The collapse of the “HUMANITY” project. Chapter 4.
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.