Every once in a while, scientists push the boundaries between good and bad science by making controversial claims about the relations between things. This latest theory by Randy Thornhill claims that a. the choice of governing system in a country is determined by the threat of disease b. the rate of prevalence of an infectious disease impacts negatively on the possibility of certain states developing more democratic systems of governance. Though the 'eugenics by any other name' alert went off instinctively in my brain, but then I read it. I think disease prevalence has more to do with climate AND access to resources, which in turn shape the style and level of democracy in a country. But on the other hand, diseases prevail because repressive governments are less willing or financially able to attend to the illnesses. A simple/simplistic example would be the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe in 2009 in which +100 people died. The outbreak was due to bad sanitation because of the government's bad administration of Harare and the outbreak was worsened by government's slow response in providing clean water sources and supplying treatment. Though interesting, I still feel this study puts too much reliance on a single factor, yet there are multiple factors simultaneously at play. Anyway, because this article is that interesting/controversial, I decided to lift the whole article from the New Scientist (fisttap @viewfromthecave) because it's only available for seven days and you gotta sign up to access it. I feel this is important stuff that people should have access to, whenever they need to. Free access to information is the law of the digital jungle, paywalls and subscriptions are so elitist and exclusionary. And historically, in the field of science so much has been written and theorized about people and passed off as truth while the people themselves have no access to that information so they cannot verify or rebut anything, let alone speak for themselves.
Anyway here it is: