I’ve been thinking a lot about who we’ve become, which is connected somewhat to the question of who we have been. Some of that—without spending too much time diving into this—is how money has undermined our hard-wired intrinsic reward systems about giving gifts. The idea that pre-economic, post-monkey humans were somehow exchanging finite supplies of beaver pelts for finite supplies of literally everything else a single human being needs to survive seems inefficient at best; these societies have to have been built on the foundation of communal sufficiency, contribution, and gratitude. We’re not out here running around feeling a primal sense of joy when we pick out gifts or see them sitting under a tree for nothing. We are hard-wired to show up for each other and keep each other alive.
That’s the monkey.
What I worry about, instead, is what replaces that monkey: A zero-sum game of power and control that leverages scarcity for influence, that incentivizes hoarding, that creates myths about superiority and rifts in culture. The people out there who claim that life is nasty, brutish, and short—who preach the cult of the alpha wolf and prep to be the last ones standing on Earth or the first ones standing on Mars—are telling us a story about the market-based past that is self-fulfilling. Money, the abstract container of value, which can’t feed any of us or keep us warm, is driving our evolution to our worst possible selves.
So when Kina sits across from me and asks what we are supposed to become next, I’m not entirely convinced that we shouldn’t be going way back—if not to the monkey, then at least to our intrinsic values around sharing and contribution.
Or pandas. We could become pandas.
Anything, really, besides the beast.
Well, well, well, if it isn’t our friend Princess Kitty and her rainbow horn! Today’s Parade is “macked” by David & Kina, but my only contribution was the little ampersand at the bottom.