} ! { LUSIONS } ! {


Skeleton for a Suggestive Body
of Evidence
Revealing the Secrets
of Corporate Organisms,
Japanese Industrial Anthroculture
and Most Modern Diseases of the Biosphere

< Section II of III >

The Brotherhood Beneath the Pyramid

Science fiction did not invent the slime molds, but it has borrowed from them in using the idea of sheets of liquid, flowing cytoplasm engulfing and dissolving every living thing they touch. What fiction can only imagine, nature has produced, and only their small size and dependence on coolness, moisture and darkness has kept the slime molds from ordinary observation, for they are common enough.

Encyclopedia Britannica

GLOSSALALIA: Plasmodium or Syncytium - A mobile mass of naked protoplasm formed by the fusion or aggregation of independent amoeboid bodies without fusion of their nuclei. Plasmodia are characteristic of slime molds and certain genera of fungi and bacteria.

Encyclopedia Britannica

In the Japanese pattern there are no clear-cut spheres or divisions of responsibility between the manager and his subordinates, and the entire group is becomes one functional body with all individuals, including the manager, are amalgamated into a single entity.

Japanese Society

True plasmodia may grow by the incorporation of independent cells that subsequently lose their cell walls and individual integrity to the collective body (Spongospora), or by synchronous division of internal nuclei floating freely in the communal cytoplasm (Myxomycetes); certain species (e.g., Acrasiales) generate a 'pseudo-plasmodium' in which incorporation, though functionally complete, does not entail the dissolution of internal cellular membranes. The aggregated cells thus maintain some semblance of organic identity...[though the collective 'body' thereafter determines all their subsequent behavior].

Encyclopedia Britannica

It is the inherent mental make-up of the Japanese that allows the formulation of overriding group policies and decisions. And any individual, however able, however strong his personality and high his status, must finally compromise with the group's decisions which then develop a life of their own. Once a collective decision of this kind has been formulated, no individual can check it or turn it, and one must simply wait for the time when the tide turns by itself.

Japanese Society

Just how much a Japanese depends on, and expects from, his coworkers may be incomprehensible to the outsider. There are no clear lines which divide one's own from another's...

Japanese Society

Plasmodial bodies move and react as a single organism, even displaying integrated response to slight variations in ambient lighting, temperature and humidity... Though they closely approximate a true multicellular organism in motor and sensory function, they do not present any internal physical specialization to explain these abilities; i.e., they possess no sensory cells or apparatus, no neural systems to transmit information or coordinate movement, in fact, no persistently differentiated structures whatsoever, beyond the profusion of microstructures common to their single-celled constituents.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Although it is at present impossible to explain plasmodial bodies' 'consensual' unity of perception and activity, certain facts may be inferred from recent research:

a) The functional identity of incorporated cells/nuclei seems quite diffuse or 'omnipotential' [capable of a variety of different processes];

b) The momentary specialization that is exhibited appears to be more by a cell/nucleus' location within the active body than by any inherent capacity or quality of its own;

The Japanese system does not have a clearly marked division of labor, nor is the individual role of each member of a group distinctly determined...The adaptability of the group in action is actually enhanced by an eschewal of these principles, and the Japanese in general hold a fairly strong convictions that one man can do another's job whenever this be necessary.

Japanese Society

c) Plasmodial bodies cut into sections will readily fuse again with each other shortly after separation. If the individual sections are reared apart or a period of hours or days on differing growth mediums they will often lose 'recognition' of their sibling communities and refuse to merge. Thus divergence of environmental experiences - one is tempted to say 'habits of life'- appears to play a more important role than genetic identity with regard to mutual recognition and conjugal compatibility. This startling fact is underscored by further research showing that completely unrelated strains will not refuse merge if they have shared the same growth culture for a similar extended period. This is a remarkable and as yet inexplicable finding.

