by Michael W. Stowell

February 5, 2001



BIOCRACY <Gr. bios, life + kratein, to rule> - A form of governance in which all life has participation; a concept that recognizes nature as the force regulating the physical universe.

It is unfortunate for humanity and the rest of the biosphere that many people refuse to fully acknowledge their place in nature. Although we may be capable of destroying all life on earth, we are not capable of managing the natural realm. When humans strive for virtual governance, they choose to ignore and unsuccessfully attempt to usurp the actual governance that belongs to nature.

Scientists engaged in examination of the origin, history, characteristics and interdependence of life forms believe that many species have slipped into extinction because of humanity's intrusion. At the present rate of "civilization" one-third of the species alive today will be extinct in twenty-five years. If humanity's destructive behavior does not change and human population does not decrease we will irreversibly unbalance the symmetry of life and destine ourselves to extinction.

Human aggression is not only biocidal and suicidal but genocidal and homicidal as well. Who can imagine the number of people who have been murdered, raped, assaulted and otherwise abused throughout the course of human history? One would hope that with the passage of time humanity would become more "humane" yet hundreds of thousands of people still die unnaturally in wars and lesser conflicts and weapons of death and destruction grow more numerous and dangerous each year. Children are now killing children, violent crime continues despite the use of capital murder as a deterrent and terrorism has increasingly become an implement of revenge for the powerless.

Remembering these thoughts, let us take time for reflection on what our responsibilities are. Another election year has passed and more common sense has been obscured by the incumbent rhetoric and propaganda; let's take a deep breath and gather our wits for a common perspective. There are some alternatives to the existing patterns of violence and destructive behavior exhibited in the world today.

The existent scope of predominant ideologies originates in anthropocentric cerebration which assumes that humans are either the central fact of creation of the final aim of evolution.

Webster's defines "democracy" as a popular government by the people, either directly or by elected representatives; rule by the ruled. One is hard-pressed to cite pure examples in reality albeit when considering the principle it is at first obvious that people subscribing to this doctrine have need of dominion and all other life forms are somewhere off-stage.

Another favorite is "socialism" and it may be summed up in the phrase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his work." Although many variations on the same theme have appeared throughout history, once again we are bereft of common examples that function honorably and, of course, this doctrine is also blind to the existence of life forms beyond the human species.

The most invasive and prevalent of all political ideologies is "capitalism", the economic system of governance in which ownership and exploitation of wealth is left in private hands. It assumes that mankind may "lay claim" to the physical universe and that "resources" are infinite. When capitalistic pursuits are unchecked, survival instinct may evolve into an excessive desire to possess more than one needs. Unabated, human avarice adversely affects the whole biosphere and not only enables but, through the culture it fosters, encourages over-population and over-consumption.

To perpetuate and justify anthropocentric endeavors our species has established anthropomorphism, the attribution of human shape or characteristics to GOD, gods, goddesses, objects and animals. This ancient belief system influences every aspect of human life and, because it is unnatural, subverts humanity's relationship with the rest of the biosphere. The statement that "God made man in His own image" is actually the opposite of reality and an example of our tendency to project human lineament onto the broad, imaginary screen of theism.

There is a physiological reason for the human race's anthropomorphic proclivity. During the transition from forest-dwelling apes to our current state of being, our ancestors moved to aquatic environs for a significant period of time. Throughout our aqueous interlude we lost body hair and added insulating fat, our ears swept back and our nostrils turned down as an adaptation for swimming, webs began growing between our fingers and toes, we began to stand upright as we bounced around in the water and, most notably, we developed larger brains with increased intellectual capacity. Our expanded intellect enables fulfillment and justification of the excessive desires that spring from an imagination which magnifies survival instinct.

That needn't be the case.

Upon recognizing the fallacy of current ideologies, we are able to see past mistaken belief systems and use our creativity to find the perspective needed for reception of natural guidance. Nature is the force that guides life forms in the evolutionary process and it fosters symmetry and coexistence amidst diversity. If we are receptive to natural guidance, we may yet recover our rightful place and all imbalance may be corrected.

Cooperation amidst diversity is evidence of natural intelligence and humanity's advanced capacity for reasoning warrants harmonious existence. We make many choices in a lifetime and, overall, have choice of cooperation or competition. With whom will we cooperate and against what shall we compete? I have many friends and acquaintances who involve themselves with any number of issues; elimination of nuclear weapons, preservation and restoration of forests, free speech, campaign finance reform, prison reform, native sovereignty, population control, species protection, education reform, corporate reform; the list seems as endless as does the challenge. However, when we all work together and honor each others' labors, we are not competing against one another or those still lost in the competition. We are merely following Nature's guidance.


       Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of The City of Arcata Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Commission, Humboldt County, CA. When interviewed by the Arcata City Council for a position on the NWFZ Commission, Michael was asked why he wanted to participate. His answer was that 40 years ago when he entered grade school, the boys lavatory was in the basement of the school, and on the wall was a sign that read "Nuclear Fallout Shelter." When he asked what the sign meant, he was frightened by the answer.

Many events have occurred in the last 40 years that have caused the concerns about nuclear weapons to become widespread and Michael believes that serving with Arcata's NWFZ Commission is a fine opportunity for expressing his concern and acting upon it.

[Ed. Note: The City of Arcata, incorporated in 1858, is located in Humboldt County, on California's Redwood Coast, at the juncture of California Highway 101 and 299 West. The city is approximately 289 miles north of San Francisco, 150 miles west of Redding and 760 miles north of Los Angeles. The 1990 census reported Arcata's population as 15,197 and the county population as 119,118.]


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Related External Links

Population Zappers An amazing compendium of useful statistics about population and the environment (Highly Recommended)

Campaign for a Universal Ecology

Planet Ark


Related Internal Links

Letter to my Unborn Child - by Alma Hromic

The Resource Base - by Milo Clark

Conservation Is Not Enough - Compiled by Michael G. Hanauer

A Reformist View: Business as if the Earth Matters - by Joe Kresse

The Imperial Conservation Crusade - by Gilles d'Aymery

Mesmerized by the Weapons Mystique - by Mac Lawrence (Posted in July 1997, this piece demonstrates once more that we are not learning from the past. At a time when we are again increasing the U.S. military budget, this piece documents how immensely bloated this budget already is.)

The Wilderness Into Which Crying is Silent - by Milo Clark (Posted in September 1996, this piece shows the hypocrisy of conservation efforts through "responsible tourism.")

Do as I say... - by Gilles d'Aymery (Posted in May 1996, this piece shows with some humor the insanities and contradictions of our consumerist policies.)

It's Spring: Time to Drive - by Gilles d'Aymery (Posted in May 1997, this short piece shows the inanity of producing ever more vehicles.)

News Watch - by Gilles d'Aymery (Posted in December 1997, the first paragraph provides a few notes about Global Warming, in particular emission of carbon-dioxide by various countries.)

Useful Guide to Understanding Where All That Stuff Comes From - by Donella Meadows (Posted in April 1998, this book review shows the behind-the-scene of consumption. For instance, you'll learn that the manufacturing of your 55-pound computer generated 139 pounds of waste and used 7,300 gallons of water and 2,300 kilowatt-hours of energy.)

Adam Smith is on Our Side - By Milo Clark (Posted in May 1996, this piece on Adam Smith is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how incorrectly Smith is depicted in the main media.)


Related to Michael Stowell on Swans

Barbarians of Our Own Dark Ages? Debunking the Myth Behind the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



Resources on the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath


Articles Published on Swans Regarding the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath


Published February 5, 2001
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