This is an English translation from the Russian of our publication dated May 23, 2020
If you are more comfortable watching and listening to videos than reading this text, you are welcome to this link: https://youtu.be/SPeq108Phgs
The COVID-19 pandemic as a global precedent marked the horizons of the future with its new behavioral patterns and the know-hows that have already become conventional in terms of police implementation of top-notch technology that could be collectively referred to as “the new normal”.
The Chinese experience of introducing a social rating system that traces the levels of respecting the law and a general honesty among the population, as well as their consumer behavior on government-controlled territories, the electronic passes introduced in Moscow that allow monitoring a resident’s travels and location, the German app that traces contacts with coronavirus patients, Corona-Warn-App, as well as a similar French App, with the countries’ leaders in complete self-isolation to maintain control over the situation in the state — this experience and these developments are highly unlikely to lose their importance after the pandemic.
A protracted, spasmodically unpredictable and generally unsettling post-pandemic crisis that may potentially become the precondition for a systematic destruction of the basic industries of small and, most importantly, middle businesses, will inevitably kick-start an involution of the middle class that has always been the backbone of all of the developed and developing societies in the world to date. This involution, in its turn, will, within a frighteningly short time, turn the social strata that have, until recently, flourished, into a declassed mass that will rapidly merge into the broad ranks of the world plebs, making the abyss separating the global rabble from the global elites fatal and uncrossable. Obviously, the fatality of this abyss will arise due to the non-renewability of the collapsed social gateways that, over the past centuries, were used by a certain part of societal grassroots to step into, and join, the middle class, that was by default endowed with a high degree of loyalty and reverence for the elites and the ruling class. The ruling elites, in their turn, will at some point, in attempts to seek protection from all conceivable and inconceivable dangers they could fall victims of at the hands of the planet’s prevalently proletarian population, start demonstrating an irresistible craving for anonymity and an increasing willingness to identify themselves with impersonalized AI tools to substitute the leaders” connection with the people, their interaction with an automated surrogate of the latter. The good intentions proclaimed by the four electronic governance models known to the world today, already display, in reality, an intuitive pursuit on the collective subconscious level of preparing the ecosystem for the time when technological developments will allow elites to hide behind an electronic “smoke haze,” removing themselves completely out of the population’s sight.
The social strata that have, until recently, flourished, into a declassed mass that will rapidly merge into the broad ranks of the world plebs
Here we must also pay attention to the historical prerequisites of what we have said above; particularly, the fact that over the past two-and-a-half centuries, the bourgeois class worldwide has almost completely pushed to the outskirts of history its chief rival — the born aristocracy, having, ultimately, taken its place. This irreversibly victorious bourgeoisie is losing its interest in games of democracy by the hour, which, in turn, will, with time, inevitably lead to permanent loss of significance of the so-called honest national elections. Now, belonging to the ruling class is a commodity that can only be obtained in exchange for assets in accordance with one’s property status, while the price of the “entry ticket” for joining the elites will only keep growing. Unlike born aristocracy, the bourgeois elites do not require recognition of the masses. Unlike the aristocracy, it presides over society not in the right of some sort of selection by inheritance, but, rather, opposes itself to crowds of losers it had not so long ago come out of itself.
The time when the elites will grow completely indifferent to any display to media narcissism, is not too far off. When this moment arrives, noisy national meetings with their leaders standing up high on great pedestals, along with lofty speeches from TV screens, will be suddenly forgotten. Parliamentary and government seatings won’t be broadcasted anymore, with bars and office parties filled with dazzling ladies adorned with diamonds disappearing, along with long lines of limousines that used to line the most prestigious streets, and enormous yachts will cease to anchor at public quays. Common people will no longer be able to follow online the flights of supersonic jets with V.I.P.’s on board (by that time, civil aviation as such (i.e., aviation available to everyone) will cease to exist, a large number of iron winged monsters cutting through the fragile atmosphere of our Earth pronounced a global and irreparable damage to the environment that must at all costs be averted). However, the life of luxury led by the elites will, of course, not only remain; it will become even more luxurious, but from now on, it will pass unseen to the eyes of billions of curious clochards, undetectable to the video cameras of their stereotyped gadgets — or any other means of surveillance. Ruling elites will seek, and find, more and more opportunities of distancing themselves more and more from the global “plebeian” class, now separating from it not by building fortresses and barbed wires, but the unavailability of information related to their existence and their mode of life. And this will become one of the elites' existential necessities. We will further discuss the key factors that will condition this necessity. Let us presently make a brief summary of the sort of life the global plebeian class will apparently have in mid- and long-term perspectives.
