Tribalism & The Genetic Imperatives
How I Learned to Live With Republicans And Love The War
Okay - so we got to go another four years with 'King George the Dim' running the show. The pundits are summing up the election with the usual post game discourses, and both sides have agreed that GW won because most voters (not necessarily most 'Americans') believe that he shares their values.
Many Democrats, Europeans, political scientists, and the occasional intellectual feels that the country is drifting from a democracy to a theocracy, or more technically correct - a Republic (we are not a true democracy , the United States system of government is a mixture of the two systems of government - Republican under Common Law, and democratic under Statutory Law) to a oligarchy of Christian conservatives. And whereas that may be true - it hopefully will only be a temporary set back for America's social progress, unless of course the Republicans are successful in changing the U.S. constitution to favor a dictatorial police state. Fat chance! So be patient o' restive ones - no need to abandon all hope, or leave the country - yet.
Now if you are having a problem understanding that last paragraph, you are not alone - most American politicians do not know the differences of these terms either, or the importance of our remaining a Republic! They think that 'democracy' and 'Republic' are interchangeable - which shows their lack of knowledge and interest in their position. And we trust them to run the country?! Trust the constitution instead - it was conceived to protect your individual rights and freedoms. Maybe if Bush knew how a purely 'democratic system' works, he would understand the resistance the world has to his ideas!
But how did we get into this predicament? Maybe it had something to do with our genetic makeup. Our species has come to dominate the planet through luck and good genes. We know that our species came very close to extinction a few times - 75 thousand years ago when we got down to as few as 5,000 on the whole planet. We have been prolific breeders (which is genetic imperative #1 = your DNA programs the hormones for frequent non-seasonal sex to insure it's own continuation and survival) and so we have bounced back to the billions that exist today. But the second most important genetic imperative is 'Tribalism' - the need for collective social structuring. This genetic trait has been constructively instrumental in the survival of our species in many ways , but tribalism also contributes to intolerance between religions, political parties, cultures, and nations. It is evident that both of these imperatives are two edged swords - over population of species and/or tribalism can lead to conflicts, war and ecological collapse. To deal with our genetic imperatives in a positive manner is still a problem for most people, and of course the negative side of this is taken advantage of by political and religious leaders for their own personal agendas of power and wealth. As for the 'common folk', maintaining their mentality of superstition and the 'ends justifies the means' rationality keeps most of them in chains (self imprisonment). Few truly understand the meaning of "The Truth shall set you free", or they would make the effort of self enlightenment, self responsibility, and independent thinking.
'Tribalism' is such a dominate force in the world that we require constant demonstrations of it in our daily lives - just like sex! So we have huge groups of devotes to football, soccer, basketball, etc. - one group pitted against another. Riots after games are common enough among the opposing supporters of the teams - sometimes the games ignite wars between nations as well. I saw that in Honduras in 1969! Crank it up to the religious level and you have the holy wars of past and present. George W. says he just got a mandate from the people, meaning of course that he now has an American Talaban to go after the Islamic ones. So the fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims are going to duke it out - again. Will it be a debacle like the Crusades a thousand years ago - or what is the agenda?
Today's technology has not only made warfare more interesting for the participants - but it has also made it possible for the 'tribe back home' to watch as if it was another sport between rivals. We end up with people keeping 'score' with body counts, planes downed, etc. - all in real time or instant replay! To 'rally round the troops' has become a vicarious experience that we all can enjoy with the help of television. And if reality is too slow or tame - we can always get a real bloody video war game going!
It is well known fact that Iraq has the world's greatest concentration of oil - far more then the 'known' #1 producer, Saudi Arabia. So are we trading blood for oil? That might make some economic sense in a world where Asia is getting ready to push for world economic domination. I would rather go with that concept of 'blood for oil' as the real reason for us being in Iraq then the one offered to me the other day. It was suggested that the reason for the rise of such an incompetent, untruthful, and undiplomatic President (with his transparently hypocritical political party) can easily be explained in the Bible - GW is the Anti-Christ!
Balderdash you say. Go to the web browser 'Google' and enter 'Bush Anti-Christ' and you will get 85,000 hits! If you read some of the better written pages on that search, it sure sounds like he is the one - if you believe in that kind of stuff. In the minds of the conservative right, Armageddon and the Rapture are soon to come - and it looks like the fundamentalists are ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including support of the President's actions in the Middle East, no matter how extreme.
Could we have a more exciting time to live in - this is even better then the threat of an atomic war with Russia! Boy was that tame stuff! For years I've personally experienced terrorism and civil war in Central America and Asia - so maybe I am a bit jaded and do not take the 'atmosphere of uncertainty' in this country as serious as naïve Americans. But personal and national 'security' was and always has been a comfortable myth, and now the American Tribe has been given the wake up call. So come on Democrats and you 'undecided', adapt to this new world - warts, Republicans and all.
"Liberty and ignorance cannot coexist" - Thomas Jefferson
Bring freedom to the world by eradicating ignorance - not by warfare Mr. President.
Well - none of us are getting our of here alive anyway. Personally, I have no problem leaving it up to what was at play 75,000 years ago - luck and the genetic imperatives (like I have any choice?).
This is Brian R. Mommsen and I do not give a damn who approves this message. Ha!
11 Nov '04