The Vain Technology
Empty fruits of advance
Can science and engineering/technology really ease our life or only new troubles can appear as a result of development of it? Why new technologies have been being applied in industry and labour productivity has been increasing for more than century, but people have to work so much as in the past? Why workday isn’t being reduced anywhere, but instead of it people are making and selling more and more things which were needless before? Why at work I shall can earn more money in same work time (may be), but I shall not can work less for same money?
History of first sewing-machines invented in England may help to find answers to these questions. Those machines were very primitive in comparison with modern sewing-machines. But even at that time one sewer could work faster than several needlewomen. First sewing-machine could save man-hours more than required for designing, making and servicing.
What was in result? Sewers burned those machines and almost killed inventor! Suddenly it had become profitable for owner of textile mill to dismiss several needlewomen and hire one machine-sewer instead. Why owner hadn’t reduced workday for workers if they could have their job made for same money in lesser time? What he had to loss? What others had to lost? Nothing.
But greed dispatched a manufacture owner in chase of highest possible profit and he saw only possibilities of reduction of expenses and costs. He had decreased number of employees and didn’t change production volume.
Or course, this dismissal would have had future negative consequences for owner of textile mill too. It would have caused a sales slowdown by way of long chain of economic relations. The unemployed are not big buyers.
But it is not a most terrible thing. An owner may be “a good man” and may not dismiss anybody, and may allow leaving work earlier. But sooner or later “not so good” competitor of this textile mill owner will have appeared and started sell more textile by price-cutting. And “good” businessman will have choice: to do all as “not good” competitors doing or to go to smash.
The System of capitalist competition works and dictates one's will. Personal will of one man has progressively less significance. Even will of owner of enterprise. Even will of powerful administrative official. It needless to say about wage earners. Proletarian will agree with anything to not lose one's work.
Reasonings above are not new and I don’t pretend to be an author. But sometimes I hear: “Now is not time of Karl Marks; now all are otherwise”, “Every man finds a earn and nobody dies of starvation”, “In socialist countries people are compelled to work all day too, and it can’t be in different ways”, “Scientist will invent something, politicians will decide something. They will not let us die, really”.
Really, what do politicians deciding? Politicians which allegedly are above economic competition and defend national and state interests? They think out how to employ more and more people at not very necessary jobs.
Competitive struggle between states is worse than economic competition. And speaks Sovereign to his people: “I see you have worked hard, and you already have food, clothes and houses. Let do weapons to protect our Motherland. Do so many as you can, because the defence can not be excessive”.
War is like an insatiable monster. Any amount of any resources will be insufficient for it. This monster can devour up to whole planet and not choke with it.
In USSR was no open economic competition inside country, but it impossible to forget about cruel competitive struggle named “cold war”. All whole USSR was involved in it like a big corporation. Therefore, if somewhere people or material resources could be released than military industry consumed it. Science and technologies could not really lighten the work and the life of people at that times and can not do it now.
Another popular method of excessive work making is official circumlocution. Accounting, inspection, constantly changing laws and rulers… Oh, there are no limitations for rubbish! It may be that every hammer strike requires ten papers written. It may be a hundred papers for each hammer strike, no problem.
So none of enterprises, even small enterprises, now can manage without professional accountant who can’t work without computer with special software. Also, there are firms which are helping with it: consulting, printing paper forms, selling and servicing hardware and software. And how many computers, papers, furniture, buildings and other things administrative officials need?
Millions of workplaces already created for "paper servicing". More and more can be created in future. But if excessive paper turnover will be cancelled, what will all of these people do, especially in modern Russia? Usually all work places at oil-and-gas production are taken.Workplaces at not numerous really working manufacturing and trade firms are taken too.
Which choices do they have? To train skills as unskilled workers in the construction plant? Or to escape from cities and try to have experience in subsistence farming (if they can survive it, or course)?
State could have paid out doles to all of them with same practical result. In that case, all were clear for all. But now it’s seems that they do socially useful work.
To my knowledge, from one-third up to one-half of workers in modern Russia employed not in real making of things required for most of people but in all types of “running about paper” (officials, accountants, managers and other office people, or adjacent to they, or somebody like they).
Third source of people’s employment is cultivation of artificial material needs those have no limitations too. Advertisement, fashion and new life conditions convincing people of need for growing consumption. As if people now and later can’t live without this, this and that.
Environmental pollution and illnesses caused by it may be profitable for economical system, strangely enough, if these illnesses can be cured fast and effective and people can be adapted to “new environmental conditions”. There many new medicines, biologically active adjuncts and medical apparatuses appeared not long ago. Fast and easy healing of any disease caused by the modern way of life promised by ads. Some of this will turn out to be a fraud, of course. Others may have a far from promised but, however, real therapeutic action.
And what if it will become possible for people to still healthy (at least able-bodied) at any pollution of air, water and food? Will anybody take strong unpopular measures against unhealthy production? Most likely no.
