Wednesday, 01 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

The Human Hill: A Scary Urban Legend

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:36 By Sergei Morozov, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

An ant hill is a complicated construction, in which an equally complicated colony lives. But who rules the ant hill? No one does. Ants have no consciousness. They are biological mechanisms programmed from birth. The program specifies an algorithm while the ant's body merely obeys this algorithm. Ants never learn. They are born with inherent abilities. These abilities were formed a long time before, and when born an ant acquires them as a heritage of bygone processes, as an instant of momentum. An ant executes a built-in program when carrying pieces of wood or food, or attacking an enemy in accordance with its instructions, but it is never conscious of building an ant hill.

An ant is a biological machine in which an inherited momentum program is built. To see how it is with humans, first assume that free will really exists (philosophers, by the way, have not proven it yet). Thereafter, it is possible to consider to what extent it does. Ants have no free will while humans seem to have it.


However, sometimes it occurs that people lack it too. A human may have desires, but he is not always capable of making them come true. Or, on the contrary, a person may not have an articulated will, which can be easily achieved. Consequently, the human proves to have no free will at all. Neither does the ant. Then what should an ant-man do? Should he build a human hill?


Healthy instincts direct will: desires arise from instincts. Freud reduced the source of will to sexual urges; nevertheless, the latest discoveries have wider expanded the instinct base. If reduced to one thing only, which is wrong in general, a human being is in need of public acknowledgement, in other words, he longs for a social rank recognition. While sex and all other things are just an application to it.


Human energy defines the power of will manifestation. Besides, energy is a congenital value, which is related to health. If a man is sick, all his energy is wasted on the struggle against his illness. Therefore, no energy is left to struggle for recognition.


Life is content. To reveal itself, content needs a form. Life creates and accepts for itself various forms. It is a natural state of affairs. Man needs a skeleton; a nation needs a state. It is equally natural that life must have priority over these forms. Forms constitute supporting structures and supporting regulations. Eventually, these supporting elements change into restrictive ones. Besides, contradictions accumulating in the systems lead to the need of creating new complementary forms to support the old ones.


The form can even outlast the content. In the last centuries of the Roman Empire, there were almost no Romans left; barbarian legions were ruled by barbarian emperors, but the Empire still existed devoid of fundamental national content. It had turned into a pure form occupied by barbarians henceforth to become its content.


An ant hill is a form. An ant doesn't know that it builds an ant hill. But what does a human build? A human has built-in programs; so does an ant. Yet the ant hill is stronger than the ant. And the human hill is stronger than the human. The civilized human's biology is put on the back burner and replaced by his main program – the tradition. This tradition is inherited; so is the ant's program. Tradition is also a form - though some conservatives consider it in the sense of content.


 A house was built a long time ago in accordance with standards that have already passed into history. However, people still live in it. It's rather uncomfortable for them to live in houses the forms of which hardly correspond to the content of contemporary life. Yet they go on doing so for some reason. As a result, the uncomfortable form distorts the content of their lives. The same is true for some old cities, and even some countries.
One can hardly agree that driving to and from work two hours a day is a great idea. People would prefer to get to work on foot in ten minutes. Instead, they have to spend two hours on the way to work and home due to the customary form of life. It distorts their lives - absorbing their time, efforts and money. Nevertheless, there are many similar examples.


Contemporary civilization as it is formed is like an old house. It contains laws, regulations and rules that once used to make sense for someone or something. Who invented such abuse over people to make them spend two hours a day commuting? Nobody did. It is an outcome of momentum of processes that once used to be meaningful.


By what plan has the civilization been built? There was no plan. There was no architect either. The living culture of nations developed steadily responding to surrounding changes, new technologies and activities of other cultures. Civilization was formed based on the sum total of challenge responses. Yet the lack of an architect connects the concept of civilization with an ant hill. There was neither a plan, nor a conscious sense of building. Well, there were short periods of enlightenment when some people said: "Yes, we do create our national state and will build it on the following principles". However, these positive moments are unique against the background of unconscious history and refer to certain nations only, but not the whole civilization. The lack of a plan is a plan, too. It's the plan of the human hill.


A creature which keeps on getting stopped in its tracks in order not to fall down the tree, does not have any adaptive mechanisms to live in civilization. Interacting with civilization, human nature collapses. The longer a group of people stay in it, the more their human nature is ruined and the less capable they are to resist civilzation's destructive influence. This destruction causes the loss of biological qualities initially, then the absolute loss of natural quality at all. The formation of nations and civilizations is a socio-biological experiment which has been repeated for thousands of years and which will possibly lead to the formation of stable nations and civilizations. But not this time.


