Disease

Mutation-2021 (Part I)

Introduction

In the first feuilleton about Disease, we looked at the history of its beginning. But not too many people are interested in what was happening thousands of years ago.  So in this one, we will look at the world as it is now, in the first century of the second Millennium.

While doing that, we find, to our surprise, that despite incredible changes in culture, science and technology, in the current “mutation” of Disease, its key aspects Possesivness, Domination and Indoctrination, remain only superficially modified. The Domination changed because slavery is abolished, patriarchy is less embedded in the legal structure, and a new political system called democracy emerged and became more or less universally accepted. Also, in the current mutation of Disease, Domination’s hierarchies grew enormously in their number, complexity and inter-relations. Possessiveness increased in its intensiveness and embraced a growing portion of the society. Consequently, its effects became one of the most critical dangers to the present social and natural ecology.

As far as Indoctrination goes, it shifted from religion to ideologies promoted by mass media and education. They acknowledge the predominant system of capitalistic globalism is unavoidable, and only some modifications may be possible. Also, the view that violence towards nature and humanity is just part of globalist capitalism’s package and virtues outweigh its negative side-effects is practically accepted. 

In the past, similar dire states of affairs lead to large-scale, often revolutionary, changing social and economic systems, like slavery to feudalism or feudalism to capitalism and democracy, but now, it does not seem possible. The power of dominating forces is so strong and Indoctrination so skillful, pointing to the Marxist revolution’s dismal results that any significant change is unimaginable. 

The rest of this feuilleton is dedicated to highlighting some extreme dangers caused by the Disease in its present mutation to the world’s situation. Hopefully, after reading that, we will ask ourselves a question: are we sentenced to live in the world systemically proceeding deeper and deeper into an abyss? It is not only a rhetorical question: some people accept that view and are semi-seriously considering emigration to another planet. Are you one of them?

However, that dismal outlook should not discourage anyone from participating in all possible positive actions. On the contrary, they may slow Disease progression and help us realize that humanity is fundamentally capable of creating an alternative world free from Disease as it already has happed at its very dawn.

Politics 

I will begin with a discussion of democracy, usually praised as one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments. Democracy etymologically comes from combining the two Greek words demos, which means people and kratia to rule or have power. Together means rulership of people. Historically, the first form of democracy was introduced in Athens around 600 BC as a cure for the Greek oligarchy.  Reading the posted Wikipedia article, you will find that belonging to “people” applied only to Athenian citizens and men. Only they were allowed to participate in the decision-making, while women and slaves were excluded. Wikipedia somehow omitted another condition: they also have to be owners of a property. All of those restrictions should not be surprising because, in that era, the ancient world was strictly stratified and strongly patriarchal. Decisions were made directly by casting their votes at a large place called agora.

Democracy lasted in Athens, with several interruptions, for around 200 years and eventually disappeared. It was revived a long time after, in the late 18-the century, in the USA. The USA democracy was modeled on Athenian, so only men and property owners were entitled to vote in most states.  However, voting in the USA was not made directly (it was obviously impossible considering the large territory and size of the population) but electing representatives to Senat and Congress, and the Electoral College, which decides who becomes the next president. It is based on the Athenian rule that a simple majority decides about the whole state. Surprisingly this antiquated system persists,  though now, after numerous amendments, every citizen of the USA can cast a  vote. 

After this historical interlude, let us have a look at democracy in our 22nd  century. Most of the world’s countries call their political systems democracy, even the Democratic Republic of China and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. It does not need rock science to know that those and many other so-called democracies are one or another form of dictatorship, where the next “election” results are well known before it happens.  

However, even the “true” democracies, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, and most European states, have inherently grave faults. First of all, it is absurd that any majority of even one vote can impose its policy over the rest. Since the views differences among chosen representatives can often be very profound, they often divide society, in which individuals follow the policy of their party what produces, sometimes violent,  conflict with the others. Such a situation destroys the key element of a functional society: compassionate cooperation.  Instead, it creates an atmosphere of divisiveness, hate and aggression. A vivid example of such a situation has happened in the USA during and even after the horrifyingly absurd presidency of Donal Trump. 

In a democratic system, it is completely acceptable to support a given politician or a party financially. It is done legally via direct donations, funds or registered lobbies, which protect the interests of a business group that they represent. 

Another typical fault of democracy is accompanying it pathologies like semi-legal forms of corruption, such as nepotism, bribery, awarding profitable contracts and influence peddling. At present, the leading in this area among the “real” democracies of Europe is Poland, where the ruling, the ultra-catholic party, gradually implants its favourites in lucrative and influential positions, changes legal structure, education and gradually suppresses any form of opposition media. 

To conclude: democracy is a product of Disease manifesting as the drive to dominate and imposes on society some ideological concepts via Indoctrination.

