Human Sacrifice As a Tool of Social Control

New research suggests why some cultures turned to killing their own

Anthropologists have suggested that human sacrifice gave emotional power to group values and provided a collective catharsis during crises. There were other advantages, too. The Aztecs, who sacrificed for many different reasons, also practiced cannibalism, with victims serving as a source of protein. And then there’s the “social control hypothesis,” which posits that human sacrifice served to subordinate the lower classes.

.. They categorized each culture according to whether there was human sacrifice and whether it was egalitarian

.. They categorized each culture according to whether there was human sacrifice and whether it was egalitarian

.. The researchers found that human sacrifice was widespread in Austronesia, occurring in 25% of egalitarian cultures, 37% of moderately stratified societies and a whopping 67% of highly stratified cultures.

.. It made them significantly less likely to turn in an egalitarian direction and significantly more likely to become more hierarchical. In other words, the ritualistic sacrificing of humans seems to have stabilized and deepened social inequalities.

.. Don’t cause trouble, or yours may be the heart that the gods just happen to pick as a pleasing gift at the next ceremony.

Why Don’t Wealthy Conservatives Who Promote Marriage Marry the Poor?

the argument that declining economic prospects for men near the bottom and improved economic prospects for women across the board has facilitated more relationship quits than before.

.. If the best arrangement you can put together says the 25th percentile broke even in a period where the economy more than doubled (which based on my series would suggest that below-25th percentile saw declines), it’s still clear that the economy left these men behind, which is perfectly adequate for the declining-attractiveness theory since mate attractiveness is relative to the society you find yourself

.. All of which is to say: Behind the veil, you’d prefer an institutional regime that didn’t effectively imprison you in bad relationships, lest you find yourself in one as a child or adult.

.. Douthat’s paragraph speaks of marriage and relationships in general terms, but in fact they are very specific things that contain within them very different people. Of late, conservatives have rallied behind the pithy line that people need to “preach what they practice” regarding marriage. But, in fact, people of Douthat’s ilk do not practice what they preach. They preach the importance of marrying poor and working class people, but they don’t actually marry any of these people.

They certainly could marry someone from those classes. Many a person would take up a spouse who makes six figures banging out a few blog posts each week. But they choose not to.
After rigging the institutions to capture the majority of the national income and basically all of the national wealth, segregating themselves residentially, intermarrying almost solely in their rich enclaves, and even sealing off their schools from being accessed by the unwashed masses, these rich social conservatives turn around and implore others to marry people that they wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, people they can’t even bring themselves to make even the most minimal of community with.
If this all was really that important to them (the most pressing issue in the entire country by their accounts), why don’t they marry any of these people? What is it about them that they find too unattractive to couple with? One really has to wonder.

Young people are right to be angry about their financial insecurity

A sociologist realized that if she were ever going to understand global inequality she would have to become one of the people who helps create it. So she trained to become a wealth manager to the ultra-rich.

A sociologist realized that if she were ever going to understand global inequality she would have to become one of the people who helps create it. So she trained to become a wealth manager to the ultra-rich.

.. Few outlets, however, noted the professional interventions that made that happen: Mitt Romney employs at least one wealth manager to create and maintain those offshore shelters.

.. Without breaking any laws (for the most part), they enable their clients to sidestep many laws and policies—especially those designed to prevent the kind of neo-feudal concentrations of wealth emerging now.

.. In designing my own research strategy, I was particularly inspired by the work of John van Maanen—now a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management—who famously did his doctoral research on a California police department in the early 1970s, not long after the Watts riots.

.. Like van Maanen, I disclosed my real name, institutional affiliation, and research aims throughout the research process; I did not, that is, go “undercover.” Whether I was attending classes or professional society meetings, I always wore a name tag that included my place of work, so it was clear that I was a scholar linked to a research institution.

.. Finally, people in a technically complex profession—especially one that carries some degree of social stigma—don’t have many opportunities to vent about their work lives with anyone: Their family and friends are unlikely to understand the nature of the work, and with professional peers, there would always be concerns about giving away “trade secrets” or violating client confidentiality.

.. a domain of libertarian fantasy made real, in which professional intervention made it possible for the world’s wealthiest people to be free not only of tax obligations but of any laws they found inconvenient.

.. Looking at a costly divorce? No problem—just hire a wealth manager to put your assets in an offshore trust. Then the assets are no longer in your name, and can’t be attached in a judgment.

.. No litigant on earth has been able to break a Cook Islands trust, including the U.S. government

.. virtually all of them saw themselves as misunderstood good guys.

.. they portrayed themselves as protectors of elderly clients from rapacious heirs, facilitators of development finance to emerging markets, and quasi-family members to wealthy parents seeking advice on how to prevent their children from being destroyed by idleness and easy access to drugs.

 .. “The secret point of money and power is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power’s sake…but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy.”
.. the professionals ensure privacy for their clients. They keep the wealthy out of the newspapers and off the radar of regulatory authorities as much as possible.
.. make it possible for the wealthiest people in the world to gain all the benefits of society, while flouting its laws.