The Internet is full of people trying to score points from each other in the eternal game of oneupmanship that all social species engage in. In the West, with our heavily Jesus-based culture of masochism, we demonstrate that we are better than other people by showing how much violence and injustice has been done to us in the past. The more we are like martyrs, the better.
Our cult of victimhood impels us to emphasise how badly our ancestors suffered at the hands of The Man, whether these ancestors be women, lower classes or other races. It also impels us to emphasise how our own ancestors did no wrong, unless they were misled by some enemy without or betrayed by an enemy within.
It’s as if each one of us holds the power to act as an instrument of karma, and past injustices done to us give us the right to do injustices to other people. And like so much of modern society, it’s absolute horseshit.
Native people often describe an idyllic past in which they all lived in peace and in perfect harmony with Nature, but the truth is infinitely more violent. Although many native peoples had sophisticated cultural strategies for minimising the carnage of warfare (such as ritualising it), it’s clear from any scientific perspective that all human groups are guilty of using violence, and must be.
This can be proven by simply looking around at the laws by which Nature operates. The price for being peaceful is not to suffer persecution – it’s to be dead. A will to engage in peaceful conduct is not necessarily going to be reciprocated by other people, and almost certainly will not be by wild animals, and if it isn’t, there might not be much one can do about it.
It is impossible to occupy any niche in Nature without violence, because for every niche one might occupy within Nature there is another organism willing to use violence to drive one out of it. This is true of whatever level of the Great Fractal one wants to look at it on.
There are no creatures out there that can survive without preying on either other creatures or on plants. Any creature that wishes to attend to its own basic metabolic needs is forced to conduct violence against other life to get energy or nutrients.
This is not only true in the immediate food-gathering sense but in the long term mating sense as well. Males of sexually reproducing species must attract their females through demonstrating a capacity for resource acquisition, and this is done through acquiring and defending a territory, which is almost impossible to do without violence.
In order to build a house, a person has to cut down trees in the forest to clear a space, destroying the habitat of all of the creatures that dwelt within. But more importantly, in order to defend that space against the forms of life that would occupy it, that person has to be ready to kill.
All manner of parasites, like bugs, spiders, weevils etc. have to be killed for the sake of food security and to avoid destruction of property; all vermin like mice and rats have to be killed for similar reasons; larger animals have to be killed lest they destroy the property; humans have to be killed lest they take over and try to enslave one.
Almost wherever the reader is sitting in the world right now, someone was killed for it at some point in the past. Someone will have died so that someone else could secure rights to that land, even if it was before recorded history. For your ancestors to have carved out a niche in this place, where food has to be hunted and agriculture demands the destruction of ecosystems, someone and (not or) somethings had to be killed.
All of us are descended from killers. Every single one of us. There’s simply no other way to occupy a niche within Nature in the first place. If being descended from peaceful people awards some sort of moral superiority when it comes to discussing political issues, there are none of us still living who can claim it.
Anyone claiming that their ancestors were peaceful by nature or that they are genetically disinclined towards violence is a liar.
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