The constitution of evolution has long settled the issue of the origination of variables which contribute to the adaptation or extinction of any given species.
Even with our limited understanding of the workings of the unconscious mind of man and our concomitant inability to understand the incredibly complex bio-chemistry of our make-up, we do see and know empirically that evolution and adaptation or it’s counterpart, extinction, include some like element of both the outcome of pure biological selection, (for traits, strengths, adaptabilities, etc) as well as the taint and effect of cultural evolution, (learnings, social structure, familial bonds) and their subsequent selection and evolution into the gene pool and ultimately our DNA.
So, if all of life has essentially the singular imprimatur to extend, preserve and replace itself, always with smarter and more capable reproductions (the panda with an extra thumb, the homo sapien with a larger brain) and this is the ultimate reason, code, cause and outcome for underpinning all of life, then must we not wonder at the efficacy of behavior which is, by it’s very nature self destructive, inherently, or by it’s proximate relation and effect, teaches or leads to outcomes which prejudice the strength or adaptability of the species. There is no lack of examples of civilizations which have flourished and disappeared, and there is no lack of examples of phyla who have been around for three billion years and continue to succeed. In trying to understand a working model of ‘thinking’ and its opposite, ‘intuiting’ for lack of a more complex formulation, we should be able to define the outcomes of each, at least from a behaviorists standpoint to get to the beginning of a reasonably thorough description.
At the end of the day, we are really only trying to answer one question: is ‘thinking’, as 21st century man understands it, a fundamentally smarter (possessing greater evolutionary gain) act, than the act of ‘intuiting’ ( being instinctive).
Again, following A. O. Wilson’s observation, ‘Altruism appears to diminish the higher one travels in the sophistication of the Phyla of species’ (families of animals). We are reminded the simple conclusion of this statement is, the less thought utilized by a species, the more they apparently care for (or exhibit altruism) each other.
For all of the complex formulations describing or proscribing the organization and structure of man’s endeavor, from ancient Babylonia through the Gods of Baal, Hindu, Budha, Capitalist or Communist of today and all of the in betweens, each, beside the deification of our timid and temporal souls, set out to formulate the ‘rules’ by which one or all should or needed (to not be cast out) to live.
How interesting that the ‘Higher’ or more developed species would need to articulate and codify such social predicates of behavior while other highly developed top of their food chain vertebrates, wolves, lions, falcons, whales and tarantulas could all, with little communal and codified constitution, pee on a trap line, sing and snort at ocean depths, hiss like the rattlesnake or screech like the peregrine and all, with incredible complexity and nuance, effect the same or better outcome.
Is $3.7 Trillion Dollars Enough to Repair Infrastructure If
Government Does not Spend an Another Dime.
© Guy Herman All Rights Reserved
In United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, a New York Court delivered a guilty verdict against much of Wall Street and many of the largest money center banks regarding their corrupt and illegal practices of bond trading and warehousing public, state, municipal and NGO funds.
In it’s simplest reconstruction, A New York Court found many of the Wall Street banks guilty for price fixing, and bid rigging, a monopolistic practice as illegal and contrary to the ‘rule of law’ as any of the old and still prevalent practices of mobs and the mafia in strong-arming business and labor into paying dirty money for protection, safety and the furtherance of their own contracts or ‘family’ winning bids.
With Wall Street and big banks, as Matt Taibbi reported, rather than labor or garbage contracts, and violence resulting for those who would not ‘pay to play’ the banks, utilizing residual and unconsumed funds from bonds whose related expenses had not yet matured, rigged the bids and accordingly the prices, less than competitively, costing the recipients an estimated $3.7 Trillion dollars in lost revenue from interest bearing balances left, presumably for their benefit, in the Wall Street Mafia’s banks.
In the US criminal system, restitution, short of jail time, has always been a reasonable and universally acceptable tool to allow wrong doers an opportunity to repay their societal mistake.
Apart from the efficacy of all the arguments of those who would jail the bankers and traders for such enormous malfeasance, in the least harsh resolution, all would agree that repatriation of the monies, repayment of the stolen funds would at least go a significant way to right the wrong and make those with losses, whole again.
