If you look at the past 200 years, there are two kinds of animals that have done well from a Darwinian perspective. On the one hand there are those classified as humans, on the other hand there are those that are born and raised for the purpose of keeping human beings fed. Almost every other animal that walks this Earth is being pushed into extinction.
There are individual humans who push back against this trend, who go out of their way to defend the gorillas in the Congo cloudforests, or who try save the hedgehogs in the Netherlands from dying of hunger or thirst. The general attitude of our species however, is perfectly illustrated in the following tweet:
You believe yourselves to have some sort of unique special value, from the moment your eggs are fertilized by your semen. And all the other lifeforms that inhabit this planet exist for your enjoyment, or else they are a nuisance.
And you tend to behave as such. Take a look at Nigeria’s population chart, to see an example:
Humans alive today, are increasingly descended from those humans who had no desire to co-exist with the natural world. There are African tribes where women are discouraged from eating meat, to keep their body fat percentage low enough to avoid them becoming pregnant. But once humans are granted the tools that enable some of us to have eight or more children, our species gradually becomes composed of those who have no desire to co-exist with non-human species, this planet becomes inhabited by those who imagine themselves to be special, who imagine the world is lacking in people like them and their genes.
But no such thing is true. As the human population expands, it loses those specimens of our species with redeeming value. In Western nations we had many young women in the 20’s and 30’s who refused to marry. They knew they would have to be subservient to a dumb mediocre man and they would rather have time for their girlfriends. The people to be admired are not those who tend to have large families. Every Christian should agree. Your ideal figure of motherhood had just one child, your ideal figure of a man remained childless.
From the dark depths of Africa, the planet is disturbed time and time again, as new r-selected iterations of bipedal hominids leave the continent, exterminate the bipedal hominids they encounter elsewhere, kill off the megafauna and further decimate the natural world.
There was once a golden age, when our planet was covered in megafauna. Armadillo-like animals the size of small cars, mammoths, lemurs the size of gorillas, giant ground sloths that dug enormous tunnels you could ride your bicycle through, cave lions, the giant animals that once thrived are too numerous to mention.
Today almost all the large animals that survive live in Africa, for a reason: This is where primates first began to walk upright and use tools, before spreading out of Africa. Here nature had a very long time, to develop an arsenal with which to keep our species under control. Its favored weapon became malaria. Half of all humans who have ever lived, have died of malaria. With humans in sub-Saharan Africa kept in check, the megafauna could survive our hunger.
Unfortunately is it human nature, that guided by empathy we attempt to remove the forces that keep our population numbers in check. African tribes that had their population stabilized by STD’s were given antibiotics by missionaries and Western doctors. The women were cured of their STD’s, allowing fertility rates to climb above replacement level.
The humble malaria mosquito is pursued with DDT and other pesticides, until a death from malaria becomes a rarity. It was thought that rather than using natural mechanisms to keep the sub-Saharan African population in check, the same method could be used as in other parts of the world: Birth control. And yet, in the 21st century, a frightening pattern become apparent: Fertility rates do not go down voluntarily.
Population projections had to be revised upwards. The United Nations Procurement Division projected in 1998 that sub-Saharan Africa would have 1.52 billion people by 2050. In 2008 this was revised upwards, to 1.75 billion, then in 2019 it was revised upwards again, to 2.12 billion by 2050. As a consequence it became apparent the world’s population would not stabilize this century either. Unless something massively increases deaths, the population will continue to grow beyond 2100.
As our understanding of the world has grown, we’ve developed the tools that would allow us to co-exist with the natural world. We don’t need to eat cattle. We can eat seaweed, insects, shellfish, mushrooms and other forms of food that don’t place vast demands on nature. And yet, you can look around you and see that these tools are not being used. People actively revolt against the suggestion that the demands they place on nature should be reduced. The Dutch airport Schiphol this summer has record travelers once again, people show little desire to do anything other than to consume the last few bits of meat left on the corpse of the natural world.
And so we have to ask ourselves, considering there is no desire to make a global transition and considering that those people who don’t reproduce will simply be replaced by those who have no interest in sparing the natural world, how are we going to solve the crisis? How will we enable the non-human species to recover, before they are forever lost?
I believe in a chain reaction of pathogens. The main factor that has enabled our population to grow so much, has been the improvement in nutrition. People suffering malnutrition are both more prone to getting infected by a pathogen and to spreading it. As the quality of our diet improved throughout the 20th century and sanitation prohibited the spread of pathogens, infectious disease disappeared.
There are many illnesses still waiting in the starting gates to infect us, but they’re just below the tipping point, where they can infect more than one new person per person they infect. For monkeypox, the R0 was estimated at 0.83 in rural Congo. For dense Western cities, you can expect a higher R0. Every infection would cause 0.83 additional infections on average, which means that epidemics slowly burn themselves out. For the big Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it was estimated at 1.73. High enough to require intervention, but still manageable.
But now imagine for a moment, that a virus spreads around the world unimpeded, that impairs our immune system in some form, even if only temporarily. This is not unusual, many viruses do this. Influenza causes apoptosis in T-cells, everyone knows that HIV depletes the immune system, even measles causes temporary immunosuppression that sets you up for secondary viral and bacterial infections.
Imagine for a moment that SARS-COV-2 is such a virus too. I’m not going to try to convince you of this, you’re either willing to entertain the possibility or not. But imagine SARS-COV-2 does such a thing, it nibbles at the protective outer layer of our immune system, like mold at a peach. If you have a significant share of the population experiencing some degree of immunosuppression, what happens?
Well, perhaps until recently, we were dealing with an R0 for monkeypox of 0.95 in the Western world. The whole Western population experiences a big hit to our T-cell population from SARS-COV-2. The body recovers, as it does from so many insults, but it takes just a few months longer to recover from an infection, than it currently does for this virus to reinfect you with a different variant.
And so at a population-wide level, what begins to happen is that small holes begin to emerge in our protective shield against other pathogens. And for some germs this is not relevant, but for others, it turns out to be quite relevant. Monkeypox found itself at an R0 of 0.95. A big Delta wave and it found itself at 0.98. A Big BA.1 wave and it found itself at 1.01. Then came BA.2 and it reached 1.05. And so it has been silently spreading, but as time went by it continually found itself in new hosts, who took slightly longer to fight it off than the previous host and thus gave it more opportunities to infect other people, as successive SARS-COV-2 infections had bitten chunks out of their immune systems.
And so now it can spread. It’s not a very dangerous virus, it hasn’t caused any deaths so far. But what does it do? It suppresses the function of our Natural Killer Cells, which are also vital for dealing with SARS-COV-2 infections. And so after hundreds of millions of people have gotten monkeypox, another chunk has been bitten off our immune function, allowing a new SARS-COV-2 variant an opportunity to spread through our population.
Like plants helping each other to colonize a new island born from a volcanic eruption, the pathogens take turns, biting chunks off our immune function, to enable other iterations to join the party. SARS-COV-2 gave the first kick to the door, monkeypox the second, SARS-COV-2 then gave another kick and Influenza gave its best shot too. Droves of people now began to develop active herpes flare-ups from their compromised immune function.
And then Ebola bashed through the door. Ebola temporarily found itself endowed with an R0 high enough to prohibit our overburdened hospitals from nipping it in the bud. People were covered with sensitive sores on their genitals and mouths, from reactivated herpes and monkeypox scabs. And Ebola, which is now known to be capable of spreading through sexual contact too, found itself faced with an opportunity to spread from person to person.
The whole collective human immunological defense shield against pathogens had been tipped beyond the point where it can repair itself rapidly enough to protect itself against a next wave of attackers. It took four months to recover full immune function after a SARS-COV-2 infection, but the average person took three months to be reinfected. It was a very gentle nudge, but it was enough to tip the whole system over into self-amplifying instability.
As Western nations had their own hands full, droves of people in African nations lost access to retroviral drugs and the overall chaos meant that many people went hungry, causing a further decline in immune function. The terraformed bodies of those who had survived the previous waves of disease were now hit by a new contender: Hantavirus.
The story tells itself. It’s equivalent to the problem faced by the Roman empire. Once you’ve lost against one horde of barbarians, you’re more vulnerable to another horde of barbarians. Like a company with 1% profit margins, or a wolf that has to expend 101 calories chasing deer for 102 calories worth of food, we may be vulnerable to the pathogens that surround us.
If you don’t like the COVID angle, replace SARS-COV-2 with your own villain. The vaccines against SARS-COV-2 are without a doubt also an assault on our immune systems. Your T-cells are forced to migrate to the injection site, we know that those who are vaccinated have increased susceptibility to the virus during the first few weeks. We normally don’t inject hundreds of millions of adult human beings with junk like this three times a year. Has anyone considered what it might do at a population level?
If you don’t like fearing SARS-COV-2, nor like fearing SARS-COV-2 vaccines, you can call your villain “lockdowns”. The lockdowns temporarily prevented viruses from spreading, then once we ceased social distancing, those viruses got to play catchup and infected a bunch of people. If they suddenly all get to infect a whole bunch of people simultaneously, that means they get a chance to temporarily reduce our overall immunocompetence too. And such a thing may then prove sufficient to tip monkeypox from an R0 below 1, to one above 1.
