Is There a Chance for Freedom?


From time to time one wonders if there is any chance for freedom whatsoever. People just don't want to listen, and they really do not understand the dangers of power. At least not in the sense we do. How come people so eagerly support a leader and so decisively oppose liberty?

One not too edifying explanation might be the evolutionary change in the composition of the brain. According to an article in the Washington Post (September 9), the human brain has kept on evolving. It seems the former theory of the brain being virtually the same for 200,000 years may be wrong.

This new research has tracked changes in two genes thought to regulate brain size and composition. No one knows what these changes might have caused.

One of these changes took place between 60,000 and 14,000 years ago, but most likely approximately 37,000 years ago, at the time man started developing advanced tools, art, music and such things. The study claims this new, changed gene exists in the DNA of 70% of the world population, meaning it has spread through the process of 'natural selection.' Well, it does seem reasonable that the ability to produce advanced tools would be beneficial to mankind, doesn't it?

The other change took place 5,800 years ago, which is about the same time as when man started using written language and started cultivating the ground and built cities. This is what might be worrisome to us libertarians. What if this genetic change is in effect the creation of a so-called 'social gene' that tells people how to live together (or rather: off others)?

It could, if we think about it, have come about this way: People start living together in cities and start farming, using the advanced tools developed and improved during some 11,000 years, to supply their friends and loved ones with food. It would mean the people carrying the first genetic change, the creative one, were getting rich from innovation and hard work, while the others were left more or less behind. What it boils down to is this simple, but terrible, question: Could classes be genetic? Probably not, but let's go on thinking about this.

Let's say the people carrying the first genetic change actually caused the enormous growth in wealth and prosperity through continuously making new tools. That would mean that sooner or later they would discover the best way to use the land and how to build multi-story buildings. They would also be the ones formalizing language, which would be a very useful tool when communicating with others, and therefore creating another economic boom. What would be the result?

Well, one thing that could happen is that people without the improved gene start getting jealous. Perhaps the hunger and frustration of these poor creatures sooner or later turned into hatred towards the people better off, in time developing into a call for 'revenge.' These people start banding together in order to steal from the creative and prosperous. A new genetic change comes along and sticks among these warmongers, and there you go: the social, or 'government,' gene!

Such a genetic change would be initially victorious, simply because no one would have time or money to supply for a defense. And why would they? Perhaps this coercive process was going on for centuries so that the people with the 'social' gene, the one telling them that what is produced should be shared and that they have a right to take what belongs to other people, started spreading? This could explain why so many people tend to be socialist, and also why the number of libertarians seems to be ever decreasing.

What we have here is a battle between two genetic compositions rather than two standpoints based on values: one creative and one destructive. If this is the case, there is only one way forward: kill or get killed. There is of course nothing saying that this is the case, but what if it was? What would it mean to our struggle and to mankind? And what about us?

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Per Bylund's picture
Columns on STR: 63

Has a passion for justice.