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The Origin and Human Manifestations of Parasitism
BARASITISM having become a social and economic fact, which is spreading in every country in the world, I here propose an exposition of this disease from a biological fact to Communism, Socialism, paternalism and all of its other ramifications.
Man is rapidly becoming atavistic. His evolution toward differentiation from the mass, toward individuality and an autonomous independence has stopped. He is rapidly regressing to lower biological forms. Devolution, or the degradation of the species, is now the law in human societies.
What is parasitism?
I quote from the article on Parasitism, by Sir John Arthur Thomson, and the article on Parasitology, by D. Keilin, in the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica:
"Parasitism: a one-sided nutritive relation between two organisms of different kinds. ... a relation, moreover, that relieves the parasite from most of the activity or struggle which is usually associated with procuring food, and thus tends to favor or induce some degree of simplification or degeneracy.
"From a broad biological outlook, parasitism is a negative reaction to the struggle for existence and always implies the discovery and adoption of a mode of life that is nearer the line of least resistance. On this view, the most diagnostic feature in parasitism is some retreat from strenuous struggle and independent endeavor. . . . the swimmer becomes a drifter.
"It is usual to emphasize the fact that it is usually not in the parasite's biological interest to destroy its host. . . . Intimate dependence on another organism for food and shelter implies to some extent a life of ease.
"A perfect parasite while deriving its food and often protection from the body of the host, lives economically in doing as little direct damage to the host as possible/'
Parasitism is, therefore, an instinct inherited from the kingdom of the microorganism. It is the line of least resistance of the incompetent, the cowardly and the lazy. It is a fundamental manoeuvre of the weak and fatigued to live on the strong and the tireless.
The motto of the parasite is: From each, nothing. To each, all the Mood he can suck out of the stronger.
In human societies, which, to a certain extent, always follow physico-chemical biological formulas — for the human reason, or "sour', is not distinct and a thing apart from Nature—parasitism has always been a fact.
The "host" has always been the tribal chief, the state, the priest, the strong man. The group-instinct, the "pack"-instinct in the animal kingdom, is the psychological "host" on which live the « weak, the incompetent, the lazy.
It is very likely that the origins of slavery will be found, partly, in parasitism.
In the ancient world the slaves were no doubt quite content in spite of a sudden appearance from time to time of an individual who preached revolt — and who never got very far.
He never got very far because parasitic man, as well as the tiniest of the Sac-culinidae, is never disposed in cold reason to trade security for liberty.
So natural seems this parasitic slavery of historic man that even his revolts merely mean that he wants to change his "host."
The Hebrew people got away from their slavery in Egypt only to huddle under the hams of another Pharaoh — Moses.
The Southern negro in the United States never had any intention of declaring his parasitism at an end. If a vote had been taken, he would very likely have voted overwhelmingly against exchanging his security for a fantastic idea of liberty.
The political and religious—and even the educational—history of the world is a history of parasitism.
Nearly the whole population of Europe for centuries has had aspirations to get soft government jobs with vacations and pensions. This is also the secret of the will-to-teach—to be kept.
Millions have gone into Mother Church for the purpose of making her their "host"—and they have waxed fat on the dugs of the good old Mother, who in turn has grown to immense proportions by the contributions from hundreds of millions of mental parasites.
The parasite-instinct goes even further, deeper, for it may be that man is merely a parasite in the bowels of Brahma. Cosmical relativity would lead one to believe that this is so.
This is illustrated very beautifully in the quatrain of DeMorgan:
"Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on,
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on."
God himself may be the great, the universal Flea, on which all that is live and move and have their being.
Is it more, then, than an etymological accident that the biologists call the para-site-sustainers the "host" and that theologians have called God "the Host"?
Mental parasitism is almost universal in. varying degrees, from the child absolutely dependent on the teacher and parent for its knowledge up to the most independent scientist and thinker, who feeds the gut of his intellect with food sucked from a hundred thousand sources.
