Monday, 22 November 2010

A Human-Evolutionary View of “Society”

From a human-evolutionary perspective it is clear that our democratic state and capitalist economy developed over the centuries to facilitate society’s self-exploitation, as a human environment, resource and market, to the advantage of those with the power to influence these developments – which is why there are such powerful taboos against taking a Darwinian (= evil) view of our own society, which would destroy the illusion (necessary for its smooth functioning) of it being our nation (the extension and modern equivalent of our original tribe).
Like all the great apes, Earth’s Greatest Ape, i.e. humans, evolved to exploit its natural environment in the primordial struggle for survival and reproductive success, not as an individual, but as a committed member of a tribe, making us inherently not just the most social of animals, but also the most tribal.
However, with the advent of civilisation, this environment was extended, perversely, to include human society itself, with state and economy developing to facilitate its exploitation, initially to the almost exclusive advantage of its ruling elites of aristocracy and clergy, but expanding and diversifying over the centuries to culminate in western democracy and capitalism, where everyone – in theory, at least – is “free” to exploit their human environment, while maintaining the necessary illusion and self-deception, initiated and cultivated by the original ruling elites and extended by “socialists” and “progressives”, of serving society as their nation (David Cameron’s Big Society).

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