Friday, January 19, 2007

The Will to Feudal Darwinism...

This recent BBC article gets my goat. It reports a theory by London School of Economics evolutionary theorist, Oliver Curry, that the human race could peak in the next 1000 years and then split into two new sub-species, a dominant "upper class that is tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative," and an "underclass who will have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat, goblin-like creatures."

Hmm... London School of Economics and human evolution... so glad our speculations for the future are in the hands of the money people. I don't know what Mr. Curry is thinking. He's the expert, and I don't want to derail his academic investigations. But to me, this kind of "parallel path" thinking takes Darwin's notion of survival of the fittest to new lows - what we've got here seems nothing less than an unconscious yearning for and psychic engineering of a "lackey" class. It's what I call Feudal Darwinism. I thought we'd sort of already addressed this concept with that little slavery experiment our species tried out for a few thousand years. But hey, if it was a really bad idea the first time, why not put it out there again?

Americans are obsessed with class, it's true, but leave it to the British (who might be one good reason why Americans are so obsessed with class) to come up with this grim and divisive vision of the future. (They've already done it with their airlines.) Self-fulfilling prophecy? Wishful thinking perhaps? Or maybe it's true: Humanity is just a vain, shallow, two-tiered clusterfuck of haves and havenots scrambling for a genealogical destiny that will reflect one's inborn sense of entitlement or oppression.

Again, I would argue that any future "snapshot" of humanity comes down to the dominant threads we actively sew into our collective consciousness today. We have at our disposal an incredible range of tools that can spread ideas and initiatives to the farthest corners of the planet. If we continue to ignore the deep evolutionary content of our media and milk those airwaves for every nickel and dime possible, well, we will get the future we deserve. If we happen to own or contribute to a media outlet, and get into the business of promoting out-of-context excerpts of big ideas that can tamper with our destiny, then I guess we have only our grotesque, selfish notions and an increasingly warped future to look forward to. Will we recognize the warp once we're in it? Do we now?

("Saturn Devouring One of His Children" by Francisco Goya)


Post a Comment

<< Home