Sword, Gun, Drone or Nuclear?
Law of the Jungle
One of the above antelopes, most probably the weakest or the slowest, will be killed and eaten.
Rule Number One of the Code of the Jungle is well known: it refers to the superiority of brute force or self-interest in the struggle for survival. This rule builds perfectly into the whole system of living things on the planet, and adds a powerful potential of evolution in the unceasing quest for new and more efficient forms of biological existence.
Though out of the context of nature’s complexness, the law of the jungle has at times translated into literature and art:
“No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.”
“But I know none, and therefore am no beast.”
(“Richard III” by Shakespear, and later on in “Runaway Train” directed by Andrei Konchalovsky)
However, besides the most popular one, there are also other rules in the Code of the Jungle. Not so famous, but by far not less important:
Rule Number Two: Never kill more than what you can eat.
This rule has preserved, in the course of billions of years, the sustainable diversity of living things – now close to nine million biological species. Its representatives form a changing and sophisticatedly interconnected environment in which very often visibly isolated processes and organisms are in fact indirectly dependent on each other.
Rule Number Three: Support Your Tribe.
As a rule, members of one species do not kill each other. Yes, sometimes male deer fight fiercely for the attention of a female, but this is just for better investment in the strength of the future offspring. The programmed feature of keeping in line with the other members of the pack, flock or class, may not always be the most repaying behaviour for a strong individual, but in the long run, it provides higher potential for survival of the species as such – generation after generation, descendants of current individuals included. This program is responsible for accomplishing the ultimate existential goal – the survival of the species.
What happened in the history of Homo Sapiens?
Drawing 1: Primitive people hunting a mammoth – for food, which is essential for surviving.
Drawing 2: Battle in the Middle Ages
The distance between those two points in time is over one million years, but the civilizational difference in substance is incomparably greater: in Drawing 1 we see humans with their weapons pointing against something that does not belong to the human race; and Drawing 2 illustrates an enormously different situation – humans using weapons against humans. The era of homicide.
What has so drastically redirected the course of human history? What is the event, process, or motivation, that has bugged in the case of Homo Sapiens, the otherwise perfectly functioning programs of Nature? What made people break the Code of the Jungle and start killing each other?
In 21st century, we are still living in the era of homicide. The form – mass murder, local conflict, ethnic cleansing, military invasion, genocide, collateral damage, or world conflict – doesn’t matter. The weapons used: arrow, sword, gun, drone, missile or nuclear, do not matter either. They just reflect different stages of technology. What really matters from civilizational point of view is that human beings die killed by the hands of other human beings. Not by natural disaster, not by aliens, but by representatives of the same race. What also significantly matters is the astronomical cost we are paying for the choice to still live in the era of homicide: trillions of dollars per year for defence, for security, and uncountable missed benefits of not using at large scale technologies under military classification. And imagine all this money invested in education, childcare, medicine, infrastructure…
Creating the glamour of contemporary technological miracles, we tend to indulge in perceiving ourselves as humans, evolving into higher dimensions of perfection. That might be a dangerous illusion, because technological advance is not directly correlated to the developments in the political culture of coexistence. We have to decide who is more primitive: the 21st century people with drones and nuclear missiles, running at times body-checks on the edge of pressing the red button, or the Stone Age people, hunting together a mammoth to feed their families?
And who else but we, the people currently living on the planet, should change this state of things?