Democratic Underground  

Designer 'Genes'
April 13, 2002
By Kerry Tomasi

It's seemingly inexplicable, isn't it? This unbridled greed permeating our society, looting the national treasury and wrecking the environment; threatening to destroy any chance of future economic security - at least for those in the middle class on down. So where did this 'sickness' come from? Why are so many apparently bereft of any concern whatsoever for their fellow man or future generations? I believe one answer may lie somewhere in our distant past, by way of the evolutionary process known as 'natural selection'.

Envision a small group of early humans, making their way across a savanna. Suddenly an animal attacks and they flee. A child stumbles, is trapped, and the men in the group return to protect the child. All the men but one. George “spearbearer" Junior, takes a quick glance around and says - "Screw this, I'm out of here!" So while the others all perish attempting to defend the child, Junior escapes. He goes on to father many, many children, passing on to them his 'survival' genes.

Picture another isolated group, facing starvation during a long drought. Despite their need to move on to find food, the young and elderly are too weak to travel, so they pool their scant supply of provisions, and decide to wait for the rains, and the game, to return. But a guy named Dick takes one look at the situation and says to himself - "Screw this, I'm out of here!". So Dick steals all of the food and water and vanishes into the night. Everyone else in the group dies. Dick goes on to father many, many children, genetically passing on his survival instincts.

Now if you multiply these two examples by millions, you can begin to understand why so many among us today appear to be consumed with greed and self interest. They're simply 'hard-wired' by their genetic makeup to be so. They could be worth $3.4 billion, yet still be obsessed, day and night, with getting more - and keeping anyone else from getting any of what they have (taxes). Inside their minds, driven by genetic proclivities in the brain, it seems to them that their very 'survival' depends upon it; that their very lives are at stake! And just like their ancestral Dick and Junior, they don't give a damn about the defenseless and the less fortunate, as long as they have theirs.

The more money they get, the more power they can buy. With more power, comes more money, which buys more power, which…well, eventually they accumulate enough wealth to in essence buy the government. And as far as investments go, nothing on earth is more lucrative than that. When you own a government you can actually get your hands on money that doesn't even yet exist! Yes, you can literally steal money from people who aren't even born yet. It's called our national debt. You simply funnel trillions of dollars into your own pockets and those of your friends', then just put the bill 'on the tab' for future generations to pick up.

This is what we as a society are allowing to occur right now. Like zombies we listen to the multi-billion dollar corporate media, and multi-million/billionaire individuals within the Republican Party tell us that a tax cut for billion dollar corporations and million/billionaire individuals is just what this country needs right now. Oh, and a few trillion for a missile defense shield to protect us from 'evildoers of evil'! And like brainless idiots we buy it. We stand there with our little flags in our hands, clutching our Bibles, and swallow any foul thing they care to feed us. All they have to do is serve it up with a patriotic condiment and a side order of God, and we eagerly consume their crap. And you better watch out if you don't eat everything on your plate! You just might find yourself labeled 'unpatriotic' or a security threat by one of the pious chefs.

Chefs like John Ashcroft: a guy who has himself 'anointed' with Crisco, believes Satan resides in Calico cats, considers as indecent the exposed breast of a renowned sculpture, and wants to turn neighborhood watch groups into governmental agencies so they can keep a watch out for those living among us who "don't share 'our' values" - those who refuse to eat what they're served. Yes, this is the guy the Republican Corporation presents as the best man to run the Justice Department - a religious nut who thinks the Nazis had some pretty good ideas.

One of those "pretty good ideas" must be what GOP spokesperson Ann Coulter had in mind recently when she suggested at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that we need to kill a few liberals in order to physically intimidate the rest of them into goose-stepping compliance. The suggestion was, of course, a huge hit among the 3500 Republicans in attendance. Now I know there are many of you from the old school of conservative thought, who are not carriers of the 'greed gene', and resent my broad brush indictment of the entire Republican Party as an emerging form of fascism. All I can say is - you're only as good as the people you ride with, and when you ride with people who appear as if they’ve carefully studied how the Nazis were able to do it, don't be surprised if you're counted among them. Although I do have this nagging suspicion that before this is all over, you and I may have a relative meeting of the minds. We just might find ourselves on the same side of that barbed wire fence, looking out. The only difference between us will be your surprise at who put you there.

The same principle applies to the conscientious Christian majority. If you don't care to be numbered with a bunch of zealots for whom an authoritarian theocracy is an all consuming passion, stop letting them define who you are and what you stand for. And please pay attention politically to what's going on. To put it bluntly, you're being used. Descendants of George Jr. and Dick learned long ago how to manipulate, for their own personal gain, those among them who exhibited a faith based disposition.

Saith 'Trent Of Dick': "I have spoken with Oh Mighty Mothra, and Oh Mighty Mothra told me to tell you to go into that village down there and kill all it's evildoer liberal inhabitants, and bring all their possessions to me, that I may keep them as offerings of thanks to Oh Mighty Mothra". And Trent fathered many, many children.

Lastly, I want to briefly transverse time and address the laypeople of the future:

Hey, sorry about the mess, folks. I guess it just got away from us. We got lazy, apathetic, and too selfish to care, or even pay attention. "As long as I have mine" should have become our national motto. Critical thinking, and in many cases, thinking in general became unfashionable, and even scorned. The lifestyle and freedoms we take for granted today no doubt seem like a hazy dream to you in that not so distant future. That is unless you have no problem living in a perpetual state of war; with mandatory professions of allegiance to "God and State", a 78% tax rate (to cover that $17 trillion debt), and having to appear before your local Homeland Security Watch Committee to explain why your TV, on the night of March 24th, was not tuned to the PBS (Patriotic Broadcasting System) showing of "Left Behind - Part 44". "And can you explain to this committee why your computer shows you logged on to the night of March 25th?" Again, sorry. I did what little I could. I wrote a few letters to the editor, put forth a few arguments, but it was like trying to hold back the tide. A tide of mindlessness and irresponsibility that enveloped us all, driven by the best sloganeering propaganda money could buy. Those who were willing to try to stop it were too few and far between to do any good. Some might argue that there were so few of us because too many of those ancestral 'genes' perished long ago on the savannas of the past. But I don't buy that. We didn't lose them all, and courage, compassion, and doing what's right is still our predominate nature. It happens to be a much too passive nature, unfortunately, but it's our nature nonetheless.

No, where we went wrong was in not keeping a close enough eye on the Dicks and George Juniors of our day, and throwing their butts in jail when they tried to make off with the loot.

Don't you make the same mistake.

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