August 12, 2020

This documentary on an aggressive clan of chimpanzees in Uganda illustrates the tragedy of power politics within and between competing groups in the wild.  Strong personalities vying for status within the clan hierarchy can turn violent as well as territorial disputes with outsiders as the community looks to expand their territory. 

The chimpanzees conduct patrols, raids, and display remarkable small unit tactics as they contest for dominion over other tribes.  While chimpanzees routinely eat other monkey species, they also eat other chimps, particularly those of rival clans or violators of their own internal social order. 

Political insights from evolutionary biology are on full display as the Ngogo chimpanzees cooperate for mutual security and overall well-being while also strictly, with raw brutality, enforcing in-group selection by punishing anti-social behaviors, particularly through execution, expelling, and ostracism.

The full documentary is available on other sites with a basic internet search. I've posted a condensed sample posted by Discovery UK just to get the flavor while avoiding copyright issues. The full version is fascinating and worthy of two hours of your time.

While chimps and humans may share similar DNA and people must always be security conscious, seeing the harsh existence in the animal kingdom is a reason to celebrate the human faculty of reason to avoid conflict while enjoying social cooperation, the division of labor, and the material abundance facilitated by the free exchange of property.