Thursday, January 26, 2006
The human animal
Beneath our behaviors of civilized humanity, we are still animals, living organisms subject to the whims of biology. Events trigger the release of chemicals into our bloodstream, and those chemicals alter our consciousness and our behavior. The fight or flight response associated with adrenalin, useful when we are in physical danger, can cause problems in a social setting. The increased heart rate is counterproductive to civilized social negotiations. Conducting business as the hunter or the hunted may produce capital profit, but at what human cost?
Unchecked animal behaviors remove our humanity and reveal our animality (I think I just made that word up). Animality drives the people who drive the machine. Those who've surrendered to the machine, who've accepted it as completely necessary, create symbols and rules to impose animal needs onto our humanity. To quote Rage Against the Machine:
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
Some of those that were forces are the same that bore crosses
Killing in the name of
And now you do what they told ya
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
But as stated, I do not wish to rage against the machine. So instead, I say, no thank you, I'll do what my human conscience tells me to do to the best of my ability.
We are animals, and must deal with the animal realities. But we are also humans, and can strive to transcend animality and behave as civilized humanity. To quote Bob Dylan:
If you see your neighbor carrying something, help him with his load
And don't go mistaking paradise, for that home across the road