LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for UCD-STAFFORDBEER Archives


UCD-STAFFORDBEER Archives

UCD-STAFFORDBEER Archives


UCD-STAFFORDBEER@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

UCD-STAFFORDBEER Home

UCD-STAFFORDBEER Home

UCD-STAFFORDBEER  March 2007

UCD-STAFFORDBEER March 2007

Subject:

parasitism and viability

From:

allenna leonard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 19 Mar 2007 02:13:13 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (76 lines)

Dear All,

Sorry to pop in late to the discussion - I've been
being a tourist in Rome. 

Going back a bit, the line between symbiosis and
parasitism isn't always that clear.  For example, a
symbiot who eats other parasites living on the host by
preference may eat directly off the host if none are
available.

The same is true in society. In the United States,
before Prohibition it was perfectly legitimate to
operate a pub.  Then came Prohibition and it was
criminal, then Prohibition was repealed and it was
legitimate again.  Some of the activities labeled as
criminal are providing services that substantial
numbers of people want to buy such as liquor,
marijuana, off-track betting and prostitution. All of
these can be utilized without harm to some or most of
the population but not to everyone. All of these vary
in their prohibition from country to country and all
are legal in some places so this is definately a
cultural difference. There are also interstices within
the law (mentioned by Norbert Wiener in "Human Use of
Human Beings")such as the grey market where people's
safety and consumer protection are at risk.

As I understand the origins of the Mafia, they filled
a gap in Sicily where the then Italian government was
not able to provide the things that governments
normally provide.  Something similar might be said of
youth gangs that offer belonging, structure and the
possibility of gaining respect in a social environment
where these are in short supply.  Both of these live
off their societies as parasites but it can be argued
that they began as result of deficiencies in the
societies they occupied. A proportion of regular 
crime as well amounts to legitimate goals (prosperity,
status...) pursued by illegitimate means. 

There is a sense in which many legitimate businesses
and social relations carry an element of exploitation.
 If it is mutual it approaches fair exchange but when
it is not they look very parasitic to me. Values come
in here, especially where a breakdown in trust makes
the whole atmosphere a bit toxic. It is easy to see
the extremes but not so easy to draw the line as some
will feel or be exploited in circumstances where
others will not.  

As to universals, I submit that they exist in a
general sense such as people should have access to
legitimate means of living a good life, should be able
to have trust in their transactions and should have
some autonomy to make choices on their own behalf.
These contribute to a viable society and one where the
worst forms of parasitism will not find a nutrient
medium. As to particulars and perceptions, they vary. 
There was an excellent example of this emerging into
Rome with the crowd.  People were dressed in
everything from short sleeved t-shirts to down jackets
and scarfs. The air temperature was constant but the
response was not.

Allenna 


 
____________________________________________________________________________________
We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love 
(and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/265 

For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

August 2017
May 2017
November 2016
October 2016
July 2016
June 2016
March 2016
November 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager