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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/9/17

We Are the Parasite

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Parasite: An organism that lives and feeds on or in an organism of a different species and causes harm to its host.

Mutualism: An association between two organisms of different species in which each member benefits.

Definitions from the Free Online Dictionary

The human race has become a parasite that is killing its host. The host is Gaia. This is the central political fact of our times.

The economic, social, and political realities that dominate the earth today have initiated a mass extinction that is very likely to create an environment that is radically inhospitable to the human race, as well as to a great many other species. That fact is self-evident to anyone who has been following the news, even in the most cursory manner. Without going into detail, let me just remind the reader of the various ways that the modern world order, led by the United States, poses a threat to the world:

  • The probability of nuclear war.

  • The fact of global warming.

  • The ongoing ecological collapse, both in the oceans and on land, from multiple insults.

  • The probability of a devastating pandemic caused by humanly created viruses or bacteria that are both easily communicated and deadly.

Two important political ramifications derive from the above facts. First, it is pointless to take the superficial struggles between Democrats and Republicans seriously. Both parties are dominated by the parasitic mentality. The capitalist dogma, and specifically the neoliberal consensus, which is not seriously questioned by either party, is parasitic to the core.

Trump, for all his many and very real faults, promised that he would seek a rapprochement with Russia, and a de-escalation of the cold war. His recent attack on Syria, which brings us much closer to nuclear war with Russia, proves that this was just idle talk. The shadow government owns him now, as it owned Hillary from the beginning. All the major players within the two major parties will be brought under the control of the shadow government, or be destroyed. It is imperative that a power base outside either party be established.

The second important ramification is that people who are interested in a solution need to understand the radical nature of the shift that is required if we are to limit the magnitude of the anthropocene extinction. Essentially, the needed shift is this: we as a species must cease being a parasite that sucks the life out of workers and ordinary citizens, out of third world countries, out of other species, and out of the ecological order itself. This can (and perhaps should) be framed as a moral imperative. On a more basic level, it is simply a matter of survival. Without this shift in our global consciousness, the world will not be here for our children.

The shift, if it is ever to occur, will eventually have to alter the nature of all of our institutions. But it must begin with a radical shift in consciousness. The root cause of our difficulties is mental. We are collectively insane. We believe that infinite economic growth is possible on a finite planet. Some even believe that a nuclear war with Russia will be good for business. Insane is by no means an excessively strong term for this kind of thinking.

The needed radical shift in consciousness is specifically this: humanity must move beyond the parasitic consciousness that at present dominates our collective thinking and behaving and embrace a mutualist consciouness: one that seeks to establish mutually sustaining and enriching relationships in all our transactions.

Before the last election, we were offered an alternative that did embody the kind of radical shift I have specified here. It was the one offered by the Green party, headed up by Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. But we were once again persuaded by the lesser-of two-evils argument. This argument suggests that we should cast our lot with one of the parasitic parties. That's a shame. The debate that is permitted within Congress provides the illusion of real democracy, but the range of acceptable discourse excludes consideration of any fundamental changes in our parasitic policies and practices. Democrats and Republicans offer us two slightly dissimilar roads that go to the same place.

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Write for Politics of Health and work with David Werner on issues of health. Worked in the field of "Mental Health" all my life. Am now retired. Jim
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