THE GREAT APES

The great apes, Human, Chimpanzee, Bonobos, Orangutan, and Gorilla; together and separately we find a the same problems of speciesism as we find in racism. Regardless of what trait, physically, behaviorally, or genetically for which we originally select, all subsequent correlations work to undermine our original prejudice.

It is foolish to speak exclusively of “the selfish gene” or “the cooperative gene” in any species. It is equally foolish to support holism, fascism, and socialism. Every living being exists in a balance of self-preservation, exchange, and community. Every threatened tribe, even ants and bees, within its own species, practices war and murder. All of the great apes do the same. Chimpanzees are a male-dominated, violent society. Bonobos are a female-dominated, erotic society. Gorillas, who are indeed vegan, are so drastic in their sexual dimorphism, that a single male leads a harem of females.

The great apes descend from a common ancestor. The truth is that we, like any of them, are complex. We emerge from concerns that are holistic until they are selfish in some; and selfish until holistic in others — if taken statistically. In reality we are all harmonizing any narrative we may orchestrate. Simultaneously rational in our cooperative self-interest and irrationally self-interested in our cooperation.

It is not that we must fight and compete more or less; nor that we must entreaty and cooperate more or less: neither as individuals nor collectives.

We must recognize our complexity.

Division of labor, works.

Technology – technique, tool, apparatus, machine, automation – works.

Respect and compassion; born of a cognitive empathy equally well-suited to murderous and egalitarian notions – defines our lineage. We understand, predict, and accelerate.

The individual is social, but the social emerges from individuals. This is the complexity of, appropriately, complex forms-of-life. Empathize, as an intelligent, cooperative, and personally-interested member of your individual vision, or your family, tribe, or trade.

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