Yuval Harari’s Unipolar Dystopia vs the Greater Eurasian Partnership: Two Technological Paradigms Clash
This bizarre new philosophy posits that we have been wrong to think of technology as the consequence of the mind’s exploration of the objective universe and the application of discoveries to improve our subjective lives. It also denies that “mind” is anything more than the sum total of non-living atoms composing the physical brain.
Instead, the “new wisdom” which emerged in the wake of cybernetics revolution of the 1960s asserted that technology grows with life all its own acting as a synthetic and deterministic ‘elan vital’ without any regard for human thought or free will.
Harari stated this explicitly, saying:
“If you have enough data, and you have enough computing power, you can understand people better than they understand themselves and then you can manipulate them in ways that were previously impossible and in such a situation, the old democratic systems stop functioning. We need to re-invent democracy in this new era in which humans are now hackable animals. The whole idea that humans have this ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ and have free will… that’s over.”
Following the theories of Marshall McCluhan, Sir Julian Huxley, Cybernetics founder Norbert Wiener, Jesuit transhumanist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Chardin’s intellectual heir Ray Kurzweil, these new priests of the Fourth Industrial Revolution preached a new gospel to humanity. As a leading figure of the WEF Great Narrative Project, Harari described this new gospel saying:
“We have no answer in the Bible [of] what to do when humans are no longer useful to the economy. You need completely new ideologies, completely new religions and they are likely to emerge from silicon valley… and not from the Middle East. And they are likely going to give people visions based on technology. Everything that the old religions promised: Happiness and justice and even eternal life, but HERE ON EARTH with the help of technology and not after death with the help of some supernatural being.”
Having replaced God with Silicon Valley technocrats, Harari is certainly being sold as a “Moses” of the new post-human age which his own masters wish to usher into the world.
This synthetic religion is neo-Darwinian in character and has a few sacred cow assumptions underlying its creed. One of these assumptions is that random stochastic (and thus intrinsically unknowable) processes on the small scale define an overarching tendency for technologies to grow inexorably towards ever greater states of a phenomenon dubbed “complexity” (i.e. the increased quantity and speed of transmission of interaction of parts of a system in space and time).
Rather than assume that a moral direction shapes the flow of upward evolution as previous generations of thinkers had presumed prior to the cybernetics cult, these new reformers were quick to assert that no such foolish notions of ‘better’ or ‘worse’ have any meaning whatsoever. This self-professed Uber menschen recognized that morality, just like God, patriotism, soul or freedom, are abstract human-made concepts having no ontological existence in the mechanistic, cold and ultimately purposeless universe in which we are presumed to exist.
Despite the randomness of stochastic behavior assumed to ‘organize’ all apparently ordered systems, these high priests are firm believers in a deterministic rigid set of “laws” which shape our ever complexifying relationship with technology. For example, it is asserted that humans are destined to suffer the irreversible loss of mental powers of the species with each apparent upshift of technology with A.I inevitably replacing the obsolete organic life forms the way mammals replaced dinosaurs.
On this point, Harari said: “Humans only have two basic abilities — physical and cognitive. When machines replaced us in physical abilities, we moved on to jobs that require cognitive abilities. … If AI becomes better than us in that, there is no third field humans can move to”.
Like all transhumanists, Harari presumes that these ‘hackable minds’ devoid of soul or purpose are merely the effect of the total chemical and electric behavior of the atoms contained in the brain and hence when he answers that these humans (which he always excludes himself from interestingly enough) have no other purpose but to be made “happy” by the new synthetic religion, he only refers to drugs and videogames which stimulate the chemical impulses that he defines as the “cause” of happiness.
The notion of a happiness caused by non-material stimulation such as joy of discovery, joy of teaching and joy of creating something new and true plays no role in the cold calculus of such humans aspiring to become immortal machines.
Interestingly enough, this is the psycho-biological manifestation of the geopolitical doctrine of zero-sum Hobbesian thinking which demands that all “wholes” be thought of merely as the sum of the parts making them up. Adherents to either philosophy assume that any material system which exists at any given “now” is all that can ever exist since the existence of creative change or universal principles are denied to have any claim to existence.
Such a pathetic mind is forced to presume that the 2nd law of thermodynamics (aka: Entropy) is the only dominant law shaping all change in every closed system they try to understand, from a biosphere, to a brain, to an economy and to the entire universe while ignoring all evidence of creative change, design and purpose built into the entire fabric of space time.
