The Selfishness of “Caring”

altruismIm2I’ve always cared about what is going on in this country, almost impulsively. Yes, it is my home, yes I am an American, but I tend to care about many issues and people that, if I’m honest, don’t directly affect me. I am also a very logical person. I tend to deconstruct things down to their basic substances — which means when it comes to humans I believe everything  boils down to biology.

The reason I want to make America “better” is not because I expect or even believe humans are fully capable of caring about people they will never meet. That is naive. I’m sorry. But there is no way you are going to get most people, or even a large portion of people, to actively care about people they don’t knowThat is against biology. That is why people who are against socialism and communism are against it — giving other people your resources is not self-preservation. WE ARE ANIMALS. We are supposed to preserve ourselves and our offspring.

Currently humans exist within the context of civilized society. Because of that, caring about other people is self-preservation. The reason I am freaked out that we are creating generations of Pakistani’s who hate us because of our questionable drone program is because they are in uncomfortably close proximity to other people who hate us. The reason I’m uncomfortable that Americans are so desensitized by shootings that we don’t see the patterns of domestic terror is because the last thing we need are threats from outside and inside of our borders. This is why people living on the coasts should not be ambivalent about the politics of the rest (majority) of the country. All of our actions are intertwined. Everyone will be affected when the consequences come around.

Whether from outside or from within, it would not be hard for someone to concoct a virus to knock out a significant portion of our population (I live in New York so I definitely worry about this). It is completely feasible that a powerful entity (or individual) will succeed in knocking out one of the few power grids America relies on. Think about that. Think about what would happen if we had no power and no way to fix the problem because our energy infrastructure is so outdated.
I care about you caring about these things because the consequences WILL AFFECT ME. I don’t want to be alive when things come back around. I don’t want to be here when we reap what we’ve sewn — when the chickens come home to roost.
What If We Really Loved All Humanity?
Denial is beautiful when it works. It is advantageous in the short term because it allows us to pursue pleasure without considering consequence. But if that is the stance we continue to take we have to acknowledge that biologically we are behind the curve. We have to acknowledge that we are saying that we are OK with the statistical likelihood that our kids may encounter a superbug that will kill them or their immediate family members, or that they might face a catastrophic nuclear or power event that will ruin their lives.
Personally, I’m not cool with that. I don’t have kids and I’m not close to having them, but I still care about what happens to them because of biology. I am inherently interested in the perpetuation of our species. If you are not, you are at a biological disadvantage.
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