Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Peacock/Peahen Spectacle

"I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceases only in death." -- Thomas Hobbes

Six billion or so of you humans are imprisoned in a status-driven social paradigm. You are bound and determined to increase your social status -- i.e., increase the size of your peacock tail. The only way for you to increase the size of your peacock tail is to deplete natural resources. I call this process the Peacock/Peahen Spectacle.

All of the organizations comprising your society -- be they branches of government, universities, corporations, politicians, churches, and philanthropies -- work to support the genetic drive for increased status. The leading members of those social organizations (i.e. highest status individuals) work to increase the status of the organizations and in the process, increase their own personal status. Throughout this process, opinions expressed by dissenting individuals are suppressed. Dissent within the overarching paradigm is not conducive to the achievement of high status.

In addition to being among the most powerful genetic drives, the genetic drive for status is utterly insatiable, in other words, if your neighbor appears to increase his status beyond yours, then you must work harder to increase your status and get ahead of him (buy more-expensive car, bigger house, better job, etc.). This tendency is commonly referred to as "keeping up with the Joneses".

All high status individuals within your social paradigm deliberately lie (many subconsciously though none the less obviously) to further their drive to increased status. Moreover, no high status individual is willing to lose social status by admitting lies, errors, or omissions in the decisions that they've taken pursuant to their status-seeking aims. So, not only do all of the organizations within your society work in concert to promote this paradigm, but, all the current high-status individuals leading these social organizations are genetically-biased against telling the truth because it threatens to cost them their hard-won social status.

When people are frustrated in their endless drive to increase status, they often resort to violence. The only alternative to public violence is the endless conversion of finite natural resources into ever-more-marvelous peacock tails - thus it is that the Peacock/Peahen Spectacle operates within a system of governance via dopamine hegemony.

With fewer natural resources available for conversion into ever-more-fabulous and more widely sought-after peacock tails - the insatiable and infinite genetic drive for increased status must inevitably lead to a new world war over finite natural resources.


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