As below, so above
Speaking of micro-organisisms, DarkSyde has a wonderful post up at Kos about the bedbugs, the Black Death, and Halloween (among other things). Read the whole thing, but this sentence leaped out at me:
While to one another we are lovers, strangers, friend or foe, to germs we’re nothing but walking meat markets: you and I are food.
Vivid and telling. And if you change two phrases, even more telling:
While to one another we are lovers, strangers, friend or foe, to corporations we’re nothing but walking meat markets: you and I are human resources.
As below, so above?
There's a well-known ecological idea--co-evolution?--I'm sure an expert could put a name to, of organisms that adapt to their environment by causing it to adapt to them (you might look at global warming in that light; whether it will be a successful survival strategy for homo sapiens remains to be seen). The kind of wasp that captures a caterpillar, paralyzes it, then lays its eggs in its body, for example. Or the kind of micro-organism that causes humans to crave chocolate. Or the wine-making regions of France, where the native microflora evolved toward species appropriate for winemaking.
Dystopian Science Fiction moment: Consider each micro-organism on earth as an information processing device. Considered individually, their computing power is is negligble. However, they're networked, and collectively their computing power could be vast. ("We're just a simple, innocuous tuple-processing collective, man.")
So, as a reproductive strategy, it would "make sense" for your average micro-organism to invest energy in creating a macro-organism--like a corporation--as a mirror image of itself to, well, make more food:
What will it be next time? Bird flu? Resistant Staph? Super TB? A microbial horror designed by bioweapons experts and unleashed by shortsighted control freaks, or perhaps a new concoction cooked up in the boiling organic kettles by Mother Nature?
A deadly cocktail of all the above? Mankind is more ripe for a pandemic than we have ever been in all our long, bloody history. Billions are packed like sardines in third-world urban squalor the world over, their immune systems already weakened by starvation, dysentery, and HIV.
And since the corps, through various interchangeable and dispensible humans, are really running the world, these conditions are down to them. And the corps, in this darker vision, are just a reproductive strategy for micro-organisms....
NOTE Tell me again why we treat corporations as legal persons?