On Sleep

A lot of political theory takes the family as fundamental: people having sex and producing more people is how society re-creates itself, which surely has to be important, right?

Of course the assertion is true, but how important is it? Specifically, how relevant is it to our political institutions, particularly when compared to other aspects of human biology?

Consider sleep. For several hours every day, even the strongest and cleverest people will become unconscious, whether they want to or not. During that time, even many of the weakest and least clever will be able to kill them. Easily. Not only that, but aggressors could perpetrate this act far more often than any biologically reproductive couple might be able to produce babies.

If we’re going to try to boil down political institutions to some kind of biological degree zero, why settle on sex? Why isn’t sleep the (rhetorical?) reason that we have society?