Cellular Dialogues

by Beauchamp Art

Cells in competition for resources resolve their antagonism by one consuming the other, preserving the process of the two.opposing forces or arguments to form a new whole. Then cells group to perform more complex tasks, but still the individual cells remain as part of the new totality of the organism, as a product of various oppositions and third party interventions, alterations in the environment, different competition, random mutations.

This new whole then follows the same process through its evolutions. It is presented with new challenges, new conflicts, and must resolve them to move forward, to adapt to survive it must continue to form a history through Hegelian dialectical conflict resolution. Then this process, from single to multi cellular organism is echoed in the development from the individual to the social community. But like the single cells versus the body, the exclusivity of the isolated individual exists as defined against and part of the wholeness of the social. Rather than mutually exclusive they are mutually dependent.

The body is incomprehensible as being absent from the presence of smaller cellular lifeforms, so society is without the individual. Though these two dichotomies are not in themselves defined by internal antagonism, they may be better understood through observing them in opposition to an external dialogue. Not only to clarify the lone thesis, but to facilitate further discourse and progress through dialectics, maintaining an active awareness of the historical presidents laid before in order to pave onwards efficiently, without repeating past mistakes through ignorant dogma or unquestioned tradition, and in preparation for similar challenges ahead.

A discourse with history is not necessarily one of nostalgia or out of fear of the unpredictable future, but it may be considered part of the totality of the social phenomenology, a sustain dialectic that may not simply be resolved through antagonism, but integrated into all ongoing argument. The single cell is defined a much by what it is not as what it may have been, and what it may be part of in potentia.


Institutions serve the same purpose in the life of society as physical organs do in plants and animals; they are the organs of the social body. Organs do not develop arbitrarily, but owe their origin to definite necessities of the physical and social environment. Changed conditions of life produce changed organs. But an organ always performs the function it was evolved to perform, or a related one. And it gradually disappears or becomes rudimentary as soon as its function is no longer necessary to the organism.

The same is true of social institutions. They, too, do not arise arbitrarily, but are called into being by special social needs to serve definite purposes. In this way the modern state was evolved, after economic privileges and class divisions associated with them had begun to make themselves more and more conspicuous in the framework of the old social order. The newly arisen possessing classes had need of a political instrument of power to maintain their economic and social privileges over the masses of their own people, and to impose them from without on other groups of human beings.

Thus arose the appropriate social conditions for the evolution of the modern state as the organ of political power for the forcible subjugation and oppression of the non-possessing classes. This task is the essential reason for its existence. Its external forms have altered in the course of its historical development, but its functions have always remained the same. They have even constantly broadened in just the measure in which its supporters have succeeded in making further fields of social activities subservient to their ends. And, just as the functions of a physical organ cannot be arbitrarily altered so that, for example, one cannot, at will, hear with one’s eyes or see with one’s ears, so also one cannot, at pleasure, transform an organ of social oppression into an instrument for the liberation of the oppressed.

— Rudolph Rocker

This could be seen to effectively illustrate the important and constructive dialogue that can be engaged through the use of analogy to affect a greater understanding of a give subject.