I have become increasingly intrigued with the science of ‘memetics’ — being the study of the ‘systems dynamics’ of cognitive evolution as a parallel track to the biological kind.
The other day, for example, I was half-watching an old-ish movie on TV; a comedy about a handsome young man who goes celibate for 40 days and his office-buddy who starts a betting pool at work, hedging how long the handsome young man will be able to keep the self-imposed vow.
At one point the ‘office slut’ decides that (on behalf of women everywhere, but mainly on behalf of her own frail ego) she can’t afford to allow the handsome young man to ‘have the power’…
The ‘power’ of course being that she (aka: women) is somehow ‘entitled’ to use sex as a weapon; a tool of manipulation; a means to an end of getting her own way; having whatever she selfishly (no matter the consequences to others) wants.
And by strict terms of biological evolution, such ‘dominator’ behavior is not only sanctioned… it is genetically encoded as the ‘key to survival’.
In fact, the whole strategy of all biological genes is self-satisfaction. And the memes (aka: cognitive genes) which collaborate (in a chicken/egg duo) to compel dominator behaviors have no morals.
By prime directive of what science calls ‘4-F memes’*, the better a single member of a given specie is at establishing hierarchical superiority — no matter the bullying, trickery or abuse — the greater is that individual’s chance for survival and thus the better the odds to pass along his or her own biological and cognitive predispositions, ie: to achieve genetic/memetic immortality.
Still, as memetics clearly points out, humanity has the power to transcend 4-F reactions by ‘choosing’ to ‘look at things differently’, ie: to ‘rise above’ our engendered behavior code. That is, at base-line in our unique humanness we each still recognize a somewhat uniform ideal about how things ‘should’ be in terms of egalitarian equitability… but for the most part such altruistic morals are subjugated by fear-driven 4-F reactions.
The good news is, of course, that we do not have to be slaves to our preconcieved dispositions. Having the ability to ‘think’ and to ‘reason’ and to ‘evaluate’ and to ‘decide’, we have the innate capacity to self-determine our own behaviors. The only question then, it seems to me, is why would we choose to do otherwise? And the only logical answer I have arrived at so far is because we do not recognize (aka: are unaware) that it is a personal choice. ~~~
* 4-F memes: By strict biological terms, the four ‘prime behaviors’ which ensure ‘perpetuation of the specie’ are Fleeing, Fighting, Feasting and F*cking. By strict cognitive terms, we are each (to various degrees) slaves to these memetically encoded behaviors — until and unless we (1) recognize the validity of this paradigm, and (2) appreciate the fact that — as thinking beings — we have the everpresent liberty to ‘choose’ how we will (or will not) behave.