Paul Rubin began his preface by stating that tabula rasa should no longer be viewed as something credible. Rubin maintained his conclusion that evolutionary biology would eventually be the foundation of all social sciences. He maintained that the fundamental taste for liberty is a genetic legacy from the hunter-gatherer bands in the history of mankind. He stated, “I reach a surprising conclusion: modern western nations, and particularly the United States, are the most effective societies for satisfying our evolved political preferences” (Paul, p.
Rubin’s attitude’s towards liberty is the one which cost me a great deal of apprehension, in spite of the fact that it is not brought up much in the book. Although I enjoyed reading the book, the fact that so little has been said regarding freedom, I believe, ought to be a cause of serious apprehension. In regard of the contended predominance of Rubin’s concentration on the biological foundation which lies beneath the current state of human liberty, he should have considered beginning with animal freedom as articulated by, say, Pavlov on the “freedom-reflexes”.
The foundation of Rubin’s opinion appears to be a firm certainty that human control and freedom are polar opposites. In fact on his Preface he claimed that when he began the research he was still a libertarian and thus he does not understand much of government’s constant rules regarding human behavior. He stated, “I have not used evolutionary analysis to prove points in which I already believed” (Paul, p. xv). I was quite bewildered upon reading this remark especially since his declarations seems to exhibit an absolute lack of understanding regarding the vital social control as well as counter-control procedures.
It also showed a black void of nearly enormous quantities in awareness of the huge body of literature which could be dated back from the founders of civilization. Rubin feelingly asserted “There are substantial benefits from limiting government power and great dangers from allowing it to increase. It is, therefore, a puzzle, to explain why so many seek to increase the power of government” (Paul, p. 134). His statement seems to be a little naive.
Rubin admitted that most normal individual’s desires governments to do pretty much more than defend them from dishonest dealers, banks, and the like. Most citizens knows the danger of the profound corruption from financial organizations and this is the reason why it is not really much a “puzzle” why they want to increase government power. The same could be said with the world’s third world countries with weak economies. They look for international kind of government in order for the mistreatment of other advanced countries to be limited if not stopped altogether.
The book Professor Rubin wrote is interesting in spite of the fact that I do not agree much with the things he mentioned there particularly on the issue of freedom. Professor Rubin’s, Professor of Economics, attitude towards society and liberty appears to intentionally shun the standard control terminology. He talks a great deal of power, and acquiescence in separate terms of dominant, counter dominant, and the like instead of using the standard terms such as social control and counter control.
There are no discussions regarding socialization, customs, introjections of values, punishments, and the like. Overall, I view Professor Rubin’s work to be stimulating particularly because he have some unique views of his own which made me think mentally and allowed me to exercise my faculty of reason. Although I do not agree much with the things he claims, I could still say that his book was an interesting read as well as thought provoking and for these reasons I recommend this book to everyone.