What is important here is that in Japan the human relationships within the immediate corporate/residential group are thought of as more important than all other human relationships. Thus the wife and daughter-in-law who have come from outside have incomparably greater importance than one's own sisters and daughters who have married and gone into other households. A brother, when he has built a separate house, is thought of as belonging to another entity or house- hold; whereas the son-in-law, who was once a complete outsider, takes the position of a household member and becomes more important than the 'distant' brother. This is remarkably different from other societies where the weighty factors of sibling relationship and common parentage remain paramount till death.

Japanese Society

It is important to stress that in Japan's dominant value system filial piety is subordinate to loyalty; polity overrides family; and in the case of conflict of loyalty, the first duty is to one's superior or group rather than to one's family. This is in clear contrast to China (and most other cultures) where the reverse holds true.

Tokugawa Religion

d) given the absence of neural structures within the pseudo-plasmodium, the observed body-wide propagation of coordinated locomotive impulses at first appears unaccountable. Present thinking, however, postulates that motor impulses originate in a diffuse directive centre near the front of the advancing organism, and are transmitted by induced enzymatic reactions between contiguous cells, i.e., there is not a single nerve impulse traversing the corporate body but a ramifying series of impulses generated from individual cell-to-cell contacts and enzyme influence.

Though motor information propagates evenly throughout the corporate mass, sensory stimuli elicit significantly less communal response the further the affected cells are from the directive centre. Thus information from the directive regions appears to be transmitted through the community with much more alacrity than that from peripheral areas, even when it is essentially the same information.

Excerpted/based on Encyclopedia Britannica

In general, Japanese organizations demonstrate poor communication from the lower sectors to the top and between sections. However, such inefficiency is perhaps more than balanced by the extreme efficiency of communication from the top to the lowest level. Indeed, the swiftness by which the members of a group can be mobilized from the top in Japan is not paralleled in any other society. The secret of such swift action and the source of the high level of group energy seem to lie in the nature of the core of group organization, based on the relationship between two immediately linked men.

The golden rule is that the junior man should invariably carry out any order from his immediate superior, for this immediate link between the two men is the source of the existence of the junior man in the organization. Hesitation or refusal constitute a violation of the system...The strength of this structure lies in its effectiveness for centralized communication and its capability of efficient and swift mobilization of the collective power of its members. The importance of its contribution to the process of Japanese modernization is immeasurable.

Japanese Society

From "The Life Cycle Of The Slime Mold Myxomycetes"

The spore wall either splits open or a pore forms, from which a minute, naked mass of cytoplasm emerges. This globule, the swarm cell, shoots out a whiplike process, a flagellum becomes pear shaped, and with the flagellum lashing in front of it, swims away. The swarm cell may suddenly come to rest on any surface, put forth pseudopods (lobes of living substance) and creep along. In this stage, called a myxamoeba, it can feed as any amoeba does, by engulfing bacteria.

The myxamoeba or its transform, the flagellated swarm cell, is a gamete (sex cell), and the fusion of two individual cells, initiates the plasmodial phase. Instead of following the pattern found in most other organism, in which the cell divides after the nucleus has duplicated itself, in these slime molds only the nuclei divide repeatedly, first in complete synchrony and then in synchronous waves, as the ever-growing plasmodium becomes larger.

Parable of the Beast

On a smooth surface a vigorous plasmodium generally takes the form of a fan with trailing veins, creeping in the direction of the broadly curved front edge. Microscopically, the fan looks like a broad river delta, with a network of channels in which the cytoplasm streams now slowly, now rapidly...Generally, a little more flows toward the front than flows back, so that the plasmodium moves in a pulsating fashion, advancing steadily like an incoming tide on a beach. Although many cells show this streaming of the liquid, living substance, only the myxomycete plasmodium shows it on such a grand scale.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Microscopic Structure and Chemical Composition

The cytoplasm of the Myxomycetes resembles that of other cells in having the usual internal structures such as nuclei, mitochondria, and vacuoles and, in the plasmodium stage, it resembles the cytoplasm of amoebas. The major difference is the giant size -- one plasmodial cell membrane encompasses dozens to millions of nuclei. The nuclei, however, are characteristically quite small...

