How Darwinian Nature Led To Modern Politics

This was originally just written as a political discussion during the Trump Administration but it was moved here because the answer to the question it asks about what led to Mr. Trump is human instinct. There are a lot of lessons about human survival in this, especially about the dangers of human instincts in the new ecology of civilization.

If a whiney kid asks how we got to Mr. Trump

I'm like one of those whiney kids that will answer anything you tell me with my last question - "why daddy". I want the root cause and I'll keep beating on you until I get it... and maybe then some more. This question has been asked already but I think I can give a different answer and a root cause of how we got here that you never heard of before. I tend to end up at because "evolution made it so". Like any explanation, it is to provide an understanding but also it carries important warnings. The question is "how did we get to Trump Land". Yes, it has been answered before, but consider this different story of it and take its warnings.

I read a post on social media that asked "after Trumpism is passed, will you forgive them"? There's a problem with that. A common answer was "yes, but I won't forget". That's not going to work because they have no intention of ever forgiving you. If you look closely, this is a war. Right now it is a war on Liberals but it used to be called the Culture Wars. Before that, it was the war between Religion and Science with battles like the Scopes trial. It goes way back to when Socrates was convicted of impiety. Forget forgiving them. Not only are they not going to forgive you but they will keep making war on you. You need to understand and remember that. This eventually explains why. It is part of human nature and the only way to prevent this problem is to understand it and watch out for it. Without knowing why though, you won't even be able to do that. Let me give you a little history to explain how this war started many thousands of years ago.

Humans have two common aspects of nature. In the West, we are all descended from either farmers or herders. This is almost certainly true of the other root civilizations such as from the Indus River and Yellow River but I haven't studied that history in detail. Yes, there were other civil castes such as crafters, scribes, warriors, and priests but their numbers were comparatively small and we are still all descended one way or another from farmers and herders and that defines this war. It is between the Darwinian strategy of herders and the human originated strategies of the farmers and civilization are in conflict. I mention the farmers and herders because it started in ancient times when the herders returned their flocks to the pastures they had always visited and the farmers claimed it as their own because they were farming it. The form of this battle repeated in the American West between the Cattlemen and the Sodbusters. Arguable the American Civil War was another skirmish in this war between the "herders" of slaves and the farmers (and crafters) of the North. So how did that lead to modern politics? Before civilization, there were neolithic slash and burn farmers. There were also herding tribes. Some herding tribes still exist, such as the Masai, mostly in marginal areas that cannot be farmed. Farmers consider herders to be lazy but herders are like predators that must rest to conserve energy. They also must spring into action instantly when their flock is threatened. The warriors of civilization were descended from herding peoples such as the Semitic goat and sheep herders or the Indo-European horse herders. That was largely because they were used to raiding each other's flocks. In a sense, they are of civilization but never really needed to adapt to it. Theirs was a rather Darwinian life. The farmers had to be cooperative and creative, adapting to a changing way of life as part of civilization because the irrigation projects and planning of the planting had to be led by the priestly class of the civilization. They had a lot of adapting to do as did their crops. As the Bronze Age civilizations developed they needed a religious establishment to organize and lead the society. The powers of civilization are the moral leadership of the religion, the military and the economic power controlled by the ruling class. Herders were also the military and priestly ruling classes. Predators need to be fairly smart and the farmers tended to be very timid initially. The herders were the default leaders. The groups were kept fairly reproductively separate by custom and religion but there was hybridization (especially due to war and slavery) and the warriors always had a reproductive advantage. We are all descended from both farmers and herders, but you can only really pick only one survival strategy. It makes sense that the descendants of herders using Darwinian strategies were usually the ruling class. You must understand the two aspects of religion. It is the institution that husbands and teaches the moral strategy of its people that is how they survive. That is its great power. It is a power that can be used in a variety of ways. You know both those kinds of people. One is the rock-solid moral people that might not even be religious but have powerful moral instincts that they always follow. They won't hurt others unless they must. Then there are the people you know that look at religion as just something to be used as a tool, usually to gain power, wealth, and often sex. They don't much care if they hurt others. It is just a strategy. Never forget that difference because it is critical. One is part of civilization and will build it. The other, descended from herder morality, can be a leader that is essential to the success of a civilization or they can be a destructive parasite on the civilization. Either way they will want to rule it. In any case, they are the group or strategy pressing the war on not just secularism or liberals, they are actually warring on civilization. The fall of the monarchy showed the end of the usefulness of the military for dominating a society. That happened after the American Civil War due to weapon developments that removed the power of the hereditary military ruling caste. What we are seeing now is a religious war on science translated into a Culture War, but it is the leadership of the religion, not the practitioners. Unfortunately, the practitioners follow their leaders. So it is the pursuit of power by those with herder mentality and strategy that are fighting progress but even more they are actually fighting civilization. The herder might find a niche in civilization like so many other peoples have but they would not have power over the society and they couldn't dominate society in a way that has traditionally given them wealth. Note that the American Civil War might have been about slavery but even more it was about the great wealth and power that slavery produced.

