The Machine Will Never Triumph, part sixteen
The mosquito knows—
The mosquito knows full well, small as he is
he’s a beast of prey.
But after all
he only takes his bellyful,
he doesn’t put my blood in the bank.1
Typically, mosquitoes and other such creatures are considered as pests, but as Lawrence makes clear above, they are simply fulfilling their natures. No species in the natural world—save for humans—kills, hoards, or eats more than its fill. Only humans have greed, only humans have hubris, only humans turn avarice into a system to rule life by. Ontologically, humans may have certain advantages on the chain of being, but many humans of today are robots who are lower than the mosquito. But even if capitalism was overthrown, a normally functioning society would not be restored unless there was a concomitant spiritual revolution. When the Czar fell in Russia, greed and corruption remained, while hubris and the insatiable desire for progress at all costs was magnified. Giving power to the poor will not solve all our problems. As Lawrence writes:
If every rich man withdrew from the system, the working classes and socialists would keep it going, every man in the hope of getting rich himself, at last.—It’s the people that are wrong. They want the system much more than the rich do—because they are much more anxious to be rich—never having been rich, poor devils.2
The poor should never govern, since history has shown that when they do they are worse than the rich. Once the poor attain power, they simply turn some portion of their class into the newly rich. In fact, the greatest champions of the poor have always come from privileged classes, since they have learned the skills necessary to fight for others, whereas the poor are poor despite wishing for wealth. This is clearly shown when an impoverished person wins the lottery. In most cases they spend like crazy, then end up poor again, and some even commit suicide after they buy everything they thought they needed and realize they are still empty inside. Only by cauterizing the bleeding wound called avarice can our species attain a healthier state. But that involves something very difficult, namely being honest with ourselves. Lawrence writes:
We are such dreary liars. Our one idea is to lie to ourselves. We have an ideal of a perfect world, clean and straight and sufficient. So we cover the earth with foulness; life is a blotch of labour, like insects scurrying in filth, so that your collier can have a pianoforte in his parlour, and you can have a butler and a motor-car in your up-to-date house, and as a nation we can sport the Ritz, or the Empire, Gaby Deslys and the Sunday newspapers. It is very dreary.3
So very dreary that many now face severe depression. So, society distracts the populace with sex, drugs, media, and war.
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Lawrence, D. H. The Plays. Edited by Hans-Wilhelm Schwarze and John Worthen. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
———. The Poems. Edited by Christopher Pollnitz. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
———. Women in Love. London: Everyman’s Library, 1992.
D. H. Lawrence, The Poems, ed. Christopher Pollnitz, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 405.
D. H. Lawrence, The Plays, ed. Hans-Wilhelm Schwarze and John Worthen (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 393.
D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love (London: Everyman’s Library, 1992), 49.