There live among us people with a very different and very dangerous morality: they are Predators. They see people as divided into Predators and Prey, and their morality may be summed up as Might Makes Right.
Might Makes Right
Predators believe that your power determines your rights. Most con men are predators, as are the banksters, CEOs of many large corporations, and many religious leaders and politicians at the highest levels. All believe that, essentially, if they can do something then they have the right to do so. Whether conning an elderly couple out of their life savings, collecting a huge bonus while running a company into the ground, or invading Iraq, predators do not see anything wrong with this. They consider themselves the wolf culling the weak from the herd; they see this as natural and good.
Why do some people have a predator mentality? Science would say it is a genetic flaw combined with childhood abuse, where religion might say these people are evil. Both are right. It is healthy to have self-respect and be self-interested, for example, but unhealthy and dangerous to have no respect for others or to be so excessively self-interested as to be narcissistic or greedy. They are toxic to work for. Narcissistic leaders are the biggest threat of our time.
Predators Walk Among Us
The reason doesn’t really matter; what does is that predators walk among us, they have an entirely alien morality, and they are exceptionally dangerous to normal humans and to civil society. To a predator, lying is perfectly acceptable if it gets him what he wants. So is stealing. So is rigging the rules to favour himself. Things like democracy and truth are obstacles that must be warped to the predator’s benefit.
Because the predator morality is in conflict with democracy and civil society, they are a great danger to honest, well-meaning, but gullible people. Such people don’t realise they are being conned; they simply can’t believe anyone could be that bad, because they themselves are not and they project that upon others. Most of us tend to do that; we expect others to be much like ourselves. That is why the events of 9/11 came as such a shock to many Americans; they simply could not imagine themselves flying a plane into a building full of civilians for any reason. As a result, they were easy pickings for the neocon predators, who provided a rational explanation: the terrorists were insane monsters with an alien morality, and the only way to defend ourselves from them was to destroy the monsters and bring democracy to the rest, who would surely want to be just like us.
By spinning this story, the neocons conveniently concealed that they were also monsters with an alien morality.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
It took me many years to accept that there were people who were truly this different from me. Like many well-meaning people today, I just couldn’t believe anyone could be that evil. Eventually, however, as I came to accept truth as the guiding principle in my life, I began to pay less attention to a person’s words, no matter how persuasively expressed, and more attention to his – or her – actions.
Very few people do that, however, and generally predators go to great lengths to not only appear normal, but to make the rest of us believe that their actions are non-predatory. If a wolf simply came running up to the sheep in broad daylight, the sheep would bolt – or the shepherd would shoot the wolf. Thus smart wolves come in sheep’s clothing.
Predators also do not see themselves as evil, and this makes it much easier to con the rest of us. The best con man is one who believes his own con, and certainly predators do; they truly believe they are right and justified in what they do. They do not see themselves as evil at all, no matter how many people they harm, how much damage they do.
We Control Them or They Dominate Us
That is why the responsibility rests with the rest of us to protect ourselves from predators; they cannot and will not restrain themselves. Predators will always push as far as we will allow, even to the point of destroying the system that supports them. Wolf and deer populations remain in balance because the wolves kill so many deer that some of the wolves starve. The deer population then increases, allowing the wolf population to increase again, and equilibrium is maintained, up-and-down. If wolves were released into a fenced area where the deer could not escape, the wolves would not restrain themselves from killing all the deer. The wolf population would increase until all the deer were gone, and then, of course the wolves would be gone, too.
This lack of restraint or short-sightedness is not limited to predators. In a famous example, reindeer were introduced to a northern island with no predators but plenty of moss to eat. The deer population increased rapidly every year – until the final year, when there were more deer than food. Then there was a population crash.
This explains why the banksters nearly brought down the entire world economy, or why oil executives fund climate denial. It is in their nature to try and take as much as they can get away with. Anything that stands in their way, including science, laws, and democracy – all means of seeking truth – must be at least discredited, or better yet, perverted to the wishes of the predator.
Predators Create Systems that Favour Predators
Nobody likes to compete daily for survival and predators like easy prey, so they learned to create systems that bring the victims to them – and keep the victims from realising they are prey. Modern corporations are a perfect example; there have been countless examples recently of CEOs destroying companies – along with the livelihoods and pensions of workers and the savings of investors – while walking away with great riches.
This is what most religious leaders have done. Consider the Pope: he lives in a palace surrounded by vast wealth where he is waited upon hand-and-foot, all the time claiming to be carrying forward the work of Jesus, a man who lived very simply. The Catholic Church also routinely protects paedophile priests.
Most so-called Christian preachers in the American mega-churches that preach wealth and intolerance, the opposite of the teachings of Jesus. Many of these preachers are enormously wealthy, with huge mansions, servants, and even private jets.
But their flock cannot believe that someone who preaches so eloquently, and who tells them what they want to hear, could be so corrupt – or that he is corrupting them.
You are Prey
It does not matter that you do not think of yourself as prey. Predators do, and they will behave accordingly. The onus is on the rest of us to protect ourselves from being preyed upon, and so far we have done very badly. Predatory humans are just as smart as anyone else, but with different moral values.
How do we protect ourselves from predators? What would a shepherd do if he saw a wolf approaching his flock? At the least, he would call out a warning, and quite possibly, he would shoot the wolf. If you were a wolf, what would you do? You could disguise yourself. You could steal a sheep while the shepherd was sleeping or distracted. You could come in a pack so the shepherd couldn’t get all of you. You could pretend to be a shepherd; a false shepherd. Or you could kill the shepherd first.
Smart predators have long since figured out that this latter two approaches are by far the safest and most lucrative. They provides so much lucre so safely, in fact, that predators will bond together and spend great sums to blind the sheep to the truth, to lead them astray, and to discredit those who speak truth.
Who contributes millions to ‘think tanks’ like The American Heritage Institute and Cato? Who funds scientific prostitutes and pays shills to deny global warming? Who funded many of the same people to deny the dangers of smoking? Who buys politicians? Predators who want easy lucre, and who want to conceal, or at least give the appearance of legitimacy to their actions.
Because predators cannot stop themselves, and because the rest of us have not stopped them, they will bring the end of humanity upon us. It is inevitable; unchecked appetite leads to overextension and destruction, whether for the individual or for the entire society.
The banksters will continue to insist that their actions are legitimate, that they are not predators, until they bring the entire economic system crashing down around us. Predators will continue to bribe politicians until the legitimacy of democracy is destroyed. The greedy will continue to push Libertarian dogma into law until the dispossessed revolt. Oil and coal executives will continue to fund global warming denial until the climate crashes and destroys us all.
Do not expect mercy from the wolf; he knows not what it is. You are prey, and he will pursue you to the end.