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Evolutionary Hurdles and Psycho-Economics Of Imperial Cannon Fodder

The origin of life from mere chemistry is shrouded in mystery but that it occurred rather quickly between five hundred million to a billion years from the birth of the earth approximately four and a half billion years ago, is generally accepted. There is an evolutionary tendency for single genes to be selfish and it took millions of years for the parliament of genes of a single genome to tame the members to march co-operatively in disciplined formation across generations.

The co-operation between different genes was facilitated by the invention of a cell as the vehicle of their transmission across generations and guaranteeing that all the genes within that single celled creature were given their passport to potential immortality. Single cell creatures was the limit of its repertoire for over a billion years until a leap from single cell bacterial prokaryote to the merger of two prokaryotes to form a single cell eukaryote. The taming of two separate genomes (nuclear and mitochondrial or chloroplast) to act co-operatively took hundreds of millions of years. Thus it has always been a problem to get two or more different entities to behave co-operatively.  

The next step in evolution was multicellular organisms. This required that the products of binary fission of a single cell eukaryote stick together literally in a serial manner, instead of going their own way like monozygotic identical mitotic clones. This multi-celled new life form was still constrained to propagate by the use of the straightjacket of single cell sperm and ovum forming a zygote that developed into an offspring. The other cells of the multicellular organism were pacified to continue co-operation by the knowledge that their privileged brethren, the gametes bore the identical genes. This could be done because the early multicellular organisms had not evolved a brain, individual identity and ego.

The policing of selfishness, to generate co-operative behavior of individuals and their genomes required an appeal to the commonality of their genes and thus kin altruism was fostered. It could be done because all the cells of a multicellular organism have an identical genome and thus some are willing to die to assure the survival of the organism. This is why a human being may sacrifice itself for two sibs or one identical twin without incurring one's genes diminution in the current world gene pool. One shares half one's genes with a sib from same both parents and all of them with an identical monozygotic twin or triplet.

In normal sexual reproduction only half of the genes of each individual parent have a chance of perpetuation to potential immortality and to make this lottery fair, evolution uses meiosis to counter any selfish segregation distorting gene from subverting fair play. Gametes are haploid and have only half the chromosomes of their respective organism. Half from the sperm of the father combine with half from the mother in the ovum to reconstitute the normal diploid number in the zygote which develops via the embryo into an adult. To thwart cheating genes, meiosis first doubles the chromosomes and halves them twice while encouraging multiple site recombination. Kin bonding was the first step towards forming group living in multicellular animals and hence a primitive society. It is seen in herds, packs, flocks and schools of zebras, wolves, birds and fish respectively.

A novel and more cohesive form of society was the innovative one of social insects like ants and bees where reproduction is restricted to a single queen and thus all females are diploid sisters sharing three-quarters of all their genes and thus help to raise sisters preferentially rather than opt to pursue their blocked potential of having progeny with whom they can only share a lesser amount of half their genes. This is why some members of a certain ant's nest sacrifice themselves for the common good. Some ants serve as motionless repositories of sweet honey that they regurgitate when nudged by hungry sisters and soldier ants use their larger body size and bigger jaws to defend to their death, the entrance of their nest to protect their sisters. In the social insects the theme is survival of nest or hive members whose three quarters common genes cement their unity. The result is a large group of individuals in a given society are programmed genetically to sacrifice their lives for the survival benefit of their queen who is the gatekeeper of the bottleneck of their genetic survival.

An interesting fact is that human hands and feet develop as solid stubs like paddles and fins of early amphibians and fish but the cells between the digits to be, are ordered by embryonic development proteins to commit suicide or apoptosis to generate the space between and the individual manipulating ability of our fingers and toes. They willingly do so like the soldiers of the Light Brigade for the greater good of the organism with whom they share completely their genetic identity. In the case of individuals of a modern human society only a smaller percentage of genetic makeup is shared so one has to appeal to religion, ethnicity, language, culture or patriotism to obtain volunteer soldiers or suicide bombers.