The human's driving forces are instincts and energy, their sublimation is expressed in creation of works of art. However, by means of its forms, civilization destroys the instinctive element of these forces. The energetic element is wasted when the human faces another challenge – the challenge of overcoming previously accumulated forms. When there are no instincts, there is no energy; that means there is no human either.
During its development process, a nation reacts to outside challenges, creating different forms. In the course of time, the numbers of forms rise exponentially. A nation, like a human being, is a living organism. As long as it is young and strong, it can dissemble useless forms. A strong living human content creates forms for itself. Yet a weak content is unable to overcome the pressure of existing forms. A weak nation does not dissemble forms, it conforms itself to the previously created ones.


Ants build ant hills only. Whatever human beings build, whichever society they plan to create, eventually it results in a human hill. The outlook is as follows: this final superform is as inevitable as the ant hill is. Life in the human hill adds up to a mechanism - not to the natural form of monkeys, but the unnatural mechanism of dead forms. As far as these dead forms are winning, the human hill appears to be doomed.


When people are incapable of proving themselves and their potential, they come to lose the element of their nature. When people are unable to show their worth, they cannot build a hierarchy according to natural principles, but are obliged to live in already formed inherited hierarchies built by cultural principles. When incorrect hierarchies are set up in a society, people cannot choose their right partners. That eventually leads to a snowballing degradation of human qualities.


Forms are reflected in the consciousness of many people and these people, devotedly following forms, say to an individual: "You must". Forms become cultural clichés and penetrate the consciousness. Hence, individuals begin to think the same way. People grow up within forms and acquire qualities of forms; their content alters.


As a result, instead of a human society defined by liberty and development, a strictly predetermined structural matrix is formed in which everyone has to perform their own programs in accordance with the resulting form. There is no freedom because there is not enough energy for choice, and this is the most tragic lack of freedom as it is insuperable from inside, but not superable from outside. A man who is not free does not need development. Consequently, the human hill becomes a natural environment for him. Meanwhile, liberty and free people begin to arouse suspicion.


"The decrease in instincts which are hostile and arouse mistrust—and that is all our 'progress' amounts to - represents but one of the consequences attending the general decrease in vitality: it requires a hundred times more trouble and caution to make so conditional and late an existence prevail."


So said Nietzsche. "Decrease in instincts" means general deterioration of human nature. There are no working instincts and no healthy human nature either. "Late" stands for the time in the life of civilization exactly when a burden of forms has been accumulated; "conditional" are those restrictive forms that civilization has been building for all its existence.


Nations are born small. The small have no momentum. They adapt and grow dramatically. However, simultaneously, they accumulate the momentum of forms.
It would be no trouble at all if England changed to the right hand traffic at the beginning of its motor transport history. Whereas it would look like a horror film if one could fancy it happening nowadays. However, it will never happen.


Forms act as structures, traditions, governmental institutions, laws, stocks of wealth, infrastructures, rules, relations between people, moral norms. Forms accumulate and swallow up the life with their large scale.


Within a civilization, different nations compete with each other. Eventually, the strongest nation wins and creates an empire.


The story of Genghis Khan goes to the time when people of the hostile tribe captured him and brought him to his knees. He was hardly thinking of a world empire when escaping with a wooden cangue around his neck across the plains. Hence, people of his tribe helped him, and after all, he conquered his enemies. Nevertheless, that process aroused new enemies. He had to find new allies. Allied warriors in their turn craved new booty. It was a vicious circle – new enemies, new allies, raids for new booty. This is how the Empire was formed without any planning.


The USA is the only world empire of nowadays. Was there any plan for creating it? No, there wasn't. Nobody planned it. The USA took chances all along, profited by conflicts between other superstates to increase its influence. There were no imperial plans, quite the contrary, a deliberately applied policy of non-intervention and isolationism distinguished the US during the beginning of the 20th century. Instead, the USА happened to have the strongest economy in the world. The world empire was added to the strongest economy in the world. It's neither good nor bad. It just so happened. The empire is an ultimately strict form existing in the scope of challenges. The momentum of an empire is insuperable. It is impossible to abandon it. To be an empire is destiny. The so-called "American imperialism" and "American expansion" are also insuperable things predetermined by the momentum of development, in other words, by fate. Apparently, purposeful activities may add or reduce 2% of "expansionism." Anyway, it is a matter of time – the pendulum is about to swing in the opposite direction.


