Some have suggested that societies or states can usefully be thought of as a superorganism, rather like a beehive. States respond, semi-intelligently, to opportunities and threats. They defend themselves. They store and make use of information. We may believe that they’re not ‘real’ entities, but then maybe our neurons and our gut flora think the same of us.
This perspective might help us understand United States foreign policy, which generally seems totally gormless. We seem determined to do expensive and useless things. But there may be a biological analogy. Maybe the Iraq War, or our government’s immigration policies, are the equivalent of the peacock’s tail – a case of Zahavi’s handicap principle. Only a true superpower could get away with acting this stupid. Of course, this usually applies to sexual selection. No country would want to mate with an inferior nation that can’t afford to produce such wastefully extravagant signals.
All of this implies that mating is on the superorganism’s mind. I think that this line of analysis has one clear implication: stay the hell out of Florida.