Biology And Law
In this paper, I will try to evaluate the dynamics of human societies by using the analogy of human body. The paper is not suggesting duplicating the natural principles and rules that govern human body, but it is a novice attempt to reflect on their efficiency and utility, hoping that it may provide us with a useful perspective regarding how to regulate and ease the tension between the individual and society.
In the Beginning
According to modern cosmology, in the beginning there was nothing. Not time, not space, not even emptiness. An absolute void. Everything started from an incredibly big explosion, a node of pure energy. Universe was smaller than the tiniest dust mote. This initial moment was so wild and crazy that no physical law can explain its dynamics. The so-called chaos was the king. Paradoxically, this chaos would give birth to law and order in a very short time. Within the four minutes after the Big Bang the subatomic particles emerged in this extremely hot and dense cosmic soup. Then, those particles somehow hit each other and formed Hydrogen atoms. The loss of heat and gravity stimulated a chemical evolution towards heavier elements. The flirtation of elements formed the traditional family of atoms, that is, molecules. Some of the big molecules, somehow, attracted each other and gave birth to RNA and DNA on a tiny planet called earth.
After a long and complex romance period, these basic chemical programs started a bizarre activity called life, in single cell organisms. A long process of random mutation and non-random Cumulative Natural Selection formed and developed the united states of DNA’s, or Chromosomes. We, the Homo Sapiens are the consequence of these highly complicated but integrated chemical programs contained in our each cell. DNA is a very sophisticated program. The coded instructions in the DNA of a single human cell can fill a 1,000 volume encyclopedia if the instructions could be translated into English. Trillions of cells construct human body crowned by a 3-pound brain the most intriguing mass colony in the universe. Finally, those organized cells (humans) learned to cooperate with each other and formed communities.
A fifteen or twenty billion years old adventure! From utter void to existence, from chaos to law, from subatomic particles to protein molecules, from multi-trillion-member of well-organized cell colonies to human communities. Human communities, like human bodies, try to decrease entropy in an entropic universe. Cooperation and competition are oxymoronic characteristics of the incredulous evolution of anti-entropy movement that gave birth to life. After the emergence of life on the planet, cooperation and competition was rewarded by survival. The quantity and quality of cooperation among members determine the winners of competition. These two opposite behavior co-exist in balance. Domestic competition is regulated and limited by natural contract and punishment. Extraneous competition, however, is regulated and limited by long term utilitarian considerations called ecosystem.
We can easily predict the future of this adventure: Our modern primitive societies will evolve and progress as the result of random and non random mutations and cumulative natural selection. The mutations are caused by internal forces, such as creativity and/or learning, and fostered by liberty. The selection, however, is accomplished by revolutions and/or reforms and fostered by ideas and laws.
The analogy of biology
In this paper, I will try to evaluate the dynamics of human societies by using the analogy of human body. The paper is not suggesting duplicating the natural principles and rules that govern human body, but it is a novice attempt to reflect on their efficiency and utility, hoping that it may provide us with a useful perspective regarding how to regulate and ease the tension between individual and society.
I agree with Mill that Truth, in the universe, has an intrinsic value.
“The truth of an opinion is part of its utility. If we would know whether or not it is desirable that a proposition should be believed, is it possible to exclude the consideration of whether or not it is true? In the opinion, not of bad men, but of the best men, no belief which is contrary to truth can be really useful. . .” (On Liberty, John Stuart Mill, Meridian, 1974, p. 148-149)
Truth is the nature itself. We don’t invent it, but only discover it. Everything in the universe appears to have submitted to their natural role and function, that is physical law. We can consider humans as exception by their apparent free will. But, they are still a part of the nature. The agile chemistry of brain that can create joy and grief is just a curious quirk of universal physical law. The universality of physical law may inspire us the following message: if you want to be happy, learn the truth of the nature; so that you may discover better ways to solve your problems regarding law and order.
Human body is a very complex but a well-organized federal community of cells governed by a holographic federation of naturally appointed (or naturally volunteered) brain cells. The fate of governing cells and their citizens is interdependent. Each cell is an independent individual with certain rights and responsibilities. There are variety of cells equipped with different but useful qualities. Generally, similar cells form metropolitan factories serve for the health and survival of whole body. In turn, the surviving healthy body helps each cell for their ultimate goal: a healthy life. In other words, pleasure of existence and security from inappropriate intrusion.
