhibit five basic traits, called an r-selected Reproductive Strategy.

These traits are all designed to best exploit the free resource availability. In nature, the r-selected strategy is best seen in the rabbit, which lives in fields of grass it will never fully consume. The five traits are

1.  competition and risk avoidance
2.  promiscuity,
3.  low-investment single parenting
4.  earlier age of sexualization of young
5.  no loyalty to in-group.

These traits are ultimately designed to maximize the numbers of offspring produced. Each of these offspring, though of lesser fitness, will be able to survive and reproduce freely themselves, due to the free resource availability.

In r-selection nobody ends up dead, and killing or being killed is not a concern.

In political terms, this free resource notion involves seeing a common pot of “wealth” or grass which each wishes to have part of, though nothing was done to earn it.  In fact, if quizzed about it, the rabbit might wish for all to have equal access and everyone to live happily with each other, no enemies.

If and when resources do run dry, they migrate to greener pastures.  The downside of course is the proliferation of lower quality members over time – smaller, dumber, less able to defend themselves and examples are the Eloi in The Time Machine.

In r/K Theory, there is a strategy exactly opposite to the rabbit’s, which emerges under conditions of resource scarcity. It is called the K-selected Reproductive Strategy.

There, where resources are scarce, competition for resources is everywhere, and some individuals will die due to failure in competition, and the resultant resource denial that this produces. This produces the K-strategy, which is best seen in the wolf.

This strategy also has five psychological traits:

1.  competitiveness/aggressiveness/protectiveness
2.  mate monopolization/monogamy
3.  high-investment two-parent child-rearing
4.  later age of sexualization of young
5.  high loyalty to in-group.

This psychology is designed to form highly fit and competitive groups that succeed in group competition, all while capturing and monopolizing the fittest mate possible, as a means of making their offspring genetically fitter than those of competitors.

Here, the goal is not to simply consume as much as possible yourself and produce as many baby-making machines as you can, with little regard to their fitness.

Here, the goal is to help your group succeed in its competition for the scarce resources, and then produce offspring of as high a fitness as possible, so they may carry your genes forward by succeeding in competition themselves.

It is obvious why every r-strategy ideal would act as a repellent to a K-strategist, since each ideal would guarantee failure in the K-selected environment.

All major civilizations have followed the pattern of developing a K strategy and therefore succeeding in maintaining a society with rules which all must obey on pain of some sort of penalty – the rule of law is a phrase used by such societies.  So is heritage.

The better educated members who maintain intergenerational “fitness” also influence the gene pool so that society eventually comprises “higher” individuals.

The downside is of course the extreme extension of the idea – Hitler’s eugenics, the purity of the race etc.

Among r-strategist rabbits, males will tend to exhibit smaller, more feminine, less robust physical qualities, to better facilitate fleeing and showy displays of flash and beauty, to facilitate mate attraction, and mating. r-strategist females, by contrast will tend to grow big, assertive, and ill-tempered, to better occupy a more masculine family role, provisioning and protecting the offspring they raise alone.

Wolves, aside from the K traits already mentioned, develop a strong pack-loyalty to maximize the chances of their pack’s competitive success, and by extension, their own. Males evolve to be courageous and strong as they set out to provision the family and absorb any risk, while females carefully nurture offspring back at the den.

It’s pretty clear where he’s going with the idea.

Firstly, it does not precisely apply – it’s a reproductive selection theory of sub-humans, humans themselves able to overcome their natures, at least temporarily, for a counter-theory, however stupid but plausible at the same time.

Secondly, it’s pretty clear who is intended to come out looking badly and that lot could equally point to the fascist overtones of the natural extension of K strategy.

Truth is that the most noble societies which we’d call highly developed mix in both ideas in the sense that yes – a strong defensive and combative element must be in there, yes – competition does hone the claws but the natural end position of such strategies is a peaceful society wherein R strategists are also free to roam about and because of the prosperity produced by the Ks – remember, they are primarily producers rather than consumers, their food strategy being only to kill for food when needed, thereby protecting other species and the eco-system as a whole – because of them, there is always a danger of too many Rs.

