- free will is a myth – we are just witnesses to what a body is doing
- a body is a successfully persistent structure in space-time
- success is defined as the body’s the persistence and propagation
we might wonder what other structures could persist, grow, communicate, expend energy, propagate and die in the Universe and, more interestingly, what of those we might engage with.
Take a moment to consider the participants in our own body – at least as many cells in our body are those of other discrete life forms – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_microbiota – some helpful, some harmful, some just hitching a ride. That aside, the cells we call our own go about their business, unaware of the role they play in our makeup. We don’t attribute conscious status to any of these cells, these little machines the comprise us. Nor should we – they’re just smaller persistent structures.
Naturally that leads to: could we be component cells of larger structures? Of course – family, social groups, the chance collection of people that simultaneously sigh in a train carriage when a delay is announced. A neighbourhood? A town? So sure, we recognise these communities. And we discuss group, herd, behaviour as though there were more to it than a bunch of people in a similar environment, receiving similar stimuli reacting the same way – get puzzled – wonder what else is going on. Nothing! That’s it! A bunch of people in a carriage who simultaneously learn the train won’t be moving for ten minutes are likely to sigh together – no group soul needed.
So where else do people group? Ah yes businesses.
But here there’s a significant difference. The business has a mission statement and procedures and an HR department to manage the component staff to follow the goals at minimum cost to the business. It has purpose, goals. It communicates with other businesses. It grows, divides, reproduces, dies.
Businesses are just as much “alive” as our blood cell and us.
We have superior culture – fact – as it is immeasurably more complex and sophisticated and yet we defer own natural priorities to the needs of this alien invader. I can’t deny that capitalism encourages advance as long as there’s a profit motive. And go to it, all good.
But why do we allow businesses to steal from humans?
And why we allow businesses to harm humans?
Why do we not see them for what they are? An alien form of life, in their own space, enriching a select few, who could all die tomorrow and be immediately replaced.
We should regulate, regulate, regulate and bring these beasts to heal and serve. Like all life, their only function is to persist and propagate, oblivious of other levels of life. Our rich, complex culture gives us the right to rule them.
But we would say that wouldn’t we?