THE COLLAPSE OF THE “HUMANITY” PROJECT. The World in 2050
THE COLLAPSE OF THE “HUMANITY” PROJECT
The World in 2050
Social-political essays with comments by Andrey Stolyarov
CHAPTER 1. THE LIMITS TO GROWTH
What the modernity started from…
Why there is always not enough everything for everyone
We are the creators of our unhappiness
The problem of precipice
CHAPTER 2. THIRST
“Take everything and divide!”
Let’s try to count once again
“Take everything and divide” – variant two
The clock of the era has already struck
CHAPTER 3. A MIGRANT AS A VOLUNTEER OF THE APOCALYPSE
The International of fools
The origin of ethnic groups and nations
Geopathogenic and geofavourable areas
A neighbour is good when a fence is high
CHAPTER 4. THE PHENOMENON OF INTELLIGENCE
What is intelligence?
What is a human being?
Crows, dolphins, ants and other brothers in mind
Intelligence as the ideal
CHAPTER 5. “WHAT IS PROGRESS?”
So, what is progress?
A human is not “the crown of creation”
“Ugly swans”, “lyudens”, “artins”
“We live in Hell…”
Prince Gautama as the hero of our times
The myth of progress
CHAPTER 6. THE SILENCE OF SPACE
Are we alone in the Universe?
The problem of galactic scales
CHAPTER 7. THE PHENOMENON OF WOMAN
Woman as a phenomenon
CHAPTER 8. THE APOCALYPSE WAS YESTERDAY
The 15-hundred-year cycle
So, what is the meaning of all of it?
The end of history
Is a war to be expected?
Freedom is more important than survival
The crisis of the future
CHAPTER 9. THE EUROPEAN RACE’S DISAPPEARANCE
Is culture possible without its carriers?
The world without Europeans
The decline of Europe?
CHAPTER 10. BEHAVIOURAL OPTIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF CRISIS IN THE FACE OF UNSURMOUNTABLE CIRCUMSTANCES
Every day can become the last one for us
Meneh, meneh, tekel, upharsin (numbered, weighted, divided)
“There is no future”
Conclusion one, moral
Conclusion two, practical: how everything will take place
North-West Social & Conservative Policy Center, coordinator
The book contains a lot of information about the issues of environmental impact on the life of modern people and environmental prospects. Without laying claims to deep analysis of certain aspects of the challenge, the book is written imaginatively, it is full of unexpected allusions and offers the readers such plot twists that make you look at well-known things differently.
In my opinion, a lot is argumentative and requires the readers to be prepared ideologically to a certain extent and have an established worldview not to be swept up by the whirlwind of unexpected conclusions. At the same time, there is no doubt that the author’s attempt “to look into the eyes of truth” wins you over. Such courage always expands the reader’s horizons to this or that extent. But, I repeat, it’s important to be ready to look at all that from your own point of view, without going to extremes of perception.
The book’s structure, as it can be seen from chapter titles, is lyrical to a certain extent, and that makes the familiarizing process more captivating.
The range of knowledge the author addresses is impressive: from historical information to modern achievements in chemistry, physics and other sciences. Attention is paid to psychology, comparative analysis of human behaviour and fauna representatives’ behaviour.
At the same time, if we take the author’s attitude, the moral imperative goes through a whole dialectical cycle: from skeptical attitude in the beginning of the book to invincible and irresistible triumph in the end.
I think that the book will be interesting for all those who are looking for new ideas on the ways of further humanity’s movement and those who are not indifferent to the meaning of their existence.
The main author’s message is: humanity is mortal. And not in some mysterious, far-off future, but very soon. All the causes of humanity’s death presented by Yuri Shevchuk can be summed up in three groups.
First: space-related – a big asteroid falling on the planet Earth or change of solar luminosity that may happen already tomorrow.
Second: brought about by the nature of our planet as such – eruption of one or several big volcanoes, fluctuations of the Earth’s magnetic field, return of glaciation, rapid increase of juvenile waters in the World Ocean… All that may take place at any moment.
Third: anthropogenic – exhaustion (because of the population growth) of areas suitable for life (including suitable for cultivation soils) and fresh water, coming to the limits of the human immunity system’s capabilities as well as lack of adequate and quick people’s reaction to such changes.
The above-said and other factors (for example, fighting for fresh water, regularly increasing and unruly migration flows) may lead to never-ending fierce wars, one of which, one never knows, may turn into a nuclear war. Such scenarios are already probable in the next decades…
On the whole, prospects are not joyful. As they say, every avenue comes to a dead-end. After such forecasts there is a wish to make a rope for hanging without waiting for a global catastrophe.
However, the series of articles by Yuri Shevchuk is not a forecast. These thoughts and deliberations are a warning for all of us living without thinking about the consequences.
We have turned our planet into a garbage pit. We live in gas-polluted cities close to stinking refuse dumps. No matter what we use – water, food, household electronic appliances and other household articles – each of us can’t be sure that all of them are not harmful for health. We call ourselves homo sapiens – an intelligent human, the master of the Earth, the crown of creation. But really we just want to be better than we are. Our behaviour too often certifies the opposite: we really live on our Earth unreasonably, only conquerors, temporary rulers behave like that. And if we use the construction terms, we’re the ground-sill in wooden houses that quickly rots and requires replacement.
We’re homocentric, we suffer from extreme forms of egoism, greed, oversaturation and comfort.
And our leaders behave respectively. No matter what they head – either a tribe or a superpower – the overwhelming majority of them have linear and binary mentality: “cause – consequence”, “problem – solution”. However, in giant and complex systems this is similar to an attempt to repair a computer with a hammer and chisel. And if something happens, such thinkers immediately recollect the most radical way of treating international issues – war. Hundreds, thousands, millions of compatriots will die! So what? Ambitions are more important, especially if these ambitions are supported by the said compatriots, still alive.
There is another danger of humanity’s self-elimination hidden here. It is in the main contradiction of our age – the steadily growing gap between practical actions of humans and their technology-related abilities. We are not ready to live in this century either morally or intellectually. Even fear that always served as the means of self-preservation for people, betrayed us. We’re so conceited, so self-assured that our stupidity obstructs our view when there is a threat of death in front.
The today’s civilization is a giant canvas titled “The Blind Leading the Blind”. We think that we are deeply civilized, highly spiritual and developed in all respects. We’re proud of our achievements in arts and sciences. But we are really modernly dressed savages sprinkled with eau-de-cologne in fashion. Our neighbours on the planet are our enemies. And like a prehistoric tribe, we courageously beat our patriotic breasts by our hands, swinging a nuclear club and frightening enemies by unbridled strength of our fists.
We still have not managed to comprehend a simple maxim: strength is not in fists, it’s in kindness, intelligence and ability to help.
We offer you to ponder over the topic that may be the most interesting for humans – the Future. We’ve tried not only to reliably present the most possible version of the planet Earth’s and its population’s condition by 2050 but also to answer the eternal questions: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?
We tell you beforehand – the result will be unexpected.
The ecological approach to a social research subject is rather rarely used in social and political journalism. In short, this approach is characterized by taking into account the environment of the place where the society lives and its impact on human life.
After mastering the environmental worldview, an individual sees relations between phenomena that seem absolutely independent from one another to most people. After looking at a landscape, he at the same time sees not only it as such but also the past and the future of the area. Judging by a larva, he understands what trees will grow here in half a century; the water level changes in wells help him to forecast agriculture development and the condition of the present-day settlements, he uses the increase of the number of hot sunny days to predict increase of the number of crimes in cities.
The human behaviour being determined by the natural environment was usually beyond the social and political journalism’s comprehension as some constant with which nothing can be done in any case. But this is a false idea, for example, some city development concepts are not taking into account the radical change of the ethnic composition of their population in the next twenty years, consequently, they are not taking into account the changing demands to the urban culture either. We can also mention forecasts for development of countries not taking into account today’s fertile soils turning into deserts again in the next twenty years…
Another mistake is to think that the end of humanity will surely come – but not now and not in the next millennium. People are used to think that changes on the globe are slow. Though everyone knows that the ethnic composition of the Roman Empire during the Great Resettlement changed radically in 15 years. And everyone saw, at least in newsreels, mammoths with green grass in their mouths that had been frozen alive just in several minutes. Really, catastrophes are only prepared slowly. But they take place quickly.
Let’s take a pond being overgrown with water lilies as an example. The number of water lilies increases in a geometric progression, and this does not frighten anyone in the first days of the catastrophe. So what? One water lily, then two, then four, then eight… But this means that if today only one half of the pond is covered by water lilies, we won’t see the clear water tomorrow.
The humanitarian approach to humanity overestimates the role of upbringing, as a result rolling down to “humanitarian Lamarckism”. In the broad sense, various evolutional theories (mostly those that originated in the 19th century – the first 30 years of the 20th century) are referred to Lamarckian with as if internal, inherent to organisms striving for perfection looked upon as the main driving force of evolution (change in the characteristics of species). As a rule, the impact of “exercise” and “non-exercise” of organs on their evolutional fate is also considered very significant in such theories as it is supposed that the consequences of exercise and non-exercise can be inherited. We can see a similar approach to meditation as a tool for karma cleansing in religion.
Lamarckism was long ago rejected by August Weismann’s experiments – he cut mouse tails, generation after generation. But he did not manage to breed tailless mice. In the same way, it’s impossible to change the ethnos national character by upbringing or meditations, especially in case of future, still not born generations. Changes in culture of the leaders may not correlate with the behavioural model of an average ethnos representative in any way.
There is another wrong idea – if there is some phenomenon on the Earth related to the natural environment, for example, some eco-type, then nature “needs” it. Really, nature does not need anything, it has neither aim, nor wishes, nor morals, nor pity. This is confirmed by hundreds of thousands extinct species – “blind branches” of evolution. As we have no grounds to consider that evolution of live creatures has stopped, we can say with assurance that practically all species of creatures that are alive today, including humans, are “dead-end species”.
The only thing “needed” by nature is to occupy all possible environmental niches, including at the expense of species’ pathological changes that take place in them when they occupy a new natural niche. It does not follow from it that we should treat with respect all the consequences of such expansion, no matter if it refers to invasive species or to eco-types of humans as such. There are no grounds to respectfully treat a process and its involuntary participants when humanity mastered previously useless for life territories, thus reducing quality of life though acquiring a set of internal structure’s pathologies as well as the outside look and mentality pathologies.
Changes in life around us are taking place quicker than people manage to comprehend them. The environmental worldview allows to at least understand the reasons of what is taking place.
Who, besides ecologists, foresaw twenty years ago that currently half of the people of Russia won’t have access to drinking water that is clean according to the approved standards and will have to breathe in the air that is 10 times more polluted than according to the World Health Organization standards?
But this book is not only about the collapsing world. It is also about going on living in this world, how and what for to live in it. About the issues more important than survival and about what the said issues are.
And this book is a kind of warning. A warning about new global Fascism, based on the aspiration to survive at any price and to sacrifice for it everything the modern civilization values, everything that makes up the meaning of human life, the life of an individual with self-respect and honour.
We’re beginning our talk about the future from description of human development limits set for us by nature as such. People believing that there are no limits for civilization, forget that infinite growth in a physically limited space is impossible.
There are five main limits for humanity (or, if we use the academic language, factors limiting development directions) on the globe:
- Areas available for life, including soils that can be cultivated;
- The speed of fresh water resources replenishment;
- The limit of energy produced under the atmospheric layer;
- The limits of the human immunity system’s abilities to resist growing inflow of technology-related pollutions into the body;
- The speed of humanity’s adequate reaction to changes expressed in time calculation units.
Many others follow from these limits: for example, the production limits of the glove. The limit is achieved when the population and material capital growth make humanity spend on the solution of environmental impact problems as much as the manufactured products may cost.
We’ll dedicate a whole chapter to the main and closest for our development limit – availability of usable fresh water. After that we’ll review ethnic groups as a part of eco-types, the impact of area on nations’ formation, analyze the consequences of crossbreeding and will try to forecast the consequences of peoples’ migration by 2050.
We’ll also speak about intelligence and other, nonhuman intelligent species on the Earth as well as the progress. We’ll ponder over the progress’ presence in culture, the society and morals. We’ll deliberate over a possibility of conscious suicide of intelligent life, about which Teilhard de Chardin spoke when introducing the term of “strikes in noosphere”. And then we’ll smoothly move to thinking over the paradox of “silence of space”, theoretically inhabited by infinite numbers of intelligent communities.
Our work would have been incomplete had we not discussed other views on human development. There is a chapter about the works by Toynbee, Fukuyama, Huntington.
One of the first consequences of humanity’s achieving development limits is the European race’s leaving the historical stage. It was predicted mathematically but still has not been appraised in social and political papers. We’ll try to fill in this gap.
The future is not foreordained but we can only choose from what is really possible. In the end of the book, we’ll review some scenarios of the future and imagine WHAT will most likely take place in the world in the next twenty or twenty-five years.
And finally, in the last chapter we’ll ponder over various possible options of individual behaviour in the face of the future.
We’re inclined to review the main human development way as the way to the maximum freedom and maximum variety. We see that humans first liberated from the dominance of religious and philosophical systems, then from national and state identity; liberation from being determined by the innate gender is on the agenda and after that from the very fact of identity with humanity, getting an opportunity to change one’s body and turn into nonhuman forms of life if you wish it.
But we also see that infinite variety of ethnic groups and behavioural models brought about by special features of the environment in the place of their formation, provided the basis for practically infinite variety for approaches to the surrounding world (worldviews), and that entailed the danger of a moral catastrophe when the human race stops to tell apart the good and the evil.
So, is what’s happening around us progress or not? Or is it a way to the evolutional dead-end? We hope that we’ll get the answer to this question in the end of the book…
To be maximally objective, I invited writer Andrey Stolyarov to take part in this work. He was kind enough to agree to write comments to each chapter autonomously. Dear readers, it’s for you to judge how it turned out in the end.
CHAPTER 1. THE LIMITS TO GROWTH
In spring, there was soil rain in one of the towns in Western Georgia. Black rain fell from the skies and turned into dirty streams on pavements and roads, earthy deposits appeared on cars, disgusting spots were left on clothes… Somewhere far, possibly in Iran, the storm lifted several centimeters of soil into the air and hopes of farmers for harvest with it as well as food in winter, next land mortgage payments and payments for children’s education… This would not have happened had there been forest wind-protection belts left on the fields that had amounted to 20% of the cultivated soil. But the owners of the land decided to take a risk in pursuit of bigger harvests… The “developed” Kazakhstan virgin lands flew into the air as black storms approximately in the same way.
We have already lost more lands than cultivated now. And we’ll lose the rest very soon.
Research and development
WHAT THE MODERNITY STARTED FROM…
The Limits to Growth was the book based on the report to the Club of Rome under the same title, the one that staged a coup in futurology. Then, approximately the same group of authors wrote Beyond the Limits to Growth and The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (the figures quoted in this chapter are mostly from the latter book). If the authors gave 50 years (up to 2022) for the change of the human civilization development course in their first work, there is a conclusion in the last one: the limits to growth have already been passed, and a modern civilization catastrophe is inevitable in the next two or three decades. Is it so? Let’s think together.
The first to speak about the resource catastrophe (Malthusian catastrophe) was Thomas Malthus. And he was absolutely right – really, if resources are limited, they will end sooner or later. In the opinion of critics, he just did not take into account one thing – resources are replaced by other resources. For example, it’s possible to use renewable energy sources instead of mineral (fossil) fuel – biofuel, sun, wind, tidal energy, geothermal energy, etc. Some people still use this argument to disprove the Malthusian theory. And they are wrong. Because there are actually infinite numbers of development limits in the complex system of our planet, and a new one originates to replace the one passed. We can find a way to produce as much energy as we want on the globe but we won’t be able to use it.
In the end, all the produced energy turns into heat and heats atmosphere. How can we assess the limit of energy production that humanity can allow itself in order not to damage its living space? Suppose, it’s possible to allow increase of the average planet’s temperature by 0.1° C per year, though many scholars will say that it’s too much. But even then people will be able to produce only 0.175×1015 Joules/second. It is approximately 15 times more than produced now. Will this energy be enough for us?
Currently, the United States consume about 25% of the global energy, with their population making 4.5% of the global population. In order for the whole population of the globe to equal the United States energy supply, we have to produce about 20 times more energy than now, i.e. go beyond the atmosphere overheating limits. But we’ll need even more energy because while we increase energy production, population will grow as well. So, Malthus was absolutely right. Another limit appears after the first one, and it’s impossible to infinitely overcome them by technological methods. We find ourselves in the first reviewed by us dead-end – the atmosphere heating limit dead-end. This is the first humanity’s evolutional dead-end but not the only one.
WHY THERE IS ALWAYS NOT ENOUGH EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE
Economist Herman Daly suggested simple rules that allow to determine the sustainability limits for raw materials and energy flows.
In case of renewable resources the sustainable speed of their use cannot exceed the speed of the said resources self-renewal. And in case of non-renewable resources the sustainable speed of consumption cannot exceed the speed of technological innovations’ introduction, i.e. the speed of a renewable resource coming to replace a non-renewable one. In case of pollutions the safe speed of their entering the environment can’t exceed the speed of the said pollution’s neutralizing by the environment.
There were many attempts to disprove the three Daly’s rules but with no success yet. It could seem that it is enough to add a “human factor” to Daly’s rules, to transfer nature’s functions to machines created by people – and the resource infinity will be achieved. But one limit will be replaced by another. We’ll review this variant below.
Trying to express human development limits in figures, scholars introduced the concept of the planet Earth’s environmental capacity and human “ecological footprint”.
Environmental capacity is the quantitatively expressed ability of the habitat (number of specimen per one unit of area, limits of the environment’s capabilities in case of the area’s economic development, etc.) allowing the ecosystem to exist without damaging its components. Overcoming the said limits leads to disrupting sustainability and destroying the ecosystem.
The human “ecological footprint” term was introduced in 1992 by William Rees, Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and former Director of the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. The phrase “ecological footprint” is used to depict the amount of biologically productive land and water area a human population would hypothetically need to provide the resources required to support them and absorb or store their wastes.
The ecological footprint is measured in universal standard units – global hectares (gha). The global hectare is a measurement unit meaning a hectare of biologically productive land or water area with an average world’s annual amount of biological production for a certain year. This indicator allows to understand how quickly humans consume the natural capital available to them.
According to various calculations by scholars analyzing the Earth’s environmental capacity, only two billion people can live on the globe, producing the maximum possible amount of energy not destroying the biosphere, consuming resources at the worthy average European level and at the same time not going beyond the limits of environmental capacity.
Actually, we can also provide jobs for these two billions. Surely, the rest can live on the “universal basic income” engaging in various kinds of creativity – from embroidery to poetry. And it is not necessary for it to be worthless or mediocre creativity (in 2018, already the second contest in picture creation by robots was held, and we see that machine creativity practically does not differ from human mediocre creativity). So, it will be accepted by the masses.
Addressing history, we see how privileged classes lived having their universal basic income from their estates, enterprises or bank accounts.
Recently, we often hear that the “universal basic income” will not only eradicate poverty but will also serve development of arts and inventiveness… My life experience tells that there will be much more people wishing to buy an extra bottle of liquor or bet, or gamble with extra money than those who will spend it on modest life filled with working on the land plot by their country house or playing the flute.
All characters from the ruling class in War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy have their “universal basic income” (UBI) and according to the Order “On Nobility’s Freedoms”, they even did not have to serve in the Army or be employed in some civil service. And what are they doing? Embroidery? No. They satisfy one basic, constant and never fully satisfied passion – to dominate. To be in power. To become better. More important. To write a book better than the others, to fence better than the others, to fire, love women more than the others, to dance better, ride a horse better, wage war more actively, kill more successfully… To become better, stronger, more successful… That’s the true individual’s aim, that’s the key to human nature. And if an individual is given money, i.e. accumulated human energy, he will spend it in order to surpass the others either in real life or in his dreams, increasing either his opportunities or needs. It’s easier to do the latter. A creative person rises in creativity; others will buy either drinks or a knife. Later, reviewing ways to overcome crisis, we’ll come back to the UBI idea.
We and our needs are more than the Earth can endure. This is an unquestionable fact. And at the same time, our global ecological footprint is constantly growing. It increased twice in comparison with the middle of the previous century. Currently, the human race consumes 50% more than the biosphere is capable to replenish (according to other calculations, “only” 30% more).
People in Russia consume more than average on the globe. Had the whole global population consumed the same amounts, we would have needed 2.5 planets. It’s interesting if residents of Russia are ready to reduce their consumption 2.5 times for “saving the world”. Or not?
Possibly, it’s not absolutely clear what limits in production are. That’s when the cost of produced goods equals or becomes less that the cost of production.
Here is an illustrative example. We can infinitely get synthetic fuel from waste, by the pyrolysis method for example. But we have to burn other fuel for pyrolysis in order to heat the pyrolysis furnace. After quick treatment of organic waste, we’ll throw all the rest into the furnace. And finally, a moment comes when the quality of waste is such that fuel from it is fully used to produce a new lot of fuel. The limit is achieved.
An example with soils is even more vivid. In 1950, there were 0.6 ha of cultivated lands per capita. There were only 0.25 ha by 2000. However, the yield (average for all crops) increased 1.5 times. But the global population doubled during the same time! So, the results of the “green revolution” (rapid increase of crop yield because of introduction of new varieties in the early 1980s) only temporarily saved people from hunger. Production of practically all kinds of food per capita has been going down on the globe as a whole in the recent two decades.
At the same time, the dynamics of annual food resources increase on the globe in absolute terms also decreased and will decrease rapidly from 1950 to 2030: thus, in 1950-1985 increase amounted to 30 mln tons, in 1985-1995 – 12 mln tons, and about 9 mln tons are forecasted for 1995-2030.
There is another danger that seemed unimportant in the past but is coming to the forefront now. All bees may disappear on the Earth by 2035. Without them it will be impossible to cultivate about one third of the most important crops. Bees pollinate up to 80% of plants on the globe, but the number of bees in Russia decreased by 40% from 2008. 90% of wild bees and 80% of domestic bees died in the United States, bees disappeared completely in China and they have
to pollinate plants there by hand. Scientists explain extinction of bees by the impact of mobile frequencies.
Death of bees will be an additional blow for exactly the poor strata and increase food prices on global scales.
Assessments of lands suitable for cultivation on the globe differ between 2 and 4 billion ha, depending on what lands are considered suitable. Approximately 1.5 billon hectares are already used for cultivating grain crops. This area was more or less constant over the last 30 years, the rest are taken by forests. But exactly forests are in danger.
According to assessments of 1986 as a part of the United Nations Environment Programme, over the last millennium people turned about 2 billion ha of fertile lands into waste lands where agriculture is impossible. That’s more than all today’s cultivated lands taken together.
Starting from 1800, when 0.8 billion ha of forests were lost, the cutting speed increased all the time. By 2015, already 2.2 billion ha (or 22 mln km2) were eliminated. We remind you that on the whole there are 40 mln km2 of forests on the globe. According to woodcutting statistics, about 200 thousand km2 of forest areas are lost on the globe per year (or 20 mln ha) – that’s approximately the area of Byelorussia.
This is not woodcutting by lumber enterprises when forest restoration is supposed in equal amounts. These are forest areas used for agricultural or construction purposes. If the speed of deforestation does not increase, there will be enough forests for 200 years. But the speed of irreversibly destroyed forests increases every year. In 2000-2005, the speed of deforestation on the globe as a whole (6 mln ha per year) increased in comparison with 1990-2000 (3 mln ha per year) and by now has come up to 20 mln ha per year. Approximately 400 trees grow on one hectare, surely there are more in tropical climate. At the same time, they use 45 billion food sticks per year in China only. In order to make them, 25 mln trees are required, that’s forest on 62,500 ha of taiga.
WE ARE THE CREATORS OF OUR UNHAPPINESS
The human race ALWAYS destroyed the Earth and NEVER comprehended that en masse. Only now this process accelerated rapidly, and we already do not have enough time to replace one exhausted resource by another, the land soil by chlorella plantations in shallow waters of the ocean. And what is more, the ocean turns out to be more polluted and exhausted than we thought.
The global fish catching has equaled fish productivity of the World Ocean and amounts to 129 mln tons per year. About 70 mln tons are provided by fish farms that are very vulnerable to outside impacts and are very dependant on the condition of the environment. By 2040-45, fishery will become unprofitable.
An example with the World Ocean resources is illustrative for “optimists” – the Left who think that there are enough resources in the world to feed any population, it’s just necessary “to take everything and divide”.
If all eatable fish in the World Ocean is caught, all fish we can grow in fish hatcheries proceeding from the maximum fodder we can provide, added to it and divided between all the inhabitants of the globe, we get 500 mln tons of fish or 170 grams per person per day (with scales, bones and intestines – or per 30 grams fillet). However, there will be nothing to catch in the World Ocean next year.
The resource limits of the Earth are an objective reality and not consequences of capitalist economy. And impossibility for humankind to survive in present-day numbers is a no less objective reality.
About 100 mln ha of arable lands were lost in the last fifty years because of salinization, and yielding ability of 110 mln ha is rapidly reducing.
The speed of losing humus, a fertile layer, is constantly increasing. Before the industrial revolution, it amounted to about 25 mln tons per year, it was about 300 mln tons per year in the several previous centuries, and it was 760 mln tons per year in the last 50 years. It is also clear why – people plow mountain slopes because of hunger, there is no time for anti-erosion measures, etc. – though they manage to have more children.
The first comparative research of soil loss by hundreds of regional experts was published in 1994. There is a conclusion in it that 38% (562 mln ha) of agricultural lands used currently have already degraded (as well as 21% of permanent grasslands and 18% of forests). The degradation degree varies from average to heavy.
The city of Jakarta gradually occupies all the surrounding lands at the speed of 20,000 ha per year. 20,000 ha of rice fields are lost in Vietnam every year – they are used to build cities.
From 1989 to 1994, 34,000 ha of agricultural lands were turned into golf courses in Thailand.
From 1987 to 1992, 6.5 mln ha of arable lands were used for construction in China, and at the same time they had to turn 3.8 mln ha of forests and grassland into plowed fields. Over 170,000 ha of agricultural lands are used to build motor roads in the United States every year.
The limit of common cultures’ yielding ability has already been reached. Now it’s up to genetically modified crops. But many scholars are against their use.
It could seem that the biosphere balance can be restored by human efforts, for example, by waste processing. But any human activities, even waste processing, in their turn produce new waste, the amounts of which are always bigger than useful products – 2.5 times on the average. To say it differently, if we increase our “ecological footprint” by over-the-limit consumption of fresh water and start making fresh water (not waiting for rains but turning sea water into fresh water), we’ll spend so much energy that we won’t lessen out “ecological footprint” but increase it. It’s the same with foresting. Millions of people on the globe are engaged in foresting and planting trees, and there is a lot of handwork in it. Paying wages and providing people with other resources required for life nullifies all advantages from foresting to nature. That is, those who forest bring more harm to nature by their existence than help it.
Think about it. Even those who are engaged in nature restoration, bring nature more harm by their very existence than good – by their activities! This is a particular consequence of the so-called law of the Ahriya mainyus’ arrow about which we’ll speak in the last part of this book. If we use a chess term, we live in the Zugzwang world, where any our move worsens our positions. Why does it happen? You’ll read about it in the next chapters of the book.
There is a rule based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics: there is always more waste than final products. In 1997, a computer weighed 25 kg on the average, and when it was made over 60 kg of materials turned into waste (not counting waste from power production and mining). Currently, computers weigh less, but the product – waste ratio has not changed, only waste has become more toxic. Theoretically, we can treat and process all waste into a useful product, but in practice not every country can find money for that. Or the product made from waste will be so expensive that no one will buy it.
The limit in harmful substances’ emissions into the atmosphere has been reached as well. According to the World Health Organization, 90% of the people on our Earth breath in the air not satisfying the WHO requirements. Pay attention, we’re not speaking about greenhouse gases like CO2 but exactly about harmful, dangerous for human health foreign matters and contaminants in the air.
And finally, the main limit – the time we have for changes. We’ll tell about that in detail in the chapter dedicated to water resources but now we’ll speak about yield of crops. Let’s take Georgia as an example. This country imports approximately 80% of food it requires, and they grow only corn in their climate comparable to the American one. Only in the Unites States its yield is 120 hundredweights per ha, and only 20 in Georgia. Approximately the same low yield is in case of beans – about 7 hundredweights. They are grown separately, mostly on fields belonging to small landowners. Low yield does not allow to use corn and beans as fodder for cattle, there is not enough for people.
It could seem that they in Georgia are vitally interested to catch up with the United States in their yields. And there is a simple way to increase yielding capacity. If all climbing beans are planted together with corn (two seeds in one hole), nitrogen-containing fertilizes won’t be needed, and actually the low corn yield is explained exactly by their insufficiency – bacteria growing on bean roots will provide corn roots with nitrogen. And corn will serve as a natural support for beans that won’t need supporting poles, and that will considerably simplify harvesting. Thus, it’s possible to increase the intensity of one hectare use twice. And the obtained mixture from two plants will be the ideal fodder for cattle, i.e. exactly what the country needs very much.
Surely, it’s nothing new, joint plantings have been known for a fairly long time but are not employed en masse in Georgia. Why? For the same reason progressive biodynamic farming methods are not used all over the world.
Why are Rudolf Steiner’s ideas supported by only a small group of enthusiasts? Probably, the readers are ready to answer this question. Is human stupidity the reason of all human troubles? That’s an absolutely true conclusion but it’s too superficial or perfunctory. Can mankind become wiser? Are there limits here? We’ll try to give an answer with arguments to this question in the course of the following discussion.
We’re used, when we’re thinking, to put the cart after the horse because we think that the cart’s movement is the consequence of its being pulled by the horse. But if the road is going down a slope, the cart’s movement will become the reason of the horse’s running. The cause and consequence will change places.
Nature is the cause or reason of everything, or according to creationists, that’s God, Lord, Creator, the Great Architect of the Universe. All the rest is only consequences, consequences of consequences, consequences of consequences of consequences, etc. There is only one cause or reason of everything, after we understand it, we start comprehending the consequences of someone’s wrong choice…
As you’ll see later, inability of the majority of people, ethnic groups and states to quickly master new things, caused by natural (environmental) factors, to put it differently, inability for progress is the main reason of future death of humanity that will come soon, it’s the main resource dead-end. Sure, currently increase of crop yielding ability is not the solution of the problem, it will be very soon nullified by global birth rate.
It could seem that birth rate is already decreasing in the world. But this is temporary. Yes, according to forecasts, birth rate will decrease on the globe when the mankind size amounts to 8 billion by 2050, and the coefficient will equal 2.1 children per one woman. This is called demographic transfer. But it turned out that in case of 0.9 children per one woman there is a reverse demographic transfer, and birth rate increases, and that is already witnessed now in Northern countries.
As you see, we should not even expect decrease of birth rate. And decrease of birth rate won’t help to avoid resource exhaustion. Human needs will go on growing, one common consumer can destruct globe’s resources as a thousand people spending money only on food. Second, will we manage to come to the “plateau of birth rate” before the catastrophe, forecasted by Dennis Meadows to take place in the middle of this century?
