Copyright 2017 E.L. Heslin
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The Human Mind
Realism vs Idealism
Building a Better Society
Maintaining a Better Society
The Human Mind
Though we like to think ourselves beings of sheer will, capable of controlling who we are on a conscious level at all times, that is in fact not the case. Yes, we make conscious choices and those are the ones that we are most fairly judged upon, but that does not negate the fact that most of our behavior stems from a combination of our biology and our childhood upbringing. We all, every single one of us, fight a daily battle with thoughts, ticks, anxieties, and emotional triggers that are uniquely our own. It is for that reason that you may often see or hear the phrase, “Be kind, for you don’t know what others are going through.”
Now of course there is something repellent about the notion that who we are is just who we are, and though there is most certainly some room for betterment the reality holds mostly true. Numerous studies in recent years, recent being the early 21st century, have revealed that there are in fact measurable differences between the minds of people who would call themselves “conservative” and those who would self-identify as “liberal” or “progressive”. Indeed this dimorphism makes perfect sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If all members of a species refuse to try new things then nothing ever changes and evolution stagnates. Likewise if all members of a species are recklessly curious then they do not progress because they end up killing themselves off before they can reproduce.
Bear in mind that I am not claiming that evolution itself has programmed creatures to be either conservative or progressive, as evolution is a “stumble around in the dark” kind of process that does not possess a conscious will. Not one like that proposed by those who suggest that all beings were designed by a higher intelligence to be just as they are, despite the overwhelming evidence disproving that theory entirely, but I digress. Evolution is a fact that we can observe, but the evidence for or against the existence of a creator or universal architect is inconclusive at best.
So we are left with, quite literally, two opposing approaches to daily existence:
++]Don’t try to change things, do what you know is safe.]]
++]Try new things, it’s the only way to learn, even if it means potential danger.]]
In a study published in January of 2012, a team led by psychologist Michael Dodd and political scientist John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln discovered that when having participants view collages of photographs those who self-identified as “conservative” unconsciously lingered their eyes 15% longer on repellent images, a result that suggests that conservatives minds are more attuned to potential threats than those of liberals.
Social psychologist Paul Nail of the University of Central Arkansas says, “Conservatism, apparently, helps to protect people against some of the natural difficulties of living. The fact is we don’t live in a completely safe world. Things can and do go wrong. But if I can impose this order on it by my worldview, I can keep my anxiety to a manageable level.”
In a study by political neuroscientist Darren Schreiber at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, wherein participants had their brains scanned while undertaking simulated gambling exercises that offered the potential for great reward, but also great loss, it was found that those who identified as conservative and those who identified as liberal literally were using different parts of their brains when under the stress of trying to decide how to place their bets. Conservatives were using the right amygdala, the center of the brain’s threat response system. Contrastingly liberals were found to be using the insula, the area of the brain involved in internal monitoring of one’s feelings.
These are but a few of the studies that continue to pour in year after year demonstrating that what we perceive as ideological differences are largely in part due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors influencing the way each of our minds perceive the world. There is not a “right” or “wrong”, but the difference exists nonetheless.
One cannot state that conservative thought process is universally better because it provides stability and order. Sure, that is a positive aspect of conservative thought, but fatally it lacks the forward-thinking drive that has brought mankind from living in caves and subsisting off of berries and carrion to the incredible world in which we now live.
Just as assuredly on cannot state that progressive thought is the fundamentally “better” way to do things. Yes, the world in which we live would not exist without those who took the chance, faced the danger, and made things change for the better, but we should not forget about all of the failures, hundreds or even thousands of them for every success. Progress means risk, that’s undeniable.
There is, of course, the tendency to think that so much more could have been accomplished had not the conservatives, the traditionalists, held back free-thinkers throughout history, but we lack the full knowledge to make that determination.
Undoubtedly some advances were held back due to fear, ignorance, or superstition; advances that would have made the world a better place. Likewise there most assuredly were moments when the world was not ready for a certain advance, and the day was saved by the nay-sayers who kept the overzealous in check. One must also not disregard the contribution that conservative or traditionalist thought has given to society. Progress is great, and a path forward is a good thing to have roadmapped, but without the slow and steady hand of law, order, and tradition to temper it things can go askew far too quickly and more often than not a genie, once freed of the lamp, cannot be so easily put back inside.
Realism vs Idealism
In the contemporary political landscape we see this very real and natural dimorphism in thought processes manifest as a polarization, one that often results in the terms “conservative” or “liberal” being tossed about freely as insults. So divided have our politics become that we have learned to dehumanize the “other side”. Conservatives see progressives as lazy, idealistic but naive, entitled, elitist, and obsessed with their own “specialness”; a term that is often referred to as “snowflake”, an ironic label used to emphasize how liberals are perceived as seeing themselves in terms of beautiful and unique. It is also a term that we will get back to in a bit.
Liberals, on the other hand, tend to see conservatives as ignorant and uneducated, hypocritical (namely for claiming to be realists yet often denying scientific evidence), bigoted, stubborn, and unwilling to accept change even when the situation desperately calls for it.
Stepping back and analyzing both sides of the political spectrum for a moment as you would the mental state of a patient were you a therapist you begin to see patterns, namely ones of denial, and they exist in equal measure on both sides of the political divide. Sometimes things must be said bluntly in order to thoroughly get one’s point across, so at this point I will ask that you bear with me while I make some very candid remarks:
Your perception of liberals as lazy is unwarranted, at least in the context that they are no more or less lazy than most who identify as conservative. Conservatives will point to those who seek “handouts” from the government, yet if one were to do the math one would see that nearly as many who claim to be conservative are on, or have sought in the past, government assistance. There are outgoing and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the divide, just as there are apathetic types.
You claim that liberals are “entitled”, and that’s fair…to an extent. Certainly there are some who literally wish to contribute nothing to society yet be taken care of by it, but far and away the “entitlements” that liberals cling to are truly things that are worthy of being something that all humans are entitled to. Do I think that someone who does not contribute should be simply “given” everything that those who work hard possess? Absolutely not. Still, my basic human decency leads me to the conclusion that every man, woman, and child deserves three things from society: food, shelter, and medicine. Why? There’s a simple answer for that. The Earth belongs to every living creature upon it, and are we not using its resources to make our wealth? Are we, who work hard to better ourselves, not taking a piece of the pie that belongs to all regardless of their social station? Instead of decrying the fact that we must provide the basic necessities to these people who do not wish to contribute should we not instead build the framework to get them help to lift them out of poverty and into a position where it no longer seems futile to even try? Find ways for them to contribute to the best of their abilities, deciding once and for all to cease helping them only when they have proven that they are not willing, in any fashion, to contribute back to society.
You say that liberals are naive, and on that point I cannot always disagree. Just as the conservative mind (often needlessly) causes traditionalists to fear change the liberal mind often overlooks potential pitfalls in order to achieve idealistic goals. The correct position, however, is not to insult your way into a temporary victory in the war of words, but instead of educate liberals to the dangers that they are overlooking. Most (not all) liberals will take your point into consideration if provided with hard data.
On the point of elitism I will (for the most part) declare simple bullshit. The fact that someone chooses to educate themselves and lift themselves from ignorance does not necessarily mean they are “elitist” or talking down to you, there is a very real possibility that they are more informed than you and you should not simply shut out their information because it does not agree with your world view. Alas, some people are simply rude and arrogant, and they will try to use any advantage to make themselves feel above you. Remember that those individuals are simply compensating for their own insecurities. Listen, try to learn, but if someone is truly being discourteous then don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and give them a piece of your mind in an intelligent and well-thought-out manner. Don’t be the angry simpleton they think you to be, show them that you are intelligent and can prove your point time and time again just like they can.
As to the point of liberals often coming across as “unique little snowflakes” let it be known that there are just as many liberals who find those types of people just as infuriating as conservatives do. Besides, plenty of conservatives get up in arms over the silliest little things as well and try to insinuate that somehow they are special and deserve to be treated as such. The so-called “war on Christmas” is a fantastic example of conservative “snowflakes” falsely perceiving injustice and making a stink about it. Go back and ask people who were burned alive at the stake by overzealous Christians who were acting “in god’s name” if they think your “Merry Christmas” being replaced by “Happy Holidays” is persecution.
