Sunday, October 19, 2008

Evolution and (Progressive) Politics

As far as this presidential race is concerned, let’s keep one thing in mind.

Evolution, as we know it through scientific research and determination, concerns character traits which give some creatures a better chance of propagation and survival over others, right? So, that’s where the phrase, “survival of the fittest” originates. The fastest, wiliest, sneakiest, meanest, most something, of whatever species, is the one who will make babies and survive to raise them to adulthood.

But humans aren’t evolving physically anymore, or at least not at a currently measurable rate. We’ve already got the really big brains and the opposable thumbs. Physically, we’re at the top of our game. So if it isn’t our thumbs or our brains (shut up, you perverts), what’s left to evolve?

Social Character Traits. Strengths, skills, attitudes, abilities and behaviors in general that assist the greater society to improve its collective rate of survival.
“Survival of the fittest” doesn’t apply anymore. Nor does, “every man for himself.” We don’t choose mates who are good hunters or breeders. We choose mates who are socially mobile and mesh well in the greater context of society. Societal evolution has changed us from hunter-gatherers to social connection makers and facilitators.

So, what’s your point? My point is that in this election, more now than in any previous election, we need to choose the man who will bring our society forward, and up to the next level of our evolution. Frankly, we’ve stagnated a bit since the fall of Rome. Yes, of course, art, science, medicine, mathematics, and academic thought in general has developed fantastically in the centuries since the fall.

What I’m talking about now is electing a leader who will take what we have, the way it’s always been, and bump our society into making the evolutionarily necessary changes required for us to survive as a species. As a species, and as a country, we need to move away from the status quo thinking of, “well, we’ve always done it that way,” and toward a type of thinking that encourages change and philanthropic thought patterns that affect everyone positively.

Warmongers won’t help us evolve. Facilitators who possess strong empathy and foresight and communication skills will. This leader has the ability to negotiate positively with adversaries, or with societies whose mores conflict with ours, and facilitate a win-win relationship, not a conqueror-conquered relationship with them.

Building relationships and accessibility to communication and education, not bombing cities and citizens and citadels, is how we will move up to the next stage of our societal evolution. We have the pieces pretty well defined for how we can move up the ladder, now we need someone who can collect and place all the pieces in a way that will allow all of us, globally, to use that knowledge to take a big step forward.

Enough with the rights of individual groups. Why can’t all of us have the rights we need to thrive? I’m not talking about making the most money or having the most things. I mean thrive, in the sense of growing and learning and becoming the best possible iteration of ourselves possible, both as individuals and as a society.

Our children do not thrive when we still go to war. Our children do not thrive when we continue to group society’s into us and them or right and wrong. Different isn’t wrong or worse. Building a bigger army isn’t going to bring us closer to our friends and enemies. But bringing our friends and enemies closer to understanding and sharing life with us will build a stronger global society and eliminate the need for bully tactics and posturing. It doesn’t matter what we believe; all religion is counter-evolutionary. It holds us back and requires us to adhere to behaviors that were valued more than 2000 years ago. What is important now is what we know.

A leader who facilitates evolutionary thought processes will bring us toward global peace, responsibility and stewardship.

Who will that be? Barack Obama. Not because he has any particular plan, but because he is capable of thinking ahead, off the track of “what we always do,” and because he has a personal viewpoint that is counter to the entire history of political decision-makers. Historically, our leaders have always come from the privileged class of educated, white, land-owning men. Never have we had a leader whose personal experience represented so closely the average, current American citizen. Of course we’re not all lawyers or as educated as Obama, but he and we have all experienced struggle in a way that the white men in the economic top 10% never have. Not getting into the college of your choice isn’t the same as working 2 jobs to put food on the table. Losing money on the stock market isn’t the same as not getting a job because of your skin color or country of origin (and don’t think it doesn’t still happen). The fact that a man’s name, something not of his own choosing, is held against him as a good reason not to elect him, shows how far we need to go and how much we need Obama’s leadership to get us there.

1 comment:

THB (Ellen) said...

Right on, sistah! I 100% agree with you that physical characteristics have little to do with natural selection anymore. Medical care is so advanced that our gene pool contains many individuals who would never have lived long enough to reproduce in previous times. Hopefully our species will evolve to understand that we all share the resources on this planet, and we need to care for those resources if we have any hope of surviving as a species. Natural selection will have its way, and if we continue to pollute our land, water and skies at the current rate, we'll be going the way of the dinosaurs...