Mankind and the Planet

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Mankind and the Planet, past, present and future Philosophical Speculations

Page 8


Group existence, a society, has varying degrees of reality. In the sex and procreation relationship, the supra-individuality is undoubtedly real.  Compared with this, the supra-individuality of a social community, tribes, nations and the like, is less real. The supra-individuality of the human species as a whole is least real, that is if we view it 'from inside' and question whether the term  'mankind' denotes something more than a concept. From a cosmic point of view, through the entire extent of its spatial and temporal existence, mankind qualifies as a kind of biological reality.  The expression 'degree of reality' refers to the degree or  level of organisation; it relates to any point on the scale of cooperation, from momentary, transitory, perhaps only disastrously functioning cooperation, to smooth, natural , 'organic', non-catastrophic cooperation, where all social problems are solved. The reality of society varies from a mere co-presence of individuals with a, however imperfect, mode of cooperation to a perfect functioning of the social organisation in an ideal and natural way.  In the latter case, society is more 'real' than in all the intervening stages.

Given the above train of thought, it is correct to say that the biologically higher  or highest form of society  has not yet come into existence, just as we might say that some specific biological type, say of some animal form, has not yet made its appearance on earth. The appropriate form of human group existence has not yet been born. That this is a historical event, i.e., that it belongs to the history of mankind, should not blind us to the fact that it is also a biological event and belongs to the evolution of the human species. Whereas the biological structure of the human individual seems to be complete, the biological - or, if you like, the historical – structure of the human group, its proper, perfect, biologically highest structure, which it aims to achieve, is in the making. In this sense, we can say that human society is not yet real. And yet it is real in some embryonic sense, in the sense of a, partly catastrophically failing and partly uncatastrophically advancing evolution.

In the case of certain animals, as e.g., insects, the biological plurality and structure is the group form of that animal. The development is complete. The fact that a corresponding plurality in the evolution of mankind has not yet appeared relates to the wide difference between the human and the insect individual and the corresponding difference in the character that their respective groups can be expected to assume. The form of the human group would need to give free play to the potential of the human individual and yet have a group character. That is a highly complicated biological problem so that, as far as we can tell, the aim and summit of evolution altogether still lies  far ahead in the future.  It would entail a group form of man, not only qualitatively but also quantitatively, i.e., it would embrace the entire human species which could no longer be destroyed by parts of the human race outside of the group form.  Any parts remaining outside would be doomed to extinction, just like an unadapted and unadjusted animal species. What would survive would be the 'true' man, a perfected group-organised mankind.  The birth of mankind, in the true sense, has to be the aim of future evolution. That which we now term mankind has to be understood as a more or less amorphous 'living matter', from out of which true mankind will be be born; the remainder, the unorganisable mass that served as the fertile soil for evolving mankind, will rot and wither away, just like parts of an organ in the process of formation that have become redundant.