The world empire is the greatest structure, or form, which is ever possible. The world empire is the superior limit. So what's beyond it? Nothing is. Its construction inevitably leads to the crises of senses; if beyond an empire there is a sense to destroy it, no more sense is left inside it at all.


The efficiency of production constantly grows. The growth of efficiency requires growth of specialization. The drive for the perfection, which is so typical for the modern societies, forces man to put all his efforts to reach the highest level of specialization and makes him become a cog in the machine, a so called "human cog." The rise of efficiency is accompanied by an anticipated fall in the quality of human material. In order to keep production and consumption in the human hill on the same level, efficiency has to grow constantly.


The consequence of efficiency is monopolization. It has been growing through the whole history of society. All the time, it has been destroying the small businesses. By the time the human hill has been built, the world will consist of oligarchs only alongside bureaucrats representing the middle class. Democracy may officially remain or even function - like it does in Russia - but insofar as there are no free people, it becomes meaningless.


Amongst all great ideas, the idea of increasing public welfare is left. It's quite a topical idea, taking into consideration the fact that this welfare is constantly decreasing in the human hill.


The arts disappear. Human cogs are highly specialized, thus, morally narrow-minded. Moreover, maintaining life in the struggle against excessive structures requires so much energy that no energy is left for the arts. People do not need each other; they are needed merely for functions they perform. People do not understand each other; their consciousness is entirely engaged with their functions. Therefore, any superstructure of basic life processes gradually deteriorates and is pulled down.


Society is considered to walk the path from non-freedom at the beginning of its formation to freedom in the end. But it appears to be the contrary. Free people create nations, almost free ones build empires, while people living in empires prove to be unfree. It is quite natural: forms accumulate and finally restrict freedoms. The more forms and structures accrue, the more regulations there are, and the more regulations there are, the less place is left for freedoms. Rome moved from Republic to Empire, but not vice versa, and ended up enslaving almost all free people, restricting freedom of movement and choice of activity, and afterward imposed a state religion eliminating the freedom of conscience.


However, a question arises whether people really care for freedom of conscience, or democracy, or liberty itself, if these concepts make no sense for them. The ant's main guideline is the ant hill; the ant feels rather uncomfortable without it. The ant hill makes an absolute sense for the ant. Everything else, and even life, is optional, if not superfluous. A human cog doesn't need liberty. As a cog, (s)he needs an exactly fixed place in the human hill.


The human hill is a system of organization of society where a person's function is reduced to performing their social function and where the sum of the functions performed leaves no space for liberty.


Ants build ant hills not because they want to but because that is the result of their performing their programs. The ant hill is the sum of programs performed by numerous ants. The transition to the human hill is a transition from conscious life to life directed by momentum – unconscious life reduced to the functions of an ant-human-cog being.
The ant is a cog. But the human can also become a cog. For example, the human can be chained to galley oars. Or (s)he can be placed in the latest civilization.


There are sayings that precisely express the zeitgeist. "Just do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter... To do what needs doing." Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher, who ruled in a time of transition to the human hill - in other words in a time analogous to our contemporary time, said it.


But what "needs doing" for the human? He must carry out his current duties, that is, follow momentum to become a cog in the machine or its "ant." Specialize – and Succeed! People are bound to go deeper into specialization, losing the ability of thinking in general categories. Liberty is always a general category.


For conservatives, the core value is tradition, while for liberals, it is freedom. However, cultural freedom derives from biological freedom, that is, from freedom of partner choice. It was noticed long ago that children born from love are the most beautiful, healthiest and smartest. Freedom is needed to provide freedom of love and to overcome class, material and other barriers. Freedom is not a luxury, freedom is ultimately necessary for survival.


The next step in the restriction of freedom is the impossibility of choice between good and evil. Certainly, they are relative, but at a certain time in the development of civilization, there arises the phenomenon of the "Banality of Evil" - when the evil option is perceived as a routine norm and the only possible option. "To do what needs doing"? In the human hill, everybody is to do "what needs doing," aren't they? Especially when there is no choice, no liberty.


