Why do we rebel against de-humanisation: Maybe because it’s not exactly about science, but rather about money
By DMITRY KOSYREV / Pic By BLOOMBERG
The Russian polling service, Levada Centre, is known for its inevitable oppositionist commentaries. Simply speaking, whatever the figures are, according to Levada, the Russian government and president Vladimir Putin are to blame.
But nobody really tries to dispute the figures themselves.
Levada’s January survey shows that 68% of Russians disapprove of extra-marital affairs (against 50% in 1998). 81% dislike homosexual relations (68% did in 1998). Abortions are unpopular with 35% (12% in 1998).
So, Russia gravitates towards… what? Intolerance, abject conservatism, or is it becoming more religious? Not that it’s the only such case in our world.
Something happens to whole nations, if not civilisations, that should not have happened at all. The direction they are going to is, at the very least, unexpected.
Some answers, or a way to them, you may find in “Origin” — the latest book by Dan Brown (of the “Da Vinci Code” fame).
“Where do we come from? Where are we going?” — these two questions the book asks again and again.
Simply speaking, the plot revolves around the secret of Creation — how did it happen that life emerged on earth, with a human being as a part of the process. And it also touches upon the very near future of humans, on the next stage in our evolution.
Now, I know that a lot of people really like Brown. There is nothing like his books if you want to read about yet another exotic European city, with its churches and their ancient secrets.
But let us accept the obvious, Brown is fighting religions and the idea of God in general. He does it in every book of his.
And he does it in the name of science as an ultimate — and only — source of truth.
He did it again in “Origin”. The plot revolves around a monumental discovery made by a billionaire computer genius, building a super-super computer and using it for modelling both the act of Creation and the future of mankind.
Crazy religious maniacs are trying to stop him, but fail. These failures happen and will go on happening, because all religions are getting obsolete, claims Brown, and people do not need God as much as before.
In the very near future they’ll need God even less, notes the writer, because a human being, as we know it, will cease to exist.
That’s the answer to the second big question of the book — “Where are we going?”
The computer simulation in Brown’s book predicts that irreversible change will happen by 2050.
Smartphones, reading glasses, most pharmaceuticals will be embedded into our bodies, together with all kinds of chips to control our functioning.
A human being, then, will cease to be what it is now. Religions will maybe have one remaining role to play — to infuse a bit of morality in the process of de-humanisation of our whole race.
Artificial intellect will take over everything and everyone, but you may try to programme it with a bit of religious thinking.
And, what’s notable, both Brown and his imagined computer genius not only take such future for granted, they obviously love it. For them, it’s something to fight for. More, for them, such future is universal.
This is where we should start noticing the weak points in Brown’s futurology. First, for him “the West” and “the world” are one and the same thing.
True, Catholic church was fighting science at a certain period of its history, and repeatedly tried to dominate societies in a totalitarian way, openly or via clandestine organisations.
But Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the rest have a different track record. Same goes for Russian Orthodox Church.
So, what happens now in the non-Western parts of the world boils down to an indignant shout “don’t tell us what our future should be”.
Russia with its sudden strictness on private life matters, or India with its Hindu revival, or even radical Jihadism in parts of the Muslim world, are all going against Brown and other globalists with their happy predictions of the oncoming destruction of humanity as we know it.
Why do we rebel against de-humanisation: Maybe because it’s not exactly about science, but rather about money.
There was a race for supremacy between two basically American lobbies back in the 1990s, the hi-tech and the medical ones.
Both had grand designs to be the No 1 industry, dominating the world. Now, they merged into one industry, hoping to dictate us the norms of “healthy and proper living” as they see it, through chips in our brains and the rest of the body. God is simply their competitor.
To think of it, the medieval Catholic Church or even modern Jihadi radicals in Iraq and Syria have never been so radical in their ideas of total control.
- Dmitry Kosyrev is an author of 8 novels and a book of short stories as well as a columnist for 2 Moscow publications. Orientalist by education (Moscow University), he has a special love for Malaysia.