First off, let me just say I don’t write political pieces myself but after recent events and reading Creepy’s excellent article here, I’ve felt compelled to write something. Not as a condemnation but as a possible further fleshing out of concepts his article has made me think about. In the end, I don’t consider this political at all but rather, anthropological. Because that’s what this is all really about. Politics at this point and considering what’s at stake and not just for us but the world; is only a smokescreen.
From what I’ve seen in my lifetime, from what I’ve learned from art, movies, studying history, literature, the five major religions, the philosophies of people like Plato and Socrates, the election of Trump by the (still) most powerful nation in the world isn’t just a bad four years. It signals the end of human civilization. Hyperbole? Well, let me explain.
First off, this incident is far from isolated to just this country. All over the globe nations are being appropriated by dictator-like, hard line, conservative governments that reject the other, science and in a lot of cases common human decency. But would that signal the end of humanity? It does if it takes place at a point in human evolution where our tools have become so powerful that they have the potential to alter the basic composition of the biosphere that supports life and can only be managed through the application of science and research.
The same field that these governments reject in the name of profit.
This didn’t start with Trump. He’s just a symbol of the End Game and it is an end game. An end game for those apes who, six million years ago, decided to climb out of their trees and take to the open plains to start ingesting protein which in turn lead to bigger brains to become the dominant species on this planet. So fuck off with the capital R’s and D’s, conservative/liberal bullshit. We are still those apes who crave dominance and power over all the others. That’s it. It’s that simple. The only “political commentary” anyone needs at this point is the first half hour of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s all right there.
Have you ever studied a chimpanzee up close? I have. I’ve worked alongside them. I used to look after two baby chimps when the trainers would have to head out for lunch. At first, they were playful and caring. Then at about a year old, these little apes would start stomping their feet and grunting aggressively at me as I approached. I even got a nice little nip once on the thumb. Their evolutionary instincts had kicked in and it was time to assert their dominance. Soon after, I could no longer be left alone with them because it was only a matter of time before they would have viciously attacked me, biting my face off, mutilating my genitals and tearing me limb from limb, all to show me who’s boss.
This is our ancestors, folks.
Those instincts are still with us after you peel away the trappings of civilized behavior. But then there’s that little matter of civilization isn’t there?
Along with those baser instincts came an evolution of consciousness in us that separated man from the other apes. All of human civilization, everything we take for granted in our modern world comes from this. Other animals have done it (the smarter ones like wolves) but Cro Magnon took it to the next level. This new evolution? Mutual cooperation and interdependency. It’s what alowed Cro Magnon to survive and not starve to death unlike the solitary Neanderthal.
Apes like wolves, exist in a social structure. Through cooperation, they hunt and gather as a unit, each member of the band or tribe contributing an important role to the success of the hunt. In the end, the kill is secured and the food is shared equally by all those who contributed, even to the elderly and sick who could not participate but have in the past and are considered a vital part of the family band.
This is how Cro Magnun survived, taking this social trait from their ape origins into the paleolithic era of our development. Meanwhile, the Neanderthal walked alone. Hardy of body and much larger, it was what occurred on the inside that led to his downfall. His brain was smaller, he was slow to change and so did not migrate during the Ice Age. Neither did he hunt in groups to feed his much larger frame. They eventually starved and died out, a footnote in human evolution. Meanwhile, his Cro Magnun rival continued to evolve this survival trait of socialization and cooperation, leading to agrarian culture and eventually, civilization.
Unfortunately, those other ape-like traits evolved right alongside everything else. As I’ve stated before, apes are brutal, territorial and highly aggressive towards those outside the immediate tribe. Human history can basically be whittled down to the struggle of these two opposing forces within individuals and nations, all stemming from that bigger brain that hasn’t yet evolved past the point of it’s ape origins and those other primitive impulses that drive us.
So what does all of this have to do with Trump, the election and the current state of our world? Well, everything.
What Trump really represents is not a political movement but an ideology that has always existed in one form or another but that has been dominant in our culture for the last 40 years. Power. Some call it greed, the Era of the Self but in the end, it’s about power. When you strip away the modern trappings of civilization, I see no difference between the power elite of this world and that little baby chimp I used to know. stomping his feet and grunting aggressively at me. And I’m sure if I had been alive for the last 10,000 years I would see absolutely no difference between the Koch Brothers, complacent democrats and say, The Catholic Empire of the Middle Ages or Rome before the fall or whatever bullshit excuse a few hairless apes have come up with to gain power for themselves at the expense of millions of others.