So, we showed several limits for humanity, to which we have already come and some of which we have already skipped over: the tolerable amount of energy produced on the globe; the area of lands that can be used for farming, which is reducing all the time; yield of the main crops, the limits of which have already been reached as well, if we do not take GMO into account. We’ll speak below about limits of the human immunity system and limits of water contamination. And now we’ll return to the main in our opinion limit – the humanity’s time limit.
People adapt to changes differently. Some people need more time than the others. And what is more, people often start actively resisting changes because consequences of changes, though created by themselves, are antihuman in their essence. Not many will be able and will want to live in the world of total global economy – saving everything from water to food. And in our opinion, they will be right because survival associated with insult to human dignity it not worth its aim.
Limitation of expenses exclusively by survival and providing only the necessities, i.e. minimum comfort, deprives making money over the limits of its meaning, and consequently the wish to create something absolutely new, for which billions will be paid. But mankind required exactly such innovations over its whole history. Finally, this is just humiliating – to live according to the principle “norm from everyone, ration to everyone”.
Only the possibility of infinite expansion is the basis of progress. This is the reason of eternal argument between economists and ecologists. If the first think that human opportunities growth is infinite, the second speak about some limits, not understanding that if limits are set for growth, it will just stop, and governments will have to satisfy even the minimum human needs by requisitioning agricultural products. There was such an experiment in Soviet Russia – and it turned out that people stop working without the hope to become rich.
But may it be that science, technologies, industries should be stopped for survival and all efforts focused on distribution of the products of labour over the globe? No, this measure will not lead to survival, at least because bacteria evolution will not stop, and soon we’ll get some “superbacterium”, not affected by developed medicines and it won’t be possible to create new ones without science and technology development.
Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of the books on the limits of growth, supposes that the world (all of it, entirely, notwithstanding cultural and other differences) will be sustainable if it accepts two descriptions of sufficiency and acts in accordance with them: one refers to material needs, the other to the family size. As a result, according to his plan, there will be about 8 billion people on the globe, with two children per family on the average, with small incomes like in the lowest class of European countries in the end of the 20th century. At the same time, he thinks that the efficiency of technologies will increase, people will still create and invent, otherwise it will be impossible to compensate for increasing the cost of production because of mining becoming more expensive.
What stimuli will be offered for people to work in this system, create, invent? It’s evident that only totalitarian, and it’s not important if they are left-wing or right-wing – there will be no others left.
Herman Daly, whom we mentioned already, said once that sustainable condition would require less consumption of natural resources but much higher moral qualities. But he did not explain how these high moral qualities would originate, and in all people on the globe at the same time. Each of us with his/her experience of living in Russia knows that deficit does not serve origination of higher moral qualities – more likely the opposite…
However, there is another variant – the globe’s system will be balanced as a result of a “feedback”, its reaction to human activities. The only apprehension is that mankind may not survive it…
So, we have probably convinced the readers that there will be no development growth in case of humanity, and according to many indicators, stagnation has already started – e.g., more and more countries on the globe can’t feed themselves, more and more people leave their homes because they are swallowed by deserts, there are more and more rivers from which water can’t be used for watering fields, etc. The question is how much time do we have for changes? Twenty years, two hundred years, or as Dennis Meadows thinks, it is already too late and catastrophe is inevitable?
Let’s continue our investigation of the issue…
THE PROBLEM OF PRECIPICE
The statement that we’re slipping down into the global crises has already become commonplace. There are all signs of that. Political aggravation is growing and leads to conflicts not only between small countries but also between world powers, chaos areas (spontaneous military actions) are expanding and currently encompass giant regions. Financial markets are convulsing, jumping either up or down.
No one understands what to do with that.
However, currently probably the most dangerous and, no matter how strange it seems, the least known is the global environmental crisis about which Yuri Shevchuk wrote. We have run across “the limits to growth”. Exhaustion of the planet Earth’s environmental capacity is approaching, and that threatens the existence of the entire mankind.
The main thing is that this threat is not comprehended. Rich countries increase superconsumption thinking that they have the full right to that. And poor countries do not pay any attention to ecology, destroying the environment as the problem of primitive survival comes first to them pushing ecology to the background.
It seems that there is no hope.
We are steadily slipping down into precipice.
At the same time, we can recall history lessons.
About 20,000 years ago, there was a great environmental crisis in the Upper Paleolithic Age. Bow and arrows, spears, spear-throwers, javelins, trap hole, drive hunting were invented in that period… And as researchers write, “real hunting Bacchanalia” was launched in Africa and on Eurasia expanses. And while natural beasts of prey catch, first of all, sick and weakened animals because of established natural balances, well-equipped hunters could (and wished) to kill the strongest and most beautiful animals and in numbers much exceeding biological requirements. “Anthropogenic” cemeteries of wild animals were discovered, with most of their meat not used by people. As a result, nearly all big beasts (megafauna) were exterminated in a short period, large-scale hunger followed, and mankind was on the threshold of death.
The size of the global population decreased many times.
Probably, it also seemed then that mankind won’t manage to survive.
And now, let’s see what happened next.
The so-called Neolithic revolution broke out: agriculture appeared – producing economy that was more effective than appropriating economy (hunting and picking), and a whole complex of strict environmental limitations together with it: no hunting when animals are breeding; pregnant female beasts, young animals should not be killed; bird nests should not be ravaged…
That is, humane technologies appeared limiting aggression.
And we survived.
With big difficulties, with giant numbers of victims, but mankind went on living.
Or we can recall an example from recent history. The late 1950s and the early 1960s. Opposition of the two great powers – the USA and the USSR. Unrestrained arms race, increase of nuclear missile arsenals, aggressive statements, threats from both sides. The Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The world was in five minutes from nuclear Armageddon threatening to destroy everything live on the Earth.
And what next?
And a whole complex of humane technologies again limiting aggression appears immediately (on historical scales). Direct talks by the Presidents of the USSR and the USA, warnings about military exercises and trial launches, the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and finally, the Helsinki Accords.
This fully corresponds to the concept of the technological and humanitarian balance presented by A.P. Nazaretyan in his time. If technological development outruns humanitarian, there is a crisis that can be overcome by new humane technologies. By the way, a similar “balance theorem” was worded at approximately the same time by the Future Constructing Group (Sergey Pereslegin, Andrey Stolyarov, Nikolay Yutanov) with producing and managing technologies as examples.
And on the whole, if we review the history of global crises from the ancient times to the present day, we’ll be convinced that every time mankind found itself of the edge of some precipice, it, probably guided by instincts, started building a reliable bridge across this precipice, the bridge that allowed to cross it.
Let’s hope that the same instinct will save us another time.
CHAPTER 2. THIRST
Water is leaving our region…
Researchers find sapropel under peat bogs in the Leningrad Region – and it means that only 2,000-3,000 years ago there were lakes on the sites of bogs. But bogs are also disappearing – scholars from the Zelenogorsk peatland observation station “Lammin-Suo” under the State Hydrological Institute are witnessing their “standard” bog being more and more taken by the pine forest every year, losing water.
Water is leaving, and no one knows where. Most likely, to the sea, its level is rising, slowly but rising. The waterway from the Vyborg Bay to Lake Ladoga existed for 700 years. It became shallow in the 16th century. There are traces left certifying that people tried to cut through the rocks that had risen out of the ground and make the channel in place of the old river bed… Ships coming up the rivers from the Baltic Sea docked by the Koporye Fortress and Gostilitsy Palace already in the 18th century. There are only dry ditches or thin streams left from those rivers now. The Tikhvin water system that served as the waterway for barge caravans nearly dries in hot summers now.
Last year, the water level decreased in Lake Onega, the Svir River and Lake Ladoga…
There is a wooden church built in the late 17th century in the village of Soginitsy, in the meander of the Vazhinka River. It was built from larches, and this wood remembers the climate in the time of construction. One can see wide tree-rings – certifying that trees grew in the over-moisturized environment – gradually replaced by narrower ones.
Over-moisturized forests are a consequence of the so-called Little Ice Age and its echoes in the North. It was then that anomalously cold weather, snow in June and bad harvests (seven years with bad harvests in a row in the time of Godunov’s rule) brought about the Time of Troubles in Russia. And then water started leaving – and not only from our region. The lay of land and climate changes did not end in time immemorial. They go on and entail a catastrophe for civilization.
So, let’s speak about thirst – in the direct meaning of this word.
Research and development
“TAKE EVERYTHING AND DIVIDE!”
If we count the aggregate annual discharge of all rivers and water basins of the world (including renewable underground water-carrying layers), it will turn out that mankind has a lot of fresh water: 40,700 km3 per year. That’s enough to fill all North American Great Lakes every four months. It seems that we’re very far from the fresh water consumption limit as the current water consumption by humanity is only one tenth of the maximally tolerable amounts – 4,430 km3 per year (figures by Dennis Meadows).
But in real life it’s impossible to use the whole discharge of fresh water basins. Many water sources are seasonable. About 29,000 km3 of the yearly discharge goes to the ocean with annual floods. There are only 11,000 km3 left that can be evaluated as a year-round source, with river discharges and renewable underground water-carrying layers included.
But it is possible to store water for future use in the time of annual floods! And people started building giant water storage basins. By the end of the 20th century, dams allowed to additionally use 3,500 km3 of water per year. But dams cause land flooding, and as a rule, first-class agricultural lands. And they also lead to increase of evaporations from water storage basins, thus decreasing available amounts of water as well as changing water ecosystems – both lake and river ones. In the end water storage basins are filled with slime and become ineffective, so we can’t consider them reliable sources, they are a temporary measure.
So, we have counted the sustainable river discharge as a resource than can be used. But not all of it is available to people. The Amazon river basin has about 15% of the global fresh water discharge, but only 0.4% of the global population live here. Northern Eurasian rivers and rivers in North America discharge about 1,800 km3 per year but very few people agree to live on their banks. That is, about 2,100 km3 of fresh water per year are referred to stable but difficult to access discharge.
So, we have: 11,000 km3 of sustainable discharge and 3,500 km3 provided by water storage basins. We subtract 2,100 km3 of difficult to access waters from this amount and as a result we have 12,400 km3 per year left – this is sustainable and at the same time accessible discharge. That’s the forecasted top limit of fresh water amounts accessible for use by mankind. (There are also non-renewable water sources, we’ll speak about them below.)
As it was already said, currently we take only 4,430 cubic kilometers of water from this amount, and half of it is lost irretrievably becoming parts of cardboard, apple, or bread, and the second half is polluted so much that it can’t be used.
About 58% out of these 4,430 cubic kilometers are used for agriculture. Do you know how much water is spent on a cup of tea? Far more than one cup. It’s necessary to water the tea bush, engines of the machines used to collect harvest and vehicles transporting the product are to be cooled, water is also used for packaging. As a result, approximate calculations show that indirect water expenditures for a 200 ml cup of tea amount to 30 liters. And about 140 liters of water are required for a 125 ml coffee cup.
Industry takes 38% more. We have only 8% left for our personal needs – food and hygiene.
Let’s divide 4,430 cubic kilometers of water between seven billion inhabitants of the globe, we’ll get 633 cubic meters of water per year. We remember that we spend 8% of them for our personal needs. That’s only 50 cubic meters per year, or 50,000 liters. It’s enough not to die from thirst but not more. We can forget about daily bath (600 liters), flush toilets (6 liters every time, 5,000 liters per year), a habit to put on clean garments every day. That’s equality according to Sharikov – “Take everything and divide”.
That’s how we divided the used water. And if we divide all the accessible for us renewable surface water discharge between inhabitants of the Earth, so as only cleaned water returns to rivers, we’ll get only 112 cubic meters of water, or 112,000 liters in the nine-billion world “at the 21st century noon”. This is the limit. One bath every second day, washing in the same water, the same water used for toilet flushing. And it should be also taken into account that rationed distribution of such a heavy and impossible to press product as water is very difficult, especially on global scales. May be, by totalitarian methods only.
So, ecologists are becoming ideologists of new Fascism.
We more and more often hear offers to introduce distribution of natural resources (incomes from their sales as a version) between all inhabitants of the globe “justly”, i.e. equally. We’ll speak later about various offers like The Venus Project. Let’s also try to calm down the followers of “equal rights to natural resources” – if all of them are divided between all people, it will be very little. So little, that death will seem liberation from torments of such a life.
By the way, we won’t be able to develop all accessible water in any case. Sewage returned to rivers and lakes will as a rule be polluted, and the natural cleaning system won’t already be able to manage with these pollutions. And it means that people living down by the river will get already polluted water. We witness such things in Middle Asia, where they have already gone beyond fresh water consumption. So, if you want to see the global future – welcome to Turkmenistan.
We are again in a dead-end. Does it seem a governing law? Or are we wrong in our arithmetic?
LET’S TRY TO COUNT ONCE AGAIN
There is a trend in the world for reduction of water consumption. The water consumption curve’s growing is noticeably slowing down, and it even went down in some European countries. Current water use all over the world makes only half of the amount forecasted 30 years ago with extrapolation of exponential curves. And had we had about two hundred reserve years…
We don’t have two hundred reserve years, water will end sooner. Already now, about one third of the global population lives in the countries with partial or severe water scarcity. About half of the Russian people are deprived of the access to drinking water clean according to standards. By 2030, 5 billion people will find themselves without satisfactory water cleaning, i.e. the overwhelming majority of the global population will use polluted water. And if it will be possible to get drinking water from springs or buy in shops, taking a shower or swimming in a river will be fraught with gut or liver diseases.
Water pollution is brought about by its “blooming”, i.e. growing cyanobacteria that in their turn generate poisons deadly for everything alive. “Blooming” water becomes the place for mosquito breeding, including malaria mosquitoes, and the area of their distribution is rapidly moving to the North. According to the World Bank calculations, 5.2 billion people will be threatened with catching malaria by 2050.
Pollution and insufficient cleaning of sewage are the challenges not only for some “third world”. Russia referring itself to the “silver billion” has to deal with the same issues. Each fifth water test if it is taken from the water supply system in this country is not in accordance with the state standard in chemical indicators, and each eleventh test in biological indicators. The state of affairs in various kinds of wells and boreholes is even worse. Only from 9% to 12% of sewage are property cleaned in Russia (according to state standards). Besides, sewage is not the main pollution reason for many open reservoirs. The main is diffusion when pollution comes from the air as well as agricultural lands and bottom polluted deposits. Currently, only 1% of surface sources satisfy the first-class requirements, for which most water preparation systems in our country are intended – that’s coagulation, clearing from impurities, filtration, disinfection with chlorine. In order to clean water from other sources up to the degree allowing to direct it to the water supply system, powerful water preparation plants are required, and most cities and towns in Russia have no money to build them.
Water deficit and water pollution lead to impossibility for a country to provide itself with food. There is so much water taken from such rivers as the Colorado, Nile, Indus, Ganges, Huang He (Yellow river), Syr Darya and Amu Darya, Tigris and Euphrates for irrigation and providing cities, that they become shallow for a part of the year or the whole year. Besides, ice melting on the globe also plays its role. Ice is melting at such a speed that by the middle of this century its amounts will be decreased by 65-70%, and that means water reduction in the said great rivers by 40-50%, or, on the other hand, collapse of such states as India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, China, Middle Asian countries and Transcaucasia…
The subsoil water level in the most agricultural states of India – Punjab and Haryana – is decreasing by half a meter every year. 30 km3 of water is taken out of boreholes in Northern China every year, and this is one of the reasons why the Yellow River is becoming shallow. 12km3 of water is annually taken from the Ogallala Aquifer supplying one fifth of all irrigated lands in the United States. Its exhaustion has already led to ceasing irrigation of 1 mln ha of agricultural lands. The Central Valley in California, where a half of all fruit and vegetables produced by this state grows, overuses about 1 km3 of underground waters per year. Water is taken from desert non-renewable underground aquifers all over North Africa and the Near East. This destroys aquifers by salt water getting there, sinking soils or just exhaustion and depletion.
At first, the consequences of water insufficiency are mostly local. But later they spread to other countries, wider and wider, and then the consequences become evident on international scale. Probably, the first sign of water insufficiency is growth of prices for grains, though still unimportant. The second sign is migration from droughty or water-deficient regions, at first seasonal, labour migration, then regular migration that, according to the UN calculations, will amount to from 24 to 700 mln people by 2030. The third sign is increase of the number of people with schistosomiasis and helminthiasis. Already now, over 90% of the global population are parasite carriers. There are over 100 kinds of parasites inside our bodies, from little amoebae unseen with the naked eye to annelids that are several meters long. The fourth sign is increase of the number of allergic reactions. Lack of clean water interferes with the normal functioning of the body cleaning systems, and that serves as the basis for allergic reactions. By 2030, there won’t be any people left without this or that allergic reaction, i.e. without some disturbance of the body’s immune system. It means that any diseases will be heavier and more often end fatally.
And it is possible that malaria will strike a deadly blow, and that refers to the whole mankind. As a rule, a healthy organism can manage with it, taking simple medicine like chininum. But not the organism of an allergic person, for whom plasmodium from a mosquito can be fatal.
The water environmental crisis will not kill people at once. It will take life by pieces and bits – one disease will tear a year of life, another ten years. Mostly, people incapable of synthesizing information from different fields of knowledge and subjected to slow poisoning, will not even understand what happened to them – everyone dies, right?
Sure, it’s possible to import grain, build channels, lay pipes and install pumps in order to import water. Rich societies with big oil reserves like, for example, Saudi Arabia can allow themselves to use the energy of extracted fuel in order to desalinate sea water (while there is enough of such fuel). However, the air is polluted in this case.
Saudi Arabia gets 5.5 mln cubic meters of water as a result of desalination, spending 350,000 oil barrels for that. Israel develops such technologies that each drop of water will operate with maximum efficiency, at the same time they will first of all focus on technologies requiring minimum amounts of water. Some countries may use their armies to conquer or get an access to water resources of their neighbours. But the majority of the global population with lack or insufficiency of water has only one solution available to them: to run away.
“TAKE EVERYTHING AND DIVIDE” – VARIANT TWO
But there are not only renewable sources of water on the globe, there are non-renewable as well – deeply lying underground artesian basins filled with paleowater formed millions of years ago: the Great Artesian Basin in Australia, West-Siberian Artesian Basin, Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, Guarani Aquifer in Latin America and many other smaller deposits of ancient waters, partially salt and hot but often fresh and suitable for drinking. There are 45,000 cubic kilometers of water just in the Guarani Aquifer lying from 70 to 1,140 meters deep – that’s enough for the whole mankind for one hundred years. There are Great Lakes in America, lakes in Europe, Lake Baikal, there are icebergs. Yes, nearly all these water sources are outside the mass inhabited areas. But in principle, had we witnessed the population decrease trend and decrease of resource consumption trend, we could say, let’s use non-renewable resources in order to live up to the time when there are again two billions of us, i.e. as much as the environmental capacity of the Earth allows. But we can’t say that yet. Because we’re seeing the opposite – thrifty treatment of water resources accompanied by unrestrained reproduction and expansion. Opening non-renewable water resources will only increase its consumption, postpone saving methods and bring about further increase of the population size. Let’s look at Middle Asia to illustrate this thesis though it’s possible to use Nigeria as an example, replacing the Amu Darya by the Niger River.
The idea that Central Asia is poor in water is wrong. There are 2,087 cubic meters of water per person in the Amu Darya water basin on the average, and 1,744 cubic meters in Syr Darya. The same figure in Germany not complaining about insufficiency of water is 1,878 cubic meters.
In 2014, international academic journal Nature named Central Asian countries world “leaders” in inefficient water use, consuming more water per person and per each GDP dollar than people of any other country of the world. Meanwhile, the Aral Sea is 90% dry, and desertification in Turkmenistan, not rich in vegetation as it is, is going quickly, and 50% of lands in Uzbekistan, previously suited for agriculture, turned into saline soils and salt marches. Turkmenistan consumes about 5,500 cubic meters of water per person, and that’s the highest figure in the world. This is four times more than, for example, in the United States, and 13 times more than in China. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan consuming about 2,000 cubic meters per person are also ranked in the list of global water spendthrifts (4th and 5th places respectively). Tajikistan and Kazakhstan are not far behind, raking the 7th and 11th. The Central Asian republics are the first on the globe in inefficiency of water use in terms of water consumption per each GDP dollar. Tadzhikistan is the first one in this anti-ranking using nearly 3.5 cubic meters of water per each GDP dollar. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are in the 2nd, 3rd and 6th places respectively. Cf.: Turkmenistan spends 43 times more water per each GDP dollar than Spain. As a result of this extremely inefficient water use, most water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya is used for economic needs of the countries in this region, and the Aral Sea dries rapidly.
If Central Asian countries do not become more rational and go along the environmentally sustainable way of development, the region will be threatened with enormous difficulties, including environmental, economic and social degradation as well as water wars for all the time reducing resources. That’s the conclusion in Nature.
Water wars have already begun. In particular, the consequence of Sahara spreading is the conflict of herders and farmers in the Sahel region, especially aggravated in Sudan that besides other specific for this country reasons provoked genocide in Darfur.
Conflicts between Turkey, Syria and Iraq sharing waters of the Tigris and Euphrates, or Egypt and Sudan, on the one hand, and the states in the upper reaches of the Nile, first of all Ethiopia, on the other hand, are the classical examples of the issue with no solution. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the construction of which is nearly completed by Addis Ababa on the Blue Nile, will reduce the Nile water availability for Egypt by one third and the amount of produced electrical energy by 40% over the six years when the four-level Ethiopian reservoir is filled.
This means inevitable collapse of Egyptian economy and acute deficit of drinking water. And we’re speaking only about the first big dam outside Egypt. Other countries in the upper reaches of the Nile are getting ready to bring into life no less large-scale projects.
Neither Ethiopia nor other countries in the upper reaches of the Nile can’t refuse from constructing hydrosystems on the Nile: their population is growing, they have to feed their people. Redistribution of the Nile discharge in their favour gives them the only chance to solve their own energetic problems and provide their territories with water.
Pay attention – the thought to live as they can afford it does not enter their heads, i.e. to have as much people as can be provided with enough available water. Another dead-end of mankind is insurmountable inclination to expansion and as a result life according to the “prison camp principle”: you die today and I will die tomorrow.
So, let’s sum up the results. Fresh water is leaving us; conversely, amounts of salt water are increasing. We don’t think that the reasons of this process are anthropogenic. The analysis of the discharge volume of water of the 925 biggest rivers of the world shows that water level in them reduced considerably over the recent 56 years. Meanwhile, the World Ocean level rises quicker than it was supposed – the speed of this rise over the recent 25 years increased not by 190% as it had been thought before, but more than 250%. It’s probable that with the volcanism increase on the globe, juvenile waters are flowing into the World Ocean in earnest.
Research fellows from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research established that discharges of one third of the biggest rivers of the globe tended to reduce from 1948 to 2004. The rivers that were most intensively going shallow are the Colorado, Niger, Huang He, Ganges. And now we can with mathematical precision calculate which states will die, whose economy is impossible without using water from the said rivers. According to calculations, about 64% of ice will disappear in China, Middle Asia and India by 2050, threatening the existence of 1.5 billion people who depend of water resources in them.
The river discharge volumes are reducing disastrously in many densely populated parts of the globe: South-East Asia (China, India, Myanmar, Thailand), in many African countries. The river discharge volumes are also reducing in the Near East, the southern part of Australia, Western coast of the United States, central part of Canada. Even the deepest and the most full-flowing river in the world, the Amazon, is growing shallow, and it seems that it is related to tropical forests cutting.
The rivers in the European part of Russia are growing shallow.
But the annual discharge is increased in case of the most rivers in the east of Russia (Ob, Lena, Yenisei, Indigirka, Kolyma), Alaska (Yukon River), some rivers in South America (Parana, Uruguay) as well as river basins in the central and eastern parts of North America (Mississippi).
Rivers are not only the sources of water. They are also the sources of power. All power engineering in mountainous countries is based on hydroelectric power plants. Rivers are also great collectors of sewage and garbage. No matter how sewage pipes wind, finally they have an exit to a river or a sea. Water level reduction in rivers is loss of power, impossibility to get rid of sewage and garbage, dilute salt soil waters in fields, set up new production facilities or a rice plantation.
This is not thirst yet – that’s hunger and diseases. Thirst will come after them.
Water all over the world in rivers and aquifers is becoming unsuitable for use so quickly that we don’t have time to follow these changes. Municipal cleaning systems do not manage to deal with the problem, epidemics begin, insects suffering from thirst get into houses where people live, and there are poisonous insects among them. By the way, all of it is known to everyone who read about the Apocalypse.
Water is heavy, there is a lot of it required, it will be impossible to bring it in required amounts from regions where there is more than enough of it. Use of polluted water entails increase of parasite infections, hepatitis, immune diseases. One of the permanent poisoning signs is apathy and loss of will. Life is dying in agricultural districts. People run to cities, where they will have to live in slums and where they will additionally poison rivers by not cleaned household sewage. Later mass and absolutely uncontrolled migration will start, to put it simply – crowds of people will run away from southern countries to the north where there is still water left.
Actually, this future has already come to some regions of the Earth. And their areas are expanding.
The main lesson for us from the reviewed water issues is as follows. Though the said issues are demonstrative and clear for anyone, though half of the global population can really see their house, everyday life being destroyed, their future disappearing, their property devaluated – all the same, people in the areas with water insufficiency, except few intellectuals, go on living as if nothing is happening, they give birth to many children. They think that the maximally negative for them reaction to challenges is emigration, and they obstinately do not want to understand that there is no old world any more and there will be no coming back to it, to the mode of their parents’ life. We’ll risk to suppose that they will also think their death because of water insufficiency consequences, fairly natural. Well, rulers of some states, who are surely not suffering from water insufficiency themselves, are very lucky with their subjects…
THE CLOCK OF THE ERA HAS ALREADY STRUCK
Had they told me in my childhood that after some time fresh water would be bought in shops packaged in plastic bottles, or people would filter it at home using special filers, I would not have believed them. That’s nonsense! Why should anyone buy or filter water? Here it is! Open the tap and drink as much as you like.
I do not know what water was like then, but recently they changed pipes in the apartment house where I live, and our plumber demonstrated one of them to me, just cut out. The pipe was covered from the inside by a thick layer of deposits, a finger and a half thick.
After seeing it, you’ll really buy water and filter it carefully.
And you’ll start thinking.
Or you read in one of the articles that it was possible to catch a sturgeon in the Neva river in the 1930s. And now, sanitary supervisors warn in mass media: it’s better not to eat fish caught in the Neva, it’s dangerous for life. Or you read in another article that it’s better not to swim in some sea resorts, only in special swimming-pools as they have other water there – safe and cleaned.
I repeat: they are speaking about popular sea resorts, the places where hundreds of thousands go on vacation.
You’re reading all that and you suddenly understand that the world has really become different. It seems that the cheerful though somewhat absurd slogan of the Soviet times – “The sun, air and water are our best friends!” – is gone forever.
There will be no coming back.
However, these are my personal scales. The so-called personal tunnel of reality.
Yuri Shevchuk reviews the same problem in his book on global scales. And he demonstrates convincingly that we are to expect the Great Drought.
Rivers are growing shallow, deserts are advancing, clean drinking water is becoming a deficit. Whole regions of the globe are dehydrated and, by all accounts, we’ll soon see a new type of wars – states and communities fighting for access to plain water.
We should not think that this is somewhere far. That there will be enough water for us during our whole lives in Russia with its rivers and lakes. If, for example, Middle Asia (the region going dry extremely quickly) falls, millions of refugees will rush exactly to us.
What are we to do with them?
That’s the question of the near future.
There is no answer.
But here, in my opinion, is the most amazing issue.
It turns out that the problem is not total deficit of water. The real problem is its irrational use.
The world has changed, and millions of people as if did not notice it. They go on living as if in the 19th century – without thinking, wastefully, without seeing the future.
Meanwhile, the clock of the era has already struck.
The future is really coming.
All global reality is being transformed.
The past is evaporating like water under the sun of the renewed time…
CHAPTER 3. A MIGRANT AS A VOLUNTEER OF THE APOCALYPSE
A migrant, whom we meet most often, is a middle-aged male, who came from Middle Asia to find employment. Surely, he says that he wants to return home very much. Surely, he is working here not according to the chosen profession. He came from an agrarian country, where the area of kitchen gardens is not three hundred square meters but three hectares and where they grow practically the full ration of his giant, according to Russian scales, family – sunflowers, carrots, onions, melons, grapes, sesame, cattle fodder, rice… Trees give fruit. But water insufficiency began somewhere around 1993. Trees went dry, cows, sheep and horses were slaughtered. In the end, his kitchen garden started bringing such small harvests that labour there is no longer self-sufficient.
(Do you recall us speaking about the limit of goods production in the beginning of the book? Here is an example of such a limit.)
And he had to leave for Russia to make money.
His family stayed at home. He sends his wages to them as even RUB 100 are enough to buy something there. He was lucky here, he lives in the apartment of a lonely Russian woman, though an elderly woman, she feeds him and he does not have to pay for his room, he pays by love. He feels himself bad here, and no one loves him except this woman, people don’t think of him as an equal, construction superintendents and policemen are trying to fleece him. No, he does not want to live here, not for religious reasons, he is indifferent to religion, but because of the climate – he loves when it is hot, when the sun is shining…
You can hear such “migrant’s confession” in a shop, on the construction site or in a taxi, and it will sound approximately the same everywhere. But you’ll never hear answers to the following questions from migrants: why did water disappear? What did he personally do to improve life in his Motherland? Does he think that he can be respected?
Water disappeared because of people’s actions, and it’s even impossible to name the Communist times guilty of the problems; it’s possible to improve life in his Motherland only by political methods, and that’s frightening; there is nothing to respect him for as it turns out that he failed in everything, and what is more, he is running away from problems.
Sure, there are other migrants as well – political refugees, active members of nongovernmental organizations, journalists truthfully writing about the water crisis reasons – but usually we don’t see them. They skip over Russia and settle in Western Europe, from where they will at least not be sent back to their Motherland.
There is also a thin stratum of their cosmopolitan young people, they know European languages, they travel, they know IT-technologies and contemporary arts, and they think of themselves as citizens of the world. We feel their presence on the social networks, rarer in media space and very rare in real politics. There boys and girls will not stop pogroms but they will save a part of the nation at least, criticizing and condemning them on Twitter.
However, following the logic of events development, these creative individuals are repeating the evolution of a musician, Tatar Mustafa, a character of Vasily Aksyonov from The Island of Crimea. At first he joined an international group of creative young people naming himself Masta Fa, but was quickly disappointed in it.
American anthropologist Margaret Mead said once, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”.
And that’s true. In time. But we don’t have time. Exhaustion of resources does not give us time for changes.
Research and development
THE INTERNATIONAL OF FOOLS
The matter is not in special features of national characters as you may think. It’s impossible to deny differences between ethnic groups, and such denial is humiliating for representatives of ethnic groups. And it’s also at least shortsighted to think that differences between nations are exclusively cultural, i.e. those that can be corrected by upbringing, because finally this leads of Fascism, totalitarian retraining of nations and supported by military force to add. And both sides logically come to totalitarianism – those “taught” and their “teachers”.
