Triumph of democracy in Greece against a handful of arrogant domineering baboons who have oppressed us all. Nearly two-thirds of the Greeks said no to paying more to banksters, plutocrats, kleptocrats, insufferable tyrants, many of them not even elected in any sense, somewhat demented liars, and their ubiquitous propaganda, who call their on-going thievery, “austerity“. Watch them climb in their private jets, to plot in secluded resorts: austerity for us, plutocracy for them.
The latest science shows that democracy is not just fundamental to human beings, it is fundamental to the primates we have evolved from, and into, for of millions of years. Primates evolved into democracy, democracy evolved into us.
Our deepest ethology is where “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” comes from. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, the essence of democracy, is so human, it’s even simian. By rejecting it, plutocrats and their obsequious butlers are not crushing the human condition, and the roots of humanity, but are pushing us back down to a pre-simian state.
When organized in military formation, a baboon troop fears only man. (As a child, I engaged in reciprocal stone throwing with baboon troops. That amused both sides. Baboons throw stones from below, as they do not have the superior, tree hanging shoulders of human, so they don’t reach as far. Thus, the practice is safe for human children. I highly recommend it as an eye-of-wisdom opener.)
“Conflicts of interest about where to go and what to do are a primary challenge of group living. However, it remains unclear how consensus is achieved in stable groups with stratified social relationships. Tracking wild baboons with a high-resolution global positioning system and analyzing their movements relative to one another reveals that a process of shared decision-making governs baboon movement. Rather than preferentially following dominant individuals, baboons are more likely to follow when multiple initiators agree. When conflicts arise over the direction of movement, baboons choose one direction over the other when the angle between them is large, but they compromise if it is not. These results are consistent with models of collective motion, suggesting that democratic collective action emerging from simple rules is widespread, even in complex, socially stratified societies.”
So question: if “democratic collective action emerging from simple rules is widespread, even in complex, socially stratified societies”, why is HUMAN politics organized the way it is now, in a completely inhuman way?
Some sing the praises of the genus Homo: how special we are! How subtle! We, humans, don’t have just culture, but culture wars! A few millions years ago, we humans evolved, and became so special, we are the crown of creation!
In truth, though, not only culture is not restricted to us, humans, but even the ability to switch among cultural regimens, is not restricted to us. Baboons, let alone chimps, do this everyday, several times a day. They switch readily from democracy to fascism, according to circumstances. (Eurocrats and other plutocrats don’t switch: they are 100% fascism, 100% of the time.)
Ethology is the study of behavior. Ethology is god-given, that is, evolutionarily given, as evolution is our creator. Morality comes from “mores” (in Latin). That means behavior as it usually occurs. It was actually a deliberate translation of the Greek “ethos”, which evolved the same way. indeed, the Greek ethos means “habitual character and disposition; moral character; habit, custom; an accustomed place,” in plural, “manners”.
Thus ethology, even etymologically, is about the stable forms evolution elected.
Timidly the review in Science argued that “signs of democracy are seen in typically authoritarian baboon society”. Well, no. What is typically authoritarian is the baboon society we have now, led by the tyranny of a few alphas.
Baboons are always on the move, looking for food, or water, which they need every day. When it’s time to travel, wild olive baboons make democratic decisions about where to go. Even though they live in highly hierarchical societies. Why? Because democracy is wiser. For taking the most important decisions.
A troop of 25 Olive Baboons (Cynocephalus, represented) was fitted with GPS, and their displacement strategies observed. “Initiators” branched out on their own. They are basically the scientists, the baboons with the most original behavior, literally speaking. Whereas the high alpha individuals are the generals.
When enough initiators branched out, the rest of the troop would follow them. If the alphas went one way, and initiators another, the troop would go in between. Game Theory suggests, though, that if the angle between alphas and initiators is too great, the troop would chose one, or the other. This is exactly what is observed (see the graph above).
(That means that baboons brains are capable of mathematics so high that they were only made explicit in the 1950s: mathematicians are just baboons who talk about how they got to their conclusions.)
The discovery was a surprise, because superficial observations of baboon societies showed that large, domineering, fiercely ferocious alpha males typically get their way—pushing all in the way to get food or mates. Occasionally they have been seen inflicting lethal wounds with just one bite, even to females (dominating baboons, the golos, have enormous canines which frighten any predator).
But when choosing where to travel, a baboon’s social rank or gender is irrelevant. Displacement strategy is a science, not a military attack. Wisdom, intelligence, are more important.
Contrast Simian Democracy with the present authoritarian plutocratic society: plutocrats paid in June 2015 33,400 dollars to visit with the alpha male of the USA and influence him.
Knowing the baboon in chief of the USA can be highly profitable: Elon Musk, another tall guy who looks good on TV, broke when Obama got to power, made 12 billion dollars, in six years, all of them from government subsidies. (And then there are all the deals below the surface between the so-called tech companies, truly monopolies mixing tax evasion with NSA activities: you know their names; maybe in a shot across the bow, the French Republic unamused, outright incarcerated the CEOs of Uber Europe and Uber France.)
Analyses have showed there are no more democratic decisions in countries such as the USA (the plutocratic elite decides the laws it wants to be passed)
Plutocracy does not just violate human rights, but our deepest nature, our very essence. Plutocracy devours the very spirit which brought up the genius of our genus Homo.
When The Thinking Gets Tough, Democracy Decides:
The “typical authoritarian” behavior of baboons intervenes in a different regime, namely, war. War (with alien species) happens everyday, when looking for water. Culturally, baboons, just to survive, have to be able to switch from one regime of behavior, to the other.
That does not mean the two cultures are at war: instead, they are complementary. Meta-culture also exists, or the ability to find, among various cultures, the most appropriate, at that instant.
Studies on chimpanzees have shown that females are often carefully studying nature, and often devising new behaviors that way. Call that proto-science.
Culture is not new, nor are culture wars, they are tens of million years old, and thus, all the deeper.
Those who oppose democracy are inhuman. Thus, the rise of plutocracy is not just about inequality violated. It is not just about freedom and fraternity, violated. The rise of plutocracy, is about humanity, denied.
Thinking species need democracy, because democracy puts many brains in parallel, just augmenting the intelligence accordingly. Solitary brains, like Merkel’s, Obama’s, Hollande’s, Cameron’s, Xi’s, let alone Lagarde and Putin, could not even lead a baboon troop: they are not smart enough.
We need to think by ourselves, all together, as baboons do. And we need it more, because our world is much more complex. The Greek crisis (and we all have it, more or less) demonstrates that greedy lunatics are leading us by the nose. Enough. We need our collective wisdom, not their arrogant, self-obsessed, catastrophic idiocy.
Democracy is not just a question of genius, it is what made our genus possible.