Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

choosing to be human

Perhaps the most fundamental problem underlying our current societal order relates to the simple fact, alluded to in my previous post, that we are living according to innate animalistic impulses. The most basic laws lying at the core of our civilization – and I use the word loosely – exist as mere extensions of that primitive state in which our animal ancestors lived for countless generations before we, the upstart humans, entered the scene.

Self-awareness is an incredibly new phenomenon. As far as we know, we are the only species on earth to have obtained this unique capacity, and as noted previously, as a species we are still in our infancy. We have not yet learned to fully utilize this remarkable ability, and as a result we still live according to blind primordial instinct in more ways than we perhaps would like to admit. Many of the spoken and unspoken rules of our society exist simply because they are what existed in the natural world before self-awareness was possible – before any other law but self-survival at all costs could possibly exist.

The profit motive, and everything it entails, is perhaps the most obvious example of this. As a species we were raised in an environment of natural selection through fierce, merciless competition; such competition is therefore in our very genes. Only the strong survive, because only they deserve to survive. The weak, 2 billion years of evolution screams from the depths of our primitive, reptilian brain-stems, deserve to die.

According to such a world view, the sole purpose of life is to survive, prosper, and beget still more life. Live, eat, fuck – there is no other meaning in life, according to our most base animalistic instincts. Indeed, this is largely what most animals live for, though there are varying degrees of the quality of the “living” that is done. Namely, those who are large and strong eat in abundance and have their choice of mates, while those who are small and weak struggle to find enough food to survive, and often fail to reproduce at all. Apply this model to modern civilization, and the parallels are remarkably striking.

The path that our current society is now following is but a projection of the same path that primitive life on earth has been following since the first single-celled bacterium emerged from that primordial sludge some two billion years ago. Nothing drastic has yet changed, even with earth-shattering development of self-awareness among humans, simply our species is still too young and immature to realize the import of what it has. Previously I offered the analogy of a primitive form of bird being born with wings but not understanding that its wings were intended for flight; indeed, this analogy describes our situation perfectly, for we sit in the murky depths of human suffering and strife, when all the while we could be soaring the skies of universal wealth, abundance and equality.

The difference between our current societal order based on greed and oppression is a choice. It is a choice between blindly adhering to our old animalistic instincts, failing to utilize our precious gift of critical thinking and self-insight, and looking deep within, examining our current path compared to where we’d like to be, and then consciously forging the future path of our species and our planet. It is, quite simply, a choice. No other species on earth bears that capacity for consciously shaping the course of its own evolution, but we do. And it is high time we start using it.

One response to “choosing to be human

  1. Pingback: Study Suggests the Conservative Brain is Less Evolved « Failed Empire

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