Transhumanists vs Humanists
Of course, for such an absurd thesis to be maintained, it is also requisite that only “information” technologies be brought into such considerations, or else the danger that people recognize that higher productive technologies actually liberate human beings from the repetitive manual lives of banality and liberate their powers of creative reason which 12 hour days of brute labor never permitted be blossomed.
When technologies that pertain to the increased productive powers of humanity are introduced into this equation (as for example ever higher efficient energy sources that permit greater powers of action per capita and per square kilometer as outlined in the five decades of writings of the late American economist Lyndon LaRouche), then the argument that asserts “humanity’s irrelevance increases in direct proportion to technology’s improvement” also breaks down.
Additionally when one allows for the definition of science and technology to be extended rightfully to the domain of politics and moral law, the argument breaks down even further.
For whether you knew it or not, forms of government and systems of political economy are, in actual fact, forms of technology with different designs and models crafted with objective goals which are or not attained depending upon the wisdom or folly of the framers of laws and constitutions. Unlike conventional machine designs which will run according to the pure deterministic mechanics of physics independent of free will, the machinery of government both shapes and is in turn shaped by the willful application of human thoughts in a dance of subjective and objective phenomena.
What standards exist to judge “better” or “worse” forms of government technologies? To answer this question, it is useful to listen to the wise words of the great German ‘poet of freedom’ Friedrich Schiller who wrote in his 1791 Legislations of Lycurgus’ Sparta vs Solon’s Athens’:
“In general, we can establish a rule for judging political institutions, that they are only good and laudable, to the extent that they bring all forces inherent in persons to flourish, to the extent that they promote the progress of culture, or at least not hinder it. This rule applies to religious laws as well as to political ones: both are contemptible if they constrain a power of the human mind, if they impose upon the mind any sort of stagnation. A law, for example, by which at a particular time appeared to it most fitting , such a law were an assault against mankind and laudable intents of whatever kind were then incapable of justifying it. It were immediately directed against the highest Good, against the highest purpose of society.”
Within his many essays, the great scientist, inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin explained to the world that government was not a “science of control” or a “science of stability” as many of the elite of both his day and ours wish to assume. Franklin and other leading scientist-statesmen throughout history believed that government is itself better understood as an applied technology that advances a “science of happiness” whose practical expression, like any technological expression of scientific concepts, is endowed with the seeds of its own self-improvement infused into the design. Hence the brilliant concept of the American foundational documents of 1776 and 1787 which instituted an operating principle founded upon the notion of constant self-perfectibility the seemingly contradictory wording of “a more perfect union” (a logician would complain that this construction is an absurdity since something is either perfect/static or more better/changing but cannot be both).
Franklin and his allies were fortunately scientists and not logicians and thus knew better.
This new form of government “of, by and for the people” was never meant to become a fixed, crystalized or static machine at any point, for it was better understood in those days that should such a stasis be imposed causing formal structures to suffocate the creative spirit that brought said law into existence, then that foolish society were doomed to decadence, stupefaction, and absolute tyranny.
Of course, society were doomed if such corruption took hold for too long which is why Franklin and the other authors of the Declaration of Independence wrote that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
America’s Forgotten Anti-Malthusian Heritage
These closed system theories advanced by all British Imperial economists were not only the basis upon which Marx and Engel’s crafted their theory of “class struggle” (ignoring entirely the existence of the anti-imperial economic school then active in the USA), but were also the basis of the Club of Rome’s 1968 neo-Malthusian revival which saw computer models used to justify supposedly “fixed limits to humanity’s growth”. These models were incorporated into the World Economic Forum during the 1973 event that saw the crafting of the ‘Davos Manifesto’ outlining Schwab’s notions of “Stakeholder Capitalism”.
In his Unity of Law (published in 1872) , Henry C. Carey demonstrated not only that technological progress caused unproductive lands to become more productive over time, but also proved that the power to support life increased rather than diminished with increased returns to all parties in a non-zero sum system of mutual cooperation.
Carey zeroed in on the simple ratio of human mentation to the force of nature as a reciprocal interaction over time. In this interplay of the so-called “subjective” forces of mind, and the “objective” forces of nature’s laws, a coherence between humanity and the discovered laws of creation was firmly established. Carey says of this interplay:
“The more perfect that power [of self-direction], the greater is the tendency towards increased control of mind over matter; the wretched slave to nature gradually yielding place to the master of nature, in whom the feeling of responsibility to his family, his country, his Creator and himself, grows with the growth of power to guide and direct the vast and various forces placed at his command.”
