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Chapter 7 Integration - the life-giving process that makes us truly human. Print

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Chapter 7. Integration -

the life giving process that makes us truly human.

Chapter VII. Integration – the life-giving

process that makes us truly human.

  1. The number of A:s.

  2. Thu number of P:s.

  3. Combine the two.

  4. Whence integration?

  5. Castor instead of Cain.

  6. Globalization.

  7.  The global hierarchy.

  8.  Gaps.

  9.  Growing frustration of man’s third basic need……

  10.  ……….may make us truly human………..

  11. ……….and create a new species.

“Ho, Saki, haste, the beaker bring, fill up and pass it round the ring,

love was at first an easy thing, but, oh, that hard awakening!”

Integration is certainly not an easy thing. Love, at first, so easily leads to marriage, but, later, after a hard awakening, how many of them do not end in separations and divorce. And so it also is with integration of power in the world.

 

1. The Number of A:s.

Nobody knows how many kinship groups that existed at the emergence of agriculture. We can only speculate.

 

The few estimates of the number of then existing individuals go, as we saw, from one to ten million.

 

Estimates of the size of kinship groups go from 25 to 150.

 

If we chose the roughly middle figures, that is 6 million inhabitants in all the world, living in small groups of, as an average, 60 individuals in each, we get 100,000 small kinship groups.

 

The margin of error is great if we play with the figures.

 

What seems a rather good conclusion is that at the beginning of agriculture, several tens of thousands of small kinship groups or family kingdoms existed, each led by an A, by one Adrenalinomaniac alfa-male.

 

Today we have around 200 formally sovereign and independent leaders of nations, members of the United Nations or candidates to become so.

 

The first observation we can make is thus that the latest ten millennia, since the origin of agriculture, has integrated several tens of thousands of adrenalinomaniacs into around 200 national alfa-leaders.

 

This also means that tens of thousands of once existing independent social units have disappeared or been included in the now existing units. Normally by wars.

 

If the figure of 100,000 small kinship groups would be correct, it would mean that 99,800 once existing groups would have disappeared.

 

The precariousness of human lives, that we established for the first six million years of non-chimp existence, seems to continue!

 

2. The number of P:s.

 

In spite of this precariousness, during these 0.2 percent of our existence essentially due to constant warfare, population has grown.

This is curious, because war do kill people.

If this period has been one of constant warfare and extreme precariousness in survival for the old kinship groups, how come that mankind hasn’t killed itself completely?

How came that the number of individuals has grown as it has, as was shown in the table in last chapter?

This is a most important question: how can the number of individuals, of P:s, increase when the number of kinship groups and their strong leaders, of A:s, decrease?

May there be some relation between these two contrary tendencies?  And, if so, which?

3. Combine the two.

Let us make a simple table:

Date

8000 BC

2000 AD

Number of As

100,000

200

Millions of Ps

6

6,000

 

The contrary tendencies are here clearly shown. But which is the causal relation, if any?

To be able to find the ultimate answer to that question, it is useful to go back in time.

4. Whence integration?

“Circular causation with cumulative results”, that was the most common methodological phrase of my once famous mentor, Gunnar Myrdal, in his attempt to explain racial segregation in the United States and poverty in Asia.[1]

This is where Malthus and the Malthusian margin might again come in. Is the latest ten thousand years little but a circular causation – blind men going around in circles – with cumulative results is culture and population?

The ultimate explanation for integration is, I thus suppose, the Malthusian limit. As I explained above, sect….####, that has been a reality since our very first days in Africa. This marginal struggle for life must have been extremely intensified since we had filled up the earth in the way hunters and gatherers can live.

To my understanding, integration is thus an expression of the Malthusian hope that mankind would be able, at least in part, to replace animal primitive violence with some form of peaceful cultural living.

Integration, we may say, is a cultural response to the Darwinian struggle. It is an attempt to overcome eternal violence with “peaceful co-existence”, as it was called by optimists during the Cold War. To which the pessimists observed: “Peaceful co-existence is what the peasant has with the turkey, until Christmas.”