Mr. Trump represents not just the desire for power that is the strategy of the herders, but also the belief that it is their right by Darwinian victory. As Darwinian principles dictate, right and wrong are defined by success or failure. Whoever dies or loses is a victim of evolution. Might makes right is a Darwinian principle and incompatible with the human invention called civilization but to them, it seems moral. It is moral, just not a moral strategy that will support a civilization. A lot of the dysfunction in American politics can be traced back to Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich is an admirer of evolution and wanted to bring evolutionary principles to the American Government. There is an appeal to Darwinian competition but it is a blunt and stupid strategy ... red of tooth and claw. I'm not sure if he actually knew the consequences. You can have human law or Darwinian law. You can have the Constitution or the Law of the Jungle. Noticeably there is no natural second place in Darwinian conflict and the conservatives that have created modern politics don't consider compromise anything but a weakness. Constitutional law is an inconvenience and impediment to their power as is science and critical thinking. Their strategy will not support a civilization and civilization is the ecology that replaced the tribal ecology we left when we created the farms and cities of civilization. It is our life support system but the herders don't instinctively think that way. Herders tend to consider farmers and their modern equivalents to be slaves to their work. Civilization does not occur in nature. It is created. Their strategies of violence will damage or destroy civilization. Look what the Mongols did. They absolutely destroyed city after city and even some civilizations. They destroyed the Islamic civilization in 1258. They had no use for civilization. Herders only even tolerate civilization when they rule it. It's not so much that Mr. Trump is lawless. It is that he follows Darwinian law.

The best description of the two strategies and their incompatibility might be in the Bible. The old Testament is the story of a harsh strategy for a harsh time written by Semitic herding peoples. The New Testament is a strategy for a people trying to make their way in a cosmopolitan, internationally connected, city-based civilization that emphasizes cooperation and non-violence. in general, there really aren't a lot of other strategies for humans to use.

What must be remembered is that the herder strategy/morality/morality or whatever you want to call it believes that they should hold power over basically everyone like a king and they don't necessarily care if civilization suffers because of it. If you don't understand this, you won't remember it. If you forget it, they will win their power because they will never stop working for it. They will damage the civilization that you and your children depend on for survival. That weakens their enemy. This is a good example of the problem in the larger story I tell about how for humans to become more than animals, so that we can survive and develop in the future, we will need to develop and use strategies more sophisticated than the simple, blunt strategies that nature can create. Those strategies, particularly the use of violence, become a danger and liability. The current political strategies we are seeing now from the current right-wing are simply an instinctive drive just like was used to dominate the animals of their flocks. The world is changing rapidly though now and civilization is our only way forward. The cooperative, creative strategies of civilization exist in philosophy and religion. If we don't protect our civilization and protect those strategies, our civilization will fail and humanity will go back to the previous tribal ecology of some kind or another that uses Darwinian strategies. It will be a time of ignorance, war, disease, starvation, and short lives. That is what you must resist. The best way to preserve civilization is to teach philosophy. It was created to elevate humanity to be more than animals. They knew what humans were as animals. They lived right outside their city gates. You must work to preserve civilization because not only is it our only future, it is also a very bright future.