By Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. December 4, 2015
“At the same pace that mankind masters nature, man seems to become enslaved to other men or to his own infamy. Even the pure light of science seems unable to shine but on the dark background of ignorance. All our invention and progress seem to result in endowing material forces with intellectual life, and in stultifying human life into a material force.” Karl Marx. Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 500.
“Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe. For centuries they have stifled almost the whole of humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual experience. Look at them today swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.” Frantz Fanon. The Wretched of the Earth, p. 311, 1963.
The development of current Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Societies (ACITS) can be traced back to the Renaissance and Enlightenment, during which humans in some western countries increasingly and one-sidedly became obsessed with scientific knowledge of the material nature and its innumerable components, which was used to develop a whole new world of human-made objects through various methods and techniques of technology. This Human-Made World of Objects (HMWO) has been multiplying and expanding constantly during the past few centuries, reaching its highest levels in the ACITS. It has largely replaced the natural world for most of the inhabitants of ACITS, who live in crowded large cities, surrounded by uncountable artifacts. Indeed, humans themselves have been largely transformed into artifacts, under such conditions. Here, we will refer to this HMWO as the “Objective” in distinction from the human mass mental apparatus, which will be referred to as the “Subjective”.
Co-evolution of capitalism and technology during the past few centuries has led to drastic transformations in the relative powers of the Objective and Subjective in all human affairs and decision-making processes. Detailed analysis can be made of different periods of history in this regard. However, in this paper, we will only focus on the current period and identify and describe the effects that have accumulated additively.
As the HMWO has become more populated, the corresponding powers of the Objective-relative to the Subjective-have also increased accordingly, reaching the current levels, at which the Subjective, which created the Objective, has become enslaved to the Objective and, indeed, is derived from it, under the extreme alienation and reification, created by the conditions and processes of the ACITS. Never in history, the Objective had become so powerful, and the Subjective so deformed, atrophied, and enslaved to the Objective, as in the contemporary ACITS. For example, most of the military and politico-economic decisions that appear to be made by the human subjects, are, in fact, derived from the world of objects, e.g., weapons and other military hardware, and their representations in the form of Capital and Money. Corporations, businesses, and politicians, who appear to possess and/or control the HMWO, Capital, and Money, are, in fact, possessed and controlled by the latter, as are overwhelming majorities of the others in the ACITS. Almost all the human, class, and international relations are based on powers that are derived from the HMWO and their representations in the forms of Capital and Money. As stated above, such powers are at their maximal historical types and levels, which have correspondingly reduced all the powers of the Subjective-making them dependent upon the Objective-including all parts of human nature and its higher qualities and values, e.g., Soul, Intellect, Spirit, Justice, Goodness, Truth, Love etc. The Subjective has never been so weakened, deformed, and dependent on the Objective, as in the contemporary ACITS. This is the greatest disease mankind has inflicted upon itself [hence-to-forth referred to as the Greatest Disease of Mankind (GDM)]. Its symptoms and manifestations are all-pervasive, gigantic, and everywhere, but its nature and ultimate causes remain hidden and unidentified. Various secondary causes that arise on the ultimate causes or pseudo-causes are substituted for the real causes. Hence, the GDM continues to expand, as well as evolve into newer types and levels, as a result of the ultimate causes remaining undiagnosed and unaddressed. The GDM developed progressively as a result of the co-evolution and mutual empowerment of capitalism and technology. At this stage, it would be impossible to reduce, much less, eradicate it, within the frameworks of ACITS. Even under socialism, it will be very difficult and slow to achieve that, as these societies have already gone too far in that direction, including the capitalist-imperialist, militaristic, mass psychological, cultural, and epigenetic structuring and regulation of human nature. However, it will at least become possible under socialism, if its nature and causes are understood, and effective remedies and solutions are implemented through socialist planning, which is only possible in a socialist political economy and organization of society. Within the political economies of ACITS, the GDM is very likely to destroy the ACITS themselves, as well as the whole human species and most other forms of life, and inflict enormous further damages upon the Earth’s biosphere.