Rome and the Catholic Church are two of the most famous examples but starting in the late 70’s (which in actuality, can trace it’s roots back to the America of the 50’s) the most powerful nation on Earth came up with a new concept that has morphed into a twisted philosophy over the last 40 years. Gordon Gecko phrased it best: “Greed is good. Greed works.” Some people tried to warn us of how dangerous this philosophy is. You know how you always hear people talking about how we need “one of us” as President? Well, in the 70’s we tried that. His name was Jimmy Carter and here’s what he had to say about the Me Generation and the idea of greed becoming a semi religion as it has today. Take a moment and listen to his speech here, starting at about the 3:03 and ending around the 7:00 minute mark and tell me if this guys isn’t making a whole lot of sense:
But hey, fuck that guy, right? Stupid, goddamn peanut farmer! What does he know? He fucked up that hostage crises so we shouldn’t listen to him on ANYTHING. As it turns out that stupid hick reads his bible in Latin, has studied neurosurgery and quantum physics and has become one of the worlds most prominent humanitarians. He was also one of the most healthiest Presidents we ever had. Check out footage of him back in the day and you can see how incredibly in shape this guy is. He could seriously kick most of our asses.
But no, he had to be honest with people so fuck off and go build some more homeless shelters you fucking loser. Let’s get a Hollywood actor who will read from the script in there because we all know how much conservatives love taking political advice from actors, right? That other guy is bringing me down, man…
And with that, the new dictum of the land became “Every man for himself” and “He who dies with the most toys wins”. And you know who the poster boy for that philosophy was? A spoiled rich kid who has never worked a day in his life and has since gone bankrupt 6 times after getting 14 million dollars from his daddy as a “gift”. Donald Trump. His business strategy defines the new philosophy that first America and then the world has gone all in on: make deals promising affluence for everyone but in the end, fuck everyone over after you’ve made profit for yourself. Romney did the same thing. So did all of the Wall Street assholes who crashed the economy and instead of going to jail, now occupy high government positions. It’s now part of their economic business model to fuck over a third party that never entered into the original deal between two parties in the first place. Basically, a target. It’s called an “externality”. Look that up because that’s what they considered all of the homeowners with those bad derivative loans to be during the 2008 economic crash .
So now 40 years in, this philosophy has wrecked the economy of the planet, basically made the entire world unstable, blocked all attempts to regulate climate change caused by industrialization and made the wider population lose all faith in every system that governs civilization whether it be politics, religion, economics and even science and technology.
And why is that? Because the philosophy of greed basically depends on selfishness and the pursuit of profit at ALL COSTS. The reason why this is so incredibly damaging to our very existence is because it directly contradicts 6 million years of human evolution and one of the basic principles that has allowed this particular strain of ape to evolve to this point.
Humans simply aren’t built to fuck each other over and go at it alone. We have survived and gotten this far by banding together, seeing each others worth and interacting with others that are different but have acquired skills and knowledge outside our own tribe and thus by integrating them into our own, have made our own tribe stronger.
And that’s not “liberal talking points” or “PC bullshit”. It’s human nature.
Over my own lifetime, artists and philosophers have come to the same conclusions and attempted to illustrate these problems and the growing cancer as best they can but no one wanted to listen or very few did. Supertramp made a whole album about it, Breakfast In America; about this country’s then existential crises. As the crises gained more focus, XTC did too with Oranges and Lemons. Ridley Scott made one of the greatest films of all time about the possible End Game of all this, Blade Runner as did others with films like The Road Warrior.
Others took a different approach and decided to extrapolate what would happen if the silly little apes shed their original primitive instincts and embraced forward evolution wholeheartedly. Kubrick topped them all by showing the end game of evolution with 2001 in which man becomes God himself or what his concept of God is, which to Kubrick is nothing more than a difference in the level of intelligence. A television writer named Gene Roddenberry took a similar approach for the first time in 1966 and showed a humanity that has completely left behind it’s destructive, ape instincts to embrace the higher angels of our nature.
Now notice that most of those positive visions of where humans were heading, came about in the same decade: the 1960’s. The decade that saw a man walk on the moon, which will probably be seen as the zenith of civilization. But we all know what happened next, don’t we?
