The r/K theory itself is great fun. It's useful as a hypocritical tool for attacking hypocrisy, e.g., arguing with I-Fucking-Love-Science liberals who pretend to believe that single mother welfare is beneficial to society but that creationism is detrimental. If you haven't been exposed to the work, here's the essential theory:
[r/K] = [Ayn Rand] + [Science].A larger overview can be found from Anonymous Conservative, here. (On a side note, the habit of removing words and phrases like "here" and "at this site" to hold link indicators has potential to be damaging to our communication habits in the long term. Once every single phrase is itself a link, including links inside links inside links, nothing will have any grounded meaning, and all analysis will become self-referential, akin to pop culture.) Here's the main thrust of the argument:
The first environment an organism may face is the presence of freely available resources, which is referred to as an r-selective environment. This most often occurs when a predator keeps a population consistently lower than the carrying capacity of its environment. Just as rabbits do not strip their grassy fields bare due to the predation they endure, the r-strategy is designed to exploit an environment where resources are freely available, everywhere.We know that Ayn Rand, like Karl Marx, represents a Jenomic strategy of using partial truths to obscure incredibly damaging social diseases. The twentieth century Empires of the USA and the USSR, alternating between capitalist and communist methodologies, committed the numerically greatest horrors in 2016-known Terran history using a blend of Rand's and Marx' philosophies.
In r-selection, those individuals who waste time fighting for food will be out-reproduced by pacifists, who simply focus upon eating, and reproducing. Fighting also entails risks of injury or death – risks which are pointless given the free availability of resources everywhere. Hence this environment will favor a tendency towards conflict avoidance, and tend to cull the aggressive and competitive. It will also evolve tendencies towards mating as early as possible, as often as possible, with as many mates as possible, while investing as little effort as possible rearing offspring. Here, there are unlimited resources just waiting to be utilized, and even the most unfit can acquire them. As a result, it is more advantageous to produce as many offspring as possible, as quickly as possible, regardless of fitness, so as to out-reproduce those who either waste time producing quality offspring or waste time competing with each other.
Since group competition will not arise in the r-selected environment, r-type organisms will not exhibit loyalty to fellow members of their species, or a drive to sacrifice on their behalf. Indeed, the very notion of in-group will be foreign, and the concept of personal sacrifice for other in-group members will be wholly alien. This is why rabbits, mice, antelope, and other r-selected species, although pleasant, will tend to not exhibit any loyalty or emotional attachment to peers. When resources are freely available, group competition is a risk one need not engage in to acquire resources, so this loyalty to in-group and emotional attachment to peers is not favored.
Here in the r-strategy, we see the origins of the Liberal’s tendencies towards conflict avoidance, from oppositions to free-market capitalism, to pacifism, to demands that all citizens disarm so as to avoid any chance of conflict and competition. Even the newer tendencies to support the ”everyone gets a trophy” movement are outgrowths of this competition-averse urge, and desire for free resource availability. Similarly, Liberals are supportive of promiscuity, supportive of efforts to expose children to ever earlier sexual education, and, as the debate over Murphy Brown showed, Liberals are supportive of low-investment, single parenting. Finally, as John Jost has shown, Liberals show diminished loyalty to in-group, similar to how r-selected organisms do not fully understand the reason for even perceiving an in-group in nature.
In the other environment, a population exists at the carrying capacity of its environment. Since there is not enough food to go around, and someone must die from starvation, this will evolve a specific psychology within such a species.
Termed a K-type psychology, or K-Selected Reproductive Strategy, this psychology will embrace competitions between individuals and accept disparities in competitive outcomes as an innate part of the world, that is not to be challenged. Since individuals who do not fight for some portion of the limited resources will starve, this environment will favor an innately competitive, conflict-prone psychology. Study shows, such a psychology will also tend to embrace monogamy, embrace chastity until monogamous adulthood, and favor high-investment, two-parent parenting, with an emphasis upon rearing as successful an offspring as possible. This sexual selectiveness, mate monopolization, and high-investment rearing is all a form of competing to produce fitter offspring than peers. This evolves, because if one’s offspring are fitter than the offspring of peers, they will be likely to acquire resources themselves, and reproduce successfully.
