Generations of the duped have been told that the works of Charled Darwin show humanity to be composed of individuals who ‘succeed’ at the expense of others, that is, the fittest survive.
We are encouraged to ‘succeed’ in the ‘market place of life’ by being more savvy than others: by buying private health insurance that enables those making a ‘smart choice’ to ‘jump the queue’, to leapfrog over the masses; a process assisted by sending their children to private schools, and paying for their university education, so that, they too, will be able to leapfrog the poorer members of their species.
The be-all of life is to promote individual evolutionary success at the expense of others.
This is a twisted theory of what Charles Darwin actually believed, but like any monumental tome, parts can be extracted from it by those in power that justify their dominance within society; their evolutionary success.
After the death of his daughter at age ten, Charled Darwin began to ponder the concepts of suffering and compassion in human experience. He came to argue, in The Descent of Man, that compassion is the strongest human instinct within ‘successful’ societies, often being stronger than naked self-interest. He argued that the most co-operative and ‘the most sympathetic members (of society), would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.’
His insights were based on the theory of reciprocity: that those who receive kindness, compasion, and enough material benefitsto be able to fully engage in society (by buying a house, etc.), will then be more likely to also give generously. Generosity is contagious. ‘Positive emotions and prosocial emotions are more contagious than any others. They spread much more rapidly and collectively than the negative’ (Dacher Keltner, a presentation entitled ‘The Compassionate Species’, 2012).
Society, however, is fractured by class divisions, by enormous differences in the distribution of wealth. Those tribes on each side of this division tend to co-operate among themselves in parallel realities. Spouses and friends have similar attributes. People join clubs and societies that contain similar people with similar ideologies. Those that play together tend to vote together, so the social and economic rift within society becomes underpinned by politics.
On the prosperous side of the rift, those who fear being on the poor side ‘fight and compete’, and exhort others from the poor side to do the same, to jump over the chasm into prosperity. This is an illusion of strength and purpose, only made possible by ‘technological’ society, for most who ‘fight and compete’ in the modern world would not have been able to lift a sword in former times, let alone use one.
And even this class of pseudo-warror become ill, weak, and old, finding only then that their private insurances and hospitals, under the gloss of sales brochures, only offer a poor and limited respite, as in the American experience.
Those of the ruling class who extoll the doctrine of ‘fight and compete’ easily encourage ‘the aspiring class’ to ape them by directing scorn at those on benefits. This is nothing more than cynical manipulation. The ‘aspiring class’ and their children are encouraged to be massively indebted.
They live on a rug, which can be pulled from under them at any time.
Only a tiny percentage of them make it to the ranks of the wealthy, which is not the same as the ranks of the ruling class, for our rulers privately despise upstarts from the lower social orders.
Does anyone this side of ‘Alice’ think an Asian or working class Cabinet Minister would be a welcomed son-in-law of those who live in Marbled Halls? Dodi had no chance.
What of those who are encouraged to aspire and fail in the ‘market place of life’? The 60% of graduates (mostly from lower income groups) who end up working in coffee shops, on low pay, massively indebted, not being able to buy or rent a house, or leave home; that is, not being able to reproduce their species.
These young people are the fires that smoulder beneath the volcano of society, whose anger will eventually errupt as Vesuvius to bury the Marbled Halls of the ruling class.
It does not have to be like this.
Education and health care can be free, for money is essentially an electronic creation that only exists in the cyber world; its apparant scarcity is a tactic that preserves the gap between rich rulers and the poorer ruled.
Instead of basing society on twisted theories of evolution, and of compassion, dressed in the form of poke-the-disabled-with a-stick, learn the lessons of The Descent of Man – that compassion is the strongest human instinct within ‘successful’ societies – before society inevitably descends into a molten crater of self interest, from which none shall escape.
Think yourself ever so great, as a Roman Emperor, and even you will not be above this.
No Praetorian Guard will save you, as history shows.
copyright lenin nightingale 2015