What's in a pecking order? More than you might wish to believe, especially considering President Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday.
The animal kingdom is full of lessons for humans. We must learn from our fellow creatures. 20th Century zoologist Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe, through his study of poultry, learned how chickens related to each other. The Norwegian scientist observed that the most dominant bird could peck upon the head of another without fear. Number 2 could do the same, but never to number 1. Number 3 chicken followed the same pattern, and so on down the line. This pecking order insight, by Mr. Schelderup-Ebbe, provided a psychological understanding into the behavior of animal packs, humans, governments, and nations.
Nature has her reasons for pecking orders within a species and providing sadistic abuse privilege is not one of them. The pecking order, instead, is intended to provide stability and a sense of safety within the hierarchy community.
Nations have pecking orders. Since the end of World War II, the most powerful nation in the world is a free nation, the United States. If Germany had become the most powerful nation in the 1940's, or the Soviet Union in the 1950's, the pecking order of nations would have a far different face today.
Found within the pecking order of nature, is the alpha male. In a pride of lions, for instance, the alpha lion, through intimidating strength, maintains hierarchal stability. Try to imagine an alpha male lion explaining to his pride "For years I've been eating first even though I did not catch the prey but that is going to stop now. We're all going to work, eat and share everything equally."
Like a scene from The Day the Earth Stood Still, President Obama, in his Cairo speech, has just informed the nations of the Earth, "Any world order that elevates one nation or any group will not prevail." With these words, he has provided his plan to abandon the present world pecking order. No longer will the United States, the world's best hope against tyranny and fascism, be front and center. Instead, the nations of the world are going to work together in some type of global mutualism.
Our President's quest for global mutualism will never work because to breakdown the pecking order of nations is not possible. The pecking order will always continue. The question is "Who will be number 1?" In the wild kingdom of nature, when an alpha lion projects weakness, he is challenged. Upon our Earth are the previously less formidable lions of Iran, China, and Russia. They, and perhaps others, are sensing weakness. Global mutualism will never work because there are too many tyrants out there who want to be Alphas.