I am afraid for the future of the human family, here on this planet we call home.
It is not fear of isolated acts of terrorism that gives me pause.
It is not the fear of economic collapse — here or abroad — that worries me.
It is not the fear of intrusive central government monitoring or attempts at overt control of the citizenry that vexes my thoughts.
It is not the fear of foreign governments using weapons of mass destruction.
It is not the fear of human-generated global warming.
It is not the fear of escalating racial tensions.
In truth, there is nothing among the items that the news media currently pushes my way that strikes fear in my mind, heart, or soul.
What frightens me – what sometimes slows my aching thoughts to a veritable crawl – is the absolute conviction that a boundary has been crossed. There is an invisible border that separates our rugged and difficult past from a more harmonious and peaceful future – all mediated by an uncertain present – and it has been breached.
Here is one terrifying fact — there are just too many people on planet earth who simply do not hold the same beliefs.
I have to admit, that sounds more than a little counter-intuitive.
After all, we want free will and freedom of choice. Lots of people believing different things should be good, right? We are individuals with free will, correct? I mean, surely we do not want some sort of bland mediocrity where every human conforms to the exact same set of basic values and behaviors, subject to a massive global governance. Zombies all following the same set of marching orders. Good little Fascists, as it were.
However, that’s not what I fear.
Before a more thorough and concise explanation of what I actually do fear is offered, let’s talk about “adaptive strategies.”
Every group of humans large enough to regard itself as an “entity” has an adaptive strategy which it follows in an effort to procure success for its adherents.
Human beings on the planet Earth are fragmented and subdivided into a multitude of distinct “entities” — be they geographic, ethnic, or ideological in nature. These entities may be classified as nations, countries, states, regions, religions, groups, organizations or even small clusters of human beings.
Adaptive strategies exist in agitated antipathy to each other because the adherence to any particular adaptive strategy has historically meant a harsh aversion to any other adaptive strategy.
The fundamental precept of the adaptive strategy and its “success” is its mutually exclusive character — you cannot be a Muslim and a Jew at the same time; a Marxist and a Capitalist; a Democrat and a Republican, et cetera, ad nauseum.
Adaptive strategies are followed by human beings in what can best be described as blind and unthinking obedience. The intrinsic and primary value of an adaptive strategy is that it allows the adherent to concentrate on the immediate tasks one faces on a daily basis — those which further individual and sector maintenance — without having to rationalize any action, without having to question the validity of any specific behavior (other than its relation to the common law under which the adaptive strategy allows itself to be placed).
Adaptive strategies often – in the name of doing what is best for the strategy — legitimize any act which maintains the power of the strategy and the security of its adherents.
America was founded on the idea of true freedom and self-responsibility. The idea was that intelligent people could form a society in which all members would prosper to the extent of their own efforts, all the while following the rule of law and endorsing the greatest values humans can envision.
We are proud to be Americans.
Moreover, we are proud (as Americans) to represent universal values that transcend nationalistic sentiments and convey the best of what it means to be human. Honor, wisdom, benevolence, truth, justice, peace, love and goodness are not intrinsically American values, but they are values given full sway in the original American dream. In addition, self-responsibility and self-determination exercised in a highly ethical and moral Judaic-Christian environment are critical to the authentic American adaptive strategy.
There are other adaptive strategies that find this wholly unacceptable.
In point of fact, they disagree entirely with American precepts and the original foundational thoughts that led to our independence. They see a future where every individual must submit to the Will of the State — or to the Will of a state-supported religion. There is no individuality, only the needs of the hive, the commune, the collective. Each person is but a cog in the well-oiled machine.
There is a tremendous and horrific problem with this misguided vision of the future, and it has to do with the size of the adaptive strategies in question.
Let’s digress for a moment.
Consider ancient human history. Long ago, the dynamics of adaptive strategies and human existence were very, very, simple. The greatest might and force dominated, the greatest Will, as expressed in instruments of destruction, flourished. Adaptive strategies were based on the traits and characteristics of Gods and great leaders — success came to those who conquered, whether we look at Elam, Akkad, Sumer, Indus Valley or any location where conflicting adaptive strategies faced one another. Such groups had an adaptive strategy that demanded total obedience, practiced extreme xenophobia, and employed any means necessary to ensure the survival of the strategy. Those that opposed were eliminated.
The history of early humanity was a time of intolerance, a trait of all adaptive strategies. Intolerance to all non-adherents and to all strangers guaranteed the best chances for survival, and this intolerance, along with absolute allegiance, must be acquired, must be taught.