The plasmodia of Fuligo Septica, usually lemon yellow when found in nature, may become white under certain laboratory conditions and remain yellow under others. Yellow and white plasmodia from the same parent no longer fuse when brought into contact, but each can merge with a plasmodium of its own color. The same interesting phenomenon has been observed in other species. Plasmodia or "incompatible" strains of the same species will not fuse. As in higher forms, fusion or rejection is controlled by "incompatibility genes". Genetic compatibility, however, does not explain the failure of fusion of plasmodia of the same source.

Encyclopedia Britannica

The relative unimportance of kinship - which is normally regarded as the primary and basic human attachment - seems to be compensated for in Japan by a personalized relation to one's corporate group based on work, in which the major aspects of social and economic life are involved. Here again we meet the vitally important unit in Japanese society of the corporate group based on frame. In my view, this is the basic principle on which Japanese society is built.

Japanese Society

Organisms Resembling Slime Molds

Since the late 19th century a number of organisms have been assigned to the slime molds largely on the basis of a plasmodial or apparently plasmodial stage. Labrinthula, for example, forms an open network that can creep about as a unit. Close examination has shown that this is not a plasmodium, but a colony consisting of often closely packed, spindle-shaped individual cells that glide within tubes of secreted slime. The net plasmodium is thus more like a living elastic subway system than a true plasmodium.

Another unique group of organisms, the myxobacteria, form thin, spreading amoeboid colonies consisting of bacteria-like cells embedded in a slimy sheet. The whole colony can act as a unit, very much as does the acrasian aggregation stage in building a fruiting structure, in some cases forming simple spheres, in other cases complicated tree-like forms.

Slime Molds, Encyclopedia Britannica

PARABILISTIC PARAGONS: Cellular Slime Molds - The Acrasiales

The cellular slime molds are remarkable organism. Its basic structure and mode of formation are completely different from that of any mold, in fact, different from that of any other group of organism known.

In a suitable habitat the spore germinates, and from the split spore case emerges a small amoeba. Each amoeba feeds by engulfing bacteria before it divides. The amoebas greatly increase in numbers under proper conditions and then begin to converge. Until this time of aggregation, they are virtually indistinguishable from the many other amoebas that swarm in the soil.

These amoebas feed on bacteria and divide repeatedly until the feeding area practically devoid of bacteria, the amoebas forming almost a complete covering. The amoebas then begin to congregate climbing up on each other as they form a little mound - the first stage in the welding of separate living entities into one composite organism. When the myxamoebas have aggregated to the conical stage with the little nipple at the top, the whole pyramid falls over on its side, and, with the nipple raised and leading the way, the 'slug' moves over the surface toward the light before continuing further development.

The Acrasiales were associated with the Myxomycetes by accident because it was thought that the aggregation stage was a true plasmodium. But they lack convincing evidence of sexuality; and, in addition, the aggregated individuals remain organically, if not functionally, distinct.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Known technically as the Acrasiales (from the Greek, meaning unmixed), their behavior is unique, and as a result, fascinating to a variety of biological disciplines - to cytologists, embryologists, geneticists, and others. It should be the object of study for sociologists as well.

As they perform their ecological function of contributing to the decay sequence they live as amoeba, freely, each wandering separately among the rotting leaves on the forest floor. When food is plentiful and other conditions appropriate, every amoeba multiplies by simple cell division every three or four hours. Eventually this geometrically expanding population exhausts the available local supply of bacteria, and as this happens the amoeba commence the enactment of a incredible series of activities. These activities are a literal metaphor for the organization of cells in a multicelled individual [or the binding of individuals into a social body].

Parable of the Beast

Corporate Body Building

Binding and conforming disparate individuals into a functional corporate group... can theoretically be accomplished in two ways. One is to influence the members within the social frame in such a way that they actually feel a sense of 'one-ness'. The second method is to create an internal organization which will directly tie the individuals in the group to each other. In practice both these modes occur together, are bound together, and progress together; they become, in fact, a common rule of action...

Individuals with differing attributes can be led to feel that they are members of a single group, and that the feeling is justified, by stressing the group consciousness of 'us' against 'them', and by fostering a feeling of intense rivalry against other similar groups. In this way there develops internally the sentimental bonds of 'members of the same school'...