Each cell has a job suited to its abilities and capacities. Some work in the construction of teeth, or in the eye center, or in liver, or in kidney. Some secrete hormones, or carry oxygen, or contract the muscles, or provide communication services. The brightest ones work in the government, that is the brain. The brain is well protected and cared by other communities of cells. Communities are autonomous in their private lives. This freedom is limited and regulated during interaction with the others. The distribution of nutrition is regulated according to their need and the importance of their service. Brain, (the government) consumes 25% of total energy to serve the body and get served in turn. The brave and smart white police force defends the whole body against aliens such as viruses, and against domestic lobbies such as corrupt and greedy cancer rebels. They don’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives to save the body from pain and danger. Corrupt cells are punished with the capital punishment, since their activity is a grave threat for the entire community. Before their treason they have tacitly accepted a social contract which allows the body to punish the rebels and greedy aggressors.
If an external cause gives damage to a city or state of cells, the federal government orders national emergency to help them. Ironically, the federal government may be the very source of invitation of the problem, such as alcohol consumption or smoking. Many construction workers and civil engineers are mobilized to repair the damage, accompanied by white detectives. Communication and intelligence services are carefully governed by the brain. Brain governs human body according a very simple principle: avoid pain, acquire pleasure. The brain of a masochist is an exception regarding the identification of pain and pleasure; however, it is not an exception regarding the principle: a masochist brain takes a perverted pleasure from pain. It would be more accurate to define pain and pleasure as the subjective perception and interpretation of brain.
The story of how the integrated billions of cells operate cannot be told even in volumes of books. However, from our basic knowledge of biology we can infer the following principles:
- Each cell has a border (membrane) indicating both their limits and liberty. They are free in their private life as long as they fulfill their citizenship duties and do not harm others.
- Each cell has a guaranteed freedom of speech. They can e-mail their feelings and ideas to the Gray & White House through an intricate network. Their information is mostly reliable. Brain may punish the sources of misinformation or lies by disregarding them in the future through endorphin or cognitive interpretation.
- Any cell that exploits or abuse its neighbors is disciplined or punished according to the severity of their crime. If they cannot be rehabilitated they are replaced. Small and benign rebellions may be tolerated, since taming them may cost the lives of many white fighters and resources.
- The problems in the brain have a direct and immediate impact on the rest of entire body. A poor function my cause a lot of damage even chaos in the community, and eventually will hurt the brain. The brain either will get a lesson from the warnings, or drag the whole community, including itself to annihilation.
The most important difference between a democratic human society and human body is that the former can elect, replace, or reform the government, while the later is governed by an absolute oligarchy. A body is almost helpless against an imbecile brain.
Now, let’s compare and contrast human body (the integrated cells), to human society (the unified bodies of integrated cells).
Natural Quality Assessment and Employment
HUMAN BODY: The abilities and qualities of each cell are exactly measured and automatically placed in appropriate occupation, since the initial appointments are done by the same program (DNA) that designs the body of cells. Nerve cells are employed inside the head, while hair cells outside the head. Both are happy and proud with their position and function (but they may not be happy with external world). The cells in the toe nails, normally, do not covet the prestigious position of cornea cells. The ratio of biological government to citizens is approximately 1 to 50 and the ratio of energy consumption is 1 to 4.
HUMAN SOCIETY: There is no an a priori natural program that can objectively measure the talents of all citizens and place them in appropriate occupations. Since the fates of individuals are not interconnected as immediate and strong as the single cells in human body, humans can act with bias for instant personal gratification. A just recognition of talents and employment can only be expected in a case of a long lasting emergency (not panic). A long lasting emergency can force individuals to acknowledge their true talents and recognize others’. It is this mechanism that produces the best politicians during the foundation of a nation or during a popular and peaceful revolution.
For instance, during the six-hour sinking of Titanic, all talents and skills found their most appropriate recognition and occupation. Just think of the emergence of natural leaders, life savers, the preference of children and their closest care givers, the sacrifice of elderly, etc. A communal emergency can artificially be created in order to allow the natural assessment and selections take place. A manager of a civil engineering company can threaten a team of engineers with reducing their salary if a certain task is not done before a short deadline. Under the pressure of punishment and deadline, a freshman, but a creative engineer will find freedom and even encouragement from his previous jealous colleges. The manager can recognize and rank each engineer more accurately after a secret monitoring or insider report. The manager, however, will be out of this natural selection and election process.
This method will not work for ambiguous services or products. The possibility of different interpretation of performance and outcome is a great obstacle for a just and natural selection. The method of “artificial emergency and equally shared consequence” is not recommended for a large society either, since it cannot be controlled and monitored.
