Why are there inequalities? (still to come)
1: why do people disobey?
Bertie: oh venerable eagles, can you tell me why people disobey?
Jacques Adam: because otherwise, there would be no police and prisons, so what would do those who work there?
René Georg: besides, they disobey only those who have established some rules, not the others who have different ones.
Bertie: yet if everyone obeyed the same rules, there would be no punishment and it would be better for all, don’t you think?
Jacques Adam: there has to be a balance in society so that everyone find their place. Those who like to punish or maintain order need those who disobey. Those who disobey need those who make rules. Not everyone can be the same.
René Georg: in addition, difference is always needed; if something bad happens to some people, those who are not the same will have a chance of being spared.
Bertie: can you give me an example so that I understand better?
Jacques Adam: imagine a rule that says you should avoid being in a group because there is a very dangerous virus that jumps from person to person. Do you know what a virus is?
Bertie: yes, it’s like a disease.
Jacques Adam: that’s right. So in order not to be sick, you have to keep your distance; but some people have decided that they do not want to be careful. They think that as they will not be infected with the virus, the rule does not apply to them.
Bertie: are they right?
Jacques Adam: no one knows for sure so it has been decided that everyone should be careful. As they are wrong not to be careful, police must ensure they follow the rules. That’s why you need the police, to protect others from their probable mistakes.
René Georg: in this specific case, because the virus is very strong, they will undoubtedly catch the disease; yet it is nevertheless a good thing for society as the more people are infected, the less the virus can spread once it has nowhere to go. Especially if those who have the disease recover and can’t have it anymore for a while. It’s called herd immunity. It builds gradually.
Bertie: it’s a funny name!
René Georg: yes, that means that a large number of people needs to be immunized.
Bertie: like with a vaccine?
René Georg: that’s right, but as in this case, as there is no vaccine, it has to be done differently.
Jacques Adam: there are also many people who are working to find a cure, so they too need the virus to have something to do. Not to mention the doctors and nurses who care for the sick. You see, everything is related.
Bertie: so can I disobey as I want?
Jacques Adam: only if you agree to be punished and, in the case of our example, to be sick. You should always know that you are taking risks when you disobey, and ask yourself if it’s worth it.
René Georg: those who disobey do so for their immediate personal pleasure. What they don’t know is that they are necessary for the survival of the species. In our example, they are the first soldiers who go up to the front. They may die and that’s why we don’t want them to go, but if they escape, they will help society. What we do by our decisions, we also do it because external forces push us to do it without our being aware of it.
2: why are there viruses?
Bertie: oh venerable eagles, can you tell me why there are viruses?
Jacques Adam: Bertie, we talked a little bit about that last time, remember? It takes sickness and disease to justify doctors, it’s a question of balance.
René Georg: moreover, viruses are alreay present in the world but most of them are not active. So the question should be, why do certain viruses appear at certain times?
Bertie: so what’s your answer?
Jacques Adam: they develop when a particular group or part of this group is stressed or weakened. Because of war, overpopulation, famine, misery, pollution. Because a group is like a body. If it is not in good health, it is likely to develop new ailments. It takes crises to put things back in place or make them go away.
Bertie: but a group is made of individuals; it’s people who get virus.
René Georg: you are right but when a group lives badly for one reason or another, it seems that some of its people are becoming sensitive to new evils. Once the virus has found a way to develop, it begins to proliferate and passes from individuals to individuals according to its own propagation method. These are historical forces which influence the appearance of things, but these forces need individuals to be updated.
Jacques Adam: it’s a mixture of chance and necessity. Chance because it takes an unhealthy individual to meet a carrier, a necessity because the group in general has been in imbalance for a while and the virus will be the opportunity to remedy this imbalance.
Jacques Adam: by eliminating the weakest and those who do not have an adequate immune system. This will make more room for more resilient individuals to thrive, it will eliminate those who are a burden. This is how nature always works. For humans as for plants or animals. No individual of the species concerned is specifically targeted because nature is indifferent to the individual but a certain number will have to disappear before the balance is struck. The spread of the virus acts much like a passing wave, dragging some along while others are spared. It is also due to chance and necessity.
René Georg: the idea of nature is to keep only what works well because this is how species evolve; the virus is one of several ways to sort things out. Storms, floods, earthquakes follow the same logic.
Bertie: but I don’t want to be used to achieve this goal!
Jacques Adam: nobody wants it, that’s why as soon as the virus appears, a sort of fever seizes members of the group concerned; this fever, as in a body, is intended to fight against the threat; it will activate new defenses. We see it in trees when they are attacked by a disease, we see it in humans, we see it in animal species.
René Georg: there is a reason for all of this, but reason is foreign to emotions.
Bertie: so the group should be better once the disease is under control?
Jacques Adam: better is a value judgment but certainly stronger if it manages to resist the attack, to overcome the problem by knowing how to defend itself from it. Also more aware of what can undermine it so that for a while, it will be more careful so it does not happen again. This movement of back and forth between extremes is what produces progress, change. This is why all species already have a whole set of defenses which testify to their particular history.
René Georg: it is the aim of history to bring towards greater perfection, but it concerns all, not any in particular even if each individual can possibly benefit from it. It’s always a struggle between entropy which creates chaos to reach a return to total balance, a straight line with no more ups and downs, and negentropy which creates differences and value by organizing things .
Bertie: I don’t like viruses, or what you say.
Jacques Adam: things have to disappear so that new ones appear. You yourself only exist because others have acted and have disappeared. It’s the cycle of things.
René Georg: in human societies of which you are a part, a virus can allow individuals to think about what they are and to reassess their values.
Bertie often goes to the library of the domain, reads everything and asks lots of questions