Since within the group individual disparity of attribute (character, ability, interests ...) is both potentially divisive and an undeniable rational fact, an emotional approach is used to overcome it. This emotional 'overwhelming' of individual characteristics is facilitated by continual human contact of the kind that can often intrude upon those human relations which belong to the completely private and personal sphere.

Consequently, the power and influence of the group not only effects and enters into the individuals actions; it alters even his ideas and ways of thinking. Individual autonomy is minimized. When these things happen, the point where group or public life ends and where private life begins no longer can be distinguished. There are those that perceive this as a danger, an encroachment upon their dignity and integrity as individuals; on the other hand, others feel safer in total group consciousness. There seems little doubt that in Japan the latter group is in the majority.

Japanese Society

As their food gathering becomes more difficult, the wandering amoeba begin as individuals to cease their feeding and begin to form communal aggregations: first a few individuals clustering around a dominant (or attractant) individual, and then this group joining other groups until (as seen on a agar dish) clumps of organisms discernible to the naked eye form themselves, giving the surface of the dish a stippled effect. Now the clumps begin still another aggregation - they begin to join one another, clump to clump.

The 7:30 Commute | Into Headquarters
Amoeba filing inSwarming to solidarity
Into the Elevators | Ready for Business
Grex arisingGrex rampant

They form straggling streams of living matter which now begin to orient themselves to central collecting points. At the hub of each central aggregation point, a mound begins to form as groups of amoeba mount themselves atop other groups which have already arrived. This hub gradually rises first into the shape of a blunt peg, and then into a distinctly phallic erection. When all the incoming streams of amoeba are almost completely incorporated into this erect cartridge-like form, it topples over onto its side, now looking like a two-millimeter-long, minute garden slug. This slug begins now to move across the forest floor in search of more favorable ecological conditions. At this point the communal mass that forms the creature is known as a "grex" or a migrating 'pseudo-plasmodium.' It seems to possess a discrete envelope, almost a skin.

Parable of the Beast

A cohesive sense of group unity, as demonstrated in the operational mechanism of household and corporation, is essential as the foundation of the individual's total emotional participation in the group; it helps to build a closed world results in strong group independence and autonomy...

(REPRISE) Thus the relationship between the corporation and the individual is not to be explained in contractual terms. The attitude of the employer is expressed by the spirit of the common saying, 'the enterprise is the people.' This affirms the belief that employer and employee are bound as one by fate in conditions which produce a tie as close as that between husband and wife. In such a relationship corporations do not employ only a man's labour itself but really employ the total man, as is shown in the expression "marugakae" (completely enveloped). This trend can be traced consistently in Japanese management from the Meiji period to the present.

Japanese Society

As the slug migrates, it continues to attract scattered solitary amoeba which did not participate in the original aggregation. These join the mass and become immediately incorporated with it. Estimations as to the size of the population comprising the average slug vary, but generally it is thought that perhaps up to a half million amoeba may be involved.

Parable of the Beast

Since group consciousness is usually kindled by an appeal to emotion, it necessitates tangible contact between individuals. Such contact must be maintained by constant face-to- face activity so as to nurture the flame... Tangibility in personal relationships is a vital element in the creation of unity, particularly in a group which has no universal rules, but it offers little resistance to breaches opened by time and space. Thus, tangibility is a very unstable binding principle for a group. But at the same time it does facilitate a condition wherein recruitment is always open at the periphery of the group (or the bottom of the hierarchy) and anyone may be accepted into membership.

