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Dysbiosis is a term for microbial imbalance, most commonly reported as a condition in the digestive tract, associated with illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, says Wikipedia.

What if we extended this definition to include the system we call society? Is there an imbalance within our society which is causing a social disease.  Clearly there are many signs of our species being in trouble when we are affected by extreme weather conditions on this planet, in this post modern age known as the anthropocene.

More than just factory chimneys spewing pollution into the air, theories have been developed that affect human behaviour. Religious fundamentalism that twists the teachings of the original prophets into austere practices and hatred towards the other to deflect attention away from political abuse. Economic systems that funnel the wealth away from the majority towards a malfunctioning minority. Dystopian narratives and stories written by popular writers such as Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and many others, also dire warnings written by non-fiction writers such as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein -- reveal that we need to address that larger organism called the world.

More than this, the tendency for most people who live and work together to avoid talking about politics, religion and money, because it is deemed 'bad manners', when in fact these are the most important influences in our society -- indicates a dissociative disorder.

Let's start with money. Lynn Parramore interviewed Orsola Costantini, Senior Economist at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, on her paper "The Cyclically Adjusted Budget: History and Exegesis of a Fateful Estimate" which exposes the history of how a budget approach manipulates public opinion to serve the interests of the powerful. We have heard of austerity measures which tells people to expect less in pay, services and social justice to serve an ideal that appears to have no benefit to them.

The mantra of right wing parties and politicians is to take care of the economy first without explaining how they will do that.  Experience tells us that services needed to keep our society well loses funding while the mainstream media sends stories of the danger that terrorism poses.  In this way we are lead away from the connections of cause and effect. As a society we cannot connect our work, our efforts, our plans are disconnected to the system that controls and influences us.  We are suffering from social dysbiosis which affects the health of our minds, bodies, communities and future.  But this is not new. We have suffered unconsciously from the abuses of power-over from the beginning of social history.


  1. Seems an excellent diagnosis. Is there a cure?

    1. A cure would be a wonderful thing Bob. I struggle with conversations with fellow citizens who are so fired up with hate that they cannot hear or see a different point of view. How to reach them to find a gap for new information as it relates to their own sense of self-worth.


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