You appear to have a rosy view of life for animals in the wild. Of course, there's not much of that life left, because we’ve destroyed so much of the world’s biodiversity. (I have an article coming out soon on David Attenborough’s new documentary.)

You say I have an overly harsh view of wildlife. But can you find a biology or ethology textbook that doesn’t deal with dominance in animal behaviour?

I understand that life in the wild isn’t perfectly totalitarian and dystopian. There’s cooperation as well as competition and struggle. But dominance is a mainstay of groups of social animals.

Regarding inherited wealth, I didn’t say culture works exactly like natural selection; indeed, that would be the social Darwinism the article is rejecting. What I said is that inherited wealth is a “cultural equivalent of genetic control of the host organisms,” and that money and crony capitalism “perform a comparable function” of separating the “fittest” members of society from the less fit. These fittest members would be judged in cultural rather than strictly biological terms. Thus, the extent to which their offspring are biologically fit isn’t decisive here. I agree that if the offspring were genetically unfit (due to inbreeding, etc), that would weaken the comparison. It’s an analogy, not an identity.

The point I was getting at is that genes and the capitalist accumulation of money are both social organizers. There’s some comparison to be made there, but it is indeed complicated because sociology doesn’t reduce to biology, contrary to the conservative’s social Darwinism.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.