This article was originally published at The Conversation and has been republished under Creative Commons.
Where did we humans come from?
- Skulls show women moved across medieval Europe, not just men The Spokesman-Review
It is common to meet people who believe that much of the world is beset by “tribalism” and that the only thing holding back the chaos of a Hobbesian war of all against all is the presence of “strong leaders.” This worldview reached its apogee during the Cold War, when the US used it to justify propping up numerous dictators around the world, helping them brutally suppress separatist movements and impose authoritarian rule. The argument was that the alternative would be even worse. After the end of the Cold War, ethnic violence in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. were then used as “proof” of the wisdom of such realpolitik. It isn’t US imperialism which was at fault, the argument ran, but rather the ancient religious, tribal, and/or clan divisions which were always lying just beneath the surface.
A good number of us shout at our laptops when they misbehave, often to no avail. Perhaps soon they will listen. Could we one day teach them—much like we do children or pets—how to behave?