Every adaptive strategy has a methodology established which indoctrinates newcomers (mostly children) into the strategy and constantly re-affirms and renews the faith, belief, and knowledge of present adherents. The essence of this dogmatic message is that salvation (survival) is contingent upon complete acceptance of the adaptive strategy and a willingness and desire to accept and follow every rule and requirement.
Every command must be obeyed, all laws and prescriptions followed. In return for this submission, survival is assured, salvation is offered. The adaptive strategy will, as it must retain adherents and teach neophytes, position itself over and against all other strategies, declaring it has sole possession of Truth, declaring itself as the only Way.
Why do people salute the flag, pray to Mecca, baptize their children, read Marx, offer prayers to statues, accept welfare, recite the Torah, chant mantras, burn incense? If an adaptive strategy has historically worked, and by that it must have provided survival and prosperity to its adherents, then it will continue to be followed. The strategy will be revered, all others will be scorned, and individuals and sectors will be able to rationalize all activities that support the strategy (regardless of ethical and moral standards) by pointing to the innate superiority of the strategy. This loyalty – in ancient times – assured the survival and success of the strategy, always at the expense of other strategies.
But in today’s world the persistent belief in one’s own adaptive strategy as the only true strategy, and that is still what every sector fosters, is self-defeating.
An adaptive strategy must offer survival and prosperity — but a truly evolved strategy acknowledges that other legitimate strategies exist and honors the free will choice of people to follow the strategy they deem the best. Many strategies – however – refuse to offer such acknowledgement. Such strategies still demand and require complete loyalty in return for survival and prosperity. The individual orientations of people following such strategies reflect this preoccupation with hatred and distrust of non-believers — and no cooperation between strategies is possible.
The other circumstance affecting today’s global relations is a dawning awareness that there are a multiplicity of other strategies in existence, and thus each strategy, in order to both retain and add adherents, must either make itself more attractive — or more brutal.
In the ancient past (when the total population was small and all the followers of a particular adaptive strategy could practically be eliminated in a single war or campaign) you could destroy all those that opposed you.
Over time, that has become impossible. Some strategies now have billions of adherents.
The crux vitae, if you will, is this — there is a reverse sequence which begins when the number of adherents to a particular adaptive strategy passes a certain point. Beyond that point the strategy can never be overcome by conventional means. Humanity’s early history is a chronicle of strategies that came, conquered, and then were themselves overcome.
Today, there are simply too many adherents following adaptive strategies which will never reconcile with America, will never cooperate with America, and will never exist in harmony with America. In today’s world the number of adherents of many strategies have passed the critical point, so no one strategy can ever dominate, no one strategy will ever be able to assert itself as Truth.
Each separate strategy becomes an “idée fixe” for the adherent, and all other strategies become abhorrent — followers are taught that the adherents of other strategies are inferior, incorrect, evil. An adaptive strategy cannot work unless the individual is absolutely convinced that it represents the “one true” strategy.
The End of Days (or Day or Reckoning) – a future event that many adaptive strategies believe in — portrays the strategy as having conquered the hearts and minds of all humans. Every human, everywhere. Some adaptive strategies see this as a peaceful process that happens over time as rational and logical thought reaches inescapable conclusions about the right course of action. Other adaptive strategies, however, believe that they can precipitate this apocalyptic change through violent action – in point of fact such violent action is a fundamental article of faith of the adaptive strategy.
Such adaptive strategies do not seek cooperation or reconciliation. They do not seek to coexist – no matter what the cute bumper sticker may suggest. These strategies do not practice toleration or embrace freedom of choice or free will. These adaptive strategies demand total and complete submission to the Will of the adaptive strategy – and every human being must either convert or die. It is part of the apocalyptic vision of the strategy and accepted by its adherents with a mindless embrace. They believe.
This is what I fear – we in America have an adaptive strategy of understanding and tolerance, of allowing others to worship and exist as they choose. We believe in freedom, free will, self-determination, self-responsibility and compassion for all people, regardless who they are. As Americans, we simply cannot grasp that others do not share this belief. We cannot understand that to others our American beliefs are viewed as utter nonsense. These other adaptive strategies are alien to us because they offer zero tolerance and no freedom. You must accept the complete truth of their adaptive strategy and renounce your own — or suffer the fatal consequences of your infidelity.
I fear we in America do not realize the peril approaching us in the face of such single-minded ignorance.
I fear we lack the faith in ourselves to counter the hateful focus of our enemy.
I fear for the future of decency everywhere.
I am afraid for the future of the human family, here on this planet we call home.