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Friday, August 24, 2012

Fight or Flight Response


When I was a young man I wasn’t trained to fight and the rules of the house were to never hit your brother, figuratively and literally.  As anyone with brothers and sisters knows, there are going to be fights and they are going to strike each other from time to time.  My father who was raised as an only child and always wanted a brother or a sister couldn’t understand this dynamic of growing up with siblings.  My father was also a strict disciplinarian who previously to being a father of three was an Air Force Drill Instructor and later a police officer in California during the late sixties – there was very little fighting when Dad was around.

Later in life I joined the service.  Being the typical rebellious teenage boy, since dear old Dad was ex-Air Force, I joined the Army just to further piss him off.  I was going to conquer the world, be the best soldier they had ever seen.  I was and probably am still brain washed by the military’s training standards.  I did eventually learn how to fight and defend myself to the point that I wasn’t afraid of getting beat up if I stood up for myself.

The greatest lesson I ever learned as a man was that I could get knocked down, kicked and punched and still get back up and fight some more.  Unless someone killed me they hadn’t won!  The best example on film of this I have ever seen was Tom Cruise getting his butt stomped in the movie “The Last Samurai” where he just kept getting back up.  Or Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke” the same type of thing happened.  In both cases I know what the writers and directors were trying to get across and what kind of person they are portraying with these characters.
As I got older I eventually began to read more, especially history, and specifically Military History books because they were and still are very interesting to me.  I understand the fight or flight response.  The fight response from my younger days when I was learning to stand up for myself and learning how to fight and the flight response from my very early years when I was afraid of fighting and getting hit or beaten up.  It’s a learned behavioral pattern.
From years now of studying history and the rise and fall of great civilizations and the countless wars and even more countless souls who have died in those wars since the dawn of time, it amazes me that we haven’t progressed as a species except in our manner of killing each other more efficiently.  Upon the many realizations you get through time from studying the human condition and our unnatural yet dominate tendency to fight with ourselves throughout history, several things become clear.
One is that if you’re alive on Earth today that means your family, your linage has survived through the multitude of wars and disasters since the dawn of time.  You have the will to survive engrained in your DNA and the ability to fight and survive, even if you haven’t learned how to use it or never tapped into it yet.
The second thing is that mankind will never stop fighting with themselves, short of one common enemy that we must unite together in order to survive and defeat this Non-Human enemy.
Now this would require there being an alien, spaceman, creatures, or something showing up intent on our destruction, but wanting to keep the planet intact so they may reap and enjoy all it has to offer, just without us.
This idea of Fight or Flight Response once got me pondering an idea that plagued my spare thoughts for over ten years.  What would happen if the first human inhabitants of Earth didn’t fight?  They realized the obvious negative consequences of killing and fighting amongst members of the same race as stupid as a couple of two year olds trying to kill each other over the same toy.  It was thrown out and a means of communication and cooperation were sought out until an intelligent equitable solution for all parties involved was found.  This society would never develop the fight or flight response as part of their developmental process.  Fight or flight would be taking a step backwards intellectually and evolutionarily.
I considered over the years how a society like this would be different from that which we have on Earth.  I feel I was honest in my evaluations and estimations in creating this figment of imagination of a totally peaceful society.  I engrained into natural problems they would encounter and the ways they might decide to handle those which would be most equitable to all parties involved.  It is not a utopian society and aspects of their world would seem barbaric and backwards to our standards.  Just as our allowing people to own their weapons, rampant criminal activity, no true rehabilitation process to convert criminals to productive members of society again, wholesale wars and atrocities committed against groups of people all over the planet over and over again.  See my point.
For my imaginary world I figured they would have left their planet to find other worlds to expand their enormous population to and in order to harvest more natural resources to support their over crowed home world.  I made up a name for them, the Macktonics.  The Macktonics would have scouted out nearby worlds with life, say like Earth, and then deemed them as Do Not Disturb, for they are about to exterminate themselves.  They are a peaceful society so the idea of declaring war on us to take our planet from us wouldn’t even have crossed their mind.
Later my thoughts turned to what would happen if they met their exact opposite to themselves?  A race of beings that is totally militaristic, totalitarianism to the max, with no other choice but to be part of the military machine to conquer worlds to rape the planets of natural resources, use them as military bases, and everything feeds the war effort.  Couple that with not being able to communicate with these beings what-so-ever.  The Macktonics options would be to run somewhere else or die.  Or would it?  What if they knew of Earth and traded with the United States for help in fighting the enemy and training them to fight so they could defend themselves in the future in return they would provide resources and technology that would keep the United States the major super power for the next century?
I explore this line of thinking in my Alexander Hawk Series.  The first book is out and has been since August of 2011.  It is still being re-edited for the third time, soon to be re-released in a much purer literary form and not missing any chapters from formatting errors.  If any of this has seemed interesting in the slightest stay tuned for the re-release of “No Rules Of Engagement” the first book in the series.  The sequel is written and also at the editors to hopefully be released later this year also.  I am in the process of writing the third and final book of the series now.  I am not providing a link or offering free copies of this book until I get the new and improved version on the websites Smashwords and Amazon.  So stay tuned, follow my blog posts, because soon it will be release in an accurate and complete form and there will be giveaways and FREE Days for this novel also.
I used tank pictures because during my time in the U.S. Army I was a Tanker!
 

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