09 April 2017

The Matter of "Territorial Imperative"

"MEANWHILE : Does Territoriality Drive Human Aggression?The question is the title of a 14 April 1999 article by Steven Levingston (@SteveLevingston) and International Herald Tribune (the genealogy, DNA, evolution of IHT), posted online at the New York Times opinion page.   It is worth reading,, currently, because it addresses an always pertinent issue.

Anyone who has a problem understanding the current pertinence might try substituting, "Syria" (or Iraq, or Palestine) for "Kosovo", and substituting "the M.E." region for "the Balkans".  Or "Sudan" (or Rwanda) and the region of "East Africa" could be substituted; or Viet-Nam (or Korea) and "SE Asia"; "Afghanistan" and "NW Asia"; "Germany" and "Europe";  . . . the list goes on.  Most are sure to find at least one conflict of familiarity to substitute, if necessary, because of it having occurred during a time of paying attention to the interrelated global complexities of the causes and effects of armed conflicts.

But, first consider if there is an answer to the question "does territoriality drive human aggression".   I think we can consider it to be an easy and simple answer - that being "yes". 

Does anyone really imagine that territoriality does not still drive human aggression?  Unfortunately, there is paltry evidence to suggest otherwise.  Co-existing peacefully by sharing space and resources, equitably (repeat - EQUITABLY), remains the lesson to be learned by our species.  Many species of animals have clearly learned the lesson but, demonstrably, the human species has not.

When herds of the human species want to increase the contiguous extent of their territory, with the intent of increasing the space and resources which they control, they do so with the intent of subjugating or annihilating the inhabitants.  The lawlessness of refusing to respect the rights of others as much as our own rights, is visible at all levels from local bullying to global conflict.  

Clearly, human herds have yet to learn how to co-exist equitably and peacefully.  However, it is not as if human herds are unaware of how to do so.  Instead, simply put, it is a matter of a willful disregard for other herds (including non-human species) which embraces the intent of either subjugating them, as the "merciful" option no matter the extent of it's cruelty, or annihilating them through short-term genocides (most often deadly armed attacks of many types), and/or long-term genocides which in addition to short-term instances of genocide also embrace a larger variety of slower means
to the same end. (often many forms of health-eroding deprivation and/or pollution).

Demonstrably, many of the human herds find it to their advantage to "divide and conquer" by fomenting unrest as a way of encouraging resident herds to annihilate one another.   Then they swoop in to make the territory their own by subjugation and/or annihilation of it's remaining inhabitants.  Of course when resident herds call on other herds from outside their regions, it complicates matters by making acquisition more of a gamble for the herd wanting to expand control of adjacent territory.  It creates a paradox which, over time, could potentially result in a much larger prize of more territory , or, instead, a potential loss of much more than the territory of immediate interest. 

Acquiring territory is always a very high-stakes gamble.   Gambling is another weakness of human herds which seem unsatisfied with enough, or in mathematical terms with being "equal to".  Instead they want "more than" solely for the purpose of personal exploitation intended to result in wealth by control of, and limiting of other herds' access to resources.  Clearly, 
co-existing peacefully by sharing spaces and resources, equitably, without doing so because of either subjugation or annihilation, remains the lesson our entire human species still needs to demonstrate has been learned and is being successfully applied.

Regardless of the claims of some human herds who believe they are civilized and/or religiously motivated in their subjugating and annihilating endeavors, subjugation and annihilation  are neither civilized, nor religious in the sense of being spiritually enlightened and evolved.  Neither subjugating nor annihilating is the way to demonstrate that the lesson has been learned of co-existing peacefully by equitably sharing space and resources, regardless of any justification used as an excuse for using them as the means to a desired end.

The passage of time, in terms of millennia, in which the same problems continue occurring, seemingly indicates there are resistant problems that plague our species.  Consider those of our species who demand recognition as leaders for the purpose of acquiring the power of decision making for other individuals, collectively.  They do not take a turn serving for the purpose of fostering peaceful coexistence between and among herds but, instead, compete viciously to further the goals of their own personal greed at the expense of whatever human herds they believe they can succeed at scapegoating.  Greed - t
hat problem, alone, indicates our species has a resistance to learning anything that interferes with the addiction to greed.  As such, the human species does not seem to be nearly as intelligent as it likes to imagine it is.

leaders in government whose self-interest is their over-riding reason for being recognized as leaders, along with their appointed side-kicks, and the elected leaders who are tasked to represent constituent needs, are all often given too much power as leaders.  Too many are willing to give up their own power of personal decision-making, as individuals and as members of their herds even when, as individuals, we are all recognized by agreed upon law as being empowered to provide input which must be considered in the decision making processes at all levels of government.  Simply put, our laws entitle us to contribute our opinions to government decision-making but too many of us don't do it. 
Not accepting the right and responsibility of self-governing by contributing to decision-making - that problem, alone, indicates a resistance to learning why free-will is acknowledged as empowering individuals to contribute to collective decision making.  As such, the human species does not seem to be nearly as intelligent as it likes to imagine it is. 

The article reminds us there is much work for everyone to do when it comes to the as yet unsolved problem of territorial imperative.  Once more, if there is a problem understanding the current pertinence of the 1999 article, then simply substitute a conflict and region of familiarity.  Because, the foundational problem is simply a matter of the same repetitive problems of unfettered human weaknesses often motivated by greed coupled with the weakness of clinging to sacred ignorance, which are occurring within the same region - our home our planet - throughout the decades, centuries, and millennia during which time the various herds of our species have had ample opportunity to truly thrive by learning to co-exist together, equitably.  What does it say about collective human intelligence when, after untold millennia, human herds continue to fail in that respect?