The population of HMWO is incomparably more than the human population on the planet, with great concentrations in the ACITS. There must be countless trillions of them. A lot of objects, perhaps most, are not only unnecessary, but harmful to humans’ health and well being, for example thousands of synthetic chemicals, billions of all types of weapons and associated military hardware and delivery systems, billions of TVs and other noise-polluting and mind-numbing-and-dumbing devices, billions of cell phones that emit health-damaging electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and other electronic devices that also emit these, billions of cosmetic products that both sexes, especially women, use to trap each other, countless varieties and numbers of processed and canned food items, billions of pollution-producing cars, billions of products made out of plastic, tens of thousands of military and civilian aircrafts, constantly producing pollution, innumerable expensive pharmaceutical drugs, most of which do more harm than good, tens of billions of bottles and cans of various types of alcoholic and soft drinks, production and distribution of tens of tons of cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, heroine, etc. And let us not forget the monstrous constructions of concrete, steel, plastics, glass etc.-skyscrapers, shopping malls, apartment buildings, houses etc.-with which large parts of the planet are now covered, and which continue to expand, under which the Earth and its soil have become lifeless. People growing up and living in such artificial environments, themselves acquire the characteristics of artifacts, which are also created and multiplied by the mass psychological, cultural, and epigenetic processes and effects of the political economy of capitalism and imperialism. All this has caused severe damages to the inner ecology of human nature, which has become fragmented and mutilated, as well as to the ecology of nature. Such “humans”of the ACITS are being replicated everywhere, multiplying the same or similar processes of “development” in every little corner of the planet. They are supposedly “highly educated” and efficient in doing what they are doing and are well-rewarded for their activities. Such “humans” of the ACITS will do almost anything for money, including the destruction of whole nations of the Third World, like Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria-which are militarily and economically incomparably weaker and no match for them-and slaughter and destruction of countless millions of their people. Needless to say that the modern genocidal wars of the ACITS are continuation of similar wars by their predecessors and ancestors, the worst having been the genocide of the native peoples of the Americas. The European White Humans, and their progenies in the Americas, have grown up, and continue to grow, on a steady diet of human blood.
The needs for such objects and products are mostly created in very sick and alienated societies, like those of the ACITS, which are then also radiated to rest of the world, where the HMWO multiplies further, creating similar imbalances between the Subjective and the Objective, as in the ACITS, and the intensification of alienation and reification is internationalized.
Such alienation and reification are also the modern forms of idolatry, the most all-pervasive and global idolatry in history. Such idolatry does not involve religious rituals, that were practiced in the past at certain times reserved for these. However, it is lived and practiced constantly, as a normal routine, throughout the wakeful times-and perhaps even during sleep, in many cases-throughout one’s life time. Such modern forms of alienation and reification become mass psychological and behavioral norms and are established as epigenetically regulated psychic structures in the neural networks of the mass mental apparatus. These phenomena have developed to unprecedented levels and types in the ACITS, in which these are now parts of the “normal” human nature.
Even though, the Western capitalist alienation, powers of the Objective, and idolatry are being exported, radiated, and imitated everywhere on the planet, there are still large parts of the populations in the Third World and relatively “less developed” communities, in which the Subjective is still relatively dominant. This is one of the most important reasons for the successes of some Islamic resistance movements against the overwhelming and incomparably superior military, economic, and other objective powers of the American and NATO forces, as well as the forces of their client states. Such relative dominance of the Subjective in the mass psychology also enables innumerable people in such movements to carry out suicidal bombings and other attacks against their enemies. Relative dominance of the Subjective had also enabled the Vietnamese to achieve their great victories, against all odds, against the French and Americans and their allies, in their decades-long wars of national liberation.
I mentioned alienation and reification above. These are complex concepts and whole books have been written about them. I can only deal very briefly with these here. Reification implies the transformation of social relations from relations between humans to relations between things. It is characteristic of capitalist society and also involves the depersonification of humans and personification of things. The term alienation has been used with different meanings by various philosophers, poets, and others. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, JohannWolfgang von Goethe, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Herbert Marcuse, and Erich Fromm, among others, tried to explain its meanings and origins. In simplest terms, it can be interpreted to mean man’s estrangement from his own essence. Even though prophets and other religious figures used different terminologies against idolatry and materialism, the meanings of their teachings were similar to some of those that have been associated with alienation. For example, Jesus Christ’s statement, “What is a man profited if he has gained the whole world, but lost his soul.”, shows that he was aware that humans can become alienated from their souls and that the souls can be lost. Marx traced the origins of all forms of alienation in the alienation of labor, in which the products of human labor and human properties and abilities are converted into something independent and dominating over them, as a result of private ownership of the means of production by the capitalists, who gain possession and control over these, and use them for their own enrichment and ever-increasing exploitation and domination of the working class. In the following paragraph, Marx describes some of the effects of alienation of labor:
“A direct consequence of the alienation of man from the product of his labor, from his life activity and from his species life is that man is alienated from other men. When man confronts himself, he also confronts other men. What is true of man’s relationship to his work, to the product of his work and to himself, is also true of his relationship to other men, to their labor and to the objects of their labor. In general, the statement that man is alienated from his species life means that each man is alienated from others, and that each of the others is likewise alienated from human life.” Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, p. 103. (4).
