Historically, capitalism, through its propaganda machinery, has created “legendary” personalities who serve as a symbol of its “developmental power”. Today, it is Elon Musk. The ruling media have created a myth out of him, to create an impression that developmental powers of capitalism are unlimited. The “genius visionary” Musk is the one who creates the technical means for the “incursion into space” and for the colonization of other planets. He creates possibilities for capitalism to become not only the ruling earthly, but also the ruling cosmic order.
Together with other capitalist “visionaries” Musk seeks to realize space projects that have a profitable character and which serve the expansion of capitalism, which ever more dramatically brings into question the survival of life on Earth. At the same time, his “cosmic vision” is an integral part of the “Star Wars” project created by the US military industry and promoted by the US president Ronald Raegan. The Myth of the “genius visionary” Musk is a mask behind which the American capitalist oligarchy that seeks to rule the world is hiding. The ultimate goal of “conquering space” is taking control of the Earth.
The idea of “conquering” other planets is not based on a reasonable view of the facts but on a phantasy of technocratic specialty-idiots, which is of a mythological and sensationalist nature. Through ruling propaganda and capitalistically degenerated science, the impression is created that star constellations are at mankind’s fingertips and that “conquering other planets” is its immediate future. Cosmic time and space are relativized and thereby the sense of the real time in which we live is lost. Historical time is transformed into abstract time in which, in the virtual cosmic space, the capitalist world is reproduced at a „higher” technical level. At the same time, an illusion is being imposed that technical means can secure mankind’s „eternal” existence in the universe. To link humanity’s future to the cosmic expanse is the fatal illusion created by technocratic specialty-idiots and the Hollywood film industry.
Musk deludes people with cosmic projects while capitalism systematically destroys life on Earth. Not only that huge resources are invested in space programs, resources that could instead be used to establish an ecological balance on Earth, but they also receive a spectacular dimension and as such serve to remove from the public eye scenes of children dying from hunger, thirst and disease, scenes of monstrous „humanitarian interventions” and modern concentration camps, as well as increasingly dramatic sights of the destruction of animal species, rivers, oceans, air, forests, fields and pastures, glaciers… Ultimately, the „incursion into space” does not serve humanity’s well-being and does not increase the certainty of human survival, but hampers the fight against capitalism and contributes to the development of new mechanisms of manipulation, domination and destruction.
Like Hawking, Musk creates the illusion that “humanity can survive” by having a small group of “the chosen ones” “go” to another planet. An atmosphere is being created that the Earth is man’s temporary habitat and that the future of humanity is on other planets. Presumably, man is not able to abolish capitalism and create a social order based on an economy that strives to meet authentic human needs and that has a rational and humanizing relationship with nature, while he is supposedly able to travel thousands of years through cosmic expanse and create new life on an unknown planet. The mythological projection of “cosmic worlds” becomes a means for debasing our own planet and for countering the belief that it is possible to preserve life on Earth. A technocratically based quasi-religious illusion is created about how the real history of humanity begins in outer space, together with the corresponding value challenges that degrade man as a natural and human being. It should also be said here that traditional religions, which are based on the idea of the apocalypse and other fatalistic ideas, have made a special contribution to creating an atmosphere that the Earth is man’s temporary habitat. The Earth is reduced to a “cosmic morgue” and man to a cursed man sent to Earth by God to destroy him.
The prevailing relation to cosmos is a projection of the prevailing relation of capitalism towards the Earth. Instead of basing man’s relation towards Earth on coexistence with nature and its cultivation, it is based on the exploitation of nature and the destruction of life. By creating a “consumer society”, the relationship towards the Earth is based on consumer euphoria, which is based on destructive irrationalism. The more man strives to preserve his consumerist standard of living, the more intensely he destroys life on Earth. The increasing shortage of raw materials and energy contributes to a notion that human life on Earth is of a temporary character and that its existential prospects lie in colonizing other planets. Earth becomes a springboard for „conquering space”, while celestial bodies become a source of raw materials and subject to exploitation.
