By J. Strauss
The human social order responds to outside influences, but not in the way most people think. Pavlov came to notice almost a hundred years ago with his experiments using lower animals and training them to do different things (they didn’t necessarily want to do) using electrical stimulus (pain!) as a directional motivator. Entire disciplines of anthropology, psychology and sociology adopted Pavlovian principals by concluding that using similar tactics would be effective in controlling and directing human behavior. Pavlov was correct, as far as he went.
The social scientists back then, and many of them to this very day, were patently and obviously wrong. How do we know? Does the death penalty work as a deterrent for the worst of serious crimes? The evidence is overwhelmingly in. It does not. Does locking humans away from society for long periods of time in almost total isolation work to reduce crime? Not one bit. Again, the evidence is overwhelming. Yet, with this avalanche of practical data fully available to every culture on the planet due to the Internet and modern electronic communication, most of the conclusionary data remains ignored.
Why does capital punishment still exist in so many areas of the United States? Why is the incarceration rate, already record setting, continuing to rise? Why does a culture that fully endorses the concept that doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results is idiocy, act idiotically in doing exactly that?
Why do people take illegal drugs? Not just for pain, physical and emotional, although that is a part of the motivation that cannot be overlooked. Humans take illegal drugs because most all drugs of the sort that reduce feelings or sharpen mental and physical capacities make humans feel good. The same is true with respect to using totally discredited Pavlovian techniques to modify human behavior. The fact that such action doesn’t work to accomplish such a mission goes directly to the unspoken and unwritten fact that the mission isn’t to modify behavior at all.
It’s to make other humans feel good. Humans like to get even. If some other human commits what is considered to be a heinous act then that person deserves to be vengefully treated. Humans are tortured all the time, by police, intelligence officers and even prison guards even thought it is pretty well and pretty universally established that torture is a “tool” that very seldom leads to any mission-related data or revelations. However, and this never bears discussing in public or private, the real reason is that some humans like to torture other people. There is a darkness to the survival nature genetically imprinted deep within the foundational structure of all humans. That darkness has everything to do with predator and prey behavior.
We might see this best illustrated in taking a look at predator behavior where it is easily and visibly demonstrated. View a cat placed in an enclosed space with a mouse. Any cat. Any mouse. The mouse is toast. The cat is a predator. The mouse is prey. The mouse is toast. It is the nature of the cat to kill the mouse, humans would say. The same humans would, and do deny that such predator/prey reactions are totally common and widespread among humans.
They are, however, not only denied, they are lied about. No human torturer ever claims that torturing other humans is fun. Yet, how is it that when the “need to torture” is hypothecated (as it invariably has been over and over again through human history) there is no end to the number of human beings volunteering to be torturers. The German Nazi SS Commanders had no trouble finding killer prison guards to serve in their Jew murdering concentration camps. In fact, there were waiting lists for such jobs.
In order to continue the advance of what humans have come to call civilization there must be recognition, accountability and then, most importantly, a sociological, anthropological and psychological implementation of rigidly applied rules and mores of behavior to rise up from the muck of predator/prey behavior. Human beings are the ultimate predators over the face of planet earth. That cannot be denied.
Human beings, however, must somehow come to understand that it is no longer necessary for their survival, continuance or reproductive success to treat other humans as prey. Correctly concluding that this human condition remains currently flawed isn’t difficult, given that such behavior extends right into the economic conditions human beings live in, around and among. Service to other humans is provided and lied about all the time.
American airline companies are a perfect example of this. The current consolidation of the major airlines, ridding themselves of competitors now act predatory toward the very customers they supposedly service. Airline seats get smaller and thinner all the time while the airlines claim they are getting more comfortable all the time. Awful charges for baggage (who can fly without baggage?), food, drink, window and aisle seats and more are levied but then advertised as being benefits to the prey-like customers.
Acceptance is the key to the success of predatory behavior. The mouse is the cat’s prey and a lot of the cat’s success is based upon the fact that mice, although they have small sharp teeth and pointy little claws, seldom ever cause any damage to the cat. The mouse accepts that the “jig is up,” and the cat profits from such acceptance. Cats continually hurt by smaller animals would soon find some other way of surviving, but that’s not the case. Human beings must not accept being treated as prey and human beings treating other humans, as prey must not accept that their behavior is anything but reprehensibly selfish, culturally destructive and downright evil.
In order for higher principals than the ancient ‘law of the jungle’ to prevail human beings, in totality as a species, must go back into the past and once and for all that the behaviors that lead to such stupendous species success no longer apply. Human beings living their lives as prey spend their later years, if they survive, living in fear.
Human beings who act as predators spend their later lives hoping with all their might that when they die there will be no hereafter.