- Darwinism, Dominance, and Democracy: The Biological Bases of Authoritarianism
Somit and Peterson seek to explain two apparently contradictory yet well-established political phenomena: First, throughout human history, the vast majority of political societies have been authoritarian. Second, notwithstanding this pattern, from time to time, democracies do emerge and some even have considerable stability. A neo-Darwinian approach can help make sense of these observations. Humans--social primates--have an inborn bias toward authoritarian life, based on their tendency to engage in dominance behavior and the formation of dominance hierarchies. Reinforcing this bias is an impulse toward obedience. These factors are associated with the propensity of humans to accept authoritarian systems.
Nonetheless, the authors argue, conditions of material abundance combined with another human characteristic--indoctrinability--can foster the emergence and maintenance of democracies. Somit and Peterson assert that an understanding of human nature from an evolutionary perspective can help to explain how and why political systems have developed. They conclude by pointing to policy implications that might enhance the odds of formation and continuation of democratic forms of government. Students and scholars of political science and philosophy, sociology, and human biology will find this an intriguing study.
- The French Navy in Indochina: Riverine and Coastal Forces, 1945-54
This narrative history of the French Navy in Indochina from 1945 to 1954 draws on recently published French language sources, as well as English sources, to create a detailed, highly readable account of the critical first ten years of the 30-year war in the maritime crossroads of Southeast Asia. Captain Charles W. Koburger, Jr. examines the specific naval organization, equipment, and skills demanded by coastal and riverine warfare, focusing on the unique French-developed naval infantry assault divisions called, in a convenient French acronym, dinassauts. The French development of such river assault groups, their successful performance, whether on coastal patrol, river patrol, or river assault--and a review of some of their tactics, techniques, and battles, compose the bulk of the book. The authoritative text is complemented by maps of the area, photographs of naval craft used in the campaigns, and tables pertaining to battles and military organization. Appendixes survey Indochinese geography and weather as well as ships and craft.
Early chapters narrate the historical situation in French Indochina in August and September 1945, emphasizing the naval picture. The heart of the book, covering the periods 1946-50, 1951, and 1952, holds the story of the dinassauts' early development and their later expanded operations as well as the naval strategies employed. The final chapters trace the last years of the French in Indochina, describing the culmination of dinassaut organization and highlighting their last operations necessitated by the communist victory in China, and made possible by U.S. aid. The French Navy in Indochina addresses historians, naval officers, diplomats, government officials, and war gamers, but informed general readers will find it an entertaining and useful read as well.
- Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis
American society is culturally diverse with a variety of religious denominations, sects, cults, and self-help groups vying for members. This volume analyzes nine of these groups, chosen both for their intrinsic interest and because they illustrate a variety of sociological concepts. The groups included in this study are: Heaven's Gate, Jesus People USA, the Love Family, The Farm, Amish Women, Scientology, El Nino Fidencio, Santeria, and Freedom Park. The contributors are social scientists with first-hand knowledge of the groups they examine.
- Labor Productivity Control: New Approaches for Industrial Engineers and Managers
This management guide to labor productivity represents the author's experience of more than 40 years in the engineering field. Based on his work in over 100 plants and a dozen major corporations, John Martin presents his own personal approach to the specifics of labor productivity control, examining a variety of issues and operations that other books neglect. He fully details longstanding approaches to worker performance and the changes they have undergone, as well as management's responsibilities and industrial engineering functions, all of which are made applicable to manufacturing, processing, and service organizations.
Martin's approach is to examine control strategies that have proven ineffective or incomplete, and to describe alternate methods that he has observed to be workable. To do this, he first explores the basic principles of labor productivity, culled from a combination of historical and modern viewpoints, then follows with discussions of techniques used in general control processes and of various overall control functions. Among the specific topics addressed are work measurement considerations, performance rating and testing, developing and applying time study data, learning curve concepts and applications, wage incentive concepts and plans, and preparing and implementing a productivity control system. New concepts discussed include direct time study versus predetermined motion times, computer-aided application of MTM-1, and advanced applications of measured daywork. Designed as a hands-on reference work, Labor Productivity Control will be a valuable resource for manufacturing management personnel, practicing industrial engineers, management and line supervisors, and students in these fields.
- Sustainable Global Communities in the Information Age: Visions from Futures Studies
Because the Information Age is so extremely different from the Industrial Age, the socioeconomic systems that will evolve will be different as well. The systems based on capitalist market economies and socialist planned economies proved to be neither sustainable nor community based. The scholars who contributed to this volume, including Nobel Laureates and other leaders in diverse fields, consciously look to new socioeconomic systems that would be sustainable and would be community-based.
The failure of the Industrial Age is partly due to the education system peculiar to that age, which only values highly fragmented specialists, without questioning the interrelationships of professions and fragmented viewpoints. In the emerging Information Age, a new type of higher-education system, one focused on holistic viewpoints, is needed to unify fragmented professions. This and other future-oriented visionary perspectives emerge from this collection--one that will be of great value to all researchers and thinkers concerned with the new opportunities arising from the emerging Information Age.