The perfect civilization of the bee

«Woman – Free and Regal

Mr. Tesla regards the emergence of woman as one of the most profound portents for the future.

“It is clear to any trained observer,” he says, “and even to the sociologically untrained, that a new attitude toward sex discrimination has come over the world through the centuries, receiving an abrupt stimulus just before and after the World War.

“This struggle of the human female toward sex equality will end in a new sex order, with the female as superior. The modern woman, who anticipates in merely superficial phenomena the advancement of her sex, is but a surface symptom of something deeper and more potent fermenting in the bosom of the race.

“It is not in the shallow physical imitation of men that women will assert first their equality and later their superiority, but in the awakening of the intellect of women.

“Through countless generations, from the very beginning, the social subservience of women resulted naturally in the partial atrophy or at least the hereditary suspension of mental qualities which we now know the female sex to be endowed with no less than men.

The Queen is the Center of Life

“BUT the female mind has demonstrated a capacity for all the mental acquirements and achievements of men, and as generations ensue that capacity will be expanded; the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose. Woman will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.

“The acquisition of new fields of endeavor by women, their gradual usurpation of leadership, will dull and finally dissipate feminine sensibilities, will choke the maternal instinct, so that marriage and motherhood may become abhorrent and human civilization draw closer and closer to the perfect civilization of the bee.”

The significance of this lies in the principle dominating the economy of the bee – the most highly organized and intelligently coordinated system of any form of nonrational animal life – the all-governing supremacy of the instinct for immortality which makes divinity out of motherhood.

The center of all bee life is the queen. She dominates the hive, not through hereditary right, for any egg may be hatched into a reigning queen, but because she is the womb of this insect race.

We Can Only Sit and Wonder

THERE are the vast, desexualized armies of workers whose sole aim and happiness in life is hard work. It is the perfection of communism, of socialized, cooperative life wherein all things, including the young, are the property and concern of all.

Then there are the virgin bees, the princess bees, the females which are selected from the eggs of the queen when they are hatched and preserved in case an unfruitful queen should bring disappointment to the hive. And there are the male bees, few in number, unclean of habit, tolerated only because they are necessary to mate with the queen.

When the time is ripe for the queen to take her nuptial flight the male bees are drilled and regimented. The queen passes the drones which guard the gate of the hive, and the male bees follow her in rustling array. Strongest of all the inhabitants of the hive, more powerful than any of her subjects, the queen launches into the air, spiraling upward and upward, the male bees following. Some of the pursuers weaken and fail, drop out of the nuptial chase, but the queen wings higher and higher until a point is reached in the far ether where but one of the male bees remains. By the inflexible law of natural selection he is the strongest, and he mates with the queen. At the moment of marriage his body splits asunder and he perishes.

The queen returns to the hive, impregnated, carrying with her tens of thousands of eggs–a future city of bees, and then begins the cycle of reproduction, the concentration of the teeming life of the hive in unceasing work for the birth of a new generation.

Imagination falters at the prospect of human analogy to this mysterious and superbly dedicated civilization of the bee; but when we consider how the human instinct for race perpetuation dominates life in its normal and exaggerated and perverse manifestations, there is ironic justice in the possibility that this instinct, with the continuing intellectual advance of women, may be finally expressed after the manner of the bee, though it will take centuries to break down the habits and customs of peoples that bar the way to such a simply and scientifically ordered civilization. (…)»

– Nikola Tesla, “When woman is boss“, an interview by John B. Kennedy, Colliers, January 30, 1926.

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