"Do you see that precipice? Below it lies the road to liberty; do you see that sea? that river? that well? Liberty sits at the bottom of them. Do you see that tree? stunted, blighted, dried up though it be, yet liberty hangs from its branches. Do you see your own throat, your own neck, your own heart? They are so many ways of escape from slavery."
Seneca, a philosopher living earlier than Marcus Aurelius, and like Nietzsche predicting the loss of liberty ahead of time, said that. On the way to the human hill, the western world entered the stage of Nietzsche; nevertheless, it has not entered the stage of Seneca yet.


Christianity offered a more encouraging option. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." Although the first apocalyptic catacombous Christianity was a rather dismal religion reflecting the general atmosphere of the human hill, there was at least a glimmer of light in it, some liberty, some answer. The motivation of first Christians, as well as Stoic philosophers, can be perceived only through the comprehension of the human hill as a world where they used to live.


What is destiny? It is the sum total of instants of momentum. Destiny is the sum of insuperable forms, confining the development of life. In this view, destiny is a factor even in a materialistic approach. Therefore, it appears to be a political factor as well.
Small systems can be governed by will. Large systems can be governed only by momentum. The art of governing large systems consists in the knowledge and ability of using these instants of momentum. It's good when a small ant hill grows and becomes big. However, a big ant hill overgrows itself – its balances get upset; that causes damp spots and makes it moldy and eventually the overgrown anthill becomes rotten.
A large system cannot change the development of its direction, which comes to be the direction of degradation. All large systems have the same destiny. They are hardly ever destroyed. They all grow rotten.


The human hill continues to be built and is sure to get built. Nevertheless, the building hasn't finished yet. That means there is time to seek solutions. Everything happens the way it has always happened. The only difference is a higher speed of information exchange made possible due to new technologies.


Both the Fascist and Communist totalitarian regimes represent attempts to accelerate time to get to the future. Characteristic features of the ant hill are clearly tracked in those regimes. The human hill will exist under socialism, but the modern dreamer will be definitely disappointed with this kind of socialism. It will be socialism with a number of negative add-ons such as governmental ideology, small-minded regulation of life, dominant bureaucracy.


Somebody may be for socialism, somebody may be against, but socialism is the destiny of civilization. It is inevitable, on the one hand, and disappointing, on the other, for it comes in the time of weakened human content and because of the weakening of this content. The Roman Empire passed through the period of socialism, so did Chinese Empires several times, the last country to do so was Russia. Socialism is inevitably followed by Dark Ages – the times when the beginnings of new nations emerge and where history starts again.


People in civilizations think of global issues no more than ants think of their ant hills. Human cogs think in cogs. Science is almost completely brought to reductionism. What is the human hill for? Let Marcus Aurelius answer to this question. "To do what needs doing": drag your piece of leaf.


Nevertheless, this state of affairs does not suit everybody. If ants do not know what a bulldozer is, some people are exactly aware of global challenges. When the environment tends to transform the human into a cog or an ant, the first step that raises him above the position of a cog is critical comprehension of this environment. However, the main challenge is the coming human hill.


The one who runs counter to destiny always loses. There are things which are impossible to overcome. One should feel when destiny is inevitable and when will is adequate to win. It is not worth dying for liberty when it is doomed.


Unification needs to be contrasted with diversity. The more beginnings of liberty there are, the more chances there are for some of them to survive. Well, evil also needs to be supported. For if there is no choice of evil, there is no choice of good either. It will just lead to the human hill.


Any attempt to make an ant-man come out of apathy causes his aggression. It is quite natural, as an ant-man does not see himself in another capacity, but as an ant-man. "Let him drag his piece of leaf." There is no sense in trying to awaken the world; it is certainly in vain. Anyway, it will die when asleep. But what does its death mean? Its death is merely the death of its forms. The living content digested by the human hill dies much earlier; the intact one never dies at all. It's a natural process of sorting out the dead and the living. Death gives space for life.


The ant hill is bigger and stronger than the ant. But is it smarter? No, surely it's not. And the human hill is not as smart as the human is. The human hill is doomed, though some people, unlike ants, can survive even under its ruins. The majority can hardly be awakened. However, there is hope for a few.


Meanwhile, one can only observe and analyze. And sometimes contemplating on the development of reality it is wise to make a note as follows: "Human hill activity detected".

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Sergei Morozov

Sergei Morozov is a social philosopher, evolutionary psychologist, sociobiologist, and author of Sex and Rank. Modern Man's Ancient Programs.