5. Castor instead of Cain.

My hunch is that the clearest symbolic break with our primitively violent past is the Greek story of Castor and Pollux, replacing the Hebrew story of Cain and Abel.

When God didn’t accept Cain as Number One, Cain killed his brother Abel. Fratricide, I have suggested, may be a biological tendency in us.

The story of Leda’s two twin brothers, one sired by a god, Jupiter, the other by a human king, Tyndarus of Sparta, who always were closely fighting together against all enemies and problems, is the central cultural archetype for overcoming these biological instincts. I think.

Notice that the Greek and Western Castor and Pollux cooperation does presume the conscious acceptance of a certain amount of inequality and hierarchy. Because one was a half god, the other only a human being. In spite of this inequality, however, the two half-brothers freely chose to cooperate with each other. Even after death, Pollux, the former, got the Olympian gods to permit even Castor an eternal life, as we can see if we look into the stars a clear night.

This freely chosen cooperation stands in clear contrast to our Asian-Jewish origin, demanding of us slavishly to cooperate in the honour of a God who demands total obedience and submission to him. As the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaak, in the 22nd chapter of Genesis, horribly illustrates.

When did Castor overtake Cain?

The myth of Castor may have come around 500 years before Christ. It may have been the spur to the democracy in Athens, where wise leaders realized that you could get stronger by fraternal co-operation than by fratricide.

When Athens and Sparta joined forces they could win over the infinitely bigger Persia, ruled by Asian despots, demanding submissive prostration.

Everything that is new is also fragile. Unfortunately, the two city states soon lost that insight – as has happened a little everywhere all through modern history – and started to fight each other. With the result that the Romans took over Greece.

It seems, however, a fair guess that the idea of co-operation between the top adrenalinomaniacs, instead of mutual murder attempt, creeps into European history at least some 2500 years ago.

6. Globalization.

To get two individuals to cooperate might seem easy. But the path from the small kinship societies all the way to today’s globalized world, in which all human beings, in one way or another are dependent upon each other, that is a slightly more difficult proposition.

Why it has been done, can in fact, simply be seen as the evolutionary struggle around one Malthusian margin after another, from Betel to Jordan, in Genesis chapter 13, or from Troy to Iraq in the West.

How it has been done can perhaps best be illustrated by two other archetypical stories out of two of the earliest books, again one from the Jewish, one from the Greek literature.

In the Hebrew Bible, in the fifth book of Mose or the Deuteronomy, there is the cruel order from the leader: “…..as regards the towns of those peoples which Yahweh your God gives you as your own inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive….”

The other story comes out of Thukydides. Melos was an island that tried to remain neutral in the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. But “who is not with us is against us”, as a U.S. President recently suggested. Athens didn’t like it. It tried to enlist Melos for its own side. When they didn’t succeed, they killed all men of Melos, sold all its women and children into slavery, and took over the island.

That is how most of  the once existing kinship groups have disappeared, in step after step, up until the barbarian activities of Europeans in the two world wars in the 20th century.

What I want to illustrate with this brief summary of ten thousand years of integrative activity is how horribly difficult integration is, what an extreme defence the disappearing social units are prepared to put up, and how slowly the conquered people overcome their defeat and become peaceful citizens of the new and bigger social units.

In fact, while integration is a fact when we take the very long term view, most short-sighted people may feel that they live in disintegrating societies. Like, for instance, the Soviet Empire after 1989, like the British and French and other colonial empires after the Second World War, like the Austrian-Hungarian and Ottoman ones after the First World War, and like the Roman or Greek or Persian empires a couple of thousand years ago.[2] 

Here we will neglect the short term difficulties and look at the long term results. What then do we see?

7. The global hierarchy.

Cooperation in growing societies must be coordinated by some form of leadership. Cutting through the huge discussion on that theme, I will here simply assume that hierarchies are a necessity for human culture and that hierarchies demand leaders and followers.

