Disease

Mutation-2021 (Part II)

Introduction

It is the continuation of the first part of Mutation-2021. Here I will discuss a few selected aspects of modern reality, which were missing in Part I. Also, there will be presented conclusions drawn from both parts of Disease-2021

Education

In modern society, education plays an increasingly important role. There are several reasons for that, but the leading ones are that the need for unskilled labour is declining and that education is necessary for social and economic success.  It becomes clear that increasingly sophisticated robots will replace existing clerical and manuals jobs. From the point of view of the capitalistic economy,  robots are, in ta long run,  less expensive and troublesome – they do not have trade unions and cannot strike. Necessary education is not, as it was not too long time ago, limited only to schools, universities, or apprenticeships. It becomes available via numerous workshop courses, the internet, etc. Acquiring necessary skills is often more useful than a university degree.

But this “official” kind of education is only a highly visible but minuscule fragment of what education of human society embraces. Our education begins at the moment we are born and continue throughout our life. The original educators are our family and especially mother, who teach and help us sit, walk, and eventually talk. After that, the family’s role does not decrease but is combined with more formal education provided by a nursery, later on, kindergarten, etc.

Even during such an early stage of education Diseases creeps into our life.  First, most often,  we are taught to listen to authority without question. The original authority is the family where we are gradually becoming indoctrinated into one of the fundamentals of stratification: the authority rules over us. That becomes further reinforced in nursery and kindergarten. The teacher, in a sense, has no choice:  that is the way she or he was trained how to control a bunch of infants. So we learn to do this or not to do that.

Once we enter a more formal school system, which differs slightly from one country to another, the scope of indoctrination progressively expands. I on teaching history, including prehistory, because they help shape our view on humanity from its beginning till now. I will begin chronologically with a discussion how prehistory is presented for young people. After a long time browsing through the internet and looking through a multitude of various sites describing prehistory “for kids,” I found a lack of the most important ones. It is difficult to say that laziness of the educators or purposely misinforming students indoctrinate them.

Generally, the emphasis is on Paleolithic human societies’ primitiveness, nomadic character, and using only stone tools. Also, praise is reserved for men as brave hunters while women are just an appendage dedicated to rear children and collecting berries. Nowhere is mentioned their creative invention of sophisticated tools, like bows and arrows or boomerang,  and rarely their artistic accomplishments. Some even present long-time abandoned false ideas of their patriarchal character. Only one site mentions their egalitarian character, and none the matrilinear structure. Those would go against the grain of deeply embedded indoctrination about the virtues of domination and leadership.

Teaching about the Neolithic period is no better.  It is missed any emphasis on incredible achievement, which was the invention of pottery and various kinds of living structures. The most striking is the lack of appreciation of incredible achievement, which was plants’ domestication leading to create agriculture.  Maybe because, most likely, it was done by women who were intimately familiar with the plants’ world. It also misses any mention of the degree of multi-generation cooperation necessary for making new technology and agriculture a reality. However, there is a lot about the emerging of religions.

I general, early prehistory is an uncomfortable subject because it does not support the belief that the structure of HomoSapiens was stratified from the very beginning, men were always superior, and that wars are as old as humanity.

Going further along the history line, finally, the children are informed about beginning the formation of states and wars, and it rarely is said that the latter phenomenon emerged only around  4,500 years ago.  Very rarely is mentioned horrors of imposing patriarchal domination and slavery. Instead, history focuses on brave warriors, heroes, great leaders,  conquerors,  etc. Nowhere is it said that wars have been and are the greatest crimes against humanity, that Alexander the Great, Julius Cezar, and many other Romans leaders, Gengis Khan, etc., should be viewed as much as criminal as Adolf Hitler. On the contrary, they are often presented as role models, heroes, and examples of patriotism.

Moving closer to our time, let us look at how presented one of the subjects, particularly uncomfortable for Europeans, colonization of Africa.  The strategy here is to make it as “factual” as possible. For example, in nearly recent times in the 19th century, Africa was divided, among major colonial European powers, into pieces,  each becoming the property of one of them. That, nowadays, considered criminal activity is presented in  Grade 8 – Term 3: The Scramble for Africa: late 19th century. In the same reading, you can find the sentence: Despite its neutrality, part of the Kongo Basin became a personal Kingdom (private property) for Belgium’s King Leopold II and under his rule, over half of the region’s population died.” It misses saying that the term “died” refers to the killing and torturing of 10 million natives.

To summarise, prehistory and history are one of the leading fields of indoctrination of young people. We should not be surprised, suddenly waking up to the overpresence of social stratification, admiration of patriarchy, wars, racism, etc. – we were educated to accept them as normal and even seen them as virtues.  