All together, the human race literally turned it’s back on the stars and turned inward. And if you look carefully, it’s all been downhill ever since. Would 2001 and Star Trek even be made today in our current climate? I don’t think so. We’ve replaced those visions with Children of Men and Fury Road for good reasons. Even current science fiction films that attempt to show a solution to the current shit storm the world is in can’t even illustrate a positive ending without the intervention of aliens. Aliens have to save us in Arrival and the world in Interstellar is saved by far future humans that are so advanced, they may as well be extraterrestrials.
Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, humanity has been at a crossroads as illustrated in these examples and for roughly 150 years, we’ve all collectively held our breath to see what direction we were going to take. Would we continue the forward journey started by our ancestors millions of years ago or would we let those ancient, animal instincts cancel it out until we’ve destroyed everything we’ve built?
Unfortunately, the answer seems to be coming more and more clear with each passing year. It was and always will be about intelligence and the continued advancement of it. But that seems to be over now, at least in the United States. The Land of the Free now ranks 14th in overall education among 40 countries and 24th in literacy, oh and higher education costs so much now that it’s becoming something only for the rich. Is it any wonder this country just elected a robber baron moron, the exact kind of person that completely symbolizes the mentality that ruined the economy in 2008 in the first place? Well, when people are dumbed down to this point you can feed them any stupid bullshit you want like this gem of an idea: “Wealth and material success equal intelligence. Therefore ALL business men are geniuses.” Really? Then why did they lose everyone’s money in the housing crises and have to lobby the government to bail them out using the tax dollars of those very same people they just screwed over? For that matter, if rich equals smart then why was Einstein a patent clerk for most of his life and why is Stephen Hawking just a college professor? Shouldn’t these guys be super billionaires? I guess since they’re not riding around in Bentleys and dating super models they’re actually retarded. We just never noticed before because they conned us with all that Theory of Relativity and Wormhole talk.
I live in LA and I’ve met and conversed with many very wealthy people. And I’m not talking about well off, I mean really fucking rich. Here’s a little bit of inside knowledge: most are not very bright. In fact, most are of average intelligence AT BEST.
But these are the type of people who run the world now. They control the governments and the all the planets’ resources whether it be food, water or energy. And they don’t give two shits about anyone but themselves. Trust me. It used to be where you could get these people to listen to reason by explaining to them the kind of world they’re leaving behind for their children but that doesn’t even make a dent anymore. Their general attitude now is “I don’t give a shit how bad things will get because I’ll be dead by then so fuck you and fuck my kids. That’s their problem.”
So forget millions of years of socialized evolution that have gotten us to this point. The exact opposite of evolution is now in charge: Apes in nice skins (suits) utterly enthralled by bright, shiny objects (jewelry, BMW’s…). And what about that other side? Liberals, democrats, whatever? The illusion is that there’s another side at all. One of the biggest lies to be fed to the other hairless apes is that there are two tribes here. One conservative and one liberal. There are definitely two tribes but it’s THEM and EVERYONE ELSE. It should be obvious to everyone now that the democratic leaders of this country are purposefully ineffectual. Just like their “rivals” they both crave power and money and once they have it, don’t care what happens to anyone else. If they did, maybe they would have done more to regulate Wall Street after the crash or not pushed Bernie Sanders aside because he spoke out against the same in favor of a candidate who wouldn’t rock the boat and is considered a “centerist”. And what does that even mean when the system itself has moved so far to the right since the Bush regime? Guess what? The center isn’t the center anymore. It’s just soft right. But they thought that instead of bringing any real change to a corrupt system they could distract everyone with a “social agenda”. That’s all well in good but it’s obviously putting the cart before the horse. You know how you quell hatred of minorities? Statistics show that when everyone is more content economically, racism and crime goes down and a desperate public doesn’t feel the need to find a scapegoat for their woes. But I guess it’s just easier to get transgender bathrooms pushed through. Hey, you know what I bet those transgenders would like even more? A livable minimum wage and a chance to own a house like their parents before them were able to and which, ironically enough, is the same thing the that people who hate them want too.
But all of these things are moot anyway because after over a hundred years of factories pumping carbon dioxide in the air, we have terraformed our own planet in the wrong direction, ensuring a future atmosphere that will not sustain human life. 97% of the worlds’ scientists have told us that we have now reached the critical juncture of not being able to reverse this. Of course, the same evolved brains that were able to travel to the moon in less than a decade can’t figure out a way to switch from burning dinosaur remains in the Earth to say harnessing the energy of the giant nuclear furnace called the sun that won’t be going dry for another billion years.