We see that in magnates of self-made companies who pass wealth down to the profligate and feckless progeny.  That’s how companies go out of business.

And it’s how societies also go out of business when they subtly switch over from K to R strategies in far greater numbers.  Bill Whittle makes the point that it is subtle, there is no defining moment or point where the switch happens.

One issue I have with the theories is that the logical extension of the K theory, given that one sees it as preferable to an R is, as Svali said about Them in 2000 in that oft-quoted interview:

#  The first thing a child learns from “family”, or “the Order” as they are called, is “The first rule of the Order is secrecy”. This is why you don’t hear from more survivors who get out. The lengths that this group goes to terrify its members into not disclosing is unbelievable.

#  They believe in arranged members, and do NOT allow their members to marry a nonmember.

#  These are NOT nice people and they use and manipulate others viciously. They cut their eye teeth on status, power, and money.

#  My marriage was arranged … I didn’t want to marry him, because I didn’t love him, and I will never forget what I was told: “That’s for the best, then, because he can never hurt you or control you.” Or, my mother’s timeless advice given when I was 12 years old: “Never fuck someone lower than you. They will drag you down. Always choose someone higher than yourself.”

With these people, power, status and money become an obsession – Agatha Christie on it:

“He’s got on wonderfully in the world and naturally he wants something to show for it but many’s the time I wonder where it will all end. It’s like a runaway horse,” said Lady Coote. “Got the bit between its teeth and away it goes. He’s got on and he’s got on and he’s got on until he can’t stop getting on. He’s one of the richest men in England – but does that satisfy him? No, he still wants more. He wants to be – I don’t know what he wants to be! I can tell you, it frightens me sometimes!” – from “The Seven Dials Mystery”, 1929

On the other hand, the opposite is as bad, as we see in society now, where all mores and underpinnings are going the way of all things, society is becoming dumbed-down, roles in society are now topsy-turvy and so on.

So, two things are apparent:

1.  The extremes in either direction make the political sliding scale more a circle, with the hard left as bad as the hard right.

2.  The moderates need to be careful what they mean by moderate. Remember that he who sits on the white line in the middle of the road gets hit by traffic from both directions.  the trick is to be eclectic – to take the defensive strategies of the Ks and mix with the tolerance of the Rs but not to the extent of threatening the very gene pool.

To take a specific example, Mark from Mayenne, fellow blogger, is a doer, a K type who built up, with his wife, a gite in France and you can trace his building and repair projects throughout his blog.

Yet he does not take hard lines as I do on many issues, he’s even a tad R in my book on some issues. He’d rather play the flute than fire a gun and in his own words, he’s to the right of Genghis Khan on some issues … but of course not on others.  He does not dispute “centre-left” but prefers “centre”, centre being the averaging of all positions left and right, R and K.

It’s here that a society takes up the baton from the Ks who forged the society and now maintain those gains so that this becomes a legacy, a heritage, passed down intergenerationally.

But that’s not where we are now in our society. We are in a peculiar position in that there are people within, from Alinsky to Barosso, dedicated to destroying everything which underpinned European values, European culture and heritage, even European tolerance and these are not outside of our society, they are the quislings within who wake in the early morn and open the gates to the barbarians and the sick.

We can rail about the barbarian within the walls, the orcs are already inside but my beef is not with them – they are savages and that’s that.  My beef is with our quislings and in former days, society had ways of dealing with the Corbyns, Welbys and so on.

3 comments for “R and K reproductive strategies

  1. Voice of Reason
    January 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Excellent piece. I’ve long had an interest in evolutionary psychology/sociology.

    Another way to describe some of what you write about is the level of cooperation within a broader society.

    Very low levels give the constant war of the past millenium. Higher levels make science and technology possible, as the innovations cannot occur without free flow of knowledge.

    • January 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Now the task is to try to keep it at that happy medium.

  2. Ed P
    January 19, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Orcs is a perfect label!
    And it’s not just Corbyn & Welby, but most if not all of the troughers in Wasteminster. Madame Guillotine has been idle for too long.

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