The appeal of biological determinism is that it offers plausible, scientific explanations for societal contradictions engendered by capitalism. If Type-II diabetes is reduced to the problem of genetics (which it surely is to some degree), then we don’t have to think about the rise of obesity and its underlying causes: the agro-business monopoly, income inequality, and class-based disparities in food quality. Combine this with the prevalence of drug-based solutions to disease pushed by the pharmaceutical industry and it is no surprise that we are left with the impression that complex social phenomena are reducible to simple scientific fact.
I believe that there is social and psychological justification for significant inequalities of incomes and wealth, but not for such large disparities as exist today.
One of the strangest disparities of history lies between the sense of abundance felt by older and simpler societies and the sense of scarcity felt by the ostensibly richer societies of today. Charles Péguy has referred to modern man’s feeling of “slow economic strangulation,” his sense of never having enough to meet the requirement which his pattern of life imposes on him. Standards of consumption which he cannot meet, and which he does not need to meet, come virtually in the guise of duties.richard weaver