What Monkeys Can Teach Us About Politics

Imagine a Society That Chooses Leaders Based on Past Behavior, Not Promises in TV Ads

Perry coalition capuchin monkeys

Whenever I find myself in a contentious academic meeting or I see clips of Congress trying to pass (or kill) a bill, I am reminded of capuchin monkeys.

Don’t get me wrong—I respect my colleagues, and don’t consider politicians to be sub-human. It’s just that the monkeys I have devoted so much of my life to studying exhibit extraordinarily sophisticated political strategies that mirror the social machinations so common in …