“Man can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence….. This production beyond nature’s available provisions increasingly subjugates nature to its sway.” (Marx from Capital, On the labour process)
Homo Sapiens has been able to systematically create beyond nature’s available provisions and as a result has become the most dominant species on the planet. The essence of this success is the mindboggling level of human collaboration.
Aristotle’s “natural state” of one sole man wandering the plains has never been the arch state of homo sapiens, or its primate ancestors for that matter. As far as we know today the ancestors of homo sapiens already lived in groups and had collaborative interactions between groups. Homo sapiens, as an evolutional step up from other primates, is typified, and set apart from other species, by its ability to collaborate far above and beyond any other species. This ability was spurred by the development of the Home Sapiens brain which is especially geared for collaboration.
Collaboration of individuals in a group is a common strategy seen in many species. What sets us apart as homo sapiens from all the rest and our ancestors is the extend of the collaboration and the reach of individuals involved in the collaboration.
Collaboration is about the core of our species; I have dubbed us therefor the collaborating man: Homo Collaborans.