Peaceful Apes with Ape Like Tendencies.
Updated: May 5, 2022
We live in uncertain times.
I think many of us can agree with that statement. With Russia pushing on Ukraine, China eyeing Taiwan with greedy eyes, conflicts still boiling in the Middle East and Africa, and the United States sitting on the cusp of a recession, it’s hard to remain optimistic. No matter who is in charge, or what decisions they make, the outcomes seem to sit on the negative side of the effects column and even the good news seems muted by comparison.
Yet, I’m not so sure that things are as bad as they seem. Sure, a nuclear armed former super power is getting its ass handed to it on a silver platter. Sure, the burgeoning financial super power is looking to knock the US off the first place podium. Sure, our leadership seems to prioritize problems that only a decadent and posh society would have the time to worry about. But it’s not all bad.
NASA recently rolled out the SLS rocket for testing, with an eye on a summer time launch. This rocket is the one slated to take Americans back the moon- and that mission is going to be performed in conjunction with Space X. It was the first time a “moon rocket” has been rolled out of the VAB since the 1970’s. No longer are we looking at sticking in LEO, but moving toward becoming a true interplanetary species. Advances toward Fusion power are being made, with tests getting closer and closer to a sustained reaction. More states are moving toward constitutional carry. And more individuals are waking up to the simple fact that they alone are responsible for their own safety.
These may seem like mundane things and negligible advances considering the potential pitfalls of the events going on in the world, but for me, they bring hope. Hope that we, as a species, will slip the bonds of our cradle and begin branching out into the universe. Hope that we will see a society built on the principle of individual self reliance supported community relationships. Hope that we can develop sources of energy that will allow us to meet our energy demands while being good stewards to the one place we can live without too much difficulty.
Real progress is within sight- progress we can actually see the benefit of, not the kind that we’re told we need to embrace because “it’ll make people feel good.”
Feelings are a good guide, but in the reality of the world, facts are the final arbiter. Sometimes we will disagree on what the facts tell us, but we don’t get to select our own facts. The facts of the matter are we do have a net negative impact on our environment. We are an ape species that uses violence to solve most of our problems. We have a propensity to spread out. We have to halves to our society- one masculine and one feminine- and they have to interact peacefully. We are a multitude of differing ideas on how to govern ourselves and what is right and just.
Couple this last fact of ourselves with our propensity to solve problems with violence, and this is why we are at the place we are at. Sure, violence, and Heinlein says in “Starship Troopers,” is the supreme authority from which all other authority derives, but this simple truism doesn’t mean it’s always the best means to solving a problem. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of people would agree that throwing around weapons that can alter the very climate of the planet for the worse to solve disagreements- even big ones- is a rather retarded idea. Yet, this is a place we are once again at due to poor leadership and a mismanagement of our priorities.
As a society- as a people- we have taken our eyes off the ball. When we should have been looking up and thinking about going out, we have instead looked in and thought about quashing other ideas. We work hard to shape our culture in the here and now by wishing the obliteration of competing ideals (that ape like propensity for violence I mentioned) rather than looking for ways to exist peacefully with others while trying to spread our collective wings and fly. We all believe that our ideals are the correct ones. It doesn’t matter if you believe that men are evil, that there are only two genders dependent on sexual characteristics, that there is one God or many- each of us believes we are right in our assertions. And this leaves only one fact as fact- that the vast majority of us are actually wrong.
Generally, there is only one correct answer to any question. It’s a lie that we tell ourselves each and every day. To some questions this is in fact THE fact. But to others, the number of potential answers is infinite. “Where do we go to eat” has so many answers in our society that it can create an inability to create action, and currently we have a similar question that is creating the same problem- “Where do we go from here?” The answers to that question are so varied and plentiful that it boggles that mind, and each of us has “the right answer” if only everyone else would get with the program. If only everyone else would see the “truth” of our own beliefs, then the world would be a better place.
Fact check: False. Even if everyone believed in the same God, and agreed on the same laws, and viewed human kind in the same way, there would still be disagreements on how to move forward, and we would still wish to push our own beliefs on others. So long as there are two human beings, there will always be a tendency toward conflict and a chance for violence. Our one forever truth- the one fact that will always be a part of our species- is our Ape like tendency toward violence and atrocity.
It’s a sad truth, and a hard fact to live with. But much like a drug addict or alcoholic, we have to understand this about ourselves. We are a species bread in conflict, and evolved to solve problems via force if necessary. But we have also learned, through time and experience, that we can solve problems peacefully as well. That the bludgeon isn’t the best way to solve a problem, even if it is the most natural and the easiest. The best solutions for us al revolves around working together toward a common problem and solving it with our minds and not our fists.
This isn’t to say that we should give up the club entirely- the universe is a big place and there may be (I think there likely is) something out there that uses the club almost exclusively. We should be ready and able to use the club effectively, but we shouldn’t jump to it first. It should be in our tool box, cleaned and prepared for use, made of the very best wood- but with instructions to use only as a last resort.
Become what we collectively wish as a species- but embrace what got us here. Peaceful apes with Ape like tendencies.
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