The ruling elites will at some point start demonstrating an irresistible craving for anonymity and an increasing willingness to identify themselves with impersonalized AI
Within a rather brief period of time, countless squatters will fill all of the Earth“s megapolises, as well as the world”s largest cities, including their most fashionable areas, the downtowns with all of their formerly “golden” skyscrapers and the Chinese “ghost towns” that at present stand empty and uninhabited, awaiting their hour. All of these human ant-hills, with their stench, their dysfunctional elevators and half-dead plumbing systems, are destined to become permanent breeding farms of all possible infections, domestic violence, drug abuse and dealing, child prostitution and human trafficking, and society will consequently develop herd immunity and an almost zoological self-regulation commonly known as “the law of the jungle.” The urban environment will in its entirety inevitably turn into one gigantic multi-storey favela subject to ongoing destruction due to the constantly growing fatal accident rate. At the same time, there will be practically no population left outside magepolices and urban agglomerations. Moreover, living outside urban areas will be strictly prohibited. The rural population, that will cease to exist completely, will be replaced by robotic means of growing, harvesting and processing crops. Under the banner of environmental protection, fighting global warming and the other “Greta-isms,” animal husbandry, poultry farming, fishing, and gardening will be outlawed.
Large inland territories of farmland will be equipped with fully automated systems for growing genetically modified grain and vegetables, and closer to the seas and oceans, in bays and on giant floating platforms adjusted for the purpose, millions of tons of genetically modified algae will be grown in the same mechanized way. Along with this, the surrounding skyscraper constructions and other large structures will be used for automated vertical “farming,” thus making the production of genetically modified crops within the city possible, which will simplify logistics and reduce product losses. All of the cultures grown this way, but, first and foremost, the genetically modified algae, will serve as raw material for 3-D printing of food with completely fake delicacies imitating anything, even human flesh, which, with the compulsory and strictly controlled veganism will sublimate potential cannibalism in the global plebs (while all experiments with cultivated meat grown in Petri cups terminated as unjustified due to their technical complexity and high costs.) In the meanwhile, absolutely real cannibalism will become a special privilege of the top layers of organised criminal groups. For the lower-standing representatives of the criminal world, live meat will be obtained from dogs, cats, rats, bats, crows, pigeons, snakes and other creatures that can be found in city areas, that will be hunted in slums for the purpose. Common people, however, will be strictly prohibited from owning, let alone breeding, any animals at home. This will place the criminal world on top of the food chain in the direct sense of the word, serving, even subconsciously, as confirmation of their dominance.
Ripped clothes, unkempt body and hair, aggressive semantics on tattoos and piercings, grimaces, screaming, growling, expectoration, spitting, blowing the nose, and even defecation in the middle of the street will be the norm and an integral part of everyday life. Street fights without rules, BDSM performances, and, finally, public executions will become the chief form of entertainment. Displays of sodomy and even necrophilia in public places won’t embarass or shock anyone. Against this background, the institution of marriage will almost completely degenerate, and incest, at the same instant, will turn into a commonplace practice. In general, the Overton window, open to such savage primitivity (to put this mildly) will for a certain time serve as a survival prerequisite for both the plebs stripped of all connection with the ruling elites, and for the ruling elites controlling large crowds of the plebs remotely — and anonymously.
At the same time, the NBIC convergence of life-support technologies for the elites will make any direct connection with the unemployed population living on an unconditional basic income (UBI) not merely objectively unnecessary, but also very dangerous, for the ruling class. In other words, the final transition from the fifth to the sixth technological mode will “expand and deepen”, as a well-known Soviet general secretary used to say, the aforementioned fatal abyss between the elites and the plebs of the world.
