Know yourself!
God created Man in his own image,
Water is the element and this is the origin....
War is the father of all things.
He didn't' want to seem best,but to be so.
Seeing the high Gods by her beauty's lure
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
...until political greatness and wisdom meet in one,
It follows that the state belongs to the class of objects
One's country is wherever one does well.
...that devil, envy did all the mischief,which the bad bear unto the good,
But if one should guide his life by true principles,
Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.
Ah God! Had I but studied in the days of my foolish youth.
If all evil were prevented, much good would be
Man was created by nature in such a way that reason might dominate the senses
...how we live is so far removed from how we ought to live,
...a kingdom is best entrusted to someone who is better endowed than the rest
In a state of nature we have....no arts, no letters, no society,
I think, therefore I am.
The only possible fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.
He whose honor depends on the opinion of the mob
Legislation considers man as he is in order to turn him to good uses in human society. Out of
to "live in Ease, Without great Vices, is a vain
It is fortunate for men to be in a situation in which,
That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness
All is for the best in the best of possible worlds.
How small - of all that human hearts endure - that part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in fetters.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner,
Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be built.
I offer you "...this picture of the human species, liberated from all chains, freed from the empire
...the age of chivalry is gone. -That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded;
And yet all grandeur, all power, all subordination rests on the executioner;
The principal object of the present essay is to examine the effects of one great cause.
But even as we contemplate history as this butcher-block,
One has attributed to history the task, to judge the past, and to instruct the present to the benefi
Human societies are at the same time organisms and mechanisms.
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied;
Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life,
...the theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence:Abolition of private property
Life is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of the weaker, suppression, hardness
Society is a reality sui generis; it has its own characteristics which one does not find,
The characteristic of the moment is that the mediocre mind,
...behold the bustling crowds that work and trade in order to make a living..."
And it's not clear to me Who is a beast now, who is a man.
Whereof one cannot speak,thereof one must be silent.
The Human Genome Project "is the grail of human genetics... the ultimate answer to the commandment,
History is a violent elimination game, minimizing A/P.
If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
In short, there are three things that last, faith, hope and love;

Behind my verbal decorations of quotes from the leading political philosophers of the Western world, I have a little "holistic" theory, the result of almost half a century of studies of mad men and societies.
The whole can be summarized in the following list of symbols:
(1). Pe/R ---> W ---> K = (T+I+V+S) = A/P ---> 1/oo ---> 0.
Complicating feed-backs:
(2) K ---> R ---> Pe
(3) A/P ---> W
(4) 0 ---> K ?
What does that mean? Let us breake it down into smaller pieces.
P/R stands for the human Population on a given natural Resource base. Pe indicates the Malthusian urge to multiply to the limit of R's carrying capacity.
Most people never consider the fact that natural, pre-agricultural men, hunters and gatherers, needed so much space to live that their numbers were seriously constrained by the availability of natural resources. The limit may have been around ten, surely below one hundred million human individuals.
In P/R ---> W, the arrow stands for "leads to" and W for Warfare or, in its milder, capitalist form, competition. This is the idea that Euripides was the first to suggest, that overpopulation causes warfare. Later, Botero, Malthus and many others generalized it.
In W ---> K, the K stands for Culture or, in Germanic languages, Kultur. This is the idea of Heraclitus, that it is the struggle for the marginal resources which stimulates the development of all things, including the good. For instance, Homer came out of the Troyan war and the Torah, out of the Middle Eastern wars.
This is also the basic idea which, via Malthus, made Darwin develop his theory of evolution, as applicable not only to animals but to man as well.
What is Kultur, K? It is, in my highly abstract aggregate of billions of actions and artifacts, the sum of four major groups of instruments with which mankind has transformed its animal into a cultural struggle for existence.
Technology, based on stone tools since some 2.5 million years ago, developed into atomic bombs delivered from space platforms with the help of instant communications, is the most visible cultural weapon.
Ever bigger and more well-organized armies and other Institutions, today mainly multinational companies and nations, are capable of developing and utilizing this new technology.
V stands for the Values - myths, religions, ideologies - which help to integrate various populations into ever bigger institutions, into what Durkheim suggests are organisms sui generis and I call co-thinking Superbrains.
