Unless you are an unicellular organism (and in that case, congrats for reading this!), your body is a highly orchestrated symphony of a couple of trillions of cells.
In order to keep you alive and healthy, all and every single of those few trillion of cells have to put the benefit of the organism-society first, and their own individualistic (and very much genetically programmed) growth and development plans the second.
Let’s take it from the beginning. We all start from an embryo (thanks, mom & dad!), one tiny cell with magical power to divide, organize and give origin to a whole fucking body, with around 200 different cell types.
Your future role as a cell in the system, what you will become, where you will ultimately live and what your job will be for the rest of your lifetime is determined more or less by where the heck you or your ancestors were when they were born.Your formation was done first locally, induced by the neighboring cells, until the system grew to be complex enough and the general decision making was moved to the central comities. Sounds familiar? Ok, let’s go on.
Throughout your whole life, each tiny little cell of yours lives a deep internal personal conflict, between diligently playing and patiently obeying to the pre-determined role imposed by the system for the benefit of the whole, and its own, inborn tendency to grow and multiply as much as it can.
The system, being well aware of this, came up with all sorts of surveillance mechanisms in order to keep every single unit in its place: molecular mechanisms and pathways and organs and systems of organs that develop from your conception on, running active 24/7 and weighting heavily on the system’s finances. Every single suspicious unit embarking the path of unlimited growth gets eliminated. Found out, killed, its corpse eaten up and its function replaced by a younger, obedient cell. Fuck you, capitalist.
The Glorious Socicominazi Union of the Organism keeps millions of potential rebels under control and on the death row every day. No human totalitarian regime ever managed that sort of perfect surveillance and execution. Modestly known as The Immune System, this motherfucker does a better job than Gestapo, Stasi, KGB, SS or NSA/CSS ever did, and all under the perfect excuse of “you’re being monitored for your own safety” and “we are here to defend you from foreign invasion”.
The superb efficiency of the Immune System control is mainly due to a coy and slick method of reporting and detection, that reaches almost perverted kind of perfection: individual cells assuming suspicious, capitalistic-tending behavior REPORT THEMSELVES ALONE. Literally. Being in an internal conflict all the time, the “good”, obedient part sends out an automated alarm that something weird is going on inside. The cells literally FLAG themselves for elimination. No intelligence agency established by humans ever got to this point. OK, maybe the NSA finally managed it with Facebook, but still NOT to this extent.
Of course, loads of spying job still gets done by the neighbors or family members of the rebel individuals too, good old DDR, Nazi or Soviet style, just to make sure in case the auto-flagging fails.
If you are lucky, this kind of perfect order is maintained for several decades (longer than any man-made regime), and the entire system collapses out of general exhaustion (remember, that immunity intelligence costs loads of public money!) or failure of some old, obsolete, worn out organ to cope with the rising demands. In other words, you die of old age.
But what happens when one single cunning rebel finally MANAGES to escape the control and reaches the capitalistic dream of freedom, independence and the unlimited individual growth?
Oh well. Cancer. One single cell divides and multiplies using the resources of the whole, to the only scope of creating copies of its own self, forgetting about its original function it was doing in the organism. Once a critical mass of capitalistic rebels is formed, it can further step away from its pre-determined role and go colonize around, using those amazing infrastructures the socicominazi organism built. Like the bloodstream, for example. No better nor more capillary highway for metastatic invasion than that.
Far off regions of the body that had nothing to do with the initial rebellion, nor have anyhow benefited from it, suddenly find themselves invaded with a new kind of usurpation: a real in-body colonialism, where the dream of the unlimited growth of the rebel group is further fueled by deploying resources and space wherever they can be found, regardless of the consequences to the locals or to the organism itself.
The rebel group is highly democratic within its own self, as each single individual that comprises it is welcome to freely grow and invade and exploit on the expenses of the others, even within the same group. How does it end? Well, since the unlimited growth is literally impossible to sustain in a limited body or a limited planet, you die. Of cancer, at any age.
Does the end result change? No. You’re dead anyway.We can now open a discussion whether it is better to die of old age or cancer, and whether the way you go and when you go indeed do count, or not.
Still cheering for that rebel cell dreaming of freedom to actually break free? Or are you relieved that your cells act somewhat like jail cells for Mr Genome Allmighty?
ps. This is a biology article. Biology is that science that studies life on planet Earth. Whatever that means.
Photo credit:By Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F088809-0038 / Thurn, Joachim F. / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5473698