The media, for centuries, since Gutenberg invented printing on paper, played a significant role in politics. However, until the second part of the last century,  they were limited to the printed material in the form of newspapers, brochures, leaflets, books. However, it all changed with the worldwide introduction of television and the internet. Increasing the importance and presence of media in everyday life allows using freedom of speech, the key assumptions of democracy, to produce an opportunity to manipulate by spreading extreme views. It became particularly frequent during the Trump era when he used Twitter as the main form of communication. It looks absurd, but many people take seriously all this garbage that others spew daily via Facebook, Twitter and similar.  That, in turn, often leads to mental and physical violence. 

Another increasing danger in many democracies comes from recently becoming more and more popular nationalistic movements.  They present their ideology as patriotism and freedom from globalism. However, it is a thin disguise of racism and their leaders’ desire to gain power and economic l benefit. 

I could continue to explore the inherent and acquired faults of real democracy, but it should be clear that it is definitely a lesser evil than numerous pseudo-democracies. The most glaring examples are mentioned earlier Russia, the Democratic Republic of China or the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea). To a category can be included states that were parts of the Soviet empire and now are independent. For example, Tajikistan ruled is by Emomali  Rahmon since 1994, Bialorussia ruled by Alexander Lukashenko since its inception in 1990 or Azerbaijan rule by the Aliyev dynasty since its “independence” in 1990. There are also numerous African countries, which since their liberation from colonial oppression and, after the period of internal struggles and wars,  now are ruled by the same person for a very long time, where an election is pre-defined by the present rulers, for example, in Congo-Brazzaville Denis Sassou Nguesso rules as the president for 36 years.

Politics in general and democracy, in particular, are inseparable from Indoctrination. The public must be convinced of the party’s ideology and plans, which is supposed to vote. Very rarely the promised before election  “goodies” are fulfilled: while in power, party politicians are busy to keep their position and assured ut in the future by all possible means. They play on people’s ignorance and naivete to excite or soothe whatever is appropriate. Often the public does not trust politicians, but democracy does not offer them any choice but to vote on the chosen ones.

In dictatorial systems, people are usually indoctrinated to admire and obey a given ruler to prevent potential upheavals.

Domination lies at the very heart of politics. In the case of dictatorial systems, there seems to be no need for further comments. But it applies as much or even more to democracy because holding power is not as assured there it is as in dictatorial systems.  Consequently, those in power use all possible means to convince the public to vote for them so they can continue their status. They attempt to show that their ideology is superior over the competitions, make promises they are no intending to keep, personally besmirch their opponents, spread lies, etc. The same do those who try to climb up and assume power, plus showing all real or fake errors which the party in power has committed during its rule.

All of those political manipulations would not be possible without intensive Indoctrination, which is the prime tool used in politics. That is not just a modern phenomenon, but now the tools used are becoming more sophisticated. Method of manipulation the public became a specialized domain of social psychology and is used successfully. The variety of means which can be used increased enormously in the late 70 years since the emergence of television. Now its power becomes gradually equalled by the internet.  

Possessiveness plays more indirect than in the economy; it is the possession of power, which becomes the key issue. However, financial gains are very often accompanying the possession of power by various legal or semi-legal means.

Economy

The other, most significant aspect of our world, equally important as politics, is the economy, which,  as a rule, are profoundly interdependent. The modern economy is structured by the universally accepted system called capitalistic globalism or neoliberalism. It became dominant near the end of the last century. Its main purpose was to “liberate” capitalism from restrictions such as tariffs, local regulations, etc. 

Despite nationalist attempts to limit its power, global capitalism remains unhurt and is the most unifying factor of most countries in the world. Even China, officially ruled by the Communist Party, fully embraces capitalistic global capitalism, which allows it to expand its economic influence worldwide. 

It should be acknowledged that there are numerous anti-globalization movements, from the left (such as Occupy Wall Street) and right of the political spectrum. However, despite media excitement and noise, these attempts hardly accomplish their goals, and globalism remains unharmed.

The modern economy changed enormously during the last 50 years. Earlier its main areas were manufacturing, agriculture and trade, where banks played purely a service role. Now the most important is the financial industry. It embraces banks, investment funds,  and the stock and bond market. To these are added, recently invented and rapidly gaining popularity, highly speculative and volatile cryptocurrencies

The raison d’etre of the existence of stock and investment industries is the capitalistic form of ownership. The majority of enterprises are owned by individual shareholders, large investment companies, or other similar enterprises; though, some are owned by single-families. This form of ownership is supposed to bring income theoretically related to the profit from the company’s operation. However, this old principle now has little to do with reality because the values of shares result from ongoing speculation, interest rates, moods of the stock market, which hysterically reacts to such factors as political upheavals, prime rate change (or its lack) and even statements of some famous media sweethearts like Elon Musk. The confused public puts itself into mercy the hedge funds managers with often disastrous results (to the public but not to fund managers who one way or another have enormous salaries and bonuses). 