The latter, however, can hardly be classed as parasites at all, for they often give more than they receive. Besides, many of them—a Schopenhauer, a Nietzsche, a DeGaultier, an Emerson, for instance—kick away the ladder up which they have climbed or haul it up on to the peaks with them, which is always the signet of the great man.
The mental parasites are that vast majority of human beings in all ages and all countries who follow the patterns in which they were born. Religiously and educationally, they are poll-parrots, feeling "secure" in sticking to what they have been taught.
The automatic-parasitic life is the life of least resistance, and so they, the eternal People, are always quite content £o fatten themselves on the public troughs of "popular knowledge."
When you hear it said "the people are doing a lot of thinking nowadays," it merely means that they are getting ready •to vomit out one stomachful in order to put in another, the food all being out of the same pot.
The imaginative transfiguration of the parasite-instinct takes the form of paradises and Utopias, which latter are paradises and Kingdom Come in terms of economic wishing.
The difference between theological paradises and earthly Utopias is small: in the former no work is done at all and one lives eternally on the Host. In the latter, the individual does a minimum of work and his life is made "secure" during his earthly term by a Host-State.
The perfect dream of the parasitic animal man would be to live in a Utopia on Earth and be translated after death into the City of God, where struggle and initiative and inequality are unknown and where there is no work except a perpetual "Ileil Gott!"
Although there is not a single fact on which to base the hope, almost every human being does hope for the miracle of some time in his life being able to live on the beneficent, fat body of some one who is stronger, mightier and richer than he is.
This, then, is the biological origin and some of the manifestations among humans of the parasitic instinct, or the inherent will-to-blood-sucking, of being "saved" by some will other than their own.
Even when it takes the form of some universal philanthropic - sentimental scheme, allegedly based on pity, to "make things easier" for the race, the hidden motive in those engaged in this work is "I want something for nothing—maybe I can get it by mass-movement."
Communism is parasitism which has become an economic theory. In Russia the theory became a fact.
State Socialism and what is known in America as New Dealism are lesser forms of economic parasitism. But as both Socialism and New Dealism tend straight to Communism—which is universal mass state-parasitism—I shall here call Communism all those theories and doctrines that aim at the absorption of the individual in the mass and all mass-move-ments that have for their object complete dependence on the Host-State. In a word, mass-pimpery.
The hookworm and tapeworm theory of economic organization is commonly understood to have come into existence with the activities of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.
Germany was, of course, the logical— the predestined — birthplace of parasitic Communism.
The individual qua individual is practically unknown in Germany. Every German is a parasitic growth on the state, the church, his town, his home, his Oott, his university or his beer-cellar. All Germans are divided into only two classes —waiters and headwaiters.
There is no such thing as thought in German universities — and there never was. There is only German thoughts
The German is thus the most parasitic group-creature in the world. His fundamental and lifelong instinct is communal —Communistic.
Hegel is his prophet — Hegel, who preached the absolutism of the state, the divinity of the state, the state as the
shadow of God, to which all good Germans—all human beings, in fact—should aspire to be nothing but parasites on its
The soil, then, was already prepared for Marx and Engels to launch their doctrine of universal state-parasitism, sometimes known as State-Socialism and sometimes as Communism.
Hegel himself was all his life a parasite on a university—a kept man, "secured" for life, a paid tout for the absolutist Prussian state.
Marx formed in Berlin an "Hegelian Circle" with the brothers Bruno and Edgar Bauer.
This reveals the metaphysical side of the origin of parasitic-Communism — Hegel the Father, Marx the Son, and State-Parasitism the Holy Ghost.
Marx was a parasite on Engels, who was rich, and was thus himself a "capitalistic parasite", his father having made all his money as a cotton-spinner by working his people, as was customary in those days, from fifteen to eighteen hours a day.
Communism, thus launched by the- parasitic trinity, Hegel-Marx-Engels, in a country where the whole population (with rare, but very celebrated exceptions) is parasitic in essence, was bound to "catch on."