Criminal world will place at the top of the food chain, serving, even if subconsciously, as confirmation of its dominance
Accordingly, AI-controlled robotic life support systems designed for all categories of the planet“s population will eliminate the need for any kind of education for the lower class. The “revolution” performed by the “magician” Steve Jobs, that of replacing ordinary text with “icons,” “smiles” and other symbols, throwing us six thousand years back, will make the ability to merely read and write an absolutely optional skill for a large part of the world plebs. It is noteworthy that about 750 million people in the world today are illiterate, most of them living in the so-called third-world countries. This already constitutes rather a large part of our planet”s population, which means that with time, the number of those unable to read or write will just have to increase, which will be achieved, among other means, by introducing a fully digitized, online education system utilizing choice-based robotic educational programmеs. It is not impossible that a minimum set of knowledge needed to receive and process information will be transmitted via micro-RNA injections without any training. As the economist Paul Krugman once has said, “intelligent machines make intelligent people unnecessary.” This will inevitably entail permanent changes in the cerebral cortex of the human brain and affect its speech centres, like the Wernicke area and Broca’s area.
Along with this, the visual environment of the global favela, starting with tattoos on the body and ending with graffiti on the walls, will turn into an vast web of magical symbols and signs, and reading information from them will become the task of urban shamans and interpreters possessing special “talents and knowledge.” Then, all kinds of occult practices, white and black magic, healery, countless types of divination, spells and charms will flourish, with the most disgusting primeval rites and bloody rituals, springing forth from ancient times, reintegrating themselves into everyday life. Against the backdrop of a sharp decline in the education of the masses, the dominating invention of the fifth technological order dear to hearts of all Еarth’s people, namely, the internet with a free public access, will play its role of a sham replacement in the lives of the lower class, turning into a global information ghetto, where billions of users, without any traceable participation of the elites, will generate exabytes of fake news, while specially crafted algorithms will moderate information in such a way as to maintain an unstable balance between momentary anxiety for one”s life and hope for survival.
The fear in the face of an unseen viral threat that has recently earned a reliable reputation, will maintain the life interests of the world plebs on a level not exceeding a trivial desire not to die, with the vaccines virtually unavailable to the lower class and other means of fighting viral infections acquiring a sacred status, bearing traits of a semi-religious cult. Along with that, life duration as a notion will cease to exist, replaced by the vulgar concept of a late survival age.
The internet will turning into a global information ghetto, which will maintain into societal grassroots an unstable balance between momentary anxiety for one’s life and hope for survival
With the concept of the basic income introduced globally, the famous Marxist slogan, “The proletarians of the world, unite!”, will be replaced by something like, “The proles of the world, go to your favelas, do not interfere with the operation of robotics!” An equal destruction of basic income will inevitably bring back to life all joys of directed and planned economy, with all the necessary products manufactured strictly per person, without any marketing and all that promo jazz. It’s easy to guess that in that scenario, the government plan will be devised by AI. Undoubtedly, the “free cash” in the form of the basic income will quickly bring into play prowling gangs of thieves who will levy electronic and physical tribute on the lumpen free loaders, i.e., the population. This will create a microcosm of inequality in the depths of the lower class, with a hierarchy system springing forth on its level.
To avoid uncomfortable formation of complex strats, with their inevitable institutionalization, among the low layers of society, the elites will have to appeal to the use of the rigidly preserved brutal cave principles of the lower class self-regulation. For this purpose, the governance of the global favela will be, according to the already mentioned “law of the jungle,” delegated to the multiple “jokers,” which, in all actuality, will, for the low class societies, become the landmark of a victory of a global criminal revolution with the negative selection accompanying it. The maximum penned by the (in)famous Marquis de Sade will become a societal norm for the low class. It says: “The one who’s stronger will always find just that which the one who is weak deems unjust.” In other words, formerly an avant-garde of bourgeois revolutions, the criminal institution, armed to the teeth by the same bourgeoisie due to the results STP, will monopolize power in the lower societal stratum.
