Photo by Alexander Gardner – 1862 – American Civil War

The same year that photo was taken Charles Darwin published his follow up to On the Origin of Species. In five hundred pages Fertilization of Orchids addresses the effect of symbiosis on natural selection. It is the first complete portrait of what is now summarized as the coevolution of plants and insects, in nature. For the purpose of this extrapolation, let’s define nature as everything that has miraculously grown from nothing in this local milkshake of ore and liquid water. All the trees, all the dinosaurs, all the hippopotamuses. A milkshake I might mention, that from the human perspective, has churned for the shortest 4 billion years in recorded history. Since Darwin’s death nearly three centuries of rich and catalogued history have come and gone, and if I ask the question – what do him and I have in common? Well in terms of personal comparison, the answer is still quite probably nothing. But in the end we are both human, and politics aside, I think he would agree that in our society, and any society, a basic responsibility exists – a responsibility of the individual – to remember the origin of its species, of our species – but more importantly, to understand our present state, as one that is, and will forever be, transient.

Where do we come from? Where are we going?

I would think that many, that most have made some attempt to tackle these notions; at the very least I hope you have. Yes, in all the answers given there are more than a few of suspicious character, and may no answer ever exist completely free of suspicion. That being said, I have since settled my beliefs on one theory in particular, and perhaps the best and most succinct summary I have seen to date, is one by a famous author. It reads as follows: From War came Humanity.

If you think about it long enough, I think you will agree – there can be no doubt. Human intelligence is inevitably the result of premeditated slaughter. We are the simple and eventual consequence of an evolutionary system that rewards cunning and ingenuity in the face of annihilation. Though for the sake of this argument, War is not politics, despite similarity. In the context of the argument that I would like to make – War is not two trivial ideologies clashing over the right to govern.

Even though in reality, it always is.

War, for the sake of this argument, is fundamentally a conflict between two parties over the resources necessary for survival. One failed genome later – War becomes the most rapid and efficient form of natural selection ever practiced. Still, it is important to remember that though humanity may be a product of War, the practise itself is not our invention. The first war ever fought on the planet we call Earth happened more than four billion years ago, and likely concerned two rival factions of amoeba. I am not sure if it is relevant.  Never-mind it is.

But the first war of indisputable human consequence has to be the war of Ape against predator. Before Ape was hunter, Ape was only gatherer. For millions of years that top spot belonged to the great cats of the savannah, and they taught Ape fear, and they taught Ape weakness. Yes, they snuck into our caves, our homes at night. Yes, they carried out the weak, still alive, conscious and screaming – and they left behind only the echoes a constant nightmare. And thus we evolved the use of tools: weaponry, no doubt spurred in a moment of impending death, and thus weaponry gave Ape an introduction to the benefits of technology. In forms of wielded stone, wielded stick, and wielded bone – technology introduced Ape to power. War of course predates language, and very likely, had Ape not refined his ability to kill, in his ever-present struggle to survive, then it is possible that Ape’s neurological potential might never have progressed to the point where verbal communication becomes a possibility.

That famous writer, now also long dead, wrote in that same piece of fiction that since Ape learned War, Man has never known a more fulfilling hobby. War may be the single vilest concept ever inflicted upon conscious life, and then there is the fact that its inherent axiom is the statement that the lives of those on the losing side are worthless. In my objective opinion, no life, however small, is utterly worthless. But our history has been written, and fact remains: brutal slaughter, and an adoption of the practice of War, have both led directly to the single most important contribution that Man has yet to make to evolution: Us.

That same person said one more thing –and that one more thing is what this story is about. The famous writer wrote that it was not until Man learned of the stars, that he did find a fascination to parallel his military affinity. It is there that his future lies. It is there – in the stars, that Man may chance to become more than himself. Amongst the stars: Man may at last find peace, and contribute again, once more.

SESSION 23D – H.R. 8089
…. PAGE 12

SPEAKER > Representative Katherine Clark will now introduce Doctoral Astrophysicist Randall R. Dalton to deliver testimony in support of H-R-8089:          “THE PROVIDENCE ACT”.


R.CLARK > Thank you Mister Speaker. As most of you know Doctor Dalton is the driving force behind NASA’s newly founded DEEP SPACE Program. He is here today to speak before congress on the general importance of H-R-8089. Please welcome Doctor Dalton.


