Bare Bones Biology 342 – Fear

I have said (not very loudly) that America has become a nation of cowards. Red-faced bullies, pushing other people around, and shrinking do-gooders rationalizing that everything is OK if we “care” deeply.

And this at a time when we are faced with collapse of our Biosystem and the ongoing destruction of our constitution, that are basically caused by behaviors of our modern corporate/political/economic system – the corposystem.


1611239-brazoscliffs-asc_8507rlss-copyCorposystem behaviors (like human behaviors) are encoded in what could be termed “world views,” with the difference that the corposystem is not human in the same way that you and I are human, and the corposystem doesn’t care about things that humans care about, such as compassion, happiness, fear and hatred. The corposystem is a system – a different kind of system from a person; it has no central nervous system. That is, it has no brain.   And also no nerves and sensory receptors. It does have channels of information flow, but it has no feelings and no soul, no compassion, no way to process the information wisely.


The corposystem doesn’t “care,” because it is not a person. It is a money-making system that survives and only can survive by growth and more growth, without regard to the harm that this growth is doing to the people it uses to make the money.


The corposystem world view (its emergent properties), those that lie behind its destructive behaviors, can be summarized as growth by domination for corposystem gain.   What that means in this generation is growth of the population and the economy in order to make a profit, at the expense of the other systems that make up the Life system of Earth. The other systems are you and me and all other living species.   The corposystem is running out of resources from the environment – it leaves you and me and all the people to fight over the scraps. That’s how it makes its money.


Growth by domination over all of Life.


And even though we, all of us are victims of the corposystem — instead of challenging the corposystem ethic, “growth by domination for profit,” most of us – apparently more than half – are resorting to a thousand rationalizations or blaming someone/something else.


We work assiduously to prove that our way of life is not coming to its painful end, trying harder and harder to maintain and validate our insane belief in the possibility of infinite growth, rather than working together to get rid of the cause of our problems.


His Holiness The Dalai Lama has said:

“If you want to get rid of painful effects, you must get rid of their causes.”

And Wisdom is: “analyzing the facts and discerning the actual situation.”


Denial, rationalization, blame-placing and ignorance never solved anything – certainly cannot change the Facts of Life. The way to deal with a factual problem is to respond to it in ways that relate to the root cause of the problem. The root cause of the problem is the Fact of Life that nothing can grow forever. The problem is that we (or at least the corposystem) are not willing to cut back.


161115-standingrock-asc_8184rlss-copyThe truth is that we humans have understood and predicted the primary root cause of our major current human problems for a couple of hundred years at least. And now we have hit the wall.


The root cause is excess growth. The rest of it – including climate change and economic failure to thrive and political chaos – are the symptoms that arise out of the excess growth. That ONE CAUSE generates MANY SYMPTOMS – that’s the way nature works — and we will not succeed in dealing with the symptoms unless and until we also find the courage to address the cause.


Balance is sustainable, growth is not.


That is a fact of biology, physics, chemistry, Life; in fact it’s a basic fact of our universe, because our universe consists of naturally evolved systems that can only survive if they maintain their balanced relationships with the other systems that together make up the whole. Growth for any reason is not long sustainable. Growth by domination for gain is not sustainable, like it or not, believe it or not.

For example, this growth cycle cannot go on forever:



If we look at the facts, we can see this cycle and similar interdependently linked cycles that describe the way the domination ethic creates more domination, and the craving for profit creates more craving for profit, and none of the people can have all these things, until the balance among them is lost and the whole shebang crashes into chaos. And of course all the cycles are linked together in the phenomenon of LIFE. All are related to hundreds of other systems that make up the whole of our corposystem.


I choose to talk more about growth, domination, gain because they are the downside of the corposystem world view that will lead to our destruction if we continue to be controlled by it. Of course we know the three-fold path of the corposystem, growth-domination-gain also has an up side No system is all bad or all good, and the three-fold path has benefits along the way to its certain ending.


The up side includes other linked cycles such as those of compassion and communication, that also characterize our corposystem. Otherwise we would have gotten rid of it long ago. However, the three-fold path is not sustainable. It is a Ponzi scheme and it will crash (because it is not in balance) if we do not take charge of it and force it to change — and soon.


The corposystem is a Ponzi system, and no Ponzi system can grow forever. You can research this for yourself. For two big reasons and many little ones. The first big reason is that the system of humans cannot survive if it eats up all the resources that it needs to stay alive. Our human resources do NOT come from the supermarkets and banks. Our resources grow in the Biosystem and the corposystem harvests them and sells them to us as part of its profit-making ethic.


The second big reason is that systems grow by levels of organization – not by more and better. Levels of complexity. Every new level is more complicated than the one before, and then if the system continues to grow it becomes again more complicated and the old way doesn’t work anymore. You can see this happening to the corposystem. We can see this in our biological history. Our own bodies are a complex system that is made of smaller systems that work together to maintain our own Life. This is the Law of Life of the whole universe. If we took one cell, and the cell is a wondrous thing, and blew it up to the size of a person – it would not work, because people are several levels of organization more complicated than a cell is.


If we continue to “fix” all the old processes (our constitution, our banks, our communications, our World View) to avoid backing off on physical and economic growth, then everything you are fighting for will collapse around us. And there is no way for humans to fight for anything if there are no humans left on earth. That’s the way it works.


The corposystem has brought a wondrous outpouring of human creativity and compassion that would not otherwise have occurred. But these CANNOT SAVE US and CANNOT BE SUSTAINED unless and until we are willing to make a genuine effort to establish a balanced corposystem – to control the growth, and the domination ethic and restructure the human gains that the system generates — not one or the other, but all three – but the restructure can wait, if we survive, and we will not survive the overgrowth of our resources, so the primary root cause that must be addressed now and forever is overgrowth by overpopulation.


Even the wondrous up-side of our unprecedented compassion and creativity will have a devastating downside, if we continue to use these good qualities in a way that is nearly certain to generate the final great extinction of all higher organisms. Including us.


Some people find it exciting and compassionate to save the victims that our corposystem worldview creates, and of course it is. A compassionate upside that is exciting and personally rewarding; also a short-term necessity. I think you will agree, however, that the long-term challenge is far more responsible — to prevent the suffering of victims by not creating victims in the first place — even though we never will be called heroes for making sure a tragedy doesn’t happen. Again, balance is required between short-term benefits and long-term survival.


Those of us on the home front have a great responsibility to the future of human kind – and to the young people (it is primarily the young, who fight these battles on the front lines). Probably the greatest responsibility of human history. Our responsibility is to restore and maintain a viable balance within and among the up-sides and the down-sides of the systems over which we have control, and the only way we can do that is to study the unsustainable imbalance – to analyze the facts and discern the actual situation. You won’t get this information from the corposystem — a dying system that is trying to perpetuate itself in the only way it knows how, by growing.   But certainly the facts are amply available from other sources.


Our responsibility is to study and learn to understand, and then discuss rationally the Facts of Life and how they function to maintain the balance of Life and so also our survival. That’s a job that every one of us can do in one way or another. And then to bring our wisdom to the issues the young are trying to protect us from — the collapse of both our viable social system and our sustainable environmental system.


Some are – increasingly, a few of us are making life-changing and even life-sacrificing choices in their efforts to prevent the destruction of our constitution and the final great extinction that will come with ongoing climate change.


This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of

A copy of the podcast can be found at:


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