Given the events of this year, there have been growing calls to take a public stand on the issues of the day. The world is becoming aware of the corruption of those in power and the racism of much of the public, but these things are not new to me. Of course I support those standing up for justice, particularly the Black Lives Matter movement, but I am deeply terrified by the larger picture that I see. I can’t commit myself to a single cause while turning my back on the rest. Let me explain.
I have written elsewhere about how humans have adopted 3 basic animal social models – the wolves that hunt in packs, the cats that value territory, relationships, and personal righteousness, and the horses that go their own way each day, but maintain contact with the herd for safety and resources. The hunters of a Hunter & Gatherer society adopt the social habits of the wolf, and the gatherers those of the cats. These have become synonymous with the male and female roles in today’s society. With civilization, the artists, musicians, scientists, and creative thinkers have taken the role of the horse – doing what they think is best, reshaping and improving society. I will use these admittedly simplified archetypes in this article.
The Wolves are all about their ‘loyalty-to-‘ and ‘position-in-‘ the pack. They are driven to strive for position and power. And, they protect the status-quo because if, in their view, society falls apart, they lose every shred of self-worth and purpose. The Cats are not a usually a threat to this, on an individual level, as the two groups do not compete. The Cats feel superior and the Wolves feel they are in control. The Horses on the other hand are considered radicals who the Wolves think would undercut social order, and are thus taken by the Wolves to be The Enemy.
On a larger scale, different wolf packs will fight each other, nation vs nation, Catholics vs. Protestants, Christians vs. Muslims. But when one society becomes ruled by the Cats, there is a major clash with the Wolf cultures and the power struggle turns to genocide. The Romans and the Celts, the Spanish and the Native Americans, the Christians and the Pagans, and so on down through history, with the Patriarchal society destroying the Matriarchal society, the Wolves coming out on top because they are by their nature organized for warfare. Matriarchal societies thrive on peace, Patriarchal societies on war. Few nations down through history have been founded by Horses – these are the fragile appearances of Democracy in the world, which we now see are vulnerable to subversion by Fascists, who are Wolves seeking power at all costs.
On a personal level we all experience pressure by the Wolves to conform. The baby version in school is called hazing; I have experienced boxed ears, punches, destruction and theft of property, and endless verbal assaults because I was a Horse. We form up little packs called “cliques” for protection or protective camouflage; I took refuge in Band – the ideal place for a Horse, with individuals striving for the good of the team.
Much of society is an interplay of conformance to wolf packs. In my area, people compete to show excessive loyalty to their Religious group, and their holier-than-thou attitude is very off-putting. In business, loyalty to the company is more important than productivity or personal contributions. Police bow to those who appear to have social status, and harass those who do not. Unions will fight to take power from greedy business owners, but are themselves subject to corruption. Politics is an obvious example, but beware that publicly championing a set of values does not mean the individuals actually believe in them; the Democrats profess high ideals while the party apparatus falls into the same old wolf tactics far too easily.
But the adult Wolves will kill you if you refuse to conform. Down through history you can be killed for being “other” in so many ways: Race, religion, politics, non-binary sexuality, scientific insight; for being Black, Jewish, Yellow, Pagan, Gay, a Gadfly, or a Prophet.
I’m glad that the world is waking up to the evils of racism and hope to believe that the Black Lives Matter movement will make a real difference. But what about the Trans people still being murdered? What about the greed that is destroying the middle class and driving people into poverty? What about the deliberate ignorance of science that is about to push the Earth over the brink and humankind into extinction, or another stone age? I fear BLM will simply re-draw the lines and the wolves will move on to the next target in line. As long as people channel the social model of wolves, the strife will continue.
Personally I am nearly paralyzed by the thought of being targeted by the Wolves, yet as a Horse I know I am on a path to try to change society. I’ve had friends of many races and religions, I have adopted my children from other backgrounds, I’ve worked for the betterment of my socially progressive church, plowed my savings into trying to create jobs, and led a kind and generous life. My true gift though is my mind, and writing is my chosen tool. But I do not demonstrate – I hate crowds and I was brought up that if you’re somewhere that the police show up, you’re in the wrong place. Right now I’m still hurting, healing from 30 years trying to effect change from within, in corporate America. But I’m sharpening my sword and preparing for my final battle to change the course of the human race. I’ve given up on the idea of personal scientific or industrial contribution; I know my legacy from this point in life will be through others. But what should the target of my pen be?
Sexism & phobias
Dictatorships and oppressed societies
Restoring the Middle Class and eliminating poverty
Sounding the alarm about existential threats
Helping the next generation understand the challenges they face
Giving people better tools to deal with complexity
Presenting social model alternatives
All of the above
So you won’t see me out waving signs in mobs. I may look like I’ve given up on the world and gone hermit while I’m healing. I may be fooling myself and am actually paralyzed by terror and indecision, though I think I have 20 more years of productive life to spend wisely, and feel like I’m planning. I abhor the wolf packs and their subordination of individuality and reason. Know that I stand fully for the inherent worth of the individual and smile upon your efforts to make the world a better place. I will support you when and where I can.