The fact that this is easily feasible is confirmed by the rich experience of the Bolshevik usurpation of power on the territory of the former Russian Empire, followed by the emergence of despotisms around the world in the countries of the so-called socialist camp, the Chinese cultural revolution, and finally, the apotheosis of negative selection on the post-Soviet territory over the rather recent “dashing 1990s.” Neither Khrushchev“s ‘thaw” nor Gorbachev”s “Perestroika” were able to change the basic paradigm of Sovietism — i.e., the same negative selection — as the core constructive principle behind pyramids of power. At the same time, it is the latest experience of criminal management of societies that suddenly reveals that there is no longer any need to hide behind any Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist-Stalinist talk. Life itself provides unfailing proof of flawless operation of a rather basic principle worded in the cinematic post-Soviet masterpiece of the director Sergei Solovyov: “The one who is angrier, is also the one who’s right.’ In this sense, it becomes obvious that socialism is only an intermediate link between the bourgeois and the criminal revolutions. The mechanics of the global criminal revolution, set in motion in the days of the French Revolution, have never stopped, and are gaining a second wind today thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic with its unprecedentedly tough quarantine measures, the closure of international borders and a general drop in standards of living of the vast numbers of the population around the world. (Concerning the borders: as the elites assume anonymity, the borders between states and the boundaries of their internal administrative division will turn into a tool for delimiting the zones of influence of big individual criminal communities; the holy cow of democracy — local self-governance — will pass into the hands of the so-called “watchers.”) Total absence of employment of the world plebs, imminently stabilized by the criminal regulatory mechanism will become the basis for the formation and existence of an egalitarian classless society in comparison with which the Soviet system will look like merely the first man-made timid attempt at creating such a society.
The governance of the global favela will be delegated to the multiple “jokers,” which will, for the low class societies, become the landmark of a victory of a global criminal revolution
However, none of the above will acquire a relevance in the everyday life of the human population until the expressions of elite freedom and comfort become completely inaccessible and utterly non-permissible for the lower class. Elite habitats, protected by information-and-energy domes extending into the stratosphere, won’t be traceable even on Google maps that provide an allegedly impartial picture of everything on the Earth from space. Instead, smartphones and computer screens will display ordinary landscapes of wild nature. Should anyone from the lower class dare try to approach these secret zones, the reaction to such an intrusion will be immediate and ruthless. A technical application of the principle of quantum teleportation will instantly eject the physical body of that pathetic loser as a mess of atoms into the vast nameless space, and the memory of his existence will be erased from public consciousness in the same instant.
But, before the life of the human population reaches this point, it will have to go through a test extremely familiar to mankind. A test that each time accelerates the transition from one technological mode to another. This test is a war of all against all; in other words, a world war.
This will be the most unprecedented war in history — the joystick war led from underground bunkers by means of remotely controlled hosts of combat drones of all conceivable and inconceivable sizes, modifications, and purposes. It has not yet begun only because the world superpowers have not yet stuffed their military arsenals with amounts of such weapons that would by far exceed the actual need for them. It must be understood that this time it will not be armies of military unions fighting against other armies, but robotics-controlled combat systems fighting against poorly armed humans. The effectiveness of non-contact drone warfare will be so high that it will make the use of nuclear weapons practically unnecessary. In its essence, it will be a war of the world elites with the world plebs. (Side note: before the start of this war, the UN will be dissolved — out of decency concerns).
Once this act of global opposition is completed, the key phase of the elites' anonymisation will arrive, with them taking the best, and the safest in terms of habitation, areas on our planet. In the beginning, the fighter drones remaining after the big war in sufficient quantities, will become a temporary, yet also a quite reliable auxiliary defence that will enable the elites to fight back on all of the attempts by the lower class to interfere with their orderly existence and strife for supreme cutting-edge technologies. Along with that, all anxieties expressed by Francis Fukuyama concerning the unipolar world crisis. The dominant pole will simply turn from the physical “supreme society” (term by A. Zinoviev) as the pinnacle of the “golden billion” will relocate into the virtual environment that from then on will be represented by impersonal AI, that is, the electronic “smoke pillar” that will hide the ruling class from all eyes.