In this construction, if one was to allocate the repayment to all of the 50 states, the math would allow a repayment of $740,000,000 to each, or with a more complex pro-ration by population or density, there is obviously an enormous pool of funds, owned and theoretically to be repatriated, by some formula, to the institutions and municipalities from where they originated and where they now belong.
What impact might an army of National Civil Workers have who are now unemployed, whose skills match exactly the needs of our crumbling infrastructure including roads, hospitals, bridges, schools with such a cornucopia of funding, more fivefold, than all of the troubled asset relief program, (TARP) from 2008.
One of the primary complaints of the universal recognition of rebuilding our infrastructure and the ever pervasive and persistent unemployment is the question of deficit and payment.
At least half the country does not want government to pay any more, irrespective of need, for any of the essential needs, particularly if it benefits further the lower 80% of the socio-economic demographic as the upper 80% believes, correctly or not they are already paying their due.
There is no hesitance in paying for a bloated Military Industrial Complex budgets, however this is backed largely by those whose political fortunes and longevity are inextricably related to the institutionalized profit these large defense firms make.
And the success of government involvement in loans or funding of infrastructure development which would significantly impact the economic and social realm, would score points in Obama’s favor and regardless of the outcome and inherent benefit, is thereby disqualified as a source of, or an organizing principal for, its promulgation and deployment of a successful program.
With ill gotten gains seized or ordered by the court repaid, and with sufficient funds to pay for even the court ordered supervision and distribution, these monies owed to the very cities, towns and municipalities who are screaming for funds and withering from unemployment, will, in a fell swoop provide greater access to jobs and monies than contemplated in any of the republican or democratic plans or whitepapers for relief and rebuilding.
The only question for this windfall of funds and the staggering downstream effects for our unemployed, the schools, hospitals, water projects, electrical grid, highways, sustainable energy research and it’s factual implementation is, will the criminal behavior of the banks be repudiated by a population that customarily makes restitution a uniquely American way to get back to even, or; bullied by the system and the complexity and power of the lobbyists, will we again walk away from a solution which is available, a fact of law and one which, with no cost to the budget or further stress on the debt, solve a plethora of problems, in a single fell swoop.
If a common burglar steals $1000 from a home or snatches the purse of an old woman walking in the mall, caught, booked, tried and convicted the outcome in the most lenient of situations is repayment, restitution, and often some community service, a way for the malfeasant to relearn some social or moral aptitude.
For the banks, there is now no question of the felony and certainly a mechanism to account for which dollars came from which state, municipality or governmental organization, and, with the accounting properly done, it is an easy and in fact quite lenient punishment to simply allow the banks to pay back the monies, and certainly easier than prosecuting the ‘criminal’ aspect.
With such a outcome, an enormous pool of ill gotten gains are repatriated and the work force of some millions suddenly is funded, returned to work and the beginning of a solution with do downside is available, workable, executable and ready to be begun, tomorrow.
Why Rattle Snakes don’t Eat Each other, but Gorillas Eat Their Young
© Guy Herman All Rights Reserved
We know males of many species eat their young, and we know there are as many examples of species at the top of their food chain, rattle snakes, elephants and peregrines, who do not.
A quick look at the history of income inequality and the growing disparity between rich and poor, is, on closer inspection, the same behavior, evidenced in lesser species and likely borne of a pathology which may, in the end, prejudice the whole of the species.
The suspected mechanism triggering infanticide is essentially competition for status in the group, status with a particular female or a whole harem and the obvious evolutionary gain for an alpha male being ‘leader of the pack’. There is good empirical research documenting the acceleration of female estrus in the wake of infanticide, and the accompanying change in status of the killer of young, would be contender for the throne, becoming, with his batch of new progeny now the de-facto chief.
Rattlesnakes, however live in a society with larger ranges, less susceptible to scarcity of resource and in general a historical preference for the balance which inures to those who can make and keep their own ranges and spaces for food and recreation.
With these simple extremes as bookends to human and organic behavior, the examination of current trends in human endeavor seem to suggest there is behavior mimicking each of those other species whose regular practice, borne of their learning and the evolution of instinctual advantage, results in infanticide being a successful mechanism to insure the survival and it’s polar opposite, homeostasis and balance.
