This section is dedicated to explorations of our ancestors, from as recent as the past few generations, to “the ancients” of Greece and Rome, to the pre-city states and agricultural villages, back to the hunter gatherers 20,000 years and beyond, culminating in explorations of our primate and mammalian antecedents.

A sage once told me the earliest “Americans” inspired each new generation to learn of life by watching and reflecting upon the “animals.” I am going to intensify that concept by giving the most advanced theoretical insights I can apply to life’s issues from animals metaphorically conceived. This is an experiment and if it offends souls for right reasons I cannot myself divine, I will reconsider this effort. Montibella Sebothoma is educating me in “contextual theology,” rooted in an effort to “discover” and “do” the will of God, but a God “contextually derived and conceived.” Modesty in the face of mysteries. Modesty in the face of simple facts.

Bonobos

Elephant Matriarchs and Elders

An Evolutionary Theory of Morality

Since Darwin we have learned to conceive of ourselves as the highest form realized by the evolutionary gropings of life, the highest form due to our “consciousness” and our “conquest” of other species. But we have also learned about “false consciousness,” which involves a mind set that inspires thought, action, and non-action contrary to our basic needs and interests. And we are learning that our “conquest” or “mastery” of other life forms may be leading us to destroy the very planet that has nurtured life as we know it.

So it behooves us to look more closely at Darwin’s lessons. The “survival of the fittest” is a phrase that has been profoundly vulgarized by ideologists for the “top dogs” of the past century and one-half. Crude Darwinists have assumed that those of the human race who wind up in the command posts of society are there because of their superiority over the rest of humanity. They have preached a doctrine called “social Darwinism” that portrays human life as a dog eat dog contest, as inevitably rooted in conflict and competition, a zero-sum game that is solitary, nasty, and brutish.

But there is another vision that follows Darwin’s discoveries: the species that have survived the struggle for existence are not those where egoists prevail but those that have learned “mutual aid,” “reciprocal altruism,” and social practice rooted in love.

Here are some rough notes on the “ethical anarchist” Peter Kropotkin,? whose “Mutual Aid” is, for me, the highest expression of ethical anarchist theory, a classic published in 1902.

Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by Olde Godsile.  Page last modified on October 31, 2006

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