Monopoly and Evolution

American Liberals and Conservatives alike, both guided by short-sighted, na´ve capitalist economic ideology and completely alienated from the dialectical workings of Nature, are once again demonstrating reactionary, romantic, and anachronistic stupidity in their attempts to legislate against Microsoft’s near-monopolization of the computer software industry with its ubiquitous Windows platform just as they have done with emergent monopolies in the past. The emergence of unity and cooperation amidst competition that these politicians are trying to fight is not only a natural, progressive stage in the evolution of human societies, but also, as modern Evolutionary Biologists such as Lynn Margulis are proving, one of the primary dynamics of evolutionary development common to all biological life. This sort of cooperation amongst disparate organisms leads to innovation, stability, and complexity.

As Karl Marx described 150 years ago, Capitalism has a tendency to produce bigger and bigger monopolistic businesses that are able to out-compete and swallow up their smaller rivals by virtue of size, efficiency, expanse, and convenience. The first few decades of this century had many examples of this tendency, as massive monopolies emerged and expanded in the oil, steel, and other industries, including Rockefeller’s Standard Oil and many others. Eventually these megacorporations and the failure of Capitalism in general drew the concern of American politicians, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal institutionalized 8 of Marx and Engels’ 10 points from the Communist Manifesto by allying these industries to the state (primarily for the war effort), passing anti-trust laws, and creating the famous “alphabet soup” of social programs to benefit The People. As even bourgeois historians admit, FDR preserved Capitalism by Socializing it, and the love the American people felt for him was only matched by the love of the Soviet people for their own Socialist leader, Joseph Stalin. However, these New Deal programs have slowly eroded away since the death of FDR, and we are once again witnessing (just as Marx and Lenin predicted) massive corporate mergers, as well as Capitalism’s globalization in search of exploitable labor and fresh markets to peddle their wares. Corporate mergers and buy-outs can be observed on all scales and in all industries, from the funeral parlors of Northern Virginia to Mobil and Exxon to McDonald’s. As a New Yorker article pointed out last year, history has completely vindicated Marx’s analysis of Capitalism.2

These monopolies eventually control prices, produce shoddy goods, and destroy the very free market competition that created them. The unrealistic solution that Capitalist economists and politicians always propose once this happens is to break up the monopolies with anti-trust laws in order to restore the “golden days” of Laissez-faire Capitalism where small companies are free to compete “all against all.” In Capitalism’s Hobbesian ideology, monopolies are always considered bad primarily because they inhibit competition, which supposedly produces the best workers and businesses. This romantic view of competition is not only stupid and pernicious to human happiness, but also completely at odds with the laws of Nature itself. The type of human that is driven to action only by hate (which is the driving force of competition) is an utterly warped and broken waste product of bourgeois society. It is this type of loveless, joyless person that has always been the enemy of peace and prosperity, and it its this type of person that universally and incorrectly imagines their own warped beings to be common to all humans, and even to all of life. Such people create hellish economic systems like Wild West Capitalism because they are unconsciously driven to steal and destroy by greed and desire for power, desires that are all ultimately fueled by an insatiable inner wanting, emptiness, and lack of the basic light and joy of life. With people like this on top, it is no wonder that Capitalism is the most supremely wasteful economic system created by mankind. In every society and every race, these dissatisfied, greed-driven people are the enemies of all humanity (as well as our entire oxygen-based ecosystem), yet it is these defective humans that have been consistently glorified as the paragons of human evolution, when in fact they are, by biological standards, failed, destructive waste products that must be eliminated if our species is to progress, or even survive.

