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View Diary: When it comes to war, Americans learned their lesson. Even conservatives (271 comments)

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  •  I've always thought that libertarianism and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox

    communism were the same thing in different wrappings.  I've always never thought that either could work in the real world, except, perhaps, as ideological guideposts.  Maybe you're right that anarchy would be more compatible than the trappings that have been tied to both, but that leaves me only more convinced that many flavors of utopian worlds can be wonderful so long as people rise to the occasion of their better angels (yeah, a religious reference -- so sue me!).

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:08:38 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  That really is the argument, isn't it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, farmerhunt

      Are human beings, by nature, violent and selfish?  Can their evil tendencies only be restrained by force or the threat of force?  Did Hobbes have it right?

      Or have humans evolved with a tendency toward mutual aid and cooperation?  Can that tendency be encouraged so that humans become more capable of living together in peaceful and just circumstances?

      Kropotkin was a naturalist whose observations convinced him that all higher animal species have tendencies toward mutual aid and that this had served the survival of those species.    Modern evolutionary biologists are agreeing with him more and more.

      Kropotkin thought that our social and economic systems should reflect these positive aspects and be based on direct democracy, egalitarianism and maximum freedom from coercion.  Some anthropologists, like David Graeber, who have observed other systems of social and economic organization in other cultures, agree.

      Urusula Le Guin explored some of these issues in her science fiction novel The Dispossessed.  Octavia Butler explores the impact of religion on these issues in her Parable series.

      •  Here's my take (0+ / 0-)

        “Spoot” and The Really Bad Fix We’re In

        Let’s say we first jumped out of the trees and spent a good bit of time both as a bipeds and facile tree dwellers, as recent evidence suggests, at about six million years ago (Orrorin tugenensis).  From then on, until some 15,000 years ago, our ancestors got around literally on their feet.  Wherever they had to go, whatever they had to carry, whatever they had to chase to exhaustion, whatever of nature’s rough ways they had to flee, was done at the “speed of foot”, or “Spoot”, if you will.  All, all of our survival skills, the entire sensory package came together during that period; or to put as fine a point as possible, that’s exactly 99.9975% of our genomic history.  That was all Spoot time.  

        (Of the numerous, distinct hominid species, with many more to be discovered, all except Homo sapiens failed to make some crucial adaptation.  The last to die out were the Neanderthals,  some 35,000 years ago, give or take a few.  We’re next.  Nature doesn’t favor species that miss an important detail or two.)

        During all those Spoot millennia, our entire provisioning effort, all that we needed to survive, was within our “genomic reach”.    Virtually all human transactions occurred within the context of what has come to be known as “Dunbar’s Number”. “Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.” (wiki - )

        Robin Dunbar, the “discoverer” of DN has hypothesized that the size of this number among social primates is directly related to the size of the neocortex.  So as our brains grew, so did our DN.  

        Look at it this way; it’s the maximum number of people who can sustain a working relationship while keeping track of the liars.  It’s a web of trust that depends on reliable verification.  That verification must feed all of our sensory apparatus, because that’s how we’ve evolved for virtually 100% of our existence.  Our survival as a species has depended on this web of trust.  All that we needed to survive had to be found within this group.   In reality, “close up and personal”.

        We then changed all that by structuring society away from community and its web of trust, to principalities – large, complex, inter-connected structures that extend far beyond the reach of trust.

        So, this is our true context, the unassailable duo of limits, Spoot and DN, of six million years, or 99.975% of the genomic history of our known bipedalites.   Then, “yesterday” (in evolutionary time), some 15,000 years ago, give or take a few, we got into domesticating plants and animals for the production of food.  Agriculture, with its myriad consequences for the structures of human society, became the root of all evil.  Mainly, what we did was move from place to place much faster, thus missing and ignoring critical detail because our sensory apparatus has not evolved to take in all that important information at such speeds.  We’ve fled the vagaries of the seasons.  And all along, accelerating global entropy bit by bit, exponentially, until reaching this most critical, “hockeystick” juncture.   "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller  

        Any increase in velocity causes a corresponding increase of entropy, the practical symptom of which is chaos.  So look around and see the works of nature’s rogue species.  I have no doubt whatsoever that our species’ most formidable challenge to adapt lies just ahead, and the prospects for many, if any, survivors are quite dim.  We did not evolve to be safely doing the things we’ve been doing.

        "If it ain't local, it ain't organic"

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