Such examples can be regularly found in world history from Japan’s “discovery” by Commodore Matthew C. Perry. The answer to such “retraining” is hatred to “teachers”. Pearl Harbour was the consequence of Commodore Perry’s mission. General hatred to Kulturträger Europeans, including Russians, was the consequence of their actions, manifested in mass murders of European colonists all over the world, with former Soviet Middle Asia and Transcaucasia being no exceptions. One can also recall “Islamic revolutions”, genocide in Cambodia arranged by graduates of Paris Universities Pol Pot and Ieng Sary, etc.
It’s impossible to make individuals act against their nature by upbringing. In this case, under nature we understand the microelements in the body, physiological special features of endocrine glands that function differently in case of different nations, outside ethnic features correlated with special features of the vegetative and nervous systems’ functioning, having an impact on all body functions – from puberty time to sensitivity to pain… It’s possible to change human nature only subjecting individuals to some impact of other physical and geographical environment. That’s what tyrants were guided by when they sent whole nations beyond the borders of their native lands.
The upbringing limits are very well described by Herbert G. Wells in The Island of Doctor Moreau. By the way, he proves in this novel once again that upbringing, contrary to basic body’s setups, should become totalitarian in order to bring at least some results.
Recently, we’ve been hearing ideas for upbringing of newly arrived migrants or nations that only beginning to interact closely with their neighbours on the globe en masse, with the help of public opinion. These ideas are widely advocated. In principle, it’s possible to make each fact of violence known, as well as lack of culture, denial of local customs and behavioural standards thanks to development of new technologies fixing human actions. Local communities or public opinion leaders can criticize and condemn this behaviour. But advocates of this approach should remember that the overwhelming majority of people, independent of their nationality, are pleased and not inclined to condemn when watching scenes of violence, cruelty, humiliation of other people.
Boxing and “fighting without rules”, practically all Asian action movies, recordings of real humiliation and violence by cellular phones take first lines in the numbers of viewers on the Internet. Recall how many people assembled for public executions in the past, recall how many people assemble now to watch other people’s troubles – a fire or a traffic accident. This refers not only to Europe or America – photos and videos of full inspection of girls by border guards, for example, in Deli airport, are viewed in India millions of times – everyone wants to see humiliation, especially of a while woman. So, in case violence is posted on the Internet for everyone to see – no matter if by a migrant violating a local resident, or a local resident violating a migrant – the public opinion in most cases will be on the side of the user of force. Even if this opinion is not expressed publicly.
THE ORIGIN OF ETHNIC GROUPS AND NATIONS
Nations are nothing more than parts of ecotypes, formed by the environmental impact, and in these terms they do not differ from other parts of ecotypes in any way – for example, animals. Let’s take the grey wolf, the favourite character of fairytales. There are many wolf subspecies – common wolf (Canis lupus), European wolf, Carpathian wolf, steppe wolf, Tibetan wolf and Chinese wolf formed in various ecotypes.
Ecotype is an aggregate of species of some or the other kind of plants, animals or microorganisms adapted to the environment and having inherited, environmentally conditioned features. One of species can be also called an ecotype in contrast to others, neighbouring, if we review the said species in the context of adaptation to the environment.
Sure, nothing can be changed in this case by upbringing, but it is possible to change nation’s mentality by changing the environment, adding microelements to the food ration, change of climate, resettlement. Compare mentalities of Finno-Ugrian nations as an example – Mansi, Hungarians, Finns, Estonians, Vepsians. They are so different! And they are very close relatives. They have not only similar languages. Y-chromosome N1c-Tat haplogroup is clearly associated with Finno-Ugrian languages.
In particular, it is found in case of 67% of Udmurtians, 61% of Finns, 53% of Lapps, 51% of Komi, 50% of Mari and 34% of Estonians. It’s rare in modern Hungarians but analyses demonstrate its wide spreading in case of old Hungarian elites.
Anthropologic types of modern Finno-Ugrian nations are exceptionally various but on the whole it is supposed that ancient Finno-Ugrian population was referred to the ancient Urals race, not finally differentiated as to European or Mongolian features, and currently it is most fully preserved in the Mansi anthropological type.
Charles-Louis Montesquieu wrote once that the type of government depended on the area. And this is right – at first the area forms the ecotype, then a part of the ecotype – ethnos – creates a sociopolitical superstructure, then chooses a religion (i.e. ancient tribal beliefs are replaced by the established theological and philosophical teaching)…
GEOPATHOGENIC AND GEOFAVOURABLE AREAS
The human potential, or to be more exact, opportunities for development are probably approximately equal for all ethnic groups. The difference is the place where they live. Let’s say that there are places suitable for modern civilization development and there are geopathogenic areas where civilization developed till a certain limit and degraded after that. Usually, the natural environment in such areas brings about certain pathologies in development and looks of the inhabitants.
The matter is that it’s impossible to measure either geofavourability or geopathogenicity of a territory, and we can judge about its potential suitability for development only by the result – if there is progress or no progress. However, there is also IQ but though its calculations show interrelation of progress and nation’s intelligence on the average, they do not explain what the reason was and what the consequence is. It’s possible that low intelligence is exactly the consequence of the lack of progress in the fate of nations and states.
What is progress? Sure, the question is open to discussion, we’ll speak about that in the next chapters. And what is more, as environmental special features of the area change – it’s becoming warmer or colder, orange trees grow in place of pine forests, pastures with succulent vegetation turn into deserts, etc. – geofavouable areas gradually turn into geopathogenic areas. (And some previously geopathogenic areas are becoming geofavourable, e.g. the Baltic Sea area.)
No upbringing can change the consequences of ecotypization fixed in the looks of representatives of some or the other nations. It is possible to teach a person to behave differently than he/she is used to. It is possible to restrain one’s feelings. It’s possible to teach to understand other people. But it’s impossible to make an individual forget who he/she is and whom he/she was born. As soon as the outside pressure ceases or there is a stressful situation – all the thin polish of civilization (according to Nietzsche) falls off the individual, and an ancient wild beast again appears in front of us like in Herbert Well’s novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. We’re witnessing this in Georgia – modernized by Saakashvili, the country again gradually comes back to thuggery and again becomes dangerous for travelers.
Everyone heard about mass murders and pogroms in the most favourable countries, when lights go out for several hours in big cities and there are natural calamities. (Japan is an exception, the Fukushima catastrophe there was not accompanied by looting.)
Another tragic example is an attempt to build “the new historical community of people – the Soviet people” in the USSR. As soon as the pressure of repressive authorities weakened just a little, there were pogrom waves in practically all national republics, and they did not disappear for years. It turned out that people there had not forgotten their national identity; it turned out that they had hated representatives of the other nation during their whole lives; it turned out that they had only waited for an opportunity to start murdering them, driving from their homes, rape and mock at.
The so-called Jedwabne phenomenon was repeated and many times strengthened in the USSR. There had been mass murder of Jews in the village of Jedwabne of the Belostok Region of the Byelorussian SSR (now the territory of Poland) in July 1941, during World War II. It was thought for a long time that the massacre had been committed by Germans, who had occupied the area, however, it’s known now that many Poles from neighbouring regions participated in the massacre. In 2001, American historian Jan Tomasz Gross published his book Sąsiedzi: Historia zaglagy zydowskiego miasteczka (Neighbours: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne), in which he demonstrated that the massacre had been effected by local residents with the help of Germans.
According to the American researcher, the main facts are indisputable. In July 1941, a big group of Poles, who lived in Jedwabne, took part in cruel extermination of nearly all local Jews, who, by the way, made the overwhelming majority of residents there. At first they were murdered one by one – by sticks, stones, Jews were tortured, their heads were cut, dead bodies were desecrated. Then, on July 10, about fifteen hundred Jews still alive were herded to a barn, locked there and burnt alive.
Actually, this was far from the only case, during World War II Poles committed war crimes against their Jewish neighbours at least in 24 regions in the country. But exactly Jedwabne became the name of the social phenomenon: any nation will hate another nation if they have to live together on equal terms.
A NEIGHBOUR IS GOOD WHEN A FENCE IS HIGH
The world history experience only confirms “the Jedwabne phenomenon” – practically all nations hate neighbours (and it’s not important if because of nationality or social reasons) so much that a permission is enough – and they will start murdering. That happened in Middle Asia, Transcaucasia, North Caucasus, Balkan peninsular, nearly the whole Africa, Timor and Ceylon, Cambodia and Indonesia, Tibet and Uiguria, Jammu and Kashmir… And then everywhere. With the forecasted by us global worsening of life, states will weaken and consequently repressive authorities will weaken – and the whole globe will burst into flames.
However, there is another one, non-economic reason for hatred between nations: contempt. Now, we more and more often run across migrants’ contempt to local people and not vice versa like a hundred years ago. It seems to each newcomer, either a tourist to Transcaucasia or a Gastarbeiter to Moscow, that local people live wrongly, he would have arranged a better life here, and, most important, a more just life. Really, why should a young Asian, strong, possibly with a combatant experience, after a hard life of self-denial and adjustment to another country, respect Europeans? Weak, unhealthy, with no dignity, not fighting back; besides their women don’t like them, all run to Asians, so, local men are respectively impotent… Culture? And what is culture? He knows how to use a smartphone. Intellect? Had they had brains, would they elect a black man the President of the United States? Wouldn’t they find one of them?
I was once invited as a member of a group of experts to find an explanation of an unbearable ammonia ordour in newly constructed apartment houses. Experts discussed cement brands, methods of drying plastering… Probably, I was the only one of them, who had read The Little Demon by Fyodor Sologub. Do you remember, dear readers, how Peredonov and his friends urinate on the wallpaper before leaving the rented apartment?.. Hence the smell.
Migrant workers urinate on the walls they build, and not only because they are lazy and it’s not easy to go down from the 17th floor to the toilet in the yard. And they not only protest in this way against horrible working conditions, low wages and no trade union. These demands are still to be comprehended. But contempt to the future owners of apartments built by them, migrants, are enough to be just felt. Peredonov despised owners of apartments he rented. Migrants have the same feelings and I should say they have enough grounds for that. I’d feel the same as well.
There was already something like that in Russian history. “Labour migrants” from China joined the Red Army after the October Revolution by tens of thousands and served in “special purpose detachments” (punitive detachments), often with Latvians and Hungarians. They organized the best-disciplined and combat-capable “Red regiments”.
But is it possible that merger of races and nations will be somehow useful for mankind? Gradually people stop being attached to one place of residence, and advantages of an ethnic group adapted to a certain environment are nullified – suppose, your skin is well-adapted to excessive solar radiation but you don’t need that feature if you are an oil industry engineer and you have to work either in Nigeria, or Alaska, or Vietnam…
There are also legends about mixed marriages – as if children born to such parents have higher intellectual abilities. In practice, such legends are not confirmed – otherwise, Latin America would have outrun the whole world in intellect. It has a simple explanation: most often international marriages are the unions of people, who did not manage to find a place for themselves in their natural environment, social outcasts, failures and losers, or creative original persons.
You should agree that it’s hard to believe that a young man or a girl from St. Petersburg could not find a spouse closer than in Indonesia. It’s easy for a child to be brainy with such parents as a background…
However, we can’t agree with thinking that ethnic groups originating as a result of mixed nationalities are chimeras. We remind you that the term of “chimera” was introduced in history by Leo Gumilev to determine the place of Khazar Khaganate in ethnos-forming processes. Gumilev was a historian-conceptualist, who wanted to find the answer to a simple question: why did Khazars disappear without traces as an ethnos, having about 500 years of history and a powerful state? Gumilev introduced the term of chimera as an answer to determine such type of state and political formations that he later applied not only to the Khazarian Empire.
Really, any existing ethnos originated not only as a result of the area’s impact on the homo coming there for the first time but also as a consequence of the following mixed marriages and crossbreeding. However, it did not lead to anything good, and not every ethnos became an actor in the historical process.
We can find a lot of examples of useful contacts in history between individual representatives of various nations, a lot of examples of negative consequences of nation mixing (cf. Northern Italy and Southern Italy, where the population was forcefully mixed with Arabs, in their development level and quality of life). And there is only one example when mixing nations as a result of a resettlement of a considerable number of ancient Greeks to Asia Minor gave a positive result manifested in flourishing of arts and sciences in the Hellenic world, first of all in Hellenic Egypt and the Seleucid Empire, whose light has come to us even through the Arab conquest with One Thousand and One Nights tales.
All other examples of mass migrations of nations, no matter if they were Arian, or Arab, or Mongol, or migrations of Europeans for colonization, including Russians, were negative for civilization as they led not to development of culture but its acutely negative perception as brought by conquerors-violators. A typical example is refusal by the Chinese to drink milk as the tradition originated after the Mongol conquest – nomads drank milk, kumiss (fermented mare’s milk) in particular.
Not only scholars but writers as well deliberated over the issue of migrants – if they bring more destruction or use. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is probably the first in history novel about migrants. I remind you that all musketeers, the characters of the novel, had real prototypes.
All four were actually born not in France, but in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Basque Country, Gascony – the recently adjoined provinces. Only Athos, count de La Fère, could call himself French. Aramis was half-Spanish (Basque according to another version), d’Artagnan was a Gascon, Porthos (his real name was Isaac de Porthau) was a Jew (in any case according to Daniel Kluger). It’s not surprising that they went to serve in the regiment commanded by de Tréville, a Gascon. Another thing is important – the principal difference of their system of values from Cardinal Richelieu’s, Milady’s and others’ system, surely, real French patriots.
The actions of the musketeers nearly always were on the border of high treason or directly treasonous, at the same time they were never tired to swear their love for the King and state. But the reader sympathizes with them: they have a free choice. They acted against state interests but according to their conscience. And in the author’s (who was a quadroon) opinion, the freedom of their behaviour was brought about by their origins – but that is mainly described in case of d’Artagnan though refers to the four of them. They have opportunities to act according to what their conscience tells them because they are not really included in the court (or establishment) in contrast to Cardinal’s guards, all of whom were sons of well-known noble families and did not use any false names.
The reader may ask a reasonable question: do all migrants have conscience? Freedom without conscience is evidently not enough. Dumas raises this question in the next book as well – and solves it creating the image of cardinal Mazzarino, a migrant with no conscience but absolutely free in his actions…
Is a migrant free in his behaviour, or is it determined by hereditary features? Does he have a free will? And if he does, how strong it is, can he suppress “the call of national identity”? The characters from Beatle in the Anthill by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky are trying to answer this question and can’t give an unambiguous answer.
The second no less important issue is as follows. We a priori consider migrants freer from the bondages or chains of the autochthonous population – traditional morals, ties with relatives, community solidarity, traditional behaviour. And we consider them either more amoral or freer in comparison with local residents. But what if the above-said is wrong? No one resettling to another area is a migrant in relation to the planet. He is an Earth inhabitant and as any human he can’t live without morals, neighbours, relatives and friends, i.e. a reference group, without traditions and the feeling of unity, at least with the social network subscribers. In that case, the supranational community of his personal friends, people in front of whom he will be ashamed, becomes the public regulator of his behaviour… Sure, such an international mechanism of regulation will be formed only if this migrant goes after freedom of which he does not have enough in his Motherland – and not after sausage, even Halal. If he does not want to be locked in the circle of people of his nationality, if he does not bury himself in national ghetto. To achieve that, migration should at least be voluntary but not forced by worsening economic or environmental conditions of his life. That is, migration should not turn into evacuation… And exactly that happens now.
However, there is a definite benefit of migration – it blurs the unity of the country, atomizes an individual, makes him absolutely free – from his Motherland, family and relatives, traditions. Very few people are ready to use this freedom for their advantage. But progress will really stop without achieving this freedom. The identity of a person and nation, person and state should be destroyed. The identity of a person and biological species will not be destroyed without that, and without that destruction the next evolutional step will be problematic.
We have not presented the issue in full, far from it. And we’ll come back to it. But now, summing up the chapter, we can say: about half of the dry land on the globe turned into areas unsuitable for human life before nations that had lived in these areas managed to comprehend before their disappearance from historical arena their guilt for that. They explained catastrophic changes not by their uncontrollable striving for reproduction and multiplying, enrichment and other kinds of expansion, but “unfavourable weather conditions” or “anger of Gods”. And currently this process goes on.
People destroy their lands, then without making attempts to fix things, improve the situation, run from the area in order to try to survive in other areas, at the same time they very often have no wish to join and adjust to social structures of local (autochthonous) people. It seems that people should start changes on their land from understanding: all troubles of their Motherland are the results of activities of the people living here.
However, let’s ask ourselves: are there examples in history of long joint co-existence of various nations on one land without mutual pushing out? For example, the experience of Jewish pogroms in Europe, or hatred to Europeans in Africa and Asia, or massacres of Chinese migrants in South-East Asia certify the opposite. And there is another thing. Are there examples of whole nations’ upbringing, change of the whole ethnic mass’s behaviour, without extermination of a considerable part of the population that took place in Soviet Russia and post-Hitler Germany and before that in Ancient Rome, inhabitants of which were practically fully exterminated by migrant “barbarians”?
The key to creating a sustainable world is in comprehension by each nation of its guilt for its Motherland’s troubles. Unfortunately, it seems to us that people destroying the land, i.e. 90% of the global population, have no moral strength for this comprehension, and in general the majority of their representatives, except a thin layer of intellectuals have no categorical imperative (moral law) in their consciousness. It is possible to teach morals if there are no inborn ones. But it’s impossible to make one follow them. Besides, humanity won’t have time for that. And here we’re in another dead-end – the dead-end of national limitations.
In October and November 2005, there was a period of riots in France. They suddenly began in the suburbs of Paris and other cities. Young migrants went out into the streets in socially unfortunate regions of Paris. The unrest expanded immediately and reached enormous scales. Besides Paris, riots spread to Bordeaux, Rouen, Toulouse and Lille. Marseille, Nantes, Strasbourg, Dijon suffered as well…
Day after day, rioters destroyed shops, administrative buildings, schools, they burnt cars and public vehicles, fiercely fought with police. It took a lot of efforts to suppress the riots: special forces were engaged, there was censorship introduced, curfew was imposed. The national state of emergency was announced. Police arrested about three thousand people – many of them were later deported from the country. But still a couple of years later similar riots broke out in France again.
And in August 2011, a giant pogrom took place in England and became known all over the world as the London Riots. It started in the London district of Tottenham, where the African community of the Caribbean descent is the main inhabitants. It spread like a forest fire. Riots began in Birmingham, Bristol, Gloucester, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham. And again the rioters destroyed shops and restaurants, burnt cars and garbage bins, threw Molotov cocktails, fiercely fought with police. It’s interesting that crowds of young people were running in the streets shouting that they demand justice and for that they crushed everything on their way. It is paradoxical that migrants from the third world rose in rebellion against the country that received them and took them in.
The flame rushed out where it was least expected.
France and England were not an exception. Ethnic collisions took place in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and they were as heated as stars in the Universe. Actually the whole Europe felt the soil shaking. And at the same period, there was a wave of unrests in the United States caused by the murder of a black young man by police.
Yuri Shevchuk is right: the psychology of both labour migrants and refugees changed in recent decades. If they tried to assimilate in the past, or worked quietly trying not to attract attention to themselves, now they changed into a real and threatening force.
As a result, there are Chinese, Turkish, Arab, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Somali and other enclaves in Western cities, inside which respective ethnic traditions and laws are maintained. Police and especially local residents prefer not to go there. The scales are very large. For example, there are already over 750 such “closed areas” in France, with 9 of them in Paris.
Historically, the state of affairs as if has turned inside out. In the past, white (Western) settlers built trading stations on “wild lands”, where they exchanged glass beads, firewater and cheap textiles for furs and gold brought by local residents. Now, former “natives” arrange their independent settlements on Western lands and develop new territories seriously and for long.
They really feel themselves victors that can establish their rules in the country where they are staying. Real “Muslim patrols” have already appeared in London. They patrol the streets in controlled by them districts and watch how the Islamic laws are observed. According to The Telegraph, as a result, Muslim shop assistants and cashiers in a number of chain shops refuse to cash pork and alcohol. Similar “Muslim patrols” appeared in Germany. And they don’t hide from anyone – they even wear orange jackets like police but with the inscription Shariah Police. The researchers also say that it’s impossible to teach evolutional biology, the Holocaust history and other subjects “contrary to the Quran” in European schools, where children of Moslems are also taught. Gender segregation is established there without prior permission: boys sit in one part of the class and girls in another part.
And schools are nothing compared with the rest! For example, the Islam Party in Belgium demanded to make the Arabic language one of the state languages in this country. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the principal leader of the Church of England, supported the idea of including the Shariah norms into British legislation. And recently, the Muslim Council of Britain called to create the Islamic Republic of the United Kingdom. That is, when they say that “Shariah is knocking at European doors”, it is no longer just a metaphor – this is a reality forming today’s European life.
We should not underestimate risks.
In the 5th century, German and Slavic tribes that lived in the north of Europe started moving to the south – to the Roman Empire. They were driven by simple despair: the 5th century was the coldest in the first millennium – there were heavy rains, sown crops were irrevocably destroyed, pastures and forests became scarce, giant regions were turned into swamps. Barbarians had either to win or to die. As a result, the great Rome fell, the Antique Age ended, the Dark Ages began.
Is history repeating itself?
Russia is lucky in this context. Exactly because of its somewhat backwardness the migrant issue here is not so pressing and urgent yet as in European countries. Nevertheless, ethnic city blocks are already forming in megalopolises, besides – in accordance with the information era technologies – network communities originate that got the name of “virtual Tajikistan”. Members of such ethnic associations have their cafes, their night clubs, sports clubs, cultural organizations, where the “local population” is not allowed. It’s not necessary to live nearby in order to be together with today’s immediate communications provided by the Internet. There is an infrastructure being formed unseen with the naked eye, the mechanism capable, if required, for quick mobilization of people from one community.
And taking into account the distressing position of migrants in Russia, their discrimination and their growing wish to fight for their rights, one can think that we’re to expect upheavals similar to those already experienced by Europe.
Underground fire is smouldering and can get out at any moment.
CHAPTER 4. THE PHENOMENON OF INTELLIGENCE
If you find an hour to quietly sit on your balcony doing nothing, watching bird life in thick tree crowns or on some picturesque rubbish heap, shyly surrounded by a low wall with palms painted on it, you can see a lot of interesting things. For example, that there is practically no difference between the life of birds and our life that could seem intelligent and sensible…
The smallest representatives of ornithological fauna are flashing among tree branches and shrubs – sparrows and titmice. Sometimes, swallows come down to them from the skies cutting the air in the yard in flashes. Each of them has about ten mosquitoes in its beak. Sparrows and titmice are not falling behind, they also regularly clean trees from insects and feed their fledglings reliably hid from cats and crows. They are the yard proletariat. Trees live twenty years longer thanks to their efforts, giving shelter for small and big birds, food for thousands of insects and shade for people. I have not noticed quarrels and arguments among birds of various kinds from this group (weight class). Full international. There are enough beetles and mosquitoes for everyone. They demonstrate class solidarity in case of danger and drive away cats from their nests in a flock.
Crows live on the next level, building nests on tree tops. Their nests are surprisingly ugly, not at all similar to neat swallow or titmouse cradles. On the contrary, they feed on the ground, in grass, picking up human garbage; sometimes they occupy garbage heaps or pits. They are black, they have big beaks, they cry gutturally. They behave like masters: just try sending them away – they will remember it and take their revenge, diving from above and aiming at your head with their beaks. They try to kill little kittens understanding that a grown-up stray cat will become their enemy. From time to time, when their fledglings grow up, they can kill a dove and feed them fresh meat. They quarrel with each other all the time but crowd together quickly in case of danger. They pamper and spoil their fledglings and do not teach them independence for a long time. Later, a young crow already the size of its parents follows them for months with an open beak asking for food like a little fledgling…
Doves are practically home birds, they behave like the native population of the yard. Fledglings are born up to seven times a year, because of that they don’t worry about their fellow doves – their females will hatch out more doves! They practically don’t participate in fighting harmful insects. They sir by garbage heaps, they are grey and dirty, and wait for another portion of leftovers and scraps. They fall ill more often than other birds. Sometimes they walk in the yard, eating grass seeds and small pieces of eatable garbage. They love swimming in summer. Then they sunbathe on a pool shore, spreading their wings and closing their eyes. There are very beautiful doves and very ugly ones. They can murder each other in one family, both males and females can kill their partners. They do not even try to oppose their enemies. While a crow or a cat kills one dove, the rest go on phlegmatically walking around, picking up crumbs as if nothing is happening.
Ouzels are coming in flocks of late. It’s impossible to count how many of them are in a flock but probably more than all the other birds in the yard taken together. They are friends in the flock and very businesslike. All of then can occupy a mountain ash and eat berries till the last one. After that all of them fly to another tree. They will check every piece of grass after a lawn mower as well as every insect and eat every seed. Grass seed planting is a holiday for them. Doves are slow if compared to them, and there are few sparrows. Ouzels descend in a frightened flock, though simultaneously and keeping close to one another. They eat everything available – and fly on. Gradually they stop being frightened of people. They do not think of the yard as their own, they spend nights where they find shelter… Migrants, what can be expected of them?..
Sometimes foreigners come from the sea – seagulls and ducks. They usually come when the yard is covered with water from melted snow and looks very unattractive. They swim on the children’s playground amazed at the disorder – and fly somewhere else.
Humans have practically no relations with the bird population of the yard. Well, they regularly throw garbage in garbage bins. Sometimes, a soft-hearted old woman gives doves some groats of millet. Advanced children hang special feeding boxes for titmice when it is frosty, made in such a way that crows or doves can’t take food from them. But in general, the bird yard and the human yard live on different levels, though they are on the same territory. Birds don’t need to comprehend their life; human are sure that there is nothing for them to learn from birds. The ties between flying and wingless neighbours are finally torn, and we already do not understand why we need each other.
Research and development
WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE?
It is thought that only people on the Earth are intelligent to a full extent. However, we don’t really know what a human being is and what intelligence really is.
We can read in the Wikipedia that intelligence is a set of cognitive faculties, consisting of the ability to adjust to new situations, ability to be trained basing on experience, to understand and apply abstract concepts and use one’s knowledge to manage the environment. It’s interesting to know, how many of your acquaintances are able to apply abstract concepts in their everyday life? As for the use of knowledge to manage the environment, it would be better if the Wikipedia kept silent about it…
In our opinion, Carl Jung’s definition is much closer to truth, with his division of intelligent creatures into persons and individuals, where persons form the surrounding world and individuals only adjust to changes created by persons as they can, i.e. they act at the level of intelligent animals.
It seems that the question “What is a human being?” can’t be answered at all. One of the definitions sounds as follows: “A social creature with the mind and consciousness as well as a subject of social and historical activities and culture. Originated on the Earth as a result of the evolutionary process – anthropogenesis, the details of which are still studied. Specific human features differentiating them from other animals are bipedal locomotion, highly-developed brain, thinking and articulate speech”. That is, we don’t fully understand what intelligence is, but a human being is exactly the one who has this intelligence. At the same time, he has to walk on two legs, live in the society and speak articulately…
Well, you understand. Insects can also be social, all higher animals are conscious of themselves, dolphins have big brains, chickens walk on two legs and no one knows what thinking is exactly. The Turing test is used to determine whether or not a computer (machine) can think intelligently like a human being. And computers demonstrate this ability… So, there is no one single unique determining feature according to which we could consider a two-legged creature, looking like a human from the outside, a human being. Meanwhile, people even approved – surely with the best intentions – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document turned out to be legally null and void as there was no definition of a human in the text. And all the rest in the Declaration was also strange, to put it mildly. As if someone intentionally decided to prove that people had no mind, with it as an example.
How do you like the first lines of the Preamble? “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and alienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. As if the delegates to the UN General Assembly did not know that the ideas of dignity and freedom are different in various cultures and dignity in many countries stays only the synonym of freedom of domination over the others as it had been all over the world when aristocracy dominated. It was as if they did not know that recognition of equal rights of “all members of the human family” and justly is not the way to universal peace but civil war on global scales… It is as if Sharikovs assembled in the United Nations… “Take everything and divide!” However, the issue of global resources distribution was not so urgent in 1948 as it is now.
Another passage – “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms” (Article 4). It’s clear about slavery. But all citizens of any states are in servitude as the state was formed as the apparatus of oppression and coercion! And it is said in the next article: “No one shall be subjected to… cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (Article 5). So, shall we prohibit public transport? It’s exactly there that we most often experience “degrading treatment”. Especially during rush hours.
It is said in Article 23: “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration (just or favourable? That’s different things – Yu.Sh.) ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity (and what if a person feels his dignity insulted or hurt without an ocean yacht – what is to be done? Will he be given a yacht as a gift bought with budget money? – Yu.Sh.), and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection (that, one should think, will be created by those who work more and better – Yu.Sh.)”.
As you see, slavery is prohibited in one article and in another hard-working people are sent to slavery to lazybones with the state as an intermediary effecting social “justice”.
People immediately paid attention to the lack of the definition of a human being in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and only three years after the Declaration was approved, Jean Vercors’ pamphlet People or Animals? was published in France. In that book typical representatives of the then Western society tried in the course of a trial to determine if the newly discovered tribe should be referred to people or animals. The court of law in the book takes the following parodistic “definition” of a human being:
“Article I. A human being differs from an animal by religious spirit.
Article II. The main features of religious sprit are (in descending order): Belief in God, Science, Art in all its manifestations; various religions, philosophical schools in all their manifestations; fetishism, totems and taboo, magic, witchery in all their manifestations; ritual cannibalism in its manifestations.
Article III. Any animate creature having at least one of the characteristics listed under Article II, is recognized as a member of the human society, and is provided with guarantees as a person on the whole territory of the United Kingdom by all laws written in the last Declaration of Human Rights”.
Surely, guaranteeing rights of cannibals is a satire. Vercors had been a partisan and anti-Fascist a short time before that and was one of the first to see what observance of the Declaration of Human Rights can lead to. According to it any national or religious community, e.g. the same cannibals until they are caught red-handed, “has the right to freedom of movement” and “the right to leave any country” (Article 13), “has the right to a nationality” (Article 15), “has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” (Article 18), “the right to freedom of opinion and expression” (Article 19), “the right to take part in the government of his country (Article 21) and “the right to social security” (article 22) to add. Today, seeing how terrorists of various kinds feel themselves free to act in Europe, we understand that Vercors was absolutely right. It turned out that the Declaration of Human Rights approved as a response to Fascist regimes’ crimes, opened the way to new – egalitarian – Fascism.
The final bow on the legal meaning of the Declaration was struck by discoveries of geneticists. It turned out that Neanderthal people could interbreed with Cro-Magnons and human beings of the modern type and have proper children – i.e. they differed from us from the biological perspective no more than a wolf from a dog. But it is clear to even the most ardent advocates of human rights that it will be as dangerous to spread the rights presented in the Declaration to Neanderthal men if suddenly a lost settlement is found in the Himalayas, as to have a wolf instead of a dog at home.
WHAT IS A HUMAN BEING?