What possible threat or knowledge would both encourage or allow an individual to purposefully promote infanticide, rather than the flock, herd and ‘balance’ method adopted so successfully by so many other species and is this unique to species other than humans and if so, is it a choice.
From a distance, if 70% of the GDP of America is consumer spending, and the bulk of consumer spending arises from a well educated robust middle class, and the income disparity is accelerated such that, what was forty years ago a ratio of 10:1 of CEO to worker pay and today it approaches 247:1, CEO/workers pay, then factually, intended or otherwise, one outcome, not unlike infanticide is the ever increasing death of a middle class which largely and for more than five decades was the engine which spawned the consumption that fueled the growth of the upper and now oligarchical elite or what is euphemistically called the ‘1%’.
What possible motive could persuade someone to gain wealth in such a disproportionate amount that it would kill off the very consumers who would and will buy the goods and services that make for the wealth thereby created.
One of the many unique and universally beneficial gains of National Civil Service is the absolute co-varying growth of a highly productive, income earning, consumer spending emerging middle class.
The numbers of dollars spent by the millions so employed, building bridges, repairing housing stocks, educating young and repairing crumbling infrastructure is staggering, and the benefits to the society at large is nearly incalculable. An unintended consequence, making the rich richer is a benefit which, in a society of scarcity obviates the inclination of alpha males, Wall Street Tycoons, wealthy and the excessively affluent, from worrying about status and thereby free to encourage the growth of the young and would be pretenders and competitors as their growth and success actually insures their own.
National Civil Service, in fact creates great wealth for the wealthy, great works and benefits for the culture and great and lasting life styles for the participants who learn the art of responsibility and gain the factual history of making a difference, a life changing experience which, at once, will further the strength and security of the whole of the commonwealth.
How National Civil Service benefits rich & poor alike
© Guy Herman 6/21/12 All Rights Reserved
Evolution does not always succeed, and indeed, there are more examples of the moose whose rack, so large to attract the best mate, herself the most evolutionarily well adapted for her biology and traits, is the ultimate and proximate cause of his death as he cannot navigate the oversized head sufficiently to get adequate supplies of vegetation which, in changing climates is so close to the ground, it’s geographic place favors nibblers whose more navigable heads are not so outsized as to prevent them getting close to the source of their nutrient.
Selection will always, and with the ever present choices provided by ever changing evolution, make the final choice as to the ultimate success or lack thereof, of one trait or another. In the meantime, there is always the question of how we breed for the individual differences which ultimately prove stronger and better for the species and the individual; and ultimately get chosen by the ‘selection’ process.
It is this exact choice, being selected with all of our unique and common learning’s and habits that is the underlying question and proof of benefit, ironically of National Civil Service.
Is man’s developmental career one which benefits his adaptability or in fact diminishes the likelihood of our success as a species.
Does the betterment of a society, the Commonwealth, enhance the likelihood of the betterment of both individuals and their collective phylum which sustains the evolutionary gain of each.
Said another way, are our heads, metaphorically too large to allow us successfully to graze in the pastures, of learning and evolutionary gain, available.
It is clear, whether republican or democrat the political system in the U.S. is failing.
Congress is gridlocked, our most important institutions, from childhood education, the healthcare system, meaningful employment, the infrastructure are nearing collapse and it is not for lack of resource, rather a longer view of man, adaptation, and the requirements of a sustainable community of life that can reasonably adapt and support rich and poor, capitalist, entrepreneur, sick and elderly, needy and those who need and use a lot.
Evolution favors balance, and selects for traits which will help propagate the commonwealth or species in its entirety, and commonly, when such balance is absent, then failure is immanent.
Consider Henry Ford.
He is known by many to have said many ways, what good is it to mass produce a Model T, if the workers who build it cannot afford to buy one.
A brilliant marketing scheme and business model, one recreated ten thousand times since, fundamental to the psychology and in turn social biology or that element of the ‘Gestalt’ which, through co-evolution becomes part of the gene pool and ultimately our DNA, is the question of intent.
