Skip to main content

Evolution can't Manage Extra-Biological Force

Extra-biological force is wholly beyond the bounds of the biological individual and therefore cannot be passed via sexual reproduction to offspring then becoming part of the process of evolution of our species. This makes extra-biological power a public good passed on through cultural means. Culturally we have related to extra-biological power as if it were privately held, like the large teeth and good reflexes of an alpha male in a troop of Chimpanzees and passed to the offspring of the well-endowed.

Capitalism applies the reproductive impulse to our cultural systems that manage extra-biological power and that will have to change if we are to collectively survive our creation of extra-biological power. The effects of the high levels of force controlled by human society since the industrial revolution are forcing a confrontation between the biological imperative to reproduce and the survival imperative of needing to consume less of our biological environment than we can, due to the creation of extra-biological force, consume. This will force us to revision what is truly private and what is truly public.

One of the big questions we will have to come to terms with is, what is the purpose of human life augmented by extra-biological force, and what role private and public accumulation of extra-biological force play in a new system not driven by the reproductive impulse of evolution. The logical conclusion is that we need to develop collective culturally created and maintained ways of constraining extra-biological force to a model of use that is not individually procreative but instead is collectively generative.

Many people see the need to develop new systems, the zero-growth economy proposed by Herman Daly, and the books Deep Economy, by Bill McKibben, Eco-capitalism v. eco-socialism, by Saral Sarkar are clearly focused on the need for systems change in the way we collectively manage extra-biological force. So, what would an economic and political system that fully supports pair bonding as opposed to reinforcing alpha male primate social structure, and related to extra-biological force as a public power as opposed to a private evolutionary possession look like? Clearly the changes needed to successfully pass through this era of our history will involve more than systems and will necessarily involve changes in our collective and individual identity and our relationship to the rest of the living world.