Musk’s theory and practice point to the truth that technology in capitalism can develop only in the context of the sequence of the existential logic of capitalism. Indeed, technology possesses both life-creating and destructive potentials. Technology can turn energy into life, but it can also turn it into a vehicle for destruction of life. Capitalism’s becoming a totalitarian order of destruction has conditioned technology’s becoming a destructive power. In the basis of that process is the most perilous characteristic of capitalism: from the results of life-destruction, it creates sources of profit and, thus, a basis for its own further development.
For Musk, the incursion into space is carried out through technology and is of a technical nature. His cosmology is based on a mechanistic understanding of man and nature. He does away with the humane history of human society and thus calls into question man as an emancipated cosmic being. The cosmos is getting closer to man in a technical sense, but it is further and further away from man in a natural and humane sense. When we comprehend things in the real social dimension, mankind’s “cosmic epic” reveals itself as one of the technocratic myths employed to erase the historical (self)consciousness of man and, consequently, the emancipatory heritage of national cultures and civil society. Humanist dreams are replaced by a „cosmic vision of the future” produced by the Hollywood film machinery supported by the military industry. Musk and other “cosmic visionaries” are a tool of the capitalist oligarchy to destroy the humanist vision of the future, which implies overcoming capitalist civilization.
Musk promotes cataclysmic scenarios in which the idea of “the obsolescence of traditional humanity” is developed, and the idea that a “new man” should be created who will be able to adapt mentally and physically to the challenges posed by going into the cosmos and living on other planets. The future of humanity comes down to the creation of a “cyborg race” that will be able to “compete” with “intelligent machines” and “conquer” planets. Capitalism destroys “traditional humanity” by means of technology and banishes man from the Earth. That is the purpose of the development of the space technology, technicalization of the living environment, as well as the automatization of the living processes and the robotization of man. In the “technical world”, which is the most authentic manifestation of capitalist destructive nothingness, man is “perfected” by losing his natural and human qualities and becoming a robotized freak.
“Artificial intelligence” is increasingly popular in the ruling scientific circles, which implies that intelligence is devoid of human content and has acquired a technical character. “Development of intelligence” is achieved by abolishing man as an emotional, erotic, moral, social, historical, creative and visionary being. At the same time, man is deprived of his mind and thus of the possibility to search for the truth, as well as of the possibility to create a vision of a new world and to fight for it. Man is supposed to adapt to technical challenges and become a mechanism to be managed by artificial intelligence. Musk points to the danger of uncontrolled development of artificial intelligence, and at the same time seeks to enable capitalist expansion, which inevitably leads to the deprivation of man’s mind and to his transformation into a robot.
Artificial intelligence does not in itself pose a danger to humanity. It is a danger only if it is a means for the reproduction of capitalism, which means if it is the tool for capitalists for destroying man as a human being and for creating a technical world. Through artificial intelligence, capitalism deprives man of a way of thinking that gives him the opportunity to ask questions about the essence of man as a human being and the essence of the human world, the meaning of life, the possibility to explain historical phenomena, to answer the question of what is good and what is bad, what is freedom and what is slavery, to discover the emancipatory potentials of civil society and national cultures, to create a vision of the future… Similarly, technocratic specialty-idiots reduce God to an “intelligence” that created living things in the same way that scientists create corn hybrids and pesticides. God becomes the embodiment of artificial intelligence that has become absolute and thus unquestionable power.
Like other technocratic specialty-idiots, Musk has a technically degenerated mind. It is no accident that his vocabulary is devoid of concepts that indicate the essence of man as a human being. The poverty of his vocabulary is an expression of the limited possibilities of his thinking, which has a mechanical character. He does not ask rational questions that require rational answers. There is no dialectical way of thinking, without which it is not possible to distinguish between past and history, and that means without which one cannot understand that man is a historical and visionary being. The attitude that “man is not what he is, but what he can be” is unfathomable for Musk and other technocratic specialty-idiots.