Although total numbers of offspring will be diminished with this high-investment rearing strategy, the offspring’s success in competition is what is most important in a K-selective environment. Here, wasting time producing numerous offspring that are not as fit as possible will doom one to Darwinian failure. As time goes on, and K-selection continues, forming into competitive groups will often emerge as a strategy to acquire resources. This will add add loyalty to in-group to the suite of K-type psychological characteristics. This is why when we look at K-selected species in nature, we see packs of wolves, herds of elephants, prides of lions, and pods of dolphins, and each individual is loyal to their group and its competitive success. Since the only way to survive will be to acquire one’s resources by out-competing peers, this invariably produces tremendously fast rates of evolutionary advancement. For this reason, K-selected organisms are usually more evolutionarily advanced than their r-selected counterparts, and will exhibit more complex adaptations, from increased intelligence and sentience, to increased physical capabilities, to loyalty and prosociality, in species where group competition occurs.
Rand and Marx were not original, but mere popularizers. Like a Semitic council creating Noah out of Gilgamesh or a Qur'an out of North African myths, they each took early European ideas of "free competition" or "central ownership" and hyped them to a deadly extreme using powerful international publishing contacts. Despite the apparent conflict of their ideas, they--like American Democrats and Republicans arguing about which enemy of Israel to invade next--agreed on several underlying and unassailable facts, one of which was the greatness of the theories of Charles Darwin. The evil warlords Stalin and Roosevelt would, respectively, carry out extreme campaigns of mass murder under the nihilistic banners of both free markets and owned markets. The numbers of people in Europe, Asia, and Africa murdered by these statesmen and their successors easily crosses a hundred million; the black book of communism and the gold book of capitalism are a worthy paean to the destroyer of planets.
Normative Problems With r/K Theory
r/K selection theory is the sort of speculative pseudoscience popular among less rigorous, image-based thinkers of 2016 Terra. It's a mere thought experiment; a Rousseauian flight of wishful fancy; a delusion on the order of "the bushmen we encountered last year are clearly representative of our own distant past." The theory is derived from speculating based on normative assumptions about the ways that populations behave right now, under observation, in the human-dominated world. Regarding rabbits in the northern hemisphere, for example, how much of their evolutionary lifespan has occurred within a world where humans (1) have been generally uninterested in pursuing them as a serious year-round source of meeting basic caloric needs, and (2) have almost wholly eliminated all other major predators from their habitats? Rabbits and other horny little scavengers have existed for a long time, but it is only extremely recently (on the evolutionary scale) that they have been able to exist in a consequence-free environment, in the sense that humans have killed off almost all the wolves, cougars, foxes, lynxes, bears, raccoon, snakes, et cetera, from whom rabbits would otherwise have to flee. Yes, there are still national parks, but the rabbits' size, caloric needs, agility, and perhaps more importantly, lack of major threat to ordinary-sized humans, have ensured that rabbits (again, to pick but one small, horny creature) have not been eliminated from human settlements in the way that, say, brown bears have been. A lot of the first world hosts an ample population of horny little scavengers, who, a century or two ago, would have been evolving in response to active predation from a carnivore class proportionately fifty to a hundred times larger than it is now (and that might be being generous--this one hears that the population of timber wolf packs in the most expensive zip codes of Manhattan is quite low).
How, then, do our assumptions about "rabbits in ample green meadows," which we imagine, or "rabbits in sort-of-protected wildlands which we visit briefly for incomplete studies that we affect by our presence," which studies we may actually carry out rather than imagine, affect the idea of an r/K theory? Completely: our guesses about how rabbits got to be the way they are are not empirically verifiable, but are mere theory, accepted only because of the normative parameters for "rabbit behavior" that we picked up through pastoral farmhouse narratives as first-world western children. Real rabbits--rabbits in a non-Rousseauian state of nature--were probably much different than our fantasies tell us, and were surely much different from the fantasies of r/K selection. Abundant food, maybe, but 200x greater quantity of snakes and bobcats makes survival a game of the fittest.
So too wolves--African lion documentaries (equally speculative and infected by our presence and observation, but still cute to use as a reference) show tens of thousands of wildebeest migrating past a comparatively tiny number of prides. How is that not like the "rabbits" example of "too much food"? Well, yeah, wildebeests can kick pretty hard, but the whole pride is allowed to eat once the best lionesses bring down the oldest wildebeest, which looks like a whole lot of EBT to me. EBT within genetically-linked societies, but then, per r/K theory, all lion prides should self-destruct by the best lionesses dying in the hunt, while the worst lionesses are fattened up on the best lionesses' kills until the Day The EBT Card Runs Out, at which point Apocalypse and they all die...right?