Despite numerous modernizing changes, schools’ curriculum and teaching remain essentially based on medieval ideas, punishment, stuffing students with information, and forcing them to memorize them. It ignores the fact that children, since they learned how to read and type, have access to the internet to find the relevant information often much better explained than in the classroom.

The next among its “sins” of modern education is promoting the attitude of individualism and competitiveness. Both are very important from the perspective of democratic capitalism, which presents them as one of its greatest virtues. That attitude began when children’s accomplishments became graded. Since higher grades translate into the feeling superior over those with lower ones, the domination begins to take hold over the young person. On the other hand, the idea of collaboration is specifically discouraged or even punished, except for school sports teams,  where it can not be avoided. It conditions children towards embracing individualism as a virtue.

The Disease intensifies its hold when young people are entering universities. Depending on grades for high schools, they are accepted to those considered better or worse. Also, since some university specializations, particularly medicine, admit only a limited number of new students,  the competition becomes more and more fierce. It does not end there, if someone chooses an academic career, that one has to be prepared for the academic “rat race.” Those with a larger number of refereed publications are likely to receive higher grants and expect to receive academic positions, promotions, honours, etc.

To summarize, the present form of education plays a prime role in helping Disease condition society to its present dire state. Any attempts to free humanity from the hold of Disease must include drastic changes in the education system. Some thoughts about an alternative one will be posted in the future category  Society on this site.

COVID-19

The pandemic of COVID-19 is so well-publicized and controversial that it does not need further technical explanations. What is surprising, though, how little is said about the early 20th century catastrophic viral epidemy called “Spanish flu.” The precise number of victims is unknown no one was doing accurate statistics, so it is only estimated between  12 to 100 million. In any case, it exceeds the number of people who died and, most likely, will die from COVID.

It is very different now. COVID -19 is not only a potentially fatal sickness but also a political hot potato. It also displays the effects of Disease in its stark brutality. It shows, at least in some countries, that economy is far more important than human life. The glaring example is France, where the government, until a few days ago,  forced schools to stay open despite a growing number of infections and the well-known,  publicized fact that children going through a non-symptomatic version of COVID are super spreaders. Why, because closing schools would force parents not to go to work, the government will have to pay compensation. It is all covered with the sickening pretense of patriotism and the “care for the wellbeing of children.”

COVID shows the failure of such political creation like the EU, which instead of eliminating nationalism, religious fanatism (Poland),  helping weaker partners and other countries, creates more tensions, finger-pointing, and aggression. But that phenomenon is not limited only to France; many other EU countries are looking for excuses for its gigantic failure to deal with COVID in general and vaccination in particular.

The story of anti-COVID vaccines is still developing, but so far, it exposes the utter failure of global capitalism to deal with its distribution and shortage. If not that people are dying because of that, one could view it as a very dark comedy, where politicians struggle with growing discontent, lack of cooperation, and ignorance. As usual, they are trying to blame everything else but themselves.

COVID’s impact will most likely overlive its existence as a pandemic. The work from home, which originally was a necessity, will continue and expand because it is far cheaper for employers than doing it in the office. To be prepared, there is already emerging technology for invigilation employees’ behaviour during work at home. However, I would like to emphasize that there is one real advantage of working from home: it radically reduces the need for transportation and its environmental effects.

COVID, unfortunately, like any virus, present in a very large population, continually mutates. It happens, in the case of yearly epidemy of ordinary flu, and for that reason, every year, the vaccine has to be modified. However, the flu virus is different for COVID-19, which mutates more rapidly. Consequently, the vaccines, to be effective, have to be continually adapted accordingly. That is turn, requires close cooperation on many levels: laboratories, producers, countries, etc., But it is a taboo in liberal capitalism, which religiously adheres to the sacred competition principle. Recently, some countries declare that they will jointly prepare themselves for potential new pandemics. However, it would be very naive to trust such declarations after watching the impotence of so many international initiatives,  like the UN or EU, paralyzed by archaic structure, petty politics and bureaucracy, and similar. So, the post-COVID future looks not as bright as we would like it to be.

Ecology

The subject of ecology is all-present in media, which each day report dutifully that various scientists warn about catastrophically further deteriorating environmental situations. We read, again and again, that the average global temperature is rising, that icebergs are melting, that the Amazon rainforest is destroyed, etc.  I do not intend to add what you already read or are told.  Rather, I will approach the subject by investigating the subject: is it realistic to believe in the possiblity of stopping further degeneration and repair the damage already done within the global capitalism framework.

One of the main obstacles to any realistic dealing with that environmental crisis is Possesivness and, more specifically, it is the desire for a quick return from investment.

