Author Topic: ON COURAGE - REFUTING THE "NEW CONSCIOUSNESS;Gabe Suarez  (Read 3591 times)

Offline swanson

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« on: December 05, 2008, 09:16:16 PM »
Here's a short essay that relates to give further framework to the Warrior's mindset and being by a talented gunfighter and trainer, Gabe Suarez. The article covers a lot of ground but is thought provoking and worth the read nonetheless....

Modern man has forgot a few crucial lessons from his own past.

Here's Mr. Suarez's spin on it.


Gabe Suarez


Modern domesticated man is an arrogant creature.He assumes that he, in his present form and consciousness, is the norm, and that his ancestors where somehow flawed attempts at creating a perfect and sensitive "Modern Man". This belief that the modern somehow supercedes what came before may be true in terms of technology, but it is not in terms of humankind or human behavior.

The way man behaves and thinks does not change as easily as we update our computer systems. Man's behavioral characteristics have changed very little, as a matter of fact, since our job description read - "hunter-gatherer". It is from these long gone environments that we get our combative behaviors and attitudes. Our physiology is developed more for throwing a spear or running down a deer than for firing a rifle or scanning a screen.

Before man fought man, he hunted animals for food. There was little emotional response when one of our long-dead ancestors speared an antelope. Well, maybe there was elation and relief that his belly would soon be full, but I'll bet there wasn't much of the Disney-inspired tear-jerking or Bambi hugging going on. Our combative behavior is something that has evolved from our hunting behavior, and it's grounded in the necessary traits of that hunting behavior.

When you consider the limits of the tools available at that time, and the inherent distance limits in which these tools were effective, it becomes quite clear that our ancestors didn't do much sniping. Quite to the contrary, they snuck up on the prey with stealth and cunning and then ambushed it with as much violence as they could muster. This was the same whether they were sticking a deer with a spear or scaring a mammoth off a cliff. In short, we are not programmed to fight at a distance.

As a species, we are programmed and molded for close interval combat. Although technological advances have allowed us to fight at very long distances, our physiological programming has not quite caught up.

Some experts unknowingly use this disparity in technology and physiology to launch extensive studies in hopes of explaining why only 1/3 of the men in an infantry squad will willingly and deliberately fire on their distant adversaries while the others simply fired into the sky.

One self-proclaimed and well-published expert (who incidentally has never been in combat, much less ever killed another man in that environment) claims that humans are extremely reluctant to kill other humans. He cites how animals will never kill another member of their own species as the reason. Furthermore, he writes that men must be thoroughly desensitized before successfully engaging in mortal combat.

Of course, any high school student of history or archaeology will easily refute that notion, as there is plenty of evidence (hard and documented) that man is not only willing and capable of killing his neighbors, but that he has done so through the ages with efficiency, resolve and gusto!

The expert tells us that animals will posture a great deal when faced with a member of his own species. Confrontations may ensue, yes, but there is no specific intent to kill, only to "dominate".

Well, that's true to an extent. When animals are faced with a potential confrontation (non-predatory in nature) they will do one of four things: Submit, Flee, Posture, or Fight. Submission and Flight have nothing whatever to do with the combative subject so we'll examine Posture and Fighting.

Both the gorilla facing another gorilla, or the teenage gang member facing another member of his gang will bluster loudly and take seemingly aggressive postures. The confrontation with respect to humans will likely be filled with emotional outbursts of profane yelling and so on, and although it may in fact turn deadly, there is rarely actual intent to harm the other. This dynamic exists within members of a group. It is not the same when the opponent is NOT a member of the group. Rather than "posturing", these confrontations tend to be more like actual combat.

When man is confronted by others with whom he feels some degree of relationship, he will usually take the emotionally charged avenue we discussed. This approach allows the operation of any possibly inherent, biological or societal inhibitions against killing members of his own species. Put a bear and a tiger in the same cage and add a nice T-Bone steak as point of contention and I don't think there will be much hesitation between the two contenders to harm each other, and perhaps even add the loser to the menu.

During the time when man was open for business as an official hunter-gatherer, he was also running around in tribal units. Anyone not in the tribal unit was probably initially distrusted. Fear of outsiders is not a 20th Century invention. Unlike our modern day "everything is beautiful and we are all brothers" society, those were undoubtedly hard days and there was much competition for survival. If one group had not done well at their hunting-gathering, there must have been great temptation to simply take it from those who had done well.

Perhaps because of that, and unique to man the species, is that man has the ability to view members of other groups (tribes?) as different. It is almost as if they may have been subconsciously seen as members of a different species. This allowed an easy bypassing of any emotionally based inhibitions against intra-species killing, and enabled man the predator to evolve into man the warrior.

This pseudo-predatory behavior allows man to engage in combat in a manner that parallels the hunting behavior. In hunting behavior there are no emotional-based reactions or inhibitions against killing. Rather, it is a coldly decided and deliberate act, once the required parameters are met.

Man has the capability, based on his perspectives in pre-historic times, to engage in combat in an emotionally aroused state with the resulting, stress effects and inhibitions against killing, or in a cool predatory state which may not have a stress response in evidence, and is similar in nature to the hunting behavior.

With regards to the issue that few infantry soldiers deliberately fired on the enemy with the intent to hit them. It could possibly be that there was not sufficient stimulus. The same situation is not evidenced in Close Quarters fighting at bayonet point. Perhaps, those that did fire with deliberation simply had a greater disposition to the hunter-predator behavior and able to act as a predator over a wider range of situations than the rest. Much the same, for example, can be seen in law enforcement. There are officers who have always been reluctant to fire, yet those same officers may be more than willing to "put the stick" to an adversary.

Again, noted experts with no combat experience claims that men who can operate at the non-emotional hunter level are simply sociopaths. This is simply ridiculous. I suspect that a large portion of men decorated for heroism in combat, members of special military units, and yes, even a small percentage of police officers fit in that category. To say that all of these men are somehow flawed emotionally and psychologically because they do not fit the expert's fabricated categories is silly.

So how does all this fit in today's world? Motivationally, things haven't really changed in all these thousand of years have they? Our society has imposed rules on us that prevent preemptive action. That is not as much of a handicap as you might initially think. The resulting Defensive-Reactive Mind Set does make us vulnerable. Remember, aggression is both emotionally motivated and completely uncontrolled, or cool, controlled, and pseudo-predatory. The choice is clear in terms of effectiveness. The right choice can be trained and developed.