Christopher Robert Middleton
Ware, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
University of Cambridge, England
Research & Professorships
Dry humour, hotel lobbies, garden centres, old trains, fine teas, efficient postal services, constant debate.
Americanisms, cold toast, slow walkers, poor grammar, salesmen, air fresheners, hot tubs, Elvis impersonators.
Fellow of Burlington House
Fellow at the Royal Anthropological Institute
Associate of the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford
Academically, I am the man behind the proposition called the 'anti-civilisation argument' (contra economia) which sets forth the controversial case that civilisations cannot coexist with the natural world, nor support the needs of life on Earth. My work in anthropology takes a strictly biological view of the artificial economic habitats that humans have created as preferred alternatives to the natural environment, with concise specificity on exactly why economic systems are ultimately doomed to fail and why civilisations eternally rise and fall in deterministic cycles which humans are ultimately powerless to control.
Through new theory in my book, I demonstrate that human civilisation is actually inconsistent with Darwinian evolution and that our post-hunter-gatherer economic systems and domestication function in direct violation of biological imperatives. My field of study proposes that there are 'Three Fundamental Problems of Economy' which unintendedly function as a social trap, and since the Neolithic period until the present time has driven humankind into a tailspin trajectory that inevitably leads to a novel self-extinction event. In light of these revelations, I suggest that our existing interpretation of reality and progressive economic worldview are rather fatally flawed, which therefore demands a complete rethink of our existing philosophies and how we perceive human life and our place on Earth.
As a nascent solution to this problem, I have begun laying the foundations for a new field of biological anthropology called 'Econology', which bridges the disconnected gap between the two larger fields of Economics and Ecology which have always remained in academic isolation despite their overlap and similarity as inextricably related scientific subjects. My overall ethos is that we need to start seeing the world for what it is, instead of what we want it to be. Since the beginning of recorded time, our idealistic worldview of human civilisation has diverted our observation away from fundamental problems with economic life in the first place. My job has been to undo the favourable narrative which has long supported our ambitions and instead reveal human life in a painfully objective way that is more scientifically appropriate.
Throughout my own educational journey, I have been largely influenced by the early work of prominent intellectuals like Francis Bacon, John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Herbert Spencer, Bertrand Russell, Julian Huxley and Ronald Fisher; alongside contemporary thinkers such as Maynard Smith, Hamilton, Gould, Dunbar and Dawkins, primarily. Where my position on humans differs to those of my predecessors is where I conclude that humans gain no exception to the laws of nature which apply uniformly to all else, and that civilisation itself is a temporal maladaptation causing our species to deviate from optimal ecology and fitness. I asseverate that humankind has not evolved towards a ‘perfected state’ and that the notion of a perfected state itself is a fiction designed to suit economic and political demands which are ultimately superfluous and superficial in evolutionary terms.
Conventional thinking on this topic is problematic because there is a prevailing social misconception that economic systems and human domesticity are natural vectors toward ‘better’ and ‘higher forms of living’, but this is a fallacy which repeats an historical error biologists made with orthogenesis and its theoretical ties to determinism; where, the inherent human dependency on civilisation automatically creates an economic bias that shapes our picture of reality to favour social preferences, ambitions and development goals. My findings give a contradictory picture to the former; that we should view the civilisational world as nothing more than a superfluous anomaly and transitory bubble in human evolution over the longer-term geological timescales, and therefore our anthropological view should remain objectively macroscopic instead of subjectively relative to the current phase of complexity present in this stage of time.
The crux of my research area expounds an alternative view of modern complexity that undermines a central premise of economic theory, which obviously disrupts long-established conventions and upends our existing worldview and priorities. As a result of building the first technical challenge to civilisation's existence, there are becomes entailing implications for science, technology, business and global politics moving forward. Having identified that the fundamental issue with how we live is on a much deeper ecological level, and that my area of research has no direct marketplace application like most research discoveries which subsequently invent new products or commodities, I have turned my attention to consultancy work so I can utilise my expertise of human economic complexity to aid businesses and organisations with navigating the biggest challenges of today.
As a Consultant Anthropologist for Social and Economic Sciences, my expertise in human complexity is predominantly used for advisory and research to guide management, policy, governance and organisational culture. I would describe my niche as dealing with ‘big problems’ but nonetheless take on myriad projects that might interest me.