All the above-mentioned and other writers have dealt with the complex problem of alienation in complex philosophical and psychological language and concepts. The dialectic of the Subjective and Objective, discussed in this paper, is closely related to the developmental dynamics of alienation during the co-evolution of capitalism and technology, as well as in the contemporary ACITS, in which, as a direct consequence of the totalitarianism and overwhelming powers of the Objective, and its greatest domination of the Subjective in history, the alienation has also reached its highest historical levels. Some of my previous articles have also dealt with this complex problem, incorporating new research information and concepts from the field of Epigenetics and Biology, along with those of political economy, mass psychology, and philosophy, even though, instead of alienation, I have used different terminologies in my analyses (1-3). Inclusion of Epigenetics and Biology in the analyses of alienation greatly clarifies and simplifies its nature and effects within the human mass mental apparatus. I intend to write a general hypothesis on the epigenetic dimension of alienation, which will deal with this matter more specifically and explicitly. This will be a completely new and original approach in the long history of literature on the problems of alienation.
Freeing the Subjective-with all its components of Soul, Intellect, Spirit, and higher human qualities and values-from the overwhelming domination of the Objective, in the personal, interpersonal, political, economic, local, national, and international affairs and decision-making processes will be impossible within the ACITS, relative under socialism, and become possible under communism. Historical evidence indicates that the Subjective had much more weight in these matters in the Primitive-Communal Societies-like those of the Native Americans, before the arrival of White Europeans and their genocides and destruction of their political economies, cultures, and ways and means of living-than in the subsequent socio-economic formations, like the Slave-Owning, Feudal, and Capitalist, in which its weight was progressively eroded and the weight of the Objective progressively enhanced, reaching its zenith in the contemporary ACITS. Among all the ACITS, the dominance of the Objective, and the resultant all-pervasive alienation, is maximal in the US, the epitome of Western Capitalist Technocratic Civilization.
The great problems, identified and analyzed in this paper, as well as those in some of my previous articles (1-3), have long and deep historical roots. These are not really new in the historical sense, but have grown to incomparable new dimensions and forms than in the past. These have remained unidentified and in the dark. Their identification and analyses in these papers are new and original. It is very likely that these will continue to be ignored, not only by the priests and high priests of ACITS, but also by almost all the contemporary Marxists and socialists, not least because of their ignorance of some new areas of scientific knowledge, like Epigenetics, which have been included in some of my articles on political economy, imperialism, and human nature, but also because of the freezing of Marxism and historical and dialectical materialism within the pre-existing and personal boundaries. Founders of Marxism existed at earlier stages of the development of capitalist societies and science and technology. They identified and analyzed their nature, problems, and potential solutions, in specific as well as generalized manner. They were very hopeful and optimistic about the potentials of science and technology in transforming the productive forces and relations of production, which would lead to socialism and communism, and to incomparably more humane, just, and higher civilization. Their hopes, expectations, and predictions were partly realized after the socialist revolutions in Russia, China, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. However, those revolutions have been betrayed and their enormous accomplishments destroyed by the capitalist counter-revolutions. Part of the reasons for that was that the socialist societies were in life and death struggle against the powerful forces of the ACITS, and were forced to concentrate much more on the development and empowerment of the Objective than of the Subjective dimensions of socialism, which finally lead to the subjective betrayals and objective destruction of socialism in them. Now, they are also being increasingly infected with the GDM and are catching up with the ACITS.
Even though founders of Marxism and Leninism accurately foresaw numerous future developmental processes and directions of capitalist societies, they were only human and not Gods to be able to foresee everything. If they could see the great damages that the co-evolution and mutual empowerment of capitalism and technology have already caused to the ecology of nature and human nature, as well as to innumerable human lives, justice, equality, and other higher human qualities and values, and the continued development of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, which can annihilate the human and most other species of life on this planet, they would be shocked and horrified. However, in spite of the great setbacks of the current era, Marxist political economy and socialism are the only alternatives and solutions to the unprecedented and enormous problems of contemporary capitalism and imperialism. There are no other alternatives or solutions to these problems. If the working class and its allies continue to fail to implement these alternatives and solutions, the whole mankind will be doomed to self-destruction by the continued diabolical evolution of the ACITS.
