Progressive globalists have mapped out a new pseudo-scientific strategy to go along with their climate change fanaticism, and it’s a real doozy. The approach turns Charles Darwin’s famed “survival of the fittest” evolutionary mantra on its head, arguing that it has been a “survival of the friendliest” instinct urging peaceful cooperation that has marked the upward development of animals and the human species since the beginning of time.
Murder Hornets Need Love, Too
The absurd politicization of nature lurking behind this theme is best captured by a “science journalist’s” heartfelt sympathy for the infamous murder hornet. Otherwise known as the Asian giant hornet, this invasive species has gripped the public imagination for its horrific ability to savagely wipe out an entire hive of honeybees within hours. The European honeybee has no defense against the Asian giant hornet, as it is not a part of its natural ecosphere.
They may not want to hear it, but Sonia Shah, author of the just-released book The Next Great Migration, is here to tell the slaughter-prone honeybees that they need to stop being so judgmental about their new neighbors. “Migration isn’t the crisis. Migration is the solution,” a cocksure Shah told NPR in an interview posted June 2. “There’s so many species that are moving around, and to think that every newcomer who comes into your territory is sort of alien to it as opposed to the natives who belong there, I think that’s where we go wrong,” she expounded.
“I mean, it’s interesting with the hornets. This is very typical of how we respond to new novel creatures that we think are out of place. I mean, we were calling these hornets, ‘murder hornets,’ which is a very pejorative way to talk about anything, really. Lions also are predators, we don’t call them ‘murder cats.'”
This silliness dressed up as science is, of course, at its heart political. “When a wild creature crosses from a different place into a new territory, we think of it as an invasive; we call it an alien,” Shah stated. “We see hints of all of that in the way we make policy around immigration and newcomers in places around the world.”
It may seem obvious why European honeybees would not look kindly on the migrant hornets that ruthlessly behead them and feed them to their young in droves. But in the demented progressive worldview, this is just the kind of hostility to the outsider that narrow-minded Americans wallow in when they refuse to roll out the welcome mat to MS-13 gangsters or radical Islamic terrorists. Invasive species are your friends, bigoted bees and ignorant Trump supporters.
Goodbye Alpha Males
Another facet of progressive naturalism is the “survival of the friendliest” theme being promoted as an antidote to Darwin’s classic “survival of the fittest” theory of natural selection. According to the new teaching, increased global urbanization is causing animals to “self-domesticate,” resulting in the development of harmonious behavioral traits that will spell the end to an outdated animal patriarchy that featured “dominant males” fighting it out to mate with females. Really.
“Nature is supposed to be red in tooth and claw, and domestication an artificial process for making animals gentle,” a 2012 Wired article begins. “But it appears that some corners of the animal kingdom are becoming kinder, gentler places. Certain creatures may be domesticating themselves.”
The piece leans heavily on the research of Brian Hare, a Duke University evolutionary anthropologist. Studying chimpanzees and bonobos led Hare to conclude that it is friendliness, and not competition, that allows animal species to thrive.
“In male chimps, it’s very costly to be on top,” Hare told Wired. “Often in primate hierarchies, you don’t stay on top very long. Everyone is gunning for you. You’re getting in a lot of fights. If you don’t have to do that, it’s better for everybody.”
While there can be much to gain from studying how certain animals evince a remarkable ability to work together, a broader agenda is at play. Animal “self-domestication” is being used as a smokescreen for the promotion of progressive social beliefs.
Hare is co-author, with his wife Vanessa Woods, of a new book fittingly titled Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity, which comes out in July. A write-up at publisher Penguin Random House’s website is telling:
“Just as a mother bear is most dangerous around her cubs, we are at our most dangerous when someone we love is threatened by an ‘outsider.’ The threatening outsider is demoted to sub-human, fair game for our worst instincts. Hare’s groundbreaking research… reveals that the same traits that make us the most tolerant species on the planet also make us the cruelest.
“Survival of the Friendliest offers us a new way to look at our cultural as well as cognitive evolution and sends a clear message: In order to survive and even to flourish, we need to expand our definition of who belongs.”
This is not science. This is political. A child should be able to see through the canard.
Going to the Dogs
Given all this, it should be no surprise to see a former Obama administration official latching on to this leftist reinterpretation of nature. Cass Sunstein, who served as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2012, is best known for touting Nudge Theory. This technique posits that people can be indirectly steered by behavioral suggestion into making personal decisions deemed “right” by those doing the nudging.
Sunstein is ecstatic over reports that foxes residing in urban areas are showing signs of dog-like domestication. “Urban foxes are able to find shelter in built-up areas, and over one-third of their diet consists of scavenged food,” he wrote in a June 13 op-ed for Bloomberg News. “Their home ranges are much smaller than those of rural foxes, meaning that they are likely to breed with one another.
“Intriguingly, [researchers] speculate that because they have taken up residence near people, urban foxes might show reduced levels of stress and fear – and hence ‘urban tameness,’ signaling a capacity to trust.”
It is not only urban foxes that Professor Nudge has in mind. If urbanization is turning foxes into gentle souls, then why can’t it do the same for human beings?
“Some foxes are evolving to become more like dogs. Could this ‘domestication syndrome’ help humans, too?” the column’s subhead reads.
“Amid Covid-19, and protests over racial injustice, we are seeing a great deal of division, suspicion and polarization,” Sunstein writes. “At the same time, nations all over the world are experiencing extraordinary levels of cooperation, collaboration and trust. Evolution favors the most cooperative — and the friendliest.”
Keep in mind that in 2010, while serving as Obama’s information czar, Sunstein sought to force political blogs to add pop-up boxes containing opposing arguments on all articles posted. His tyrannical defense for the outrageous proposal was as alarming as the idea itself. “The best would be for this to be done voluntarily,” Sunstein said at the time. “But the word voluntary is a little complicated and people sometimes don’t do what’s best for our society.”
Sunstein and his fellow progressives apparently don’t approve of free-range Americans. Rugged individualists residing outside of megacities and their ever-expanding suburban belts can prove much harder to “nudge.” Global leftists yearn to see fiercely autonomous free citizens evolve into urbanite lap dogs. A pat on the head, a scratch behind the ear, and a stick now and then, and the “self-domesticated” human city dweller can be led in any direction they desire.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.