The associative mind works in mysterious ways. At least, mine does. The New York Times has an amazing article today called Bacteria Thrive in Inner Elbow; No Harm Done about, as the title suggests, the countless bacteria that live in and on our bodies. It turns out humans are really individual ‘superorganisms’. What caught my associative attention was the following (emphasis mine):
Since humans depend on their microbiome for various essential services, including digestion, a person should really be considered a superorganism, microbiologists assert, consisting of his or her own cells and those of all the commensal bacteria. The bacterial cells also outnumber human cells by 10 to 1, meaning that if cells could vote, people would be a minority in their own body.
Fortunately, nobody gets to vote here. And that is exactly what set my mind off. Bacteria and humans share a common society, if you will, and both parties benefit from this coexistence. There are no codified rules or policy governing the life of the individual superorganism called man. And over the course of ages this has evolved into something that really works well for all parties concerned.
This made me wonder if we do not sometimes overpoliticize certain social issues within our human macrosocieties. Can we leave certain issues of, for instance, cohabitation to the population itself to sort out in a free market kind of way? Or will this inevitably lead to violence and grief (even if there were no populist politicians to stir up the flames) as seems to be the case right now in South-Africa? And, after all, bacteria wage war too.
Well, a naieve mind can dream, can’t it? Anyway, I thought the article on its own was interesting enough to mention here. And maybe some knowledgeable readers can surprise and enlighten us with comments about politics in nature?
Afterthougt: Alternatively, does it really matter if there are politics or not? Aren’t we, somewhere deep down, inexorably governed by the ruthless laws of nature regardless of all the nice ideologies and institutions we invent to prevent ourselves, periodically, from killing each other?
Â«La nature a fait l’homme heureux et bon, mais la sociÃ©tÃ© le dÃ©prave et le rend misÃ©rable.Â»
Quote taken from Le Mythe du bon sauvage