I apologize in advance for the logical fallacy of anthropomorphism that I am about to commit...
According to the ever-changing results from our anthropology survey, nobody wants to be a colony of bacteria, a bee, or a Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish. About 17% would be a tree, and 73% would rather belong to a wolf pack.
Nobody wants to live forever as a non-human, and only a few want the longevity, stability, and the efficiency of solar energy in the form of a tree. A bacterium divides itself into two new clones, and this process continues exponentially until the colony runs out of food and/or becomes overpopulated to its own doom. Apparently, that option isn't attractive to our respondents. The Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish, according to the omniscient Wikipedia:
Turritopsis nutricula is a hydrozoan (jellyfish) with a life cycle in which it reverts back to the polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the first case in which a metazoan (animal) is capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage (Piraino, p. 302). It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation. This cycle then repeats, rendering it effectively immortal.This form of immortality doesn't seem to resonate in those who took our survey. Coincidentally, process of endless rebirth - metaphoric in the life cycle of this species of jellyfish - is the equivalent of hell in various Eastern religions.
67% believe that some form of civilization (Utopian or otherwise) is the ideal form of human society. Only about 17% believe that tribalism is ideal for humans.
The hierarchy that's lasted about 10,000 years (and counting) definitely has more than its share of fans, all of whom live within civilization. It's odd, however, that the vast majority would rather be in a band/pack of wolves (73%) than would be in the functional hierarchy of the beehive (zero percent). I guess these people believe that they too can reach the top of the ladder, as easily as it is for a beta male to pump iron and defeat the alpha male for the leadership of the wolf pack. No one wants to believe that they're like bees; no one wants resign to the possibility of never reaping the full benefits of civilization because they're not born rich (much less born to be queen bee).
Hope is a human quality.
Ankh image credit: AmosWolfe.