Mankind is a territorial beast. He seeks to own, to posses, to plant his flag, to piss on his tree, and proclaim to all the world that this little part of the world is HIS.
However, as much as he likes to claim that this part of the world is his, sometimes he looks at his neighbor, and covets what his neighbor owns. Other times, he owns the better lot, and can feel the covetus eyes of his brethren staring at him, measuring him for a coffin. Other animals would look at him, and see not a rival for territory, but food, or a rival for food.
For that reason, the early apes banded together and formed family units. One family, in most cases the biggest and most powerful, took the forefront. The second largest would sometimes challenge him, but ultimately, they would band together for the good of the family should they face external threat.
Over the years, as competition drove them out of the trees and into the plains, they began to eat meat and walk on two legs. This evolution, a Behavioral change spurred on by an Environmental one, caused the brains of those apes to grow, and the natural world to be seen not as scenery, but as a possible tool.
As his cousins in the trees stayed there, these Apes began to use tools. As they gathered together to defend against larger predators, and to take down larger prey, they moved from competitions over small sections of forest and stream, to competitions over hunting lands.
This prompted these Apes, now walking on two legs more often then four, began to wear fur, and to turn their hunting tools on each other. They fought over land, over women, over prey. The ancient things over which all animals fought.
As one group lost and where banished from their lands, they moved out from the areas around the Great Rift Valley in Africa, and moved North and South and East and West. As they entered into competition with themselves and their environments, they developed new tools.
Skins where no longer worn for protection against the sun, but for protection against their fellow man and from the cold. Shelters that where mainly advantageous caves, became tents made from the hides of their prey. Their weapons evolved from sharpened sticks to hold warheads of stone and bone. They developed methods to throw these spears farther. They developed pottery and weaving to store food, allowing them to ease their nomadic lifestyles.
They befriended the horse and the dog for the benefits these animals gave them in hunting and war. They began to manipulate the flow of rivers, and to manipulate the growth of grass and cow to produce wheat and rice and corn and cow. And all of this, out of the knowledge that should they fall behind, their neighbors may decide to come in and wipe them out.
The first real wars by the modern definition took place among these early farmers. They happened in the nation-states of Akkad and Summer and Ur, fighting to expand their power, to make themselves more wealthy and more powerful. And from these wars, they expanded their knowledge of metals and developed currency from those medals.
Currency allowed them to grow from an economy based on the trade of service, to the trade of currency for the service. This created a new form of competition, as nations sought to beat out their neighbors in trade as well as war.
Eventually, they developed writing, and great thinkers evolved. These great thinkers competed with each other, each trying to disprove the other. In later generations, their students fought with their teacher’s opponent’s students, fighting not with currency or weapons, but with words and plays.
These advances in thought gave birth to more and more new schools of law and thought. Some, unable to prove themselves in the real world, fell by the way side, as others where spawned forth from the fusion of other schools. This gave rise to new forms of government and new legal theories.
Combined with the idea of currency, this gave birth to the trader princes, who sought out new lands for the sake of trade, in currency and knowledge, and their own advancement. These trader princes re-connected lands and people’s long since separated, and created a new battle field for ideas and currency and weapons.
From these connections came the theory that these apes, now calling themselves Man, no longer needed to be ruled, but had the right to control their own destinies. These theories sparked a revolution in the New World, creating a virtual paradise for free thinkers.
Under this theory, enshrined under the name of the Constitution of the United States of America, mankind competed peacefully with each other, and mankind’s knowledge and inventiveness exploded. A whole new battlefield in the war of ideas was born, that of science for profit. The two greatest of these high-minded apes in this new land, Tesla and Edison, gave birth to a brand new world and helped to turn the world from a dark land into one lit by man.
Meanwhile, in the Old World, some looked upon these advances, and divorced Cause and Effect. They saw this freedom to compete, to produce, to own, and saw it as doing harm to mankind.
In Germany, the Kaisers came to power, and in an attempt to unify Germany, started to plant the seeds of the worship of The State.
Where previously, the State was viewed as a necessary evil, something to protect ourselves from foreign enemies and to set and enforce the very basic moral standards of the nation through the passing of laws, others viewed The State as an item to be worshipped without question.
Ironically, it was not in their homeland that these enemies of competition gained power, but in the nation which lit the world through the rivalry of two great minds. In the United States, the Progressive Movement began, and the world would be worse off for it.
Woodrow Wilson was the culmination of this, and is considered in some corners of the Historical Community as the world’s First Fascist Dictator, or at the minimum, as the Prototype upon which all others based themselves.
Though these ideals of centralization, of nationalization of property, of an end to competition, first bore fruit in America, their dark demons where exposed in the Old World, where the ghosts and demons of the past where stronger, and where the memory of a Monarch still stirred in the minds of many.
Thus renounced, the Progressives had to find a new way to end Competition, without even realizing that such was the end of their society. Thus, they turned away from overt Socialism and Fascism and Nazism, to a growing group, sparked by a crackpot scientist in Sweden.
Tired of having to deal with the unions, the Iron Lady of Conservatism ceased on the theory we would come to know as the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and tried to force Nuclear Power upon England.
The Progressives took the theory and ran. Thus empowered, they claimed that those who stood against them where enemies of mankind, men who sought only to end the world as we know it. They sought power to enforce their views, and if necessary, to ignore the tattered old document, signed over 200 years before.
They claimed that growth, the food and drink of competition and growth and advancement, was bad, and would lead to the end of mankind. They claimed that we needed to curb the number of children we bore, because the increase of population was unsustainable, even as the quest to increase the food supply available to the world showed that soon, farmlands would be obsolete, and that mankind could build farms in the center of their cities.
Even as they where proved wrong, they screamed louder and louder that we needed to shrink the population, not grow it, even as the historians showed that those who actively sought to decrease their populations went into an irrevocable slide into oblivion.
These biological mutants, in direct violation of the instinct to preserve their species grew in power and might, even as other looked to the moon, to mars, to the stars for the answer.
The moral of this story, if not already grasped, is simple. If we wish to survive, we must expand outwards as we are, seeking to expand for the sake of greed and a selfish desire to breed.
Stagnation is extinction. Eugenics is extinction. Both pollute the gene pool with too great of a redundancy, and expand the chances that the human race should die if some genetic anomaly presents itself.
Sure, we could choose to limit our population growth. We could even decrease our population if needed. But such would leave us stagnant, and our civilization, if not our species, would be in danger of death, if not extinction.
I am not advocating wars of conquest upon fellow humans or upon any sentient aliens with which SETI makes contact, but rather the understanding that not all cultures with which we interact want peace. Iran, right here on Earth, seeks external conflict as a means to stay in power, even as they know that should the War of Ideas escalate into a War of Weapons, they will inevitably lose.
IF we want the Human Race to survive, then we must expand outwards. We must put more research into how to live permanently on Mars, on the Moon, on the Moons of Jupiter, and in the Asteroid Belt. We must look into ways to subvert the speed of light, if not to ignore it altogether, and to colonize worlds surrounding extrasolar stars.
Anything else shall lead to stagnation and eventually extinction. We must expand, we must proclaim, “Onwards and Upwards, Evermore!” And we must find new worlds on which to live. For as the human race is now, we shall, eventually stagnate, and we shall go extinct.