To remind you: one the classical, “honest” capitalism in principle works, more or less like that: you invest into some business expecting that this business will generate profit and the investor will receive its share. Furthermore, it is expected that generating this profit will attract new investors, who put more money, so the business grows so that shares will grow in price, and so on. But now, modern capitalism, often bordering hysteria, is far more infected by Disease and less rational than the classical one. Consequently, investors expect a very fast return. An extreme example of that is the lightning speedy growth of popularity of totally insane (from the point of view of classical capitalism) phenomenon of crypto-currency, which permits people to gain (or lose) fortunes on something completely virtual, which has no any practical value.

However, the really effective environment-friendly industries and services usually require very large investments, and return from them is initially often slow. For example, the only realistic, environmentally neutral way of generating electricity and heat is deep close-loop geothermic plants. As you can see from the study discussed in the linked post, it easily could supply the necessary energy for the world for any forcible future. Many people know and write about it, but hardly anything happens. Why? Because it would require very big money to develop that kind of geothermic plants and attach them to the proper electric grid. Instead, the majority of investment, around 500 billion dollars a year, goes into developing the new coal and petrol exploitation, the main culprit of climate catastrophe.

The term “climactic catastrophe” is used above purposely because it is the most important but not the only cause of the ecological catastrophe.  The other less publicized is pollution. In the last two centuries, our biosphere was invaded by more chemicals than during 3,5 billion years of life history on the earth. Their long-term effects are impossible to predict. But there are many which impact is already known as being deadly, like insecticide, herbicides, or food preservatives. The user of insecticides and herbicides is modern agriculture, which produces feed for animals, which are turned into meat.  However,  one of the worst is petro-plastic pollution, which dumped billions of tonnes a year into the eco-system. The deadliest are micro-plastics, which penetrate the lower atmosphere, water, and soil, enter the food chain, and end our bodies.

Clearly, the petro and coal energy enterprises produce carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases and chemical ones manufacturing the polluting agents and its main consumer: agriculture is directly responsible. However, it would be too simplistic to view the ecology problem that way.  They are, in the unholy alliance with modern politics. We know that from the time politics enter the scene of human history, most of the politicians, as a rule, were dishonest, selfish, aggressive, and narcissistic. We are accustomed to that.

Nevertheless, in the stratified social system created by Disease, people have no choice but to put their fate into their hands.  Among others, they suppose to be responsible for dealing with problems of ecology. Consequently, finally,  they (with a few exceptions of extreme cases like Brazilian president Bolzanero or ex-US Trump) cannot anymore ignore it. So nearly every politician declares his (or her) commitment to convert energy production into environment friendly or carbon-free in…  2050. The hypocrisy of such declaration is obvious, but they risk not much: by 2050, many of them will be already dead, while those still alive will not be held responsible for their lies. However, many media present such political declaration as a great success for humanity.

Unfortunately, democratic politicians cannot be honest even if they try to be: they are often simply marionettes whose strings are pulled by business in two forms: direct donation and business lobbies.  Without financial support, they have no chance because modern democratic politics is increasingly more and more expensive.

Before ending this section, I would like to add that we should not  (with a few exceptions) view the CEOs of deadly industries and politicians maintaining the deteriorating situation as heartless villains. They are simply victims of ignorance and seld-indoctrination.  They are not too different than the rest of us who hope that somehow the catastrophe will be avoided and everything will OK.

Conclusion

At this point, I decided to finish the feuilleton. I could talk more about other effects of Disease like ongoing wars, terror, massive corruption, social injustice, and more. But, I hope that what is presented above is sufficient to show that the existing political and economic system leads to global catastrophe.

However, you may question such a conclusion, arguing that during 4,500 thousand years of Disease ruling, there were a few situations when existing social and economic systems facing crises had been changed, and humanity continued.  But now there is one fundamental difference; the colossal speed of development of technology. If we look at history, we notice that until the 19th century, relatively few new technologies have been invented. Furthermore, except for architecture and sailing ships, the whole rest was strictly connected with military use.

It all changed in the 19th century with the invention of steam,  combustion, and electric engines, but the ecological impact of new technologies still was bearable. Now, the story is entirely different, and the continuation of the present economic and social systems is unsustainable. Furthermore, various patches, regulations, and minor improvements remind putting bandaids on festering and growing gangrene wounds.

We are facing an existential crisis, but it is not imminent. There is still a possibility to stop further deterioration and continue unlimited human progress. But it cannot be accomplished unless we human beings decide to face the Disease collectively. The word “collectively” is critically important: it was the collective, compassioned cooperation that saved the Homo Sapience 30,000  years ago, so it had not to share the fate of the rest species of Homo. This ability to collectively, compassionately cooperate is our innate, natural resource and treasure, and it is still not too late to unearth it. But the clock is ticking.

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