There is a dividing line between two types of human being. This is not an appropriate statement to make in almost any context imaginable. But in this case…I feel justified in doing so. I listened to the linked Tech Nation podcast the other morning on the way to work- it was a repeat from several months ago- and it was both exhilarating and infuriating. Near the end the scientist being interviewed explains there is just not enough of a market for big pharma to fund a cure for spinal cord injuries. Not enough profit. Though they make, literally, countless billions in profits (pharma revenues worldwide, those reported anyway, totaled 1.27 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020). There are those who believe, and will tell you this in so many words, that there is a dollar price for everything that exists, and to pose that some things are not to be bought and sold is to go down the road of socialism and this “evil” should not be entertained.
The language in this argument has been carefully engineered over the last couple centuries to produce, again, literally, libraries full of dense, endless, misinformation and counterarguments and obfuscations. It is the bible of Mammon, one of the seven princes of hell and the canon of Neoliberalism. I am not saying people cannot change their views, but the last couple years have led me to believe it is very difficult. Neoliberalism is a mindset, and ideology, that is a cancer on the human race and if not treated will ultimately lead to our extinction. The spinal cord example is a good way to explain to people that Democracy is the enemy of Neoliberalism. We in America are locked in an invisible unspoken struggle for the soul of humanity. Very few people understand this.
“We are locked in an invisible unspoken struggle for the soul of humanity.”
Notice I refer to humanity as having a soul. A collective soul. There are certain words and categories of words that have been demonized and made into blasphemies by the right. Collective, community, redistribution, social, etc. Any terminology that is used when describing large groups of people has been targeted in an Orwellian manner. I am in the process of leaving a job I have struggled with for the last 6 years. In the course of my life, I have belonged to a few professional organizations that treated their people well and I always took this for granted and thought, surely everyone must understand how this works! I was incredibly naive and foolish to think those few good shops were the norm of course. But I wanted to believe that people are basically good- and maybe they are…except for the few that abuse their power and contaminate the world with their predatory ideology. In fact, one of my coworkers told me, as we discussed my exit, that now I have learned something new and am better for it. I have learned from seeing the best and the worst- and my real job, in the last years of my life, appears to be to explain this so all know the truth. Which is actually my favorite verse in the Bible, the words that inform what I consider my essential quest for knowledge of this life; when Pilate asks Jesus, “What is truth?”
As a systems troubleshooter I understand the basic problem. Humans are faced with a profound desire to succeed and to dominate. They also have the opposite drive built into them- to cooperate instead of competing when required. When assaulted with variations of FOMO and NIMBY and the other weapons in the culture war arsenal, people generally surrender to the manufactured complexity of it all. When tasked with making choices between fight, flight, or freeze, the masses really have no choice but to freeze their routine into conformity. Often not for themselves but for the sake of their children or family or extended family. It comes down to fear, to Terror Management. To conform, cooperate, and consume, equates to survival. Those who have a natural ability to bypass primal fear, related to narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy, seem most equipped to place themselves in positions of power. Not that all those who control our lives are narcissists, sociopaths, or psychopaths…
Which brings us back to that dividing line between two types of people.
The spinal injury example is not a one off. It is common, as this other Tech Nation podcast tells us. Money is the god of this world and more important than human life. And now for some more truth: