Never ask a parasite how to fight parasitism. You certainly would get the wrong answer.
- If you were asking a flatworm (Cestoda) about a human body starving. It would probably recommend more food intake. Flatworms live in the bowel and there they consume most of the nutrients, and people who suffer from flatworms become thinner and thinner. Of course, this chronic undernourishment can be at least partially overcome by simply eating more, but though eliminating the cause, killing the flatworm, would be more efficient that it is by no means what a flatworm itself would suggest.
- If you were asking a malaria agent (Plasmodium) about disease problems in Africa, it would probably name sickle cell disease first. It is true that sickle cell disease causes premature death, and it is quite common in Africa, but it is most common in those parts where malaria is common too, because carrying the sickle cell mutation is a protection factor against malaria. More than half a million children die each year from malaria, it would be much more if it were not for the sickle cell mutation. Obviously, the spread of sickle cell mutations could not be in the interest of malaria parasites.
- If you were asking a fungus living in the human microbiome say on your skin or in your gut, it would probably encourage the widespread use of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria which are fungi’s natural competitors. Killing bacteria gives fungi an advantage and sometimes they even become pathogenic.
The interpretation of advantage, advancement, and even progress is relative. It depends on the observer’s position. The same is true for social parasites.
- Ask a mafiosi and he will probably suggest that he should take over police control to reduce crime.
- Ask a beggar and he would probably suggest giving more to charity.
- Ask an academic and she would probably suggest raising taxes.
- Ask a politician and she would probably suggest a reduction in people’s freedom.
- Ask a bureaucrat and she would probably disapprove bureaucracy in other departments.
Therefore, never judge a political opinion without analyzing the social background it derives from.
This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.