Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Cooperation - The Higher Genetic Instinct
The Cold War began as a contest of political ideologies of totalitarianism and democracy but was ended by a focus on economic theory performance. Capitalism out-produced communism. Unfortunately in doing so the democracy became supplanted by a capitalism that became political in the form of neoliberalism until the market society’s moral vacuum formed. As the champions of neoliberalism, and because its unrestrained junglistic competition enabled the outspending (through debt and interest) of the totalitarians until their empire crumbled, the US has become a society that survives through that unreasoning competition, always requiring a “rival”, an “other”, an “enemy” to outspend, exploit, or slaughter. Neoconservatives, the most rabid neoliberals, see this is validation for their destructive philosophies and the wars they need to justify them. This of course makes Reagan their ultimate hero. He was the poster-boy for neoliberalism for the war effort, but he was no neoconservative. He was fighting against their kind in the Soviet Union. Without an eternal “other” the US turns inward, tearing itself apart with partisanship, greed, corruption, and the arms industry upon which it depends. They become their own worst enemies.
To this way of thinking, cooperation is a last resort to be avoided except in wartime, instead of the very thing in our evolution/creation that elevates us above the rest of the animal kingdom morally and intellectually. Experiments with rewards show that even human infants instinctively know that inequality is bad for the society and a source of problems. If paired, two infants will refuse unequal treats. Competition is a base genetic drive enhanced by limited resources. Cooperation, self-control, and sacrifice by the individual for the group, are the results of new, more advanced information encoded in our genes, massively beneficial and creative development that surpasses just about everything else in Earth’s history in its swiftness and depth of effect. It has enabled us to view, touch, and explore other worlds. Competition spawned the Space Race, but cooperation enabled its success, continuation, and expansion when the race ended.