Regressives |


Paul Andersen
Aspen, CO Colorado

Evolution is a forward-moving process, an advance in development that improves the ability of species to adapt to a particular niche or environment. For humanity, evolution has lead us to higher levels of being through greater intelligence, expanded morality and advanced technical skills.

So what happens when devolution occurs and takes humanity backward a step or two? Judging by what the Bush Administration has achieved, human devolution has been underway for nearly eight years in America.

Bush is neither a liberal nor a conservative. He is a regressive. By denying the findings of science, by ignoring human values, by dominating and destroying human beings and the natural environment, the Bush Administration has regressed to a frighteningly primitive state.

Author David Loye writes about this backward-stepping president in his new book “Bankrolling Evolution.” During an interview on National Public Radio, the author described Bush as “pathological.” Loye said, “Bush is clearly a narcissist,”

explaining that he loves the image of himself in a position of power, prestige and authority.

The plight of America today ” and it is a plight “stems from regressive policies that have corrupted democracy, devalued human life, exploited nature and gutted the economy, all for the temporary, short-sighted gratification of the president and his enablers.

The most recent abuse is the siphoning of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars into failed banks and spurious lending institutions. These transfusions, rather than helping the victims of the sub-prime fiasco, are enriching the bankers who made fatally unsound financial judgments in a loan shark scheme mostly targeting the poor.

Bush’s war on the environment and his war in Iraq reveal equal measures of reckless endangerment of America’s global stance and national health. Only a true regressive would scorn morality and ethics in pursuit of gross material rewards and dubious personal ambitions.

Charles Darwin in the “The Descent of Man” wrote that animals are prone to sympathy, which acts as a survival instinct for their species. Sympathy is the quality of self-projection into another being, a way of sensing another’s feelings and experiences.

When man projects himself into others and feels sympathy, a door opens to personal ethics. States can accomplish the same thing when their leaders are sympathetic and caring. The Bush Administration has repeatedly failed that critical relationship skill. By denying sympathy or viewing it as a weakness, by dominating, torturing and killing, the Bush Administration has regressed to an evolutionary low-point.

Loye describes Darwin’s “strangely ignored” second half of his theory of evolution, which extols the virtues of “mutual aid, education, love and moral sensitivity for human evolution.”

Instead, human beings have focused on “survival of the fittest,” says Loye, referring to our dominant “selfish genes.” Now, he says, communal instincts must prevail if we are to weather the many challenges of the 21st century.

We must free ourselves from the mythos of the frontier, which continues to guide us toward blind self-interest. We must break from the rugged individualism of Herbert Hoover’s era and assert a progressive and collective approach to global citizenship that defines a new ethic of responsibility.

If we stay on the regressive path of exploiting and plundering natural and human resources, we are likely to witness a collapse of more than democracy, economy and environment. We might preside over a failure of humanism and a return to the brutal savagery of which primitive man is terribly capable.