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The Human Hill: A Scary Urban Legend

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 13:36 By Sergei Morozov, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

An ant hill is a complicated construction, in which an equally complicated colony lives. But who rules the ant hill? No one does. Ants have no consciousness. They are biological mechanisms programmed from birth. The program specifies an algorithm while the ant's body merely obeys this algorithm. Ants never learn. They are born with inherent abilities. These abilities were formed a long time before, and when born an ant acquires them as a heritage of bygone processes, as an instant of momentum. An ant executes a built-in program when carrying pieces of wood or food, or attacking an enemy in accordance with its instructions, but it is never conscious of building an ant hill.

An ant is a biological machine in which an inherited momentum program is built. To see how it is with humans, first assume that free will really exists (philosophers, by the way, have not proven it yet). Thereafter, it is possible to consider to what extent it does. Ants have no free will while humans seem to have it.


However, sometimes it occurs that people lack it too. A human may have desires, but he is not always capable of making them come true. Or, on the contrary, a person may not have an articulated will, which can be easily achieved. Consequently, the human proves to have no free will at all. Neither does the ant. Then what should an ant-man do? Should he build a human hill?


Healthy instincts direct will: desires arise from instincts. Freud reduced the source of will to sexual urges; nevertheless, the latest discoveries have wider expanded the instinct base. If reduced to one thing only, which is wrong in general, a human being is in need of public acknowledgement, in other words, he longs for a social rank recognition. While sex and all other things are just an application to it.


Human energy defines the power of will manifestation. Besides, energy is a congenital value, which is related to health. If a man is sick, all his energy is wasted on the struggle against his illness. Therefore, no energy is left to struggle for recognition.


Life is content. To reveal itself, content needs a form. Life creates and accepts for itself various forms. It is a natural state of affairs. Man needs a skeleton; a nation needs a state. It is equally natural that life must have priority over these forms. Forms constitute supporting structures and supporting regulations. Eventually, these supporting elements change into restrictive ones. Besides, contradictions accumulating in the systems lead to the need of creating new complementary forms to support the old ones.


The form can even outlast the content. In the last centuries of the Roman Empire, there were almost no Romans left; barbarian legions were ruled by barbarian emperors, but the Empire still existed devoid of fundamental national content. It had turned into a pure form occupied by barbarians henceforth to become its content.


An ant hill is a form. An ant doesn't know that it builds an ant hill. But what does a human build? A human has built-in programs; so does an ant. Yet the ant hill is stronger than the ant. And the human hill is stronger than the human. The civilized human's biology is put on the back burner and replaced by his main program – the tradition. This tradition is inherited; so is the ant's program. Tradition is also a form - though some conservatives consider it in the sense of content.


 A house was built a long time ago in accordance with standards that have already passed into history. However, people still live in it. It's rather uncomfortable for them to live in houses the forms of which hardly correspond to the content of contemporary life. Yet they go on doing so for some reason. As a result, the uncomfortable form distorts the content of their lives. The same is true for some old cities, and even some countries.
One can hardly agree that driving to and from work two hours a day is a great idea. People would prefer to get to work on foot in ten minutes. Instead, they have to spend two hours on the way to work and home due to the customary form of life. It distorts their lives - absorbing their time, efforts and money. Nevertheless, there are many similar examples.


Contemporary civilization as it is formed is like an old house. It contains laws, regulations and rules that once used to make sense for someone or something. Who invented such abuse over people to make them spend two hours a day commuting? Nobody did. It is an outcome of momentum of processes that once used to be meaningful.


By what plan has the civilization been built? There was no plan. There was no architect either. The living culture of nations developed steadily responding to surrounding changes, new technologies and activities of other cultures. Civilization was formed based on the sum total of challenge responses. Yet the lack of an architect connects the concept of civilization with an ant hill. There was neither a plan, nor a conscious sense of building. Well, there were short periods of enlightenment when some people said: "Yes, we do create our national state and will build it on the following principles". However, these positive moments are unique against the background of unconscious history and refer to certain nations only, but not the whole civilization. The lack of a plan is a plan, too. It's the plan of the human hill.


A creature which keeps on getting stopped in its tracks in order not to fall down the tree, does not have any adaptive mechanisms to live in civilization. Interacting with civilization, human nature collapses. The longer a group of people stay in it, the more their human nature is ruined and the less capable they are to resist civilzation's destructive influence. This destruction causes the loss of biological qualities initially, then the absolute loss of natural quality at all. The formation of nations and civilizations is a socio-biological experiment which has been repeated for thousands of years and which will possibly lead to the formation of stable nations and civilizations. But not this time.


