The Fourth Revolution
Evolutionary theory has it that we are born premature due to our developing an upright gait which has narrowed the birth canal. Horses arrive ready to run but human babies require a lot of parental nurturing before they can toddle. This extended period of nurturing is focused on the child’s survival and gives room for the molding of future status as a reflection of the parent’s love and self-satisfaction. The essence of this approach is a belief that ‘we can do better than that’, an attitude imposed on all of us and which moves us forward with its cargo of restlessness.
The fundamentals of human life are food in the belly, a place to lie down, someone to love and a purpose that satisfies our particular interests. The last is constructive, the others are maintenance, and when our interests are strong — we relegate the rest. We get up in the morning with calculated purpose — the hallmark of our ‘wise-man’ species of humans — something that has given us ascendancy over other extinct species of the Homo genus, and indeed, over all other animal species.
The technological developments of WW2 have created an exponential growth in the standards of ‘rooves over our head’, ‘food in our bellies’ and in the complexity of our hobbies and love interests. These all being targets of ‘economic growth’ — the current indicator of global prosperity. Right now, we are at the point where the ramifications of our ‘feathering’ instincts is physically endangering our own and our planet’s health. Eating habits have developed a domesticated animal resource six times the size of the people who consume them, global sugar consumption has reached half a kilogram/person/week, and the building industry is rapidly consuming natural resources.
We can do better than that!
There are currently three accepted revolutions in Homo sapiens development. The first was the Cognitive Revolution which got us out of Africa 60–100,000 years ago and involved a good deal of communication, social coordination and cultural development. The second was the Agricultural Revolution which started our penchant for marking territory; and the third was the Industrial Revolution which used fossil fuels to accelerate material growth via machineries.
All these Revolutions had dire consequences for the world. The first culminating in the demise of all other species of Homo/humans including the Neanderthals (30,000 years ago), along with most of the world’s mega-fauna. The second sanctioned land ownership with the litany of wars that followed. The third moved ownership away from the checks and balances of community and into the rationality of self-important bean counters.
We can do better than that!
We are now far from the tenets of civilization paved with the principles of empathy, compassion, and community. It is time for a fourth revolution — one whose orientation is towards inclusive exchange mechanisms that recognize the input and integrity of all life forms, along with the essential maintenance of environmental foundations that have enabled this fantastical world to evolve from nothing.
Revolutions take time, sacrifice, vision, education and determination — are we ready?