Tribal Violence? We’re Wired For It.

The Neurobiological Theory That Explains Why Trayvon Martin Had To Die.

Several neurobiologists share a theory about why humans, are driven by greed, avarice and tribal fear. The theory is that the core of our brain is essentially that of the most primitive reptilian species, and evolved over millions of years in an environment defined largely by scarcity. Our primitive ancestors, these reptiles, not only had to forage for days before they found anything edible, when they found it they had to brace for the fight of their lives (literally) to defend their catch. They also found that their odds of survival were greatest when they joined like groups who could mount an even fiercer defense of their territory. Sort of like Gorillas, the American Indian, Tribal Bedouin, Greeks, The Aryan Brotherhood, Irish, Catholics, Crips and Bloods, The US Navy, Delta Chi, The Olympic Club and the E-Street Band.

The theory continues to posit that the layer wrapped around this reptilian core is a mammalian layer, which deals with issues like maternal concerns and social interactions, and then the next and final layer is the one that enables memory and abstract thought, the use of tools and the ability to understand mathematics, art and poetry. These last two layers evolved very recently, say in the last million years or so, and as such, are still in evolution. When faced with conditions that send signals to our old reptilian core, we blow right through the barely developed layers surrounding that core and respond as we would ten million years ago.

Humans are therefore programmed to acquire as much of the things that we perceive to be scarce and/or prohibited as we possibly can. Like sex, drugs, power, money, food, safety and celebrity.

Michael Douglas – Choate Alumni

This explains a lot. This explains why people who are smart in the conventional sense, were academically trained at schools like Choate Rosemary Hall, then Princeton and maybe Harvard, who were given an enforced moral compass, and who ended up on Wall Street and then were given what is essentially a large wheelbarrow and led to a room full of gold bars with nobody watching, simply stacked as many of those bars that could fit in that wheelbarrow, and then rolled it right out the door. After all, nobody was watching. When was the last time you did something illicit or illegal when no one was watching? I’ll bet it was yesterday.

This also explains why Politicians lie, cheat and steal for a chance at that most exclusive private club on the planet, the US Congress.

This explains why we have a dangerous and ever-growing obesity problem in this country. It explains why white people donned strange white hoodies and rode horses through black neighborhoods in the middle of the night burning crosses, lynching black men and raping black women, in 1875, 27 years after the slavery laws in this country were repealed for the second time in 1848. And, were still  doing it in the 1950s and 1960s.

This also explains bull fighting, the UFC, gladiators, cock-fighting, dog races, boxing, dog-fighting, football, war, and genocide. If we can’t do it, we damn well love watching someone else do it.

It explains the gun laws and the politics of paranoia. It explains political parties, Donald Trump, the NRA, the NAACP, the ACLU, Black Panthers, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King and his women. It’s how we organize and empower our families, our schools, our games, our businesses, our entertainment. It explains why being human is being human, and it also explains why a frightened, prejudiced young man by the name of George Zimmerman, followed and then shot and killed an unarmed, defenseless boy by the name of Trayvon Martin, as he walked home to watch the second half of a basketball game on TV.

It explains the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and the “stand your ground” law in the state of Florida, which allows anyone to carry a weapon and use it to inflict fatal harm on anyone they might perceive to be a threat to their person. At any time. For any reason. You go, Sarah, you go!

One of the neurobiologists who share this theory is Dr. Peter Whybrow, a British neuroscientist at U.C.L.A.

Dr. Whybrow says “The richest society the world has ever seen, has grown rich by devising better and better ways to give people what they want. The effect on the brain of lots of instant gratification is something like the effect on the right hand of cutting off the left: the more the lizard core is used, the more dominant it becomes. ‘What we’re doing is minimizing the use of the part of the brain that lizards don’t have,’ says Whybrow. ‘We’ve created physiological dysfunction. We have lost the ability to self-regulate, at all levels of the society.” And, he’s right.

This explains why you happily do whatever Goldman Sachs asks you to do in exchange for that $5 million bonus.  Sorry, G-Sax. You earned it.

It also explains The Tea Party, Big Macs, Paris Hilton, Newt Gingrich, 16 oz. Frozen Latte’s, Jesse James, Sarah Palin, John Gosselin,  Brooke Hogan, Americans for Prosperity, Kim Zolciak, Michelle Bachman, Blood Diamonds, Herman Cain, 50 Million Dollar Homes, Kim Kardashian and the whole cast of Jersey Shore.

It explains it all, but it doesn’t change the fact that Trayvon Martin’s Mother will never see her beautiful boy again.

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About Steve King

iPeopleFINANCE™ Chief Operating Officer. Former CEO of Endymion Systems, Inc. a $36m Information Systems Services company. Co-founder of the Cambridge Systems Group, the creator of ACF2, the leading IBM Mainframe Data Center Security product; acquired by Computer Associates. IBM, seeCommerce, marchFIRST, Connectandsell alumni. UC Berkeley alumni. View all posts by Steve King

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