The effectiveness of non-contact drone warfare will be so high that it will make the use of nuclear weapons practically unnecessary
And now, let us describe the future habitats of the elites and their life in them. By the way, the architecture of elite environments, if it may be called so, will be distinguished by a strife to bodilessness against which even the parametric masterpieces created by Zaha Khadid will look like coarse specimens of barbaric brutality. The elite zones will connect between themselves by means if Elon Musk“s supersonic Hyperloops. Inside, the areas will be equipped by various noiseless and safe means of transportation. The use of renewable energy, ecological consciousness at its best, a mode of life adjusted with mathematical precision, including means if providing all pleasures conceivable without any psychosomatic damage whatsoever — all of this will become an integral part of the elites life in the areas of their residence. Food consumption in its traditional sense will gradually be replaced by certain alternative safe options will not deprive the eater of its enjoyment, but will, on the contrary, increase it. This isn’t the main thing, however.
The main thing is that the world elites consisting of tens thousands of families acquire physiological immortality or, at the very least, an ability to live for hundreds of years, a privilege that will be exclusively inherited, throwing billions of people into the abyss of a meaningless existence. Real microchips and vaccines will be not for countless crowds of the poor across the planet, but for the elect representatives of the elite clans. The injection of elite microchips will in a sense be likened to being knighted. Immortality will make final and irreversible the necessity of making the lives of the elites invisible, and the ruling class, anonymous. The main antagonist of the mini-series “The Third Force. The Egregor if the Tambourine”, the great and terrible fictional oligarch Glotov, rightly confesses that the gain of immortality feeds the fear of death even more, and the only way to conquer that fear comes through unlimited and invisible power, through ruling the whole world in its entirety.
(What we have described differs vastly from the many utopian and anti-utopian forecasts that exist today, like for example, “The Future”, a work by Dmitri Glukhovsky that talks about immortality becoming available to billions of people living on Earth. Why, however, would unemployed lower class be given such a precious gift — and, ultimately, who is going to bestow it on them?)
The thousands of families acquire physiological immortality, throwing billions of people into the abyss of a meaningless existence
And, finally, the elites will stop using money. In the mid-term perspective it will become unnecessary. The convergent NBIC technologies will foresee new, perfectly balanced means of resource management providing the highest consumer quality combined with inexhaustible creativity, while on the world of the mortals any exchange will be carried out through utilizing blockchains of electronic currencies that will be a residue exchange instrument formerly used by the elites. The elites will cease to charge the plebs any rent, taxes and other fees, as they will have no need for a resource and energy supply from the lower class. With taxation ceasing to exist as an institution, the meta-narrative dominating the modern discourse of taxpayers hiring the ruling class to carry out state and social administration, will vanish as well. An automated anonymous governance of the lower class that will give them an illusion of being completely self-governed by means of the aforementioned “cave principles” of the criminal vertical power construction, will leave no room for illusions of some sort of mutual obligations between the ruling class and society. The fear of the powerful and ruthless criminal world that will then be the only face if governmental power, will become the only instrument of self-organization of the lower class. In this light, the popular survival video games full of chasing and shooting in virtual streets and cities are a prerequisite and means of preparing the onset of the reality where the city environment will be likened to a jungle where the strongest, the most nimble and the most ruthless will have the highest chance at survival, which will bring the cult of masculinity and the patriarchal philosophy back into the forefront.
Quantum supercomputers located in the long-privatized sectors of the Moon (I will talk about them below) will make the technological advantage of the elites having completely detached themselves from the rest of the human population, non-monetizable as no equivalent by which this qualitative, and not quantitative, advantage, will be measured, will be in existence. Remember the popular sci-fi movie “In Time" starring Justin Timberlake where his character receives millions of hours of life as a gift and penetrates into the areas inhabited exclusively by the elites? The digital currencies such plebeians use will never, and under no circumstances, be convertible into, let’s say, quantum, or cubit, instruments of using and exchanging resources. The only remaining means providing the illusion of being in luck, will be the familiar lotteries and gambling. The digitised world will forever remain the lot of the mere mortals.
