We have been watching old-favorite TV shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation. The other night we sat down for Episode 22 (Series 1), entitled ‘Symbiosis’:
In the course of investigating a star with unusually active magnetic fields and dramatic flares, the Enterprise receives a distress call from a disabled freighter about to plunge into the atmosphere of the fourth planet. The ship’s security officer, Tasha Yar, manages to transport four survivors and a mysterious cargo aboard the Enterprise before the freighter is destroyed.
The cargo, it turns out, contains tubes of a ‘medicine’ called felicium, which the freighter was carrying back from the third planet, Brekka, in order to treat a ‘plague’ on the fourth planet, Ornara. An argument ensues between two survivors from Brekka and two from Ornara because goods intended for payment of the felicium were lost with the freighter (it is not clear why these goods would have been on this ship, and not one returning to Brekka, but one must not inquire too deeply of TV plots). The Ornarans are desperate to have the felicium, as the entire population of Ornara would die without it.
The felicium, it turns out, can be grown and processed only on Brekka, and it is vital to keep the chronic plague on Ornara in check, so a symbiotic relationship has developed: the Onarans supply all the material goods the Brekkans need to live on, while the Brekkans supply the one ‘medicine’ the Ornarans cannot live without. And they won’t release it without payment.
In the event, we learn that there is no plague on Ornara. There was one, two hundred years ago, but the cure was also a narcotic, to which the Ornarans became hopelessly addicted, and so for two centuries the Brekkians have been refining their felicium, making it increasingly addictive, to the point where individual Ornarans cannot manage more than 72 hours without suffering excrutiating withdrawal pains. No problem, as long as the Ornarans pay, and pay well, to keep the Brekkians in a life of plenty.
The Enterprise’s doctor, Beverly Crusher, realizes quickly that this relationship is not ‘symbiosis’ at all, but blatant exploitation, and she implores Captain Piccard to let her give the Ornarans a drug that will enable them to withdraw without symptoms. Piccard refuses, because of StarFleet’s Prime Directive that dictates no interference in other, less-developed, societies. So off the Enterprise heads, perhaps for less contentious stellar climes. Captain Piccard does, however, deny the drug-addled Ornarans any help repairing their aging spaceships, thus effectively putting a time limit on Brekkan exploitation.
It hit me right in the middle of this episode that we have been experiencing something similar right here on 21st-century Earth, not interplanetary, but certainly international. For the past three or four decades businesses in the United States of America have been assiduously moving their manufacturing and production facilities out of the country to foreign states where costs (mostly salaries, but also medical benefits, and government regulations) were so much less that they were not offset by the increased cost of long-distance shipping. Many countries benefited from this move, but especially the self-titled Peoples Republic of China. Workers they had aplenty, as well as an autocratic, officially Communist government, which could strike apparently appealing manufacturing deals in return for shares in physical and intellectual properties of American businesses.
As a consequence, by the advent of the Obama administration, the Chinese state had swollen in wealth and power to challenge the superiority of the United States, which found itself increasingly in debt to China and increasingly dependent upon China for not only cheap consumer goods, to which our people were addicted, but for the essential elements of our advanced economy, including aluminum, steel, rare-earth elements (required for all modern electronics), and the components of not only industrial but military machines.
Indeed, the current Wuhan coronovirus scare has made clear just how dependent on China the United States has become. Not only are many of our essential medications, like antibiotics, made in China, but many of the precursor chemicals that are the ingredients of other medications are sourced from China. In February it turned out that even the safety masks we need for medical people working to stem the Wuhan pandemic were also made in China, and snapped up for their own use—a situation the Trump administration has been rushing to remediate.
This decades-long move of American manufacturing overseas was supported and promoted by large international corporations, and endorsed by elites at the highest levels of business, government, and academia, as the wave of the future. They envisioned a new world, increasingly unified by international jet travel and instantaneous Internet communications, a world of global corporations, global banking, global travel, global communication, all making the old regime of sovereign nation-states obsolete.
It did not matter to these one-worlders, or Globalists, that in moving toward this new order they were undermining the very basis for the success, prosperity, and strength of the American Republic. Indeed, a post- or even anti-American idea was becoming de rigueur among these elites; the looming success of Communist China seemed to demonstrate the validity of not only internationalism, but of Marxist autocracy. Parliaments, congresses, elections were fine for local government, but a new order of ‘Global Governance’, in Al Gore’s phrase, would be required.
