How has 250 years of US violence altered American DNA?

How are humans permanently changed by violence in their environment?

Human fossil history suggests that about 25% of us were killed with some form of human violence in the past. Those of us who study human violence longitudinally, and recognize it’s ubiquitous nature, are still trying to identify a common source.  Is “environmental violence”, the violence that occurs around us every day, in various forms including news reports and entertainment, itself the biggest progenitor of more violence, by altering and tuning our DNA until we become increasing hostile with destructive consequences?

Today’s world is a humanitarian and environmental disaster because of massive human violence. As always throughout our history, most “global violence” is produced not by a small handful of extreme individuals or groups, [Al Quida is estimated to have fewer than 50 members], but by massive western violence produced by highly organized and profitable war mills, created by the international architects of war who control various, self proclaimed “legitimate states”, thru “deep shadow governments”. Many of these are already under various levels of foreign control by clandestine international organizations who have secretly gained control over financial and military organizations, eg: IMF, NATO, and many others. They now dictate takeover terms to a naïve and defenceless world.

Biologists have learned that our DNA reacts defensively to environmental stimuli and threats. When the cell senses a threat outside itself, it makes internal changes to prepare its defences. It communicates with other cells to raise a common defence. When threats are repeated on an ongoing basis, a defensive strategy can drive a series of changes in the DNA throughout the body, that tune the entire organism into a permanent defensive status that results in an overall hostile posture or attitude. A long term side effect of this fear-based process could be PTSD.  What is the time frame for these changes?

To go deep into this issue, we start with 2 questions:

  • How quickly do DNA changes in humans occur – we’ll look at recent NASA findings on twins.
  • How does the DNA of residents in nations dominated by gun and war cultures compare with the DNA of residents in nations that do not value, and therefore do not grow these cultures? – we’ll compare changes in American DNA, with Canadian DNA that has not been subjected to a strong gun and war culture.[These two neighbours had similar starting cultures.]

Discussion:

Part of the answer to Q-1 may have emerged last November from NASA, when US astronaut Scott Kelly returned to earth with 7% of his DNA permanently changed after a year of being subjected to the extreme environmental conditions encountered during space travel.

"So seven per cent of my gene expression changed," said Kelly. "What that means is some turned on and some turned off and that hasn't changed back. We don't know what those are that turned on or off and whether that's a good or a bad thing. But it's an interesting thing." 

NASA states:

 “Though Scott Kelly's genetic expression changed, he and Mark are still identical. Changes in gene expression are how the human body reacts to the environment. Kelly's transformation suggests longer-term alterations related to at least five biological pathways and functions.”

This dramatic, unmistakable change to Scott’s DNA happened in less than one lifetime, admittedly under extreme environmental conditions.  When those high risk conditions are manufactured politically in order to keep the population in a state of constant fear, eg: “those Indians could attack us at any moment, so let’s deal with them now before they get too powerful”,and:”those Russians could attack us at any moment so let’s deal with them now before…and let’s make sure those nukes are ready to go now!”, and on and on ad nauseum. Other sources of fear like gun violence are used to solidify “national fear” on an individual basis, and keep the population paranoid, fearful, and ready to use violence to protect themselves.With each generation exposed to increasing risks, real or manufactured, eg: from arrows to nukes, those in control create a false tradition of bogus protection used to justify more aggressive campaigns of massive violence against the other, usually a target of commercial or political interest. The long term effects arising from a tradition of chronic violence increase incrementally over many generations, creating a fear-based society that begins to attack everything and everyone that seems to present a threat, no matter how trivial.  As the denizens of that environment change over time, they begin to express increasingly violent behavior more routinely, which becomes “the accepted norm” for what may have once been a benign and peaceful society.

The US government, under the political influence/control of the NRA, funded in large part by arms manufacturers and right wing political extremists, has hidden or obfuscated much of it’s gun-death data out of government embarrassment. Following the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama sheepishly admitted that essentially uncontrolled access to firearms facilitated more than 30,000 American killings a year! These numbers reveal a hidden domestic war against the American public, and the real antagonist appears to be the violence promoting NRA.

Put into perspective; this killing rate has since 2001 [9/11], produced a horrendous civilian death toll of 510,000 Americans, most of which were preventable deaths, and therefore facilitated by government. It  exceeds America’s highest death toll from foreign wars of 405,000 US fighters killed in WWII.  It falls short of US Civil War casualties of 620,000.  US war hawks claim that is the price that Americans are required to pay in human lives, in order to support their war economy, which relies heavily on the violent takeover of foreign indigenous lands and wealth. It is a deeply shocking number that exposes the willful negligence of the US government to perform its first duty, which is to protect its citizens.

What happens to individuals inside violent cultures? Since its violent birth, the US has used every form of violence available to advance its imperial agenda against all its neighbours, before expanding its hegemony to the Philipines, Hawaii, and the rest of the world. Because the architects of 97 US wars have never been held accountable, they have never slowed down, nor looked back on the trail of human suffering and destruction they have left in their wake.  

Today, US military violence is anchored and embedded globally in 735 military bases around the world that threaten any nation that opposes predatory US foreign policies that resemble classic textbook terrorism. Colonial terrorism is the use of violence and threats of violence to gain political control over indigenous people, their lands, and wealth.

A quick look into how cultures prepare their recruits for combat is very telling. Depending on the culture, some recruits may need to be mentally realigned in order to be ready to kill in combat, while others are ready to kill, and require little or no formal preparation. Reliable sources inform us that Canadian military recruits must first be recalibrated, or culturally re-conditioned to kill, with repeated exposure to hate films of the enemy. They are programmed and drilled with hate for the enemy until they become like robots that will cross the kill line without thinking. This process confirms that war is a hate crime for Canadians.  Apparently, US military recruits are so tuned to violence that they do not require pre-battle conditioning, they’re ready now.

So how can we assess DNA changes in a population exposed constantly to environmental threats,(real or imagined), and compare them to a population that has not been subjected to those threats.  Which DNA components shall we measure and compare? Or is there an easier way to assess a population’s “readiness to use violence” as an indicator of cultural conditioning?

Elaborate psychiatric assessment processes, and FMRI could be used to assess an individual’s potential for violence, but these take considerable time, and a large sampling on both sides of the question would probably be required. There are quicker, more efficient tools that can bring a client to a state of violent arousal (response) in minutes, so that the arousal point can be quantified, and compared with others.  Whole body lie detectors are used routinely on sex offenders to assess their risk of re-offending, or to determine their level of rehabilitation. This tool when used competently, could assess the point of: physical, emotional, and mental arousal in response to specific stimuli.

I believe that this kind of study would open many doors to understanding how violent environments affect and shape us. But are we ready to hear the dark deep truth about us?

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