“There’s an island in the sea; on the island, stands and oak tree. Under the tree, a chest is hid. In the chest, a rabbit sits. Inside the rabbit, is a duck, inside the duck, an egg; inside the egg, lies the needle, the death of Koschei-the immortal.”
Let us think about something. Why didn“t humans fly to the moon for long 50 years, but suddenly set their sights on doing this in 2024? What are permanent stations on the Moon required for? Informed minds have known all along that, while quantum technologies were being developed towards the required level, the elites had time to slowly and steadily divide among themselves the territories on the lunar surface, including the more expensive dark side of Earth”s satellite where the ambient temperature falls as low as –191C° by night. Locating paired quantum supercomputers that operate in extremely low-temperature (under –272C°) conditions on both sides of the Moon is much safer, and more convenient, than elsewhere. Each pair of such machines, their delivery and servicing on the Moon, must cost a few hundreds of millions of dollars. It is of extreme importance to consider that at least half a million tons of the Helium-3 isotope required to achieve such extreme cooling is found on lunar surface, while the amounts of the same cooling agent harvested on Earth don“t exceed a few dozens of grams per year, which makes the possibility of using quantum computers in the conditions of the earth completely dependent on the actual availability of this rare isotope on our planet. The personal supercomputers located on the Moon will be the very “needles inside the egg” able, apart from a number of other tasks, be able to transform, if necessary, the genomes of their owners into their bio-cybernetic clones, thus guaranteeing to the owners of those super-devices “Koshey”s immortality.” Let us try to calculate how many families, or dynasties, could afford such a luxury. Even if some clans pitch in to install their “chests of immortality” on the Moon, the price of an “entry ticket” into the realm of the immortal in the present day fiat equivalent will start from $200 million. And they are the very tens of thousands of families that I mentioned earlier. The fact alone that over 6 million of people own a piece of land on the Moon today doesn“t mean a thing. The good part of the lunar property will be purchased from them and placed solely in the hands of the elites, with the fate of the world”s lower class befalling all of their former owners.
The digitised world will forever remain the lot of the mere mortals
Perhaps, you will say that this image of the future is too dark and too frightening? No, not all. The situation isn’t as hopeless as it may seem. Nature itself will put a stop to the reproduction of the plebs worldwide. The meaninglessness of existence combined with the negative selection against the background of a significant evolutionary advantage of a small cluster of the population will bring about that which has happened countless times of the billions of years of organic evolution on our planet. The depopulation process will be triggered naturally, bringing on a reduction of the human population on Earth by a third.
(It is noteworthy to say that the frequent sexual harassment scandals in the world today are nothing but a form of our collective subconscious “metabolism”) that serves as a prerequisite to the aforesaid: the population has begun to tell itself: stop reproducing!)
As a result of this, human ant-hills will become empty, and implacable entropy will destroy them as unnecessary. Our planet will turn into a blossoming orchard where immortal post-human elites will partake of the privilege called life that will be facilitated by nanorobots operated by the power of thought.
To finish with, allow me to express a proposition that the behavioral foundation of the biological species called “homo sapiens” will undergo a qualitative change in 3 of its core inherent basic instincts: the reproduction instinct (passing the genome) will transform into endless prolongation of an individual“s life; the instinct of food consumption will be replaced by non-invasive methods of replenishing energy supplies and sustaining the individual”s physiological processes that will bring about a cardinal change of metabolism; the instinct of manifesting domination will transform into latent domination. This gives grounds for supposing that the notion of a “post-human” is today becoming not ultimately, and not as much, a philosophical term, or a publicist metaphor, as it indicates a possibility of a new biological species springing forth in a not-so-remote historical perspective that, it would seem, the daring Friedrich Nietzsche had dreamed of, heralding to the world one-and-a-half centuries ago of the coming forth “superman” that will in full right be nominated as homo melius — the perfected human.
This cyberpunk essay continues into our godspunk essay THE DEGENERATE IMMORTALS, OR DOOMED TO REMEMBER THE FUTURE, explaining that something similar has already happened to humanity in prehistoric times