This quote that several weeks ago went viral on the internet appears to have been inspired by a passage from author Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 Novel CAT’S CRADDLE: The quote that came across my e-mail two weeks ago was wrongly attributed to naturalist writer David Attenborough. I just couldn’t imagine a naturalist designing such an experiment. Maybe a politician like Nancy Pelosi or Adam Schiff! The quote:
“I can’t remember all Frank had fighting in the jar that day, but I can remember other bug fights that we staged later. One stag beetle against a hundred red ants, one centipede against three spiders, red ants against black ants. They won’t fight unless you shake them up in the jar.”
The idea that was trying to be conveyed in the e-mail post has validity and merit. Take two populations that differ in appearance, put them together and they get along fine. Shake them up and they start seeing themselves as enemies and start fighting and trying to destroy each other. The real enemy is not each other, but the person shaking them up.
This happens today across all parts of the political landscape. Put men and women together and they get along fine. They find fulfillment and complement each other. Shake things up a little and tell one group that they aren’t as good as another group, or that their work and lives aren’t valued in the same way as other groups and the battles begin.”
The two places in my life where I witnessed the least amount of racism or bigotry were in the military and on the athletic fields. If a man or woman does his job at work, on the athletic field or the battlefield they are my friend and a valued “teammate. Don’t do the job and we can find someone who will—and it doesn’t matter what they look like or where they came from—”getter done”. Upward mobility in “non-essential” positions” in organizations does not require meritocratic advancement. In positions that are essential, organizations must seek out the “best and brightest” otherwise the entire organization fails—including those in “non-essential” positions. We have all seen people promoted in all walks of life who early in their careers came face to face with THE PETER PRINCIPLE—”They rose to their level of incompetence” quickly.
The political left—academia, media corporatists exploit differences by causing purposeful factional frictions. Stand with me in front of a physical or moral challenge and I’ll do the same for you. Tell a person after doing a job well that they aren’t as good, or your work isn’t valued as highly as another’s because of your skin color or gender or your ethnicity then resentment and envy rear their ugly heads—to the benefit of the person shaking the bottle. Affirmative action even with its’ good intentions has done great damage to systems of meritocracy and competition. The predicate and antecedent for advancement when invoking class, race or gender does little for individuals within the group. Take a person’s earned just rewards away from them and they will no longer work for those rewards—their productivity will go down. Give a person an unearned step up the ladder and they won’t be able to know how to reach up to the next step. Unearned advancement is a sure way to destroy morale within an organization. Marionettes in the halls of government purposefully pit people against people, creating factions that normally cooperate with each other— only to advance selfish political ends. Bigot, racist, homophobe or cries of injustice are used to end arguments and advance agendas, never to facilitate cooperation. The enemy is not WE THE PEOPLE. The enemy is the special interests shaking the bottle.
Competition is the “mother’s milk” for improvement in a capitalistic free market society. When competition is stifled and replaced with racial or sexual quotas everyone’s advancement is slowed down. The goals of the people who live together and get along and cooperate out of their own self-interest (not selfish interest) are met when they compete fairly and cooperate and come together as buyers and sellers, labor, and capital, as families and neighbors. Competition and cooperation are not exclusive to each other. Both forms of interaction improve the conditions of the counterparty. But—shake things up and bad things happen.
Who’s is shaking the bottle in our society and why are they shaking it? Different from the people who are trying to get along and work together for their mutual well-being, the “shakers” have a vested interest in seeing us fight—and notice they keep their own noses clean. They create nothing and little utility to the proposition. They are rent seekers looking for their own advancement and security. They want us to fight and destroy each other like the bugs in the jar, because they want to pick up the pieces and accumulate power. They want to have ultimate control of the bugs (us) who are in their bottle.
How has that ultimate control worked out throughout the ages? Let’s look at just modern history starting with the French Revolution and the Robespierian-Jacobans. If you were in the business of making guillotines it was certainly a good time and place to find oneself. The promise to everyday Frenchman proved to be hallow and their lives and the lives of generations that followed were much worse than before the “reign of terror.”
What about the promises of Marx and then the Russian Revolution—Whites vs Reds (shake them up in a bottle and watch them destroy each other). Then Lenin, starvation, and genocide. What about Hitler and Pol Pot? Divide and conquer was their game. Civil War before Revolution. “Let the bugs kill each other before we make our move.” Look what happened on Davos several weeks ago. Rich vs poor. Shut down the greatest machine in the history of mankind that has lifted the masses out of grinding poverty in ways that no civilization has ever seen before. Shut down the flow of natural gas and oil, that produces most of our electricity, while we fly our G-4s and Lear Jets “across the pond” so we could party for a week in Switzerland. How many of those Jets are carrying “hostesses” and “hosts” to help diplomats and captains of industry relieve the stress of their very important jobs of creating a NEW WORLD ORDER? “Shake ’em up and watch them destroy each other” Currently in my life, I plan not to fight the people “in the bottle”. I will focus my energies on the people “shaking us up”.