Cooperation is much smoother in tuns of species then in humans. I am pretty sure we are the only species on the planet that wipes out hundreds of thousands of our own kind on a relatively regular basis. I think our ability to use our intelligence is still in its infancy stage. We basically as a species approach the world as our toddlers approach there playroom. We either use our imagination in reaction to our environment to mold it to our whims for enjoyment or experiment on every single thing we come in contact to see if we can consume it in some way without considering the long term implications of our experiments. This would be the toddler trying to take a big bite out of everything it can get its hands on. Perhaps the ability to experience empathy and to act upon it would be a more fitting description of what might be perceived as cooperation. Empathy is an emotion and I feel that emotions are conscious choices. When people can act on theri empathy and embrace it ,then and only then is the possibility to cooperate attainable.
(Possibly) The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries 1 66 million Second World War 20C 2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C 40 million Genghis Khan 13C 4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C 5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C 6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C 8 18½ million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C 9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C 10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C 11 15 million First World War 20C 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C 13 13 million An Lushan Revolt 8C 14 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C 10 million Congo Free State 19C-20C 16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C 17 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C 19 7 million Fall of Rome 5C 7 million Chinese Civil Wars 20C
Humanity's facticity is an important factor in this particular discussion and in all philosophical discussions that deal with morality. I actual do try to remain a positive person in my every day life. I used to be an idealist but once I was are victimized by some individuals with psychotic personalities it made start to truly value information in order to create a better awareness of the world I lived in and in how fragile any veneer of peace can be. I think for me to make a positive contribution to my community as an advocate for peace I need to be informed. Usually these massive death tolls are triggered by megalomaniacs who are at the helms of decaying nation states. I see the slow and steady decline of the US's educational system and economy that is accompanied by the most powerful military apparatus the world has ever seen as a potential harbinger of a long line potential calamities. In Iraq alone from 2003-2008 over a million Iraqis lost their lives and over 150,000 of them were civilians. The U.S lost approximately 4,500 during the Iraq war. That is completely insane. It will take people knowing the facts and sharing them with the community in hopes to tap into the empathy I was alluding to earlier in order for us to be able to cooperate and demand or government stop implementing wars of aggression.
No offense taken. I was unsure but you gave me an opportunity and for that I thank you. I appreciate when people share how they are thinking. It reminds me of how flawed we all are and that the perception of any flaw is only due to a prior lac of of communication or community. Our individual self struggles against the community to try and find a current reality that we approve of and to try to project it on our community. To communicate openly in essence is an attempt at the cooperation we were discussing earlier. To communicate in the community is to seek some sort of a consensus. Perhaps this premise is just a shadow of the old idealist in me but I am moved by the power of communication.
My platform is right were I need to be. I run an in school suspension program in a high school. I get lots of strong willed students who are getting in trouble because their intuition is moving them to question authority but they have no experience of how to examine their intuition in an effective way. I peel the onion of interpersonal skills and power struggles between individuals. Plainly telling them of how the many who teach them are struggling with their own self esteem issues and their own motivations. I am basically trying to make them philosophers so that they can learn to value their education for practical purposes and how it can just give them a better understanding of what is to come. Many times this takes me affirming many of their suspicions of the hypocrisy that exists in our culture. Kids in this information age have been exposed to far more information at an earlier age then those who have grown up in previous generations. They are very savy yet as I mentioned before inexperienced at how to proceed because there is not enough respect given to them through truth. The irony here is the reason they are not presented with enough truth from their teachers and parents is that the adults don't know the truth anymore either. So much information is passing through the internet then ever before and young people are navigating it like Magellan. Ending up in a brave new world and wondering how to deal with the natives. The difference is that the youth have no powerful supporting nation behind them. They are being abandoned as the US graduation rate dips from 1st in the world to 40th in the world from 1970 to 2010. We have more people in prison then any other country in the industrialized world 2.4 million. We have over 130 military bases distributed in over 130 countries around the world. Ad infinitum and ect.. Anything is fair game. It is a crash course in critical thinking. I will give examples of how to approach their teachers. How to take the initiative in a positive way and get an understanding of a teachers expectations. If this understanding is developed well there will be many opportunities for them to actually teach their teachers due to the information age dynamic I mentioned earlier.
Maldon007- it seems a bit warped to just see the dynamic of war as cooperation. The amount of fear, guilt, coercion and desperation that drove people was overwhelming. There is also the dynamic of educated minorities in control of state propaganda machines indoctrinating masses of people.