Japanese Society

Passage & Fruition

After migrating for a variable period of time (which can be two minutes or two weeks) in the direction of light and warmth, this slug-like wandering community now ceases its movement and enters into another phase of its communal history called 'culmination.' The slug gradually erects itself once again into its phallic shape. Then, in the apical tip of the plasmodium, a group of cells becomes enlarged and rounded off, assuming either a round or oval shape. This rounded mass (the spore mass or 'fruiting body') gradually assumes the form of a candle flame, bellied at the bottom and coming to a point at the top. As the belly forms, a waist also appears between the base, the tail of the now erect slug, and the candle flame section above. This waist gradually lengthens and becomes a stalk, pushing the candle flame section, which now tends to become more spherical, ever upwards into the air... Each amoeba in the spore mass now encases itself in cellulose and becomes a true spore. The end result is a delicate tapering shaft capped by a spherical mass of spores. When the spores are dispersed (by water, wind, or contact with some passing creature) each can split open to liberate a tiny new amoeba individual.

Thus the cycle of the species community begins anew. This tiny brainless, nerveless creature enacts in the course of its life history a profound parable of community and cooperative organization. Moreover, the swarming of individual cells to form a 'social' plasmodium may in fact be an example of the events that led to the final evolution of metazoa and complex communal organisms during the early history of the earth.

Parable of the Beast &
"Life," Encyclopedia Britannica

Experimenting upon the migrating plasmodium, Raper noted how the slug narrowed quite obviously into a point at its front end. 'During migration,' he writes, 'the point, the apical tip, as it has been termed, is constantly to the fore and apparently guides the migration of the entire body.'

Raper cut this top off the slug and found that when the community was thus deprived of its leadership, coordinated movement stopped dead in its tracks. 'When the anterior portion of a migrating plasmodium is removed.' he observed, 'the decapitated body ceases migration, nor does it respond to light. The amoeba comprising it crowd forward to the line where the excision was made, and there collect in a rounded, confused body... In only a few isolated cases has a pseudo-plasmodium thus decapitated been observed to form a new apical tip with accompanying directive center.'

Parable of the Beast

No matter how strong the unity, no matter how 'happy the group', (to use a Japanese expression), the sudden removal of the leader is a severe blow, and automatically brings a 'household rebellion.' It is said that the greatest battle weakness of the former Japanese army was the disruption that followed when a platoon leader was killed. A platoon that lost its organizational pivot by the death of its lieutenant easily degenerated into a disorganized mob.

Herein lies the supreme importance of the role of the leader: he is the holder of legitimate status, able to synthesize the members and suppress antagonisms among them. The leader's absence from his men even though only temporary, may give rise to divisive frictions among them... In many cases groups split into a number of small and hostile segments after the death of the leader. The chaos thus created can rarely be repaired internally.

Japanese Society

Swarm Schism, Corporate Fission & The Fable of Yugoslavia
Breaking up is hard to do...

Basic A-B-C Hierarchy

In the vertical group structure exemplified in the above figure it should be noted that it could disintegrate not only from A's (the leader's) death or absence but also from instability in the A-B or A-C links. Such instability may occur if the leader fails to sustain a strong influence and an immediate subordinate seizes the opportunity to increase his own power...The legitimacy of the leadership has its base in the historical formation of the group. If, for example, B's power grows to the point where it can shake this existing order, developments usually occur along the following lines:

Noting B's restiveness, C may sense his opportunity and, drawing closer to A, may encourage tension in the A-B relationship, eventually creating a critical and unstable situation which will lead to a crisis. Then even while A is still in a position of authority, an internal split may occur. This would lead to complete catastrophe, from which nothing could be salvaged, but B could in no circumstances cooperate with A or C in such a power struggle. This is not because the participants are emotional or petty-minded; it is a consequence of the inherent structural situation, which does not allow two or more individuals to be equal...

There are two alternative solutions of such a catastrophe. In one A (usually taking along C) is exiled from the group. In the other solution b pulls out his "family and retainers" and forms a new, independent group, a process which is called fission.

Such vertical group structures thus reveal an instability which always involves the risk of fission. Indeed, in many cases fission is taken for granted at a certain stage in the growth of the group. This may be called 'amicable' fission, for fission is expected by the leader as well as by other members when a subordinate acquires enough strength to be independent. Nevertheless, the daughter splinter group does not always maintain amicable relations with the parent body. Often it may become a competitor, unless the leader of the original group can control or bind it in some way, or unless the second group is still so weak as to expect continuing help from the original body.

