There’s no reason why a society consisting of rational beings capable of empathizing with each other, complete and having no natural reason to compete, should have a government, laws or leaders.
Valerie Solanas, “S.C.U.M. Manifesto“
The part that really sticks out for me from the above quote is not “rational beings capable of empathizing”, which is really a condemnation of men’s irrationality and unempathic nature. It’s just declaring the status quo, that men are irrational and unempathic. It’s lateral thinking. What really grabbed me was the next clause: “complete and having no natural reason to compete”. That had the ring of hope. Completion – it sounds achingly satisfying.
Solanas writes elsewhere in her manifesto about males and incompletion: “the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage.” Which got me searching for information about the Y chromosome itself.
It’s disturbing, and therefore fascinating, how rapidly the SRY gene (and the Y chromosome itself) is degrading, and how damaged male genetics have already become. On the other hand, the idea that within ten to fifteen million years we may well evolve a new sex-determining system is pretty awesome. (I wonder if there’s a way to Frankenstein that development sooner?) Wikipedia is the usual place to start reading about the topic, with some interesting links.
We’re primates, great apes. We’re social creatures. We rely on each other to survive, now and at every point in our history. The lone human is so anomalous that we make case studies in fiction of loneliness as a spark for madness.
Given all that, how did we get from interdependence into competition, kept in line only by laws and leaders? (And by “we”, of course that means “men”; women in safe situations with the resources to support each other generally will do so.) When did competition become our way of life, and how did it start?
Agriculture pretty well destroyed humanity by turning social divisions based on sex on their heads and polarizing them to the most extreme boundaries. Not to mention the development of class stratification, the sudden acceleration of environmental destruction, the invention of prolonged war, and other such outgrowths of that divide.
I’ve had an armchair theory for a while that agriculture and its descendant social orders at best have no process by which dangerous men are selected against for gene propagation, that men have been contributing to the degradation of the Y chromosome by designing societies in which their flawed genes become assets. These societies artificially select for dangerous men, men with gene defects, men who have no limiters on their violence, men who pursue control of others at all costs, men who have stunted empathy and a xenophobic outlook; xenophobia being not limited to fear and hatred of those from other societies, but also extending to those who are different in any way: women, men who do not live up to the xenophobe’s ideal of manhood, children, those with differing beliefs… well, you know the drill. All the “isms” of modern society. Men cannot live with fear; the things, the people they fear must be controlled.
Since the start of the Neolithic era, we have been divided by sex to keep men in power, and therefore sex is the lens through which the whole of male life must be viewed. For men, rape is sex, sex is control, and control is a perceived right. Acquisition and centralization of property therefore becomes rape -> sex -> control -> a right: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of property happiness”. Respect from others is perceived as control of others, and therefore also follows the rape -> sex -> control -> right paradigm.
See where this goes? Everything that men are supposed to want is their right to take; the acquisition of the desired object or state demonstrates mastery and control; the appropriate method of acquisition is ambition, taking, violence, rape. For men, what’s the difference between a boat, the corner office job, or a woman? They’re all indicative of power and mastery, and they’re all objects, and men have a right to whatever they want to take.
Male self-help authors have long advised other men: “if you desire something, act as if it’s already yours and it will come to you”. Tell me that doesn’t sound like every man at a party with his eyes set on his next “conquest”.
And now this attitude has resulted in the “post-agrarian” world where a few men have acquired all the land, wealth, and objects (human objects included). It has pushed us and our environment to the extreme edge of tolerance. Societies of the common era are more violent, more stratified, more polarized, and more environmentally destructive than ever. There is no evidence that any paleolithic society treated its members so poorly, made war so thoroughly (if at all for most groups), or destroyed everything it touched so completely.
The golden age of humanity passed over a hundred thousand years ago, with agriculture supplanting peace and leisure. We’re in a social speedboat barreling off the edge of the world, driven by man, dragging woman and everything else behind it. “Isn’t waterskiing fun?” he cackles as we plummet to oblivion.
If the golden age were to return, or something like it – if men could live with women, and we could have peace, joy, spirituality, prosperity, and sustainability once again – what would it look like? What could we become?