It is a way of thinking that is based on the abolition of man as a unique and unrepeatable personality who is capable of having his own view of the world and the future. Artificial intelligence and robotization imply depriving man of human self-awareness and dignity. Man ceases to be an independent, creative, libertarian and visionary being and becomes a mechanical thing. At the same time, the development of artificial intelligence contributes to the creation of a technical world and the abolition of interpersonal relationships and thus authentic sociability. Patterns of behavior that turn human society into a mechanical anthill through artificial intelligence are imposed. Artificial intelligence doesn’t only represent the triumph of technical civilization over man as a human being, but the ultimate destruction of man as a human being.
Musk and other fanatics of capitalism convince people that the Earth will “soon be doomed” in order to deal with their visionary consciousness and will to create a new world. The possibility that capitalism will destroy life on Earth is far more likely than the possibility that life on Earth will die out – in five or ten million years. With capitalism becoming a totalitarian destructive order, the world has become a capitalist crematorium. Humanity is approaching an ecological milestone, which, if overstepped, is humanity’s doom. The increasingly dramatic deterioration of life on Earth forces humanity to unite and eradicate the causes that lead to the destruction of life. The relationship to the cosmos should be based on the protection of life on Earth and the development of man as a human being. Instead of “conquering the cosmos”, we should deal with capitalism and thus prevent the destruction of life on Earth. Man can ensure his survival in the cosmos only if he ensures his survival on Earth. This means freeing man from the illusion, created by Musk and his associates, that the future of humanity lies on other planets. What kind of “cosmic future” can capitalism offer humanity when its survival is based on the destruction of the living world? The development of capitalism as a totalitarian order of destruction has led to the fact that the greatest threat to the survival of humanity does not come from cosmic bodies and cosmic cataclysms, but from capitalism. Capitalist fanatics like Elon Musk have become riders of the apocalypse and as such gravediggers of humanity.
The idea that the Earth is the only cosmic home of man gained importance during the development of environmental movements that arose as a response to the deepening ecological crisis created by capitalism. In order for the Earth to become the true cosmic home of man, a social order must be established that will not only be able to ensure the survival of humanity, but also provide the opportunity for man to realize himself as a libertarian being. Only when he stops being a slave to capitalism and turns the Earth into his home, will man become a true human being and thus a true cosmic being. At the same time, man’s turning to the Earth means man’s turning to himself as a social being, which means turning man closer to other men. Historically, the idea that “all men are brothers” is based on the original Christian romanticism, which has an abstract-humanist character. In the contemporary world, that idea should become the battle cry of an awakened humanity that is aware that only by abolishing capitalism can life on Earth be preserved and a new world created that will be a fraternal community of free people.
One of the misconceptions which both traditional and modern cosmology are based on is that man is not a cosmic being as an earthly being and that the Earth is not an organic part of the cosmos. By living on Earth, man is not in the cosmos, but is “in the cosmos” only when he leaves the Earth. This understanding comes from a way of thinking that is based on religious dogmas that establish the dualism of the earthly and “heavenly” worlds. Earth is deemed man’s temporary habitat and as such is worthless. The “true world” is in “heaven” and it provides man with “eternal bliss”. Man is humiliated as an earthly and human being and thus as a unique and unrepeatable cosmic being.
The duality of the earthly and cosmic worlds should be abolished. Man is a cosmic being as an earthly being. By living on Earth, we travel through the endless cosmic blue. Earth is our “spaceship”. Earthly nature is a unique cosmic environment that has enabled the emergence of life on Earth and man as a specific and unrepeatable living being – and thus a specific cosmic being. Man can only survive in the cosmos as an organic part of the earthly world.
