Throughout Earth’s history exist periods of both intense genetic diversity and relative homogeneity. Sometimes environmental catastrophes appear to consolidate species and other times scientists can find no definitive reason for the reduction in diversity. Regardless, species come and go on planet Earth.
Imagine however that people businesses and cultures are like these species. Furthermore envision if you can that humanity is consolidating. Whereas we once had thousands of languages and dialects on this planet we now have hundreds. Europe once had dozens upon dozens of tribal cultures. Through war and natural processes it grew into the nation states of today. Africa and the Middle East continue this process.
Businesses parallel this development. The USA originally hosted far more automakers in their heyday. Eventually the dominant “species” developed by outcompeting and swallowing less successful firms. Some even merged to form partnerships, or “interbred,” to produce hybrid structures. Thousands of mom and pop grocery stores also existed. Now there is a handful.
I do not make any assertion as to how much diversity is required to form life. Are we the buffalo of Antelope island in the Great Salt Lake? Humans had to fly new members into the herd to ensure the species had enough genetic diversity to continue its existence. Neither do I suggest some form of social Darwinism. I merely posit that cultures grow and die; civilizations compete, as Samuel Huntington might say.
What I do mention however is that we can look at things with less normative judgment while still exercising compassion. I feel for the tribes of Africa and the Americas for example. Their entire ways of living are being subordinated and subsumed under what may be less evolved philosophies. Yet others may be falling to far more advanced cultures.
What do I choose to do about these situations? What do you choose to do? These are the questions that occupy historians, social scientists, and philosophers. Does might make right? Or as an economist might suggest, is more faster, better? I do not worry so much about whether they are being oppressed or consumed by despots.
What I try to think about, is whether they have the opportunity to grow and continue their existence in a way that gives them the ability to reach their highest in physical and spiritual potential. These ideas of course beg the question as to what is one’s highest good.
Is there a universal law that governs human interactions?