So, the biological approach to determining the subject of the Declaration of Human Rights leads to a dead-end, the social and cultural approach gives freedom of subjective assessments of the one being a “real human”… The creators of the Declaration understood it and insured themselves – there are several items in the end of it, practically cancelling the previous ones: “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations”; “In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”; “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any state, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein”… Really, it’s practically impossible to exercise one’s rights without somehow limiting rights and freedoms of others. It would be interesting to know how the authors of the Declaration supposed at least in theory to exercise the right to freedom of movement and selection of a place to live without infringing the rights of people already inhabiting some territory that was “freely” chosen by migrants for settlement!
The impossibility to determine precisely who of the people are really intelligent and who are just socially adapted generated such monsters as the “universal right to vote”, “political correctness”. Now you can’t just call an individual a fool, you have to look for a politically correct equivalent, use an expression like “a representative of the intellectual majority”. The world has become so crazy that people started fighting for rights of their murderers to murder – i.e. for migration to Europe of the former colonies’ residents. I think that if “zombie Apocalypse” begins, some “intellectuals” will create a movement to protect the rights of zombies…
So, people don’t have enough intellect, do they? Have they not evolutonized yet to completely intelligent humankind, mostly engaged in “self-realization” and fully comprised from personalities, creators, etc.? An intelligent creature starts living approximately as a dolphin in this “wonderful” world, where there is only self-realization left out of the whole pyramid of values – swimming in warm ocean waters, eating what gets into the mouth itself, engaging exceptionally in creativity, distributing one’s creations on the Internet and being paid by donations from readers, who in their turn don’t do anything certain, only mine Bitcoins on their “farms”… It’s good for an individual and it is death for humankind in case of any rapid change in the habitat. Dolphins survived several great extinctions of living creatures on the Earth exactly because they live in the practically unchanged World Ocean…
Or, may be, people do not use the systemic approach as much as they should, do they? Not enough hierarchy? No clear understanding of their place in the society as in case of social insects like ants? By the way, there are a lot of people in our country wishing to have an ant-hill as an example…
Let’s review these variants, possibly, we’ll find some new, free from vices typical for human reasoning option.
CROWS, DOLPHINS, ANTS AND OTHER BROTHERS IN MIND
Probably, there is no border after which intelligence begins (or stops). The above-mentioned Turing test clearly showed that for the machine intelligence. Let’s refer to nature now for comparison. It has its own test – “Aesop test” demonstrating if a creature is capable to understand causes and consequences.
In the 6th century B.C., the Ancient Greek storyteller wrote or just collected many fables that are known in our times as Aesop’s Fables or Aesopica. There was a fable among them titled The Crow and the Pitcher in which it is described how the crow, who wanted to drink, threw stones into the pitcher in order to raise the water level and to drink finally. Several thousand years later scientists understood that this fable describes a good method to test the intellect of animals. Experiments demonstrated that animals, who were used in the experiments, understood the cause and consequence.
Crows as well as their relatives, rooks and jays, confirmed that the fable was true. Monkeys demonstrated good results, and raccoons were added to the list of those who passed the test. Eight raccoons were given containers with water according to the Aesop’s fable but in which marshmallow was put. The water level was too low to take marshmallow out. Two of the tested raccoons successfully put stones into the container to raise the water level and get the desired marshmallow. The others tested found their own creative solutions, which the researches had not expected. One of the raccoons, instead of throwing stones into the container, jumped on it and started swinging on it until it was turned over. In another test floating and drowning balls were used, and experts hoped that raccoons would use drowning balls and discard floating balls. Instead of that some raccoons pushed a floating ball many times into the water until the wave that rose brought pieces of marshmallow to the side, and it was easy to take them from there.
Actually, there is intelligence in every live creature. No feature is unique in nature. It’s another matter what to call intelligence.
Think about it – raccoons understand causes and consequences. And hundreds of millions of people knowing perfectly well that their only source of water is the river flowing in front of their eyes, can’t understand that if more than two children per woman are born, the population will grow but water will not be added. In the next chapter we’ll discuss the reasons of this stupidity that seems amazing.
It’s high time to acknowledge – we live among semi-intelligent creatures, many of whom refer to our biological species. Birds and octopuses use tools, dogs understand words, monkeys master the sign language of deaf-mutes and communicate with researchers at the three-year-old child level. In the opinion of many scientists, dolphins and other cetaceans are fully intelligent creatures. By the way, a few words about dolphins. It seems that they are really intelligent.
We are used that intelligent creatures change the surrounding world according to their requirements. Whales and dolphins chose another way 50 mln years ago – they changed themselves to adapt to the surrounding world. They moved from land to water, they survived approximately 5 mln years of serious evolutionary demolition and have not changed since then.
It’s possible that some people think the dolphin world to be the underwater Eden and the bright future of the whole mankind. This is far from being the case. First, there are no diseases in Paradise but dolphins suffer from illnesses similar to human. Besides, they suffer from parasites as well. Second, not only people hunt on dolphins. Their enemies include sharks of various kinds as well as killer whales that are also cetaceans and also with big brains. It’s interesting that killer whales are divided into “settled” and “migratory” just like people. And if “settled” killer whales usually feed on herring and peacefully co-exist with dolphins, “migratory” killer whales eat exactly dolphins. On the whole, everything is similar to people’s life.
Dolphins even have drug addicts. Young dolphins catch puffer fish containing dangerous poison – tetrodotoxin. They chew it and pass over from one to another, just like people do with marijuana joints and it seems that they achieve the same relaxing effect.
Cetaceans are so intelligent that they even commit mass suicides – just like people. And ocean pollution has nothing to do with that – already Aristotle wrote about suicides of dolphins.
So, the dolphin world is far from being an example to copy. There are deaths, vices and wars in it; dolphins are also predators like people, and they also live on killing other live creatures like we do. We just breed cows, and dolphins hunt on herrings. And dolphins not destroying the environment like we do, means nothing, though they don’t interfere with our destroying it. There are many nations on the globe living on land and not destroying their habitat. But that does not have much impact on the general picture.
And what about ants? Should we look upon them as an example and have the hierarchy with unquestionable authorities in the society? The lowest there know that they are the lowest and they are not offended, and the bosses there are worshiped like great mothers…
Actually, there are a lot of totalitarianism (as the way of saving mankind) adepts in the world, and especially among ecologists. Unfortunately as we have already written, many “green” activists think that only strict rationing in consumption of natural resources on global scales can save mankind. Alas, the totalitarian society is the most vulnerable of all the society models. It is so vulnerable that it can be destroyed by practically one person. And like in case of an ant hill, one insect.
Totalitarianism supposes universal regulation and rule-making, including in target setting. Actually, authorities of a totalitarian state like only one aim – unchangeable status quo. Meanwhile, common people, who have not gotten in the power, also want pleasures, riches, influence – everything they associate the power with. They will provide support and resources for any individual appearing in a totalitarian society with any aim different from preserving “stagnancy”. Surely, if totalitarian structures do not eliminate this individual. But it’s often not easy to do…
Let’s make an experiment, taking an ant-hill of forest red ants as a model of the totalitarian society. They have all sighs of totalitarianism. There is a monopoly for labour – ants work where they are sent to and from time to time, obeying orders, they move “from one position to another”. There is a monopoly for food as well – a worker-ant can’t feed itself independently. He gets the prepared food from an “elder”. If an ant is left alone, it dies of hunger. Ants also have their “ministry of truth” – the queen generates a special ferment, carried around and transferred from one ant to another, thanks to which the whole population of the ant-hill knows about the queen’s health and the state of affairs in the ant-hill. If feeder-ants return several times without prey, they are eaten. They take care of disabled ants. They bury their dead. Ants use aphides and other insects as cows and take care of them. They do not only rely on hunting and cattle breeding, and arrange plantations with edible mushrooms in the depth of their ant-hill.
On the whole, every ant-hill is a socialist utopian model. However, some kinds of ants (southern) turn other kinds into slaves but we’ll refer that to special features of national character. So, what is the purpose of this rather complex social structure with its pseudo-lability, caste system, forced labour, army and police? Only for the ant-hill to function and in due time give life to a dozen of new ant-hills. From day to day, from year to year, from one millennium to another, ant-hills on the Earth have their eternal “Ground-hog Day”…
But once wind brings a small beetle to the ant-hill, it is one and a half times less than an ant. The beetle stops the first feeder coming to it and as if offers to bite into its belly. In a couple of seconds the ant quietly moves away with a new life experience: it got microscopic drops of lomechusa (that’s the beetle) secretions. They affect the ant like a drug. Finally, the ant feels good. Everyday labour, frightening mandibles of policemen ready to punish a slack worker, the whole ant-hill it is sick and tired of – everything is blurred and disappears under the impact of the nectar from the lomechusa’s belly. Now the ant is doomed to regularly return to this lomechusa for new portions of the drug – and, by the way, bring it food.
The lomechusa descends lower and lower, crawls into the chamber under the cupola and lays eggs together with ant eggs. The larvae that come from the eggs already know how to excrete the drug, because of that ants take care of them as of their own off-springs. Gradually there appear more and more lomechusas. But still ants do not feel insufficiency of food.
Worker-ants are the same females. Each of them could have become a queen but it was unlucky. But then, it seems because they are affected by the drug, the new generation of ants has a strange pathology – their breast part is enlarged and they look like some species between a worker-ant and a female. However, they do not want to work. To sit in an office, bring coffee, answer telephone calls – well, that could be acceptable… But such activities are not in demand in the ant-hill. Scientists call such specimen pseudoworkers or pseudoergates – “as if workers”. That’s how the mass revolt starts in the ant-hill like in all totalitarian states culminating in quiet sabotage or stealing common ant property…
But ant totalitarianism is not to be restructured. As a result, all queen’s larvae are eaten by hungry soldiers – drug addicts, the ant-hill dies, pseudoergates, without their hopes coming true, die from starvation, lomechusas crawl on as a new ant-hill is near…
What is the moral of this sad story? It’s impossible to consider preservation of the current state of affairs the society’s target. It’s impossible to consider survival the mankind’s target. The lomechusa’s target – to conquer the ant-hill – can’t be called noble. But this is a goal supposing changes. And the totalitarian society turns out defenseless against lomechusas. Because only other meaning can be opposed to meaning but not the senselessness of eternal stagnation.
Let’s sum up the results. We can’t determine the border of intelligent life. We can’t give a non-contradictory definition of intelligence. Though we can all the time watch senseless behaviour of individuals, social actors, states and nations… We can see that people, in contrast to the definition of intelligence given in the beginning of the chapter, cannot objectively cognize what world they live in or at least decide for themselves if they should continue bringing children into this world. So, what are we? Intelligent creatures? Or only just a basis for their appearance?
Nicolaus Copernicus humbled the Earth, bringing it from the center of the Universe down to one of the planets going round the Sun. Giordano Bruno turned the Sun from the unique star into one of many. Charles Darwin fixed the place of the man on the globe not as God’s creation but as a product of evolution – however, placing him on the top of the evolution ladder, Jacob’s ladder leading to the sky.
It seems that it’s high time to tell mankind that it is not convincing as to the evolution top. If we take human behaviour, humans look more like common biological species – either aphids, or rats, or lemmings – breeding and multiplying while there are enough resources and after that drastically cutting their population until the new breeding cycle. Only there will be no new cycle at all in case of mankind collapse – or there won’t be for a very long time. The crisis brought about by human actions in front of our eyes turns their habitat into the planet that won’t be suited for civilization development for a long time.
We have neither resources for further increase of civilization growth, nor intelligence, nor conscience, nor the wish to understand it and come to conclusions. We’ve found ourselves in another dead-end. But this time evolutional dead-end. And there is only one exit from it – to recognize that evolution is not over and we forecast that its next steps will be destruction of the community named “human” and creation of a new intelligent creature. This creature will be created by people but it won’t be a man.
INTELLIGENCE AS THE IDEAL
To complain that the notion of “the man” has not been precisely defined is as if to complain of the structure of the Universe – that the Earth goes round the Sun and not vice versa (though that would have been more convenient for us), or that the force of gravity does not allow humans to fly as birds.
There are existential modi that are indefinable in principle: man, intelligence, happiness, love, justice… It is only possible to cognize them by sensations (intuitively), however, that does not interfere with their existence as we know from experience. And what is more, it is possible to appeal to them when correcting the social world order.
In the end we can’t determine exactly what “time” is but we can count it and basing on that create the most complex theories and concepts – by the way, experiments show that they are fairly in accordance with the reality.
And it is also useless to criticize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for vagueness and being “null and void”. A declaration should not be precise because it expresses principles and not laws. It outlines some limiting coordinates, it sets forth the ideal for which mankind should strive.
And precise legal adjustment and aligning of these coordinates is the business of law.
The well-known political joke illustrates how it takes place in practice. “A draft law was presented to the State Duma of the Russian Federation: Though Shalt Not Kill. The Duma is working at amendments”. Do not look at it only as a curiosity. The joke, as any joke should, grotesquely expresses the complex social process. “Thou shalt not kill” is required by Christian principles, Yes, “thou shalt not kill”, the legislative authority agrees. However, it’s possible to kill: by court order (if there is capital punishment in the country), at war, in case of self-defense. Thus, the principle is corrected. The ideal is interlinked with certain social reality.
As for the lack of intelligence in case of people, hardly residents of poor countries should be blamed for that, though they do not see complex interlinking of causes and consequences in case of the environment.
Are they to blame if they had no education? Are they to blame if they live in depressive poverty, think only of today and not tomorrow?
Their ruling elites are guilty of that.
And the global community engaged in political demagogy is even guiltier.
Degradation of modern politics is evident. Probably, that’s the main difficulty of the today’s world. The conditions of power formation changed principally. History moved slowly in the past: an individual was born, grew up, acquired knowledge and experience, grew old and died within the framework of one era. As a result, politicians more or less corresponded to their time. Now, the state of affairs is completely different. The speed of historical process considerably increased. Technological and social innovations accumulate rapidly. The present-day politician is born in one era and then the basic worldview constants are formed in his mind. But while he climbs career ladder and comes to the principal decision-taking level, the era changes completely, and he stops corresponding to it.
That’s the reason.
Most contemporary politicians are completely not in accordance with the current reality. They are anachronistic representatives of the past. They are trying to solve new problems by old methods.
We see the results.
The world is really plunging into chaos.
This is the cognitive dead-end.
And while the political elite ruling the world today is not fully replaced, while people acutely feeling the dynamics of changes do not come into power, everything will continue as it goes now.
Humanity will be gradually approaching the environmental precipice.
Intelligence will not become the ideal of our existence.
And the star will braze brighter and brighter in the sky, the name of the star is Wormwood.
CHAPTER 5. “WHAT IS PROGRESS?”
Do you recall it? A boy with Biblical eyes asked this question addressing writer Victor Banev, the character from the Strugatsy Brothers’ The Ugly Swans.
“Progress is the society’s movement to the condition when people neither kill, nor trample down, nor torture each other,” Banev answered.
As you can see, it was a good, right, intelligent answer by a humanist. But…
“And what are they doing then?” a fat boy asked from the right.
“They drink and eat after it quantum satis,” someone murmured from the left.
“And why not?” Victor said. “The history of mankind does not know many epochs when people could drink and eat quantum satis. Progress for me is movement to the condition when people are not trampled down and not murdered. And what they will do is not so important to my mind.”
Now we’re living in Banev’s utopia coming true. They do not trample down and do not kill in many countries of the world. Though understanding inevitability of the end of civilization coming soon is typical for any intellectual – it’s easy to be convinced of that if you look at the book shelves in any book shop. But life-support systems are still functioning in most big cities, aircrafts are still flying, resorts are still open, tourist holiday hotels are still full. You can still safely drink a cup of coffee in a street café in numerous cities of the world. So, is this progress?
If you remember, young characters from The Ugly Swans did not agree with that:
“That’s exactly the case. This future is fairly acceptable for you and your characters, and it’s a burial ground for us. A dead-end. …And no matter how you want it, Mr. Banev, but you demonstrated in your books… not the object to apply efforts to, but you showed us that there are no objects in humanity to apply our efforts to… You have eaten yourself, please, forgive us, but you’ve spent yourself on civil strife, telling lies and fighting lies that you are engaged in, thinking up new lies… You can’t believe that you’re already dead, that you yourselves have created the world with your own hands that has become a gravestone for you… You blamed the government and the rules as if you don’t know that your generation simply does not deserve a better government and better rule. They struck you in the face, please, forgive us, but you said stubbornly that a man is kind by nature… And something worse – ‘Man! That has a proud sound!’ And who they were whom you called men?!..”
Research and development
SO, WHAT IS PROGRESS?
If progress in technology is surely possible, it is easy to watch and even possible to extrapolate for forecasting the future, progress in social relations is not so unambiguous. We are sooner watching the progress of political technologies in social relations. Politicians transferred from addressing the mind to addressing emotions, instrumental leaders were replaced with emotional leaders, truth stropped being the truth and turned into information bringing about the most powerful emotional response. Had progress in the society been possible, we could say that progressive ideas (e.g. Maslow’s hierarchy of deeds, he presents development of human needs from filling one’s belly to self-actualization) are destined to win, and our task is just to accelerate process that will inevitably lead to limitation of material needs, and they being reduced, in their turn, will lower pressure on the environment and so on – and as a result, the environment will stop degrading. But Maslow acknowledged that no more than 2% of people will attain the self-actualization stage… And that means that the overwhelming majority of mankind will just want to increase consumption of material benefits – increase both quantitatively and qualitatively… And if you tell them that people have already destroyed half of our globe, they will answer you in the best case that “there will be enough for us till we die”.
Why is progress impossible in intellectual and moral fields of life? Why is mankind doomed to again and again repeat old lessons? Why does not extinction of some nations serve as a stimulus for changing the system of values of others?
The answer to that was given by Ivan Yefremov, who invented his philosophical notion the “Ahriya mainyus’ arrow”. He introduced it in his social science fiction novel The Bull’s Hour. A character of the novel describes this “arrow”, to be more exact, the law of the society’s development as follows: “We use the term of the Ahriya mainyus’ arrow for the trend of the society with morally heavy noosphere to multiply evil and sorrow. Each action that is humane at least from the outside turns into a disaster for individuals, groups and the whole mankind. The idea declaring good has a trend to bring more and more evil while being brought into life, it becomes harmful. The lower-type society can’t do without lies. Purposeful lie also creates its demons distorting everything: the past, to be more exact the idea of it, the present – in actions, and the future – in results of these actions. Lie is the main disaster, corroding humanity, honest strivings and bright dreams”.
Yefremov presented some kind of the humanitarian second law of thermodynamics. We can see examples of a good action turning into its opposite in the history of religions. In the context of the discussion, we have already presented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a not bad idea that led to the opposite consequences. And in this chapter we reminded you how the humanistic Victor Banev’s “Progress formula” led to its opposite.
Our world is fully subjected to the law of the “Ahriya mainyus’ arrow”. Any good and kind action will bring about many bad consequences, and their impact will overweigh the planned benefit. We have already given examples of such “good” deeds above like planting trees and receiving refugees.
We can find similar thoughts in Semyon Frank’s The Collapse of Idols: “If we look at the whole life of mankind from this point of view, we’ll have to see a paradoxical but clearly evident fact (its evidence is intensified for us even more if we pay attention to the tyranny of ideas, principles and ideals in private life of individuals): all sorrow and evil reigning on the Earth, all streams of blood spilt and tears shed, all disasters, humiliations, sufferings are at least 99% the result of will to do good, fanatical belief in some sacred principles that should be immediately established on the Earth, and will to ruthlessly exterminate evil. And only one hundredth of evil and disasters is brought about by the impact of outwardly evil, directly criminal and self-interested will.”
In order to get rid of the “Ahriya mainyus’ arrow” power, it is necessary at first to acknowledge that most people on the globe can’t adequately percept reality – it’s not so important if that happens because of excessive serotonin caused by the place of their residence, or reluctance to see threats for themselves, or because of the Stockholm syndrome in relation to the world. And if they see the world as it is, that may destroy them as Pelevin’s adepts of the Striving to Make Sure sect (“The purpose of their spiritual practice is to percept human life as it really is by hard thinking and selfless devotion to the cause. Some of those devotees manage to do that; they are called ‘the convinced’. It’s easy to recognize them by regularly uttered wild cries”.)
What is the secret, understanding which is incompatible with the life of most people on our Earth and without understanding which progress is impossible as the way to continue the life of mankind?
A HUMAN IS NOT “THE CROWN OF CREATION”
Here it is: the evolution of humankind is not over yet. It goes on, and now new branches are being formed on the common tree of humanity, new features are developed, brain’s capabilities are renewed… All of us are still half-finished products, and not the crown of creation.
We know what evolution is – mostly, this is achieving the goal by trial and error. And 99.9% of trials are discarded and become blind branches of evolution. This took place for millions years when humankind was formed and shaped. Many branches of humanoids found themselves in evolutionary dead-end and died. Now, it’s our turn… Those who will replace us in the process of evolution will call themselves differently. The coming environmental civilization crisis will serve as a tool for discarding branches not needed by evolution, like thousands of crises and catastrophes did before it.
Do you want to know what the world should be? Find those who were born with the “categorical imperative” inside them among the people of your circle, i.e. with innate understanding of what is good and what is evil. They are the prototype of the future, already non-human civilization. Civilization free from the need to do evil all the time in order to stay alive. Civilization that most likely will not originate…
Sure, all of us know what is good and what is evil. We know. But we don’t understand. Most of us find out about morals in the course of training and social adaptation, from religious authorities, parents or teachers.
Lack of understanding the difference between the good and the evil by the majority of the global population is not secret knowledge and not new knowledge. In any case, Marcus Aurelius wrote exactly about different “breeds” of people (Alone with Yourself): “You should tell yourself in the morning: Today, I’ll have to run across obtrusive, ungrateful, arrogant, treacherous, jealous, unsociable people. These features come from their unknowing what is good and what is evil. And I who have cognized the wonderful nature of the good and the shameful nature of the evil, understand the nature of those who are mistaken. They are my kin not by blood or origin but by god’s will and mind. I’m protected from their evil by knowledge. They can’t engage me into anything shameful. But I should not be angry or hate my in either. We are created for joint activities like hands and legs, eyelids, the upper and the lowers jaws. Because of that opposing each other is contrary to nature; and to be annoyed and keep away from such people means opposing them”.
“UGLY SWANS”, “LYUDENS”, “ARTINS”…
There is a hypothesis (I’m not sure if it is convincing), according to which it is possible that there are already those who will inherit the Earth living somewhere on it, the ugly swans of our time. They are not people, they are more likely lyudens if we use the term of the Strugatsky Brothers. Those whose descendants one day will reach the Omega Point… (According to Teilhard de Chardin, in the course of evolution, the state of mind [consciousness] is steadily developing, and material forms are becoming more complex in parallel. The result of that development is origination and evolving of noosphere and after that generation of some higher mind out of the synergy of the human minds’ aggregate – the Omega.)
I do not believe in this hypothesis because I do not believe in evolution of human species. It seems that evolution will choose another way – creation of artificial intelligence and origination of computer and biomorph synthesis – “artin” (or iskin with the word coming from the Russian words for “artificial intelligence”).
What humans or artins that will come to replace them, will have to get rid of in the process of further evolution? What brought humanity to the current crisis state? And the main question uniting the two previous ones, is: why is homo sapiens behaving like a common animal?
Because he is an animal in many aspects. Humanity on the whole and every individual separately can’t exist without destroying nature and killing live creatures as any consumer of the highest order.
However, in the course of civilization development, humankind worked out a number of moral systems, in the overwhelming majority of which it is said: everything bringing death is evil, everything serving to prolong life is beneficial (A. Schweitzer). People often acknowledge that killing live creatures is contrary to moral standards, and human existence like life on the planet Earth in general are based on killing and destruction that are still considered “necessary” as they serve to prolong live. But bringing death to ones for life of others is surely evil. Refusal to understand any killing as evil leads to justifying any crime. The practice of humanity’s existence is amoral. But that was always understood by only a few – I don’t know if they were the chosen or the doomed. Those with innate morals. That is, the categorical imperative, the moral law inside us that so surprised Immanuel Kant. It is not present in every individual’s consciousness. If you don’t believe it – ask people around you, how many of them are ready to acknowledge that the everyday practice of humanity’s existence is amoral?
Every Christian read the Gospel According to St. John and the First Epistle General of John, everyone remembers the lines: “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (1 John 2:15), “Now is the time for judgment on this world” (John 12:31)… So what? The image of the world under the rule of “the prince of this world” as St. John calls Satan, in which any of your actions brings evil no matter how much you want not to believe in that, has no impact on actions of 99% of people. On the contrary, they happily repeat quotations from the Holy Scripture: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth…” (Genesis 1:28). But they forget that in Genesis, from which these words are quoted, the land of Eden is meant (if you do not believe me – look yourself, it is written below that God even provided the population of Eden with vegetarian food: “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.” (Genesis 1:29-30).
Yes, it’s possible that it was like that in the beginning: wolves ate grass in Eden, and lions and sheep lay close-by but then the situation changed, there was the Fall (we’ll come back to its real meaning later), and Adam and Eve with the surrounding them birds, animals and snakes were exiled to the Earth. And here God said nothing about the Earth being given to people to own and rule! On the contrary, He said exactly the opposite and using the language of some Federal Penitentiary Service instruction: “To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you’ll give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:16-19)
“WE LIVE IN HELL…”
As you see, wise people always understood that the Earth was far from the best place. Andrey Sinyavsky said once: “Everything simplifies if we acknowledge that we live in hell”… It’s left to find out why in the world full of sufferings and torments, there are so many cheerful, “positive”, breeding non-stop idiots, whom, as it turns out, are fairly enough to destroy the world. Is the man really the creature loving sufferings?
Probably, that’s a particular case of the law of the “Ahriya mainyus’ arrow”. The area, which at first sight seems a piece of paradise, becomes a lure for migrants from areas with a more severe climate. They breed there, increasing exploitation of the area more than it’s possible to allow and turn the area into a geopathogenic, decelerating development location. Then the area is desertificated, and people leave it. That took place over the whole history of mankind and goes on now.
The main source of area’s geopathogenic character is the Sun. Dialectically, it’s perfectly clear why the source of life turns into the source of degradation and death (it is not without purpose that novices in Egypt when they were initiated to become high priests were whispered the great secret into their ears: “Osiris is an evil god”). In order to understand how it takes place, we’ll review some examples of desertification in chapter 8. But now we’ll turn our attention to fiction.
There were many writers who presented southern (brought about by excessive solar radiation) types of characters. One of the first to raise the issue was Alphonse Daudet in his undying Tartarin of Tarascon. Falsity, too much enthusiasm, impulsiveness, nonobligatoriness of which southerners are usually blamed, are explained by him as follows:
“There are no liars in the South – either in Marseille, or Nîmes, or Toulouse, or Tarascon. A southerner does not lie – he is just mistaken or misled. He does not always tell the truth, but he himself believes what he says… His lie is not a lie, it’s a kind of illusion…
“Yes, illusion!.. And in order to be convinced in that, go south – you’ll see yourself. You’ll see a wonderland, where the Sun changes everything and enlarges. You’ll see Provence hills not higher than Montmartre but they will seem giant to you, and the ancient temple in Nîmes – this interior item – is possible to take for the Notre-Dame de Paris. You’ll see… Ah, if there is a liar in the south, there is only one – and that’s the Sun!.. It increases everything it touches!.. What was Sparta in the time of its prime? Just an ordinary settlement. What about Athens? In best case – a provincial town… And they are pictured in history like two giant cities. That’s what the Sun made of them…”
Unfortunately, the “southern mentality” is not always just a reason for jokes. We can read Daudet further: “…every Sunday morning Tarasconians are armed and they go outside the city: they carry backpacks, they carry rifles on their shoulders, dogs are barking, ferrets are howling, there are trumpet and hunting horns sounds. That’s a magnificent spectacle… Unfortunately, there is no more game, absolutely no more game. Beasts, though they are beasts, finally became cautious. You understand. Five miles around Tarascon all holes are empty, all nests are left by the birds. Not a single ouzel, not a single quail. They’d like at least one small rabbit, at least one little whinchat.”
It’s wonderful to be warmed by gentle Sun rays for fifteen days of your vacation. The Sun helps excretion of serotonin, its lack is the reason of depression… Here the Sun is a healer. It’s another thing if your ancestors lived under its rays for 2,000 years… Serotonin as well as some other amino acids, secreted by southern nations under the impact of the Sun, not only boost spirits, making people cheerful and joyful. They also play the role of a kind of controller – they decide which signal to let into the brain and which not. Serotonin as well as endorphins and no matter how strange it may sound, testosterone, if they are excessive, not only deform people (e.g. excessive testosterone leads to men’s mammary gland fattening), they do not give an opportunity to assess the surrounding world adequately either.
The southerners perceive the world like people who consciously took or injected opiates in their bodies. But they, in contrast to drug addicts, are not guilty because they can’t perceive the world around them adequately. Yes, for example, they don’t see that their children’s behaviour should be corrected because they are hyperactive, referring that to their “southern temperament”, not understanding that it will be difficult for a child to live in future if he is not treated now and his hyperactivity is not corrected. Yes, they sincerely don’t see hydrocephaly symptoms and spine problems in each second child in the south, they don’t see puffed thyroid glands and don’t pay attention to regular children’s complaints on headaches, waving them away as “that’s because of growing up, it will go away in time”.
In the same way people mutageneously affected by the Sun do not understand the amoral character of being. On the contrary, they get pleasure from living in hell on the Earth, they want this life to go on and sincerely want to put more descendants into this hell – let them rejoice.
PRINCE GAUTAMA AS THE HERO OF OUR TIMES
However, approximately a half of the population to the south of the fortieth parallel shares exactly the opposite system of values – Buddhism and its versions declaring exit from “hell on the Earth” as the purpose of life. So, we see that it is possible to overcome even the most powerful impact of the Sun and perceive the world adequately.
We’ll remind you the history of Prince Gautama who became Buddha. He left his beautiful palace and saw four horrible facts of life that made him think about this life and as a result create the absolute and irreproachable system of running from it. Actually, all world religions are plans for running away from this concentration camp – or at least an attempt to be paroled.
What did this Prince see? A leper, a poor old man, a funeral procession… And, most important but about which many people forget, – he saw hundreds of people who take their own and others’ diseases, old age, poverty, death absolutely calmly as if it should be so… And the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding unseen among them, and they live as if nothing is happening and, most important, they give birth to children as “food” for these Horsemen…
Now, in order to understand the roots of modern environmental Fascism encompassing the world, let’s imagine a man from our times, a “positive” common man in place of Gautama. Knowing that those who are ill should be treated, he would have sent his court doctor to the leper – and that doctor, though leprosy is an incurable disease, would have relieved sufferings of the sick man. The Prince would have invited the old beggar to his palace, fed him, offered tea, he would have been disinfected to help him get rid of insects, given new clothes and offered to sit down, play chess and speak about life in general. The high priest would have explained to the Prince what death was – it turns out that the dead leave for the most important journey in their lives. And people mourning the dead – well, that’s traditional. Our character would not pay attention to the crowd of common people, he himself is like them. He would return to the palace and dedicate several years of his life to creation of a philosophical system, ideas, spiritual practices and physical exercises helping people to enjoy life in the real world surrounding them.
