Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Survival of the Fittest in the Market Economy

I often hear people saying that human beings are subject to the survival of the fittest rule.  This phrase is attributed to Darwin’s theory of evolution or ‘natural selection’ to explain the preservation of species.  That in itself is debateable, but what I want to discuss in this article is not what Darwin meant, but what the saying means in the world today.  Why do people use this phrase?  It seems that they use it to justify competitive behaviour rooted in a monetised system otherwise known as the open 'free' market.
 
Take the caring industry in the UK as an example.  It is a successful business venture for many people and a viable part of the free market.  At the most extreme level, we have homes where people live who are unable to do anything for themselves.  These homes are provided by private property owners at taxpayers’ expense.  People are hired at minimum wages to “look after” the service users.  Specialists and doctors are involved.  Drugs are used to keep the service users alive as long as possible.  But for these consumers, there’s no semblance of fitness, yet in a sense, they are surviving.
 
Fitness
 
So what does it mean to be a fit human being?  The general dictionary meaning is:
 
1.      A state of general mental and physical well-being.  Good health or physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.
 
2.     Biology: the extent to which an organism is adapted to or able to produce offspring in a particular environment.
 
I found a more in-depth explanation here with a focus on a health-related definition that includes cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility; and then skills related fitness which includes agility, speed, reaction time, balance, power, amount of body fat, and co-ordination.
 
Some people think that fitness has more of a mental and emotional aspect to it.  After all, if you’re weak emotionally and not sharp in mind, you’re not going to survive in the ‘rat race’.  But what about survival?
 
Survival
 
At the basic level, of course, survival means staying alive.  But to what end?
 
Does survival mean having your own children?  Many belief that’s all there is to it.  Just keep your specific gene pool moving along from one generation to the next and you’re a success at the survival game.  In this sense, it doesn’t matter if you die at the age of thirty, have a disability or bad health as long as you leave behind one or more children (preferably a male) to continue your bloodline.
 
Perhaps survival means having all the trappings of high society with expensive things, a big house, cars, jets, land, holidays, etc, etc and lots of power?
 
What does survival of the fittest mean in a changing natural environment?  Does it mean the ability to adapt?  A good example is how we all have lots of chemicals in our bodies that we didn’t have 100 years ago.  Are we really adapting though when the intelligence level and physical ability of our species as a whole is on a downward slope?
 
Another question I would ask is how do we adapt to injustice and unfair treatment by people with no empathy who do not know how to give but only take, take, take and destroy?
 
Market Economy
 
Whether you think disabled people are fit or surviving is not my point though.  The point is that the market economy is geared to encouraging the growth of unfit people.  People who have mental, physical and emotional problems are great sources and opportunities for making money and they’re very easily controlled.  In my view, it’s a leach society that is being fostered by the market economy.
 
Take the drug industry as an example.  It is well known that drugs cause side-effects.  They even sometimes cause babies to be born with deformities.  But rather than acknowledging these facts, information is twisted around and made to look like there is no alternative when there is a very good one.  I wrote articles about the drug therapy for cancer and an alternative natural food remedy which clearly show how harmful the drug treatment is and beneficial the natural treatment.  It is obvious that the reason drugs are prescribed is to make money and there is no money in prescribing whole nutrient-dense foods or getting people to stop exposing themselves to toxic chemicals (that are making money too).  The whole medical system is a con and the B’org of food is becoming more and more reliant on drugs.  It's a con based on the belief that the fittest survive in the market, but fittest for making money does not correlate to the fittest humans.
 
One last question I’d like to ask here is, of the fittest humans that are purportedly surviving in the current market economy (with personal net worth’s in the billions or even trillions), what does it mean to be human?  How much of the body needs to be biological?  How much do we need to be aware?  Do we need feelings?  These questions are fast becoming more and more important as people more frequently and to a greater degree have body parts replaced with artificial ones, people who cannot think are being artificially kept alive and cared for, and the number of people who are unable to experience joy and love are increasing, hence, my blog’s reference to the Borg in Star Trek.  As a species, we seem to be becoming more like the Borg every day, part non-biological machines, mindless and ruthless, all for the sake of the almighty dollar (money), with the excuse that it's got something to do with the survival of the fittest.