Nature has designed humans to be not only different but complementary. People high in oxytocin are caring lovers. People high in testosterone are driven and competitive. There is a natural distribution of these differences across the population, and its not just about women and men.
The population in any human community needs both tendencies for long term survival. We need people high in supportive empathy as well as people who are high in risk calculating logic. Sometimes the other seems completely gullible and sometimes the other seems completely without compassion.
Maybe these hormones and their traits translate into behaviour patterns and personality types. Maybe they translate into political positions on a left-right spectrum. Research is ongoing. Maybe people need people who are complementary in different ways at different times. In good times we want a mix of fairness and competitive progress. In tough times we need to gather into tight-knit teams and strengthen our competitive defenses against the common threat.
The alternative view
is that maybe we need to have the left and right destroy each other. How would that work out? What about the people who are just a bit to your left or right? If you’re high in empathy maybe you’re not as empathetic as people further to your left. They see you as a threat. What if you’re a driven calculator? But people on your right see you as not as driven or calculating as they are. They see you as a threat.
My waffling compassionate logic tells me the second alternative is not sustainable. Therefore I conclude that we must figure out how to make Mother Nature’s formula work for all of us.
This is particularly important now that we no longer live in small villages where everyone fully knew one another and could appreciate our differences.
In fact, I think it is the anonymity provided by urbanization that places us at a personal distance from one another. We tend to objectify each other and mistake our differences as cause for concern. We have exceeded the scalability of our own human nature.
Homo Sapiens have moved far from our native state of community. We can’t know how much we have lost over the past centuries. Perhaps a shock of some kind could awaken that need to join together in groups. Unfortunately, this is not yet a deliberate approach. In a state of shock and anxiety we are instinctively forming war parties. Sniff out, label and demonize the others.
Its the pandemic! It is creating anxiety that is poorly identified with a common threat. Its easier to point a finger of moral blame at your old enemy on the other side. Kill them? No. That won’t work. Don’t waste your time even thinking about it. Instead, embrace the other as they complete you. Its a matter of both logic and emotion.
Now, if we could prevent the 6% of our our population who have personality disorders such as sociopathy and narcissism (and maybe Histrionic Personality Disorder) from running for democratic office, that is quite a different question. These people are Mother Nature’s mistakes. Sometimes they are correctable, but that’s unlikely with current knowledge.
But even th
en their failures are not a question of morality. Its a practical matter that these people are not capable of representing the public interest. They are not mentally or emotionally equipped to do that. They are very good at repeating what they think people want to hear. They have been doing that nearly all their lives to manipulate and get control. They like to whip up the excitement and inflame people. The voter loses control over the democratic process.
Like anyone else, however, these mistaken personalities are striving toward their own self-actualization. They are on your left and on your right. The popularity contests and the idea of control draw them into politics just as in the corporate world. You may be enthralled by your hero and you may want to cancel your villain. Look closely, however, and you may find the worst kind of violation has been perpetrated against you. Don’t let your anger or hatred make you vulnerable to Nature’s sly and selfish mistakes. Those emotions make you blind to manipulation.
Bottom line is that we need each other and we don’t need people who exploit us for personal aggrandizement.