Man’s relationship to the cosmos, which means man’s relationship to himself as a cosmic being, cannot be established by means of technology, but through creativity, with which man overcomes the material dimension of the cosmos and reaches his cosmic essence. It is about the relationship to the cosmos through symbols that provide the opportunity for man to experience the cosmos as a life-creating being. Through them, man transcends the apparent form of the cosmos and reaches its essence – thus abolishing the dualism of earthly and cosmic existence of man. In this context, a possibility is created for the idea of “God” as the one with which the infinite quantum of the cosmos (infinite multitude) is transcended, with a view of God not as a superhuman force but as an always new, richer product of the creative powers of man who is a symbolic embodiment of the unity of man with his cosmic essence. God becomes man’s host in his cosmic home. A new interpretation of the idea of a “god-man” is needed: the life-creating power of man is an autonomous cosmic force that enables man to be the creator of the new cosmos as an authentic cosmic being.
In the cosmos there are no qualitative leaps, but only changes in the state of matter. Man as a self-conscious and self-creating being represents a qualitative step forward from cosmic processes that have a deterministic character. Development of man as a cosmic being is not possible on the basis of mechanical cosmic laws and through the technical mastery of space and time, which turns man into a technical “being”, but through the quality that gives the possibility of “uniting” with the cosmos as one – in which the cosmic essence of man is contained. The cosmos that man creates does not have a quantitative but a qualitative dimension.
The idea of the true is what forms the essence of the human cosmos. As a human being, man is able to realize the life-creating potentials of the cosmos by developing his life-creating potentials guided by humanistic ideals. Man creates a new cosmos that is only possible as long as man exists as a human being. Man’s becoming a human being conditions the cosmos becoming a humanе cosmos. The creation of the humanе cosmos is not based on the conquest of other planets and their exploitation, but on the transformation of cosmic forces from destructive to life-creating power that increases the certainty of human survival. “Conquest of the cosmos” is achieved by humanization of the cosmic forces.
The cosmos is an unquestionable given. It is the material bearer of eternity that appears in relation to existential nothingness. The cosmos is indestructible and as such it allows man and his world not to turn into nothing. The cosmos is not an immutable given that excludes the emergence of a cosmic novum. Man does not relate to the cosmos as an immutable given because man himself is not an immutable given but a self-conscious and self-creating cosmic being. Man is not only a form in which the life-creating potentials of the cosmos appear, but a new cosmic quality that indicates that the cosmos is not what it is, but what it can be. Man is able, through his creative and visionary practice, to transform the cosmos from a timeless given into a historical space in which historical time flows that is directed towards the future. In this context, the idea of eternity appears. It needs to gain historical legitimacy and become a signpost for man in his efforts to create a humane world and ensure the survival of mankind. The humane world is the source of the new universe.
The most important historical task is before us: to abolish the destructive capitalist civilization and create a humane life-creating civilization. The ideal of society that we should strive for is society as a life-creating community of free and creative people who live in unity with nature. Life-creating pantheism should become the most important unifying idea of the world. It does not only imply the struggle to preserve life, but also the struggle to create a humane society. Life-creating sociability is the basic condition for man’s freedom and the survival of humanity.
Mankind’s space odyssey will end when man becomes an emancipated historical being and thus an emancipated space being. The true cosmic future of humanity will begin when humanity returns to the historical path. Religion, esotericism, science fiction, cosmic mysticism… – these are all ways in which man alienates himself from himself as a human being and the Earth as his cosmic home. Ultimately, these are all sidetracks that have an anti-existential character. Earth is the only living environment that provides the possibility for man to survive and be a human being. Instead of striving to escape from the Earth to other planets, man should revitalize life potentials of the Earth as a life-creating whole – by reviving the life-creating abilities of humanity as a community of free people in solidarity with one another. Not the escape to other planets, but the creation of a humane world and the humanization of nature are the basic conditions for the freedom and survival of mankind.
Only when man embraces the Earth as his space home will he be able to become an emancipated space being. Then the “heavens will open” and humanity’s true space epic will begin. Just as Odysseus, after a long and arduous wandering on the seas, returned to his native Ithaca to his faithful wife Penelope, so man, after a long and arduous wandering in illusory worlds, will return to his mother Earth and to human beings – his only cosmic brothers.
Translated from Serbian by Vanja Zakanji
Translation supervisor: Igor Barjaktarević