Friday, March 18, 2016

Manhattan Crude : Hope for All

Almost a century later, it is beginning to be possible to plausibly claim that 20th century scientific communism, democratic socialism, liberal capitalism and Nazi-fascism were all but variants of one overarching hegemonic ideology among the global educated middle class : Modernity (1875-1965).

Even more amazing was the fact that the hugely self conscious political ideology of Modernity was itself an unconscious reaction against the unexpected consequences unleashed by the inchoate activities of Modernization, itself set into motion (and loosely overseen) by these same global educated middle classes.

Modernization was not just a process of global humanity truly connecting up with itself via new technologies of transportation and communication (fast safe reliable steamships, photography, cheap fast postal service, ship refrigeration and the telegraph are among the technologies always cited.)

Modernization also began demonstrating, in orthodox scientific terms, that all of Life was connected (global commensality) and that indeed Life and all Reality were not just connected but well and truly interconnected and thoroughly co-mingled.

Life and Reality was a Net and a Continuum not something easily divided into various mutually exclusive binary categories.

In the emerging hubris of that global educated middle class, there was an impossibly intellectually wide gulf between the small, weak, simple & ancient microbes at the left hand bottom of the Arrow of Progress and the big, strong, complex and new human European-oriented civilizations at the upper right of that Arrow.

Now their own much beloved Modernization was threatening that self-flattering hubris.

Modernity's emerging obsession with dividing everything into binary opposites and clear divisions (pure and crude, smart and stupid, worthy and unworthy, Man-made science and Mother Nature) was the ever more strident response to this threat from modernization.

WWII was all about 'purity' even within the surface issues : for Hitler Mussolini and Tojo wanted not to just create vast empires.

They also wanted with a clear gulf between their worthy & pure imperial races and the unworthy & crude subject races.

Twenty million Chinese dead, twenty five million Slavic dead and six million Jewish dead revealed what it meant to be viewed as an 'unworthy' subject race.

The British educated middle class, together with those of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Russia and to some extend America, were equally determined during WWII to hold onto all of their subject races within their own imperial empires, not just during the war but afterwards as well.

Hitler's biggest break was the reluctance of his demographically vastly superior opponents in western Europe to bring their subject races vast manpower into play to defeat the Germans.

Allowing their 'darkies' to take the lead role in defeating a nation of fellow white North Western Europeans, they feared, would inevitably lead to de-colonization and frankly Churchill et al would rather risk losing to Hitler than to win with Gandhi.

Just as importantly, the scientist-run blood collection services of all the Allies were just as reluctant to let donated 'darkie' blood be co-mingled with those of the 'white races'.

This was because WWII was also the height of the influence of America's 'one drop rule' laws : the legal ruling that any trace, no matter how remote, of past black, yellow, red or brown ancestry meant that you were black.

Purity and eugenic concerns actually peaked during WWII (in the Axis and the Allied nations) and the post-war academic claim that these concerns started declining in the late 1920s is - to put it impolitely - a Big Lie, designed to protect the guilty among these academics' intellectual forbearers.

HP Lovecraft and Hitler were only two among many who reserved their greatest hatred and fear against the creation of blood impurity by the slimy slippery fungus.

Since crude penicillin is basically fungus poop and pee, is it any wonder that the Allies would rather be killed by the Hitlers and Tojos of the bacteria world than be saved by these fungal darkies of the penicillium world ?

I believe that Dr Henry Dawson, who had previously never displayed or published any evidence of an interest in either SBE patients or in fungus, deliberately choose to employ the 4F 'crude' penicillin to try to save the lives of two 4F minority youths suffering from invariably fatal SBE  on October 16th 1940, the very day set aside to register the 1A among America's youth.

That October, medical conservatives were seizing upon war preparations as an excuse to set aside the much hated effort to promote 'social medicine' for the poor and minorities --- so, for example, during the war SBE youths were to die in benign neglect, denied life-saving penicillin, because the disease was not considered a 'war medicine' priority.

The medical establishment wanted pure man-made penicillin and they wanted it - during the war years - to be preserved for pure 1A troops.

Dawson rightly felt this was no different than what Hitler practised and so deliberately enrolled the unworthy 4F penicillium slime to try save the unworthy 4F SBEs, hoping I believe, to produce a strident reaction from the other side that would lead to a thorough discussion about moral values with the Allied medical and scientific world.

His Manhattan Crude penicillin, made by nearby Pfizer, did indeed save the world from epidemics in the postwar hunger and chaos : antibiotic hope for all.

But more than that, the fact that Dawson's tiny simple crude slime proved a better group of chemists that the Allies' best chemists (who failed then and now to produce any commercial man-made pure synthetic penicillin)
offered the children of the postwar world and unsettling window into a view of the world than that imagined by their Modernity-raised parents and teachers....

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