Even though, I do not adjust my observations, insights, and analyses to fit them into any political economy or philosophy, I consider the contents of this, as well as my previous articles to be consistent with the essential foundations of Marxism-Leninism (I have listed these in one of my papers, Number 5 in the Notes), as well as those of the historical and dialectical materialism. The new problems, some of which are of the greatest importance for the current and future developments of mankind, society, and human nature-identified and analyzed in these papers-need to be incorporated into Marxism and Leninism, as well as into historical and dialectical materialism, which will initiate development of new knowledge and information in these areas, as well as proposals for solutions of these new problems. Continued negligence and ignorance of these will continue to impede such progress.
Addition of 6.7.2016
The following was added to my biosocial and epigenetic paper (2). As it is also relevant to this article, it is also being added here.
Real democracy will only become possible when humans are freed from the slavery to and domination of The Capital and the Capitalist Class, when the greatly eroded and damaged parts of their human nature, involving both the Human Soul and Human Reason, are repaired, made wholesome, and restored, and when they become de-alienated and de-reified. That will only become possible under socialism and communism. Under various stages and forms of capitalism, they are condemned to remain mutilated and eroded, and to live only under the façade and illusions of “democracy”. Capitalist democracy and human nature, mutually and dialectically, erode, distort, and pervert each other. This process greatly intensifies and accelerates in the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Societies (ACITS), in which advanced technology and technocracy inextricably intertwine and combine with the advanced capitalism and create the most powerful macro-level social forces of dehumanization; inhumanization; erosion, perversion, and transformation of the Human Soul and Human Reason; mass alienation, and mass reification, all under the façade and illusions of “democracy”. Capitalist Democracy under these conditions inevitably transforms into Capitalist Demonocracy.
Numerous logical, factual, macro-level, and micro-level inferences and conclusions can be derived from this new biosocial and epigenetic theory of the relativity of human nature. For example, the impossibility of anarchism should be self-evident. After millennia of dehumanizations; inhumanizations; alienation; reification; and differential epigenetic and biosocial regulation of human nature, in various class-divided societies in history-especially under the co-evolution of capitalism and technology-resulting in the current forms of advanced capitalism and imperialism-in which these processes have greatly accelerated and have been, both quantitatively and qualitatively, transformed into newer and more extreme forms, the restoration of the health and wholesomeness of human nature will require enormous macro-level intellectual and spiritual efforts, which will only become possible in the centrally planned politico-economic systems of socialism and communism, taking considerable historical time, on the inter-generational levels, even under these systems, for achieving significant results in these areas.
It should be pointed out that Marx and numerous other Marxists after him have already demonstrated the politico-economic and social impossibilities and infeasibilities of anarchism, as solution to the great problems of capitalism and imperialism. This new biosocial and epigenetic theory further substantiates their analyses, adding an important new dimension to them.
Anarchism always was, and continues to be, a totally subjectivist-idealist-delusional-sensationalist hypothesis and ideology, in complete dissociation from the existing realities of capitalism and imperialism, and the real possibilities of their overthrow, transformations, and replacement with another more just, rational, and rehumanizing social and politico-economic system. Even though, anarchism is completely impossible and infeasible, just imagine the consequences of it somehow succeeding in the contemporary American society. It should be clear to any thinking and informed person that, given the deformations of human nature into the current capitalist-imperialist forms, the types and levels of horrors, conflicts, bloodshed, chaos, and anarchy would be unimaginable.
1. Rahman, F. Effects of the contemporary technological model on the genetic regulation of inner human faculties. Journal of Social and Biological Structures. 3, 375-389, 1980.
2. Rahman, F. Biosocial and epigenetic relativity of human nature: Relative to political economy, technology, and culture.
3. Rahman, F. Multidimensional and complex nature and effects of imperialism on democracy, society, nature, and human nature.
4. Marx, K. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844; Translated: by Martin Mulligan. Publisher: Progress Publishers, Moscow, p. 103, 1959.
5. Brief, partial, and necessary critical reviews of some of the stars of American Left: Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Richard Wolff, Stephen Resnick, Noam Chomsky, and Chris Hedges.