Does Henry Ford’s intent to make his factories production something for the common man, arguably a tool offering a betterment in their life style, bear any on the quality or character of the intent; ‘Altruism’ or ‘Capitalism’ and of profound significance, however the question is answered, is simply: does it matter how or why we build an educational system of engineers and draftsmen for the factories of Henry Ford, and does it matter who or why we build the electric grid and infrastructure of roads and transport, as long as enough of the commonwealth has a reasonable chance to buy the product of genius and better at once their own lives and the balance sheet of the entrepreneur smart enough to invent the ipad, the Model T, a refrigerator or the capability of overnight delivery of a critical medicine by UPS or FED-Ex with an infrastructure that will support the most sophisticated and complex supply chain routes.
As E.O Wilson has posited, is there a difference between the altruism of a Henry Ford which ultimately is a sophisticated way of caring for himself and the other, more maternalistic altruism which fundamentally, though perhaps nuanced in our descriptive capability, does not necessarily benefit the benefactor but surely does the recipient.
And whatever the answer, does it matter.
Is there any evolutionary detriment or benefit to the altruism which stems from an autonomous person bequested to another autonomous person, the results of which may only benefit the recipient, as compared with the more patriarchal (in descriptive terms only) altruism which, though focused on the benefit of others, like Henry Ford’s Model T, is really and only a way to benefit himself.
A curious question with surprising answers.
At the end of the day, the chicken, a right and just member of it’s own phyla, in the long view has a singular purpose of making egg’s which in turn can produce better eggs.
It is, perhaps an odd, but evolutionary accurate way of describing, in the long view the purpose of ourselves and similar members of other species and in this context, can there really be any question if or whether National Civil Service is or is not a prerequisite and unequivocal benefit to a society with scarce resources and great complexity as ours.
No one questions the efficacy of chores and familial responsibility. No one questions the obligation, moral and social, all have to maintain the strength and viability of the commonwealth which supports us all in a manner few in history have enjoyed. If the biology, economics and morality are all consistent with each of us responsibly lending a hand, paying it forward, giving back some of all that we have got, how might any object to a more formalized and universal form of social contribution, repayment and investment in the culture and structure which has brought us forth.
The evolutionary origin of hatred clearly has roots in the fear and readiness required to protect from predation and death.
Like all emotional structures, safety and the protection from being eaten or killed evolves into a secondary autonomy and in metastasizing evolves the derivative emotional structure of dislike, distrust, contempt, loathing and fear.
The DNA of fear and hatred, in this genome, easily traces from safety and in the complex paradigm of reward and reinforcement, as the element of bonding innures, an ancillary benefit accrues with the development evolution of group hatred. In the spectrum of emotion, it is more reinforcing hating someone or something someone else hates also, than to hate all by ones self.
The election of Barak Obama was, by all understanding an anomaly which, after the wonder and disbelief, hastened forth a fresh and nearly unquenchable vitriol based on what appear the simple facts of race.
The Tea party, the new Republican party, the Birther’s, and more are all would be assassins of this first black, African American president. Owing to the rigors of a pseudo Christian morality and the disfavor outright truth leaves at the speaker’s doorstep, there are many now whose word, cloaked in unfounded argument justify many to seek his early departure. Moreover, there are many who through the political process raise the Trojan horse of incompetence when in fact, it is simply race and ethnicity which is so abhorrent, and requires therefore, his dismissal or defeat. And all of this antipathy stems easily from the ancient lineage of fear of strangers learned for the simple and extremely beneficial evolutionary gain of survival.
This inquiry focuses on the nearly universal occurrence of this phenomena and some alternate hypotheses as to the actual DNA of the psychological mechanisms at work. Though the behavior is routinely diagnosed as ‘racism’ and found in all communities, there is an increasing body of evidence which suggests, though no less harmful or destructive of the fabric of a culture or society, our estimation of it’s origins is not accurate and indeed, rather than the declamatory and vigorous denunciation of a man or race, culture or ethnic origins for it’s manifest difference, the facts suggest this is but a secondary autonomy or derivative behavior of a more profound and earlier pathology arising from the incomplete or unresolved separation of a child from it’s mum. Fear evokes ancestral forms of DNA sequenced response, whether arising from the nashing teeth of an approaching and hungry lion, the whistle of an oncoming train, or the unjust screams and cacaughony of a displaced congress or out year political party bereft for it’s loss of power, prestige and the associated privledge it has bestowed.