The human's driving forces are instincts and energy, their sublimation is expressed in creation of works of art. However, by means of its forms, civilization destroys the instinctive element of these forces. The energetic element is wasted when the human faces another challenge – the challenge of overcoming previously accumulated forms. When there are no instincts, there is no energy; that means there is no human either.
During its development process, a nation reacts to outside challenges, creating different forms. In the course of time, the numbers of forms rise exponentially. A nation, like a human being, is a living organism. As long as it is young and strong, it can dissemble useless forms. A strong living human content creates forms for itself. Yet a weak content is unable to overcome the pressure of existing forms. A weak nation does not dissemble forms, it conforms itself to the previously created ones.


Ants build ant hills only. Whatever human beings build, whichever society they plan to create, eventually it results in a human hill. The outlook is as follows: this final superform is as inevitable as the ant hill is. Life in the human hill adds up to a mechanism - not to the natural form of monkeys, but the unnatural mechanism of dead forms. As far as these dead forms are winning, the human hill appears to be doomed.


When people are incapable of proving themselves and their potential, they come to lose the element of their nature. When people are unable to show their worth, they cannot build a hierarchy according to natural principles, but are obliged to live in already formed inherited hierarchies built by cultural principles. When incorrect hierarchies are set up in a society, people cannot choose their right partners. That eventually leads to a snowballing degradation of human qualities.


Forms are reflected in the consciousness of many people and these people, devotedly following forms, say to an individual: "You must". Forms become cultural clichés and penetrate the consciousness. Hence, individuals begin to think the same way. People grow up within forms and acquire qualities of forms; their content alters.


As a result, instead of a human society defined by liberty and development, a strictly predetermined structural matrix is formed in which everyone has to perform their own programs in accordance with the resulting form. There is no freedom because there is not enough energy for choice, and this is the most tragic lack of freedom as it is insuperable from inside, but not superable from outside. A man who is not free does not need development. Consequently, the human hill becomes a natural environment for him. Meanwhile, liberty and free people begin to arouse suspicion.


"The decrease in instincts which are hostile and arouse mistrust—and that is all our 'progress' amounts to - represents but one of the consequences attending the general decrease in vitality: it requires a hundred times more trouble and caution to make so conditional and late an existence prevail."


So said Nietzsche. "Decrease in instincts" means general deterioration of human nature. There are no working instincts and no healthy human nature either. "Late" stands for the time in the life of civilization exactly when a burden of forms has been accumulated; "conditional" are those restrictive forms that civilization has been building for all its existence.


Nations are born small. The small have no momentum. They adapt and grow dramatically. However, simultaneously, they accumulate the momentum of forms.
It would be no trouble at all if England changed to the right hand traffic at the beginning of its motor transport history. Whereas it would look like a horror film if one could fancy it happening nowadays. However, it will never happen.


Forms act as structures, traditions, governmental institutions, laws, stocks of wealth, infrastructures, rules, relations between people, moral norms. Forms accumulate and swallow up the life with their large scale.


Within a civilization, different nations compete with each other. Eventually, the strongest nation wins and creates an empire.


The story of Genghis Khan goes to the time when people of the hostile tribe captured him and brought him to his knees. He was hardly thinking of a world empire when escaping with a wooden cangue around his neck across the plains. Hence, people of his tribe helped him, and after all, he conquered his enemies. Nevertheless, that process aroused new enemies. He had to find new allies. Allied warriors in their turn craved new booty. It was a vicious circle – new enemies, new allies, raids for new booty. This is how the Empire was formed without any planning.


The USA is the only world empire of nowadays. Was there any plan for creating it? No, there wasn't. Nobody planned it. The USA took chances all along, profited by conflicts between other superstates to increase its influence. There were no imperial plans, quite the contrary, a deliberately applied policy of non-intervention and isolationism distinguished the US during the beginning of the 20th century. Instead, the USА happened to have the strongest economy in the world. The world empire was added to the strongest economy in the world. It's neither good nor bad. It just so happened. The empire is an ultimately strict form existing in the scope of challenges. The momentum of an empire is insuperable. It is impossible to abandon it. To be an empire is destiny. The so-called "American imperialism" and "American expansion" are also insuperable things predetermined by the momentum of development, in other words, by fate. Apparently, purposeful activities may add or reduce 2% of "expansionism." Anyway, it is a matter of time – the pendulum is about to swing in the opposite direction.


