Cancer results from the inability of the immune system to suppress malignant growth… this applies to society just as crucially as people. Unless there are systems and mechanisms in place to deal with out-of-control parts of society, they will grow as malignancies until they too kill the host.
Under “normal” circumstances, society as an ecosystem requires all the component parts to work properly together. However, what is healthy under one circumstance can transform under another situation. Banks for instance, provide an important service in the operation of an economy. But the tail must not wag the dog. If they end up feeding too voraciously on the body politic/economic then they become, first a parasite, and then a vampire (or a Vampire-Squid, Goldman Sachs).
But it can come from any part of society. If there is an opportunity to feed and grow, without proper limitations and controls, then social cancer is inevitable.
Some societies have the right protections in place to properly regulate social interactions. Albeit, invariably such controls will not manage to cover everything as it should properly. And – the more inclined a society is to evolution and change, the less able will be it’s control mechanisms, particularly the more rapidly that change occurs. Be it Government, Unions, Bankers, Telco’s, Corporations, Criminal gangs, whatever… if there is success (and money) to be had, and insufficient controls in place, you will get uncontrolled growth. Windfall exploitation – because it can. The Cancer analogy is a surprisingly good one.
The older, more stable, and unchanging(ossified?) a society, the less chance there is for disruptive and injurious development. Because the controls are already in place to regulate(sanction) any new growth or development. And existing social structures will resist change also.
So there is a price to pay for being able to adapt and evolve quickly, you leave yourself open to cancer. When do the benefits of change get overbalanced by the harm from change…? When you have a Global Financial Crisis.
And unfortunately, I would also argue that “democracy” carries the seeds of its own demise in its DNA. In a democratic system it is easier (and more profitable) to say YES, than to say NO. But it is the things that we say NO to, that in the end are the most important. Unfortunately Constituencies are won over by saying YES to them, even when it is a blatant lie.
Yes – we can afford: to bail out Banks and other financial failures
Yes – we can afford: to subsidize farmers
Yes – we can afford: to pay for guns – and butter
Yes – we can afford: to grow government
Yes – we can afford: to “grow” the economy
Yes – we can afford: to build more prisons
Yes – we can afford: have super low interest rates
Yes – we can afford: welfare for all
Yes – we can afford: universal entitlements
And so the perverted organs grow. As Charles Hugh Smith says, note how the areas of inflation are where government is involved. As a though experiment, try swapping ‘cancer’ for ‘inflation’ whenever you hear it. Our system of government is a cancer – and it metastasizes new malignant tumors throughout our economy and society.
That is its nature, and unless we find appropriate controls to regulate, manage and contain what would otherwise be normal healthy organs of society, The process will slowly but surely kill us. Easier said than done of course, the whole of our history is essentially our failure to manage to regulate ourselves appropriately, the rise and fall of empires. Without a proper immune system, we are doomed to a cancer cycle.
We finally need to get smart as to what we as societies need/have to be able to say NO to – and yet still retain flexibility, and openness to “good” growth and change.
Being Smart would be a good first step… and a change.
I don’t really thing it is so terribly difficult theoretically or technically. But there would be entrenched opposition from established interests(cancers). We are not starting from a blank slate, the patient is already sick and the tumors well advanced. Surgery(Recision) could need to be extensive and bloody.
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