Unprecedented experiments, can lead to unprecedented outcomes. There is one thing I know is strange: It’s strange that we’re seeing monkeypox now all of a sudden. We don’t have a good explanation. I don’t consider “Bill Gates is upto his usual antics again” an elegant explanation.
From the perspective of herd immunity against the entire pool of pathogens that surround us, in a world that is suffering under the collective weight from our species, a lot of strange things have happened in the past two years: A new virus from Wuhan, a vaccination campaign with new technology in adults of all ages, a temporary suppression of almost all respiratory viruses, followed by their rapid return once the social distancing experiment ended.
It’s entirely plausible for any of these events to have had some sort of subtle influence on the performance of our immune systems, thereby tipping an obscure African virus over to the point where it can spread without burning itself out.
There is also the underlying fragility that should not be ignored: A population that has grown gradually older and more obese, unprecedented population densities and unprecedented globalization, whereby people can fly from one country to another within hours. We live in times that are unprecedented, it would be foolish to turn a blind eye to the abundance of existential threats that surround us.
Are these the latest projections? I was under the impression that the global population was expected to peak later this century and to have declined from the peak by 2100. Looking around it seems that birth rates are plummeting everywhere outside Africa and a couple of Muslim countries in Asia to well below replacement level.
Yeah you’re thinking of earlier predictions, where the population was expected to peak before 2100. The peak is going to be higher according to more recent projections and it’s going to be after 2100.
Nature is going to do Eugenics pretty much soon. If peak oil does happen especially.
The mild plague compared to Bubonic Plague is just the start. I suspect God did Eugenics on Europe with the Bubonic Plague and got rid of a lot of bad mutations that way:
I’d just like to say thanks for the interesting writing. I couldn’t help feel a pang of deep sadness in my heart at this. Especially when you wrote about how people are descended from those who dont care. Ive felt this many times, that evolution is deeply cruel when relating to the capacities of the human heart and soul. I think perhaps John Michael Greers hypothesis about reincarnation is very apt; a lot of souls are having their first go-round at being human. This combination of a lack of experience and evolution-induced callousness is very frightening and sad indeed
Just a note, I know Greer touts that hypothesis as his own, but it was originally proposed by Crowley in Magick in Theory and Practice; one of several instances of Greer borrowing from Crowley uncredited…
Oh, I know JMG takes stuff; he himself says that he is somewhat of a cribber, and a bridge between others. In his words, the Mental body of an individual is masculine or feminine, his is feminine, and thus receptive and synthesizing rather than dynamic and original. I think his greatness lies in his wide-ranging attempt at bringing together many sources, and the willingness to actually be initiated in many traditions. Wisdom is wisdom, and flows like water and air through different people. There will never be perfect attribution, and I’m personally all right with that. Thanks for the info; I always mean to read Crowley, but never do, perhaps I’ll get around to soon.
Don’t get me wrong, JMG is clearly some kind of legend. I have just noticed a bit of a pattern when it comes to Crowley, like he refuses to give him any credit whatsoever. Another example is the ‘Dion Fortune’ definition of magic which he regularly employs (“change in consciousness in accordance with will”) which Fortune originally adapted from… Crowley. But whatever, it’s no biggy. As you say, he’s done a lot of exceptionally valuable work in advancing the occult tradition, and deserves endless gratitude for that.
I’d say Crowley’s definitely worth a read if you’re a practising occultist; as much as it’s easy to ridicule him for the pomposity, the self-aggrandising, the middling poetry, etc., it’s undeniable that he’s an important and influential figure in our tradition. And the post- or progressive-Thelemite current as embodied by writers like Peter Grey, Jake Stratton-Kent, is for my money one of the most vital developments in contemporary occultism.
Just out of curiosity, im not into occultism, but is it generally known and aknowledged (within thelemite circles) today that Crowley borrowed Thelema from Rabelais L’Abbaye de Thélème,, as well as “do as thou wilt”? I guess in Crowleys day ppl were well read and knew their references but today its another matter i suppose. I just want my nigga Rabelais to be done right
Thanks for the info! Yeah, my impression is that JMG thinks of directly quoting Crowley as hurting his image as a very grounded thinker, but he also is almost pathologically open minded so he borrows anyway haha. JMG is certainly a legend, but I won’t ever say he’s without flaw. If you’re astrologically inclined, I’m pretty sure he’s said he’s a Leo Moon/Leo Ascendant, which is pretty hilarious and should speak for itself.
