The Domination Game

Humans have long been associated with many good and bad things.

Natural selection made us what we are today: natural born survivors.

We came to dominate nature.

We took over the summit of the food chain, by assuming dominion over all other competitors. Big or small, eventually they all gave out before our indefatigable march.

No matter what Nature threw at us, killing, culling us, we always prevailed. Sure, in the beginning, we narrowly avoided buying the proverbial ticket, and we took some heavy losses.

But we always came out on top.

And so, a few individual Neanderthals became a family group. We then grew into a larger clan of a few tens of barely intelligent, ill-looking humans. With time, tens became thousands, thousands became hundreds of thousands. And the troglodyte ape-like creatures grew smarter with every generational iteration.

At one point, these humans were supplanted by a new breed of Man: Cromagnon.

The latter ate the former. Yes, we actually devoured, consumed and utterly dominated the earlier species of Man. Just like the beri-beri, prion ridden tribes of Papua New Guinea used to eat their grandmas up until the 20th century, our ancestors consumed their ‘co-workers’.

By the way, some Micronesians still do.

We came to dominate other humans and when we invented politics, we started applying hierarchical principles to dominating one another within our own species.

Nowadays, what used to be a societal game, has become a state-driven process. Domination is both the end and means of government business.

We created hierarchies. We made them up out of the deluded notion that Man needs Structure. We started religions because we had to have a theological bent to the pyramid of power.

Pyramid of Power. No matter how you slice it and dice it, the cookie still crumbles at the top.

We created a system that went against the anarchical nature of Man. We invented Cosmogonies that explained the Nature of Cosmos based on the unsubstantiated premise of a Benevolent Almighty Figure that arranged the Universe around Man.

We devoted untold resources and we created myriad stories, each more mesmerizing yet somehow eerily resembling the previous, which described the roles and responsibilities of each and every one. In fact, these stories predetermined our station in life, from birth.

We believed those stories. In fact, we rejoiced in them, seldom thinking we were being duped by our betters.

But who were and still are our preordained betters?!

Are they born into a position of privilege few of us even suspect let alone detect?!

Do they become the elite?! How is it that they still make the rules and nobody bats an eye or calls them for it?! Are we that blind, and deaf, and deprived of all sense(s)?!

The more one thinks about this worrying trend of leading political dynasties, the more one realizes that this has nothing to do with the random entropy of universe’s machinations.

Hint, hint: I’m talking about you Bushes, Clintons, Mulroneys, Kennedys, Roosevelts and so many other prominent families popping up like mushrooms after the rain. It’s as if these gents hold all the answers, have the only viable pedigree allowing them to run for office, and all others members of the body politic are unworthy aspirants to political office.

I am disappointed by how obtuse our democratic Western society is to allow this to happen.

This has intent written all over it. For what are political dynasties if not the continuation under a different name of the ancient monarchic principle. And the last time I checked, most of the Western world hailed from a democratic political tradition, whereby one had to earn its way to the top, not be born into it.

And yet we allow ourselves to be suborned, dispossessed, and led by a bunch of elites who belong not in this 21st century if we are to believe the Greatest Story Ever Told. The story of how a lot of people were fooled for a long time by a few people: the story of Democracy.

You see, folks, the more I examine the trappings of current Western democracies, the less I find evidence of the import of popular consent in the political process. But absence of evidence is not the same with evidence of absence.

It means I must look harder, dig deeper, and spare no effort in looking for the Truth. For “Truth is not a changing law”, as Andrew Lloyd Weber would have Pilate ask Jesus in his opus magnum, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Unlike Pilate who was after all an Epicurean, I believe that Truth is Immutable and Fixed. It is our knowledge that is forever lacking, imperfect, or defect. But Truth is Fixed and one can live one’s life as a Lie. In fact, most of us do, without even suspecting it. But that is neither here nor there. Well, This is Actually the Central Question of Our Existence. But for the sake of keeping things separate, we shall not go down this hole to pursue our line of inquiry. It is deeper than the Mariana’s Trench.

Pilate: the judge, the man, the guy who washed his hands of the far-reaching consequences of accepting the crowd’s and Pharisees’ truths, while ignoring his own.

No matter what the ancient dogma of Diogenes Laertius (3rd century AD) states, I will not accept the multiplicity of truths. I totally disagree with Pilate when he says “We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?” This is bovis stercus. It is epistemologically impossible that 8 billion people have as many truths.

Diogenes (1882) by John William Waterhouse.
Diogenes the Cynic (412 – 323 BC) was the founder of Cynicism, which became his philosophical legacy given his affinity for dog-like behaviour. The word cynic comes the Greek word for dog or kynikos. Wikipedia dixit that “Diogenes believed human beings live artificially and hypocritically and would do well to study the dog. Besides performing natural body functions in public with ease, a dog will eat anything, and make no fuss about where to sleep. Dogs live in the present without anxiety, and have no use for the pretensions of abstract philosophy. In addition to these virtues, dogs are thought to know instinctively who is friend and who is foe. Unlike human beings who either dupe others or are duped, dogs will give an honest bark at the truth. Diogenes stated that “other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them.””
Between you and I, Diogenes the Cynic was on to something.

I for one do not believe that we are all so much different. I’m rather compelled by a mounting degree of empirical evidence to say that humans fall into a rather finite number of categories. So no, we aren’t that different after all. And in light of this working theory, how can we all have 8 billion truths?!

In the end, finding out who leads us and how we ended up in this conundrum after being led to believe we were the architects of our own political system, is what gives life its meaning.

And that is as real and as close one can come to the Truth.

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