Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

HUGS, Historical Myth of the Human Condition

For millions of years of our evolutionary heritage, our ancestors lived as HUnter-Gatherers, HUGs. They lived in caves, perhaps built temporary dwellings as needed. They wandered about harvesting plants and killing animals as needed. They were extremely skilled at their task. They knew more than we can imagine about the lives of plants and animals and their value. HUGS husbanded somewhat, like some Native Americans who made clearings in the forest to provide meadows for a larger deer population. But mostly they left nature as they found it. They let it alone, laissez faire.

Advancing knowledge of their environment empowered humans to intervene increasingly in the ways of nature - the gathering and planting of seeds, the selection and husbandry of animals. Eventually humans settled in what might be called farms. They still hunted and gathered, but many specialized on the easier path of AGriculture. They are called AGs. The AGs gradually gained dominion over nature.

AGs gradually changed the landscape. This lead to major ecological changes, even destruction of the ecosystem that supported them. Slash-and-burn agriculture is sustainable only if the exhausted and abandoned areas can revive their complex ecosystems. Archaeologists cite numerous cases where deforestation by humans was a major factor in the breakdown of AGs ecosystems in the Middle East and in Middle America.

AGs gathered in villages for several reasons. Primarily for protection from the HUGs, who hunted and gathered humans as well. Villages also meant closer cooperation not just for farming and husbandry but also for building and processing. This AGs development continues to the present. Our modern world derives from AGs dominion over nature.

Consider these two human components from their operational point of view. HUGs did not intervene, they were laissez faire. They gathered what was already growing, they hunted wild animals. As agriculture developed, the HUGs gradually shifted the objects of their attention and sustenance toward the increasingly human component of their environment. They raided the farms. Intervening in nature was not their custom. Digging in the dirt and shoveling manure was not fancied. Not soil, but blood was their sustenance. When they raided wild herds they are called hunters. When they raided the farms they were called warriors. Development and refinement of the warrior ethic is discussed in detail in essay, WARRIOR ETHIC, WE, p.242.

Imagine the experiences of HUGs compared to AGs. Hunters must use their best intelligence to outwit their prey. Gatherers must know the nutrition and toxicity of their plants, a wisdom expanded from pre-human forebears. Both must know and share the wisdom of their experience. Thus, increased intelligence is very adaptive. As hunting abstracts to husbandry and gathering formalizes to farming, somewhat less attention is needed for many of the tasks. AGs have increasingly long periods of mindless drudgery. As a result, human intelligence has stopped evolving. In modern abstract culture dumbing-down stupidity can be adaptive for a large portion of humanity.

Farmers took dominion over the land and the beasts. They struggled to subdue nature becoming more skilled as the millennia passed. The rate of change of their knowledge and skill continues to increase until now computers accelerate their power. Early farmers evolved into engineers and scientists, greatly increasing the bounty of the earth and the ease and health of human life, more or less. To this day many neo-AGs enjoy working in the muck and mire of the garden, though this impulse often regresses to its HUGier form, golf.

Meanwhile, the HUGs evolved into governors and managers. HUGs continued to hunt and tame the AGs. Gradually, the relationship was stabilized with the HUGs as governors and the AGs as producers. The HUGs kept their repugnance of dirty work. They may even refer to the AGs as "sheeple". They delegated the dirty work to AGs in their employ, still preferring blood to soil.

Service AGs are known as the Mercenary Army of Occupation, MAOs. MAOs' job is to keep the AGs organized and working and to prevent them from regressing to primitive HUG behavior. Details of MAO behavior is discussed in essay, ELBY, p.315. To this day HUGs prefer hunting and gathering on the golf course, while hiring gardeners to do the dirty work.

HUGs and AGs evolved into the two socioeconomic classes of modern society. The AGs are the ones who produce and create. They grow the food, husband the animals, and develop irrigation systems. As technology developed, they construct the transportation and distributions systems, and finally the information system, the `media', that has so displaced direct sensory inputs from the natural world. The HUGs have shifted their hunting and gathering from the natural to the human world. They prey on the Ags, direct them to manage the natural world, reap the benefits of AG technology, labor, and the cornucopia of nature.

Disruption of the ecosystem has become a semi-religious pastime for both HUGs and Ags throughout history. Today the Ags who cut down the trees are hired by the HUGs who direct the corporations. Neither takes responsibility for the ecosystem, though occasionally both have husbanded the earth. The AGs knew from their ancestors how to decrease erosion and outwit the pests, how to store water, and preserve food. The HUG's knew how to seek out the animals, leaving the breeders and harvesting the expendables.

Modern AGs make up the scientific and technological cultures, those nations that excel in technical education such as the Russians and the Japanese. AGs began by tilling the soil, now they make the dirt into computers. But HUGs still dominate, they hunt and gather the produce of the AGs. Since mankind exceeds animal kind, the HUGs hunt people and gather their produce. Those nations enjoying the HUGs position live in luxury. The First World nations have the power to hunt and gather from the producers. They consume much and produce little. The Third World nations produce much but consume little. They are unable to defend themselves.

Modern HUGs dominate the world. With their great experience and intelligence, they sit around discussing what to hunt and gather, like Louis Rukheiser on Wall Street Week.

HUGs express their ideology in politics: Don't intrude on the marketplace - God takes care of that. Those that suffer and starve are poor hunters and deserve what they get. If they are human at all, they are an inferior breed. Let's politely keep them in their place. Do not allow them to build shacks or raise a little garden on empty land or harvest the feral pets. Every bit of land is owned, every bit of building is controlled, every neighborhood is zoned - don't let them move a hand to help themselves. Let them get jobs, submit to some plunderer who has already adjusted.

Not all HUGs make it. The hapless hunter fails not because he seems unwilling but because the law forbids it. He is left to hunter-gather, wander around and pick up what he can, to steal and fence and sell dope or whatever his resourceful mind can think of. There's a surplus of people. Not a surplus for a well managed sustainable economy, but a surplus for the world of HUGs, who avoid responsibility for their human and natural environment.

The HUG's ideology is expressed in religion as well. As creationists, they take it as they find it. God created heaven and earth in seven days. They dare not ask for the sticky details of how She did it. Evolution is the realm of the AGs scientists. To think too deeply intrudes on nature. Intervention by active thinking and responsible doing is taboo. Let it alone, laissez faire.

Consider HUGs and AGs in the context of the GOLDEN MEAN, p.194. In a rip-off adversarial high id culture HUGs are triumphant, they oppress and enslave the AGs, who respond as expected requiring more MAOs. In a service high Ai culture the HUGs direct the dominion over nature toward a sustainable high culture while the AGs develop and refine the technology not only to protect and preserve the complexity, Ei, of nature but also to enhance the standard of living and culture. In a service culture, HUGs and AGs cooperate and overlap their efforts to provide more wealth and luxury with each passing year.

Will the new technology will empower humankind to destroy the global ecosystem. Or will it empower us to live in luxury and high culture. Analyzing the situation is the task of human ecology, saving the system is the task of culture design. LET'S PREHEND ... is a manual for this task.

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