Re: [OPE-L] Inter-species slavery

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Nov 24 2006 - 12:07:39 EST

> "The more we know about other species, the more there is cause  for
> scepticism about claims of human uniqueness.   Whatever  Marx  did
> or did not believe about this, he was a product of the 19th  Century.
> We have to look at these questions from the standpoint of
> 21st  Century knowledge."
> are you saying that we have to read Marx only for historical reasons and
> that he has nothing or not much to say about our world?

Hi Dogan:

No, not at all.  What I'm saying is that we should read Marx and others
both before and after his time.  The point is that there have been many
advances in our understanding of other species since Marx's time and
we need to grasp those advances in knowledge rather than _just_ look
to what Marx wrote.

> They are subject to history but they do not make history.

It depends on how you define history.  In certain senses, other
species do make history to the extent that they can transform
the natural world and, to some degree, themselves by their
behavior.  The ability to make history does not even require
intelligence -- indeed, even simple organisms like viruses and
bacteria have the capacity to dramatically alter human and natural

> Do other animals produce tools and improve it as  the production process
> proceeds?

Some non-human species can and have, I believe.

Even rape and war -- two forms of behavior which we took until recently to
be specifically human forms of behavior -- have been observed in
other species.  Gang rape by bottlenose dolphins off the cost of
Australia  has been observed, but curiously hasn't been observed in other
locations/habitats; 'Wars' have been observed by chimps in the wild.
All of the old claims about human uniqueness seem to be falling one by

In solidarity, Jerry

> If any one can show us from
> hsitorical records  that they do, then, we have reason to be sceptical
> about human uniqueness.

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