What are the consequences of social ambition?
The notion of generalized nepotism.

Our species, homo sapiens, functions in the wild in hierarchical social groups. In fact, each individual finds himself at the center of various circles, with for each circle the individuals inside who fight against those outside. This system of multiple circles around the individual is what I call generalized nepotism, and leads to constant 'us versus them' type struggles. At the behavioral level, this leads individuals to practice hypocrisy intensely, that is to say to display respect and benevolence towards individuals whom one appreciates little, or even hates, deep down inside.

Alliance Strategies

Il existe deux grandes stratégies d'alliances. L'une consiste à chercher des alliés par la bienveillance apparente (le singe Chester du reportage Primates des Caraïbes). L'autre consiste à les terroriser pour imposer une loyauté servile (le singe Tony du reportage Primates des Caraïbes).
If the end of the 20th century brought down many myths, such as making little girls believe that their happiness would come from meeting Prince Charming, the myth which consists in believing that the problem of the game of alliances is linked The reality observed as soon as we look carefully at the behavior of groups is that what poses a problem is the very notion of the game of alliances, as opposed to the way in which individuals practice it.

Language has allowed humans to develop an additional alliance strategy, which is not accessible to primates: victimization.

Main consequence of social ambition

To sum up, social ambition leads to favoring respect for dogmas, and ignoring the negative practical consequences and the suffering that this generates.


To better understand social ambition, and widespread nepotism, see the document Caribbean Primates by Jack Silberman and Jean-Christophe Ribot, available on Arte replay, then refer to chapter 2 of the book From capital to reason.
See the question 'How to succeed in life?'.


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