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Letter from the Soil

Marjolein Pijnappels
 — A letter from the Soil
We are fungi

Some call humankind a plague, a disease. An egocentric species that grows without limits and destroys its own living environment. It’s an ominous fairy tale that you tell yourselves — and gives you too much credit. The crux is here: you subsequently bombard yourself as guardians, destroyers, and saviors of the earth. We say: you are none of that. The fact that you do not see this, affects the expiration date of your own species. You see capitalism as a great evil. But capitalism is in your nature, just as it is in our nature.

Here speaks the oldest market economy in the world: the four hundred million year old mycelium, the underground fungal network that stretches all over the earth and serves millions of producers and consumers simultaneously. We connect the roots of eighty percent of plant species via microscopically thin wires that exchange communication signals and nutrients between plants. We are masters of manipulation, creating food scarcity as a strategic leverage in an underground capitalist system for our own benefit: to get sugar from plants in exchange for nitrogen. We are intimately involved with all life on Earth. Through the microbiome, formed by tens of trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi on and in your body, we also influence your immune system, mental state and even your partner choice.

You can’t blame us for that. We have no conscience, our actions are neither good nor bad. Moreover, even without a brain, we are smarter than you, because we stay in touch with the world around us and keep the communication channels open.