2015-08-25

Mobbing is a human heritage

First of all, i do not condone any mobbing. 


Actually i despise it, i can not stand the thought that somebody is mobbed. I know that 9 out of 10 people find nothing wrong with mobbing, but i still find it wrong. I am not alone in this, many politicians and celebrities are against it, among them prime ministers, presidents, first ladies, kings and queens. Mobbing is something no civilized human should do.

Mobbing is a barbarian act. It sends out subtle signals that the target is not worth friendly thoughts. It is meant to undermine self-esteem and to cause significant psychological harm. Mobbed people start questioning their self-worth. It is so damaging that some youths take their own life due to mobbing. Hence, mobbing is something no civilized human should do.

We are civilized and not barbarians. We consider barbarians to closely resemble apes or our ape-like ancestors. We have evolved from that and we are certainly proud of that. We are civilized thanks to the evolution of mankind. Some million years ago, our ancestors were much like our closest cousins in the animal kingdom, the chimpanzees. Chimpanzees have anger issues and plays frequently turn into aggressive fights which causes damages to those involved. Our other cousins, the bonobos, turn to love in order to resolve social problems. We are too civilized to resort to sex in order to solve every problem.

So, how did we get civilized?


Again, i'm turning to the russian silver fox experiment. The aim was to find out how dogs got domesticated. Rather brutally, the experimenters divided their foxes according to their aggressiveness. Ten generations later, and cute friendly domesticated foxes where the result. The researchers in this experiment played God, knowing what they were looking for and providing ultimate selective pressure. Humans were not so lucky, we were left to do that on our own. So how did we do that?

I mean i'm talking about the self-domestication of humans.


First of all, nobody planned any domestication few million years ago - at least a document with that evil plan hasn't been found yet. Hence, it happened by accident. The Zaire river divided the ancestors of chimpanzees and bonobos. One environmental condition created our aggressive cousin, the other one must have been the paradise still harbouring the bonobos.

We assume that savannah took over the forest space forcing the ancestor of homo ergaster from the safe trees down to earth. And by chance, the big cat dinofelis developed an appetite for those apes. Bigger groups had better chances in fighting off dinofelis. Living in bigger group requires social intelligence and less aggressivity towards the other members. This is exactly the same criterion those silver fox researchers used for their selection. But who throw out those who failed the criterion? Who made the decision, which member is to be thrown under the wheels or in front of the next big cat? Nobody! At that time, homo ergaster didn't hold elections, courts or even elected a chief. 

It must have been peer pressure. Those who didn't fit in due to their aggressiveness, were driven off. It seems unlikely that our ancestors kept an account and after a certain number of strikes punishment was due. It is more probable that not fitting in was answered with constant signals to get lost. 

How do you subtle convince someone to leave?


Actually, that was not necessary. Evolutionary pressure utilizes tiny advantages. So tiny that the differences are almost unrecognizable. It is enough that friends stayed together during an attack by dinofelis. All what is needed is to make sure that unpopular members of the group get more exposed positions. Hence, everything that communicates the message of lower worth will do. If one does not feel entitled to love, one does not seek the safe center. This is exactly what shame is producing in modern humans. It ultimately destroys self-esteem. Hence our ancestors were driving those less popular individuals towards more exposed positions. Fortunately for mankind, they were rather successful. In some sense, we can be grateful that our ancestors were so proficient at mobbing. Without them, we would not have become civilized. Mobbing is partly responsible for human evolution. I guess 9 out of 10 people know that.

Disclaimer

Not everything in this post is meant to be taken dead serious.

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