The world empire is the greatest structure, or form, which is ever possible. The world empire is the superior limit. So what's beyond it? Nothing is. Its construction inevitably leads to the crises of senses; if beyond an empire there is a sense to destroy it, no more sense is left inside it at all.


The efficiency of production constantly grows. The growth of efficiency requires growth of specialization. The drive for the perfection, which is so typical for the modern societies, forces man to put all his efforts to reach the highest level of specialization and makes him become a cog in the machine, a so called "human cog." The rise of efficiency is accompanied by an anticipated fall in the quality of human material. In order to keep production and consumption in the human hill on the same level, efficiency has to grow constantly.


The consequence of efficiency is monopolization. It has been growing through the whole history of society. All the time, it has been destroying the small businesses. By the time the human hill has been built, the world will consist of oligarchs only alongside bureaucrats representing the middle class. Democracy may officially remain or even function - like it does in Russia - but insofar as there are no free people, it becomes meaningless.


Amongst all great ideas, the idea of increasing public welfare is left. It's quite a topical idea, taking into consideration the fact that this welfare is constantly decreasing in the human hill.


The arts disappear. Human cogs are highly specialized, thus, morally narrow-minded. Moreover, maintaining life in the struggle against excessive structures requires so much energy that no energy is left for the arts. People do not need each other; they are needed merely for functions they perform. People do not understand each other; their consciousness is entirely engaged with their functions. Therefore, any superstructure of basic life processes gradually deteriorates and is pulled down.


Society is considered to walk the path from non-freedom at the beginning of its formation to freedom in the end. But it appears to be the contrary. Free people create nations, almost free ones build empires, while people living in empires prove to be unfree. It is quite natural: forms accumulate and finally restrict freedoms. The more forms and structures accrue, the more regulations there are, and the more regulations there are, the less place is left for freedoms. Rome moved from Republic to Empire, but not vice versa, and ended up enslaving almost all free people, restricting freedom of movement and choice of activity, and afterward imposed a state religion eliminating the freedom of conscience.


However, a question arises whether people really care for freedom of conscience, or democracy, or liberty itself, if these concepts make no sense for them. The ant's main guideline is the ant hill; the ant feels rather uncomfortable without it. The ant hill makes an absolute sense for the ant. Everything else, and even life, is optional, if not superfluous. A human cog doesn't need liberty. As a cog, (s)he needs an exactly fixed place in the human hill.


The human hill is a system of organization of society where a person's function is reduced to performing their social function and where the sum of the functions performed leaves no space for liberty.


Ants build ant hills not because they want to but because that is the result of their performing their programs. The ant hill is the sum of programs performed by numerous ants. The transition to the human hill is a transition from conscious life to life directed by momentum – unconscious life reduced to the functions of an ant-human-cog being.
The ant is a cog. But the human can also become a cog. For example, the human can be chained to galley oars. Or (s)he can be placed in the latest civilization.


There are sayings that precisely express the zeitgeist. "Just do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter... To do what needs doing." Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher, who ruled in a time of transition to the human hill - in other words in a time analogous to our contemporary time, said it.


But what "needs doing" for the human? He must carry out his current duties, that is, follow momentum to become a cog in the machine or its "ant." Specialize – and Succeed! People are bound to go deeper into specialization, losing the ability of thinking in general categories. Liberty is always a general category.


For conservatives, the core value is tradition, while for liberals, it is freedom. However, cultural freedom derives from biological freedom, that is, from freedom of partner choice. It was noticed long ago that children born from love are the most beautiful, healthiest and smartest. Freedom is needed to provide freedom of love and to overcome class, material and other barriers. Freedom is not a luxury, freedom is ultimately necessary for survival.


The next step in the restriction of freedom is the impossibility of choice between good and evil. Certainly, they are relative, but at a certain time in the development of civilization, there arises the phenomenon of the "Banality of Evil" - when the evil option is perceived as a routine norm and the only possible option. "To do what needs doing"? In the human hill, everybody is to do "what needs doing," aren't they? Especially when there is no choice, no liberty.