A normal leader can have two or three followers under himself, the very best ones may have seven or eight, not more. If we assume that five is an average number and ask how many steps there then are in the present global pyramid, we get the following picture:

1

5

25

125

625

3,125

15,625

78,125 = 80,000

400,000

2,000,000

10,000,000

50,000,000

250,000,000

1,250,000.000

6,250,000,000

This is, very crudely and roughly, how the present world is organized, or rather unorganized. It requires only fifteen steps, from the president of the United States to the poor land-less marginalized individuals in the slums of the world.

But the world is slightly more complicated than that.

Anthropologists often prefer to see the small societies they study as cones. The tribal chief is at the top, the strong young men closest to him, and women and children are at the bottom.

The above summary of the world, seen as a pyramid, can also be changed into a cone. Then we can see the cone in three forms.

The first, the cross section, is the most easy one, as a triangle with fifteen layers. This is the pedagogical way of so doing, often used in media.

The second is the clear form of a cone, indicating that the layers below the boss are much bigger than the triangle tells us.

The third is the cone as seen from above. Now this cone can have different forms. The one here shown is infinitely too high for actual reality. To represent the world, as it is, it should be much much wider and more plat, permitting more than seven billion individuals at its widest bottom ring.

8. Gaps.

Much of the central political discussion inside and between nations is concentrated to gaps in wealth and power.

The historical integration of the world can then be seen as an addition of layer after layer to our cone. Then it follows that even if the relative distribution of wealth and power would be the same in our global society as it was in the first kinship groups, the absolute gap between the top and the bottom will be growing.

If then some five or even ten percent of our fellowmen, during six million years of precarious living, have been selected with the genetic outfits of leaders, of wanting to be Number One, of tending to kill Abels, of having great difficulties to accept the leadership of Pollux, then we can, indeed, expect problems.

Then a growing share of the adrenalinomaniac part of humanity will be utterly frustrated at being forced to belong to a layer in the pyramid that is below what they are genetically equipped to become. They will aspire to get equally rich as the richest. And if they don’t, they will, as St. Augustine predicted, be filled with envious hate, so much so that they will hate even good leaders, if “only because they are good”.

And so, they will aspire to get power by wiping up envy and hate in the growing masses of people who also feel they have fallen to a much lower layer than they deserve.

9. Growing frustration of man’s third basic need……..

What we may be talking about  is what I called man’s third basic need.

What I am suggesting is that the growth of hierarchies as a natural result of the integration process is, step by step in the cone, frustrating the third basic human need of  a growing share of born adrenalinomaniac alfa-males.

If this is so, we might have come to one of the truly important ultimate explanations for the present Human Condition. As I will try to show in the coming chapters.

10. …….may make us truly human……………...

But let me end this one by saying that I think it is the mastering of this enormous emotional problem that is the test of mankind’s ability to rise above the other predators, to become truly human.

This test lies in the success of integration which, to me, is much more important than we normally think. Because it is integration, I want to claim, that really makes us different from the other animals.

To walk upright, to have special thumbs, and even a bigger brain, all that is fine, but as long as we behave in the same way as the other predators, we were animals. As we still are, without integrative culture.

In what lies our specific humanity?  My answer is that it lies in our capacity somewhat to break the rules of blind Darwinian struggles at the Malthusian margins.

As long as we lived in our small kinship groups, keeping peace inside the groups but violently defending our territories, we were no different from chimps and baboons. And, please, remember, that is how we lived for 99.8 percent of our existence.

Integration is only a fact during the latest 0.2 percent of our non-chimp life. It is only in this brief part of human precariousness that two or more such kinship groups learn to live peacefully together inside one hierarchical tribe. It is here that we first try to break the rules of blind and cruel Darwinism. It is here that we start our very difficult walk towards the dream of a full and wise global humanism.

11. ……..and create a new species.

Such an attempt has been so extremely difficult that the old human species couldn’t handle it. Advancement in the struggle against blind Darwinism was so difficult that it required a much greater change, the speciation of our old into a new type of social organism.

It is my hypothesis that this is what has happened during the latest ten or twelve millennia.



[1]  GMs två stora in här…..

[2] Ref to MONO II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 


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