Japanese Society

Corporate Charismatics

As they do in all communities, certain members of this microcosmic society seemingly take upon themselves the responsibilities of leadership, initiating the activities of the group. Just how this happens was demonstrated by a young Cambridge zoologist named Bryan M. Shaffer. To prevent aggregating cells from mounting one another vertically, thus obscuring what each cell was doing, Shaffer devised a complicated arrangement of oil and water films floating between glass slides, which forced the amoeba to aggregate in a single layer without 'clumping'. In this way he discovered the existence of what he called 'founder' cells.

He wrote in his description that a founder varied somewhat in appearance from ordinary amoeba at the time it became active. In many cases it was almost completely circular in outline and stationary. Because it was less expanded it frequently appeared smaller than most or even all of the cells that responded to it, and darker in body. After contracting it abruptly began to affect its neighbors over a considerable area. These elongated toward it within a few minutes... The first to reach the founder began to encircle it, either in one direction or, becoming temporarily Y-shaped, in both. Whether it was able to completely surround it depended partly on their relative sizes and partly on how soon further cells arrived to compete for the founder's surface. Such intimate contact was so quickly established that a 2- or 3-cell center could sometimes be mistaken for a single giant cell.

Parable of the Beast

More than anything else, the qualification of the leader in Japanese society depends upon his ability to understand and attract his men. No matter how great his wealth and power, how brilliant his talent or what type his personality, if man is unable to capture his followers emotionally and glue them to him in vertical relationships he cannot become a leader.

This functioning power of the group depends not so much on the leader's own ability as on his skill in charming extremely talented subordinates by his personality, his artfulness in synthesizing the group and his ability to direct all the talent at his disposal. The acts of their followers are dependent not on formal orders from the chief but on the personal charm he exerts in direct human contact. The phrase 'He shone his face upon me' has more importance than can be judged rationally...

Japan has no native concept of 'organization' or 'network' abstracted or divorced from actual man; 'organization' is perceived as a kind of succession of direct and concrete relationships between individual and individual. Man's concrete existence itself forms a part of 'organization'...

Japanese Society

Asexualized Societies & Executive Altruism

There has been debate on sexual reproduction in the Acrasiales. What some biologists called sexual fusion of amoebas, others called cannibalism. The preponderant evidence now favors a completely asexual mode of life.

It is also curious that in the slime molds the individual members of the community that form the leadership group are non-reproductive. Only those animals that form themselves into spores contribute genetically to subsequent generations. The amoeba at the apical tip seemingly perform a totally sterile role in the future of the community. This is curious, for it overleaps the evidence of most vertebrate communities where the dominant animals, particularly males, have greater sexual opportunities and generally pass on their genetic characteristics differently - in a larger statistical degree than low-ranking, nondominant individuals.

Parable of the Beast

The Forty-Seven Ronin reveal in extreme form the ideal personal relationship (always in terms of superior-inferior) in Japanese eyes. The story bears some resemblance to a love affair. In Japan there is no love story comparable in popularity to the Forty-Seven Ronin. Men so much involved in such a relationship have little room left for a wife or a sweetheart. In traditional morals the ideal man should not be involved in an affair with a woman. I think that if he were involved to such an extent in this kind of man-to-man relation there would seem to be no necessity for a love affair with a woman. His emotions would be completely expended in his devotion to his master. I suspect this was the real nature of samurai mentality, and to a certain extent the same may be true of the modern Japanese man.

Japanese Society

The significant fact here is...the hypnotic spell cast by the demands of 'natural society' whenever the harmonious flow of social life is liable to be endangered. As soon as such a situation arises, the Japanese need no admonition from moralists or political propaganda: a force irresistible and blind seems to emerge instantaneously, bending them with the power of an instinct in the direction desired by the human anthill...Nobody is allowed to stand on his own right much less fight for it. Justice is praised but its pursuit is deemed inappropriate if the peace of the community is thereby threatened. To avoid friction seems to be more important that to eradicate evil...

Mirror, Sword and Jewel

-- Mind-Binding & Bio-Social Conditioning for Terminal Incorporation

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