Wherefore factories must be closed down or must spend a lot of money on good treatment plants if people can be treated for illness with a new medical apparatus? If environmental problems can be solved without prejudice to economics; moreover, new jobs can be created at production of medicines, apparatus, cleaners of air and water?
In this case, what can force Sovereign to make another decision compelling factories and state to incur additional costs and giving more pure environment to all for free?
This is the logic of development of modern society system. Often will and efforts of one man (even if he has money and power) can not be aimed at true welfare. If man doesn’t doing “as all” he will be kicked out from his place and replaced with “normal man” by competitors or by other evil-wishers.
While the society is organized as it’s organized now, none of scientific discoveries and new technologies can help. Even if one of problems will have been solved, several new problems will appear.
The more developing technologies the more and more weapons will be, more and more people will be employed at “running about paper”, more and more officials, usurers and other parasites will consume growing part of social product, the rhythm of live will be madder and madder, unnatural perverted needs of man will be greedier and greedier.
It lasts for several thousand of years: from times of first slave-holding states to present days. The better and more efficiently people are working the parasites are taking more away from them. The more workers earn the more they require spending. Now as before, most of people can have only necessaries and sometimes small entertainments.
Why now science suddenly would have different consequences?
And so I will not work in science. I don’t want my professional job. I have wrestling cruelly with oneself for a long time. I have made choice, and my choice is NO.
Who is a scientist in the modern world? He is nobody but wage worker and slave of his superior. (Sometimes modern slave can change one his master to another, but what it really may change?) The time of individualists in science elapsed. Then, time of unselfish independent “knights of The Truth” for whom investigation of world aimed at mankind welfare is above all – is over forever.
Who can pay money for scientific work? Only states and big corporations can pay. Nobody else needs scientists with their researches so much to pay them.
What fruits of many years of my research efforts would be? Articles in scientific magazines and (may be) monograph or thesis/dissertation to get dusty in libraries. Even if somebody will need it he will use it without my consent and my knowledge for his own aims.
Or may be it will be gone to the top through my chief to some place, where imperious and rich somebody will use my labour to take more money, power and pleasure. And I will have some remains of this.
But I will not have even formal intellectual property rights to allow or not to allow other man using of results of my research. An employer of labour has all rights.
“Do or quit! Forget your beliefs and do what I say; otherwise I dismiss you” – this is the result of good speciality! This is the result of high level of proficiency!
Professor is more slave than loader. If loader will be disagree with employer he easy can quit from this place and go loading to another place. Loaders are required everywhere, and in any advertisement newspaper we can find vacations for them.
But professor is in the institute. Here is his job, here are his learners, and here are conditions for his creative work. Outside institute he is usually useless nobody. If he lost job, what would he do? Go to loaders? Go to open-air market to sell goods? Or go to poor school to teach children?
The more scientific brain the less possibility to do another real deal. I already know it on my own experience.
A scientific work harming to people and nature is graver sin than stealing, robbery and fraud. If one bandit stops his violence, another will take his profitable place (it is not a justification, of course). But if one genius refuses to discover, it really may be that nobody else do it during century. And world will live for hundred years more.
And what is more, the difference between levels of scientific and ethical development of mankind just at last years became critical. So now any work for scientific and technological advance which increasing this difference is evil, even if it not cause immediate damage to nature or people.
Work for acceleration of all and helping to all forces now is sin too. It’s about working for communication and information development which are main “accelerators of events” now. Cognizant man can use it for good purposes but will not try to advance it.
May be not all so bad? May a discovery of solitary genius help solve environmental and other problems?
There only three types of investigation I know which may help to this:
- “Continuously operating machine”. We have heard much about inexhaustible pollution-free sources of energy (but nobody has seen it at first hand) which takes energy from vacuum, ether, Earth movement and God alone knows from where… In my “Appeal to Unrecognized Genius” I wrote why secret of this invention must be given to all or to nobody. It can’t be introduced in ordinary way. And it solves one problem and makes others: planet overheating (in the end, all used energy transforms to heat energy). Huge volume of very cheap and easily accessible energy may cause additional growing of production, many new deals and, after it, growing of mineral mining, “development” of new natural lands, new types of weapon…
- “Let save and world will clearer”, “Incomes from waste”. Recycling, resource-saving and energy-saving technologies. Different ways to do non-polluting production more profitable than polluting production and do ecologically clean way of life more economical. Possibly it is a most perspective branch. Rocky Mountains Institute has several achievements at this and has published “Factor 4” book. But they not succeed in solving 80 – 90% of environmental problems by this way yet. There are many causes of it: from political and administrative barriers to inactivity of consciousness of most people. But even if one enterprise will become non-polluting by this way, several new polluting enterprises will appear at the same time. In my opinion, this is the main cause. It’s easier, cheaper and faster to invent some “dirty” technology than convert it to more clean and more profitable technology. Scientist-purifiers will not have time.
- Treatment plants engineering (if some wants to install it).
