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Evolutionary Origin of Politics and Political Evolution: Neuropolitics

DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2018.810033, PP. 538-561

Keywords: Neuropolitics, Evolutionary Origin of Politics, Political Evolution, Neuroscience, Politics, Political Brain

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The paper proposes that the evolutionary origin of politics is based on imaginary prosocial societies for large-scale cooperation at the beginning of civilization established by large-scale civilized social groups. According to Dunbar, the size of the human brain is adapted to the manageable group size of about 150 people (Dunbar’s Number). A manageable large-scale civilized social group much more than 150 people could not exist sustainably. To enhance group survival chance under such existential group-size pressure, large-scale civilized social groups invented politics for large-scale cooperation based on imaginary prosocial societies which founded prosocial religions of ancestor worship and high gods to enforce prosociality. (In modern times, imaginary prosocial societies founded secular nationalisms with elaborate rituals, monuments, and devotions to enforce prosociality.) This imaginary prosocial society became the foundation for a large-scale social group to establish a civilized social order for large-scale cooperation. Therefore, politics is defined as a civilized social order for large-group cooperation based on a shared imaginary prosocial society to enhance group survival chance under existential group-size pressure. Under politics with civilized social order, all types of large-scale cooperation became possible. In this paper, neuropolitics as the combination of neuroscience and political science is based on the political brain derived from the social brain through imagination and rationality. It explains the evolutionary origin of politics and the political evolution. The political imagination for imaginary prosocial society is derived from theory of mind that generates an imaginary prosocial society to have its own mind in its own imaginary world. The political rationality is derived from the rational brain that generates subjective rationality to defend a political view and objective rationality to create a new political view dialectically.


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