Social Construct vs. Hard-Wired

3. What they call “hard-wired” is just a “social construct” that has existed for a long time; that has been repeated many times over, with slight variation, in many successive vintages of man. It is what comes to be encoded most deeply in a man's genetic memory and institutions. What is hard-wired was constructed and subsequently refined and repeated by man's ancestors over many generations.

4. What they call “social construct” is an institution or value that has appeared more recently, usually defined as being in opposition to what is “hard-wired.” It is a conscious attempt at remaking or correcting man so that he may live within some new myth or value.

6. Some want to denigrate the so-called social construct, saying that it is not how things have been. What is hard-wired has existed for longer and is thus truer and more authentic, they say. Their's is a conservative attitude: the conservation of the past. Furthermore, many of these conservatives argue that man cannot be changed in any meaningful way from those values characterized as “hard-wired”. But man is an animal with consciousness, and with consciousness any sort of overcoming is possible. Though, verily, what is oldest is only overcome with the greatest difficulty.

11. Man can overcome himself with new values and new institutions, and he may very well carry out a program to reconstruct his society. But the resulting transformation will be far different from that which he intended. Indeed, the restructuring may result in a new generation of men hard-wired for something entirely unintended (autistics and the obese are prime examples). For it is both man’s privilege and curse to be conscious of his own development and to reflect upon it, and sometimes to actively fight against it and remake it.

19. Indeed, those that encourage the distinction between social construct and hard-wired fail to recognize that a man's genetics do not reveal themselves in the absence of the institutions they were charged with responding to. For genes and institutions require each other for their expression. What is hard-wired emerges over time from what was socially constructed.

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