All the rest are “scientific observations” over unpleasant situation or attempts to adapt man to it (see before). These are not world-welfare activities. May be scientific work in wildlife sanctuary and something like it is world-welfare activity. Other word-welfare work is not scientific work. (Often it’s non-market work).
I don’t appeal to refuse all scientific knowledge and “go back to caves”. But I see there is no point to help to further scientific and technological advance. Of course, the knowledge in itself is neutral and it is neither good nor evil. But we have to understand that it will be used not “somewhere sometime in our life” but in our time at concrete institute, at concrete factory, at concrete country, under the direction of quite concrete people.
I will bury my talents in the ground, and it will become buried treasure for the future waiting own time, the time of transformation of society. If it will have happened, it will be enough actual technologies. If no, none of new technologies, discoveries and inventions saves.
I don’t know when and how society will transform. What will it? Revolution? War? New infection which will have killed most of population (above all, in big cities)? Or miraculously, all will have happened peacefully and gently? I don’t know.
But I know that there are only four Light Ways while transformation of society has not happened. These are: the Way of Warrior, the Way of Monk, the Way of Messenger and the way of Cleaner.
The Way of Warrior is the Way of Action. This is trying to get power, money and knowledge to have a profound effect on behaviour of many people. This is penetrating different organizations as secret influencing agent, making of “especial actions” against “unwanted” people and groups. Warriors can use methods of special services, but with other purposes. They can use any power, ruse and bribe-giving to win by all means. They rest in System to block most harmful actions of System, to corrode and destroy System from within. The Way of Warrior is a dangerous way.
Warrior can be a politician, a businessman, a public man, a demonstrator, a trade-union leader, a defender of environment. A temptress who “sticks” to rich and powerful men to affect them and theirs decision also can be at this way. Warrior can be even a terrorist, a saboteur, a subversive, a blackmailer and many else. Only one is the most important: all these acts must have world-welfare RESULTS. Different weapon, one victory. If real result is than the end justifies the means, all means are good at the war, victors need never explain and only sorrows are for losers…
The Way of Monk is the Way of Rejection of complicity in evil. Monk can waste one's talents to not allow evil forces use it. He is ready to go without city apartments and city job, without TV and computer games, without meat and fish – without all harmful he able to reject or reduce. If Dark Forces dominate and triumph over all and only slaves of evil can survive, Monk can reject even bodily life. This is a heavy way.
The Way of Monk also consists of many choices. He not necessarily is coenobite it monastery (but this may be too). This Way not always concerned with a concrete religion.
If whole family goes without city apartments and city job to ecovillage and lives on own kitchen garden, this is the Way of Monk too, as I think. And it’s possible in the city too. There are people who become vagrants and beggars not because they can’t survive by other way but because they have calling for it. They don’t want to work for System and sell freedom. What System can take from this people?
Third Way is the Way of Messenger. Poets, strolling musicians, preachers, free lances are at this Way. They don’t try to obtain power and money for world changing as Warriors. They don’t “leave the world” and don’t torment themselves by rejections as Monks. Their power is in the ideas and images, sounds and words penetrated to other’s consciousness and changed it.
True Healers are Messengers too. In contrast to ordinary doctor who successfully fights with consequences without elimination of cause at best and deceives or even harms to patient at worst, True Healer understands that cardinal changes in consciousness just as in way of life are needed for real healing. The very first and second at once. And he finds words to convince people of it.
Messengers often are poor and outcast like Monks, and they risk life, health and freedom almost like Warriors. Messengers follow out their vocation through all the life.
Fourth Light Way is the Way of Cleaner. His acts are using wastes of civilization and artificial revegetation of badlands, to transform harmful trash to useful things or to ecologically appropriate matters for return to the natural cycles of matters.
Cleaners often retire from big and vain society like Monks. But they make not only rejection of complicity in evil but just actions of utilization of wastes and correction of broken nature. Unlike actions of Warriors, these actions take place not in crowd and not in competition with other people. Sermons and propagation are tasks of Messengers, not of Cleaners.
If you are neither Warrior nor Monk nor Messenger not Cleaner, you will have become a scoundrel or a slave of scoundrel. A scoundrel will have privatized enterprise and you will be working for him. And if you try to fight for property, you can perish or take nothing or become a scoundrel like your competitors and enemies.
May be all is not so ugly. May be all you can do is wasting time of life at work which is neither world-welfare nor world-harmful to be and die on a pension.
Rare man is fortunate enough to be an assistant of Warrior of Light, to does good for people and nature and takes money for his world-welfare work. Firstly, to find this Warrior of Light it’s is more difficult than to find a foreign spy (if God gives no hints). Secondly, there are few world-welfare vacancies in all world so if I fill one than somebody like me can’t do it.
Some combinations of Ways are possible too. Warrior-Monk, Monk-Messenger… and others. My choice is Monk-Messenger.
I have been living anyhow as freelancer for more than two years. I don’t regret I had closed several my possible perspective activities myself and will not be a scientist or programmer. As much as I can, I try help people to rid oneself of different illusions and widespread myths which are filling modern world.
May God help us.