All human animal language and behaviour exist merely to give effect to pre-programmed survival choices.
The ensuing matrix of connection and communication between human animals is essentially irrelevant to the organic, non-rational spread of the human animal across the planet.
In other words, there is no rational capacity for collective introspection as to the consequence of this thoughtless organic expansion of human genetic material. We learned in the switch up from Neanderthal to Sapiens to fictionalize, and thereby enabled collective living on a great scale through the coordinating of intention, using fictions like banking and the money system. Despite this enormous leap, the globe remains parcelled out to competing fictionalized narratives. In this sense, we remain ominously close to our Neanderthal ancestors in that cross-border (social, cultural and religious,) conflicts remain the default setting for the modern man. Collectively we are compelled to compete and damn the consequences.
Inasmuch as human animals are capable of limited observation of their own behaviour, and of objectively evaluating it into a projected future, the outcomes of such self-evaluation range from self-destruction of the species as most likely, to successful mutual altruism for a significantly reduced global population;(in the order of a billion or two.)
The second outcome is highly unlikely due to the extreme ease of behaviour control through institutional violence, versus the more difficult Enlightenment route of positive reinforcement of voluntary humanitarian interaction defined by non-violence.
It is noteworthy that many societies experienced enlightenment in a way different to the European model. American Indian, Southern African Busman, Tibetan Buddhism come to mind, and their societies have even today the capacity to redirect their more brutally successful cousins.
Note also that the material distinctions patent in the significantly humane New Testament Christian Bible and the violence-based Quran in Islam neatly depict the chasm between the two options of collective control mentioned above.
The herding behaviour seen in extreme coercive forms of mass control operating in dictatorial/non-democratic countries like China, the Arab States, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Southern Sudan, etc etc, demonstrate that high compliance to authoritarian fiat can be achieved due to the ease of manipulation of the fight or flight responses. This then is the most effective method of collective control of tribal human animals.
Interestingly the Marxist notion of a proletariat centrally controlled in all aspects of existence relies entirely on the same premise; collectively humans lack the capacity to self-regulate without authoritarian control. The exercise of such authoritarian control to install socialist/communist principles can only be done through institutionalized violence. The irony that the socialist system is designed to overcome the inherent violence of the capitalist system is therefore pertinent.
The early capitalist system, premised on the more liberal European evolution of post-Industrial Revolution social mores around class, allowed a somewhat more reasoned but nevertheless also highly controlled society to expand Empire without question as to method or consequence. The violence of this epoch is still resonating globally today.
Whether benefitted by extraordinary moments such as the European Enlightenment or degraded in the intellectual darkness defined by the spread of Islam from the 12th Century to date, the possibility of arresting the viral explosion of the human germ that leads to our destruction is negligible.
What slim chance then do we have for collective humanity to depopulate? To desist from hastening the Sixth Mass Extinction through unrestricted resource-depleting trade? To detribalize whilst developing a single compassionate humanitarian ethos, and speed up the necessary brain evolution required to self-manage without the use of violence?
Is it conceivable that the human animal brain will evolve to tame amygdala activation during fight/flight stimulation so that it no longer shuts down the cognitive function of the cerebral cortex? If we dropped our simian tail to walk upright, then the notion of improved brain function does not seem illogical. But it does neatly underline the crucial difficulty we have in problem-solving; our primitive brains still have far too much influence, and it shows. Much political rhetoric today in South Africa has no intellectual component designed to unify disparate factors. It is distinctly simian in character and content for this failure to address the core requirement of altruistic living in a modern world.
There is however a way for South Africans to adopt an approach to our future that reduces the probability of simian responses dictating the endlessly violent repetition of history. It resides in the esoteric, in the deep stretches of time from this hot Durban day to our origins in the cradle of humankind. It resides in an archaeological knowledge of our forebears, our ancestors. It will be found in the search for true knowledge, the suspension of foolish partisan-based judgment, and a collective willingness to learn.
To the contrary, my Bluff associates will suggest bombing the head offices of the ANC and EFF, or burning of the BLF military command, a coffee shop in Claremont.
My academic and Marxist mates believe firmly in a rationally negotiated settlement between those who still claim victimhood of apartheid and the cruel operators of the power vested only in White Monopoly Capital.
All this reactivity neatly extends the thoughtless collective continuum described at the start of this essay; mindless jostling between competing for survival narratives will generally rule human collective behaviour.
It is at this point that the rocket scientist walks onto the stage of South African political life, proposing a single unifying narrative.
The first stone is hurled by the bearded man in a white dress shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’. Fresh from the Islamic Court of Justice for Men, his throwing arm is strong. A Christian apologist murmurs a polite dissent based on the assumption that this would result in large numbers of people not getting into heaven via the grace of Jesus. The radical rabbi says get stuffed it’s not in the Torah that there be a single unifying narrative.
The ANC official screams that no such thing will ever dilute the National Democratic Revolution, especially if it means more whites telling blacks what to do. He breaks a water bottle over the nearest DA parliamentarians head. The DA register a protest at unconstitutional action with the chief whip, who is trying to receive instructions from Jacob Zuma. For no good reason, an EFF backbencher thrusts a penknife into the FF’s speaker on Farm Murders, shouting ‘Kill all whites NOW’.
The rocket scientist stands impassively on the stage and watches the fracas unfolding in bloody violence below. He nods his head sagely, for this is how it is in this godless world. He smiles his intelligent atheist smile, having just seen MP Julius Malema of the EFF shaking the pen-knife assailant’s hand, whilst slipping a stuffed On Point Engineers envelope into the underlings red overall side-pocket.
“Yes”, says the rocket scientist to himself, “ a single unifying narrative is indeed the answer”. He puts his single page of A4 exam pad paper on the podium. “ A pity the budget for the Reconstruction of Society Department was utilized entirely on marketing,” he murmurs quietly while walking off stage.
A young protestor has been standing impassively with a sign held in front of her at the edge of the stage. Her sign reads;
“What would Godot do?”
She walks over to the podium and picks up the single A4 exam pad page with its single sentence on it. She reads “ A single unifying narrative”.
Nodding her head sagely, she walks away from the rising sound of screaming and breaking glass. She follows the rocket scientist who has just disappeared into a bright shimmering portal below a radiating sign that oddly proclaims “Entrance”.
Within, she sees the scientist working with an ancient Bushman hunter in the shade of a spreading Acacia tree. They are assisting an Eland to give birth amidst a sea of sand dunes disappearing into a white-hot horizon.