"Do you see that precipice? Below it lies the road to liberty; do you see that sea? that river? that well? Liberty sits at the bottom of them. Do you see that tree? stunted, blighted, dried up though it be, yet liberty hangs from its branches. Do you see your own throat, your own neck, your own heart? They are so many ways of escape from slavery."
Seneca, a philosopher living earlier than Marcus Aurelius, and like Nietzsche predicting the loss of liberty ahead of time, said that. On the way to the human hill, the western world entered the stage of Nietzsche; nevertheless, it has not entered the stage of Seneca yet.


Christianity offered a more encouraging option. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." Although the first apocalyptic catacombous Christianity was a rather dismal religion reflecting the general atmosphere of the human hill, there was at least a glimmer of light in it, some liberty, some answer. The motivation of first Christians, as well as Stoic philosophers, can be perceived only through the comprehension of the human hill as a world where they used to live.


What is destiny? It is the sum total of instants of momentum. Destiny is the sum of insuperable forms, confining the development of life. In this view, destiny is a factor even in a materialistic approach. Therefore, it appears to be a political factor as well.
Small systems can be governed by will. Large systems can be governed only by momentum. The art of governing large systems consists in the knowledge and ability of using these instants of momentum. It's good when a small ant hill grows and becomes big. However, a big ant hill overgrows itself – its balances get upset; that causes damp spots and makes it moldy and eventually the overgrown anthill becomes rotten.
A large system cannot change the development of its direction, which comes to be the direction of degradation. All large systems have the same destiny. They are hardly ever destroyed. They all grow rotten.


The human hill continues to be built and is sure to get built. Nevertheless, the building hasn't finished yet. That means there is time to seek solutions. Everything happens the way it has always happened. The only difference is a higher speed of information exchange made possible due to new technologies.


Both the Fascist and Communist totalitarian regimes represent attempts to accelerate time to get to the future. Characteristic features of the ant hill are clearly tracked in those regimes. The human hill will exist under socialism, but the modern dreamer will be definitely disappointed with this kind of socialism. It will be socialism with a number of negative add-ons such as governmental ideology, small-minded regulation of life, dominant bureaucracy.


Somebody may be for socialism, somebody may be against, but socialism is the destiny of civilization. It is inevitable, on the one hand, and disappointing, on the other, for it comes in the time of weakened human content and because of the weakening of this content. The Roman Empire passed through the period of socialism, so did Chinese Empires several times, the last country to do so was Russia. Socialism is inevitably followed by Dark Ages – the times when the beginnings of new nations emerge and where history starts again.


People in civilizations think of global issues no more than ants think of their ant hills. Human cogs think in cogs. Science is almost completely brought to reductionism. What is the human hill for? Let Marcus Aurelius answer to this question. "To do what needs doing": drag your piece of leaf.


Nevertheless, this state of affairs does not suit everybody. If ants do not know what a bulldozer is, some people are exactly aware of global challenges. When the environment tends to transform the human into a cog or an ant, the first step that raises him above the position of a cog is critical comprehension of this environment. However, the main challenge is the coming human hill.


The one who runs counter to destiny always loses. There are things which are impossible to overcome. One should feel when destiny is inevitable and when will is adequate to win. It is not worth dying for liberty when it is doomed.


Unification needs to be contrasted with diversity. The more beginnings of liberty there are, the more chances there are for some of them to survive. Well, evil also needs to be supported. For if there is no choice of evil, there is no choice of good either. It will just lead to the human hill.


Any attempt to make an ant-man come out of apathy causes his aggression. It is quite natural, as an ant-man does not see himself in another capacity, but as an ant-man. "Let him drag his piece of leaf." There is no sense in trying to awaken the world; it is certainly in vain. Anyway, it will die when asleep. But what does its death mean? Its death is merely the death of its forms. The living content digested by the human hill dies much earlier; the intact one never dies at all. It's a natural process of sorting out the dead and the living. Death gives space for life.


The ant hill is bigger and stronger than the ant. But is it smarter? No, surely it's not. And the human hill is not as smart as the human is. The human hill is doomed, though some people, unlike ants, can survive even under its ruins. The majority can hardly be awakened. However, there is hope for a few.


Meanwhile, one can only observe and analyze. And sometimes contemplating on the development of reality it is wise to make a note as follows: "Human hill activity detected".

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Sergei Morozov

Sergei Morozov is a social philosopher, evolutionary psychologist, sociobiologist, and author of Sex and Rank. Modern Man's Ancient Programs.


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