The sick obligatory get well in this system, and if they die, death is not frightening because it’s not the end but the beginning of the road. Old age may be attractive, this is “silver age”, the time of wise talks with younger people. Poverty can be dealt with by giving out collected taxes in the form of “universal basic income” to every subject of the kingdom. Pain can be relieved by meditation. And if the world still seems imperfect to someone, he only has to change the perception focus, turning his personal prism like kaleidoscope, through which he looks at the world, because really this world is just a product of personal perception, and it’s impossible to percept it adequately being its part…
As you see, there is only one step to Fascism from here, from rejecting reality of evil and good.
Fascism – no matter if it is red, black, brown or green – is based exactly on rejection of the absolute good and evil. The good and the evil become dependent on class morals, requirements of religion, traditions, national special features, interests of race or revolution…
It could seem attractive to acknowledge the ambivalence of the good and the evil. But this is first of all a threat to the life of individual adopting such an idea.
You understand nearly at once – no matter how you change “the reality perception focus”, everything related to maintaining physical existence is nevertheless evil because the higher consumer lives at the expense of killing lower consumers in the food pyramid. And that means that you just won’t manage to live and not bring death and evil to the world. As a consequence of that you’ll not only live shamelessly, not like you wanted, not doing good but bringing evil, and sooner or later you’ll be killed as well – either by people, or microorganisms, or your own body.
Happiness in this world is attainable only by scoundrels or fools; an individual living according to his conscience is always burdened by sorrows of others no matter if he lives in a wonderful palace – and the story of Prince Gautama demonstrates that very clearly…
Today’s Fascism is not torchlight processions (Fackelzug) and concentration camps. It’s not even trolling on the social networks. Fascism today is apotheosis of simplifying. Such as a man of our times would have “simplified” Prince Gautama’s spiritual experience.
Actual fascists are clean, healthy and well-groomed; any mother would like such a partner for her son or daughter. They are fans of the healthy way of life, volunteer work and vegetarianism – because that is a simple way to rise above the crowd. They like high-tech – because this is the simplest way to look modern. They are for migration and mixing nations – because this is the easiest way to increase tension in the society. They are not afraid of “left” opposition, because the “left” are also real masters to simplify everything.
Their real supporters are positively inclined individuals wishing to get the maximum number of pleasant sensations from life and not wishing to know that all of them were paid for by blood of others and death of thousands of live creatures.
Their future armies are myriads of residents of the so-called third world thinking themselves offended, wishing to get their part of the globe, ready to kill, take away and divide the world anew, only to feel themselves in place of characters from advertizing videos.
The future Fascism is neither white nor Arian. It is multi-coloured and global. It’s everywhere – in smartphones, on social networks, advertizing videos, supermarkets. Its servants are those who make us consume, work and live in order to rest in intervals between work…
Understanding the amoral character of individual’s physical body existence as pertaining to his moral principles is practically as old as the present civilization. But it was never dominant and was always the domain of the most moral, “advanced” representatives of humanity.
Death is inevitable in this world, consequently the process of life based on death of other living creatures, inevitably ends by death of those using these creatures.
Entropy on the Earth always increases, consequently any human action, even with the purpose to protect nature and life, has a negative effect, expressed in indirect destruction of nature and death of live creatures. And aggregate consequences of this negative effect are more considerable than forecasted positive consequences. A particular case of this consequence is: disposal of recyclable materials does not reduce the amount of garbage but increases it, though in a different form. A subsidiary conclusion from the said above: the only effective way of environmental protection is inactivity (e.g. refusal from procreation, etc.), and it’s a priori impossible for all representatives of humanity though supported by the authority of Lao Tzu.
But we’re watching the process that as it seems is contrary to increase of entropy, the way from the complex to the simple – the evolution process of life on the whole and making the nervous tissue more complex in particular. Is it really an anti-entropic process?
Anti-entropic phenomena of matter, nervous system, brain tissue, signal systems of human mind, etc. becoming more complex and leading to origination of the modern human intelligence, only seem anti-entropic as they have a local anti-entropic effect but in case of a long period of time they only increase entropy, and we’re watching that studying human history. A giant dinosaur ate less than a small, weak man consumes now. Really, humanity is a tool for accelerating entropic processes many times. You have probably guessed why nature needs it and if not, I’ll remind you that new life is born out of death. But understanding that we, killing and destroying, act according to laws of nature, does not free us from responsibility for killings and destructions. In our time, we’ll also become victims of killers – people, bacteria, elements, it is not so important as to whom. We want to avoid responsibility for mass killings but we don’t want to change our behaviour.
Processes required for humanity’s existence and leading to destruction of nature and killing live creatures are amoral, consequently, inevitable death of humanity and/or civilization is not an absolute evil as destruction of an amoral system cannot be evil.
Here we come back to what we started this chapter with – the Strugatsky Brothers’ genius insight. They said through their goodie: “There are no objects in humanity for applying force.” Humans as morals carriers in beasts’ shell should make way for the next species by the evolution laws, and extinction of humanity can’t be avoided by any “minor renovations”, diplomacy or total enlightenment.
Hypothetically, intelligence can exist based on a carrier not included in the food pyramid and consequently without moral contradiction according to Kant – Schweitzer (e.g. intelligent life can exist as energy fields). Consequently, theoretically intelligence can be free from perception of one’s existence as contrary to Kant’s “categorical imperative”.
Increase of entropy in the Universe is not contrary to intelligence development outside protein carriers as an infinitely complex and infinitely big, one whole information field is created in the course of chaos development in the Universe. It is generated by infinite variety of elementary particles. The carriers of information in this field are elementary particles not having a moment in time and consequently existing (for them) eternally (it can be called the Omega system if we use Teilhard de Chardin’s term). Intelligence originates in the process of overcoming the threshold of any system’s complication.
Death of humanity is inevitable but it’s not a tragedy as humanity fairly understands amoral practice of its existence and acknowledges (in the persons of its spiritual leaders – prophets and philosophers) inevitability and logic of its extinction, which is certified by eschatology of practically all world religions. Extrapolating all events in nature and taking into account that the vector of these entropic processes is one-directional, we can forecast that modern civilization will die in the historically close to us period.
Does it mean that we’ll leave the Earth without performing our task? By the way, what is it? Let’s again refer to Teilhard de Chardin.
According to him, we’ll agree to perform the task assigned to us – to move noogenesis forward – only on one condition: for our efforts to have chances to succeed and lead us as far as possible. A beast can rush head first at breakneck speed to a dead-end or precipice. A man will never make a single step in the direction which, as he knows, has no prospects. That’s exactly the ailment that bothers us… What is required as minimum for the way in front of us to be called open? Only one thing – but that’s everything. For us to be provided a place and opportunities for self-realization, i.e. progressing (directly or indirectly, individually or collectively) reveal ourselves to the maximum.
Another dead-end, this time the dead-end of the lack of meaning. Exactly that the current generation of Earth inhabitants is deprived of. In any case, Earth inhabitants who can think, who are carriers of the categorical imperative and able to move forward. There are few of them but exactly they developed civilization in all ages, “moving noogenesis forward”. The rest, the majority of ninety nine percent, will never understand why everything ended and what those eggheads need. It could seem that it is still possible to enjoy tasty food, sun rays, gentle women, still support their teams at stadiums, dance, read, talk all nights through with friends, sing, write poems, travel… But comprehension that everything will end in nothing and what is more, this end is just in all fairness deprives those, on whom continuation of civilization depends, of all prospects…
It seems that we have gotten a grasp of what progress is and in which direction evolution should go. But here is the question: are we sure that evolution will manage this time? Isn’t it better to take the fate of humanity in our hands? We have such possibilities and we’ll be able to create an intelligent creature free from the need to kill in our laboratories.
Currently, the top of gene therapy is CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). DNA sequences that are currently the basis of CRISPR-Cas9 technology can theoretically change human DNA forever.
In 2017, gene engineering decisively shot forward – after the team from the Beijing Proteome Research Center announced that they had successfully used CRISPR-Cas9 to eliminate pathogenic mutations in viable human embryos. Another team from the Francis Crick Institute (formerly the UK Center for Medical Research and Innovation) in London took the opposite way and for the first time used this technology for intentional creation of mutations in human embryos. In particular, they “switched off” the gene assisting embryos transformation in blastocycts. Research demonstrated that the CRISPR-Cas9 technology works – and fairly successfully. However, that brought about active ethic debates as to how far it is possible to go in using this technology. Theoretically it can lead to “designer children” that will have intellectual, sports and physical features in accordance with characteristics set forth by their parents. And in future – to creatures not needing to be fed by killed creatures, not needing domination and expansion for self-respect, not wishing to press and trample on anyone for pleasure. It is only required to attach a quantum computer to this creature, creation of which is expected in the next decade… And that’s all, artificial intelligence takes upon itself the function of the “top species”.
Sure, the method similar to forcing our way into Heaven… But what is left for us to do? To sit by the Golden Gate in Jerusalem and wait for a man from Nazareth riding on a lame white donkey?
So, what is progress? How will I answer this question asked by the “boy with Biblical eyes”? That’s how…
Ecology teaches us that everything in the live world is subjected to the law of the food pyramid. Everything is arranged hierarchically. The higher beasts of prey eat the lower herbivorous animals, and in their turn they become food for bacteria. The lower provide food for the higher, otherwise, reproducing non-stop, they start getting ill and dying because of their excessive numbers.
People think that social structure protects them from biological laws. But this is a delusion. Humans are also biological creatures, and they have to eat, dominate when fighting for females, not let anyone in their personal life space, to put it differently – be strong at the personal level and not only social level. This is surely disgusting. But unfortunately, either you, your family, your tribe, etc. are masters subjugating others by force or money, or you, your family, your tribe are subjugated by others. There is no third option in this (human) world.
So, we can’t help “trampling” on others, i.e. we can’t refuse from domination. But we can’t help “killing” either – if not humans then animals, plants, ecosystem on the whole. Otherwise we’ll quickly die ourselves.
In order to attain the world, in which no one is trampled or killed, it is first of all necessary to put an end to humanity.
You can say that Banev meant social relations only. O.K., let it be so – we have already now built the world in which football fans can jump like fleas from one continent to the other after their team, and whores can go to southern resorts to make money, not afraid of anything – but it seems to us that this should not be viewed as civilization achievements. Because the achievement will be, for example, the society with no people stuck on the lowest steps of the Maslow pyramid, interested in sport games, no women without dignity, no resorts, may be for very ill people only, there will be no keyed up, impulsive, hyperactive, senseless south… But unfortunately, human experience shows that it is impossible to attain such a state of affairs with available “biological material”.
It is possible to be employed by aliens; it is possible to move to another country. The law of the food pyramid stays unchanged, just the notions of “our” and “alien” will get a new meaning.
Is it possible to live absolutely free from referring to all communities? That’s still an unattainable dream. Even if you tear ties with your relatives and acquaintances, refuse from any citizenship, move to the other side of the world, live like a hermit, your gender and your being a human will still govern and control your behaviour… Freedom from determination of individual behaviour by these references is the nearest target for human development as it seems to us. And now it is closer than it seems. Now, it is often already easier for us to communicate with computers than live people. We stopped being afraid of an alien look of a person we’re dealing with. Psychologically we’re already ready for origination of new artificial intelligent beings, not included in the food pyramid, free from the necessity to kill in order to live, not tied by domineering issues, not being citizens of any states, not dragging the burden of national cultures, customs and traditions, not tied to land, able to live in the ocean or space… And it seems that such creatures have actually been created already…
THE MYTH OF PROGRESS
Our time is the time of unrestrained myth creation. Myths penetrate practically any field of human knowledge. There are historical myths, political myths, social, biological, medical…
In particular, there is a myth of progress that naturally states that really there is no progress. That is, there is surely purely technological progress but there is no trace of moral, social progress. Like before, humans stay morally deaf, the society does not strive for raising to a higher ethic level, the amount of evil in the world increases, and the “Ahriya mainyus’ arrow” as Yuri Shevchuk says after Ivan Yefremov, threatens to pierce the heart of our civilization.
That exactly is a myth.
Moral progress is as evident as technological progress.
Let’s recall, for example, that still not far back historically, about 200-300 years ago, murder was a matter of valour. A man who killed more than others deserved respect. And today murder is flatly and vehemently criticized, condemned and blamed, and many countries already banned capital punishment.
War was recently also considered valorous. Nikolay Gogol, describing the Zaporozhian Cossack Army, wrote that there were people assembled “who had a noble conviction that it does not matter where you wage war, it’s important only to wage war as it is indecent for a noble man to live with no battles”. War was looked at exactly like a noble deed. It was the same even in the “enlightened” 19th century. Look: the United States conquered half of Mexico where the today’s south-western states were set up: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Texas… At the same time, European powers quickly expanded their colonies in Africa and in the East, ruthlessly enslaving local population. Russia annexed giant territories in Middle Asia with ancient cities of Samarkand, Tashkent and Bukhara. And most of these wars were purely expansive: the one who was stronger took giant regions under control.
It was a civilization norm.
And now wars are also flatly and vehemently criticized, condemned and blamed. And what is more, people are trying to localize them by common efforts and totally stop, though surely they are not always successful in that.
It seemed to me that progress is evident.
By the way, A.P. Nazaretyan speaks about an interesting fact in his book on civilization crises. Computer development allowed to calculate numbers of victims of armed conflicts in foreseeable history, surely, the figures are only approximate. So, it turned out that “when destructive force of weapons and population density grew progressively, the percentage of armed conflict victims did not increase over millennia. By all accounts it even slowly and unstably decreased, fluctuating between 5% and 1% per century”.
This was indirectly confirmed by Australian ethnographers who compared wars waged by today’s primitive tribes and World War II. The percentage of losses in both cases was comparable.
So, in my opinion, the myth of social (moral) progress stop is just a myth. Moral limitations are strengthening and are rather successful in restraining contemporary aggression.
The “Ahriya mainyus’ arrow” sounds beautifully but it flies off the target.
As for human transformation, this process is really becoming necessary and urgent. A contemporary man in the way he exists falls behind the increasing complexity of both technological sphere and social sphere. Hence continuous crisis aggravation.
At the same time, human modernization does not require eugenics at the gene level as the author thinks. There are gentler methods.
Actually, when Moses, according to the legend, wandered in the desert for forty years with the Israelites, it was, if we use the analytical language, a completely comprehended and purpose-oriented ethnic and social planning. A certain ethnic community was singled out: the Israelites in captivity, later it was completely isolated from influences by other ethnic and cultural communities (taken to desert), then there was selection according to age: they wandered for forty years, carriers of old, heathen tradition were gone. And finally, a new nation was formed based on the commandments brought by the Prophet from Mount Sinai, and based on a principally new ethic canon. And that nation came to the Land of Promise.
In our times, a good example of quick and effective ethnic and cultural transformation is Germans. They experienced the following metamorphoses in just one hundred years, from the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century: Michael (“potato German” as Germans were called in Europe then) – Bismarck German (during the period of German nation-state origination) – Kaiser German (period of World War I) – Arian German (Fascist period) and finally today’s German (approximately from the second half of the 20th century).
And no interference at the gene level.
Only the will of the global community is required for ethnic and cultural transformation of nations, for bringing their consciousness to the respective environmental level.
However, the today’s global community has no such will.
CHAPTER 6. THE SILENCE OF SPACE
Once in the early 21st century, in the height of summer, when it was very hot, I decided that forest roads were already dry. It turned out later that I was mistaken. I invited my colleagues from the Green Cross as well as Michael Gerstein, who was then the Chairman of the Commission for UFO Studies of the Russian Geographical Society, to go to the border of the Leningrad Region and the Vologda Region to the legendary in ufological circles Lake Korb. There had been some events there in 1961 that still have not been reasonably explained…
Something hard, heavy and most likely flying had fallen from the sky onto the shore of the lake, turned out soil, crawled leaving a trench behind it up to the water, plunged into it (breaking the ice) and then… disappeared. In any case, neither the forest ranger, who had come in the morning, nor several army expeditions that researched the place for over 15 years, found any traces of the fallen object. This case is considered one of the best studied by ufologists, with material traces left by actions of an unidentified flying object.
…Sure, forest roads were not dry. We had to walk up to our knees in marshy mud and sludge, making the way through trees blown down by the wind and fairly thick undergrowth, along game trails. The lake, when we finally came up to it, amazed us by quietness and lack of people. The crater from SOMETHING that had fallen there was in place. It’s only known that it was NOT a meteorite, comet, rocket, etc. We were surprised to see many young trees growing on the crater walls. Probably microelements in the soil there really changed.
Residents to the nearest to Lake Korb village located in twenty kilometers to the south-west remember numerous army and civil expeditions that looked for a “rocket” but did not find anything, very well. Not a single piece, except unexplainable black balls like scale that it is still possible to dig out in this crater if there is a wish to do it. By the way, UFOs don’t forget this area. We were shown several video recordings done by cellular phones, and experienced Michael Gerstein saw reflections of launched rockets from the space-vehicle launching site in Plesetsk. But nothing from Plesetsk fell into Lake Korb, and that was definitely established…
We did not intend to find something not found by army men and scholars during our first visit. They had worked by Lake Korb several weeks after the fall (and take off?) of the unknown object. But the state of affairs on our globe has become so drastic that hoping for a lucky turn of events, you really start reviewing the most fantastic options.
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ARE WE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE?
Our planet is one of the many similar to it. According to various calculations by astronomers, there may be about 150 mln extraterrestrial civilizations in our Galaxy – and they make only 0.1% of the number of Earth-like planets by Sun-like stars. But the space is silent. And to tell the truth, no one is sure if mankind ever received guests from other planets over its history. This phenomenon – the loneliness of mankind in the Universe – was named the astrosociological paradox.
Trying to understand the challenges that our civilization is facing, threatening it in their aggregate by death with practically one hundred percent assuredness, we don’t see positive examples around as for existence of technological civilizations like ours. There are only three explanations for that.
Our civilization could be the only one of its kind, and Iosif Shklovsky was right when he said from the rostrum at the XXVII International Geological Congress in 1984 the prophetic words, and if you read the previous chapters, you will be sure that they have come true: “Intelligent life is not the highest form of matter’s movement”, and intelligence is “only one of uncountable ‘inventions’ of the evolutionary process, besides, bringing species awarded with it to an evolutional dead-end”.
The second explanation is that there may be many technological civilizations in the Universe, but their life span is short – either wars, or environmental crisis, or internal contradictions, loss of wish to go on living make them die. The experience of their death will give us nothing, and we won’t just have time to get acquainted with them, we’ll die soon ourselves.
And finally the third possible explanation. There are many really dead technological civilizations that turned their planets into nuclear deserts, or, on the contrary, made the sleepy paradise of homeostasis. But there are several survivors that are extensively developing. They overcame internal problems and managed with external problems such as giant distances and bitter cold of outer space. They travel from star to star, develop new territories, create something unseen and think that cognition is the essence of intelligent creature’s existence. That is, they live like our ancestors in the times of Jules Verne, sure, with adjustment for development of technology. And if there are such “brothers in mind”, then we have hope for something bigger than slow decline and extinction, loss of will for expansion, civilization growing old and dismay because of waiting for new “barbarians” that will draw a bloody line ending our history. If there are such “extraterrestials”, then our death is not foredoomed, as there is someone who has managed! We have not just met them. But lack of evidence is not the evidence of lack. We just have to go on looking.
Because it seems that there is no other proof of “non-dead-end” of the technological way of civilization development. And there is no other acceptable for us form of civilization either besides the one dying now in front of our eyes…
But it seems that Shklovsky was right. Intellect is not a progressive evolutional acquisition. It is an evolutional dead-end. And planets are not places for development of a long evolutional process. And here is the answer why.
We are used to seeing danger for mankind only in actions of mankind as such. We think that a global catastrophe can be only hand-made and it will be brought about by, for example, nuclear war or technology-related environmental crisis. Really, there are more than enough natural reasons for death of civilization living on the globe.
Sure, the first one is the danger of asteroids. Fairly big boulders fall on our planet from space from time to time, and that is as inevitable as sunrise. Animals and plants die in the fire or ice following fire, and those left alive start everything anew. There are over 100,000 asteroids discovered around the Earth. One of them – Apophis – will fly rather close to the Earth in 2029, on Friday, April 13. But if there is no catastrophe on the planet on that day, the asteroid will change its orbit under the impact of the Earth’s gravitation and next time it will fly closer…
The Ice Age is another inevitable unpleasantness for humanity. Now we are having the interglacial period on the “geological calendar” of the planet, it’s a short period between icing. Geologists think that such periods last for about 10,000 years. Ours is in its thirteenth millennium. Scientists more and more often speak about registered signs of nature’s preparation for return of ice. And it will be impossible to survive in the new Ice Age in any shelter – during the last icing the ice layer in place of our city was several kilometers thick.
Icing may start as a result of a drastic volcano eruption – like the Toba volcano eruption that took place 73,000 years ago on the island of Sumatra in modern Indonesia. Volcanic ash closed the sun for several years after it. All vegetation on land died except in the equatorial belt. 90% of live creatures died with it. Humans survived miraculously. The climate after this catastrophe was so severe that the population size did not change for 20,000 years. Such eruptions in the history of our planet take place with amazing regularity, approximately once in 50,000 years. This period is over, and it was over many years ago, so let’s pay attention to volcanoes – the second after asteroids candidates to “civilization destroyers”.
First of all, this is certainly the Yellowstone Caldera, it erupted already in ten fantasy movies. No less worrisome is Kilimanjaro and the pair Mt. Elbrus – Mt. Kazbek, about awakening of which volcanologists have been warning since the 1970s. Mankind will not survive in case of explosion of such strength and “volcanic winter” following it – at least because there won’t be enough food stores for several years with poor or no harvests.
We think that Shklovsky was right not only because there is a danger of catastrophes, and development of intelligent protein planetary life is not the main evolutionary way but an evolutionary dead-end.
First, origination of life out of dead matter at first sight is contrary to the entropy increase law. It is as if sea waves would start not breaking but creating sand castles. Actually, all processes related to life, intelligence and evolution seem contrary to entropy increase. Seem. Because really nature on planets does not cultivate the evolution top. Nature cultivates its executioner. The final state of nature development is infinitely complex combination of infinitely various elementary particles, i.e. the universal chaos after the end of worlds. Here it seems that the Supreme Intelligence originates based on infinite complexity of infinite numbers of infinitely small elements…
Life destroys nature quicker than nature is destroyed without it, intelligent life accelerates the entropy process to space scales. Had we known for sure that evolution stopped on us, we would have known our mission for sure as well: destruction of the world for the future Supreme Intelligence. Happily, our mission does not end here: many philosophical and religious teachings say that we are still half-finished products. And the really big breakthrough up the evolutionary staircase leading, according to the law of non-decreasing entropy, down, still awaits us.
Second, the presence of the categorical imperative or inner knowledge of what is good and what is evil in some of us give us hope. We understand – in any case the best of us understand and are not tired to explain to the rest that biologically we are animals and we behave like animals (in case of feeding, breeding, etc.). At the same time, we understand that taking someone else’s life to continue one’s own means bringing evil to the world. Evidently, many planetary civilizations did not survive such a controversy and announced, according to Teilhard de Chardin, a riot in noosphere. It seems that we won’t survive it either. Because of that we should not be surprised that space is silent.
The planetary intelligence is not doomed for eternal moral sufferings, driven to an evolutionary dead-end, tormented prisoner of conscience. This is a soul caught in the body or shell of a beast, it’s worse than hell, because its torments, constant moral and physical sufferings make it deform and mutilate oneself, behave without feeling guilty or embarrassed, reject the categorical imperative given with the apple juice from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, reject understanding of good and evil… Travel over the world – and you’ll be convinced that creatures looking human only from the outside but without conscience, make the overwhelming majority in all countries and nations.
Evidently, the present human species should perform two tasks: create a space man, free from the “original sin”, i.e. the one who does not have to kill to live himself, and sterilize the Earth finally turning by that time into the habitat of “dead-end human species”. The first task is solved by creation of “artins” based on quantum computers, the second will be solved by the Earth inhabitants, destroying their environment by unrestrained breeding and consumption of natural resources.
We don’t see another exit from the evolutionary dead-end about which academician Shkovsky said a little bit earlier…
THE PROBLEM OF GALACTIC SCALES
The great silence of space is one of the biggest mysteries of the Universe. The essence of this mystery is simple. If there are civilizations on other planets, why don’t we see or hear them? The Universe is uncountable. Only our Galaxy, the Milky Way, contains about 400 billion stars. There are planets round many of them. And according to contemporary estimations, from 5 to 20 billion planets are similar to our Earth in their characteristics.
And here is another serious consideration here. The phenomena of nature can’t be unique, to put it simply – single. On the contrary, they should be manifested every time when typical, i.e. similar conditions originate. And if there are billions of planets similar to our Earth, life should have originated on many of them, and what is more – it should have reached highly organized forms.
To put it differently, civilizations on other planets should originate inevitably. Besides, a considerable number of them that started earlier, should have already outrun the Earth in their technological development. They should have gone into space long ago and come to light. But where are they? That’s what the famous physicist Enrico Fermi exclaimed and very emotionally in his time, when he was discussing extraterrestrial civilizations.
Yuri Shevchuk presents the main hypotheses trying to explain this phenomenon. Our Earth can turn out to be the only one in the Universe – for example, that was what Soviet astrophysicist I.S. Shklovsky thought. Besides, other civilizations could have just died – as a result of catastrophic wars or insurmountable natural cataclysms. Intelligence, coming up to a certain industrial level, is capable to destroy itself and exactly on planetary scales.
I’ll add another hypothesis, somewhat exotic. It was supposed in practically all forecasts of the 1960s that human expansion would be directed to space: we’d set up several bases on the Moon, hang a permanent scientific station above Jupiter, start developing the whole Solar system. Nothing of this happened. Computers, the Internet appeared, the online world came into being. And suddenly it turned out that it is much more interesting to live in these virtual worlds than in the physical world. They are impressive, brightly-coloured and more easily accessible. They are at arm’s length. So, the expansion vector changed.
Mankind moved not to the deserted and dark space but into the shining cyberspace. Possibly, that’s the fate of many civilizations. As soon as they get into virtual reality, they are charmed by its magic features, they fully plunge into the artificial world and as if pupate and stop paying attention to the physical world.
It may well happen on the Earth as well.
There is not much left to wait.
Though, now, in my opinion, the coherent life origin hypothesis seems the most convincing to explain the Great Silence of Space. According to this hypothesis, the Universe that originated as a result of the Big Bang, evolves and develops as one whole going through successive development stages. At first, gas clouds are formed, then they condense into the first-generation stars, then the second-generation stars, planets originate around stars, life originates on planets of the Earth type.
In this case life in the Universe originates only once, however, en masse and inside a limited “ring” segment. That is, there are no “supercivilizations” in principle: all other cultures are approximately at the same, “Earthen” level of technological development. And as the Universe is expanding and this process has been going on for billions of years, these sparks of life are now dissipated and located at great distances from one another – it’s impossible to overcome them having only today’s communication means.
Actually, the Universe is much bigger than a common man can imagine. It is very difficult to imagine space abysses between stars. In 1974, the so-called Arecibo message, an interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity, was sent to the Hercules globular cluster, where according to suppositions of that time, intelligent life could exist. The Earth actually said by it that it was.
That’s not Facebook where you get answers to your questions practically immediately.
The Arecibo message will fly to the Hercules globular cluster for 25,000 years. And the way back will take as much time. That is, we can only get an answer in 50,000 years. If there is an addressee in the Hercules globular cluster at all.
And other stars are still farther from us.
It seems to me that too little time has passed.
In the terms of the boundless Universe, humanity exists only for a small part of a second. It has just peeped out of the Earthen crib. It has not made the first tentative steps yet.
Actually, life in the Universe is currently a number of weak sparks, smouldering in the space void. And as Yuri Shevchuk was right to say, these sparks can go out at any moment. For example, a giant asteroid may collide with the Earth – the probability of that is small, but it is still possible. The Earth can suffocate in smoke after a great volcanic eruption – it happened in the past. It’s possible that humanity will not manage with the next pandemia – nature’s attempt to regulate excessive population size of homo sapiens. Finally, humanity can destroy itself in a sudden chaos of total war – the state of affairs in today’s world is rather unstable.
Our spark can really go out.
And because of that the idea of a “space man” presented by Yuri Shevchuk seems especially attractive.
It may be that the real destiny of mankind is exactly overcoming internal differences,
and finally going out into space, mysterious expanses of the Universe, to spread life over all our Galaxy and even beyond it and thus preserve intelligence no matter all natural or space fluctuations.
That’s the task in front of us.
The task of incredible scales.
And our responsibility for solving this task will be especially great if it turns out that we are alone in this Universe.
CHAPTER 7. THE PHENOMENON OF WOMAN
I see the following thought in many works on futurology: it turns out that the fate of civilization is in the hands of women. As soon as they are educated, watch TV, understand that there are other pleasures in the world besides never-ending childbirth and servicing their battered and dirty cock of the family, stop giving birth to children over the number necessary for continuation of the family – the demographic crisis will end.
It should be said that the idea is absolutely right and even confirmed by contemporary statistics – though birth rate is still very high but it steadily falls all over the world except in Sub-Saharan Africa. Futurologists forecast the maximum population on the globe by 2050-2060. And after that – gradual exit to the world population plateau at eight (or nine) billion people… And next forecasts are different, though rapid fall of the global population size is predominant in them.
Futurologists are mostly men and they forget that women affect biosphere not only demographically. They really have a very strong impact, it’s much wider than just filling the world with new people. In order to assess this impact and understand if emancipation of women helps to reduce it, let’s at first answer the question: what is the woman?
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So, a woman in contrast, for example, to a bitch, is a creature constantly ready for sexual intercourse. Prehistoric females turned into women approximately 72,000 years ago at the time of the great catastrophe – the Toba volcano eruption, when 90% of land dwellers died on the globe, and there were less than 10,000 of our prehistoric ancestors left on the globe. At best, only one tenth of them were female. When there was no food, usually the weakest in the tribe were eaten, no one thought about gender equality then… However, if a female was in estrus (called simply “in heat” by dog breeders), i.e. she was ready for sexual intercourse, she was left for “later”. Like now when they are dismissing personnel in some companies… Yes, people really have not changed since the time of the Fall…
It seems that one of females had some hormonal imbalance because of stress or something else – and no estrus, or just one short mating period when she was in heat. She just stopped bleeding and turned out ready for intercourse always and thus became the first woman in the history of mankind. It’s not known why this change became hereditary. It turned out like that – and it’s a fact. Lack of estrus is inherited but consequences of circumcision are not. However, now some scholars are saying that either estrus is coming back or it was always present but in a latent state, and male scientists were just not interested in the issue. But Dr. Randy Thornhill, Professor of biology at the University of New Mexico, informed his colleagues that according to his observations, the fair sex really had periods of sexual boom. He said tolerantly that women did not mew and did not scratch doors but they really had estrus.
