What we have in common with our natural brethren in the wild is the personality cult. All focus who is in and who is out. Alpha males and females to the front while the rest hold their breath. Not only do the Alphas enforce relative rank and discipline. They are also supposed to be clever. It is for them to show us the way through the maze.
Any old maze?
When one looks at the 1960s through 1980s in this country, there hold sway a very specific personality cult, with serial Alphas trying their hand at the big questions that in the end proved beyond them, except in one regard.
They fought a holding operation and unexpectedly knew when to fold their hand and take the biggest gamble of their epoch in a bid for peaceful survival.
Since then, we have had a new serial bunch of Alphas, as self-important as the ones preceding them, yet similarly failing in a greater context.
How to get this country on a much faster developmental growth path, lifting all to much more meaningful and richer lives than the ones many are still forced to lead by poverty and exclusion.
This is not a simple task, as understanding the dynamics of faster sustainable growth is one thing, but the much bigger thing being to escape the strictures of historic realities and emotions.
It turns out personality is not enough. We have had to listen endlessly over the years to what this guy or that doll can deliver, while when closely examining the record it turns out they were all captives of their own pasts, their deeply burnished emotions and beliefs, exerting a gravity pull so very difficult to overcome and unable to lay a completely new course.
Out of the many Alphas of many generations it is possible to come across a truly super Alpha. Other societies have had them over the fullness of time, though many historians tend to argue against Great Man cults shaping history.
It is the context you find yourself in, demographically, geographically, stage of development, technologically, constitutionally, institutionally, the many neighbours, that tends to drive things.
Where does that leave us?
Our present bunch of incoming Alphas give evidence of being streetwise and knowing how to tackle (mostly low). Rabble rousers all of them.
The record, however, is much leaner when it comes to defining the nature of a breakout giving us much better developmental performance and the kind of transformation that is sustainably successful rather than narrowly a deadend.
All this focus on personality is understandable, given the nature of our specie, but it is unlikely to offer us the clues that a major breakthrough for improved performance may be around the corner.
Instead, much more of the same looms, with minute hairline crack corrections so small it will be lost on generations a century from now. As by then will be today's personalities, lost in a distant mist engulfing all.
We may be primarily remembered as the ones who treaded water while engaged in sorting out the social rankings. Wow!
But then half a bread is better than none.