Puny, largely defenceless bipeds on the savannah. Easy pickings for any passing leopard with hunger pangs, or the odd peckish hyenna. Rocks, spears, fire, safety in numbers. That’s about it, versus claws and fangs and muscle.
And I reckon, warnings about reductive evolutionary psychology taken on board, that is half our trouble (1). The habits of bravado and huddling up next to the biggest wanna-be bad-ass are well-engrained.
We can and do co-operate, of course. We have choices. But we choose not to exercise them, in a framework where “natural” is seen as dangerous and threatening, where our biophilia is disparaged.
Of course, there’s a slightly more cheer-leader version of us…
From 2.11 in…
Vital Reading: Blood Rites, by Barbara Ehrenreich.
(1) The other half is our unwillingness to really deal with our individual mortality and utter insignificance in the cosmic scheme of things.