How does the spread of the human predator affect our Petya i volk assumptions about wolves? Human hunters would naturally kill the most aggressive, confident, K-selected wolves--the ones who dared hunt big, fat, human livestock--leaving behind r-selected populations of wolves--the ones who stayed back and mated and scavenged. Raccoons, bears, and coyotes, among many other species, have adapted (much faster than the idiotic communist/capitalist take on evolution would say possible, thereby disproving it yet again) to become scavengers of the postindustrial exurbs. There's an abundance of food, but also an abundance of armed park rangers...how does this affect our pastoral fantasy about the rugged wolf-heroes? r/K rests on a set of metaphors so dumb even JJR himself would be embarrassed.
Benefits of r/K Theory
None of this means r/K theory isn't still useful. It's terribly expressed, and it has nothing to do with rabbits or wolves, and it isn't "biology" except as an untested hypothesis. Yet, it does provide a useful commonsense metaphor for the way that, for example, African American women have reproduced in accordance with welfare policy. In that sense, you can at least make it scientific, by graphing rates of single motherhood, drug use, contraceptive use, abortions performed, employment, marriage, et cetera, against the X-axis of gibsmedats per month, and prove a positive correlation.
The gotcha moments are priceless with this thing. Spend two hours watching a scraggly-bearded antifa cuck screaming at an evangelical about evolution, encourage him to lay out all of the objective ways to prove that disparate populations change over time--and the ways to scientifically and non-theologically verify that differences exist--and then ask a question about the racial IQ gap between low-income whites and high-income blacks in countries with no history of colonialism or slavery, and HAHAHAHA YOU DUMBASS SCIENCE IS YOUR ENEMY GO JOIN YOUR FRIEND IN BLIND FAITH THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN FROM OKLAFUCKINGHOMA CUZ THAT'S WHERE YOU BELONG BRO!!!
Petty schadenfreude. Look farther for yourself, for your people, than the verbal pratfall. Or fine, do it a few dozen times if you haven't already gotten bored of it, but at some point, you gotta realize that's one of the lowest forms of intellectual development. (And no, it doesn't pragmatically convince people, either, so you don't even have that.)
The True Dangers of r/K
Unfortunately for the egos of its adherents, the theory is, like communism or objectivism, a honeypot for the gullible. Yes, finance capitalism is terrible, extractive, union-busting, heartless, environment-damaging, war-making, etc., but to turn to a genocidal madman like Mao is exactly why finance capitalism was nurtured, then changed into Party capitalism, in the first place. Yes, Red insurrectionists are terrible, extractive, saver-busting, heartless, environment-damaging, war-making, etc., but to turn to a genocidal madman like Truman is exactly why Red insurrectionists were nurtured, then changed into neoconservatives, in the first place.
By the same token, the gibsmedats are awful, but turning to r/K Theory is yet another Great Leap Forward on the road to Hell.
The dangers of r/K should be obvious to those who enjoy and espouse the philosophy, as the benefits surely are to many of the powerful. Namely, if an all powerful international cabal of deep governments is utilizing welfare policy to benefit r-selected individuals and groups at the expense of K-selected individuals and groups, then the Ks have already been trumped. In fact, the people and organizations who are playing off rabbits against wolves are so far advanced, comparatively, that r/K isn't about rabbits and wolves, but rather, rabbits, wolves, and titanium-plated robotic hunters with night vision goggles and laser weapons who hunt rabbits and wolves for sport.
The supposedly K-selected people, therefore, who lament that they are being exploited by interests which pander to r-selected people, are conceding that they have already lost the evolutionary game. r-selected individuals and groups succeed in a resource rich environment where breeding rapidity and lack of in-group loyalty wins out, and K-selected individuals and groups succeed in a low resource environment where parenting investment and the presence of in-group loyalty wins out. Who, though, are the super-predators? Who is so powerful that they don't even need to out-breed the rabbits, or out-in-group the wolves, in order to control the conflict between both sides?
Posit the existence of a third group, the T-selected. This group exists in reality--the reality in which rabbit sperm and wolf teeth are largely irrelevant, and where survival succeeds or fails based upon ideas. The proud K-selected wolves think that their rugged strength and survivability is "better" than the rabbits' mere flagrant mating strategy, while the T-selected group is several degrees ahead of them both, and knows that the true path to evolutionary success lies in the ability to make other people think things. The ability to define the narrative, to define the normative, to set the boundaries of what the wolves consider possible.
If this one were a turncoat member of the T-selected group, this one would tell you, "The best way to keep the wolves in line is to make them think that their ideas are really cool, and that life does in fact turn on sinew, and that they should occasionally vent their rage on rabbits, because there will always be enough of those around." And then I'd pat you on the head and say, "Good boy! You saved civilization! Yes you did, yes you did, you're a good boy!"