One could make the argument that the French Revolution replaced one group of overlords with another, after a transitional phase filled with hope and violence. The American Revolution made it possible for the founding father slave owners to further free themselves but not their charges. Clearly, ideals take time to actualize. Revolutions are often hypocritical up close.

Paradigms shift slowly, with exceptions.

Stephen J. Gould and others have suggested that there are ways that nature can rapidly adjust to extreme circumstances. Gould and Eldredge’s Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium, which outlined their ideas in detail, were conjectures that helped explain gaps in the fossil records that confounded Darwin. Gould’s observations of processes described as heterochony, which include neoteny, track the influence of changing rates and timing of maturation on the unfolding of a species’ evolutionary trajectory over time. These rates and timing of maturation can be influenced by social structure.

Between two chimpanzee species, two social structures are represented. The laid back, sensualist, bonobo society revolves around the alpha female, with little conflict between the males in the band. Barriers to sex are few. The common chimpanzee social structure exhibits males struggling to achieve enough dominance to control procreation opportunities. Though sex between band members is frequent, the dominant male achieves more sex with females in estrous.

These very closely related chimpanzee species exhibit very different social structures. Though a gorilla harem social structure would be more extreme, there are obvious differences between these chimpanzee derivations, differences reflected in their physiological structures, such as a bonobo’s slighter build and longer legs.

The ability for species to morph at the biological equivalent of light speed can have a lot to do with modifying social structures to encourage maturation rate adjustments, prolonging or accelerating ontogeny. Chimpanzees and bonobos are now considered different species, though they are only separated by a million years. The bonobo proclivity to select for pleasure could be called a sexual revolution by evolution’s timeline, a biological paradigm shift.

Revolutions up close are peculiar things. In society, they evidently begin with words, and over time result in changes in behavior. Initially, incongruities abound. Hypocrisies fade with time.

On occasion, there are human revolutions that unfold without words, with no declarations, with no humans filled with failings speaking of the way that things should be.

In the course of perhaps three generations, humans are radically changing social structures, doing what our closest relative did in thousands. We are disassembling the primate pyramid constructed and maintained by male Indo-Europeans. We are encouraging women to again take control, elevating the commons, respecting personal pleasure and encouraging creativity. Our societies are doing this work at increasing rates, as is evident in the influence of the web. The old paradigm is not shifting, it is crashing.

We are primates experiencing radical changes in the way we choose our sexual companions. We are changing the way we exhibit to the opposite sex to achieve a partner. Women now control procreation. Is it any wonder why contraception and abortion is such an issue for the Right? No issue has more impact on the shift in power from the old social structure than this new social structure now kicking the Right Wing in the balls.

Revolutions are usually slow, and they start with words. This revolution is happening in a heartbeat, as long as it takes a woman to choose a partner. For a while, the repercussions will not be pleasant. Withdrawal from drugs that opaque reality is humbling and painful. Still, when the crash is over, we won’t have just the pretty words that a revolution offers. After this revolution, we’ll be in evolution’s embrace.


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