A comment: this whole gigantic financial industry, despite its absurdity, is hardly questioned, though its existence would be completely spurious – in a money-free economy, such as proposed in Wisdom Society.

Another kind of industry, which is growing rapidly, is internet-based entertainment \and social networks. Their social role will be discussed in the next section, and here we will talk only about the economic aspects. Social networks and internet browsers, as such, do not bring any income. However, they charge for advertisements, which they present in the visual and audio format.  As a result, Facebook, Twitter and Google are worth over 2,3 trillion dollars. To continue the topic of the economic impact of the internet, we must mention internet shopping. The main player in this arena, which, at the moment, dwarfs competitors, is Amazon, worth over 3 trillion dollars. However, others are following the suite, such as Alibaba or Walmart.

But it is not the end; the main big-scale activities in capitalistic globalism are the merger and acquisition of one gigantic international company by another, like Bayer, which acquired horrific killer Monsanto for 63 billion dollars. It increases their market monopoly and the power to influence governments to permit them to produce something harmful to the environment or bypass some regulations.

Before ending this section, let us examine the relation of the present state of economy and Disease. It does not take too much mental effort to see that its predominant symptom is Possessiveness. The vivid example we can find in the several American tobacco companies’ behaviour. Despite knowing that smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, they tried to hide it in order to continue their income and only after long legal procedures were they forced to admit this fact. Another is the infamous company Monsanto, which, like Agent Orange, produces glyphosate herbicide  Rondout, which also, like tobacco, is carcinogenic.

The other two, Domination and Indoctrination, also play an important role. Domination inspires us to compete with others to become placed in a superior position in the economic hierarchy. It is especially evident among the huge enterprises. The most vivid example is the Dieselgate initiated by Volkswahen to dominate Toyota in the US market.

Indoctrination is the engine behind all of it. It promotes the idea that competition is the engine of progress, without which humanity will stagnate. In many ways, we are incessantly told that being rich and/or successful is our life’s key purpose. This view is strongly promoted, not so much directly via educational curriculum, but directly or indirectly by our families and friends. It is reinforced via the cult of rich and successful spread via media. I  think there is no need for any further justifications  – each of us experiences it personally one way or another.

Internet

There were only a few technological inventions in the last two centuries, which strongly impacted our lives. The most important were the 19th-century invention of steam – engines and electricity’s use for powering engines and producing light. In the 20th century, there were combustion gasoline engine and long-distance electric communication, including the telegraph, wire telephone, radio, and eventual television. The public acceptance of some of them took a while to be fully accepted; possessing a car or travelling by plane was for a long time was restricted for the upper and middle-class. However, none of them has such a speedy and revolutionary social and economic impact as the internet and mobile networks. Mobile phones, which are now internet-dependent, became as common as clothing or food.  Not only in industrialized countries, even in Africa’s depth, many people use mobile phones.

The internet story is similar; the speed of its spread is breathtaking:  comparing with television which is with us for over 60 years, the internet only thirty years ago, technology-knowable people primarily used a quirky application to send emails. Only twenty years ago, Google began to take its place among several search engines and by now, it became 2 trillion worth company.

The internet is used in nearly all the most important areas of our life. Suppose that for some reason, the internet and interdependent mobile networks abruptly stopped. In such a case, we will have no electricity, cash registers in markets will stop functioning, our credit cart will become as worth as the plastic they are made, etc. Of course, there will be no news and internet-dependent entertainment. We could safely say that majority of areas of our civilization will suddenly stop.

Our dependence on the internet powerfully impacts our individual and social consciousness. Its relation with Disease is not simple. On the one hand, the internet is the most powerful tool of all kinds of Indoctrination. If not for Twitter, Donald Trump’s influence on the world will not be as profound as it was. The proof is the fact that after Twitter closed his account, Trump’s power very quickly evaporated (hopefully for good). But it just one example of hundreds. It is often incomprehensible how many people attacked on social media feel ashamed, belittled and, as a result, mentally crush. It shows the power of opinions that some segments of the public have about them.

However, the internet, and more specifically, social networks,  play a double role. They can be used to spread all sorts of bizarre information, which people hungry for truth are willing to swallow. It permits people to express their views (like me using it) and organize groups, acting upon shared ideas. That is the way which numerous gigantic protests began and even morphed into uprisings and revolutions.

However, on the other hand, Facebook-based and by other means created groups may profoundly help each other and some people who need help. You can find their useful advice, information, art, humour, knowledge about the newest advances in science, etc.  Via YouTube, you can listen to an unbelievable variety of music, witness Ted talks, l, etc.

It is also difficult to predict the potential role of the internet in the future, but it will certainly be even more powerful.

Closing remark

Since this feuilleton becomes longer than expected, I decided to break it into two parts. In the second (hopefully shorter), I will discuss the issues connected with Eduction and Culture, COVID-19 and Ecology. Also, I will present there the conclusions concerning both parts of Mutation-2021.

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