A democracy performed by critical thinkers, and a free market economy curved by social institutions and logarithmic increase of taxes parallel to the wealth can foster a better quality assessment and employment in human society. Thus, a society should relentlessly pursue the following two goals: 1) Increase the number of critical thinkers by guaranteeing an absolute freedom of speech and providing channels for dissipation of information. 2) Don’t allow a small wealthy class to monopolize economy and politics.
Job according to the capacity, pay according to the need
HUMAN BODY: Biological economic system is a utopia; it is communism. Jobs are acquired according to the capacity; food and services are distributed according to the need. Again, the biological communism should not be confused with the ideological one. The former does not carry the psychological weakness of the later. Therefore, neither production, nor quality of the service fall.
However, the moral value of human body is strictly based on biological utilitarianism. There is no room for emotions or psychological moral considerations. If a cell is corrupt, lazy or handicapped, the biological society will try to fix it. If it is not repairable, they will dump them without mercy. Every member must do their assigned job.
HUMAN SOCIETY: For the same reasons that I mentioned earlier, the biological utilitarian economic model cannot be efficiently implemented by human societies. Humans, by their nature are greedy, which is different from the nature of their biological components. Capacity and need cannot be objectively determined as it is done by the very nature of cells.
Second, human being considers the dumping of the handicapped, elderly or the sick as cruelty, or immoral. This morality may originate from selfish probabilistic concern regarding individual’s own future. Welfare system is the result of psychological utilitarianism.
Wild capitalism, like cancer cells, can destroy the entire community. Monopolies can enslave masses economically and devour their virtual freedom and happiness. Communism, on the other hand, does not seem to be realistic because of human psychology. The transitional stage, that is socialism can easily turn to oppression, and cause reduction in production and happiness. Therefore, a carefully planned mixed economic system can maximize the happiness in society.
Strict Authority and Implementation of Order for The Common Goal, That is, Health and Security
HUMAN BODY: The members of the government (brain), belong to a different race and class. They are not replaceable like other cells. This unique quality allows them to benefit from their previous experiences labeled as “memory” or “knowledge.” A biological cast system does not normally allow cells to promote in their career or change their jobs.
A strict authoritarian regime governs the multi-trillion member body. The government is mostly fair, but unforgiving in implementation of law and order. The utilitarian principle, that is, maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain is the constitution. Freedom of will (if there is such a thing called free will!) is enjoyed by only the ruling class. Citizens, apparently have happily accepted (or deserved) this situation.
The biological class system should not be confused with economical or religious class system. The biological authoritarian regime is also different from monarchy or tyranny. The difference is clear and big: The members of biological government can’t hoard fat (wealth). Therefore, they are extremely dependent to the happiness of their citizens. The mutual, vital, immediate and clear interdependence requires both parties to treat each other with respect and continuous compassion. The members of biological government are sensitive to the tiniest complaint and trouble of their citizens. A little thorn in the toe can keep the entire government sleepless. Government immediately mobilizes the police force and rush medical and construction units to the disaster area. During this aid process, pain relieving hormones may be released temporarily to let the government continue monitoring and implementing the vital functions of body.
The interdependence of human government and citizens is not as mutual, vital, immediate and clear as it is in the biological body. Therefore, an authoritarian regime can oppress and exploit its subjects by abusing its power. Ruling members of the regime can hoard a lot wealth. (They can even secure it in the banks of Switzerland.) Nevertheless, new studies done by psychologists claim that authoritarian system is somehow superior over democratic and laissez faire systems:
“As we have discussed, a high level of productivity leads to increased group satisfaction and cohesiveness in the long term. It appears that authoritarian groups can often be more productive than democratic ones.” (Small Group Discussion: a Theoretical Approach, Charles Pavitt & Ellen Curtis, Gorsuch Scarisbrick, Scottsdale AZ, 1990, p. 261).
However, the risk and danger of an authoritarian system is much greater than its benefits in human societies. Especially, after we tasted the sweetness of freedom. It seems that a hybrid system, a Democratic Authoritarian System, can combine the advantages of both. Indeed, the presidential democratic system in the USA is an attempt to combine the two.
We cannot imitate human biology; but can we adapt and modify some of its aspects to our political system? Why not? For instance, the rulers, such as governors and congress members, should not be allowed to increase their wealth during their service (remember that brain cells cannot collect fat). Their salary may be fixed to the median salary. Government spending can be limited with maximum 25% of national income. Their expectation to become fat cats should be diminished. This strict regulation will also reduce the influence of special interest lobbies. A fixed median salary and prestige are enough to attract many skilled candidates to the arena of politics.