Consequences of the homo species refusal from estrus were really revolutionary. However, they were not manifested at once, at first consequences of the volcano eruption had to be overcome. The population size did not increase for two dozens of thousands years. But women survived – when, for example, a human tribe was attacked by Neanderthals, they ate men but had sex with women, who were always ready for intercourse. Exactly then genes of other, now dead, dead-end kinds of anthropoids appeared in the bodies of today’s humans.
One can say that exactly the readiness of women for constant copulation in contrast to female animals gave them unquestionable evolutionary advantage and helped to survive in the period called “genotype bottleneck” by anthropologists. We owe this period our lack of genetic variety, and all of us notwithstanding outside differences in haplogroups are close relatives. Surely, this does not help the world – there are no worse enemies than a neighbour or a relative but it’s a pleasure for many to know about relations.
When people started living better, it turned out that there is the back side in constant readiness of females for copulation. First, rivalry between men increased – in the past it had lasted for three months in a year, and then it became constant. They had to refuse from common wives, no matter the protests (remnants of polyandry are still preserved in some tribes) and transfer to monogamy.
Women gradually became commodities. And commodities interested in being bought. First, they needed a man as a source of resources, a woman alone practically could not survive, only in a group of those like her… And here it seems that it is necessary to recall Amazons and other female communities in history. Second, God’s curse was really in force, the one He said when banishing Eve from Heaven –
“with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
That is, notwithstanding pains in childbearing and all other kinds of unpleasantness, a woman will again and again reach out for a man for a short pleasure, being despised by him for that and used by him as a subordinate creature.
Notwithstanding all emancipation, notwithstanding differences in women’s positions in various countries, she still stays a commodity selling herself – for money, assistance in breeding, for love or tenderness. It’s not a question of principle – the state of affairs is still unchanged. Practically no woman sees any difference between beauty and sex appeal, and what is more does not understand what beauty is for if it is not a part of appealing to a partner. If you do not believe me – view dating websites for women wishing to find a partner for marriage and after that websites where prostitutes offer their services. You’ll see the same expressions on women’s faces.
And if two women meet, one Western and one Eastern, one in a sexual dress and the other in a black robe, don’t hurry to speak about humiliation of Eastern women. Listen to what they think about each other – and they think the same things: “That’s what it means to live in the world where men rule!” Because both garments have the same purpose – packaging the goods. One was made to walk around half-naked to demonstrate “marketable state” elevating the status of her current buyer; the other was dressed in something reminding a garbage sack to observe the interests of her owner…
Had there been no men in the world and parthenogenesis was used for reproduction, the world would have been with no wars or crises, full of fat happy women where no one would have made women live not how they want to live… Unfortunately, the world is not like that. And nearly every woman has an opportunity to become a dependent and live at a man’s expense. Or many men… Thus, women’s acquiring constant readiness for copulation did not bring them freedom, instead of that it brought them even more severe slavery. That’s another case of the “law of the Ahriya mainyus’ arrow”, about which we spoke above.
Futurological sociology often demonstrates assuredness that emancipation of women will solve the human development issues. It seems to us that it is not so. Freedom should become the basis for raise of needs (according to Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of needs). An individual at the highest steps of the pyramid, independent of sex, consumes less material wealth – he/she needs other things (“Why do I need an apartment?” a physicist from Nine Days in One Year says sincerely). Respectively he/she destroys the environment less (in theory). Though the given example of the said physicist more likely certifies the reverse. But in order to reach the highest steps in Maslow’s pyramid, an individual should surely develop freely. Everyone agrees to that.
Only will an individual want to develop freely if he/she is given such an opportunity? The issue is urgent both for men and women but now we’re addressing it exclusively to women.
For example, Russian women, in my opinion, are the most free (from chains of race, nation, language, citizenship, men of their circle), as a result, exercising their freedom on a global scale, they acquired the reputation of whores all over the globe. They are so free that they often have no dignity – as maintaining dignity interferes with freedom. A textbook example is the case of the wife of Marquise Vilfredo Pareto, the father of modern sociology. She was a poor Russian girl Alexandra Bakunina and she ran away with a cook. That’s typical behaviour of a Russian woman – to run away from a noble and rich man to the one who “loves her more”. Freedom for a Russian woman is an opportunity to act “by love”. And what about Maslow’s pyramid? Probably, he would have been shocked by such a form of self-actualization.
Russian women are despised all over the world, including the so-called third world also because they treat representatives of the lowest social strata as equals. I’m not speaking about politeness but again about constant readiness for copulation. They sincerely don’t understand how a man can be “lowest”. He is a man!
I don’t aspire to representation. But I asked a girl I know, who is a sociology student, to survey 18-35 year-old girls and women who often go abroad. There was just one question: did you ever have to deal with sexual harassment during your trips? It was clear from the wording that “courting” and “flirting” were not meant. About 23% out of 120 respondents were raped. Actually, that’s less than the global level and coincides with the number of raped in the motherland (22%). On the whole, there was no need to go far… The rest (practically each one) admitted that they were harassed – they were offered money for sex, they were persistently made passes at in the street, they were offered discounts in shops for sexual services, men caught hold of their hands, slapped their buttocks, tried to pull them in cars, followed, tried to break into their apartments. Most often, southern men were the aggressors – Arabs, Italians, Spaniards, Africans, Greeks, Turks as well as Germans (it seems that most tourists at the resorts are German).
And practically all girls did not refuse from trips, most of which were to resort areas. What now? To stay at home? They have to rest! That is, women are ready for humiliation for the following reward – for example, swimming in a warm sea. They are ready. And are we ready to respect women after that? We should mention for the sake of justice that women have the same problems at home. And it would be right to ask men: are they ready to provide security for their women?
A short conclusion. Women could have saved the world if they had dignity and they understood that they no longer want to be a commodity. They would have reduced childbirth to a minimum, refused from marriage as a state institution and in no case agreed to be a kept woman or a prostitute, which is the same in essence, understood self-actualization not sexually but creatively…
Unfortunately, only a thin stratum of intellectuals has their dignity and they behave as it was just described. All the rest in the course of evolution have still not become owners of their bodies and their emotions. These women are still a commodity, owning which brings about the need to own other goods, etc. And what is more, women are the main stimulus for consumption on the globe. No advertisement is without women because actually not consumer goods but women are advertized, whom a man will get when he becomes the owner of some material wealth. Consumption growth mostly depends on women and their needs. And they don’t want to make their needs reasonable. And as we have just seen, they can’t. In this they are similar to nations that destroyed their habitat by uncontrollable growth of needs. Women destroyed the whole Earth by their needs.
WOMAN AS A PHENOMENON
Yuri Shevchuk is absolutely right in describing “the phenomenon of woman”. However, it seems to me as a biologist (in the past) and culturologist (now) that the bases of this phenomenon are somewhat deeper and its consequences are much more important and wider.
They are as follows.
When our human ancestors became two-legged, which actually generated a possibility of their future civilizational condition, they experienced the real anatomic revolution as a consequence of it. The human pelvis evolved to be narrower enough for efficient upright locomotion, the lower limbs were fixed differently from those of four-legged animals – and that allowed humans to walk steadily and what’s even more important, stay steady while running.
However, these changes were really full only in case of men. The female pelvis had to be adjusted for childbirth, so it could not become much narrower. As a result, female thighs are still rather big. Because of that women on the whole run worse than men and get tired much sooner than men. And what is more, as the birth canal really became narrower, childbirth became hard labour, it is tormenting, and children are born helpless, immature by the animal world standards, and require many years of “childhood” – a long period of mother’s care.
The situation is paradoxical. Women lost their ability to hunt (hunting requires running for a long time and quickly) as well as to walk long distances looking for eatable roots, berries and fruit because of always being burdened with helpless children.
To put it simply, women after the anatomic revolution turned out incapable to feed themselves. Well, as there was no gender mutual help, i.e. the family at the time, and connection between conception and childbirth was not cognized, that was to lead to women’s extinction, and consequently, extinction of the whole humankind.
And then the second, purely feminine transformation took place that can be called the real erotic revolution.
First, women acquired the ability to copulate during the whole year and not only during the short mating season like female animals. That became the exclusive human quality.
Second, erotic marking was fixed. For example, in case of females of the highest monkeys their breasts are much increased during the mating period. They become very noticeable. Thus the female shows that she is ready for copulation. This in its turn activates the sexual behaviour of males. Then when the mating season is over, the accentuated breasts reduce. Women’s breasts stopped reducing and that means that they, even not understanding it themselves, translate invitations to have sex all the time as if making males understand that they are ready for copulation incessantly.
And here is another interesting aspect. A female in the animal world “wants” only when she “can”. In case of women both these statuses are combined. So, demonstrating their breasts, women (may be again unconsciously) show men that they are not only “ready” but also “want”. It is perceived exactly like that, no matter how it really is. And this as Yuri Shevchuk is right to notice, intensifies behavioural rivalry between men, and their purely biological behaviour is translated into social, i.e. assisting in their advancement along the progressive way.
Third, such a well-known phenomenon as “rewarding copulation” originated based on previous biological changes. Its essence is very simple: you bring bananas to the female – you get a respective reward, you bring a mammoth leg – you get the double reward.
This phenomenon, though greatly mediated by culture, still exists nowadays. When a man going on a date buys flowers for his woman, they are the same “bananas” for which he expects to get a respective reward.
By the way, the advertizing slogan “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is not a pure expression of consumption. When a man gives jewelry to a girl (“mammoth leg”), he thus demonstrates his competitive advantages to her.
This is the biological basis of many features of our behaviour.
And finally, another big revolution took place in the second half of the 20th century. Sex and reproduction were clearly divided approximately in the late 1960s, when cheap contraceptives appeared in developed countries. And just sex presented as advertized erotica became a commodity offering various pleasure options in market economy. Naturally, having children as a considerably more expensive “commodity” in comparison with it as well as troublesome and requiring a lot of various efforts, gradually goes to the background.
In my opinion, there is nothing frightening in it. The population size (Yuri Shevchuk already wrote about it) is evidently excessive now for the environment on the Earth. To put it simply, nature can’t catch up with us. And if the population size decreases naturally (not because of hunger or wars), the state of affairs will be normalized to a large extent.
Actually the idea presented in their time by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky seems very promising to me. They thought that a man of the future should become a unique creation, a “work of art” with inspiration and talent put into him, and because of that the main efforts now should be focused not on creation of material wealth but upbringing and education.
In my opinion, this is a very attractive idea.
Let it be much less of us but at the same time we’ll become much better.
CHAPTER 8. THE APOCALYPSE WAS YESTERDAY
It seems has the doomsday has already taken place, and the world goes on living under its own momentum, without meaning or future. It is even possible to name the exact date after which the former world order understood that it was doomed: March 12, 1972, when Professor Dennis Meadows and his colleagues for the first time presented their book The Limits to Growth commissioned by the Club of Rome. It was presented in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
The main idea of this book can be presented as follows: if the current growth trends are preserved on the globe (with its scales having their limits) within about one hundred years, humanity will reach the limits of demographic and economic expansion, and that will lead the system on the whole to uncontrolled crisis and collapse. The mathematically grounded limits were for the first time given to humanity.
The conclusion in the report saying that the finiteness of the planet’s size inevitably leads to limits of human expansion was contrary to the dominating in global culture focus on unlimited growth and seemed a play of mind, a warning about a danger that was as far off as a new Ice Age or the Sun cooling. At that time, no one wanted to see that space had already started its “implosion”, and humanity had reached its “limits”. But it took only a year for the thinking elite of the civilized world to understand the finiteness of this civilization’s existence. That was helped by the following events.
In 1972, the so-called Munich massacre took place during the Summer Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany. The Palestinian terrorist group Black September took Israeli Olympic team members hostage. The German police was absolutely not ready for such events. In the course of an extremely unsuccessful attempt to rescue the hostages, all of them died. That was the case when Europeans for the first time met with a very dangerous enemy hating the whole civilized world, on their land. It was the first blow at the forming cosmopolitan unity of humankind.
A month later writer Ivan Yefremov, the author of the great Communist utopia Andromeda Nebula, died in the USSR. By that time, the Soviet Union actually refused from building Communism and transferred to building socialist “consumer society”. It originally lost to the West in that – capitalist economy had long ago created this economy. The last great utopia died with Ivan Yefremov.
1973 began with economic recession all over the world. The Vietnam war was over. They understood in the West for the first time that it was impossible to govern the world by armed forces. The United States practically stopped their lunar program at the same time. Since then, no Earth inhabitant has even stepped on the surface of any other celestial body. And finally, the Yom-Kippur War (or October War, or 1973 Arab-Israeli War) was fought by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel.
Had it not been for Ariel Sharon’s seven tanks that forced a crossing over the Great Bitter Lake in the rear of advancing Egyptians; had it not been for the resistance of Captain Zamir’s Tiger tank company that had only two shells per tank but managed to stop the advancing Syrians, the war could have ended differently. But Arab states were defeated, laid an embargo on oil supplies to the civilized world – and that world saw the repetition of Meadows’ forecasts coming true.
Oil price increased from US$ 2.9 up to US$ 11 per barrel in a month. The price for petrol increased in the United States four times but there was still not enough of it, and rationing was introduced – only 20 liters could be bought at one time. (After the Iranian Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini oil prices increased twice.) The fuel crisis made supplies of expensive oil from Siberia to Europe profitable.
Oil production in the USSR increased five times in five years, and oil abundance changed the whole life of the country.
Since then, export of Soviet and later Russian machinery and equipment has been steadily falling and export of raw materials increased. The country bought practically everything else for oil dollars. “Arab-style development” practically put an end to Russia’s attempts to enter the group of civilized countries on equal terms.
On September 12, 1973, coup d’état took place in Chile. The last hopes of left intellectuals for democratic socialism died together with Salvador Allende.
In October 1973, the Club of Rome held the Tokyo Conference on “Toward a Global Vision of Human Problems”, which ended by presentation of the Tokyo Report by Manfred Siebker and Yoichi Kaya, in which it is said in particular that there are grounds to suppose that crises in economy and politics will start even earlier than we reach physical growth limits. The energy crisis is only the first in the series of fairly predictable events. And if we put aside accidental elements, there is no doubt in the main reason of crises: the world will never be the same.
In those years humanity crossed the limit of the Earth environmental capacity. The amount of natural resources consumed by humanity crossed the threshold after which irreversible exhaustion of the planet started.
The end of the world began under the accompaniment of the final march from Amarcord directed by Federico Fellini. It was first shown in the same 1973. This movie was “summing up the results” for the last generation of Europeans who had grown in the world with a future.
Research and development
THE 15-HUNDRED-YEAR CYCLE…
But that crisis was far from the first in the history of mankind. Every fifteen hundred years the habitual for people world is collapsing around them, civilization carriers die and the following generations start everything practically anew. The intolerable thought of civilization development’s cyclicality generated various linear growth theories like “Fomenko’s chronology”, etc.
I’d like to thank Ilya Stogoff for the list of examples listed below.
Jericho is the best known ancient city, though probably there were many such cities. It was founded in about 8400 B.C. Every fifteen hundred years the settlement died with its exterminated inhabitants and then was revived again.
The first Jericho revival was about 6900 B.C. At the same time, the culture of Jarmo was born in Iraq, the Mediterranean was developed by traders from Ras Shamra (Ugarit), the giant megalopolis of Çatalhöyük was built in future Turkey with cottages, sewage system, city block planning…
There were only ruins left from this world in fifteen centuries. Deserts appeared in place where life had been in full swing. “Dark ages” began again. And in 5400 B.C., a new rise gradually started again. And it seemed that it began all over the globe. Finally, the ice that had formed during the last glacial period – Valdai Glaciation – stopped melting. Climate became even and warm. The first princedoms originated in Middle Asia, the first megaliths in Europe and the first towns in Cambodia. Cultures of ancient Peru and ancient China developed.
After that the cycle ended, and barbarian hordes came from outlying districts of the habitable globe, palaces were burnt again, and sheep grazed in the ruins of capitals…
The world again revived in 3900 B.C. Now, it already knew about the previous catastrophe. They could already write in Sumer and Egypt, i.e. collective memory of humanity originated. Now, people were forewarned about danger – but that did not help them…
In 2400 B.C., again fifteen hundred years later, the world was reborn another time. The civilization of Mohenjo-daro originated in the Indus river marshes, Stonehenge was restructured in Britain, the Xia dynasty ascended the throne in China, Babylon was founded in Iraq.
It seemed that this time they would manage to get rid of cyclicality. Everyone goes along the same road. The barbarian chief founded princedom, his descendants murdered neighbours and conquered their territories. One thousand years later the princedom turned into a boundless empire. Architects, artists and poets came to its capital, they created such things from stone that are still admired by us, they wrote words that have not lost their urgency today. It seemed to everyone that this world was forever. And exactly at that moment eternal empires turned into nothing. Arians grazed their horses in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro cities. Hungry hordes approached majestic Chinese capitals.
The Egyptian civilization turned out the most reliable and was the last to die. It happened in about 1100 B.C. Then there were two more chapters in the history of mankind – antiquity and our own.
Let’s calculate 15 centuries for the last time. Ancient Rome fell in 409, fifteen hundred years before the revolution that destroyed the Third Rome. Finally, the Roman Empire was abolished in 476 – exactly 1515 years before the USSR disintegrated.
And every cycle decreased the common resources of the globe… This rule knows no exceptions. If we step even farther in the past, we’ll see the first blow on species variety struck by primitive hunters who prepared the “Neolithic” agricultural revolution by extinguishing big animals.
Humanity in the course of its existence all the time asked itself the question best of all worded by Arthur Conan Doyle: “What is the meaning of it, Watson? What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end? There is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever.”
SO, WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ALL OF IT?
Now, when we’ve come close to the answer to this question, we already intuitively understand the meaning of this human “circle of troubles and sorrows” and we are just afraid to acknowledge that there can be no other meaning because “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” (Arthur Conan Doyle), let’s see how scientists tried to determine the essence of catastrophes cyclicality and what came out of it.
Jean Leopold Cuvier was the first to propose the idea of the necessity of catastrophes to change “inhabitants” of the globe, and his followers developed this idea. Catastrophes of planetary scales such as a big meteorite fall can cause changes in flora and fauna as it was when the Mesozoic Era was ending and the Cenozoic Era was beginning – dinosaurs were dying out, birds and mammals were spreading to other territories en masse, gymnosperms were pushed out by angiosperms.
Probably, the Permian-Triassic extinction event (also known as the Great Dying, or the Mother of All Mass Extinctions) is related to a catastrophe as well. It formed a border dividing the Permian and Triassic geological periods, i.e. the Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras, about 251.4 mln years ago. At that time, 96% of all marine species and 70% of land vertebrates died. The catastrophe became the only well-known mass extinction of insects as a result of which about 57% of biological species died and 83% of the whole class of insects. What we are witnessing now reminds of the Permian catastrophe very much.
The biosphere died and resurrected again many times over 3.5 billion years of evolution. Biosphere renewal took place every time according to one and the same scenario: extinction started at first, then other species took the vacated niches, after which new biosphere originated that flourished and lived wonderfully for dozens of millions years. Then the species-forming process slowed down and stopped. But after dozens of millions years everything was repeated.
Today, there are five global extinction events and about 200 smaller extinction events known. The Ordovican-Silurian extinction event (60% of marine invertebrates died). The Late Devonian extinction event (50% of all existing species disappeared from the Earth and nearly 20% of all families; nearly all jawless species disappeared). The Permian extinction event is the deadliest, the biggest extinction event in history of the Earthen biosphere (about 96% of all marine and 70% land vertebrate species). The Triassic extinction event (nearly 20% of marine species and most land species died). The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (15% of marine families and 18% of land animal families died).
There are works proving the recurrence of extinction events in particular with the 62-million-year period between them. Because of that it is very probable that nature, to which we are so attached, is leaving forever. And we are living during another biosphere renewal as this world originated 65 mln years ago, with dinosaurs dying out – the period is over already, and there is not long to wait for a biosphere change. In the nearest future, biosphere will be renewed either 20% or 90%. In any case, the modern biosphere is doomed in historical perspective, either with humans or without them.
And what is more, humans started changing nature in recent 10,000 years for their needs so actively that today together with domestic cattle they occupy the leading places among the vertebrates – 97% of them. Exactly that gives foundations to state that the Anthropocene epoch has come. And this time it will not be either a meteorite or glacier but one of the species living on the globe – humans – who will be the reason of global extinction of other species and its own.
The second among live creatures species in terms of success – after humans – are arachnids that manage to survive in all environments, from atmosphere to the bottom of oceans, and on all continents, even Antarctica when they cling to penguins with their claws. So, the next favourites in biological evolution are most likely to be them…
Theories rejecting a possibility of progressive development originated in the course of attempts to explain the meaning of catastrophe cyclicality. One of such theories is the concept of cultural and historical types of the society’s development.
Russian sociologist Nikolay Danilevsky is the founder of the cultural and historical types theory. He divided all nations in “historical” and “non-historical”. “Non-historical nations” are the ethnographic material, dead-end development branches for the society. They can’t decide their fate, work out forms of their statehood, etc. Because of that they are incapable to work out their cultural and historical types.
The right to work out original cultural and historical types belongs to “historical” nations. Danilevsky singles out the following “unique and distinctive civilizations” or types: Egyptian, Chinese, Assyrian-Babylonian (Old Semitic), Indian, Iranian, Jewish, Greek, Roman, New Semitic (Arabian), Roman-German, Peruvian. “Cultural and historical types” differ in original combinations of the four founding elements: religious, cultural, political, socioeconomic.
Nearly all cultural and historical types have one foundation only. When elements are combined in them, only one is predominant: religious in European, cultural in Greek, socioeconomic in Roman-German. And only the Slavic type is destined to become a full four-basis cultural and historical type with its Russian Orthodoxy, original culture, autocracy and peasant community.
In order for nations to merge into a cultural and historical type, language proximity and common fate’s understanding are required. Nikolay Danilevsky thought that Slavic nations are on the way to creation of their cultural and historical type. The leading role in this process belongs to Russia. Thus, Danilevsky’s theory of cultural and historical types served as the methodological basis for Slavophile ideology.
German scholar Oswald Spengler and English historian Arnold Toynbee are the advocates of the theory of cultural and historical types in Western sociology.
Spengler singled out eight cultural and historical types: Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, Greek and Roman, Byzantium-Arabian, Maya culture as well as awakening Russian Siberian culture. Each of these types develops based on its own unique “pra-phenomenon”, i.e. the way of living life; subjected to a strict biological rhythm and goes through the main development stages: birth and childhood, youth and maturity, old age and “decline”.
From Toynbee’s point of view, humanity as a whole or some certain, national state formations or certain cultural and historical types, which he calls civilizations, can be the object of scientific studies. Civilizations according to Toynbee are some historical units or whole systems, in which elements correspond to one another and influence one another. Civilizations are comparable with other civilizations as well as primitive societies that have not reached the civilization stage. This allows researchers to use the comparable historical method. Basing on certain criteria, researchers can determine how far some or the other civilizations moved forward, how far they are behind the more developed ones. It will be possible to speak about importance of every individual civilization based on that.
- Toynbee names realization of the final target by civilizations as the most important criterion of civilization development. The Toynbee concept is providencialism – teaching about preordained social development. Toynbee singles out six main cultural and historical types:
- primary, isolated civilizations (Egyptian, Andean);
- primary, non-isolated civilizations (Sumerian, Minoan, Indic, Shang, Maya);
- secondary, daughter civilizations (Babylonian from Sumerian, Hittite from Sumerian, Hellenic from Minoan, Syrian from Minoan, Old Indian from Indic, Old Chinese from Shang, Yucatan from Maya, Mexican from Maya);
- tertiary, daughter civilizations (Orthodox-Christian, Russian, Western, Arab-Moslem, Far East-Japanese);
- arrested civilizations (Eskimo, Nomad, Ottoman, Spartanian);
- undeveloped civilizations (Far East-Christian, Far West-Christian).
Toynbee rejected racial theories and environmental theories when explaining the reasons of civilization establishment and development.
In his opinion, the decisive role is played by the “answer” of some or other nations to the “challenge” of the situation. It follows from the above that a series of successive answers to successive challenges should be interpreted as manifestation of social growth. In the course of growth, there are less and less challenges coming from the outside, from the environment, and more and more challenges born inside the acting system or person. The main growth criterion is progressive movement in the direction of self-determination. (There is only left to understand the driving force of this striving for self-determination, self-expression, self-actualization, etc.)
You, dear readers, may notice some lacuna in deliberations of scholars named by us. All of them proceeded from the idea that they determined the development direction, the society’s progress direction rightly. But in order to do that they had to answer the question “Where are we going?” first… During their lives the fairly admissible answer was determination of progress “like Banev” – movement in the direction where people are not trampled down and not murdered, where there are enough resources for all and all people have opportunities for self-realization – well, just like “Vera Pavlovna’s fourth dream”. But now we understand that this version of human development is a nonviable dead-end.
It should be said for the sake of justice that there are still people now, even among the “green”, who promote common man’s Paradise as the top of civilization development. Here is a quotation from the manifest of one green organization: “Full-featured and full of events human life in harmony with nature. True and natural: food, water, air, relations between people. ‘Green’ economy as economy of the future. Eco-innovations and eco-technologies. New spaces with accessible eco-infrastructure (eco-poleis and eco-settlements). In any place of the world people feel themselves at home”.
There is not a single word about creativity, which is typical – only about consumption (food, water, air, relations) and economic provision of this consumption. This world is the dream of party-lovers travelling all over the globe (and “feeling themselves at home” everywhere), finding sun, sea, cheap sex (as “true and natural relations” are surely not for money) everywhere, and they want this common man’s Paradise to last forever! And at the same time not to be poisoned in a restaurant… It’s interesting to know if the authors of this manifest understand that if some person feels himself at home in any place on the globe, it means that other people will feel themselves at home in their home.
Now we understand that if such future comes true – either according to the above-mentioned manifest, or according to the ideas of scholars of the early 20th century – it will last for only a short time and lead to the next spiral of civilization centers’ catastrophic destruction by next groups of barbarians coming from its periphery. Because inhabitants of this future will provoke 90% of the global population by their consumption level and at the same time defenselessness and victimization to take everything from them and make all those “creative people” slaves of any physically strong man.
If we fully part with creative convictions and decide that humanity is an evolution tool established for a complex but fairly cognizable purpose, there will be no difference between historical and non-historical nations – everyone works at the common task in their places, sometimes competing with one another by the way, like in all big corporations… And every nation will disappear in its time exhausting the evolutionary resource and turning into development brake or obstacle…
THE END OF HISTORY
Francis Fukuyama tried to unite existence of various nations and humanity’s common purpose. He states in his book The End of History and the Last Man that liberal democracy’s of the Western type spreading in the world testifies to the final point of sociocultural evolution of humanity and formation of the final form of government. However, the end of history according to Fukuyama does not mean the end of event history but means the end of the age of ideological oppositions, global revolutions and wars and together with them the end of arts and philosophy.
Fukuyama directly points that he is not the author of “the end of history” concept but only develops ideas the foundations of which were laid by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and were later developed in the works by Karl Marx and Alexander Kozhev.
Fukuyama observes the deep crisis of authoritarianism typical for recent decades and more and more assured advance of liberal democracy: “As mankind approaches the end of the millennium, the twin crises of authoritarianism and social central planning have left only one competitor standing in the ring as an ideology of potentially universal validity: liberal democracy, the doctrine of individual freedom and popular sovereignty”. It is perceived by more and more countries while its critics can’t offer a consistent and systematic alternative.
The society striving for flourishing or just protecting its independence from more technically developed states has to launch modernization. Though communist planning from the center as if offers an alternative way to Western industrialization, this model turned out absolutely inadequate in the postindustrial economic environment. Thus, in contrast to Marx, the logic of economic development leads to collapse of socialism and triumph of capitalism.
In Fukuyama’s opinion, another driving force of history, besides striving for freedom, is passion for recognition. Striving for the people surrounding you to recognize your human dignity, originally helped humans not only to overcome animal origin in them but also risk their lives in battles.
Democracy’s attractiveness is related not only to flourishing and personal freedom but also the wish to be recognized, equal to others. The importance of this factor increases with progress and modernization: “Standards of living increase, populations become more cosmopolitan and better educated, society as a whole achieves a greater equality of condition, and people begin to demand not simply more wealth but recognition of their status”. Fukuyama sees explanation of striving for political freedom in that, even in the environment of economically successful authoritarian regimes. “The desire for recognition, then, can provide the missing link between liberal economics and liberal politics.”
However, Fukuyama did not explain how the society based on freedom and equality could provide its members with space for striving to dominance, he just said that this last inconsistency was the most serious one. Because of that he uses Nietzsche’s notion of “the last man”, or post-historical man of the crowd, who does not believe in anything and does not recognize anything besides his comfort, and who lost the ability to feel reverence and awe.
IS A WAR TO BE EXPECTED?
Samuel Phillips Huntington was one of Fukuyama’s critics. Like Fukuyama, he saw no meaning in humanity’s existence besides arrangement of a comfortable global hotel for the whole time of staying on the globe waiting for the Kingdom of Heaven. He found a fairly witty explanation of cyclicality of human civilization development and actual lack of progress in social relations – surely, besides replacement of human exploitation forms by more and more efficient ones.
Huntington says that geographical vicinity of civilizations often leads to their opposition and even conflicts between them. These conflicts usually take place at the junctions or amorphously outlined civilization borders.
Civilizations are big conglomerates of countries with some common determining features (culture, language, religion, etc.). As a rule, common religion most often serves as the main determining sign.
In contrast to countries, civilizations usually exist for a long time – as a rule, over a millennium. Each civilization sees itself as the most important world center and presents history of mankind in accordance with this understanding.
Western civilization originated in the 8th-9th centuries A.D. It reached the zenith in the early 20th century. Western civilization had a decisive impact on all other civilizations.
“It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future,” Huntington writes.
We understand what he is wrong at – culture is a derivative from the area that formed ethnos. There are conflicts between environmental complexes (climate, microelements contained in the soil, etc.), people are only retorts, in which certain chemical reactions take place. Strength of will can extinguish these reactions, bringing about generation of other chemical elements in human bodies. Culture can help in optimization of the body’s chemistry. But medicine will do that more reliably.
I’ll address Kurt Vonnegut and his Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbuy Blue Monday to illustrate the thesis:
“I tend to think of human beings as huge, rubbery test tubes, too, with chemical reactions seething inside. When I was a boy, I saw a lot of people with goiters… Those unhappy Earthlings had such swollen thyroid glands that they seemed to have zucchini squash growing from their throats.
All they had to do in order to have ordinary lives, it turned out, was to consume less than one-millionth of an ounce of iodine every day.
My own mother wrecked her brains with chemicals, which were supposed to make her sleep.
When I get depressed, I take a little pill, and I cheer up again.
And so on.
So it is a big temptation to me, when I create a character for a novel, to say that he is what he is because of faulty wiring, or because of microscopic amounts of chemicals which he ate or failed to eat on that particular day.”
Why is the clash of civilizations inevitable in Huntington’s opinion?
- Differences between civilizations are not only real but most significant.
- The world is becoming more and more crowded.
- The economic modernization processes and social changes all over the world blur traditional identification of people + the role of nation-state as a source of identification decreases.
- Dominance of the West brings about “growth of civilization self-awareness” in non-Western countries that have enough aspirations, will, resources in order to make the world look non-Western.
