To discover the lineaments of the larger society in the concepts of its biology is not altogether a “Modern Synthesis.” In Euro-American society this integration has been going on in a particular dialectic way since the seventeenth century… The effect of this dialectic has been to anchor the properties of human social action, as we conceive then, in Nature, and the laws of Nature in our conceptions of human social action. Human society is natural and natural societies are curiously human.
The second point concerns the ideological dialectic to which I perviously alluded. Since the seventeenth century we seem to have been caught up in the vicious cycle, alternatively applying the model of capitalist society to the animal kingdom, then reapplying this bourgeoisified animal kingdom to the interpretation of human society.
–Marshall Sahlins, The Use and Abuse of Biology. 1976. pp.93, 101