There is a dream that humans have been pondering for two thousand years, maybe more. In this dream, science provides a body that cannot get sick, does not need food, produces no waste, and can survive in any environment imaginable. People then upload their mental and emotional selves into this new body and in doing so, they become gods. One of the reasons the trend toward centralization of global resources has been accelerating over the past decade is that for those with the right connections and the right level of wealth, this dream is almost within reach and they know it. Over the past few years I have made dozens of posts similar to the one I made a few days ago (Will you kneel to a king who brings peace from chaos?). It was just this past January that I pointed out "The World Wants You to be a Peasant" and just last fall, on the day after Thanksgiving, I brought up the story of "The Scorpion and the Frog". If you browse through my archive you will find the same theme repeated over and over again: there is a small group of global elites who believe they should be kings while you and I should live for the sole purpose of serving them.
Today I learned that Dmitry Itskov, a young Russian who made his fortune on the internet, is planning to make this dream a reality for himself and people like him. According to CNN Money, Dmitry Itskov is looking for similarly rich investors to combine their capital together and take the next step in the "logical" evolution of the human species: the creation of immortal android bodies for the very rich. In conjunction with this summer's Global Future 2045 International Congress, Dmitry Itskov and several of the presenters have come together to draft and forward an open letter to the United Nations demanding the world take seriously their proposals for creating a better world, a world of immortal androids housing the personalities of the brightest, richest, best bred people in the world. Their proposal is to create a race of "neo-humans" to guide us into a more peaceful, prosperous world.
"We believe that to move to a new stage of human evolution, mankind vitally needs a scientific revolution coupled with significant spiritual changes, inseparably linked, supplementing and supporting of each other. The vector of future development provided by technological advancement should assist the evolution of the consciousness of humanity, the individual and society, and be the transition to neo-humanity."
As the article at CNN money brings out,
"A new corporate entity that the Russian multi-millionaire will formally announce at an event in June will allow investors to bankroll research into neuroscience and human consciousness with the ultimate goal of transferring human minds into robots, extending human life indefinitely. Early investors will be first in line for the technology when it matures, something Itskov believes will happen in the 2040s."
I have spent my entire life arguing against the idea that some people are simply more evolved than the rest of us. Although it is peripheral and symptomatic rather than direct, I first pondered this issue in this blog way back in 2003. My fourth blog post, "Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Right" deals with an oddity that at the time I was at pains to explain: the best service I'd ever received at any Denny's restaurant anywhere in the world was in the tiny Japanese farming community of Nihonmatsu. In the intervening decade since I wrote that post I've learned quite a bit about Japan and about the world. I've met people that at the time, I never would have imagined having the opportunity to meet. I've experienced worlds both real and virtual that ten years ago I never would have imagined having the opportunity to know. The research I've done and the experiences I've gained have given me a few insights on why that particular Denny's would have such incredible service while the last American Denny's I visited (Waikiki, July 2012) was just the opposite.
In September of 2004, in a post called, "The Role of History", I introduced a theme that has also been a constant throughout the ten year history of this blog. At the time, of course, I only half-realized the importance. As I point out in that post, ever since the day of ancient Sumer there have been individuals who believed they were gods while the rest of us were only peasants. Every king, every emperor, far too many modern politicians, along with most of the world's super-rich, all believe they are more evolved than the rest of us. If they have the opportunity to become immortal then their ability to oppress the remainder of humanity will be exponentially increased.
The waitresses in Nihonmatsu lived far from Tokyo, both geographically and psychically. Although they were aware of the corruption of modern Japanese politicians, it was a distant, almost fantastic idea. There is no one in Nihonmatsu with the kind of social and economic power the least important Japanese Diet member possesses. There are arrogant people, of course, but nothing like the financial contributors, old-family nobles, powerful bankers, super-rich real estate moguls, and other powerful people likely to show up at a Denny's in Tokyo. No one in Nihonmatsu would ever spend ten minutes pouring out condescending insults and humiliating deprecations at a Denny's waitress who drops a fork. Here in Tokyo, this is a daily occurrence for everyone who works in any kind of service job.
If the worlds richest, most powerful people gain access to immortality then we will once again find ourselves in a world with two distinct classes of humans. This time the divide will not just be social. It will be very, very real. There will be the rich who now have an eternity to grow ever richer, and there will be the poor who have no choice but to live from day to day as pawns in a great global chess game of power, greed, ambition, and manipulation as these people vie with one another down through the generations seeking ever more status and wealth.
Perhaps, Dimtry Itskov's new venture will also provide the real-world foundation for this:
"The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?"
If you think things are bad now, just wait until today's super-rich become tomorrow's immortal, invulnerable super-rich.