- Cultural special features are less subjected to changes than economic and political and as a result of that such conflicts are more difficult to resolve or bring to a compromise. Special importance is given to national-ethic factors and to religious factors even more:
“In class and ideological conflicts, the key question was ‘Which side are you on?’ and people could and did choose sides and change sides. In conflicts between civilization, the question is ‘What are you?’ This is a given that cannot be changed… Religion discriminated sharply and exclusively among people. A person can be half-French and half-Arab and simultaneously even a citizen of two countries. It is more difficult to be half-Catholic and half-Muslim.”
- Huntington comes to the conclusion directly opposite to F. Fukuyama’s thesis of “obvious” triumph of the West and Western idea. He says that attempts to distribute its values by the West – democracy and liberalism as common to the whole mankind, to keep military dominance and establish its economic interests, clash with opposition by other civilizations.
Huntington thinks that the very thesis about a possibility of “universal civilization” is a Western idea.
From his point of view, interests of the West demand to strengthen its unity in the near future, first of all cooperation between Europe and North America, integration of Eastern Europe and Latin America into Western civilization, expansion of cooperation with Russia and Japan, settlement of local inter-civilization conflicts, limitation of military strength of Confucian and Islamic countries, including using disagreements between them, help to countries from other civilizations sympathizing with Western values and, finally, strengthen international organizations because Western countries dominate in them.
That’s right if you don’t ask the question: and what for?
There has not been a civilization yet that has not managed to avoid being destroyed by barbarian hordes. And our civilization will not be an exception (we’ll review this issue in more detail in the next chapter). The 15-hundred-year cycle will not stop until we finally understand what result evolution wants from us…
FREEDOM IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SURVIVAL
It’s clear that humanity development cycle is not contrary to the entropy increase process. It’s clear that humans are an evolution tool to accelerate entropy growth rates. The question is about the scales of the task in front of us – dissipation of energy on the planet scales or creation of a point of singularity on universal scales…
For the time being we can come to the conclusion that crisis phenomena in the environment are useful or neutral for human evolution processes until they entail noticeable for the intellectual elite degree of freedom in that elite’s way of life, deeds and creative work.
The nearest historical analogue for events taking place now was the Great Plague also known as the Black Death of 1348 that took lives of 1/3 of the European population and up to ½ of the population of Arab states. Historian Georges Duby described the consequences of epidemics as follows: “Towns seek shelter behind chains of their fortifications, hiding in fortress walls. Those who try to get into the town at night, are killed. Or, on the contrary, panic-stricken residents form gangs roaming in the outskirts of towns looking for salvation. In any case, fear reigned, life froze, there was a gap between the past and the future”.
One of the few big changes in the history of our civilization falls on the fifty-sixty-year period that followed the 1348 epidemic with several plague recurrences. Europe came out of this trial feeling some relief. It was overpopulated. Demographic balance was restored. Thanks to the acquired well-being, the vital force of arts was not lost. But its tone became different in accordance with all the rest.
Dissimilar, unlike motives suddenly burst into arts – gloomy interest to death and thirst for entertainments. Franciscan pathos got in the high art images from the early 14th century: Assisi crucifixion scenes are tragic, they call for compassion presenting the flesh under tortures. After the epidemic this flesh more likely smells of death, and its look, decomposition and bared in death teeth push to running after the joys of life.
Exactly the plague destroyed the culture of the Middle Ages and prepared Renaissance in Europe. But the same plague that brought about destruction of irrigation systems and salinization of soil in the East, was the reason of decline of the sophisticated caliphate and One Thousand and One Nights civilization. The environmental crisis in the East extinguished undeveloped freedoms of intellectual circles and replaced enlightened rulers with cruel and greedy nomads. Thus, Eastern countries that had been in front of the West in cultural development, suddenly and drastically fell behind and were deprived of their renaissance. It should be mentioned for the sake of justice that plague was the final blow, and irrigated agriculture crisis had been going on for about 150 years already by that time.
But the fact is a fact – if the degree of creativity’s freedom was not touched by the environmental crisis in the West (the next outbreak of plague in 1666 was not an obstacle for Newton to work at his discoveries) and because of that the West managed to free itself (no matter that temporarily) from crisis phenomena by implementation of certain technical innovations, the Islamic East could not solve the technological task and became the victim of desertification. Its population steadily reduced and started rapidly growing only when Europeans came. And that caused another, even more drastic crisis nowadays.
In the Middle Ages, the Moslem world answered the desertification crisis by works by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), a really brilliant scholar in the history of Islamic thought, who created the fundamentals of Sufism and Orthodox Islam, i.e. “solved” the problems not with the help of technology but with the help of religion, preferring not to fight but manage with needs and poverty. At the expense of loss of freedom for scientific thinking as it turned out in future…
The threat to freedom of behaviour of the society’s intellectual part in the ethnic and social aspect, first of all, sprang from and now springs from mutual influence of other cultures, foreign customs, alien behavioural stereotypes. Huntington is right in that. It brought about rapid upraise of nationalism: in the 19th century that ended by foundation of mono-nation-states in Europe, in the 20th century that took place all over the world bringing about disintegration of colonial empires. We can forecast further aspiration for self-identification of countries and nations in future as well and alienation from neighbours on the globe. At the same time, there is the phenomenon of cosmopolitism in the world explained by the fact that national limitations also threaten freedom of intellectual elite, and Huntington does not take this into account. One can say that it is important for intellectuals of the whole world to have an opportunity at any moment to become cosmopolitans from patriots and vise versa.
Jean-Paul Sartre said once that “Hell is other people”. Running from this hell is an easily followed direction of human development. It goes in two directions – protection from aliens and corporatization of aliens according to common, precisely established rules into the united corporate system of the society.
As a result, there should be a society that progresses in the best possible way for further performance of the main evolutionary task – maximum acceleration of entropy in the Universe. But a question arises: will humans perform this task? Or will it be performed by creatures that will replace us on the top of the evolution tree?
In the beginning of 2017, one of the most important news in the United States came not from the White House and even not from Donald Trump’s Twitter. No, it was hidden in the report filed by the California Department of Transportation and placed on its website. Google’s (or, to be exact, its daughter company Waymo’s) efforts in selling autonomous or self-driving cars were described in it in detail. According to this report, self-driving Google cars drove 1,023,330 kilometers in 2016 and required human interference 124 times. This is one interference per each 8,047 kilometers of autonomous driving. And progress achieved just in one year impresses most of all: human interference decreased from 0.8 times per one thousand miles down to 0.2 times, it means 400% improvement. With such advancement, Google cars already surpassed personal skills of any driver.
There was a time when driving was considered an exclusively human skill. But we also said the same things about chess. And computers many times won chess games playing against world champions. The abstract strategy board game of go took the title of litmus paper for human thinking from chess. In 2016, a computer won when playing against the best in the world go player. Computers conquer fields which previously were considered strictly human, those that require knowledge, strategy, creativity.
Our children will never be able to solve equations quicker than machines. They will never type quicker, never drive better, never fly safer. They can play chess with their friends but they will never have the chance to become the best chess-player in the world because of machines. Possibly, they will still learn various languages (like now) but it will be meaningful in future and won’t give them any competitive advantage, taking into account the latest achievements of machine translation in real time. Actually, everything comes down to a fairly simple question: what is so special in us? What is our last value? That will hardly be skills like arithmetic or quick writing in which machines have already surpassed us. And it will hardly be rationality as machines are deprived of all those passions, prejudices and emotions which we have. Possibly, we should review features at the other side of the spectrum: radical creativity, irrational originality, even a dose of simple illogical insanity and not strict logic. Unfortunately, very few people have these qualities at the professional level. The rest can only imitate creativity without any show of talent.
But here is the question: if the aim of intelligence is “just” to accelerate entropy, and if machines understand it – and they will easily understand it as even we have understood that – will they require us?..
THE CRISIS OF THE FUTURE
I would not give too much importance either to “growth limits” or exhaustion of “ecological capacity” of the planet Earth. All concepts of such kind suppose that humanity’s growth in numbers will be quick and steady. However, history of our times demonstrates that it’s not so. As soon as the standard of living in some country rises, birth rate steadily goes down in it – often even lower than just reproduction of the population. European countries, Russia as well as South Korea and even China, where population growth has already stopped, can serve as examples.
This is clear. When the standard of living rises, the “cost” of children grows as well (their feeding and clothing, education, upbringing) and many other exciting options originate besides having children, and these options push off procreation to the periphery.
It is becoming evident already now that the environment and demography balance will be achieved in some time.
It’s another matter that the today’s world is really in crisis. But this crisis is not arithmetic (just resources) but worldview, existential crisis. And it is related to the fact that we are living in the historical transit period, when the whole reality is transforming globally: the previous world is disintegrating, and a new civilization landscape shows through its chaotic pieces.
Or, to put it differently, we live in the era when the future is coming.
Such big transits (phase transitions) are already known in history. However, there is one principal moment in the current situation that makes it different from all the previous transits. In the previous transformation periods, when the whole old world was collapsing, some new transcendence, some metaphysical operator (image of the future) that began assembling new reality, already existed in it.
At the moment of antiquity disintegration (the Roman Empire), Christianity was already there, and it immediately began assembling the new global wholeness – Christian civilization. When during the Reformation the Catholic world collapsed, the Protestantism doctrine was there already, and it immediately began assembling the new Protestant civilization. When as a result of World War I (the next phase transition), the classical capitalism world collapsed, liberal and social doctrines already existed, and they – each in its area – again started assembling new realities.
That is the world, after going through epilepsy of chaos, again acquired the systemic wholeness.
There is no such transcendence, such metaphysical operator in the current phase transition (from industrialism to cognitivism). Chaos areas are expanding, old reality disintegrates in front of our eyes, slipping into nothingness, but no idea capable to start assembling the new world has shown yet.
The image of the future has not appeared.
We are moving to existential nothingness.
However, there are three projects now aspiring to global universality.
The American project supposes that the whole world should be restructured according to the American model, and America (the United States) in this case will form its consolidating (managing) center.
The European project in its turn offers West European “civil, agreement civilization” as a pattern, in this case Western Europe will become its basic model.
And finally, the Islamic project in contrast to American and European, supposes that the role of the global operator in the world should be performed by Islam, and the Sharia should be the basis of the future statehood.
I’ll mention just in case that there is also the powerful Chinese project, but it does not have universal features. The Chinese do not aspire to make the whole world Chinese, they just fight for China to have the superpower status. This is not a universal but a national project.
The projects of some other big countries – Brazil, India, Japan and Russia – are the same in essence, i.e. national.
The American project is really not the future project. This is the project for keeping the present when the United States preserve their status of the only global leader. And no one has managed to keep the present.
The Islamic project is the project for revival of the past, and that, no matter how strange it may sound, is possible but only in local geopolitical areas. And only for a limited, historical unimportant time.
And the European project, which is fairly attractive on the whole, is in permanent crisis that can’t be overcome.
So, there is nothing in essence.
We repeat: we have no image of the future.
There is no idea of a new world.
There is no operator that could integrate the disintegrating reality.
And that means that the current civilization transit can turn into a global catastrophe.
CHAPTER 9. THE EUROPEAN RACE’S DISAPPEARANCE
There will be about 450 mln Europeans left in the world by 2050 (about 5% of the global population), and half of them will be older than 50. It means that it will be the end of the European race.
I am at home, standing by my bookshelves… I am looking for books written not by Europeans. Water Margin by Shi Naiyan… Cat Country by Lao She… Collected Japanese Fantasy. Fairytales of the World. A couple or three “coloured” writers from the United States, Rabindranath Tagore…
I understand that some Chinese intellectual is looking at his books now and finds only translated Dostoyevsky from Russian literature at home.
I understand as well that books by my favourite, the best to my mind Russian-speaking poet among those still alive, Bakhyt Kenzheev, I place in the list of those written by Europeans:
I nearly forgot how to laugh at trifles,
like I used to do gripping in my right hand a glass
with some spirits, and in my left hand something like
a sandwich with a sprat or a pickled cucumber,
thinking that the world goes on and there is no end,
without Elliot’s (like he was translated) sobbing.
And my friends became more serious, they don’t even drink wine,
neither green, nor fortified, nothing.
They just take a sip of dry wine, and put it aside.
Their faces are puffy.
And the surface of coloured wine sways,
meniscus buckles upward
on the border of water and air, like a useless claim
to the European, let’s assume, court of primates’ rights.
Wagner quietly plays on the computer. The sunset is coloured
in annealing colours. The unseen warrior has a purpose
to swing his incorporeal sword by inertia in Valhalla.
Life is being rolled up like a worn carpet
before moving. Loaders are hurrying up. An angel flew
to help us from behind mountains but we missed him.
Research and development
IS CULTURE POSSIBLE WITHOUT ITS CARRIERS?
I often have no idea to what culture to refer this or that writer, artist, director… Is Sergey Paradzhanov a European film maker? And what about Alexander Rekhviashvili, who shot the amazing film Georgian Chronicles of the 19th Century?
In my opinion, there is no multiculturalism. There is culture of genii, for whom nationality or even the language of works they create are not important. There is culture of epigones, imitators, who try to adapt genii’s findings for “mass”, mostly national audience. And there are a lot of mediocrities, worthless painters and writers who work in the “niche”, national or class art, explaining their lack of talent by “multiculturalism” and in case of any criticism blaming opponents for their racism.
I remember forced “flourishing of national literatures” in the USSR. There was even the People’s Friendship magazine issued, specially intended to publish “national authors”. The magazine was impossible to read and was unofficially called “common grave” as everything published there was so dull, secondary, worthless though ideologically right. From time to time, I watch Bollywood movies shot in India, so to say to broaden my outlook. It’s funny and a little bit shameful to watch them – people are making efforts…
Yes, most of what we see in the arts of non-European nations is untalented, that’s imitations, sometimes direct plagiarism. Yes, it has always been like that, even when there were no nations – arts were not developed in geopathogenic areas. Compare the charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings in the Cave of Altamira and the Lascaux complex of caves, on the one hand, and cave paintings in the Laas Geel cave formations (Somaliland) and the Tassilin-Addjer national park (Algeria), on the other hand, and you’ll see that mediocrity and untalented people appeared before racial genesis.
Most of the so-called creative people from the world we are used to call the “third world” (though there is not much left of the first and the second already) are untalented from our point of view. But they are popular in their Motherland. This can be easily explained, they write and paint “for their own”, and to evaluate their works from the world culture perspective is the same as to be perplexed why a novel written in thieves’ Latin is so popular among criminals. These “creative people” just don’t understand the meaning and essence of arts and evaluate them according to the emotional impact on the viewer (listener). And if that’s so, then Bollywood is fine – “people like it”!
It may be possible that the state of affairs will change. I can see the progressive literary process in Senegal, Japan, Korea, development of painting in China (works by Zhang Xiaogang, Zhao Wuchao, Zeng Fanzhi, Tian Haibo, Liu Ye, Liu Xiaodong and many others are very interesting), cinematography in Iran and there are arthouse movies even in India, and not only Bollywood, though secondary and epigone (e.g. Rekka, English: Wings)…
I can’t say with assuredness that if Europeans disappear, the meaning of arts will disappear with them. But the tasks of arts will change drastically, arts will lose much more than acquire – and this, in my opinion, is the indisputable fact.
THE WORLD WITHOUT EUROPEANS
Why will Europeans disappear? I think that because of the “revolt in noosphere” about which Teilhard de Chardin wrote. Finally, comprehension of the conflict between moral values and everyday practice of life as a way for existence of protein bodies will get into mass conscience as well. People will no longer want to give birth to unprotected children to suffer in this world, especially as the world is becoming worse and more dangerous every day. Already now we can follow the governing law – the wiser an individual is, the less children he/she has. There will be so many wise people soon, that the Earth will be inherited by those whom excess serotonin did not allow to develop the intellect. I have nothing against giving the Earth to them, let them suffer and wrestle in hell on the globe. Finally, it was their personal choice.
Europeans will disappear because it’s possible to be either a master or a slave in our hell on the planet Earth. And both these roles are equally shameful, and they both limit individual freedom. Europeans refused from ruling themselves, not wishing to pay for it with freedom. But they did not find strength in themselves to go from this world – finally, by themselves and on their own free will. How will disappearance of Europeans take place? There are several options possible.
If governments of European countries do not systematically and regularly prepare replacements for the national composition, i.e. actually work as liquidation commissions, then everything will take place only forcefully like it was when other nations and races disappeared. Old Europeans will be just killed one by one as if accidentally, for them not to get in the way and not demand pensions. Young Europeans will be beaten and raped in common schools by whole crowds. Hardly anyone from the last generation of Europeans will live to sixteen.
Actually, this already happened – in the former “Soviet” Asian and Transcaucasian republics and now takes place everywhere where Europeans are in minority.
In the world with acute deficit of resources they will surely find the guilty. White people will be guilty in 30 years. And then what we’re used to call Fascism will come to the whole world.
What is Fascism? Not its versions, no. What common features do all inhuman regimes have?
I think that the common feature is violence in relation to practically the whole population of the country, approved by practically the whole population of the country based first of all on distribution of vital resources.
Carthage was a far from the most flourishing ancient country, it was not rich, though every family in Carthage had to give their first-born to Baal, and they were burnt alive inside the copper bull. Every Inca, Maya and Aztec family had relatives whom priests skinned alive. Every family in Medieval Europe during the Little Ice Age lived under the threat of being accused of not good enough behaviour, for which there were various punishments including the stake. Each family in Soviet Russia had someone, who died during the Civil War or during the years of Red Terror. Actually every family in China (until recently) or India killed or was ready to kill a newborn girl only because she was born a girl. Every woman in many Moslem states has to hide her face when she goes out of her house because she is afraid of male sexual aggression…
It seems to me that Fascism will be completely done with only after people comprehend the irreformable nastiness and hideousness of the human world and will reject it with disgust, stopping to feel themselves a part of the universal community of trained animals – mankind. But we won’t manage to alienate in such a way before the resource environmental crisis. And because of that Fascism described by me will become the ideological basis for extermination of the white population of the globe. And Europe and America will repeat the experience of ethnic purges and genocide of Europeans that took place in post-Soviet Middle Asia and Transcaucasia.
However, now is the tolerance period in relation to the white people – while they are very useful, and because of that it’s possible not to demonstrate aggression and despise of them. Because of that wild crowd of rapists still do not rush to resorts in southern countries. But I think that this is temporary. The common standard of living will be worsening, and fundamentalism will grow at the same time. Another prophet will say that infidels’ money is not required by the sons of the true God and their blood could be very useful.
On the whole, I’m happy that I’ll die before the last white people, stoned at the squares of European capitals.
However, there are other options – if the world finds strength for a giant trial, something similar to the Nurnberg trials bringing to justice all those guilty in genocide of minorities, mostly at the time of the so-called anti-colonial wars. If all murderers of Europeans, no matter where they live – either in Middle Asia, or Africa, or India, or Indochina – are tried and found guilty by an international tribunal, it’s probable that mathematically forecasted disappearance of Europeans will not be by force.
How does all that correlate to the evolutional direction for creation of an intelligent form of life, maximally accelerating the process of entropy and mankind’s comprehension of itself as a “half-finished product”, evolutional dead-end?
First, if we have to accelerate entropy on the globe, and instead of that we decided to develop tolerance and decrease consumption, nature will wipe us away from the face of the Earth as those who did not manage to solve the task, with the help of the nearest neighbours from those who are angrier and are best suited to be destroyers of everything.
Second, it seems to me that comprehension of danger that the Earth will be taken by alien to Europeans communities, will accelerate the work in creation of an intelligent creature, our heir or successor in mind, using genetic engineering methods. Steven Hawking already wrote about that.
This creature will be able to live anywhere, even at the bottom of oceans, on Mars, in inter-stellar space. It will be free from the necessity to kill in order to live because of that pangs of conscience will not torment these creatures for every day of their lives being paid for by the blood of others. These creatures, superhumans – or new people – or iskins (the word coming from the Russian words for “artificial intelligence” – or artins) – will leave our planet and engage in the affairs of the whole Solar system and in future our whole galaxy, the Milky Way. And what about the Earth? Well, the prophecy here will come true: the former “meek…will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Though the Earth will be degraded, corroded, turned into the real post-Apocalypse hell…
THE DECLINE OF EUROPE?
Death of Europe was predicted many times. The best-known prophesy is the book by Oswald Spengler, published in 1918, it announced it by its title The Decline of the West, attracting attention immediately. Spengler thought that Europe was dying because it lost its transcendence (soul): its creative culture turned into mechanical civilization that is unable for development in principle. Spengler thought that World War I was the first sign of European agony – useless slaughter that lasted for several years and took lives of tens of millions.
Spengler’s book became a bestseller and entailed uncountable imitations. Especially because it seemed that the German philosopher’s pessimism was justified: only in twenty years after the First World hecatomb, another war, World War II of 1939-1945 was launched, and a short interval between them was filled with numerous regional conflicts.
However, no matter all the forecasts, Europe did not die and not only that – it as if was purified in these cataclysms from evil, and started a grand project for building a new world. It was supposed that completely new Europe would be created – without inner political and trade borders that had separated nations for many centuries, Europe with united economy, with common legal space, Europe with no more wars between nations and where each European, no matter which country he lived in, would feel free and protected.
Europe stubbornly moved in the direction of the set target, overcoming all difficulties for more than half a century, from the moment the European Coal and Steel Community originated in 1951. In the early 21st century, it was already possible to say that these efforts were successful: “in varietate concordia” (united in diversity – the official motto of the European Union) was really achieved, the common house for all Europeans really originated and was established on the global landscape. The EU immediately moved forward to the proscenium of world politics and economy: 28 countries, 500 mln people, the first place in the world in GDP, coordinated opinion on many international issues. Another superpower originated in the global space besides the United States, but in contrast to the USA, not striving for global dominance.
Europe became an example for the whole mankind for some time. It turned out that European values, such as respect of the human dignity, the rule of law, recognition of civil and political rights, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, tolerance and individualism, solidarity and multiculturalism were not abstract ideas of philosophers sitting in their offices. They could be realized in state practice. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms that came into force already in 1953 expressed these principles legally, and gradually they became supported and protected by the whole European juridical system.
At the time it seemed to many that finally the form of civil and state being had finally been found, capable to create harmonious, free and tolerant society. The society free from violence, the society of mutual amiability and kindness, the society where protection of each person’s rights is a guarantee of the rights of all.
Sure, Europe is in crisis now. In our opinion, it made two evident mistakes which led to this crisis.
First, the nationality of “European” has not been formed. The constructors of United Europe put the cart in front of the horse: they created common economic space – common currency, common market, common tariffs for everything – but they did not create common European identity. Possibly, this just did not come to their minds. Or it is possible that they thought that such an identity would originate itself based on economic unity. The final results turned out to be deplorable.
Public opinion surveys (Eurobarometer) regularly conducted in the EU countries show that national identity is still evidently dominating in Europe over European identity. The most interesting in these surveys is that Albanians, Romanians, Lithuanians (and we can add participants of Euromaidan in the Ukraine) consider themselves European to a much bigger extent than traditional European nations – the English, French, Germans. By the way, this directly reflects on the economy, especially if it is in crisis.
It is clear why Europeans should help Europeans: “We are one people”. But why should Germans help Greeks who have just “eaten” the budget of their country? Surely, that’s a difficult question. Actually, the only “real Europeans” now are bureaucrats from Brussels, who got the biggest profits from this association. Today’s Europe in a certain sense repeats the condition of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the end of the 19th century, where there was no “Austrian” nationality no matter the outside brilliance of it. No one even tried to form it. The emphasis was also on the confederation of nations. And because of that after the first serious crisis, brought about by the world war, the great empire easily fell into parts “like an earthen pot”.
Another mistake of Europe, as it seems to us, was generated by the same “imperial syndrome” it had not gotten rid of fully. As soon as the USSR disintegrated, the European Union hurriedly, without thinking about consequences, “gulped” over ten former socialist East European countries, thus effecting a risky “imperial expansion”. At the same time, the European Union not only overburdened itself by their weak economies, which were rather difficult to coordinate with European economic mechanism (really, they have not managed to do that till now), but it also diluted the worldview palette of Europe with archaic, provincial nationalism of the Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) and also not finally overcame Poland’s “imperial syndrome”.
And on top of it all there are refugee flows that rushed to Europe from the third world countries, refugees that do not want to either assimilate or just technically in-build in the European life, on the contrary, they create their own ethnic enclaves all over Europe and demand more and more insistently from Europeans to subjugate to their, refugees’, national and religious laws.
The crisis is undoubtedly serious.
However, there is no development without crises.
And what is more, exit from the dead-end is already seen – total robotics that will free Europeans from the necessity to import low-qualified labour.
And if Europe does not hold and fall, well, in that case we can recall history.
Probably, Byzantium intellectuals in the 14th-15th centuries also sighed seeing the territory of the empire shrinking under barbarians’ and Osmanli Turks’ attacks, they thought that the civilian world was dying and they were the last ones and there would be just wild darkness in future.
Constantinople really fell but very soon the rise of the European civilization began. And not the last role in that was played by the same Byzantium intellectuals, representatives of science, industry, arts who moved from agonizing Byzantium to Europe.
Seeds of culture fell into fertile soil.
Today’s Europeans also have places to be saved from darkness.
There are vast Russian lands to the east of Europe…
CHAPTER 10. BEHAVIOURAL OPTIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF CRISIS IN THE FACE OF UNSURMOUNTABLE CIRCUMSTANCES
We are afraid of global catastrophes for some reason. Though it could seem that it’s not frightening for all to die together and at the same time. For example, we are afraid of the global supervolcano eruption. But humanity owes its origination exactly to volcanoes.
Approximately 70,000 years ago, the Toba volcano erupted on the territory of modern Indonesia. It was a catastrophe of planetary scales. Volcanic ash closed the Sun, “volcanic winter” settled for many years. Summer stopped coming to the Earth, temperature in mid-latitude fell below zero. Nearly all big plants that had grown on land as well as most animals that had lived on land died. Seas froze. Wind raised clouds of salty dust on barren shores along the ice border. There were about 2,000 primitive ancestors of the modern man left, with about one fourth of them female. Such population size of pra-mankind was the same for many millennia. Exactly at that time modern humans originated in the so-called evolution bottleneck as a result of the super-severe environment’s impact, strict selection and inbreeding.
Research and development
EVERY DAY CAN BECOME THE LAST ONE FOR US
According to scholars’ data, such powerful eruptions take place on our planet approximately once in 50,000 years. So, over 70,000 years have passed since the Toba eruption, and that means that we theoretically can expect a catastrophe any day now (according to statistics). And we can’t prevent it, create some hiding places, shelters to stay while “volcanic winter” reigns on the planet, we can’t “save civilization”, etc.
And besides a catastrophic volcano eruption, civilization is powerless in case an asteroid falls, solar luminosity changes, magnetic field of the Earth fluctuates, glaciation comes back, the amount of juvenile water increases rapidly in the World Ocean, etc… Just listing possible catastrophes – those that already took place on the Earth and those humans can cause – will take several pages. And it is known for a fact that sooner or later some or the other catastrophe will take place inevitably and civilization will stop its existence – without world wars and global environmental crises. Just like in case of RMS Titanic another “iceberg” will turn out too big.
Studies of relations between humans and nature, in which the science of ecology is engaged in particular, leads to comprehension and perception of the truth that, it seems, lies on the surface: in case of the natural course of events, everything will sooner or later end in nothing – and nothing can be done with it. And this universal end can come in any moment, absolutely not necessary in December 2012 like in the Maya calendar. People don’t want to think about inevitability of the end of everything there is, pushing this thought to subconsciousness. Because of that practically all works of art tell about opposition of humans and irresistible forces.
“How can I stay silent, how can I stay still! My friend, whom I loved, has turned to clay; my friend Enkidu, whom I loved, has turned to clay!” Gilgamesh says. “Is it true, my dove, that you are leaving, leaving to the village at the world’s end from where there is no way back?” an unknown author asks in inscriptions on the wall of one Aztec pyramid. Shaman dancers and ancient Greek mysteries, commedia dell’arte and traditional novels tell about opposition of humans and death as a particular case of the coming universal entropy.
It seems that if the majority of mankind understood that any day can become the last one for this mankind, and the probability of that is high, history would take a different turn. People would make things that can be bought for money less important, they would engage mostly in development of creative abilities and not increasing their well-being. Because all things will burn in the flame of universal catastrophe, and talent, conscience, intelligence, love will at least help to understand this catastrophe. People would stop building Titanics looking at the moment of calm in the ocean for eternity, they would stop reproducing in geometric progression using warm but short inter-ice age. People would finally become just people – without a wish to conquer the Universe and attack the sky, kill infidels and found empires. And then, may be, they would engage in the only activity worthy of humans, the time for which usually comes too late in our life – look at the fire and think what we are, where we are from and where we are gong…
MENEH, MENEH, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
(NUMBERED, WEIGHTED, DIVIDED)
Alas, evidently, we won’t be given such an option…
We started from recalling the book The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Dennis Meadows. Let’s come back to it once again.
Meadows created the mathematical model of the world. Yes, a very simplified model, though it’s possible to see dominating trends with its help. Here are characteristics of this model in short.
Special features: balanced (without too many details in some parts and oversimplification in others).
The model’s objective: to present the future expansively, possible ways or behavioural scenarios for global economy when limits of the globe’s potential capacity affect it in this century.
Key issue: how the growing population size and physical capital will interact with the limited capacity of the Earth (its sustainability limits) in the near future and is it possible for human activities to be within the said limits?
Used data: the most reliable from available in 2002. Wide tolerances are possible.
Limitations: no defense sector capital; no wars or social upheavals or unrest; no crime; no corruption. The model does not single out regions, scenarios refer to the globe as a whole. Inevitable demographic transfer to the population of the whole world is supposed.
And what do we see?
Anyone who wishes it can find charts, diagrams and calculations in Meadows’ book. Now, we’ll familiarize ourselves with short conclusions.
If we take the available data on the planet as the basis and imagine that all processes in the global community continue without upheavals, we’ll see the following picture: the population size and production grow until stopped by increasing insufficiency of non-renewable resources, in which clean water is included. More and more financial investments are required to maintain resource flows. Finally, insufficiency of investments to other sectors of economy leads to decrease of production of goods and services. As a result of that, food production and health services degenerate and decline and that entails increase of death rate and average life span shortening.
So, in the end of the 21st century we’re getting the following in comparison with the early 20th century:
- The population size is about twice as much (however, more than twice less than now);
- The number of services is not changed
- The number of goods per person is less than in the early 20th century;
- There is less food per person than in the early 20th century;
- Resources are exhausted.
Dennis Meadows tried to change the original data – he increased the amounts of non-renewable resources twice, he introduced sewage and exhausts treatment, increased food production… The result was only worse – for example, after increasing food production in the model up to the level “for everyone to have enough”, the computer presented enormous increase of soil erosion and very quick exhaustion of soils.
The following became clear:
- If you eliminate one limit, you come across another one. Most likely, “real countries” will come across various limits in various successions. Besides, in case of globalization, the probability of several countries “running into” a limit synchronously increases.
