People take interest in ants for many reasons. Some people are fascinated by how ants have achieved what they deem a perfect totalitarian system. In fact, if you observe it from the outside, an ant nest appears to be completely harmonious as everyone works the same, everyone focuses on the good of the whole and everyone is prepared to sacrifice themselves. But humanity has failed in every attempt at totalitarianism up until now. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Persians, Chinese, French, British, Russians, Germans, Japanese and Americans all experienced an age of glory and appeared as if the world would be assimilated into them, but fortunately a tiny grain of sand would always fall and destroy their unified systems.
This is why there are people who try to imitate insects who live in hive societies (consider how Napoleon’s insignia was of a honeybee). If what unifies an ant nest’s thoughts into one is pheromones, then modern society’s worldwide media does the same function today. People always suggest something that they believe is good and expect others to follow it. They believe that this way, we will achieve a perfect human society one day. But this is not the way of the universe.
Nature, unlike what Darwin suggested, does not evolve so that the fittest survive and rule (and what standard could possible differentiate “fit” and “undesirable”?). Nature’s powers lie in variation. In nature, there are good, evil, insane, devastated, lively, ill, deformed, demented, happy, depressed, intelligent, foolish, selfish, generous people and big, small, black, yellow, red, white things etc. They must all exist. If there is one danger in nature, it is when one group is destroyed by another group.
If there is a field of corns and only the corns that have the “best” traits (i.e. require the least water, stand cold weather and produce juicy corn) are used to pollinate, then the entire crop can be wiped out by a single disease. Contrastingly, a wild crop with individual corns having unique traits with varied weaknesses and differences can survive diseases as the corns find a way to beat it among the many different traits.
Nature hates standardisation and loves diversity. It is through diversity that nature exerts its original abilities.
(from The Encyclopaedia of Relative and Absolute Knowledge by Bernard Werber)