Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Can a Diet Book Explain 2016?

There's a great book about diet by Dr. Steven R. Gundry called, "Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline".  One of the premises of Dr. Gundry's book is that we are genetically programmed to pass our genes to the next generation, and that's about it.  After our child bearing years, our genes are looking for any excuse to kill us off and free-up resources for the next generation.  According to Gundry, our genes are constantly asking themselves, "Is this a successful animal?"  If yes, our genes let us live.  If no, they kill us off.

Here's how it works in practice.  Let's say your kids are grown, you are increasingly sedentary, carrying some extra pounds, and bored with your career.  Your genes are intently listening to these signals and can see that you are no longer a successful animal.  They can see that your mission to pass on your genes has been accomplished, that you're no longer a great hunter, that you are clearly eating more food than you need to survive, and that you are no longer happy with your contribution to society.  Bam!  Your genes quietly begin a self destruct sequence.   Before you know it you've got type two diabetes, high cholesterol, a weakened heart, mild depression.  Then it get's worse. 

In a way, it's a stark portrayal of our genetic makeup.  I'd always thought our genes were like Cubs fans who would cheer us on no matter what our faults.  Gundry says otherwise.  He says our genes are agnostic drones when it comes to our survival.  They just do what they do based on what they see. Our job then is to be successful animals so our genes will see value in keeping us around!

The same can be said about a nation.  (or city, state, planet, etc)  

Nations have genes just like animals.  A nation's genetic code is contained in its way of government and its borders.   The decision making parts of the gene are the individual minds of the citizens of a nation.  If the nation is successful, the decision will be to keep it around and pass the code onto the next generation.  If the nation is unsuccessful, the decision will be to kill it off.     

But nations don't die the same way as individual animals.  Whereas animals disappear from the earth forever,  nations disappear too, but their populations and land continue on.  How many times has Israel been conquered?  And yet there is currently an Israel once again with a new genetic code. Rome died, but there is still a Rome. The numerous Native American nations died, but there are still Native Americans.  Nazi Germany died, but there is still a Germany.  The U.S. died once in 1861, but it came back.  In all cases, though the nations died, the diminished populations and land soldiered on.  

2016 makes a little more sense when Gundry's theory is applied to the U.S..  Our genetic code is contained in our founding documents (The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights,  The Amendments, The Federalist) and our borders.  

Our founding documents can be boiled down to five big ideas: 

  • individual liberty 
  • limited government 
  • rule of law 
  • separation of powers 
  • free markets

You don't need to be an expert to know that none of those ideas are robust in the U.S. in 2016.  Every one of them is under major assault.  The overarching shift is that individuals are no longer the building blocks of our helix.  Now it's government.  Our genetic code has been completely scrambled. Add to that our lack of enforced borders, and it becomes obvious that we are no longer a successful animal based on our founding genetic code.

How we got here is due to a combination of things.  Some of it can be attributed to complacency. Like the Romans, we got fat and happy.  Some of it came from outside forces.  Like Native Americans, our founding ideas got displaced by other ideas.  Some of it came from greed.  Like The Soviet Union, Americans wanted free stuff more than freedom.  Some of it is due to flaws in the original code.  Like slavery, there are built-in flaws from our founding which have allowed the Constitution to be subverted.  And some of it is just failure to pass along the genetic code to the next generation. 

But no matter how we got here, here we are.  So, just to drive the point home, if my Gundry analogy is correct, then everyone enthusiastically voting today, regardless of how they vote, is just a drone gene making a decision on how to best kill-off the U.S. of A.    

As they said in The Godfather, "It's just business."

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