Centuries ago, a mutated form of humans came into existence. It was so transmissible and infectious that it multiplied uncontrollably, and quickly established itself all over the world. Its origin was the tiny region of Europe. Although small, the mutant nations of England, Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium and others, possessed a number of mutations in their social DNA that allowed them to dominate over the planet. These mutations were capitalism, greed, slavery, and the outcome of these, colonialism. These variants from tiny Europe soon got on their ships and spread like a pandemic across the globe, plaguing natural resources and other nations. And like all variants, they soon outnumbered “wild-type” humans. They set the course for the human species as a whole, establishing natural destruction, exploitation and subjugation as the new, improved spike protein of the virus. We, became another species. More virulent, more transmissible. Far more dangerous.
You might think that I’m over-stretching this metaphor. But it is not a metaphor actually. Because cultural and social mutation is just as important as DNA mutations. Just like a mutant variant, the new, “improved” humans became dangerously virulent. Soon after the industrial revolution kicked off, and with the help of global colonialism, European populations exploded in size exponentially, in an abrupt and unnatural way that should normally not be allowed in an ecosystem, unless we are talking about a pest, a virus, or a bacterial culture where you’ve suddenly dropped a sugar cube. Since then greed, the pursuit of money and the possession of “things” by our leaders, our churches and our ordinary people become such an obsession, so ingrained in our culture, that we became unable to see ourselves as the variants that we have become. Our mutation had become part of our normality. From Christmas shopping sprees to holiday travel to fashion, our mutated civilisation became a plague for this planet, yet even to this day we consider our toxic customs and traditions as “fundamental human rights” that we do not want to give up, even if we ourselves are being attacked by another virus.
My fellow mutants. It is time we wake up from our insulin coma, the diabetes of gluttony and overconsumption that our system has addicted us to, keeping us enslaved to the money drip and our own self-destruction. We are getting fat and stupid, both literally and metaphorically, and moving further and further away from happiness and the meaning of life.
My fellow variants. It is time we begin to challenge the social norms that our mutant ancestors told us to follow: have a huge house, buy a CO2-puking car, shit out a few children that will do just as you did, and even worse: consume more, destroy more, eat more food, eat more energy, get sicker and fatter even earlier, drive more species to extinction faster and more efficiently. Drive the planet to a point where there’s no way back, where there is not even a point of going back because there’s barely anything left to save.
Go on, my fellow mutants, continue this lifestyle, at your own risk.
(from the book Disposable Earth)
George is an author, researcher, podcaster, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, join his mailing list, or enjoy his books