I would like to start off this section by chiding progressives for assuming that conservatives are uneducated and ignorant. There are many conservatives who are well educated and vibrantly intelligent, just as there are many liberals who simply regurgitate political nonsense that they heard on the street without knowing its true meaning. I would say, from studying both sides of the political spectrum, that the real difference between intelligence and education is not so much in terms of numbers, but more a matter of this: conservatives tend to be more complacent with their ignorance, liberals more oblivious to their ignorance. Conservatives also tend to be a little louder when spouting ignorant rhetoric, which might also be the reason that this perception lingers.
On the note of hypocrisy I cannot fault progressives. Conservatives time and time again prove their amazing talent for hypocrisy. The religious right believes that we are the stewards of God’s creation, yet turn a cheek to its destruction by corporate interests. The right rails on and on about small government and freedom, yet gladly supports legislation that literally tells people who they can love, or what they can do with their own bodies. My only caveat here is that liberals should not get too cocky, because though the hypocrisy may be on smaller and less vitally important levels it indeed exists on the left as well in great amounts.
On the point of bigotry I would like liberals to note that most conservatives are likely not in fact bigots, just like being liberal does not exempt one from being a bigot himself. Remember, it’s not that most conservatives are bigots, it’s just that most bigots also happen to be conservatives. Therefore labeling all conservatives as such only demonstrates your own ignorance and willingness to lump people into one large group that can be a target for your persecution. This is precisely what you say that you stand against. Let’s not forget that whole hypocrisy thing we just talked about, right? Discriminating against all white males simply for being white and male does not make you a crusader for social justice, it makes you a bigot, plain and simple.
As to the (often frustrating) feeling that conservatives cannot see the big picture and are resisting helpful change there is a desperate need for you to try to understand them, just as they should try to understand you. Their minds fear change, because the old way is the safe way. Just like your mind leaps to solutions but might not always think out the consequences before acting. The solution here is not to patronize, but rather to attempt to educate, all the while being open to any notions of substance they may throw your way as well. You may see things differently, but a common ground can never be found unless we share our ideas and view them from different perspectives.
Political infighting. What is it about the left that makes you so unaware of the fact that the only real reason conservatives wield as much power as they do is because progressives are fickle and fight amongst themselves far more than those on the right do. Decades back the Republican party, which is the conservative party in the United States, adopted a “no enemies to the right” policy which I think is a terrible mistake. It basically means that even those to the extreme far right (we’re talking neo-nazis and fascists here) are welcome into the fold. While I might decry this policy as horrendous I will say that liberals could learn a thing or two from it. I would not say that you need to adopt a “no enemies to the left” policy, as it is obvious to any person of common sense that there are some viewpoints that are simply too extreme to be validated, but there definitely needs to be a more cohesive approach from the left. Stop trying to fence-sit and be moderates, get out there and be the progressives that want to change the world instead of being terrified of the “liberal” moniker and constantly finding reasons to fight amongst yourselves.
Now, with the chiding out of the way I want you to take a moment to step back and take in this information. By now it is possible that you have picked up on what I, as the author, am attempting to get through to you, the reader. It is that just how we psychoanalyze individuals in order to help them better understand the destructive behaviors they engage in and as a result acknowledge them and begin to work on them there is a desperate need for us, as a species, to do the same within the realm of politics. Science shows us that there is a real dimorphism, a physical disconnect, between the way brains of conservatives and progressives function. Neither is “correct” or less valid than the other, and therein lies the problem.
We are always trying to win!
Just as a therapist might tell a couple with a troubled relationship: You need to stop viewing things as “me vs you” and instead as “us”. Two people who are in a relationship will find no lasting comfort in “winning” an argument, as it only breeds resentment and sows discord instead of building a lasting bridge by actually working through a problem together.
So it is with the political spectrum. Sure, there may be some who are uber-right or uber-left and are in fact in need of help from a mental health professional, their views so far out of alignment with reality that there is no possible means of reconciliation with other viewpoints, but the of people are capable of functioning as a team and working together to create a better world.
Building a Better Society
By acknowledging the merits and faults of each viewpoint we are then able to come to a logical conclusion that is difficult to deny:
Progress is necessary lest society stagnates, it cannot be denied, it is inevitable.
Society requires stability and a grounded approach to taking on new challenges.
Progress must be embraced, but tempered by wisdom and implemented in slow, well developed, stages. We need a system that requires the cooperation of the conservative and the progressive minded, not the competition of the two viewpoints.
