"The creative person pays close attention to what appears discordant and contradictory... and is challenged by such irregularities," F. Barron.

November 30, 2004

The World as a Biological System?

Trypanosoma in a blood smear.
"Whose next, Condi?"

If we were to regard the family of nations as a biological system, the United States could be classified as an opportunistic parasite. Its unprecedented and massive indebtedness to the rest of the world, its complete dependence on it for everything from can openers to oil, its huge and insatiable need for financial infusions to stay alive, its constant search for new victims, and its highly developed organs for penetrating them, make this analogy close indeed.

We might even consider the citizens of this state, who, buried deeply within it and never having known any other way of life, and who carry out its essential metabolic functions completely unaware of the sources of the nutrients which sustain them, as analogous to the internal organs of this opportunistic parasite.

In recent years, the concept of a compromised immune system has led to a better understanding of the success of opportunistic parasites. And what might be the analog of a compromised immune system in the family of nations? A weakened or dated system of national defense, of course.

And how does our single-minded parasite react to a nation which, having fallen behind in this aspect of its national existence, attempts to catch up by, say, developing nuclear weapons? Quite predictably, it bristles with indignation, knowing that, unless there are states with compromised immune systems for it to feed on, it will die.

One needs to be careful in the use of analogs, especially in the use of simple ones to represent complex systems. But the effort to discover them is worthwhile, because it helps to organize seemingly disparate facts and, if the analog is any good, it is suggestive of new relationships which might otherwise be overlooked.

I am also aware that, to a patriotic American, analogizing his country to an opportunistic parasite will be abhorrent, but while we are at it let's see what the analogy might tell us about patriotism.

Well, it's the integument which holds the parts of the parasite together and as such it is essential to its existence. It's operative only within the parasite and to the victims of the parasite it would be considered an attribute as destructive of the well-being of the international family of nations as the parasite itself. They might refer to it as national chauvinism, ultra nationalism, or jingoism to emphasize its destructiveness.

The following essay, translated from the German newspaper junge Welt, is a commentary on the current Ukrainian electoral crisis which, given the massive intervention by the United States, might be considered a commentary on the latest attempt by our opportunistic parasite to claim a victim.


November 30, 2004


The Irreconcilables

Ukraine's Path to Catastrophe


You don't necessarily have to like the ruling camp in the Ukraine. Even now, when it has become obvious that the Western powers want to bring it down. The Kuchma-Janukovich system rests on an oligarchically organized bourgeoisie. But what you can't accuse the government of is attempting to impose a government of brutality upon the society. Even in this extreme crisis of authority, all their energies are directed toward avoiding a resolution by violence. That is evidence of a strong sense of responsibility. Because a civil war would signify a disintegration of the state.

Yet all attempts till now to reach a civil agreement have failed because of the intransigence of an opposition which has announced its demand to be the sole representative of the entire society. In the Ukraine it is not the people versus the government, but rather two conflicting social tendencies. If one of them succeeds forcibly against the other, it would mean the end of Ukrainian democracy. Even before it has come to power, the Opposition has given free rein to its predisposition to force. Thus did Julia Timoshenko, the "Iron Lady" of the Movement, demand the purging of Governors in the Eastern Ukraine who have spoken out for the independence of their regions should the "nationalist junta" in Kiev come to power. Representatives in the regions whose people don't want to join the trend toward a Western re-alignment and whose national consciousness is not by definition anti-Russian but rather relates to the common Ukrainian-Russian experience are simply to be toppled. These Ukrainians also have a right to self-determination. Not just the "Party Revolutionaries" from Kiev and Lvov.

The Ukrainian Parliament, even though it is dominated by the government parties, has annulled the Electoral Commission's finding in order to provide a fresh start to overcoming the crisis. The Yushchenko adherents regarded that as a sign of weakness, if not a sign of the erosion of the government's authority. Now, they have demanded the resignation of Premier Janukovich within 24 hours. The "Peaceful Revolution" has reached the outer limit of its peacefulness. What will happen when first, there is no compromise, and second, the armed forces of the state neither entirely go over to the opposition nor remain neutral? Then the conflict will be resolved on the plane of a confrontation between two factions within the police and military forces. Then, however, the image of a "cheerful revolution" will be permanently destroyed. And it will be a long time before it finds any imitators.