Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A "Concept Essay" on Cerrorism ("Care Or Ism")

Pronunciation: \ˈker-ər-ˌi-zəm\
"What is Cerrorism?" you ask.  Good!  I invented the word, though I see there are already some examples in use on the Internet.  It is a cross between Care and Error.  It is also a portmanteau of "economic terrorism."  When I noticed that "cerrorism" fits both of these linguistic tricks, I figured I'd have to write about it.

My friend Jeanie is supposed to write a "concept essay" and she has chosen the topic of health in the USA where information that should be available to the masses is not.  We were discussing what might be meant by this term, "concept essay" and I came up with the theory that it is an essay that describes a concept.  So I'm writing my own version even though I suggested that she write one on virtually the same concept.

Her emphasis will be on health in the USA, but mine will be on cerrorism itself.

The fundamental human condition consists of seeking joy.  I recognize two main categories in which we pursue that end.  We seek joy for ourselves primarily, but a significant part of the joy we seek comes from experiencing it vicariously.  Parents and loved ones who feel joy because of something we did cause us to feel joy too.  There is a contention between these two modes of seeking joy, for if we put too much effort into one, the dearth of the other will make us miserable.  Certainly, there are hermit-like people who need no vicarious joy, but they are rare and I choose to ignore their existence, for my good and theirs.

Many of us discover that by solving problems for others, we can create joy in them, and they will often express that joy by providing us with resources. This is the fundamental principle that underpins economic behavior: do something for others in order to receive something in return.  What we receive in return must prove useful ultimately in our own joy-seeking efforts.  If it fails to help, then the original effort to solve a problem for someone else might feel like a waste.  Or it might not.  We can still get the vicarious joy, but is it important enough?

Cerrorism is what you get when the personally experienced joy is so much more important than the vicarious joy that we work to make the problem we solve persist.  Every business that solves a problem has an obvious financial interest in the existence of the problem.  Solve the problem for good, and the business dies.  Corporate personhood institutionalizes cerrorism.

Humans in their natural state work to solve problems and set up systems that prevent those problems from recurring.  Corporate persons in their (un)natural state work to make the problems they solve persistent so that the engines of profit they build on top of those problems don't run out of work.

Doctors, often without realizing it, are pulled in the direction of prescribing medicine that treats symptoms rather than eliminating their cause.  Prescription A (involving behavioral and dietary changes) can be used for the rest of patient B's life in order to eliminate problem C, but prescription D (just a pill; D is for Drug) will reduce most of problem C's symptoms.  Since the pill manufacturer provides financial encouragement to the doctor for prescribing the pill, prescription D exerts psychological pressure on the doctor to ignore prescription A.  This is cerrorism.

The FBI has attempted to foment terrorism.  This is cerrorism.

The FDA has marketed raw milk as "dangerous" even though the effect of the microbes it contains is more generally to strengthen the human body than to weaken it.  This is cerrorism.

Government is essentially cerrorism, for it is impossible for bureaucrats to vicariously experience the joy they (could but do not) create in those who are required (by police officers) to follow their rules.

If you understand what I mean by cerrorism, perhaps you can find an existing word that has that meaning, and which some people already know.  If not, please help me spread awareness of cerrorism.

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