S, the unequal distribution of material Standard of living, with both material whips and carrots, unemployment and stock options, is the major instrument for getting naturally lazy people to work and intelligent people to invent better weapons yet. It is the factor which Amos and Marx lament and Mandeville praises.
Inside each of these four categories, evolution produces an infinite set of spontaneous cultural mutations, "memes", each highly appreciated by its "inventor". But then Darwinist competition thins them out so that T,I,V and S develop within each other decently balanced cultural structures, continuing the elimination process. This is perhaps what Durkheim meant by organisms. New mutations follow, normally stimulated by the fear of the next war or round of competition.
K ---> R, means that culture has a feedback upon resources. The ever better cultural resources, K, improve the productivity of the limited natural resources, R, which permits population, P, to grow even more, stimulating new waves of Warfare and culture, K. This seems to be an eternal, never-ending feedback circle. It can be seen as an arms race, possibly related to that between predators and ungulates, which is known to have existed since sixty million years ago.
K ---> A/P indicates that the net result of the development of all the forms of culture leads to an integration or globalization process.
A and P is also an expression for the eternal difference between shepherds and sheep, leaders and followers and kings and subjects. I call them A, for the adrenalinomaniac rulers, and P, for the masses of population. I do so, personally convinced that this division is biologically founded, going back to our 364 days of humanity's flock or herd living the first megayear. Some, perhaps between five and ten percent of us are born with unusually high levels of adrenaline and testosterone, making us natural leaders in eternal warfare and competition.
When the cultural instruments become more potent, an A can extend his power as far as his cannons can shoot from his capital. Which during a long historical process of holocausts has reduced the number of sovereign leaders from tens of thousands towards one.
Today, the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles of the President of the United States move so fast around
the globe that they can almost shoot themselves down from behind. Meaning that, in reality, the 200 social units which claim formal national sovereignty, are all citizens of a globalized world under the leadership of the President of the United States of America.
The instruments developed for warfare can also be useful for peaceful purposes. The highest pleasure of the population is copulation. The sexual urge has surely been constant in mankind. But with better survival technology, the population - in those groups who have survived history's many holocausts - tends to expand towards oo, that is, infinity.
1/oo is, as those who know a bit of mathematics, equal to 0.
A/P ---> W, is a second feedback in my system. Integration does help to satisfy the basic material needs, as Adam Smiths showed already in 1776. But if the number of innate leaders, who have a natural inclination towards power and becoming Number Ones is a constant fraction of the population, as I have suggested above, then the same process that satisfies the material needs leads to an increased psychological frustration in the many born leaders who are forced to stay Number Twos.
We seem to be caught in a Catch 22 situation: The same process that is necessary for the satisfaction to one basic human need is bound to frustrate another!
This is, so far, mainly a speculation. But, if it will be proven correct, as I believe it will, then it helps us to understand why warfare and competition in the 20th century has been so intensely cruel.
My third feed-back, 0 ---> K, with a question mark, expresses my hope that the threat of a final Armageddon, the zero, will tell us to modify our culture. I am convinced that mankind now has reached a point in its development where it both can and must react realistically to a few basic biological facts:
1. The social development over the latest ten millennia has, by and large, been much more biologically determined than vain man, in his belief to be God-like, has wanted to understand. We don't want to see that "the law of unintended consequences" has nullified most of our grandiose projects.
2. This high degree of biological determination - high, but not total! - and the largely unconscious behavior of our forefathers have been extremely useful for the reproductive success of the victorious groups inside mankind.
3. Atomic and other weapons of mass destruction have, however, made the continuation of this historically useful behavior dysfunctional, and possibly even suicidal, for our species.
4. Thus a change in our innate behavior into a more peaceful culture seems necessary. A realization that it is not other men who are evil but, as Jesus told us, that none of us is without evil genes and none therefore should throw the first stone, may help. Perhaps my chain of symbols may also help us find out where such changes may be both possible and helpful.
Those are, anyway, the "inverted utilitarian" thoughts behind this "philosophical park". They have been stimulated not only by the beauty of Capri but also by Mill's idea that in trying to live up to the Delphi ideal of "know yourself", it is surely better to be an unsatisfied Socrates than a satisfied pig!
Happy thinking!
Gunnar Adler-Karlsson, ©


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