From 1787 to John F. Kennedy’s 1963 murder, the general trend of the US republic specifically and the western world more broadly was admittedly turbulent and often self-destructive, due in large measure to the subversive hand of London-centered deep state operations active across the globe.
But despite this turbulence, a general ethic founded upon a love for technological progress, God, nation, truth, and family prevailed and for the most part a tendency of each generation living in a better world than the one left behind by previous generations was the norm. Within this value system, it was generally understood that the moral, scientific and political aims of the species were united in a single tapestry of self-perfection and freedom.
Speaking to the National Academy of Science on October 22, 1963, President Kennedy took aim at the rot of the closed system ideologues then beginning to latch onto the levers of policy and culture saying: “Malthus argued a century and a half ago that man, by using up all his available resources, would forever press on the limits of subsistence, thus condemning humanity to an indefinite future of misery and poverty. We can now begin to hope and, I believe, know that Malthus was expressing not a law of nature, but merely the limitation then of scientific and social wisdom.”
A century earlier, Henry C. Carey also attacked Malthus by name saying: “Of all contrivances for crushing out all Christian feeling and for developing self-worship, that the world yet has seen, there has been none entitled to claim so high a rank as that which has been, and yet daily is, assigned to the Malthusian Law of Population.”
Despite the loud clamoring of Malthusians and eugenicists to the contrary, the material facts of man’s relationship to nature over the past several thousand years support the ideas of Franklin, Carey and Kennedy.
Every time the people are provided with the proper political liberties and economic opportunities, humanity increased not only her “carrying capacities” in ways that no other species of animal could do rising from one billion souls in 1800 to nearly 8 billion today, but also leaping from life expectancies averaging 40 years of age in 1800 (in the USA) to 78 years today. Meanwhile per capita productivity has tended to increase along with political emancipation (at least until the economic financial coup of 1971 as far as the trans-Atlantic society has been concerned).
Eurasia and the Defense of Natural Law
In his July 17 keynote address to the XXV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, President Putin described his concept of technological growth, industrial improvement and multipolarity in the following terms:
“Technological development is a cross-cutting area that will define the current decade and the entire 21st century. We will review in depth our approaches to building a ground-breaking technology-based economy – a techno economy – at the upcoming Strategic Development Council meeting. There is so much we can discuss. Most importantly, many managerial decisions must be made in the sphere of engineering education and transferring research to the real economy, and the provision of financial resources for fast-growing high-tech companies.
Changes in the global economy, finances and international relations are unfolding at an ever-growing pace and scale. There is an increasingly pronounced trend in favour of a multipolar growth model in lieu of globalisation. Of course, building and shaping a new world order is no easy task. We will have to confront many challenges, risks, and factors that we can hardly predict or anticipate today.
Still, it is obvious that it is up to the strong sovereign states, those that do not follow a trajectory imposed by others, to set the rules governing the new world order. Only powerful and sovereign states can have their say in this emerging world order. Otherwise, they are doomed to become or remain colonies devoid of any rights.”
Compare these concepts with the dismal view of Harari and his transhumanist patrons who are devoutly committed to a unipolar order of stasis and an end to history when Harari describes technology’s role in creating a new “post-revolutionary” global useless class forever under the dominance by the emergent “high caste” of golden collar Davos elites:
“The high caste which dominates the new technology won’t exploit the poor. They just won’t need them. And it’s much more difficult to rebel against irrelevance than against exploitation.”
Since the technology has rendered the majority of humanity useless and the emergent new form of technetronic unipolar governance will render all potential for revolution obsolete, the question in Harari’s mind becomes what will be done with the plague of useless eaters spread across the globe? Here Harari follows in the footsteps pioneered by his earlier soul mate Aldous Huxley during his infamous 1962 ‘Ultimate Revolution’ lecture at Berkley College by pointing to the important role to be played by drugs and video games:
“I think the biggest question in economics and politics in the coming decades will be ‘what to do with all these useless people?’ I don’t think we have an economic model for that… the problem is more boredom and what to do with them and how will they find some sense of meaning in life when they are basically meaningless, worthless? My best guess at present, is a combination of drugs and computer games”.
Looking at the two diametrically opposed paradigms clashing over the operating system that will shape the role of technology, economy, diplomacy, science, and industrial progress into the 21st century and beyond, it is worth asking which one you would prefer shape the lives of your children?
cover image credit: geralt
Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , and Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow. He is author of the ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series and Clash of the Two Americas. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation .
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