T.GUEST > Thank you Katherine, and thank you Mister Speaker. Thank you everyone for having me. [PAUSE] I think everyone is familiar with the stipulations put forth by the bill… [PAUSE] I’ll continue. We approach a point in history where the advance of technology will transition beyond the realm of traditional purpose. Make no mistake, we are in the process of building a new world, and I guarantee that one hundred years from now people will look back at right now, and they will call these moments the beginning of their modern age. But we are not there yet, and as always the future remains unclear. What does remain clear is that the stage of future politics will belong to those who can sustain the largest leaps, and so, we must leap. [PAUSE] To do so we must act. As it stands Japan, Korea, Germany, Sweden, and even India are now ahead of us, across several fields of study, and I ask you why? As the most powerful nation on earth, why have we stopped leaping forward? The answer is stagnation, and redundancy, and I for one believe that it is in the best interest of the United States Government to begin a rigorous schedule of funding: funding the future, specifically, funding projects that are in themselves as inevitable as they may seem ridiculous. We must re-establish our tech-industry as destination number one, and ensure that our brightest minds have the opportunity to flourish here, without the need for expatriation. As the most powerful nation in the world, it is not only in our nation’s best interest, it is our inherent duty, to spearhead the action that will take mankind into the future. The Providence Act will do this, by merging and reorganizing the defense budget with the budgets of all categorized and uncategorized scientific research programs. Thus effectively forcing our largest military contractors to begin their transition towards a more efficient and progressive status quo. We can have our cake and eat it too, as the act will in no way limit so called ‘military funding’ in any way, while at the same time stimulating continuous growth in every technology-oriented sector. The Providence Act is in itself a traditional insurance policy towards a stable and lasting American presence in the global economy. I can only hope that you all feel the moral obligation that Representative Clark and I feel towards the future of this great nation, and I implore you, let us reinvent the American Empire, as one dedicated to the ultimate success of our species. [Pause]


SPEAKER > Thank you Doctor Dalton. [PAUSE] Doctor Dalton will answer questions. Questions should concern only scientific policy and direction; let it be known that any involvement on Doctor Dalton’s part in the implementation of H-R-8089 will cease immediately in the event of implementation. [LONG PAUSE] Independent Representative Bart Davies of Oregon’s Fourth District will pose the first question.


R.DAVIES > Thank you Mister Speaker. [PAUSE] Doctor Dalton: I would like to express that I hold the work you have accomplished in years past at nothing less than the highest esteem. If your goal was to inspire us then I can indeed say that you have succeeded. [PAUSE] However, the fact remains that your work stands to gain immensely from implementation of The Providence Act. My concern surrounds the possibility that your attention has been distracted away from the needs of the average citizen. What guarantees can there be that the American people will benefit from spending trillions on speculative fantasy? We are facing an untold number of unprecedented socio-economic issues, the least complicated of which is our nation’s highly complicated poverty epidemic. Passing this bill will extinguish any chance we have of moving our country away from its longstanding Military-Industrial complex and towards a much-needed postmodern- socialist society. I may be in the minority, but I find the idea of nearly doubling the military budget to be, well, incredibly frightening, and most likely a huge step in the wrong direction. [PAUSE] Thank you Mister Speaker.


SPEAKER > Thank you Representative Davies. Doctor Dalton you may respond now.


T.GUEST > Thank you Mister Speaker – and thank you Mister Davies. Representative Davies, what you just said is a perfect summary of the imperfect nature of The Providence Act. If the US were a country that could successfully operate along socialist principles [PAUSE] then we might have been able to do this a different way. But as it stands the US is not that country. For us to shut down and restructure, at this time, or at any point in the foreseeable future, is simply not an option. We must work our imperfections in our favor. We must move forward, continuously, to follow the motif, not only move, we must leap forward, continuously. I can promise you that this bill is ultimately how we will accomplish both your goals and mine. My time with you will soon end. I challenge you to continue fighting for what you believe in, without compromise, and one day, if we both live long enough, we will that see change.


SPEAKER > Thank you Doctor Dalton. Anymore questions? [Pause] No more? [PAUSE] Okay thank you Doctor Dalton. [PAUSE] Congress moves to vote on H-R- 8089:  “The Providence Act”. Cast votes now. [Pause] Results are as follows: “YEA: 349 to NAY: 112”. H-R-8089 passes and moves to Senate.