Homo sapiens — the rightless animal?
(on humanitarian disaster of a global scale)

Disclaimer: Dear readers, here we have attempted to tell you a picturesque story of how it happened that modern Homo sapiens lost their major natural rights. We wrote this text in hope that it might be of interest to even those of you whose hearts are followed by minds and not the other way round as in our target reader. A.M. Makarieva, V.G. Gorshkov, 14 February 2009.
See also:
Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G., Li B.-L. (2011) Have ecological human rights been globally lost? A conflict of ecological spatial requirements and cultural landscape opportunities in the modern Homo sapiens. "Landscape Ecology in Asian Cultures" (Eds. Hong S.-K., Wu J., Kim J.-E., Nakagoshi N.) Ecological Research Monographs, 2011, Part I, 129-137.

4. The right for significance and the right for human virtue

E. Munk. The Scream.
E. Munk. "The Scream"

The right for territory is tightly connected with other natural human rights, the information about which can similarly be gained from a study of the biological design of human beings.

We notice that per capita individual territory of humans is about four square kilometers. At the same time our voice is so powerful, that we can vocally mark a much larger territory. If one screams at full voice, he can be heard over a territory of a few hundred square kilometers.

Since normally no alien intruders are tolerated on individual territories, this means that the normal social group of humans consisted of about 100 individuals, who were closely correlated with each other.

Size of natural social group of humans is unambiguously determined by the biological design of the human organism

In such a natural population every human being had an average 1/100th impact on the life of the society. Individual significance on average equaled 1/100. In modern overpopulated societies individual significance has shrunk by millions of times, producing unsatisfaction, humiliation, and anxiety.

Most people feel they do not produce any impact on the society, do not decide anything — and suffer. Those people who are on the top of the society, naturally, desperately defend their natural right for social significance against any possible rivals (their co-citizens). As we know, in each country the number of actual decision-makers can be counted in no more than a few hundreds, with all of them knowing each other very well. This exactly corresponds to the size of the natural social group of human beings. Note that such people cannot be straightforwardly blamed, as cannot straightforwardly be blamed people defending their rights for food and water amidst a terrible famine or drought.

That the right for significance penetrates all aspects of human existence can easily be seen from many aspects of modern life. People try to invent ways of re-gaining significance:

  • Professional societies organize at sizes close to the size of natural human groups ~ 100-1000 individuals (sportsmen, scientists, musicians etc.)
  • Most religions try to compensate the lack of significance in their believers by sending the message of each person being individually valuable and important for God.
  • Internet communication competes with religion for this function; people are able to create web societies close in size to natural human groups and get a feeling of influencing life of the society.

Ultimately, people have even lost the right for human virtues. Biological design prescribes every normal human being to possess a certain set of behavioral standards (virtues), which ensure stable existence of the natural population. People have to be clever, kind, honest, capable etc. and competitive, i.e. socially active. In the normally-sized population all these qualities in each individual are monitored by the other individuals with high precision. Those who possess all these qualities, the most harmonic human beings, get to the top of the society.

In a small natural human group all members possess all qualities necessary for stable existence of the group
In a small natural social group all individuals are approximately equal in performance and possess the complete set of behavioral properties essential for a stable existence of the group. The best among the equal rule the society.

The unnaturally high intensity of competitive interaction in huge populations makes human beings choose among human virtues; nobody can afford retaining all of them. The individual has to choose to be either clever or competitive, either kind or competitive, etc. This choice among virtues can be compared to a forced choice between eating and drinking, breathing and sleeping etc. In the result, only those get to the top who spend all their time on competition. But these are no longer are the most harmonic individuals in the human society.

It is not possible to retain all human virtues and get to the top of an unnaturally huge human population
To get to the top of an unnaturally large social group one has to sacrifice the majority of human virtues spending most time on social competition.

Although for different reasons, this situation produces unsatisfaction, moral sufferings and diseases both in those decent people who cannot get to the top and in those who ultimately get there. Needless to say that this critically destabilizes the civilization, because the best human virtues remain undervalued and gradually lost from the society.

5. Conclusions

Thus, having lost the natural human rights, the overwhelming majority of people on Earth will never in their life have an opportunity to feel what it actually means to be a human being. What can this global humanitarian catastrophe be compared with? For example, if all human beings lost the ability to hear and, without knowing what happened, continued to believe that they have everything a human being must have. Or if all people of Earth became of one and the same sex and never knew the beauty of sexual relationships between men and women. Or if people lived under ground and never saw the sunlight, without even knowing that it exists. In the same manner modern humans have lost their right for individual territory, for social significance and human virtues.

Is our planet inhabited by human beings? Or, rather, by pathetic fragments of what once could have been conceived as a majestic design? As we have argued, all problems of modern civilization are the consequence of global overpopulation. Not only is this problem unresolved, but it has not even been set up properly. Usually human population growth is considered as an inevitable law of nature that cannot be modified. It is assumed that all civilization processes must be adapted to this law. Free market economy strongly relies on population growth. Mass-media not only ignore the overpopulation problem, but advertise the need to mitigate the demographic crisis in some developed countries.

In natural species, overpopulation is strongly suppressed and is practically never observed. It destroys the ecological community. But under some rare conditions overpopulation does exist in nature. What are these conditions? It is the abundance of some environmental characteristics used by life. Such abundance arises for species introduced on new territories, like rats and rabbits in Australia, or after volcanic eruptions. In all such cases we observe exponential growth and population expansion.

The reasons for this expansion are not obvious and must get a scientific explanation. Life cannot be stable without competitive interaction of individuals inside each population. Without competition and selection of defective individuals, the number of the latter increases. The species loses its organization and goes extinct.

Under conditions of abundance, defective individuals can occupy free territory and claim free resources, and thus avoid competition with normal individuals. In order to switch on competition, it is necessary to expand the population to occupy all available territory and resources, in other words, to do away with abundance. Life in continuous abundance is impossible. Therefore, expansion is a genetically programmed characteristic of life.

Human brain and thinking put the humanity under the illusion of a continuous resource abundance, which arises during the unstoppable intellectual development of the civilization. This very dangerous situation must be realized and seriously analyzed by modern humanity, in order that at least the future generations of people on Earth would live up to the proud name of the human being.

There might be hope yet

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