I am reading about the Pacific Yew, a small tree or large bush, that is very shade tolerant and very slow growing; a hundred year old tree will have only a 16 inch trunk. This tree contains minute trace amounts of Taxol that is being studied for cancer treatment. It takes many tons of bark to get an amount of taxol to use clinically.
While reading about this, and recent articles on deer mice, voles, salmon habitats, and the MANY arguments and evidence to support ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest (and really all ancient forests) and bio-diversity, a thought popped into my mind. Take the current political climate of the U.S.. Take a group of die-hard Marxists or Capitalists and imagine them getting what they wanted and the changing face of the political landscape. Seems unrealistic for either to happen. Well, it seems more unrealistic for the Marxists to get what they want. For the other side, corporations have billions and billions of dollars and great resources to advance their interests. I thought of a Marxist in all of this as one small counterweight, like a small tree in a mountain stream that does just one little part in slowing the torrent down. This torrent, given ample opportunity to slow down, allows particles of rock and debris being carried by the water to fall down and settle, while the smaller particles (dirt and sand) are continued to be carried away. This creates a gravel bed for salmon to bury their eggs in. They must have gravel because they can move small gravel around and the gravel is sufficiently open to allow water to move around the eggs and keep them oxygenated.
The point is that for a brief moment I imagined the political landscape in the U.S. as like a biosphere where every political spectrum had it’s influence. The demands and interests of some came to pass over time, only to be repealed over time, but on a whole, a longer time span, things progressed into a rich tapestry that allowed personal freedoms yet took care of portions of the population that needed it, gave opportunity for some to excel and grow, much like sunshine, or provided a slow area of maturation much like shade tolerant trees in a forest.
The thought then crossed my mind if a person can, or should, work toward ideals that he doesn’t expect, nor necessarily want to see completely filled, yet which are viewed as important counterbalances to dominant political/economic features.