Friday, March 18, 2016


Ever wonder about the apparently irrationality of voters, and people talking politics and theory?  Turns out we aren't quite the rational species we think we are. Evolutionary psychology, the neurosciences and other researchers are increasing revealing the true nature of human thought and behavior.

In the political realm, this was explored in a great book reviewed earlier here called Our Political Nature by Avi Tuschman.  A more recent book in this same vein, but more focused specifically on politics, is Rick Shenkman's  Political Animals  How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics.  I strongly recommend this book if you are interested in this topic.  It is very readable and interesting but it does seem to wander a little at times.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, see this review from Kirkus.

Much of our political theory, including libertarianism, anarchism and laissez-faire economics, relies heavily on the rationality of human beings.  Homo econimus may not be a good representation of our species.

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