New Study Correlates Socialism & Bodily Weakness
A new study published in the Evolution and Human Behavior journal, by researchers at Brunel University, London, found that physically weaker men are more likely to favor socialism than stronger men.
The study sampled 171 men, and looked at their height, weight, bicep circumference, and overall physical strength—then they compared these traits with the men’s views on the redistribution of wealth, and income inequality.
They found that physical weakness was correlated to a preference for socialism.
Conversely, stronger men lacked said preference.
Researcher Michael Price suggests that the results can be explained using the logic of evolutionary psychology:
This is about our Stone Age brains, in a modern society… Our minds evolved in environments where strength was a big determinant of success. If you find yourself in a body not threatened by other males, if you feel you can win competitions for status, then maybe you start thinking that inequality is pretty good.
Basically, Price says that if you’re a winner, you like being free to win.
Meanwhile, if you’re a loser, your best chance at reproductive success is to mooch off someone successful—every king, or great warrior, always had a large retinue of servants.
Of course, in the past winning and losing was often predicated upon physical strength: bigger, stronger men were less vulnerable in physical confrontations, they were better at hunting etc.
Therefore, it makes sense that physical strength was linked to success, and a preference for independence.
However, Price also notes that this is something of an atavism, as physical strength is not particularly important in the modern world, which imposes a very different set of demands on the human body and mind:
…this isn’t rational in modern environments, where your ability to win might have more to do with where you went to university. Lots of guys who are phenomenally successful in modern societies would probably be nowhere near as successful in hunter gatherer societies.
He may have a point: physical strength is not particularly important in landing a stable job as an accountant or lawyer—but that doesn’t mean that it’s irrelevant.
Taller, stronger men are generally much more successful in business and politics than their shorter, weaker counterparts.
And of course, women still prefer strong men.