Monday, July 4, 2011
There's an interesting article on the BBC Nature website about a species of ant in the northeastern U.S. that differentiates between other ant species that come into its nest. When most ants enter their nest, the trespassing individual is simply carried back out. However, the article noted that an enemy species known as "Slavemakers" was vigorously attacked. You can read the article Here.
I was most taken with the "Slavemakers", a term applied to several species of ants. Though the specifics of their strategy vary, each kidnaps the pupae or replaces the queen of another species and enslaves the others to be their workers. This strategy is what makes them such a powerful enemy... one to be fought at all cost.
It occurs to me that corporations apply the slavemaking strategy within the context of human community. Through ubiquitous advertising they enslave us to products and lifestyles requiring us to serve their biding in all aspects of our lives. Through lobbying they have convinced us to grant them "personhood" in law, earning them the rights of individuals without commensurate responsibility. We are so blinded to their tactics that we invite them into our homes through television and internet advertising so they can influence our young.
In the end, we owe all we have to the corporation. We work our whole lives seeking to achieve the lifestyle they dangle before our eyes, and trying to pay the resulting debt. We vote and speak our loyalty to them for the privilege. The entire western world has become a company store, and our souls are in their hands. It seems nothing short of the destruction of the Earth will stop them, though that prospect is no longer outrageous.
We could learn a lot from ant species like the Temnothorax longispinosus. We need to learn to recognize the enemy. Never give up. Never surrender.