Homo sapiens or Homo militaris?

    By Tarek Ali Hassan
    Thursday, October 31, 2002


Sapiens name of our species was meant to denote wisdom and far sight, but are we entrusting the fate of our species to the less wise Homo militaris component? What do the lessons of the last two centuries tell us?

Homo Sapiens or Homo Militaris?

By Tarek Ali Hassan

The “Sapiens” name of our species was meant to denote wisdom and far sight, but are we entrusting the fate of our species to the less wise Homo Militaris component? The “Militaris” component is an especially tragic secondary adaptation of our convoluted social adaptation history because it appears to be so successful! What do the lessons of centuries non-stop warfare tell us?

Salvation through Homo Sapiens or Homo Militaris?

Since the beginning of recorded history Man and human societies explored many adaptations for ensured survival, security and dominance. One of the most important and deeply wise farsighted(sapiens) adaptations, exists in the ancient Egyptian Osirian model of non-violent interactive pluralism. That challenge model was quickly destroyed, buried and denied in favour of the much easier apparently quick-result adaptation of win/lose armed military man (Homo militaris). The advent of the all powerful, internationally dominant, militarised Roman Empire, demonstrating the apparently wonderful rapid results of win/lose violence to the “other”. Quickly and cruelly the Roman brilliant successes by brute force and better arms cut the links with virginal ancient knowledge and wisdom. The last vestiges of the Osirian knowledge of the (Sapiens) solution echoed in the Hellenic civilisation enshrining its wisdom and knowledge in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina before the Roman Homo militaris achieved universal hegemony and destroyed all.

Humanity was tragically doped into not seeing that win/lose use of force, weaponry and violence so perfected by the Roman empire, was momentarily a wonderfully successful adaptation, but it carried the seeds of its own destruction long term, the destruction of nature and life with it. The farsighted (Sapiens) component of human social evolution, always realised that life in essence is a continuous interactive multidimensional process between self and other and nature. This fundamental wisdom proved well beyond the vision of most societies and socio-political economic orders. Few outcasted “cranks” saw that if militarised destructive win/lose force is allowed supremacy within the circuit of social evolution, the process of life itself commits suicide long term while falsely thinking it is protecting itself. It was left to exteriorised cranks like Ghandi, Mozart and Osiris deemed irrelevant in the serious question of international politics, to point out the limits of power, violence and superior force in a never-ending win/lose game.

After all the terrible lessons of history, will we choose security through greening the Earth for all life leading to equity, justice and mutual consensual contracts between all interactants on the globe, or will we shortsightedly opt for protecting illegitimate and unreasonable privilege by massive self deception bolstered with military might, power and superior force and weaponry.

Are we going to strategically choose justice and equity as our inroads to security and safety, or are we going to give in to the rising power of cross national non-transparent economic giants and their hidden profit and power-centered agendas leading inevitably to the erosion of democracy and marginalisation of the role of the people even in the oldest and most rooted democracies.

These times of danger are for the wise and far sighted a time to urgently deepen the roots and practice of democracy, equity and inalienable human rights for all. A time to review the disastrous expedient great-power-policy of support , aid and weapons to the most anti-human rights non-representative dictatorships doing infinite harm to their own people. All this harm to many peoples enshrining a sense of injustice, racism and double standards syndrome, as the Western powers brandish in words the noble principles of democracy, good governance and human rights while supporting to the hilt archaic growth-destructive regimes as long as they were sufficiently anti-Communist and delivered the goods or the oil. The same powers have waited in the side lines to turn violently against their former anti-development ally regimes whenever there occurred a divergence of interests.

At this hour of danger, will Life-loving, Earth-loving peoples everywhere fail and let this potentially rich and fertile epoch of human social evolution turn into the century of tragic relapse regressing into well the well known circuits of violence and more violence tragically marking the last two centuries. Are we not demonstrating thus a blinkered determination not to learn from history especially the catastrophically tragic history of the twentieth century.

Democracy in peril

Will this epoch full of promise spiral out of control to become the century when humanity, worked up in the face of symptoms, made blind by hurt and anger to causes, is manipulated, to submit to the blatant expansion in the power and scope of non-transparent secret militaristic and quasi militaristic agencies accountable to no one. Secret Agencies enhanced and empowered without limits as the fear and mistrust of all "other" is amplified into a chronic self validating panic state justifying the abrogation of more and more powers to unaccountable bodies respecting none of the fundamental constitutional, legal or human rights so painfully arrived at through humanities long and painful march towards civilisation and democracy.

Are they really protecting us?? Hasn’t that approach failed abysmally already? Perhaps some limited tactical successes. Still a manifest failure to diagnose causes let alone treat them effectively to disempower the phenomena of violence at the roots. Naturally the power hungry, money hungry agencies will be manipulating information and dynamics that successfully justify their existence, growth and insatiable consumption of resources and people, creating self-validating circuits turning chosen "others" into reckless sworn enemies. It is not the first time in history that centers of power have created self enhancing self justifying circuits at the expense of some innocent or not so innocent (other).

With all our breathtaking advances, discoveries and technologies, will the simple discovery that security grows from interactive interdependent justice, transparency and equity continue to elude us?

A clear neutral understanding of history from all opposing points of view and not from our own insular point of view alone is a prerequisite. (see follow-up article on Euro-American egocentrism).

A deep scrutiny of security council and general assembly resolutions over the past few decades will easily identify areas of chronic imbalance, strife and violence in our shrinking and threatened globe. Moreover it will become clear that violence against the interests of the powerful, hardly ever erupts from a vacuum. There are always symptoms and warning signs ignored again and again. So much can be solved with the application of simple unitary-standards rather than the glaring double standards way that has so undermined the authority of the UN. The UN perhaps with some vital reforms can in theory offer a hopeful formula for world peace and international security if the great powers started by themselves and courageously ended the paralysing double standards syndrome, embarking on a (Sapiens) trajectory seeing their long term rather than their short term interests.

If we find the reforms and mechanisms for a world body just and balanced towards the strong and weak alike, we would have found the means to give its judgment utter respect and ensure utter compliance. Man’s social evolution will fall naturally back into the wise embrace of Homo Sapiens ending its tragic hijacking into the illegitimate clutches of Homo Militaris.

Web site: Osiris drama and the impossible art of pluralistic peace: www. tarekalihassan.com

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