Our Prime Directive

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Look, let’s get down to where the rubber meets the road. Like all living creatures on our little blue planet, human beings want, above all, to stay alive. We insist on it. We try to eat right, exercise, button our seat belts, go to the doctor and avoid creepy strangers. Since humans are social beings, we want to keep our tribe alive as well. Not only do we care about them, but if we all don’t stay alive, no one will stay alive. Folks without social support systems sicken and die. According to Science Alert, “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need – crucial to both well-being and survival,” says psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad from Brigham Young University. 

For probably 90% of human life on earth, humans lived in small bands of related individuals. They tried to stay alive and keep the tribe alive-and obviously succeeded. Perhaps 10,000 years ago, they got the idea of farming together and keeping livestock, rather than wandering about seeking food. This eventually required warriors to repel other tribes who wanted to loot their food stores, administrators for the grain bin and eventually a king. the deal is, the “government” keeps us alive and the tribe alive in exchange for which, their job is administrative rather than tending flocks and planting wheat.

While people have complained about their governors since there were any, it’s not a bad deal when it works to keep everyone alive; the prime directive. And when it doesn’t? Then the governors broke the deal and it would be great if we could just boot them out. Trouble is, they have the warriors (cops and soldiers) and will use them to stay in power. Say you want a revolution? But then, lots of revolutions have ended with an even worse batch in power.

What’s the solution? Walking a tightrope, balancing, balancing, because every group of humans has it’s Aholes and they seem strangely attracted to positions of authority-and that won’t change any more than the prime directive will change. May you and your tribe live long and prosper.

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