Saturday, 12 February 2011

Monarchy – A Darwinian Perspective

In response to a piece in today’s Telegraph, “Even the Aussies want to bend the knee to the Queen”,by London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, in support of the British monarchy, from which the following is quoted:
. . family transitions are, of course, outrageous to democracy, but they reflect a weird superstition, a prehistoric yearning that still exists in our species.”
. . people all over the country will recognise that Prince William’s wedding is an event in the life of the nation . . “
Time for a reality check, I think. Not just in respect to the monarchy, but in respect to the STATE itself, which has posed as our NATION for long enough!
Boris is right about monarchy and the family transitions associated with it reflecting a prehistoric yearning, although there is nothing weird of superstitious about it. From the perspective of evolutionary psychology it is perfectly understandable. We evolved over millions of years as a tribal animal with tribal leaders.
With the advent of civilisation, the STATE usurped our original tribes, thereby laying claim to our tribal loyalties for itself, effectively coercing us into a super-tribe, or pseudo-nation (a genuine nation being a product not of coercion, but of freely associating tribes), which it then clothed in the garb of genuine nationhood, with accompanying narratives, which eventually everyone, whatever their social status, believed in, not least, because as dependent on the state as on their (our) original tribe, which our brains evolved to identify with, because more important than the individual in ensuring the propagation of our genes.
Unlike our original tribes and the nations they sometimes formed (when confronted with a common foe, as the Greek tribes, or city states, did against the Persians), the STATE is not a natural and healthy product of our Darwinian nature, but a perversion of it, having developed to facilitate “society’s” self-exploitation, as an artificial ENVIRONMENT, to the advantage of power, wealth, privilege and now, of course, “talent”.
The STATE does serve society, of course, and we are all dependent on it, but as a shepherd serves his flock, which isn’t primarily for the flock’s sake (notwithstanding genuine concern for a lost or injured lamb), but for his own and/or his employer’s sake, for the meat and wool the flock provides and can be sold at market for MONEY.

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