Even from a strictly Darwinian perspective, empathy is humanity’s ace in the hole. It is the foundation of social organization, without which we would not have language, science, technology or the desire to pass these gifts on to future generations. Without empathy, we would not have family and community. We would be isolated, defenseless, naked apes, easy prey for any carnivore of even moderate size, or, in a modern day context, for any social grouping of sufficient cohesion among themselves. Thus, in a very real sense, empathy is power.
But humans are born at a very early stage of development compared to other mammals. Aside from human breast milk, babies need pleasurable sensory and experiential inputs to activate their full neurological potential, especially their empathic potential. These require family cohesion and stability which is only possible with well-developed parental empathy and bonding. Thus in healthy nurturing families, empathy is amplified and passed on through the generations, with predictable benefits in terms of survival, success and fulfillment.
Nature has provided only 3 biological processes in which the hormones and the neural connections of love and empathy are activated in the human brain. These are sex, birth and breast feeding. While social and physical activity can contribute, these basic reproductive processes are foundational to making human brains receptive to other positive stimuli. Sex, birth and breast feeding are nature’s way of inducing the emotional states which bond families together and maximize empathic and survival potential. Such strong primal bonds naturally resist the dissociative social and economic pressures that the overlords use to divide people, and groups of stable families can form very stable and resilient communities, which are inherently subversive to the top-down management necessitated by large scale centralized social control.
Families and communities are a form of distributed autonomous hubs of economic activity and intelligence and a distributed information store. They are a source of inconvenient history, invention, innovation and mutual support and solidarity which raises constant trouble for anyone seeking to impose a top-down command-and-control social structure suitable for unchallenged rule, while their economic efficiency and largely self-contained economic activity reduces opportunities for the financial harvesting which would otherwise occur via loanable and taxable currency flows. Furthermore, they produce new people which at least initially are socialized outside of the seamlessly integrated banking / governmental complex to boot. A losing proposition all the way around for the parasitic financial and political overlay which has feasted on human activity for centuries. So it’s not surprising that the family has long been a prime target for empire builders, and aside from the usual economic, social and legal incentives used to disrupt families and push kids into state management, they also work behind the scenes to throw a monkey wrench precisely into sex, birth and breast feeding.
When you consider birth as an involuntary process involving old, mammalian structures of the brain, you set aside the assumption that a woman must learn to give birth. It’s implicit in the mammalian interpretation that one cannot actively help a woman to give birth. The goal is to avoid disturbing her unnecessarily. — Michel Odent, Birth and Breastfeeding.