Dominance and Mankind

We live in society or societies.   One of the most important human characteristics is that of dominance.  The concept only has relevance since we do exist within our groups.   If we lived on a desert island then the idea would have no meaning.   A man alone like that would face survival issues but there is no one to dominant him or for him to attempt to dominate.   This trait is obvious throughout the animal world and has been our trait for eons.   It is part and parcel of the Darwinian theory of the survival of the fittest.    In and of itself, dominance is neither good nor bad.  It is merely an attribute that we carry we us as we interact with our fellows.

Dominance applies to all aspects of our societal existence.  It is there in families, it exist between fellow employees at the work place, between nations, ethnic groups and any model of “society”.   From the earliest development of society into small tribal groups it has be a driving force.  No matter how loosely a group might be there is always a leader who dominants the affairs of that group.  The dominance might have been based on strength but that would have lasted only for a short while.  We are homo sapiens after all and it is the use of our minds and ability to reason that separates us from the rest of the animal world.  Brute strength can intimidate others on occasion but it will never lead to lasting dominance.   The group will always be looking for the one who makes the best decisions for the welfare of the group and thus the individual.   If the brute brings only power to the table he will end up being subject to the direction of the smartest sooner or later.  

This human condition applies everywhere and to all our activities, from the family struggle to the political arena.   The patriarch will try to dominant the family and usually with succes until his decisions are found to be determental.   The politicians attempt dominance through the power of persuasion and ideas and if they prevail then they have that opportunity as long as the people trust their direction and guidance.   This is true whether the society is democratis or not.  It takes longer to affect change of leadership in a non democratic society.  How many articles concerning sociological matters have been written about the dominance or attempted dominance of the oldest of the siblings?   How many movies and novels have been written about the struggle to determine who will be the Alpha male?   That last list would be a really long one.  Almost every Western is ultimately about who is the Alpha male.   Everyone has heard about and been involved in “office politics” at one time or another and that is another example of this continual battle for dominance.   I don’t believe that this characteristic is a bad thing.   We do need leaders and some coherence to our societal affairs.  Without that struggle and resolution for dominance we would have nothing but anarchy.   Someone has to be in charge unless you want to live as a hermit in the desert.   The struggle for dominance can take the form of violence or the political process.  Some might argue that there isn’t much difference, but that is a topic for another day.   Societies have gone to war for all our human history to establish dominance of one over the other.    Rome had many, many faults but on balance, we today, have reaped the benefits of their dominance for centuries over the Western world.   There were many wars and battles fought by the Romans against peoples of the West but there would have probably been many more without their hegemony  over the region.  The art,  engineering skills and literature their control allowed to flourish has been to our advantage and use.   On the contrary the Russians reaped sorrow and pain for over 70 years because of the dominance of the Communists.  It can work for good or evil but on balance over the eras it has helped us to advance into a more orderly and civil society.

It is how we respond to domination that marks us as a civilized people.   The losing party in our political system does not take to the streets in rebellion, at least not often, and we rely upon the hope for a change in the dominant party at a later date.   Likewise those that have the power of domination must learn to use it wisely or they risk loss of that power.  Domination applied too hard produces revolt and/or immigration.   Ultimately people allow themselves to be dominated because they recognize it is best for them and those they love.   When they deem the current master(s) of domination to be taking a dangerous course then they will rebel in one form or another and the struggle will be renewed until a new “master” emerges.   So don’t fear the dominance, recognize it for what it is and learn to work with or against it as circumstances justify.   You will not eliminate it but can try to make it benign and useful to your good and the common good.

With all the hoopla about Global Warming, I do urge you to do your own research and never rely upon “headline” news about that topic.  The schemes being proposed are grandiose, expensive and dominating to say the least.  Pure science is never wrong.  The facts are the facts.  Make sure you get the facts rather than someone’s interpretation of the facts.   The news reports are almost invariably interpretations of facts.  You are reminded that our climate is controlled totally by the Sun.  Whatever it does will affect us here regardless of our puny activities compared to its power.  It gives us life and all our energy.   One giant solar flare could extinguish us in a heartbeat.   Study it and the macro dynamics of the earth, its tilt, rotation, the magnetic field, ocean currents and the jet streams for starters.   I don’t want to live in a pig sty any more than you.   But I don’t want a snake oil salesman setting energy policy.

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Filed under Culture, family, Global Warming, history

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