- The last limit is the time. If the time is unlimited, it’s possible to solve any task, however, growth, especially exponential growth limits the time for taking measures. And the farther we go, the less time is left.
Meadows came to the conclusion that in case of a completely fantastic option, full transfer to the planetary government and universal comprehension that it was not good to have more than two children, it would be possible to achieve civilization sustainable development in 10 years only. The only trouble was that this option was absolutely unattainable, only in case of establishing totalitarian government on global scales. (Just try to recall: when did mankind take the same for all decisions?)
To put it differently, Meadows proved mathematically that the existing civilization has no future. Either we manage to restructure it and it becomes completely different, or it will disappear itself, burying our culture and the majority of humanity under the ruins. And notwithstanding the jackal howls of all liberal intellectuals, all those followers of “unlimited belief in humans”, Meadows’ calculations have not been disproved by anyone and no serious scholars try to argue with them. So, we can say that our civilization is already dead.
And, in all honesty, what’s there to grieve about? We can only feel sorry for the level of everyday comfort it provided us with. On the other hand, if we recall what this comfort is paid for with, to hell with it… So, that what will happen with our civilization – I hope, soon.
“THERE IS NO FUTURE”
And understanding the lack of prospects gradually becomes universal. Fantasy novels about the shining future disappeared from book shelves. It turned out that it was impossible to write convincingly how progress led to happiness. The future is gloomy and worrisome in the books by both Russian and foreign contemporary fantasy writers.
Cities are taken by wild gangs; crossroads of formerly luxurious streets are now lighted by gas oil burning in iron barrels; crowds of degenerates are hunting at the few inhabitants of the last centers of civilization… It’s easier to believe in this future than in the coming brotherhood of nations, mastering the Solar system and solving the hunger issue on global scales.
Attempts to describe morally allowable and acceptable methods, create “the future one would like to live in” (the Strugarsky Brothers) by artistic means, failed in literature. Describing the shining future, authors should explain how this future will originate from our world full of aggravating contradictions between individuals, nations and states, and, most important, where people inhabiting it, will come from. In the best case, we can read in the book of the above-mentioned Strugatsky Brothers about the planetary system of state boarding schools where children live, four in a room, under constant video surveillance, and they are put to sleep with the help of a “hypnoblow”…
Like writers, scholars could not offer anything for improvement of human nature either, besides eugenics and genetic engineering. It turns out that futurology, literature and political experience of the previous century tell the same things: it is possible to build the future, in which one would like to live, by totalitarian methods only, related to rejection of the overwhelming majority of the population. Because of that methods for the future creation became the material for several hundreds of anti-utopia or dystopia novels. Thanks to them we know that it’s impossible to build the future. Now, we finally understand that we’ll never know how to create it.
The war against totalitarian ideologies began not in the 20th century and it will not end in the 21st century. One can say that it has been accompanying humanity during its whole history. Today, totalitarianism more and more often performs under the “green” banner – basing on alarmists’ forecasts, “green” totalitarians suggest to arrange the distribution system based on the so-called resource-based economy (see The Venus Project), when all natural resources are recognized as the universal property of humankind and then divided “justly”, when every inhabitant of the planet Earth gets “universal basic income”. It’s clear that this system is incompatible with the idea of states’ sovereignty and independent development of nations.
“Green” totalitarians forget that there are things more important than survival, things for which people sacrificed their lives in all times, and they are called Dignity and Honour. One of our strategic tasks is to achieve rejection of the new edition of Fascism in “green” package in public consciousness. Recall what they said in the 1980s about the European “greens” – “they are like a watermelon: green from the outside, red inside and with brown seeds”… So, these seeds have already been sown and sprouts are already coming up.
We should not allow using “green” slogans for any limitations of human freedom, to justify creation of “global government”, limitation of countries’ sovereignty, limitation of nations’ rights to dispose of their natural resources.
CONCLUSION ONE, MORAL
Sure, the modern civilization will inevitably die – like civilizations of the ancient world died in their time – and there are many reasons for that. Impossibility to even imagine the morally acceptable ways to overcome the accumulated in civilization contradictions is just one of them. It seems that technological civilizations on the whole have a short life span – otherwise the space around us would be full of traces of their activities. But the Universe is silent.
The best human minds have been trying for millennia to comprehend the reason of the evil’s existence in the world and reconcile it with the hypothesis about the kind and all-powerful God… Sooner or later they come to the conclusion that there is no evil in this world besides the one brought into this world by humans. And humans can’t live, can’t exist physically without bringing evil into this world. Killing plants and animals in order to live. Destroying nature to make it safer – again in order for humans to survive themselves… As a result, humans die themselves with more or less torments, struck by forces of nature as an answer to killing millions of other creatures.
Many religions and philosophical concepts have been thought up, called to explain how people, wishing to stay moral, should live – Gnosticism, Buddhism and Jainism, monasticism, eunuchry, Manichaeism and Bogomilianism, vegetarianism, Tolstoyism, veganism…
In my opinion, a very approximate but adequate approach to life assessment is as follows: a human taking joy from the outside world is called a consumer or a common man. Such an individual is all the time running after sensual pleasures. If he is suddenly deprived of pleasures, he immediately becomes pessimistic and depressed with all entailing consequences for health. A human taking joy inside himself is called an optimist. An optimist is always happy even before the doomsday as he excellently understands the evilness of the world, there is no need for him to deceive himself changing the focus for world perception in order to be happy – he knows for sure that only the evil dies. Though vileness is also able to suffer.
The most probable version is that humanity (a particular case of protein intelligence on the globe) was created (by the higher power or evolution) exactly to accelerate the process of entropy many times and destroy the habitat of humankind, at the same time creating a new intelligent being capable to live separated from the planet, engaged in many-times acceleration of entropy already on universal scales.
Intelligence will stay but its new carriers will be free from the “original sin” manifested in the necessity to kill in order to live – most likely, they won’t be protein formations at all but, for example, intelligent machines or energy fields…
But until such intelligence originated, the most adequate perception of the surrounding world is, for example, the medieval picture of hell, the inhabitants of which torture each other eternally for fairly understandable by them violations of moral commandments.
The world presented as a concentration camp – barracks, barbed wire, watchtowers with machine-guns, strict schedule, back-breaking toil, insults and humiliations by criminals with a long record, recruitment by prison management to become informers, temptation to become one of “activists” – that’s a fairly common image and well-developed, especially in Russian and Eastern literature. Practically all religions say one and the same thing: here is the place of exile, all our good deeds will turn into evil and violence, it’s impossible to run away from here. The reasons why humans are actually a part of that force that always wants good and always does evil, are not so important, be it human weakness according to Islam, or the original sin according to Christianity.
For example, the most important terms of the Old Testament applied to humans are nephes, basar, ruah, leb. The notion of nephes was used in the meaning of throat, i.e. was connected with the vital physiological functions of eating and drinking. This word also refers to a wounded man. As a result, they started using this term for individuals in need or danger, or asking for help. Thus, nephes is a poor creature that at the same time has desires, satisfaction of which is required for survival. On the whole, in the Biblical tradition, under the word nephes we should understand creatures incapable to give life for themselves and incapable to preserve it for themselves.
According to Buddhism, sufferings run through the whole human existence. Relief of humans from sufferings in this world takes place as a result of deep focusing on the feeling of experiencing, i.e. self-plunging into the state of the so-called nirvana, or achievement of perfect bliss, complete internal (spiritual) balance and absolute withdrawal from transitory terrestrial world. Buddhists think that exactly nirvana is the perfect state of the soul. It is not easier to achieve it than live on the top steps of the Maslow pyramid. It seems that it’s not given to everyone.
Islam rejects the very understanding of good and evil by humans. They are the learnt notions for humans. A human as such, without obedience to God and humility is nothing, he is insignificant, inconsistent, weak. This topic is often repeated in the Quran. For example, “Indeed, mankind was created anxious” (Quran 70:19), “Nay, but verily man is rebellious” (Quran 96:6), “and man is the most quarrelsome of all” (Quran 18:54), “he is a clear adversary” (Quran 36:77), “an open opponent” (another translation), “man was ever thankless” (Quran 17:67), “And when We bestow favor upon the disbeliever, he turns away and distances himself; and when evil touches him, he is ever despairing” (17:83). A human as such is incapable to tell good from evil. Difference between good and evil is presented to humans in revelations.
It’s notable that the idea of Furqan (difference between good and evil) in the Quran was often used in the meaning of “book of revelations” (not only when referred to the Quran, but also to the Gospel or the Torah). God says to Adam and Eve banishing them from Heaven: “He said: Get ye down, both of you, – all together, from the Garden, with enmity one to another: and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me, whosoever follows my Guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery” (Quran 20:123). Humans are born kind and believing by their nature but morally non-resistant. There is not enough one’s own strength in order to be sinless and virtuous, and only moral strengths are lacking for that. Humans can acquire these strengths, taking divine guidance. (By the way, this has something in common with Oscar Wilde’s aphorism “If kindness is powerless, it is evil”.)
The great follower of Confucius – Mengzi – thought after his teacher that humans not only differentiate good and evil from birth but they are kind and good originally. Under the original good he mostly understood four inborn specific features, the source of which is immediate spontaneous feeling and the end is conscious behaviour. He said: “All people have the heart that can’t bear sufferings of others… The heart of any person suddenly seeing a child ready to fall into a well, will be frightened and dreading, condoling and compassionate. And this does not happen because of inner closeness to the child’s parents, and not because of the wish to have a good image among neighbours and friends, and not because of disgust that the child will cry and shout”.
That’s what Confucius writes (quoted in The History of the Han Dynasty): “Ability to participate in doing good and inability to participate in doing evil is called the highest reasonableness… Ability to participate in doing evil and inability to participate in doing good is called the lowest silliness… An individual capable to participate both in doing good and doing evil is called a common man”.
It’s surprising that notwithstanding all the above-said, there are people in the world looking for pleasures and finding them in actions allowed by the “upkeep regime” in our concentration camp. Practically all such actions are related to humiliation of other people (dominance, violence – psychological and physical, manipulations with human mind, upbringing, ideological impact, in short – making people act according to another person’s will, with that person getting pleasure from this fact). Many people wallowed in their social roles do not even comprehend that acting when forced means being humiliated. Doing any job not related to pleasure from creativity, exclusively for money, is humiliation of worker as a person. However, he is humiliated not by his employer but by his own body demanding food and dwelling.
A certain part of pleasures is related to killing live creatures – both for eating and material benefits or elevation of personal status. There is an opinion that only individuals, who have mastered the “complex science” of getting pleasure from wallowing in the mud, are happy in this world. But really the state of affairs is worse.
Imagine a bad-smelling cellar, the area of which is ten meters, with dirty water in the rotten tap, with the air full of miasmas and disgusting to smell, with ten people there besides you, all sleeping side by side pressing to one another, there is not enough water for washing, you are given the same food and only after several hours of back-breaking labour. This is our world if on the average. Lack of space, clean air and water, dirt, back-breaking labour for survival. But that is not all. Imagine that the world is animate and it comes to us every morning in the image of a horror-story monster.
Sometimes it deprives you of work – and you stay hungry, sometimes it infects you – and you suffer from some disease but sometimes it gives you a chocolate or arranges a date with another poor creature but of the opposite sex saying sadistically: “You see, the white stripe comes after the black stripe”… You’re weak, you can’t fight the world. You betray your girlfriend as soon as the world shows you a younger female; your girlfriend betrays you running after new pleasures.
The world grins and offers you to relieve your own pains and torments at the expense of the weak – and you pay for breeding and killing cattle, fishing uncountable numbers of fish, cutting forests. As a result, you are really relieved from physical pains, you are fed and clothed, you live in a warm house – but instead you are tormented morally, you understand that your well-being is based on rivers of blood. You try to reduce your consumption and buy cheaper clothes – but they are cheap because in another basement intended for tortures it was sewn by people working 10 hours a day at their sewing-machines and paid RUB 3 a day… You go on a vacation and spend more during ten days than a local craftsman makes in a year, and you additionally tease and humiliate him and his children by unattainable for them free behaviour – and after that children of this craftsman migrate to your country, destroy, beat and rape…
Very many people after seeing this world image in their early childhood, when they witnessed how this world dealt with their parents, catch the so-called Stockholm syndrome. It is a psychological condition that causes hostages or people suffering from some kind of aggression develop psychological alliance with their captors, feel sympathy and compassion to their violator. In such a situation, the victims of violence are not angry, not protesting, on the contrary, they feels psychological ties with the aggressor trying to justify his actions and in some cases even accept his ideas and sacrifice themselves willingly.
In August 1973, Jan-Erik Olsson, a convict on parole, took four employees of the bank hostage during a failed bank robbery in Sweden. Notwithstanding the fact that Olsson threatened to kill the hostages and kept them for six days in the bank, when he was caught, his victims suddenly refused to testify against their captor and protected their tyrant. And what is more, they said that when the bank was assaulted, they were afraid of policemen and not Olsson.
The main victims of the Stockholm syndrome in case of the violating world are people who think that they can in no way influence their own life and their surroundings. And if they become victims of violence, they should only humbly take everything happening to them – “the world is arranged just like that and this should not be assessed from moral positions”.
We often run across the Stockholm syndrome in life but we always think that it is not about us. But this is not so. There are several dozens movies about husbands humiliating, taunting and mocking at their wives, and wives forgiving them and justifying them. In Russia, many convicts in concentration camps in Stalin times actually idolized and worshiped the “great leader” by whose order they had been arrested, and cried when Stalin died.
Russian women are famous for their readiness to sacrifice themselves because of that they more often find themselves in touching “family” stories, when Russian or foreign husbands become their tyrants.
Patricia Heart joined the Symbionese Liberation Army (American left-wing terrorist organization) that had kidnapped her. And notwithstanding the facts that the SLA assaulted her not only physically but sexually as well!
Billions of people all over the world, hardly making ends meet, suffering from hunger, assaulted by neighbours, lacking or having insufficient amounts of clean air and water, sick, deformed and disfigured by hard everyday life, go on loving this world – their violator. Notwithstanding humiliations beyond all bounds, they carefully not notice them and still give birth to children condemning them for life like their own. It is impossible to explain such behaviour in any way except the consequence of inadequate perception of the world.
The main limit of further human evolution in the existing version, the limit condemning humanity for inevitable extinction soon because of accumulated social and environmental contradictions, is the limit of inability of 99% of people to adequately perceive the surrounding world and their place in it. This inadequacy is mostly brought about by secretion of hormones in human bodies similar to drugs like serotonin, secreted under the Sun impact, etc. as well as the tradition to take certain herbal preparations that reduce the amounts of negative emotions getting into the brain. Inadequacy of world perception can also be brought about by autogenic training, certain spiritual practices, choice of certain religious and philosophical worldview concepts directed to controlling perception of the surroundings, change of reality perception focus (perception focus is a mind tool, the function of which is selection of some event from all possible and fixation of this event as real. It is also possible to select interpretation of events, selecting the one justifying one’s own unworthy or undignified behaviour or behaviour of people that jeered and mocked at you).
Sure, had it been possible to change reality by mind efforts, belief in good and evil spirits who should be brought sacrifices, would have been the most right. And I advise those, who believe that perception focus will help to change the real situation and not the idea of it, to try controlling reality in a casino.
Adequate worldview is described in many philosophical concepts, most world religions are based on it, and it comes down to rejection of the world, contempt and hatred to it as a violator and murderer, sadist making people kill to prolong their existence. A particular conclusion from this attitude to the world is origination of monasticism, asceticism, refusal from having children…
Such attitude to the world is optimistic in spirit as it assures of inevitable victory of the good over the evil, death of all bad on our planet. Adequate attitude to the world completely frees from fear of death as death becomes liberation from actually permanent moral or physical torments.
Sure, it’s possible to focus all efforts on non-comprehension that you are constantly subjected to torments and humiliation by the surrounding world but then you’ll have to be not only undeveloped morally but also reject most works of literature, philosophy, religion, i.e. be not just a scoundrel but a fool as well.
CONCLUSION TWO, PRACTICAL:
HOW EVERYTHING WILL TAKE PLACE
In order to understand how humanity will end, let’s imagine that the Supreme Architect ordered exactly us to draw up the scenario of the end. Well, we assemble in a cozy restaurant, we invite our friends, doctors, meteorologists, climatologists and political scientists as well as the chief of staff at the Airborne Forces regiment headquarters, whom we know. We start thinking how the divine power or evolution can deal with us. And we see that on the whole it’s not so difficult. They just have to press us not focusing on one aspect like in the past (plague or Spanish flu – we’ll get out, adapt and even thank for the lesson) but in all the directions at once. And we should be pressed slowly, unnoticeably for people not to manage to understand changes around them and even follow them. It is similar to frogs in a pan with water put on a low fire – at first the sensations are pleasant, and when they feel bad, they are already unable to jump out…
By the way, the climatologist will say about warming, “First, we can start changing the climate on the globe – not too much, for us not to destroy the biosphere but enough to bring about droughts in some places, floods in the other, icing in the third, unheard of heat in the fourth. Let there be megastorms and hurricanes everywhere at the same time, and that’s understandable – if we start heating in some places, air masses will provide a hurricane themselves. People will not die because of it, but there will be no extra strength or money left, everything will be spent on fighting natural calamities and their consequences”.
Here the doctor joins the discussion, “Let contaminations dangerous for life gradually accumulate in the three important for humans media – water, air and soil simultaneously and in parallel with climate change. Low concentrations are not dangerous at first, but they are accumulating. There is the cumulative effect, and humans suddenly start suffocating in the street, and water from the tap is stinking. Protection from that crawling penetration of contaminations is impossible – there is not enough money on the globe to clean sewage and exhausts. It was already checked and calculated. The matter is that no contamination disappears after it takes place once. That’s the fundamental law of perdurability of matter, according to which if some garbage originates, it becomes impossible to destroy it. There is no garbage as such in nature. Body wastes and their organic leftovers are included into closed nutritional chains and in this or that form participate in the biogene cycle. That happens now – all contaminations will be included in the system of the consumer part of biota in which, we remind you, humans and their cattle already now make 97%, so as a result they will turn up in our bodies”.
The director of the restaurant, where we are discussing the future, comes up to us. He listens and then he tells us (with his Caucasian accent), “And soil degradation will be the flanking blow on humanity – salinization of soils, erosion and as a result decrease of yielding ability both because of soil exhaustion and pests and vermin, mould and fungus, locust attacks, bee disappearance, etc. At the same time, the quality of food will decrease, products will be contaminated with chemicals, consumers will be poisoned and as a result poisons will slowly accumulate in human bodies and that will also give the cumulative effect”.
The doctor will go on, “People poisoning via media poisoning opens the doors for diseases. But people have medicine that allows even those with chronic diseases to stay capable of working for a long time. So, we have to disarm mankind, take the most powerful medicine from it – antibiotics. Already now, 700,000 people die every year because they are resistant to antibiotics, and the trend for growth of such deaths is forecasted in geometric progression. Here is an example. Every year, 78 mln cases of simple gonorrhea resistant to antibiotics of the last generation are registered, in particular, to the cephalosporins, to say nothing of incurable tuberculosis… India has turned into a bioreactor creating new, resistant to antibiotics kinds of bacteria. Colistin is referred to antibiotics from “the last reserve”, which doctors use only in cases when other medicines had no effect. Doctors try to use it as rare as possible in order for resistance not to originate and spread in bacteria populations. But Indian poultry breeders use this medicine as one of the main to maintain chicken health.
“India is the epicenter of global multi-resistance. Doctors in many states find patients with infections resistant to all known antibiotics. The state does not collect such statistics but according to one research, the so-called birth infections are the cause of death of 58,000 babies every year. Unhygienic conditions, sewage flowing into rivers and lakes, antibiotics sold without prescriptions and their uncontrolled use by humans and animals, no regulations for discharge of medical waste by pharmaceutical companies – all that grows like an avalanche and creates ideal conditions for origination of some super bacterium. For example, 57% of Klebsiella pneumoniae (bacterium being the cause of urinogenital, lung, blood flow, hospital infections) are resistant to capbapenems in India. This figure in the United Kingdom is less than 1%.
“Another disease, besides allergic reactions and parasites as well as resistance to antibiotics, can also deal a blow. This disease is not a fatal disease but it is weakening people up to despising life. It’s diabetes mellitus. Already now, there are 500 mln people suffering from diabetes mellitus, and their numbers are rapidly growing. By 2030, it will take the 7th place in causes of death. Immune system reactivity is reduced and infectious diseases are severe in case of people with diabetes mellitus. It is often accompanied by lung tuberculosis. In case of people suffering from diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis may originate as a result of infection or endogenous activation of hidden focuses. The body’s resistance is decreased, and people suffering from diabetes mellitus catch lung tuberculosis usually when they are young. Sex organs suffer in case of diabetes mellitus as well. Men often have lowered libido or no sexual desire at all, they become impotent. Women are often barren, they have miscarriages, children are born prematurely, fetuses die, women suffer from amenorea, vulvitis, vaginitis. Already now, the share of miscarriages on the average all over the world amounts to 15%. And this share is growing”.
The Airborne Force Colonel, who was silent before, slaps the table, “So, we have disarmed mankind taking medicines from it, we have weakened human organism opening the road for bacteria and viruses, we regularly destroy the infrastructure with hurricanes and at the same time we’ve done everything in such a way as for people not to look at everything happening to them as the consequence of the ecological crisis, because the brains of most people are incapable to see connections between various natural phenomena. What should be done next? Right, send the agents of death, saboteurs, transporters of diseases. Their task is to settle close to people (ideally inside them) and at Zero Hour provide rapid spreading of epidemics, best of all a dozen epidemics simultaneously. And we’re already witnessing rapid growth of the number of parasites – protozoan, helminthes and, most dangerous, ectoparasites – lice, bedbugs, fleas who have been spreading bacteria diligently and for long and again appeared in our houses after nearly half a century absence. The populations of locusts, mosquitoes transmitting malaria, common mosquitoes, all kinds of mites, scorpions, etc. have rapidly grown. And if only one hundredth share of one per cent of mites were encephalitic in the past, now there are nearly 50% of mites infected.
“But a common man will be the main saboteur. The modern ideology of humans, in which freedom of movement is very important, will open the way for immediate transportation of infections from all over the world to our houses. Malaria mosquitoes as such are not dangerous until some tourist brings malaria from the South and a mosquito catches it. By the way, that’s an example of the Ahriya mainyus’ arrow’s action – a good deed, fighting for freedom of movement all over the world, entails evil consequences as well and as a result will kill humanity”.
The doctor informs, “The sickness rate is already increasing. By 2030, there will be no people without this or that form of allergic reactions, not inhabited by parasites, without some chronic, potentially fatal diseases, with only daily medicine intake saving from acute stages. And now imagine these people also breathing in bad air and drinking water that is harmful for their health. And they have much less food than they need… Have you noticed that now practically all people are coughing at least from time to time? That’s the wave of virus pneumonia coming quietly, without pandemia announcement. There were few deaths, though this evil has already settled in every second individual. Actually, there are many bacteria living in our bodies. But in case of immunity weakening, they wake up and start reproducing. AIDS is an example. People are not dying from it as such but because of a ‘suddenly’ manifested set of various diseases. And now all of us are infected – or we’ll be infected in the next decade – by ‘chemical AIDS’, when immunity suffers from permanent poisoning coming from the environment and as a result becomes incapable to manage with this or that disease. So, everyone will die from his or her disease, there will be no panic, no pandemia, nothing like quarantine or disinfectant teams with fire-throwers, nothing like they show in catastrophe movies”.
The political scientist joins in, “By the way, about food. If we already reduced gross harvests, we’ll have to take into account the social consequences. About 70% of urban population in our world lives on donations – all kinds of pensions, subsidies, allowances, etc. And there are whole countries in the world dependent on food import. So, if harvests decrease, there will be nothing to import. Dependants in developed countries will suffer as well. Resource wars will start, to put in simply – raids to take food, all kinds of social revolutions with the offer to share in a more honest way and other cataclysms, in the course of which the last food stores will disappear. Developed countries will stop food aid to countries in the South just because there will be nothing to send to them. By 2050, Africa will be able to provide only 25% of its requirements in food. And others will stop bringing food there as they themselves won’t have enough to eat… States founded on the water will start dying – civilizations living on the water flowing from mountain glaciers into the Huang He (Yellow River) and Yangtze, Syr Darya and Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges and Mekong, Kura and Rioni… Water from glaciers makes from 60% to 40% of these rivers. And hungry people also suffering from thirst will flow from the South. Countries not in crisis, with relatively healthy population, will die because of the refugee crowds. Migrants do not create civilizations in a new place anew. Our times are not the times of the Roman Empire’s decline. Today’s migrants won’t just have enough time. Do not forget that they are ill and poisoned, and they bring infections and parasites with them”.
The Colonel says, “Even a rat driven in a corner, snarls. Civilized countries will fight protecting themselves from hordes of zombie-like dying migrants”.
All the rest object in a chorus: there is no real ideology for resistance besides ideological Fascism unacceptable for intellectuals, and that lack of ideology demoralizes and disorganizes Europe, plunging people in understanding inevitable death of civilization conforming with the laws of nature. There will be no one to lie on the border with machine-guns. Europe will more likely commit suicide but not return to Auschwitz. Because there are things more important than survival.
The Colonel spits, puts on his Airborne Force beret and leaves.
Everything will take place approximately like that… And nature has no protection from such tactics, only if it makes the Lomonosov-Lavoisier law null and void… And dirty water in rivers and wells will be the trigger.
We may say that evolution has no meaning but its purpose can be fairly well seen and traced. Life originated and became more complicated up to intelligent life as a particular case of entropy’s increase. Nature created the ideal destroyer. Animals, even such big as dinosaurs, could not aspire to play this role – their destructive ambitions were limited by their appetite. An intelligent creature, in contrast to animals, has unlimited needs and consequently can destroy unlimitedly big amounts of resources, turning them from ordered and arranged structures into chaotic combination of atoms and elementary particles.
All nations on the Earth follow this pattern. The laws of thermodynamics can’t be deceived. The patterns and ways differ in temperament – some destroy the Earth by crazy reproduction, giving birth to too many children, the others by development of production… We have the absolute international consensus in that, every nation is destroying the planet from its side though each one swears that it is being true to “sustainable development”. Elites of all countries simply understand that stopping growth means death sentence to their power. It’s necessary to run as hard as you can to stay in the same place…
Only one is destined to remain on the planet – the best destroyer. What will this nation be?
I think that in this case we should already speak not about a nation but new intelligent species. The planet is actually finished, the new intelligence will have to destroy space. New intelligent beings should stop thinking of the Earth as their home, they should know how to live in airless space and use the star energy for their goals…
Most probably, the final objective will be creation of unlimitedly variable and unlimitedly complex system of unlimitedly small particles encompassing the Universe. And intelligence obligatory appears at a certain stage of matter structure’s complicating as we can see in the Earth experience…
The task of our artificial creatures, those who will replace us, a hybrid of computer and bioobject, is creation of the universal mind.
Artificial intelligence in a completely autonomous shell or membrane will appear in several years; life on the Earth will become impossible for 90% of its inhabitants in about 30 years, when mountain ice melts, the rivers in the Caucasus and Middle Asia, India and China dry, fields of Africa and Mexico turn into deserts, when epidemics follow one another, when some war is added to deaths caused by diseases and hunger – crowds of people consisting of many millions will rove in every land of the planet looking for clean water and a handful of food, at the same time destroying everything around them.
We forecast that the globe will become a very unpleasant place to live much earlier than 2050. This will naturally accelerate creation of “new humans or non-humans”, all-powerful and not burdened with evil; intelligent creatures not requiring to kill to prolong their lives.
But what can all of us do now, we who have understood that we are an evolutionary dead-end that only has to launch new species of intelligent creatures?
What can we do after understanding that following the internal categorical imperative (i.e. living not in lies) is incompatible with life?
There is an option to live like in a submarine. In case of an accident in some section, block it and not react in any way to knocks of those who stayed there and are dying. Let every country live as it can but at its expense, with no humanitarian aid. Theoretically it is a good option but it is impossible to bring it into life now, however, after disintegration of civilization it will realize itself.
Dennis Meadows understood that time for saving the globe had been lost. In 2012, he came to Russia and after that he offered his variant of actions. He said then that he was first of all interested in the issues of various systems’ sustainability in case of outside impacts. A human, community, people closest to this human and surrounding him can be sustainable in case of outside impacts. If we speak about the necessity to increase individual sustainability in case of upheavals we are to expect, everyone understands the interpretation of the term. That is, you can create a certain community, you can make ten people more protected and specially prepare them for them to store food, drinks, electricity in advance. Dennis Meadows said that he was fully focused on that topic. And he addressed all his colleagues asking them to forget that it was necessary to save the whole world. Instead of that they could provide certain people and groups of people with useful practical recommendations as to how they could prepare for the period of big upheavals in the best possible way. That is, to put it simply, it’s high time to try to teach people not to expect another list of wise decisions from their governments and take the required preventive measures themselves.
And again, yet another time in history, the categorical imperative is a hindrance for us to take measures required for survival. We start asking ourselves questions: who was more decent – Lot or Lot’s wife who turned back to look at her dying native town and became a pillar of salt?
How did Noah feel sailing in his ark and not saving those who drowned? And may be even protecting the ark from drowning people?
And finally we understand that there are things more important than survival…
The spiritual essence of people is immortal in many religions of the world; consequently, life in this world is just a school for developing creative abilities of those who wait to merger with the Creator, Universal Mind, etc. in future. But even if the soul is not immortal, environmental worldview as well as religious eschatological worldview help to understand that it is necessary to live and act, definitely knowing that there will be no future.
You just have to do what you think is required, do it independent of its having or not having some meaning in the environment with no long-term prospects. (An example is planting trees. It’s right not because they will be useful for your grandchildren. Probably, they won’t. It is right because planting trees is moral.) We think that public activities in the present-day environmental movement are a set of true human behavioural norms in the face of irresistible forces. However, it does not follow from it that behaviour should be absurd – we still want to apply our efforts achieving at least temporary positive results, even knowing beforehand that it’s impossible to change the deadly state of affairs.
 Akop Nazaretyan – Soviet and Russian philosopher, expert in political psychology.
 Sharikov is Mikhail Bulgakov’s character from Heart of a Dog.
 Vasily Aksyonov – Soviet and Russian novelist.
 Fyodor Sologub – Russian Symbolist poet, novelist, playwright and essayist.
 The Strugatsky Brothers are Soviet and Russian science fiction writers who collaborated through most of their careers.
 Ivan Yefremov – Soviet paleontologist, philosopher, science fiction writer.
 Semyon Frank – Russian philosopher, who was born in Russia, expelled from the Soviet Union with some other intellectuals, lived in Germany, France and the UK.
 Victor Pelevin – modern Russian fiction writer.
 Andrey Sinyavsky – Russian writer, dissident, political prisoner, emigrant who died in Paris.
 Iosif Shklovsky – Soviet astronomer and astrophysicist.
 Nine Days in One Year – a Soviet black-and-white drama film (1962) about nuclear particle physics, physicists and their relations.
 Vera Pavlovna is the chief character in Chernyshevsky’s novel What Is to Be Done?