So then, taking into account innate human psychology as well as the merits of both trains of thought, what do I propose as a logical system of governance? There are, perhaps, two approaches to government that might allow progress to happen, tradition to temper it, and logic and efficiency to be paramount over strongly held emotional beliefs.
– A government is constructed, constitutionally, around the acceptance that progress is necessary but that it should not be rushed and should be tempered by the wisdom of conservative thought. In this proposed system a republic would be constructed in which elected officials would form a congress or parliament composed of one chamber, not an upper and lower chamber. This chamber would have a set number of seats (let’s say 100), all of which are assigned under the constitution to one side of the political aisle or the other. There would be an in-built imbalance in which progressives always hold a very slight advantage over the conservatives. This would ensure that society never regresses, but also that progress is slow and requires the cooperation of the conservative elements.
Progressives would be tasked with putting forth a yearly agenda which would be crafted by an agenda committee composed of ¼ conservative members and ¾ progressive members. These members would be nominated by their respective sides, but voted upon by the entirety of the parliament, meaning that conservatives could block uber-progressives from the agenda committee and progressives could block uber-conservatives from the agenda committee. The inclusion of conservative members, ¼ of the committee, would be to provide a voice of reason to discussions about the yearly agenda, to put the brakes on overly ambitious progressive legislation, but the agenda committee is primarily designed to be a progressive body that puts forth items to work on in the coming year.
Likewise a Feasibility Council would be constructed with a similar makeup, ¾ conservative, ¼ progressive. This body’s duty would be to conduct in-depth studies into the impact of proposed progressive agenda items, as well as working with progressives in order to make those policy items a reality; implemented in ways that take into account the economic and social realities of the time and do not rely on liberal pipe-dreams in order to function.
The system as a whole would be designed to ensure that conservatives are always ready, and wielding enough power, to inject a bit of caution into progressive agendas, but never to wield enough power to undo progress.
Members of parliament would be voted into office by simple majorities (no districts, so no gerrymandering) and it would be up to the constituents to decide precisely how conservative or how progressive their members of parliament are to be. No party affiliation would be required in order to vote for candidates for each seat. Each citizen residing in a state or province would get to vote on their conservative representative and their progressive representative. An example would be the current United States senate, in which there are 50 states, each with 2 senators. In a Tempered Progressive Parliament each state would get one conservative and one progressive representative. In this way voters from each state could decide just how conservative or how liberal they wish their representatives to be. A more progressive state may choose a more middle-of-the-road conservative to represent them and a more far-left progressive to represent them. The opposite may hold true in conservative states. In a place like the United States, where there are 50 states, that would mean 50 conservative seats and 50 progressive seats in parliament. It is for this reason, to provide the slight progressive advantage, that I propose the creation of the office of a president or prime minister.
The office of the president or prime minister should have nominees selected by simple majority vote by the residents of the federal capital (which should stand as an independent zone not under the authority of any state or province) in a primary which should result in three final nominees which could then be presented to parliament and elected to the position by simple majority. This seat would always belong to a progressive, but of course just how progressive is up to those who vote him or her into office, both by the citizenry in the capital during the primary process and in parliament where the final winner would be decided.
In this system I propose no executive branch at all, simply a legislature (parliament or congress), and of course a judicial branch. The president or prime minister serves as little more than another representative, but of course performs ceremonial duties such as hosting foreign dignitaries and signing treaties. I also propose that a vote of no confidence could be called against the president or prime minister by as little as a 1/3 of the parliament, but requiring at least a 2/3 majority in order to unseat the president or prime minister.
– For those who might find the notion of a parliamentary system in which there is always an inborn advantage for progressives distasteful there is also another option that I put forth, a system in which there is always equal balance between progressive and conservative representation but that there is a third body, a non-partisan council, that wields 1/3 voting power in all matters. In this type of system there would be conservative and progressive seats that always belong to each side of the political aisle just like in the Tempered Progress model.
So in the United States there would be 50 conservative seats and 50 progressive seats, always. There would, however, be an independent self-governing entity charged with presenting factual evidence to parliament to be used in the ultimate decision of matters. To clarify, these would not be additional representatives that are allowed to vote their opinion, this would be a body whose sole mandate would be to provide experts and factual data on any matter under discussion. This body would be incapable of rendering an “opinion” to sway a vote, it could only present data which would then be weighed logically in order to cast the council’s “vote” on a particular issue.
