Thursday, July 6, 2017

Modernity's Security in Exclusivity vs Commensality's Security in Diversity

America's Atomic Bomb, along with Germany's Auschwitz, was the last hurrah of the old Age of Modernity.

Natural Penicillin's worldwide acceptance in that same year 1945, was the first hurrah of our new Age of Global Commensality.

As is very well known, the Atomic Bomb, rather like the land of America itself, was stolen by white protestant Anglo Saxon America from others.

The others in this case not being Natives but rather Foreigners.

Without the efforts of foreign born Americans and foreigners from dozens of countries (Canada,Australia, New Zealand, France & Britain included) native born Americans could never have built the bomb.

It even took a foreigner from Hungary to push the native born Americans to start to build it in the first place.

But once it was shown to work, the American WASP elite decided to keep all of it themselves, not even sharing it with their closest Allies who had provided not just the vital brainpower - but also the very scarce mineral material it was assembled out of.

But under Modernity, the theft of the A-Bomb like the theft of the Natives' land was justified by the only rule of law that Modernists recognized : possession is nine tenths of the law.

American elites only felt safe if they had the security of exclusivity : they piled on layers and layers of scientific secrecy so that that they alone had the Bomb.

But as many nations later demonstrated, you didn't need spies to make the Bomb, though they speeded up the process --- you just needed lots and lots and lots of money.

A foreign-born American, Dr Martin Henry Dawson, the spirtual father of naturally-produced Penicillin, favoured the Security of Diversity.

He didn't dismiss the efforts of the rest of the world's medical-scientific community to find a man-made equivalent to natural penicillin, he just sought a diversity of approaches to the problem of finding a large supply of wartime penicillin rapidly and cheaply.

That made him different from his opponents, Alexander Fleming & Howard Florey, and in fact, the entire scientific community around the world.

They dismissed - in advance - the very idea of natural penicillin possibly being cheaper and safer than the man-made stuff.

And Dawson also didn't agree with the Fleming-Florey team's obsession with keeping penicillin research secret.

As secret as atomic bomb research.

Again, the effort was decided to keep the US and the British holding an exclusive economic lockhold over a life-saving medicine needed by the hold world.

The American and British elites treasured the thought that at the war's end, they would hold a global monopoly over life ( penicillin) and death (atomic bomb).

Dawson thought that public domain penicillium spores and public domain scientific research results would be the quickly way to provide human security for another world wide pandemic at the war's end - as in WWI.

He sought a diversity of scientific approaches to the penicillin problem - and a diversity of scientific teams (not just the the small cartel favoured by the Anglo-American elites).

Further Dawson sought the widest possible array of patients who would receive wartime penicillin - basically anyone in the world in need.

By contrast, the Anglo-American elites were going to restrict penicillin to being used as a weapon of war.

They wanted to keep it a secret till D-Day and use it to win the war of replacing the lightly wounded being waged against Germany.

Unlike the Nazis who let die anyone they didn't currently see a military use for - and unlike the Allies, who planned to do ditto with dying patients who needed penicillin but weren't of current military priority - Dawson thought all people were worthy of life, all potential contributors to the Cabinet of all possible Talents, needed to defeat the Axis.

Security of Exclusivity vs security of Diversity : two Manhattan-based wartime projects.

As different as day and night, as different as good and evil ...

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