Einstein once wrote that our technology has outevolved our humanity, but he didn’t seem much concerned about it. In his subsequent writings he appeared to be convinced that our humanity will catch up with technology. Einstein was wrong, it didn’t!
We are now witnessing how science – the mother of technology – is disassembling society and likely bringing it to extinction. How did we get here? It started when the academia turned its back on God through what one could call “intellectual liberation” (which ultimately led to the “sexual liberation” as well). It was when, as Richard Dawkins put it, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist”. Liberated from the spirit, matter did what it does best: decay. It was unavoidable that, once the spirit, which ensured matter’s transcendence over nothingness, was scientifically done with, materialism would lead into hedonism and ultimately extinction. Ideologically, this metamorphosis went from conservatism to Marxism via liberalism. Western-type academia is now firmly Marxist and it spawns radicals: communists and anarchists, all social activists par excellence. Is there anything to balance this? The Christian moral alternative is effectively ghettoized because organized Christian religion slept when it should have been wide awake and act. Now it whines and dies.
The long arm of this revolutionary change was and is the mass-media. Media and technology have a long and profitable love affair. But like in most materialistic love affairs, it was just a matter of time till it became a perversion; one that should be discernable to all. But is it? Look at the present: everybody talks about the role of social networking in the revolutionary movements that swept the north of Africa recently. Big words, big expectations and ecstatic media reports. Yet there is a major difference here, a perversion bound to morph into a monstrosity: it is now possible to have revolutions without proper leaders, ideologies, programs etc. “Change” is the buzz word, what comes after is more like fuzz parlance. Is this a good thing? Can this better the world? How? If a dictatorial regime is replaced by an ideological void, we’ll soon see Nietzsche staring at us from the abyss. And he’ll be wearing a turban!
The lesson of the Romanian revolution of 1989-1990 seems to have been completely forgotten. It was the first televised revolution ever, and that because the revolutionaries took over the state television before the revolution and bloodshed reached the peak. A whole country watched the revolution unfold live on the screen and very few saw the reality in the streets; one quite different from the televised history. Recently in Egypt the revolution was broadcast through social networking and it therefore involved only a minority of savvies. Does anyone know what rural Egypt thinks about Tahrir square? Does it even know where it is? And what will these social networking “Mensheviks” do next? This time there are no “Bolsheviks” to threaten them. There is The Muslim Brotherhood though…
I am afraid that Darwin’s long arm has reached into the 21st century’s historical matrix. In one of those strange yet delightful ironies of history, the words uttered in 1974 by the French socialist and Minister of Cultural Affairs André Malraux have a fresh new meaning: “The 21st century will be religious or will not be at all”. Humanist solutions to society had a whole century – the 20th – to prove themselves. And prove they did, by making it the bloodiest century in the history of mankind! So, what’s next? Where do we go from here? I guess it’s anyone’s guess but one thing is certain to me: Malraux was right.