When closely related human groups transformed to larger ethnic and national enclaves, a new non-physical and non-genetic force of culture was needed to cement the larger amorphous human mass into a cohesive force. Initially the goal in those groups was survival but with the invention of money as a store of value and medium of barter, it became a source of power and sexual access to females. Soon money and power ceased to be a means to an end and mutated to become ends in themselves. A simultaneous development was the stratification of society with dominant individuals or elite like king and feudal lords. This process is our evolutionary baggage and dominance hierarchies are seen in almost all animals who live in groups. Survival and success between competing groups were still used as a motive for sacrifice of the common man while the real motives of personal aggrandizement and lust for power, riches and sexual access of the elite were camouflaged. 

Ethnic, linguistic, religious and patriotic appeals were used to goad the have-nots to sacrifice themselves for the power, glory and enrichment of the elite. 
Color of the skin, physiognomy of the face and hair, language and irrational beliefs in imagined deities were used to incite internecine violence for material and status gain. Wops, Wogs, Chinks, Huns, Japs, Spicks, Gooks, Ragheads, yellow perils, sand niggers, reds and many other derogatory and dehumanizing epithets were used to generate hate, animosity and merciless aggression resulting in killing, atrocities and genocide. For the past few millennia of human history, necessity of survival, satisfying greed and the sloshing testosterone generated aggressiveness of the young males and made them willing cannon fodder for imperial aggression to serve the lust for power , fame and riches of the manipulating leaders and elite. In US history, decimation of American Indians, occupation and regime changes in the Caribbean, Central and South America, annexation of Florida, Hawaii, Texas and half of Mexico (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and California), the Spanish American War of warmongers McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt were all incitement to war by politicians and press barons like Hearst for their personal greed for power, wealth and fame. 

In the earlier era, the Egyptian and Assyrian pharaohs and kings exposed themselves to personal risk but by the time of Darius, the Shah-en-shah, he watched safely from his secure high perch as his Immortals met mortality against the Spartans. Similarly Washington, Hamilton, Marshall and Monroe fought while Jefferson and Madison sought safety. Bush 41 fought at the behest of his father's principles while Bush 43 sought safety with his father's help. Reagan, Clinton and the current chicken hawks are the avatars of John Wayne unlike JFK, Carter and David Niven. The reason America got into WW1 was to ensure repayment of the larger sums of money lent by financiers like Morgan to the Britain, which got into WW1 and WW2 to prevent Germany from overtaking its monopoly of empire. Interested readers should google Marine Major General Smedley Butler's words. 

This sacrifice of the ignorant and naive youth continued in America till the Vietnam war by which time the draft had to be abolished as the disenchanted population had wised up. The increasing alternate means of affluence and economic opportunities in developed societies and the improving education and sophistication of the middle class made them less susceptible to emotional manipulation and risking their lives to fulfill the grandiose ambitions of the power elite. In America, the people had rebelled against military draft just as in Rome. The rich and powerful escaped by educational deferment, going AWOL in the national guard or escaping to Canada. This required the use of economics as a behavior modifying agent.

The elected legislators and the executive are so financially dependent on the rich business class that from the time of Truman who had always been a stooge of vested interests first as a Senator and then as a president, the country went on a path of military Keynesianism. The war profiteers spread their arms factories to all important congressional districts blackmailing the candidates running for elections to cater to policies supporting massive defense spending. Other major industrial sectors carved out their own fiefdoms and puppets in the government including the dangled carrot of lucrative post-retirement jobs for arms procurement decision making Pentagon generals. The shameless and morally depraved losing Congress members used the revolving door to become lobbyists after they had passed favorable legislation in return for bribes disguised as campaign contributions and junkets.