The bleak and Hobbesian worldview that these broken people create has often been integrated into pseudoscientific “Social Darwinist” theories of evolution, such as the
“selfish gene” theory of Richard Dawkins, dualism all over again with the gene substituting for the soul. However, Symbiogenesis, a new and powerful biological paradigm backed up by increasingly extensive microbiological evidence, has emerged in the scientific community, among its proponents people like University of Massachusetts microbiologist Lynn Margulis. This new paradigm says that the major documented dynamic of evolutionary change and novelty is not competition, but cooperation and symbiosis. A now-accepted and dramatic example of this symbiogenic principle in evolutionary history is the once mysterious origin of the first eukaryotic (nucleated) cell: during the Oxygen Revolution (when Oxygen pollution from anaerobic bacteria threatened life on Earth), a newly-evolved aerobic (oxygen-breathing) bacterium invaded an old-fashioned anaerobic bacterium, and, instead of destroying each other, the two microbes joined forces, producing a new, more-complex eukaryotic cell that was to become the progenitor of higher life forms, including humans, mitochondria. The next time you breathe, you should think of the billions of tiny mitochondria cooperating inside your body, helping to make you possible. Other, even more exciting research in this area has yielded DNA evidence that the undulipodia (whip-like tails) on sperm cells are the descendents of once-autonomous spirochete bacteria; these same undulipodia not only propel sperm cells, but also filter the air that enters our lungs, and form the basic of all sensory perception in animals. The new view of living organisms suggested by this research is not one of independent, bloodthirsty, Hitlerite gene machines striving to climb their way to some “top” of an evolutionary ladder at the expense of weaker, “inferior” organisms, but instead one of normally cooperative creatures, all organically connected by our physical environment and, at a microscopic level, composed of specialized microbes, which sometimes specialize and coalesce to create supercolonies in the form of higher organisms, including humans. In other words, we are, to use Margulis’ term, nothing more than “glorified sludge”: a unified supercolony of bacteria organized into a massive and complex organism that is still completely dependant on a larger microbial environment, which includes prokaryotic bacteria that can exchange DNA between strains with only a touch; even the axons and dendrites in our supposedly superior brains are only networks of squirmy, specialized spirochete bacteria. These scientific glimpses into a larger reality is not only a blow to human dignity and illusory individualism, but also a beautiful and inspiring demonstration of Dialectical Materialism at work in Nature.

This new model of evolutionary biology gives hard scientific evidence to projections of the inevitable future of human society projected by such thinkers as Karl Marx and Albert Einstein: the hateful, stressful, oppressive, and competitive condition of human civilization, whose purest manifestation is global Capitalism (which humans are quickly approaching), is only a primitive stage of development that must be overcome and replaced with a populist, socialist democracy of all working people. Albert Einstein cited our current state as the “predatory phase of human development,” and Karl Marx concluded that competition would give rise to increasingly expansive and an increasingly concentrated and oppressive bourgeoisie, which must be eventually overthrown by the working people in order to usher in a new, cooperative, and universal society. These parasitic industrial monopolies are the elitist collectives of the bourgeoisie, whose technology and infrastructure could nevertheless be put to the service of The People. The healthy human body, with its democratic hierarchy of organelles, cells, tissues, organs, systems, and unified totality, is a naturally occurring and immediately obvious example of Communism in action. This type of unified, democratic, and centralized organization found in living organisms is identical to the model of human society dreamt of and striven for by Red women and men throughout the history of human civilization. So far, our dream has been unrealized. However, humans are just now entering a new era of global interaction never seen before in history, where nationalism and others previously-secure divisions of mankind are quickly becoming obsolete. The human experiment begun in the Neolithic Revolution is approaching an unavoidable fork in the road: we must either somehow unite as a species and create a harmonious society, or we will go extinct. Humanity’s waste and destruction of its own habitat might eradicate most of life as we see it, but there are more microbes where that came from, some of which do not even require our familiar solar ecosystem (photosynthesis) to live. As Lynn Margulis has said, Mother Nature is a tough bitch, and the ancient web of life on Earth, in which the human species forms but a tiny, transient development, does not require us to survive.

Answers to our species’ problems need no longer be sought in the obsolete thoughts of ignorant philosophers and mystical obscurantists of past eras. As Harvard professor, entomologist, environmentalist, and founder of Sociobiology Edward O. Wilson has pointed out, the natural sciences are beginning to provide real, factual answers to questions that were once open to capricious speculation. Now we can finally begin to synthesize our knowledge into a more coherent and scientific worldview, and apply it to create a happier and more harmonious human society. Also, In addition to globalizing humanity, Capitalism is also developing computer technology that could solve the problem of employment and resource allocation in a future global, centralized Communist society. The dream of creating the kind of society predicted by Karl Marx and depicted in Star Trek, where people are motivated by pleasure, joy, and love (instead of pain, fear, and hate) and work for the common good, is finally within sight; however, thanks to destruction of the environment, so is our extinction. If humans are to survive, we must look to Nature, including the Nature within ourselves, for guidance.

Bibliography:

1. Microcosmos by Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan.

2. "The Return of Karl Marx" by John Cassidy The New Yorker, October 20 & 27 1997, pp.248-259. (A bourgeois admission that Marx's theory accurately predicted the behavior of a Capitalist economy.)

3. "Attack of the Microbiologists" by Elizabeth Royte. The New York Times Magazine, January 14 1996, pp.21-23.

4. "Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein. Monthly Review, May 1949. (Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein, and also available on the WWW.)

5. On Contradiction by Mao Zedong. (In most collected works of Mao, plus on the WWW. Excellent essay on Dialectical Materialism.)

6. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by E.O. Wilson.

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