I spent 25 years trying to understand how so many intelligent and educated people could make such suicidal adaptations to their environment. After much research and thinking I see that much of the answer lies in natural selection's paradox. Successful adaptations can take millions of years to develop. In the meantime, short-term adaptations may move in quickly. Whether quickly or slowly, once established they do not change easily. Yesterday's proven adaptations become today's frustrations with change. Algorithms can develop a life of their own. Natural selection protects no favorites. Efficiency is everything.
In the case of human beings, choices can be made that are often short-term fixes that can become very popular but do not serve their purposes very long. Vested interests arise. Intellectual honesty is sacrificed to parochial concerns. Competition for elite status supplants community values.
The important choice concerns how anyone obtains the energy required to survive. Given that we are a social species, the poles of that choice are cooperative ventures, divisions of labor based on merit (who can best do the work) where all share in the work and its output--a partnership. The other extreme is slavery, stealing other people's labor by force, fraud, or class restraints. The latter short-term adaptations create war and injustice and destroy the resources all require while frustrating the development of individual talents the community needs. It can only serve an elite--white supremacy in American history.
In the absence of an established vocabulary for the concepts I developed, I fashioned some metaphors to describe a fundamental difference between societies. "The Outlaw Gene" addresses the means of adapting people to having their labor stolen, which is "The Origin of Evil."
"The Religion of Money" describes how religion (so called) justifies the evil. "White Supremacy" applies to any elite that serves the "Religion of Money" or other justification for authoritarian rule.
Riane Eisler, in her ground-breaking work, The Chalice and the Blade, employed different metaphors to describe the basic building block of society. All systems of organizing society contain a ruling premise--the value judgments that hold otherwise disparate people together. The classic dichotomy, liberal and conservative, has a long history stretching to ancient times. Eisler's Chalice represents an ethic of nurture. Woman gave life and were taken as goddesses through much of history. There were few wars. Agriculture flourished. Children were protected. A sense of justice prevailed. Professor Eisler refers to that era of society as partnership.
It took many centuries to develop liberal reforms in the face of the blade that came with early technology. Violence and intimidation became proper means of ruling. Bravery and courage were the measure of a man. Women and children are to serve not to direct. Professor Eisler refers to that phase of history as dominator rule. Lincoln put it this way: "But it has so happened in all ages that some have laboured, and others have, without labor, enjoyed a large portion of the fruits, This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] each labourer the whole product of his labor or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of government." (1)