The new problem the elite faced was, how to recruit the sacrificial fodder to prosecute their aggressive world dominating imperial policies. They slyly used economics. Reagan emasculated the unions and their bargaining power. Bush Sr. paved the rough road laid down by Reagan all the way from China to Mexico and Clinton drove the getaway car named NAFTA and accelerated the de-industrialization of America by further incorporating the rogue Chinese into the world trading system. Unthinking Bush Jr. just took orders from his minders and made sure that the US born children of illegal immigrants with very limited opportunities were available to be reared as armed forces recruits as imperial fodder. He also allowed limited participation in the lottery of death or citizenship to other desperate deprived from other nations by serving in the US armed forces.. 

The migration of lower paying service jobs of BPOs and call centers to India and manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico left fewer livable wage jobs for high school graduates and dropouts. The ballistic rise in four year college tuition and the decimation of inner city school public education created a pool of underclass minority and white high school dropouts and graduates with no access to suburban jobs due to lack of transportation and in the case of the non-whites covert racial discrimination. It is these desperate have-nots who are targeted by armed forces recruiters to serve as imperial cannon fodder in the wars waged by the elite to preserve and increase their power, position and wealth and their dreams of a unipolar world. They and their families generally don't protest and die silently with little complaint, eliminating the fear of Vietnam era protests and their fallout.

Finally, as military clout is all that is left, America has to raise the dragon of Islamo-fascism and resurrect the specter of a cold war with a contrived caricature of an increasingly undemocratic Russia to mask its aim of global nuclear supremacy by an ABM radar and shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, both paranoid due to prior Soviet domination. Whether old Europe (France and Germany) will fall for this gambit remains to be seen. In the meantime the UK, the street dealer or the pimp for this illicit enterprise tries to lure sundry passing customers in Europe and the rest of the world. Ethnic appeals to Western white Anglo-Saxons (including Australia, New Zealand, Canada) and fear-mongering about Soviet communist domination (Germany, Eastern Europe and Baltic states) are used to garner their support or at least silence their opposition. China is bribed by trade and India bullied into its natural state of submission. The forcibly seduced Japan provides financial support. It brings a dowry that it feels it owes for legitimizing its subjugation and violation to a more psychologically acceptable euphemism of a marriage. This helps its Emperor worshiping psyche. Thus are the poor willingly lured to become imperial cannon fodder. They are too naive to fathom the cryptic manipulation by economic coercion. 

In history, Britain did it a few hundred years before by fencing the commons and depriving agricultural livelihood to fuel the industrial revolution and subsequent imperial ambitions through wage slavery and naval impressments. In America, the elected leaders who are totally dependent on the rich have taken indecency to new depths. To further obscenely enrich their backers they have indulged in fiscal irresponsibility by running huge budget deficits to spend money on arms technology at the cost of cutting and starving social spending. The deficit of 200+ billion dollars does not include the stealing of hundreds of billions of dollars from the social security trust fund by replacing them with worthless IOUs. 

To make matters worse, US leaders have been signing free trade agreements that restrict movement of labor but permit flow of capital to where labor is cheap and environmental laws non-existent. This allows businesses and corporations to increase their profits while decimating the bargaining power of labor. Earlier only blue collar workers were affected. Later call center and less skilled white collar workers were deprived of jobs. Now the process is affecting information technology workers, radiologists, accountants, financial analysts, drug trials, research chemists and lawyers. This also increases the national trade deficit turning the US from the largest creditor to the largest debtor in the world and increases future debt service while limiting future social spending or economic flexibility. 

Even more importantly, it perpetuates an increasing underclass desperate and willing to enlist in the new volunteer armed forces to facilitate the military bullying and plundering of the earth's resources by the powerful multinationals with the collusion of the local rich in resource rich and third world countries who worship at the altar of the false god of the neo-liberal Washington consensus to the detriment of America as well as the plundered nations of the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Genetic and cultural coercion for the suicide of the naive, be they cells or individuals now has a new instrument of torture and death, the economic thumbscrew. Everyone labels evolution as amoral, merciless and uncaring, there are worse forces which are immoral, cruel and sadistic in respectable disguise.  


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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