Natan Birman Manoim
Community of Humans
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
The story of human history, as told by those who wrote it, and as I understand it; tells the tale of a homo-sapiens stuck on the second stone-step of Maslow's Pyramid of Needs.
This early human being became conscious of the fact that the only way for her to mount the third step was with the help and collaboration of others like her.
So, evolution helped her to develop inter-personal Communication.
With Communication, humans were able to form groups. And together, we mastered skills that helped us climb the Hierarchy of Needs to the third step. There, we found Belongingness and Love, which re-birthed this group into a community.
As a community, we were able to rise above the third step to the forth. Where we found Esteem. Now, we have both Communication and a community to reflect ourselves from. And compare ourselves to. We found Esteem in others and got nourished by Esteem from others. But our Ego, a remnant from ancient fight-or-flight mechanisms that served pre-community needs and social structures, was still lurking. Ego is a hungry creature, and the Esteem from others wasn't enough to satisfy its appetite. It was this Ego that turned Esteem into self-esteem so that it will have more sources to feed from.
But self-esteem required a lot of maintenance and was built from the comparison to others. Social structures grew, and the community designed systems that would support it's interdependent growth and progress: Justice systems, Education systems, Health systems. We began to live longer and became smarter. Our growing bodies and brains needed more actual food.
Our needs grew. As a community, we needed to start building an infrastructure that would support our needs: to grow more food and distribute it to more people.
At this point, as I interpret it, we as a collective found the fifth step of Maslow's pyramid of needs: Self-actualization. And at that point, according to our source of self-actualization, we as a collective got divided into three pillars;
The majority of us, those who had equal access to resources as the rest of the community we were part of, turned their attention inwards to the community. They kept helping themselves and others around them climb the steepー for some, unreachable ー journey up the pyramid. They are the Community.
Some, usually with greater Communication mastery and access to resources, were put as keepers of the Community and its infrastructures. In democratic communities, they were nominated by the community as trustees of the public's interest and as a solution to their existential need to avoid suffering. In other communities, more patriarchal ones, these keepers nominated themselves. With the only objective of fulfilling their Ego's need for self-esteem and the ancient, irrelevant, scarcity psychology that grew the need to allocate resources. They are the Governors.
Others, for various motives, turned their attention to the actual needs, skills, and resources that our society was built on. Thus, forming the Market.
These three pillars, the Community, the Government, and the Market, worked simultaneously - sometimes together and sometimes apart, to keep driving our civilizations up the pyramid. And maybe, someday, discovering the sixth step of the pyramid;
Our Actualization as a Collective.
But today there is an imbalance between the three pillars, and the tower is tilting.
While the Market and the Government kept feeding each other, and off the community, the community was left behind.
And with it, the majority's public interest.
Power accumulates exponentially, and for a time, it was good. Although the marriage between the government and the Market helped its members accumulate much more resources than the community, everyone acknowledged that the Community is not just a pillar, but also the basis for the other two pillars. And thus, the Community also prospered with the Market and the Government.
But now, we live in a time where the two most resourceful pillars grew to a point where their appetite is insatiable. From this primitive origin; the Ego, rose this irrelevant scarcity psychology. This drives those in power to monopolize and exploit our collective resources. They take over our collective communication systems and use false narratives to segment us into human categories, which serves those who define them, rather them the humans being defined.
Classic divide and conquer.
This act is short-sighted. This weakened the community pillar and threatened to obliterate it. And with it, the other two pillars and our children's potential to reach the fifth and sixth steps of the pyramid.
There is only one mode of action that can save us from this future. We need to rise as a community and take back the responsibility for our collective future. We need to take back the ownership of our most primal asset, our most basic human right, our Communication.
Violence and old power dynamics will not work. It will always be futile, as the other two pillars will always have more resources and dominance over communication channels. It's playing by the old, wrong, and immoral rules.
As a Community, our only strategy should be the one that takes advantage of our numbers. We need to re-start communicating and re-uniting as a Community. The Community.
By engaging in open-hearted discussion, in good faith, we will be able to extract our collective challenges, needs, values, and principles. From these, we will be able to form our collective narrative. Once we have our community's collective narrative, uncontaminated by the narrow interest of those in power, we will be able to communicate our mutual public interest.
Then, we will find allies both in Governors and in Market leaders, those with correct long-term vision. These allies will help us rebuild what was ruined and take back what is ours as a Community. Together, we'll restore the balance between the three pillars. Together, we will march toward the future our children deserve.