No, that’s too hard. I mean, there’s no immediate profit in it. Innovation is now unprofitable. No more cures. No more new art. No more earth changing inventions like aeronautics or automobiles. Just be content with your social media and I Pads which you can use to enjoy the newest iteration of 40 year old movie franchises and the 60th comic book movie with the same basic plot as the others because Hollywood can’t be bothered to think up anything new. That would be innovative, remember?
So, those little apes that evolved once upon a time have retreated back into their caves with less than one percent under the delusion that they’re in control and have grasped all the power but at some point in the too near future, they’re going to find out what real power really is. They don’t call it a Force of Nature for nothing. Mother Nature, the biosphere, Planet Earth itself, whatever you want to call it will be the final decider here. As I’ve said, this small group of power elites may not care about the other apes but you know who really doesn’t give a shit? The planet itself. It let the dinosaurs rule the Earth for 165 million years then pulled the plug. All we’ve got is 6 million years and just like that 90 day probation period at a new job, one day soon the big boss is going to pull us into the office and say “Look, it’s just not working out. Thanks for your time but we’re going to have to let you go.” And on that day, all of the little green pieces of paper and all of those zeroes in their bank accounts ain’t going to make one bit of difference. And the Earth won’t miss a beat. So the atmosphere will no longer be sustainable for human life. So what? The planet will simply evolve a new life from that can live in the new atmosphere and we can go ahead and join those fossils in the ground that we loved to dig up and burn so much.
When aliens or the next advanced life form examines the unearthed remains of our culture, they’re either going to be very shocked or they’re going to laugh their asses off. When they finally string together our long history in chronological order, starting with history books and moving into modern media, this is what they will discover: Here’s a species that was selected by nature to evolve into an upright-walking, sentient animal with a sense of morals to counter it’s more primitive instincts and in the end it became so obsessed with it’s own primitive bartering system, it CHOSE ITSELF for extinction. It’s scary to think so but apparently Dr. Zaius was right:
That’s what I see happening here with the election of Donald Trump. This is a symbolic representation of a country and a world rejecting reason in favor of quick emotional gratification, the rejection of science for who can yell the loudest no matter the truth of the words, the hatred of the other tribe that looks different than you or believes in a different invisible man in the sky than you do. This is nothing short of a symbol for man retreating back into the jungle and walking on all fours again.
And only if it were that simple. We’ve now irrevocably altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere to make it unsuitable for humans in the coming decades and whether you believe it’s man made or not (which it definitely is), shouldn’t everyone care that the ecosystem that supports all life is being altered beyond our ability to exist inside it? If science can get us to the moon then shouldn’t people be supporting a scientific community that can reverse terraform the Earth? But see, that’s a logical argument and that alone is enough to make a lot of the other monkeys start swinging their bones around.
As those future archeologists put the pieces of our story together they will see one overarching theme to explain our downfall and that is the abandonment of intelligence, the main tool of our survival at every moment of crises. That’s what gave rise to empathy which in turn gave birth to cooperation and understanding so that instead of one lone, starving hunter trying to kill an animal much larger and stronger than himself that same struggle was balanced by many hunters banding together to take down that woolly mammoth so that EVERYONE could survive.
But that’s behind us now. No more cooperation. Don’t tell Trump or his followers that human beings can’t survive in isolation, that diversity breeds solutions to problems unthought of by one, single group. We’re going to close our borders, ignore the altering climate and reward profit and greed above individuality and common sense.
Maybe this was inevitable from the beginning. Dinosaurs, in their long habitation of the Earth never evolved as far as we have in just the 6 million years we’ve been here. Maybe both of us are just rehearsals for something else. One evolved too slow, the other too fast so maybe third time’s the charm. Either way, politics, media and stupidity are just trees in a vast forest that incorporates the history of our species and if you pull back even further, the 4 billion year history of the third planet orbiting a yellow dwarf star in a spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. Trump, Hillary, capital D’s and R’s don’t really matter. It’s seeing the forest THROUGH the trees that ultimately does.
Make America Great Again? You know what looks better on a hat right now? Evolve Or Die.