The most dangerous invasive species of present times!

Worldwide environmentalist and conservation groups are fighting invasive species. However, the most dangerous of invasive species can only be controlled with the support of all citizens around the world.

Invasive species are organisms that are non-native to an area and which have several specific threats such as fast growth, rapid reproduction, high dispersal ability and phenotypic plasticity (the ability to alter growth form to suit current conditions) which make them very dangerous for all life around them. With their aggressiveness and dominance they outgrow other organisms and thus pose a serious danger for our environment. Burmese python and Asian carp in the USA, cane toads and rabbits in Australia or Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) are examples of how invasive species create a real challenge for the local environment due to their rapid spread. The economic loss of invasive species is very difficult to estimate but figures range above 120 billion US$ per year in the USA alone.

While environmental groups and NGOs are fighting various species with different measures depending on the need and conditions of the local situation, a new threat of global dimension is emerging that requires more than the effort of idealists. The threat I am talking about is bureaucracy. While Greece makes the best example of where an economy is heading to when the state is occupying all the spaces it can invade, neither the new Greek government nor other states seem to learn from the infamous Greek fiasco. Unfortunately, Greece is not a unique case. States and authorities around the globe are getting more bureaucratic, be it Switzerland, the EU or Vietnam. When in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), citizens have to pay tax fines without the tax department being able to quote a reason[1], then this is the best prove of how absurd present authorities are: incompetent, cruel and greedy but big in number.

Modern states have become real experts in creating ever new rules and mechanisms to feed the monster into which they have grown, provoking an ever greater appetite to expand. However, insatiability is not the worst character of bureaucratic states.

“The essence of totalitarian government, and perhaps the nature of every bureaucracy, is to make functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery out of men, and thus to dehumanize them.”
Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem, Essay on the Banality of Evil

Long ago, Hannah Arendt, who was the one who best understood the danger and power of bureaucracy, pointed to the alienation from all human that makes bureaucracy so unpredictable, powerful and life-threatening. She hit the mark. Authorities that discriminate against citizens, who feel satisfied when torturing fellow-citizens with bullying paper-work and who enjoy the pleasure to provoke disgust, are not humans, they are a pest. Yet, they are growing in number. Turning humans into bureaucrats, the modern state has found a way to eradicate what we have fought for over centuries and what we seemed to have achieved when calling for “liberty, equality, and fraternity”, ending centuries of feudalism and slavery during the French revolution in the late 18th century.

If we want modern states not to outcompete all human existence, if we truly aspire for an equal, fair and free society, then it’s time for a new revolution. We need to get rid of growing bureaucracy.

[1] Post will follow soon.


About blaubear

Born in 1973 in a small village in rural Switzerland and into a society largely dominated by cows (not only was the human population of one-hundred-and-forty outnumbered by them, but politics were driven by unreasonable subsidies for diary products) I was connected with nature from early age on. Observing nature on one hand and the deficiencies of a dysfunctional Swiss agricultural policy with farmers that had lost connection to the land that provided their income on the other, I soon started to question society and the meaning of life. Suffering also under a farcical public education I developed curiosity to discover on my own. That was how I soon learned that little of what I had been taught was true. Skepticism and interaction with people from for me new cultures fostered my interest for the world and eagerness to leave a life shaped by federalistic layman-ship. At the age of twenty-three I hit the road for the first time, an event that later translated into passion. Traveling between cultures has since become part of my life. At the age of thirty-three I finally realized my dream and did a degree in Environmental Engineering from which I graduated in 2009, only to leave Switzerland once more for my "real home" Spain. Unfortunately, the stay was a short one: a couple of months later I was offered a job in Southeast Asia, where I worked and also lived (with some interruptions, e.g. I live in Melbourne since late 2012) ever since. Having worked for a Japanese company earlier in my life, I soon felt captured again by Asian culture and thinking which makes a lovely contrast to my European heritage. My journey through different countries and cultures has taught me that regardless of how different our thinking and values are, no matter what approaches we take, we all can learn from each other. And if we are open enough to see the common instead of pointing out the differences, then we have a chance to live in harmony and peace: Life is all about integration, not exclusion! It's an old wisdom that "knowledge is power", as such I never get tired of being around new people, having interesting talks, and reading lots of good books. I hope that my blog can contribute to the conversation.
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