I will provide an example. Let us say that conservative lawmakers are backing a corporation’s desire to lease government land and run an oil pipeline through an area that encompasses both residential properties as well as wildlife preserves. Most likely the liberal lawmakers would oppose such an idea outright, which is not the correct approach. Conservatives see providing cheap affordable energy to constituents as a no-brainer, but the liberal mind sees protecting residents and the environment as a no-brainer. So instead of trying to stir up the votes to push through something that may have negative consequences, or simply ignoring an idea outright due to preconceived beliefs, the council would be responsible for conducting in-depth studies into the actual real-world impact of the pipeline on residential areas as well as wildlife. It would also conduct an in-depth investigation into the company or business entity desiring to run the pipeline, weighing past failures and successes mathematically in order to reach a verdict as to whether they are trustworthy with such a project. Lastly, the council would be tasked with evaluating the real-world economic benefits, instead of simply letting a CEO spout fabricated numbers on jobs and economic growth. The council would then weigh, mathematically, all of the factors involved in the decision and provide parliament with a Yay or a Nay , which would account for 33.333% of the total vote on the matter.
If the data shows that the corporation has a history of safe operation, that impact to residents and wildlife will be minimal, and that the economic benefits outweigh any negatives then their vote would be Yay. If they find that the cost of possibly having to relocate residents, conduct groundwater cleanup operations, run costly programs to assist wildlife, or that the project simply does not make economic sense, then they would vote Nay. No politics, simply an expert evaluation on the feasibility of proposed projects.
In this parliamentary system economic growth projects would not be immediately shot down by tree-huggers, but they also wouldn’t simply get passed because corporate donors asked for a favor. Likewise progressive projects, for instance universal healthcare, would not simply be rammed through despite the obvious moral argument for such a system. The feasibility of the system would be investigated thoroughly and if it is not achievable without severe economic impact then the legislation would have to be reworked until it reaches a state where it can be implemented in a sustainable fashion.
For this system I would propose a president or prime minister as well, elected similarly to the Tempered Progressive template but instead allowing the office to be filled by either a progressive or a conservative. Again, this office would be largely ceremonial and in the Evidentiary Parliament would carry no voting power whatsoever except in the case of breaking a tie.
Maintaining a Better Society
Certain things desperately need to be enacted in order to protect democracy from corrupting influences, ensuring that the power remains with the people, all of the people, and not just those with the money and connections to manipulate the system. Some of these are quite harsh, but we must remember that in order to protect our society the rewards of corruption must be minimized and the punishments for corruption so severe that the desire to engage in such activities is greatly diminished, if not eradicated entirely.
Lobbying must be considered outright bribery and therefore be fundamentally illegal. In fact any person or business entity found to be attempting to sway political influence through favors or gifts should be considered guilty of high treason, a crime punishable by death as well as the potential for public seizure of all assets to be redistributed to the citizenry who were betrayed by the attempt at manipulating our democratic system. The same judgment and punishment should hold for any political official receiving said favors or gifts. It must be known that tampering with our democratic system will not be tolerated.
Being a public servant should mean exactly that. The salary for government office should match the average national income, no more, no less. Anyone taking government office should also be forced to cut all ties with any business in which they may have an interest, lest face the possibility of prosecution for treasonous use of political office for personal gain. Political officials should also not receive a lifelong salary, nor should they receive any special healthcare considerations during or after their term in office.
Political campaigns should not be allowed to raise vast sums of money. Those funds could be used for countless better causes. All political campaigns should be given the exact same platforms from which to extoll their virtues. I propose nothing more than a non-partisan website, run from the federal level, through which citizens can easily see which races are coming up and who is running. Each person running should be given a single page containing a photograph, a video speech of limited running time (5 or 10 minutes for instance), and a few paragraphs (a word count limit in place) in order to explain their positions.
All information on a candidate’s page should be fact-checked and any false information red-flagged as such, or the candidate given the opportunity to change the erroneous information. Likewise there should be only a single televised debate between candidates running for any office, no matter how small or how large. There could also be an allowance for one single campaign ad to be run per candidate. The details are open to interpretation, but regardless the point is that all candidates should have an equal amount of media access and all other coverage should be restricted. Disregarding those limits should be grounds for immediate disqualification.
