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Every prey animal has some kind of defensive adaptation. When the Big Cat attacks the herd of antelope, they scatter in different directions. It's not a terrible plan. The lion can only chase (and potentially eat) one of them. Being a smart predator, she chases the most vulnerable ones. So the young and the old get eaten and, hey, fuck 'em. The old are useless and the young ones who aren't smart enough to escape are better weeded out of the herd. The problem, of course, is that eventually every antelope becomes the one that isn't fast enough to run away. It's only a matter of time until all of them meet the same fate when they're too old to be useful anymore.

The water buffalo isn't fast enough to run away. They get into that sweet little defensive circle (adults outside, the young and old inside). When the lion comes looking she has to think a bit harder; how hungry am I? There are a lot of them and those horns look pretty sharp. I might be able to get one, but is it worth the risk? It would be so easy if there was some way to make them scatter. Ah, crap. Looks like they're going to stick together. Where are the antelope?

Social Darwinism and the "life is like the jungle" attitude that are so pervasive in our society have a single purpose: to convince you that you are an antelope. The only thing you can do is run away. You'll be OK so long as there are other people around who are even more vulnerable. You could try to stop them, but why? Every time they eat the poor, the geezers, and the kids who are defenseless, you live another day. Don't try holding your ground against the big, strong predator. Don't stick together or they'll eat all of you.

Just imagine how much different our politics and society would be if we were less eager to say "As long as they're eating someone else, I don't care" and more apt to get in a big group and ask the lion if it feels lucky.

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