One of the most noticeable differentiators for us as animals is evolution of a complex collective that we refer to as society. We believe that we are animals who cooperate for greater good and thus are blessed with a structure we call society.
While we proudly claim the title of being social, reality is, for all the creatures that ever walked the planet, intra and inter-species co-operation is just a cost-benefit calculation aimed at individual gain.
Society is an emergent illusion of the phenomenon of cooperation, and intensity of this illusion is directly proportionate to genetic information similarity and availability of shareable resources.
But, both these factors counterbalance each other too, as genetic similarity encourages innate cooperation, but it also allows the fellow creature to use the same resources, making it a competitor, so it works only in environment with excess resources. Genetic dissimilarity reduces innate cooperation but also reduces ability to use same resources, allowing more cooperation as there is reduced competition. So, cooperation always stays in a fine balance with these two forces constantly acting on it.
Society as humanity imagines to have is cooperation between strangers, i.e. individuals with dissimilar genetic information, and that is yet to be archived by any creature. Even the so-called social insects are actually not at all social, as an anthill or a beehive is genetically one being divided in parts. Utopian society of cooperating strangers that is agnostic to resource-availability is yet to arrive on this planet.
The truth is, till the equitable resource distribution is not instilled, cooperation is just an opportunistic phenomenon that is fickle. If we want to intensify the pleasant illusion of being social, we need to create another illusion, and that is of equity of resource-availability to all.
But resource-availability also impacts on population number, so in normal circumstances, resources are just enough and competing for them is what we call living. So, utopian society is near impossible in nature.
The above mechanism has worked till now, but today there is change that requires us to question it, because humanity has lately achieved another impossible, and that is the ability of extracting lot more resources than we collectively need, creating at least a theocratical possibility of forming a society.
But, would we ever get there?
If we look at the world today, humanity has the greatest opportunity to step out of competition of life and enjoy it. We generate more that each of us can consume, so struggle of life should be a matter of past. But, strangely, we seem to have failed to grab the opportunity and are actually heading in exactly opposite direction.
The simple reason for this is individual greed. Every human being is in the race to acquire and own more than he can consume in his lifetime. This is complicated further by emergence of commerce and idea of money where this hoarded resources can be parked by individuals. The strange outcome is, we are living in the golden age of surplus resources, and yet, we have actually invented a concept that never existed in history of life, i.e. poverty.
Poverty is the craziest achievement of human evolution. It has actually reduced a large segment of the race of animals that virtually rule the planet today to live in a state of resource-deficit that no other animal suffers from.
We have had a scientific renaissance, but now we need a social one. The equitable resource-distribution is the biggest problem statement before us that best of the intellect need to urgently tackle.
If we don’t invest intellectual energy in solving this, no amount of technological advancement will create a happy world.
We are wise enough to know that we are one race, one species and share one planet, about time we act like one.