Yeah, I have a lot of reading to do lol. I still read more history, philosophy, scifi, and fantasy than occultism, so its tough to fit it in. I really should do more though, its mostly just a lingering sense of unease from before my occultist days that prevents me from fully committing. Also probably imposter syndrome, which is even more ridiculous, but hey, whaddya gonna do? Was it Crowley who talked about the blood-vaccines from the future? I was very impressed when I heard of that particular prediction.
I was wondering how underwhelming Monkeypox fit into depopulation plans. Offended insectoids are experts at biowarfare.
Creepy Sith Mantids lack social skills and mercy for humanity
Why are you here? You should work for some NGO killing african babies or something
Libruls are the real racists
I am quite intrigued by the idea that waves of r selected people from Africa have colonised the World.
I doubt that billions of highly r selected people could survive for long without significant input from others. Incidentally the current negro/Bantu population of Africa is believed to be quite recent in origin, having emerged in Nigeria/Cameroon about 2000 years ago and since then spread widely throughout the rest of Africa. They were also spread throughout the new World against their will by slavery. So they are a group with tremendous ability to grow and multiply. This is an important subject with vast implications. A South African writer called Dan Roodt wrote a 2 part article called “An African Planet” discussing the social and political implications of the growth of Africa’s population which is a different angle to your ecological argument.
@Das But african-americans are decling arent they?
Carrying capacity is based on limiting factors and that is all: environmental, geological, solar forcing and hydrological cycle all affect this.
One thing that humanity does is alter the world to fit itself and increase its ability to feed itself and flourish.
Holland would be in no ways as populated or well fed if they had not made the North Sea bloom through dikes.
The North American midwest would still be a desert only fit for jackrabbits and buffalo, and the Plains of Central Asia would only be fit for Aurochs and horses, and not feeding the world.
Only wealthy societies care about the environment, only they can afford to do so. Poor societies can’t afford to worry about pollution and species extinction. Subsistence cultures are trying to feed their families. Hunter gatherers are trying to keep predators from eating their children.
With greater wealth (and you think you hate wealth, but still live better than a Borgia Pope) comes greater ability to focus on things besides children crying in hunger. I have never understood anyone unable to see the value in mitigation of dangers and environmental impact over empty bellies and labor filled lives. Felting and spinning fiber for cloth. like gardening, is a wonderful hobby, but doing it because you have no choice is drugery.
If you wish to have no impact on the world at all, and plan to reverse all impacts human cultures have inflicted on it, you will have to participate in a depopulation event grander than the one envisioned and carried out by Pol Pot, a good Rousseauan, but not one as good as you would have to be. To do so means reversing all mitigations on the world that has made it a garden for our species, and others as well, and will reverse the carrying capacity to below a billion, and possibly half that.
Please think on your proposed genocide as you plot your future, squatting in the fork of a tree away from predators, eating your dinner while it is still wiggling.
Dr Paul Mokyr has written a lot about what he calls Modernity, that element of society that has brought us into the modern world.
He discusses Song dynasty China, which like the Romans, almost kicked off an industrial revolution, for the Song, in the 11th Century.
Mokyr is a dense read, he tends to make up his own terms, I found it valuable to keep a note hand of what he meant by each new term
Reading this almost made me want to go get my booster shot to help out. I would love a world with shorter life expectancies.
Getting fully vaxxed would save me a lot of complaints from my ultravaxxed relatives. And I would probably infect them with a pathogen and kill them at a Christmas gathering or something.
As much as I agree with your overall point, this bit is absurd:
“I don’t consider “Bill Gates is upto his usual antics again” an elegant explanation.”
If you have a BETTER idea how the guy that bought up all the vaccine shares he could, ran simulations of SPARS that turned into COVID and then flat out told us that there will be a “next” pandemic, with a huge grin, and then got involved in monkey pox warnings and small pox vaccines, BEFORE the outbreak occured, could somehow have known all that, I’d love to hear it. Keep in mind his dad was president of the US eugenics society, and his “B and M gates foundation” is actually his dads eugenics foundation renamed, and that he has publicly declared his plans for population reduction many times over (including using vaccines)
elegant…the simplest solution is usually true. The multibillionaire lifelong eugenicist with ties to every bio weapons/GOF/Vaccine lab linked to covid development and profiteering who said he wants to control populations with vaccines and runs massive simulations of viral pandemics for fun…might just be trying to do exactly what he has said he wants to do and which you confirm, separate piece by separate piece, is happening, whilst steadfastly refusing to join the dots you so helpfully find and elucidate for us all (and I say that with respect for the way you lay out the separate pieces so well)