Stone-cold hatred: A fractured history
Professor Yuval Noah Harari says Homo Sapiens have two basic drives: Survival and Reproduction. Okay. We will set Reproduction aside for now and deal with Survival.
So, back when Fred and Wilma Flintstone were hunter-gatherers and met Og and Ogla Shale, who were also in pursuit of something to eat, was the first impulse of Fred and Og to attack each other? Could be. If either male thought there would not be enough of "something to eat," the Survival Instinct might impel them to attack each other. Or, maybe Wilma and Ogla said they should work as a team, kill the Wooly Mammoth, and devide the meat.
Letís assume Wilma and Ogla had their way, as women often do, so their little "tribe" became very successful in the hunter-gathering business. Meanwhile, the hunter-gathering team of Sunni and Shia (despite their rocky marriage) were better at finding oil than food.
Consequently, Sunni and Shia were often hungry and hated the Flintstone-Shale Tribe for its successes. They even hated Wilma for bragging about, "My son, the Geologist."
The Bible says, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Even so, we know some people are not up to the mark and it is human nature for them to blame someone else for their misfortunes. Consequently, the Sunni and Shia Tribe made a religion out of hating the Flintstone-Shale Tribe.
Admittedly, there are some who choose to be losers, often via drugs. Other people, through no fault of their own, have "losership" thrust upon them. They deserve a hand-up. Conversely, hand-outs result in dependency and a loss of the self-respect needed to become a winner.
Fast forward to more recent times: Professor Harari says the 20th Century was about three stories. Nazism, Communism and Liberalism. (By Liberalism, I think he means attempts at Jeffersonian Democracy.)
As we saw, Nazism, founded largely on hatred of Jews, failed with disastrous results. Communism, with its unworkable economic model could not compete with free-market Capitalism and collapsed of its own weight. But Liberalism, Professor Harari contends, has survived.
Well yes, maybe so far; however, Jeffersonian Democracy is under attack. And surprisingly, under attack by Marxists here in its birthplace, the good old US of A.
Letís face it. We have among us a lot of losers of both kinds: the self-inflicted losers and the poor souls who have "losership" dumped upon them. But, either way, too many of them are looking for someone to blame -- a scapegoat -- for their wretched circumstances.
Professor Harari and Professor Jared Diamond say God, or somebody, distributed intelligence evenly around the planet. Unfortunately, good, arable land and potable water were not evenly distributed. Sunni and Shia, who felt they deserved better, found themselves in the harsh desert where the tough conditions only increased their hatred of the Flintstone-Shale Tribe which, by the way, abandoned hunter-gathering to produce concrete building blocks, the first of many contributions to humankind.
To add insult to injury, Flintstone-Shale took a tiny slice of desert and made it bloom. But, I digress.
Currently, no one knows what to do about Sunni and Shia and their implacable hatred of the Flintstone-Shale Tribe. So, next week, weíll discuss Reproduction. Maybe.
Suggested reading: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, 2011; Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond, 1997.
©2023. William Hamilton.