Darwin (and now E. O. Wilson) considered that our virtue derives from cooperation within groups because it has been advantageous in competition between groups. At the heart of Darwin’s paradigm is that evolution is an unending Malthusian struggle that is most severe between individuals (or groups) of the same species. Under this dark vision of social evolution, in which the virtue within our groups was nurtured by the enmity between them, our Homo sapiens species is not just fallen but forever shackled to the evil at our core.
The readers of this blog are urged to consider the newly evolved eccentricities of our Homo sapiens species as only the most recent act in a far larger drama which continues to unfold. The vision presented in this blog looks back 6 million years to the unique establishment of the hominid family on a foundation of justice and morality (directed by a holy spirit) on account of its inherent bounty. The evolutionary adaptation rendered by the human “ego-mind” from the very beginning, set in motion by its interaction with the older pre-human hominid communal mind, has been the painful amalgamation of small groups into progressively larger ones. Thus our own human species is engaged in a different kind of epic struggle to forge the destiny willed by God through the agency of a holy spirit to fulfill Isaiah’s prophesy of uniting us into a single family with peace on earth.
The optimist believes that:
a- Primitive hunter-gatherer behavior is merely the “gestational prologue” of our nature and not an “unvarnished” manifestation of who we are.
b- In the present transitional “Age of Usurpation,” vainglorious individuals have seized the holy spirit’s power to coordinate large post-agricultural states rendering them into competitive unstable ape-like hierarchies.
c- The optimist predicts that the collective holy spirit will reemerge to rule a Heaven on Earth:
1) Constitutional Democracy transforms strife caused by primate politics and human avarice within groups into two games with rules, which ultimately prevails for the same reason that hominids have prevailed for 6 million years—superior productivity.
2) Again, driven by productivity, democratic groups of groups ultimately unite under a single constitution producing an open-ended creative network of global games.
So, the optimist interprets the present vicissitudes of history through the lens of the two mottos on the great seal of the United States: “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust.”
The most eloquent expression of optimism is Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address:
If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.