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The human obstacle to social development

 Humans, or more precisely, human society, have become the most dominant part of the Earth's biosphere, mainly because of the ability of...

 Humans, or more precisely, human society, have become the most dominant part of the Earth's biosphere, mainly because of the ability of intelligent humans to cooperate. Humanity progresses with the help of intelligent human cooperation, and the persistence of our ability to cooperate allows our social development to continue.

However, cooperation is hindered by easily identifiable forms of behavior that are also characteristics of human nature. Personal human behaviors that prevent effective cooperation are typically the desire to defeat others, to achieve victory, and the love of controlling others, the desire for power.

Although these behaviors are advantageous for survival in evolutionary competition, when human society is considered as a single living organism, these behaviors act as barriers to social cooperation. Human communities are able to progress more effectively when the behavior of community members is less oriented toward defeating and dominating one another.

Human society can also be characterized as a hierarchical organization, in which the coordination of the life of the community is carried out by the leadership of the society with elected or appointed politicians. Depending on whether the social system is democratic or dictatorial, different mechanisms are used to select the politicians who lead the society. In general, however, the process of selecting leaders generally favors those who are most willing and able to defeat competitors and who are most eager to control and maintain power.

The current method of social governance selects and prefers social leaders according to the very behaviors that function as obstacles to social cooperation. Typically, it is the politician who most desires power and is most effective in achieving victory in competition with others (and also shows creativity in the choice of using legal, illegal, honest or dishonest means), i.e., the one who possesses the behavioral traits that make social cooperation difficult, who prevails.

The forms of social governance currently practiced, whether representative democracy or authoritarian dictatorship, are counter-selective in the way they choose between those who possess the least cooperative qualities, those least suited to the task. This may be the root cause of many political crises. As long as the leaders of society are counter-selected into positions of power according to their ability to cooperate, the political governance of society will remain in crisis.

Nevertheless, human communities are more or less developing, capable of progressing, because our ability to cooperate plays a crucial role among the many human behaviors. If and when a method of social governance is found and applied that does not favor the traits that inhibit social cooperation in the governance of social leaders, but rather favors cooperative behavior, then social leadership will not be a hindrance to social development, but rather act as a catalyst, then human society will be able to develop more effectively.

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