Debates should be run by a non-partisan entity and whenever a question is asked a candidate should be pressed until a straight answer is given. Avoiding or deflecting a question should result in the candidate being told that they have deflected the question, and asked once again to answer it. If a candidate refuses to answer the question in a straight-forward manner they should be given a “strike”, and if they receive three “strikes” during the duration of the debate their microphone should be cut and they should be disqualified from the remainder of the debate. The opposition would of course be allowed to answer the remaining questions.
There should also be a portion of the screen devoted to live fact-checking as well as a tally that is left on the screen for several minutes after the debate showing bald-faced lies, half-truths, etc… so that the citizenry can get a clear “scorecard” of how truthful each candidate is with their answers and how many times they refused to answer clearly.
A clear-cut set of rules need to be established as to what constitutes a disqualification when running for political office. Calling for violence against one’s opponent, for instance, should be an instant disqualification. Other disqualifications should be things like: being arrested for any form of violent crime at any time during the campaign, having been convicted of any form of bribery or perjury in the past which clearly shows that a candidate is not trustworthy, and breaking any of the rules regarding media coverage of a campaign. The list should, of course, be much more verbose, but I am only suggesting the most obvious items and calling for a set of rules to be clearly defined regarding this matter.
The criminal justice system must be completely reformed. Most notably violent offenders and non-violent offenders need to be housed in separate holding facilities. Violent offenses should bar a person from running for public office indefinitely. Non-violent offenses should result in no less than 5 years of being barred from running for office. Likewise any and all civil litigation that a person has ever been included in should be disclosed on their candidate profile page along with any prior criminal offenses.
Strict term limits must be put in place for all elected government offices. Some will make the case that it takes many years to get to know the system and work efficiently for one’s constituents but in reality it simply breeds complacency and an atmosphere that allows nepotism to flourish.
Anyone in public service, from political office to criminal justice, should be held to a higher standard. Anyone found guilty of committing a crime involving abuse of the power they were granted by society should receive a double sentence for the crime they committed. This rule should also apply to persons granted any special privilege. For instance someone licensed to carry a concealed weapon should be subject to harsher penalties if found guilty of abusing that privilege.
Our society requires the law and order that the conservative minded bring to the table. Likewise it requires innovation and compassion of the progressives in order to grow. I propose that we put these two sides to work in the ways that they are best suited to benefit society and we make it known that no one is above the law, and that no person is beyond redemption. Everyone has their part to play, we help them find that and together build a better world. One that we are all equally invested in, and one that we are all willing to protect.
The task that we take up is not a simple one, or one easily solved, for what we are endeavoring to do is nothing less than change the way that people think at a fundamental level. That may seem to be a very peculiar statement for the end of a book that speaks at length about learning to accept that we each think differently, but it is what is needed if we are to move forward. Evolution, nature, God, whatever you will…has given us the gift of sentience and though we have known since pre-history that human beings will tend to argue and disagree we are now learning that there are tangible reasons that we may see things from different perspectives.
We should not rest on our laurels, however. Yes, we may fundamentally have different neurological processes that cause us to be “conservative” or “progressive”, and yes we should learn to acknowledge those differences in open discourse, but that does not mean that we should stop striving to be more than what our biological makeup tells us to be. Every time someone with a liberal mind sees the validity in a conservative argument, or a conservative learns to appreciate the morality of a liberal talking point, we grow beyond those in-built tendencies and use our conscious mind to override what our emotions are trying to make us think.
There is a way forward, one that does not involve one side having to “win” out over the other. A husband and a wife are on the same team, your left hand and your right hand are not enemies, and so the aspects of humanity should not be on opposing sides either. Utilizing the gift of our thinking and sentient minds we are capable of seeing the middle way…a place where there is compromise, because in compromise there is profound truth: Together we are capable of forging a path to the future that makes use of our talents, sets aside our prejudices, and tempers necessary progress with the steady hand of wisdom.
The divide between progressive and conservative thought is a very real thing, even physical in nature, based in the way our brains react to stimulus. As thinking creatures, however, it is our duty to overcome our emotional instincts and learn to apply those differences in positive ways in order to build a prosperous future for all mankind.