Colony collapse disorder  (CCD) for the honey bee has been giving me warning signs to look at the equivalent possibility for the human hive. Three stories from this week’s news offer some strong “weak signals” that may be indications of onset of the human hive’s CCD in America.

The Tucson shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and many others are shocking the system of human hives across the United States. The occurrence is challenging all parties to look at how they speak and make meaning from each others’ communications. It is asking parents to consider how they raise their kids, how schools and universities educate them, how communities nurture and support them, how the justice system protects them, how the political system represents them – or not. It is asking kids to think about what are ” right relationships” with their parents, elders and authorities. It is confronting the responsibilities of all roles for the safety and protection of daily life in the human hive – by conformity enforcers, diversity generators, resource allocators and inner judges alike. Everyone is looking at how they relate to all those basic roles in the human hive.

The very word “right” is being recalibrated into a new “appropriateness”. The National Post reports the emerging approach to crime and imprisonment in the USA as transitioning from being “tough on crime” to being “right on crime”. Since the USA holds the dubious record of incarcerating more people than any other country in the world, this argument makes economic sense. But when the likes of traditional conservatives like Newt Gingrich confess that they have had to reframe their long-held beliefs that incarceration is the only answer to most crimes, that is a sure sign that the conformity enforcers and inner judges are listening to the faint voices of doing things another way. Countries like Canada who seem to be moving to an American-style prison system, would do well to notice that being “right on crime” means that one size will not fit all — that “rightness” implies an intention of “appropriateness” to administering the consequences of and/or rehabilitation from crime.

Finally when you read a story about the dilemma of CPAC – the long-standing alliance of social conservatives and libertarians in the USA — and its internal divisions about perspectives and policies on the current state of affairs in the world — then you know that there is a crack in the status quo. When a group of socially and freedom-minded conservatives, who has survived through the turbulences of life in the last three decades, starts to break apart over the invitations and seating arrangements of its meetings, that seems to be a sign of collapse in the ranks of the alliance that binds diversity generators to conformity enforcers. With such a crack in the dam that holds up civility can we be forgiven for wondering if it is sign of impending CCD for the human hive?

When whole systems shift into new forms of life, we are learning from complexity theory, that the pattern is often non-linear – ie. a sudden jump can occur into a new life form or way of being. But it is the gift of consciousness to notice what we notice even as we are changing our selves and our cultures. And I am wondering if these three stories are early warning signs of a seismic shift ahead? Are they symptoms of colony collapse disorder for the human hive? Or are they (as Leonard Cohen might suggest) the necessary cracks in the system that allow the light to get in??