Saturday, July 12, 2014

Oh Oh , Diversity & WWII : have I said a bad word ?

My claim that Martin Henry Dawson championed diversity in both microbiology and in humanity during WWII strikes many as simply incredible and non-credible.

They see concern for promoting 'diversity as a good thing' not arising until the mid 1970s , thirty years later.

It is true that a wide public concern for the rights of all sorts of minorities did not become general until the 1970s and is still being harshly contested even today.

But this does not prevent early pioneering concerns for protecting diversity such as the one that led Dawson and his small band of fellow 'unfits' to champion "Penicillin-for-All"  thirty years earlier.

Above all, everyone agrees that 1945 marks the year that postmodernity first started emerging.

And nothing separates postmodernity from the preceding modernity more decisively than the former's welcoming of wide diversity set against modernity's obsession for creating a smothering normalcy based only on hetrosexuality, WASP values and skin color.

So what on earth was it that led to 1945's sudden upswing in postmodernity ?

We do know that contrasted with the revelations about the Nazis' Holocaust (and the results of the A-Bomb), the hopeful possibilities offered up by penicillin and its kin was easily the brightest news story of that year.

And why not ?

What people saw was , one hand, a postmodern-like effort to provide life-saving penicillin for 'unfit' and 'fit' alike and on the other hand a fully modern program designed to kill all the unfit so that the fit could rule a 'perfected' world.

People who had always accepted modernity's promises look again at them - hard - and blinked....

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