As the Democratic Socialists get a foothold in Congress, many are taking a closer look at socialism and socialist. One study from Brunel University has found its way back into the spotlight. The study’s findings are clear. More physically capable men tend to support capitalism. Weaker men often believe in the principles of socialism.
The school in London studied men between the ages of 18 and 40. The looked at their physical strength, weight, height and health. They looked at how much time they spent at the gym. In addition to these physical attributes, they asked questions about their views on capitalism and socialism.
“We believe that this link between perceived formidability and egalitarianism could be explained in a number of ways,” Michael Price, Brunel University’s senior lecturer in Psychology in the College of Health and Life Sciences, said. “It could be the result of men calibrating their egalitarianism to their own formidability. It could be the case that less egalitarian men strive harder to become muscular. Or there could be a third variable at play affecting both egalitarianism and muscularity.”
“Our results suggest that wealthier men who are more formidable physically are more likely to oppose redistribution of wealth. Essentially, they seem more motivated to defend their resources. But less wealthy men who are still physically formidable don’t seem more inclined to support redistribution either,” Price said. “They’re not demanding a share of the wealth.”
Price is of the opinion that these traits are linked to distant past.
“This is about our Stone Age brains, in a modern society,” Price said. “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 inequality is pretty good.”
“Of course, this isn’t rational in modern environments, where your ability to win might have more to do with where you went to university,” Price added. “Lot of guys who are phenomenally successful in modern societies would probably be nowhere near as successful in hunter gatherer societies.”
Proving this, though, is all but impossible. The results of the study don’t examine the beginning of the traits. It could be that the capitalists, believing that strength is an integral mark of success, might seek out this strength.
“[M]en who were less egalitarian felt more need to go to the gym, unconsciously believing they needed the strength in order to reach a better place in a red-in-tooth-and-claw social hierarchy[,]” the study suggests.
While some find fault with the singular study, there are others that support it. “Researchers [from Aarhus University in Denmark] studied hundreds of men from America, Denmark, and Brazil, using the same criteria Brunel had used, and found that stronger men ‘take a conservative stance of protecting their own interests’,” The Blaze writes.
“Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions,” Michael Bang Petersen, lead author of the Aarhus University study, concluded.
It is unclear how often any of these professors actually go to the gym.