The sugar-bowl opened by "Das Kapi-tal" became the Holy Grail of all the lazy, incompetent, non-working, mystical-mud-dled, mooching flies in the world..
The great movement toward individual exfoliation that had begun in the Renaissance was arrested.
With the appearance of parasitic-Com-munism in the world evolution ceased and devolution began. The race began its march backward to the lowest biological forms.
If Voltaire's Micromegas came to visit us from Saturn today he would see through his microscope millions of microorganisms of the genus homo who had been free swimmers crawling up the tentacles and the body of the Octopus-State, exchanging forever their freedom for free blood-sucking.
In mediaeval times man was the parasite of the Church. As theological concepts gave way to scientific and sociological concepts man cast around for a new "host" on which to fasten, for the herd, the populace, that is not parasitic is inconceivable. The individual is an exception, a "sport". The norm is the parasite.
The state, then, as the new "host" was only a transformation of an eternal biological necessity.
Marx and Engels, in the eternal wisdom of Historical Necessity, came at the precise psychological moment, as, in fact, everything that comes into being does.
God, the Loving Father, the Church, the landed lord and chattel slavery were dying. Something had to be invented immediately to take their places as modes of "protection", "salvation" or "security".
Up until only quite recently the state had been looked upon as the enemy of man, at least in the abstract. The state was always the villain, government a necessary evil.
But the miracle of Marxian Communism was to divinize the state and apotheosize the parasite under the gaudy and fetching phrase of the "dictatorship of the proletariat."
The Lilliputians after micturating on Gulliver the State suddenly perceived he could be used—he was fat, meaty and strong. So they cut his thongs, stood him upon his feet and all crawled up his body, lousewise, and made of his person a free feast, for which in return they were to lose all their rights and freedom as autonomous Lilliputians.
If the reader will glance back at the definitions of parasitism which I quoted in the beginning of this essay, he will find every characteristic therein set forth reproduced in the modern Communistic and Fascist states (for the Fascist, or "corporative", state is merely a variant of the Communistic state) :
Communism is "a one-sided nutritive relation between two organisms of different kinds."
"A relation that relieves the parasite from most of the activity or struggle which is usually associated with procuring food "
"Parasitism is a negative reaction to the struggle for existence."
"The adoption of a mode of life that is nearer the line of least resistance
"Retreat from strenuous struggle and independent endeavor."
"The swimmer becomes a drifter" (on the body of the "host").
"It is usually not in the parasite's biological interest to destroy its host." (Naturally, which accounts for the fact that Russia is armed to the teeth and the Russian people are fanatical adherents of their Communist state, for what microorganism will not fight to the death for the life of the crab on which it lives?)
"Implies a life of ease." (This is the ultimate promise of the Communist state-octopus to its parasites—fewer and fewer hours of work, better and better pay, more and more leisure, and finally the abolition of all worrisome ills except death. It is the transubstantiation in sociological terms of the old theological promise to the faithful of an eternity of oafing in Heaven.)
I have no doubt that the human race today is, therefore, headed straight back to the condition of the parasite.
The number of people on this earth is very small who will not exchange the independence of their minds and the very autonomy of their movements for assured security. And for the very simple reason that self-preservation is the first law of nature, although the vast majority of the human race have no "self" to preserve.
The devotees of Communism, or the parasite-state, have no doubt in their own minds that their doctrines are "progressive" and "forward-looking", or, in the words of a newly recruited but eminent adherent of the parasite-state doctrine, "this generation has a rendezvous with destiny." In the latter instance the eminent demagogue made a mistake in one word, however. He should have said this "de-generation" instead of generation.
Meanwhile, the few individualists left in the world must continue at all hazards their free swimming, marauding, independent life (which is the real progenitor of all "progress" and "civilization").
For it is better, for them, to be free men in Hell than kept men in Heaven.
And as for the Communist-minded, they are alive in their stomachs only, which is the logical result of a regression to the parasitic life.