Yascha Mounk and Frans de Waal discuss how studying the (other) great apes can help us better understand human behavior and society.
Not only has de Waal taught us a lot about our relatives, he's one of the best at reminding us humans of the truth about who we are and where we come from. Imagine if we judged humanity's flaws from an evolutionary perspective. Not against an unrealistic standard of perfection, not "In Adam's fall we sinned all", but remembering that, like all species, we became what we are to cope with the struggle to survive in this bloody, brutal universe. Maybe we'd be easier on our species. And maybe there'd be less doomerism if we weren't so convinced that we deserve some cosmic punishment.
A very thoughtful discussion, thanks :)!
The offhand comment in your introduction, regarding what's going on in Israel, is wrong in at least a couple of significant ways -- an accomplishment, given its brevity. Of course if you're discussing something as amorphous as the advance or decline of democracy in the whole world you're likely to gloss over a lot of details, but if you're going to wrong on the details one has to wonder what the whole exercise is worth.