Understanding IIC within Human Histories of Domination & Collaboration by Chara Armon, PhD, Villanova University

Our past and present offer us at least two major models of being human on Earth: hierarchical and domineering behavioral patterns or collaborative and egalitarian ways of being with one another and other species. In recent decades we have increasingly engaged in comparing these two models and studying their origins, and thus the hierarchical model has received substantive critique. Simultaneously, people from multiple cultural and disciplinary perspectives advocate for a renewed embrace of collaborative approaches which incline toward egalitarian embrace of all human capacities, all people, and all species. As we better understand the origins and deficits of the hierarchical approach, the ways it was created, and the reasons for its creation, we can consider trends in recent decades that suggest that we may now be coming to prefer the collaborative model and recognize its successes in both the functioning of the natural world and human behavioral patterns. Meanwhile, the pressures created by human-caused environmental devastation indicate that an interspecies culture may be necessary in order for life to thrive on Earth, and that an interspecies culture requires the kind of egalitarian and collaborative ways of being that are nourished by practices such as IIC. IIC, thus, appears to be advancing within a larger trend toward valuing all human life, the lives of all species, and collaborative rather than domineering relationships. As a wide variety of perspectives and practices including New Animism, Holistic Science, Native Science, rights for nature, and IIC receive growing attention, we may be experiencing renewal of the model of egalitarian collaboration. It also may be said that it is within our power to renew the collaborative model if we deem it more conducive to the flourishing of life on Earth.