Our Modern Society Was Modeled in the 60s — With Rats

It didn’t go well, but the reason is something you would not suspect

Glen Hendrix
5 min readJan 31


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Just sixty years ago people left their doors unlocked without worry.

There was a time when people kept rifles on a rack in the back window of their pickup trucks — shotguns, hunting rifles, and even semi-automatic rifles (they’ve been around since 1905). They would leave their windows down because it was hot and there was no air conditioning — and their guns were safe. Children ran barefoot or rode their bicycles across whole neighborhoods, returning home just before sunset and dinner time. Doors were unlocked. Break-ins were extremely scarce. Mass shootings, outside of a war setting, were unheard of. They did not exist.

That would seem abnormal today when every other week brings news of a mass shooting. Breaking into vehicles and houses to steal stuff is so common it hardly makes the news. What’s changed in the past 60 years?

John Calhoun’s experiments in the 60s dropped rats into a comfortable habitat with plenty of food but not as much space as a rat was used to in its natural environment. Societal norms for rats spiraled downward, leading to violence and abnormal behaviors.

It was not the overcrowding.

At first, it was thought overcrowding was the culprit, but later studies showed it was aggressive rats causing an unfair distribution problem. Sound familiar? It is the same problem we have now in our American human population. Humans aren’t rats, but the same basic instincts are imprinted in the brains of both mammals. Smart, aggressive, sociopathic rats … I mean humans … disrupt the distribution system in their favor to become rich at the expense of their fellow humans.

Unlike deer populations, which are carefully tended and kept at healthy levels [for hunting purposes], the human population is encouraged to grow in order to keep delivering a positive GDP (gross domestic product) for countries and their corporations, particularly in the United Sates.

Conservatives are passing laws that make it illegal to not bring a pregnancy to term. They are duplicitously couching these actions in moral and religious terms while in fact they are instigated…



Glen Hendrix

Artist, writer, poet, inventor, entrepreneur