If this sounds like the language of the ‘Global Warming/Climate Change’ proclamations, that is no coincidence. The UN conferences in Rio, Davos, Copenhagen, Paris, and other cities are the meeting places where the elite movers and shakers, the cognescenti, gather to formulate long-range plans for the New World Order (to use a phrase of President George H. W. Bush’s). The results have been the UN’s Agenda 21 and pronouncements like the Paris Climate Accords. All aim at overriding national sovereignty in favor of technocratic ‘solutions’ that require a higher order of authority, dictating how communities are organized, how food and goods are manufactured and distributed, what energy sources are allowed, and all other aspects of social life.
It is in the context of the Globalist ideal that two or three generations of American leadership, both Democrat and Republican, have willingly acquiesced to the inevitability of surrendering US leadership in the world, first in manufacturing, and ultimately in economic and military dominance, culminating with President Obama declaring that the desire for saving the Rustbelt in the heart of America was a “fairy tale,” and candidate Hillary Clinton’s advocacy for a “common market, with open trade and open borders” in the Americas.
The immediate consequence of this determined disparagement of the idea that America was unique and special in the world was the growing dependence upon China. The Globalists viewed this as a largely symbiotic arrangement: America had developed a ‘service economy’, perfectly happy buying vast quantities of goods, flooding the country with ‘big box’ stores full of goodies, and running up huge trade deficits with China. What matter to the banking and governing elite if China owned a trillion dollars of American debt? In the global economy, it all comes back around one way or another, and it is all just a matter of entries in international electronic ledgers.
We should note, by the way, that not only was America becoming dependent upon China for its goods and materials, but just like the ‘symbiotic’ Ornarans of Star Trek, vast numbers of US citizens were becoming addicted to increasingly powerful narcotics, especially fentanyl, made in . . . China! While the Chinese were stealing our manufacturing and military secrets, expanding their influence in the Pacific and elsewhere in the world, they were also anaesthetizing us with drugs. Was this symbiosis, or like Brekka over Ornara, exploitation?
Admittedly, it is somewhat fanciful to accuse the Chinese of ‘exploiting’ America, as the strong over the weak (and commonly an accusation made by the Left about America), but neither is it symbiosis. After all, a symbiotic relationship between two species in biology is a mutual beneficial one, as for example aphids excreting syrup for their farmer ants, which in return provide the aphids with protection. If a growing China means a declining America, losing its energetic and productive heart, then this is a failed symbiosis. That’s what Donald Trump realized long before he decided to run for the Presidency, and what as President he now seeks to stop, to break it in two.
No, ‘symbiosis’ is not the right term; nor is ‘exploitation’. There is another relationship between species that better applies: parasitism. Think of a little wasp that deposits its eggs in the body of a caterpillar; when they hatch, they devour the host. Or think of microscopic Plasmodium, which enters the human body in the saliva of a biting mosquito, and eventually devastates the red blood cells of its host, with the disease called malaria.
Parasites may not kill their hosts immediately, but they inevitably injure and debilitate them. There is nothing desireable nor healthy about a parasitic relationship. It is the stuff of nightmares. Think of Robert A. Heinlein’s invading Puppet Masters, sluglike creatures attaching themselves to humans, and controlling their every move. Not that Americans are physically controlled, but one has to wonder to what degree the Chinese, by dint of influence, ideology, cleverness, and—most important—cash, have insinuated themselves into the highest reaches of the international managerial elite. Remember, Hunter Biden went to China with his father, then Vice-President of the United States, and came back with a billion and half dollars of investment capital.
Why has the opposition to President Trump been so obsessive and determined since he announced his campaign in 2015 and throughout his first term? Could it be that he presents a direct threat to the international establishment that has been inviting the Chinese tentacles into our country, under the guise of a beneficial, symbiotic relationship? Only Donald Trump has had the insight to realize that what we were inviting was not a friendly symbiote, but a ravenous and ultimately deadly. . . parasite.
Like Captain Piccard’s solution to the Brekkan exploitation of the Onarans, President Trump’s determined strategy to bring manufacturing back to Main Street America, not just masks and medications, but all manner of products, may be the ultimate weapon to defeat not only the invasive Wuhan Virus, but the parasitical embrace of China itself.