Understanding the initial or proximate cause may help us better understand the real meaning of the behavior, whether an outburst or unjust criticism and ultimately become a strategy or tool for those who have interest in the clinical process of behavior modification or those who are subject to and victimized by the outburst, outcomes or results.
Racism has always been utilized as a way to distinguish oneself which fundamentally assumes there is a ‘self’ to be distinguished.
While most of us have experienced, seen or been in the company of an integrated person whose solitary self is without irremedial fracture and stands more or less certainly on it’s own, this line of reason advances a not unsubstantiated conclusion that a fragmented self, an un-integrated ‘ego’ or fractured and unresolved inner self, seeks always and in infinite ways, a mechanism to identify with something or someone with whom it can bond and emulating the molecular structure learned from millions of years of evolution, a mated zygote, unconsciously trying to fix it’s fractured or incomplete self, marrying up or bonding with another, and thereby recreating the initial, salving and universal relationship to which ‘in utero’, it had once, been party.
Consider the macro cultural behavior in witnessing the percent of our total Gross Domestic Product spent on ‘Branding’ and the subsequant purchase of arguably unnecessary ‘stuff’ or said in more scientific or behavioral terms, getting people to do, buy, participate in activities and products for which there is no fundamental or essential need. The science and art of advertising, using quasi scientific methods and good intuition recreates and or, to some degree taps that unconscious current which for all, fractured and whole ego’s alike, to greater or lesser degrees seek identification.
Like debt, the process of being branded, in the
dia-positive, is a manufacture or provider trying to sell something essentially unnecessary.
The process of creating the sub-rosa and subliminal connection to our inner ‘selves’ so to trigger the outcome, albeit unspoken of feeling OK, or strong, or integrated, or the nearly unidentifiable and inchoate state of ‘feeling good’ does not come from a sense of disgust or hatred or contempt, as is essential to our old understanding of racism, rather from the reciprocal set of feelings of identity which in turn provide comfort, safety, pleasure and a general sense of well being.
At the end of the day, or said more properly, at the conclusion of the Gestalt, the feeling of connection, of being part of, of ‘identifying’ is way more powerful than the former states of displeasure and the affirmative exercise of dislike.
As we watch the candidates in the Republican primary move further and further right, simultaneously excluding more and more people from the ‘social contract’ we watch in shock and awe, for it as it is impossible to wonder how someone might get pleasure from telling a woman, pregnant by rape, she is condemned to birth the child, it is possible to gain some sense of at least credulity for the understanding that the would be president, in so speaking, might at least find himself identifying with a crowd or cultural group whose adoration, vote, funding and similar hatred and loathing, they share
And so, the struggling or frail ego seeks, unconsciously to find ways to aggrandize it’s fractured, never certain, always fragmented self, and the easiest mechanism is identification, as a process.
To the seeker, the would be identifier who needs a group, a marriage, a culture, a gaggle of friends, a football team, a political party or a gang, the easiest way to find such an arrangement artificially, when there is otherwise a paucity of available outlets, is to find someone to hate.
And most paradoxical, the easiest way to feed and nourish a starving or unfulfilled self, when natural recipients are not available, is to find someone else who dislikes the object or person or group, party or tribe to which he may most easily find objection.
Immediately and for a whole set of complex reasons, this sets off the group identity receptors, provides fulfillment, though perhaps not lasting and though not aggrandizing the weakened and frail ego seeking nurture, it does leave us with the extraordinary oxymoron,
‘an enemy of my enemy is my friend.’
The long hand version of which is, ‘it is more satisfying to love the ones who hate the ones you dislike than to simply dislike those you think or have been taught are worthy of your dislike.’
However manifestly crazy this may appear, it does follow the elemental rules of physics and does model the bonding in simple molecular structure that finds like particles attracting and from the nucleus, the discharge of dissimilar elements.