Conspiracy Against the Self

Conspiracy Against the Self

There is a worldwide conspiracy against your own flesh & bone.
One’s snap reaction to this statement is dismissal. After all, we associate conspiracies with the absurd; conspiracies are nothing but an idiot's ramblings. Politically charged narratives to fuel extremists, long and implausible fictions about powerful entities enforcing a top-down dystopia on hapless citizens. Mere stories of aliens, angels, Egyptians, the ever-close-at-hand end times... We’ve heard all the bullshit and enough is enough!
And yet there have been plenty of real conspiracies. It is simply human nature to protect one’s own interests.

I invite the reader to entertain a very real and dangerous conspiracy that you actively participate in and perpetuate. It has taken billions of lives prematurely and affects you every day. To be more precise, it affects the bones, veins, blood, organs & every inch of this body that you inhabit. Your eyes, your ears, your lungs, your heart, your libido, your mood, your very quality of life; these are the victims of this conspiracy, and everyone’s in on it. Instead of seeing the body for what it is, we keep our heads in the sand. Be it denial or ignorance, many of us default to placing something - anything - as a higher priority than the living machine we are born into. Strange, considering how immediately and intimately we experience illness, how debilitating chronic conditions can become. We have all experienced this, and no matter how obsessively we pursue health & longevity, we will suffer again and again until we bite the dust. Under certain conditions, this body will morph into a prison of pain and misery. The conspiracy is how we as individuals and as a culture exacerbate those conditions, and how we would rather suffer than do something about it. Why so stubborn? Ask the emphysema riddled smoker, observe the alcoholic as he convulses violently in his sleep, confront the couch potato who can no longer stand in his old age and you will receive the same justification: "my body my choice, and none of your goddamn business!"

 We all know bodily integrity is an inviolable human right. Instinctively we know self-ownership and personal autonomy is key to living the life we want. Practically we understand that no one has the right to impose their will on us, be it a compulsory medicine, the denial of abortion, rape or any other kind of infringement on the self. A brief glance through the history books makes it clear that this right to self-determination is not a guarantee. It is at best a tenebrous promise upheld in courts and academic circles. Many who live under the boot of totalitarian governments find the idea laughable, a luxury for free and independent souls like you and me. We buy what we want, eat what we want, sleep with whomever we want and above all express ourselves exactly as we please, and abiding the law is a small price to pay for such incredible privilege. In short, we live in a society that tolerates us. Tolerance and inclusivity is the absolute highest value for many institutions, and enables a freedom that has historically been the luxury of the few. But freedom is also the cornerstone of this conspiracy.

Freedom has poisoned, maimed and outright killed the best of us. In all likelihood it will snip your lifespan in half. You, yourself are probably a victim of some cauldron-combination of ignorance, entitlement and a surplus of freedom. You have the freedom, the right to do whatever you want to yourself. The problem is, as a modern human the list of things you can do to yourself is endless. You may feed, starve, cut, grow, tattoo, shave, operate, drug, maim, putrefy, clean, dry, detox, retox, perm, bleach, inject, extract, deprive, indulge, transition, de transition, graft and take exogenous compounds however you see fit, but the consequences will come to haunt you. You cannot truly escape.

We are like ancestral humans living in a vast forest overflowing with life. Everywhere we look, colourful fruits & animals tempt the appetite. One need only reach out, pluck the mushroom and eat it, so why not stuff yourself indiscriminately? Back then, there was an instinctual fear of such gluttony. This berry might energize me for another day, or have me clutching my stomach, foaming at the mouth & dead within the hour. Hard to say which, so better steer clear. A week later, I find a corpse with the same berry’s juice smeared from ear to ear. Now I know what to avoid, thank the gods and carry on! We like to think because we buy tested, regulated products, this issue is a thing of the past. Instead we find ourselves in exactly the same situation in this concrete jungle, but the rules have changed. The game being played is subtle, and a long con. Poisons often have no immediate effect. The berries now come in pills, in packets saying “Take Me!” They come in shiny wrappers that say “Smoke Me!” For most of us, they come as ultra-processed foods that cause inflammation, malnutrition & an early death. “Eat Me! Eat Me!” They come as chronic hormone therapy purposefully designed to mess with one’s natural hormonal cycle. The list of atrocities goes on and on, and they all have one thing in common: health and vitality, the proper functioning of the body, will come last. Impulse and instant gratification in the form of comfort and escape takes precedence. We prioritize the quick fix, the impulse and our own vain egos over the requirements of the organism.

So far, this tangent seems rather prescriptive, but it cannot be. I do not know the particulars of your body, you know them best (or so you should). It’s not my place to say what you eat, what you do, what you take, what you do with your life. Rather, you have a responsibility to ensure you are not doing substantial harm to yourself by participating in mindless modern society, and it is a personal responsibility to become the healthy sceptic. Your doctor won’t remind you. Your news won’t tell you about it. Your peers won’t convince you of anything. It’s on you to do the independent research and ask the hard questions of not only society, but of yourself. It’s your call whether you are complacent in your suffering or not.

As Nietzsche put it: “No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you.”
Granted, with these words he did not have physical well-being in mind, and yet how often we are coerced, conned and comforted into killing the physical body? Consider how necessary your unconditional participation is. If you’ve gone through all the trouble to process & dress up your cigarette, it becomes imperative to convince the people to smoke it! If you’ve sunk billions of dollars into promoting a climate catastrophe, it becomes imperative to get everyone on board with it! Don’t you know it is morally wrong to eat red meat? Don’t you know it is every child’s right to do the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) we sell if he/she so wishes? Don’t you know the literature says being a hard man - a "savage" man - is problematic for society? Stop being gullible! Grab your fate with both hands; save it from the jaws of the system. You are being sold a fiction that society has your best interest at heart. False! Industries are out to cover themselves first and foremost. Your health is always secondary, and as a result, we suffer. Obesity is on the rise. Diabetes is on the rise. Heart disease will kill you long before ecological collapse does. Death tolls rising ever higher the further we stray from common sense as we deepen ourselves in this artificial mire. If you are complacent in becoming a statistic, then by all means live in ignorance. But if you value your life, if you realize you are sleepwalking into hell, you must fight to preserve yourself! And if you have kids, set a strong example! Don’t fight with guns and propaganda, don’t declare war on your fellow man. Fight yourself by fighting your own impulses and base desires!

The solution is as simple as altering your decision making. Simply decline to imbibe poison, simply volunteer to run, to lift, to eat healthily and abstain from excess. Simple - difficult tasks for some, but once habituated, easy. In the face of an entire species looking to sway your decisions this way or that, in the face of multi-billion dollar industries trying to coax your wallet 24/7, simply decline. Consider the ancestral man. We often misinterpret or bastardize the idea of “the ancestral man, the savage, the primitive animal within” however, we do have some facts to work with. He was forced to be outside, fated to toil under the sun with fresh air in his lungs. He was forced to keep his wits about, or die. Paradoxically, in his ignorance he was sustaining a healthy body, and he’s doing a hell of a lot better than an obese man today, one who carts himself around in a mobility scooter, gasping for every breath even as he feeds his addictions.

- Stanley McCabe

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