First posted in October 2010
Some of you may know I recently married and that my wife Rula is expecting our first child. As we pre-plan our child’s early life, one of the things we came across was the possibility of saving and storing the baby’s umbilical cord so that he/she may have access to his/her own stem cells if and when needed in the future.
We live in Jordan, in the Middle East. When Rula first mentioned the possibility of saving and storing the baby’s cord, I thought that whatever company would do that would store the cord in the same country where the baby was born or, at any rate, in the country of nationality of the baby. The reason I thought that, is due to the controversy that surrounds all things DNA, stem cells and biological identity. As things turn out, the companies that operate in Jordan in fact store the tissue in the UK. In fact, there are a number of companies that are licensed to carry out this type of work globally and it seems that China is at the forefront of storage and use of stem cells. However, China not being recognized neither by the FDA in the USA nor the European body (which name now escapes me) nor the UK’s Human Tissue Authority, their work is not included in worldwide statistics.
Interestingly, we are told that in the early stages of this activity in the UK, companies were being licensed by a body other than the Human Tissue Authority. But eventually, government questioned the relevance of this private body issuing licenses for the collection and storage of human tissue and set up the HTA as a government agency.
At the individual level, as parents, both Rula and myself are naturally naturally inclined to do something that improves the chances of survival of our child. If saving the kids’ cord may help him/her one day fight some lethal disease then what’s a few thousand Dollars for peace of mind and for our child’s survival?…
The long and the short of the story is that Rula and I will do this. We do it willingly because it is a good thing.
Nonetheless, I cannot but be torn by my awareness that I am willingly giving up a significant portion of my child’s freedom… without my child’s consent.
Readers of this blog know I maintain our economic/social model evolves according to a logic dictated by two overarching dynamics: the first is the choice of monetary system and the second the choice of political system. As you by now know, though symbiotic, these two dynamics do not affect our lives equally the monetary system being the ultimate driver whereas the political system is subordinate thus is the proximate driver of all human dynamics. Moreover, despite the fact that the monetary system is the ultimate driver, the choice of system is not subject to society for ratification. In other words; governments, particularly Western governments, ergo governments of open democratic societies, retain the exclusive and arbitrary right to impose the monetary system.
Throughout the Western world, all be it at different times, our respective governments have imposed a debt based fiat monetary system upon society. Though not necessarily destructive, the political process ensures that debt based money always and everywhere will end in a catastrophic collapse. The only variable is time.
The reason is that debt based fiat money is predicated on inflation and inflation is a dynamic that conforms to the laws of diminishing marginal utility. This means that you progressively need more inflation in order to obtain the same result. This is not opinion. It is a mathematical truism.
What is relevant here, is that as the debt based fiat monetary logic evolves and as inflation loses traction over time, the only way more inflation can be brought to bear is if government progressively becomes more involved in society and the economy.
Thus as the effect of inflation inevitably wanes, the end of a debt based fiat monetary system is characterized by big government. But big government is inherently and by necessity intrusive thus ever more statist thus ever less democratic.
This is nothing new. It has happened before so this should not be and is not a surprise to anyone that can grasp the very simple logic of debt based fiat money.
At a time when government is clearly, blatantly and overtly flouting the black letter of the law for the ostensible good of “the system”, how much more proof do you want to realize that we are now well into dictatorship territory? How about a candid admission of manipulation at the highest level?
If you don’t find the above worrying at several levels, how about this then:
“All this is a reminder that the most informative element of any spy agency’s website is its Kiddie Korner, where spycraft meets the schoolyard for an awkward, barely appropriate encounter.“
Recruiting children to spy on your neighbor. That’s what the champion of freedom and open society has come to.
So if you understand the dynamics brought about by debt based fiat money, then the fact that today we are effectively living under a developing dictatorship should not be a surprise. We may not have reached the acute stage yet but the mathematical character of the monetary system ensures an accelerating dynamic so that events will follow at a quickening pace.
Back to the point of this post: my child’s biological identity.
Today, “security” is everything and everywhere. Our lives have been turned upside-down and inside-out by threats real and perceived and often by threats that are contrived and carried out by a myriad anonymous “security” agencies that have no overall supervision from any institution civic, military or government it may be. Personal freedoms are being curtailed at an increasing rate, youth organizations are being militarized, teenagers are being encouraged to learn the craft of spying and identification data is being forcibly collected and stored about individuals before they are even suspected of doing anything suspicious.
This is what happened to innocent till proven guilty.
Today, we are all guilty till proven innocent.
The implications are profound.
Once upon a time the “old country” was a land where people could only do what was allowed by law so that America, the land where people could do anything provided it was not forbidden by the law, flourished. The difference in the two approaches ensured that in upholding the presumed inherent goodness of man, America allowed people to imagine and create things that did not exist whereas in the old country, government would give guidelines in what to imagine and what to create.
To be sure, both approaches created some degree of wealth and somehow advanced society and both approaches can be deemed to have succeeded depending on what the parameters for success are. Nonetheless, the personal freedom approach was much more prevalent in America than in Europe hence no doubt contributing in a significant manner in turning the USA in the global hegemon.
But I digress. I am now about to give up what could very well turn out to be a significant portion of my unborn child’s identity and place it in the hands of government. Sure the company that will collect the cord claims that nobody but the parents have access to the tissue but in light of Western governments increasing and proven inclination to hold themselves above the law, I know the genetic identity of my child will wind-up on a government database. From there, government through any of the myriad agencies under its presumed control will have significant latitude in using and misusing this information. Some of the possibilities have been illustrated by authors young and new. Some their work was deemed fiction or science fiction when it was first published. But today, we see the long dark hand of government stretching over society ostensibly to provide protection; protection that can only be offered by curtailing your personal freedoms to save you from yourself.
In recent years a minor movie I thought was deserving of attention, if not recognition, was Gattaca.
Though dramatized and no doubt “a bit out there” for the time it was shown, today government has come a long way to achieving just that objective. You no doubt heard about Echelon. Echelon has been running for a good many years and it has collected phenomenal amounts of information on all and sundry globally. Most of the information collected though, pertains to faceless or even nameless individuals. Now think about this. Since the events of 2001, large numbers of people worldwide have their finger prints taken at certain airports regardless of whether they are staying in that particular country or whether they are just transiting. Innocuous enough right? It is no different than handing over your passport right? Enter biological information. Within a few years, government will not only have full access to your name and know exactly what you are made of and what illness you may suffer from, but it will also have a comprehensive data-bank of whom you’ve spoken to, what documents you have ever requested and exchanged, with whom and why, where you’ve been, whom you’ve seen, at what time and where…
The Berlin wall only came down twenty years ago. That was the point at which “free” society thought it had overcome by wielding truth, justice and personal freedoms.
We are fully back to square one but this time it is global.
That is what is occupying my mind these days.