Monday, January 04, 2016

A cellular metaphor for the decline of the West

On RightOn, Brett Stevens and Francisco Albanese use the ultimate metaphor: comparing society to a biological cell.

Societies are systems like cells. Their borders are like cell membranes, admitting only what the society needs against the constant pressure from the outside to get in. This creates the conditions required for life to be possible.

The egalitarian mindset of Western liberalism sees the world as a place that needs to be equalized so that the world achieves an idealized balance where every part of humankind has the same amount of resources. Speaking of the devil, does a non-Western liberalism exist? Only the Western cell feels this equality is necessary, where the rest of the world, like water, only knows an urge to rush in, creating the swelling that dooms the cell. - RightOn: "Osmosis and Western Civilization"

Nationalists and right-wingers tend to use biological metaphors: health, families, life cycles and ecosystems. However, this takes the specificity of the biological metaphor to a new level! At this most basic of elevations, we can see just how suicidal our approach to politics would be for a cell... and by extension, for a person, family, culture, nation or species.

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“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

-- from JRR Tokien's The Fellowship of the Ring

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