In the previous instalment of the New World Order mini series (New World Order: Organized And Incorporated) we closed off with the realization that the systems that power us are real in their own right, organized and incorporated into sentient, self-determining agencies that affect out lives as much as we affect them.
This series entertains the notion that life is larger than us. By peeking into the macroscopic, we cover the bulk of our next-level organizations, laying out a consciousness map, one we may consider as we progress and evolve into an ever more sophisticated, elaborate mode of living.
Let’s bring the series to a close, rounding things up with a look at the way in which these organs, bodies and beasts, become self-fulfilling in due course, taking over the proceeding – how they serve their existence more loyally than they serve their creators.
In other words, let’s analyze how we arrived at the situation where humankind is “the architect of his [sic] own demise” (as stated in the movie The Animatrix).
The Animatrix speaks of the creation of artificial intelligence (AI), a technological singularity that rises against humanity and takes over. It’s a sci-fi scenario which many may find ridiculous, others not so ridiculous. A robotic, cybernetic paradigm isn’t that far off from reality, but it’s perhaps a little too far off to take seriously just yet. Whatever the case, humanity’s design of its own displacement is a premise that holds water. Inherent in all organized systems that transcend individual existence – and not limited to technology – it’s happening as we speak.
Overtaken (And Taken Over)
The process is sequential and takes place gradually, step by step.
First the systems in question attend to the interests of their power-brokers, helping them rise the ladder.
Then they switch gears, serving a few elite individuals who perch high up, commanding the operation.
Then the systems circumvent everyone, chiefs and despots included, overtaking human agency to break into other parameters, serving the existence of the organization as such, to which everyone is now subject.
It happens all over the earth, at all times, across time. The market tickers and indices are perpetually up and running, turning human life into a means to a market end.
Religion does the same, not in the name of the economy but for the sake of order and salvation.
Nationalism does the same in the name of whatever fascist ideal people come up with.
Communism does the same in the name of equality and brotherhood.
Republicanism does the same in the name of an efficient and just society.
Democracy does the same in the name of freedom and fair representation.
Crony capitalism does the same in the name of free enterprise.
Tradition does the same in the name of old customs and cherished principles.
In fact, all systems do it, especially those with indices and trackers, tickers and measuring tools: they assume power, consolidate their presence, assume a definite role and engage people in their workings, gradually and inexorably, self-fulfilling their way into existence, powered by key players in key positions, players who do their bidding for them. Just like cells once did, creating multi-cellular organisms operating on dimensions integrated, yet, at the same time, far-removed from the cellular level.
It’s an unnerving twist that shows how far the evolutionary spiral reaches, reminding us that our time here, as humans, is limited. It has to be. Life and intelligence will evolve beyond our current scope, even if that means humankind gets absorbed into a greater body of life and knowledge.
It’s either that or a dead-end path that guarantees us a place in the pantheon of evolutionary failures, right next to the neanderthals.
It also places two highly organized and contradictory belief systems on the same coin, albeit on different sides. Globalization and ecology, these ideologically great adversaries, suddenly have more in common than we think, pointing in tandem to the presence of super-organisms:
one to Earth / Mother Nature,
the other to the Socio/Econo/Techno-Matrix.
A Grander Scale
Organisms proper and valid in themselves, Earth and our Matrix are complex, interactive, and growing out of something smaller, integrated at the cellular level and becoming more established in both theory and practice. At odds with each other, yes, but they have a similar effect: to promote life on levels that transcend us, and which are going to incorporate us. Via these two paradigms, individual units assemble and integrate to create super-organizations, consolidating intelligence on a grander scale.
You are in fact, as we speak, in your totality, acting like a corporation
To get a feel of what it means, how this could actually be, and why it makes sense on more levels than one, scratch your hands. Go on, scratch them. Or pinch yourself. Or have your daily antioxidant with a glass of water.
Done? You’ve just taken out a bunch of your body’s cells, killing and incapacitating them with your fingernails. And your pinch has made T-cells respond, ready to battle the source of the pain and remove any damaged tissue from your body. And your body uses the antioxidants you just ingested to destroy rogue cells and/or substances inside you that may be blocking/harming the overall function of your systems. You are in fact, as we speak, in your totality, acting like a corporation, looking after your own interests at the expense of some of the units that compile you. You act like a layered organization, operating like a body conscious of itself in its own right, both bound by and reaching beyond the scope of your constituent cells.
More on this issue in due course, in related posts and articles. Watch this blogazine.
The series ends here, but the discussion has only just begun. There are many threads to follow in coming articles. Call them sequels, prequels, and spinoffs that will occupy public and private discourse for a time to come.
One popular theme, for example, is about how markets are tools for democracy, tending to the need of the consumer. Whatever people need, the markets provide. Demand guides supply, goes the mantra.
We may also talk about how markets are deeply anti-democratic. Like business, they require not ideological premises that might work but management structures that do work. They respond to pragmatism, not theories, influencing what is sought after. Supply guides demand, is the motto.
We may talk about the hijacking of democracy by special interests – about how nations have become the muscle and jaw of transnational organisms.
We may be living in an age of greater Marketism, where individual life comes second, by default, care of the system’s setup
We may talk about the assimilation of democracy by the entire market system. Crooked interests aside, the point here is bigger than your average thug in a suit giving business a bad name. This is about the notion that we may be living in an age of greater Marketism, where individual life comes second, by default, care of the system’s setup – where politicians and citizens alike are asked, expected and made to serve the markets by none other than market forces and their self-fulfilling powers.
We may talk about how democracy may have reached the end of its cycle, at least in the West, apparently no longer able to promote freedom, representation, innovation or efficiency. Corroded, broken, or mismanaged, it may be in dire need of an overhaul, if not temporary suspension.
Where this leads us is a matter for further debate. We have plenty of historical accounts at our disposal to identify what happens when democracy is suspended in the name of order – just as we have plenty of accounts on what happens when bungling and corrupt democracy is sustained against all wisdom. Both processes lead to painful transition periods that result in either regeneration or complete collapse – and later regeneration, of course. (There is a silver lining in this after all: even in the wake of catastrophe, something grows out of it, something fresher, stronger, and fitter.)
We may talk about the economic guillotine that razes person after person when they prove incapable of sustaining market-friendly environments.
We may talk about the ebbs and flows of revolution that hit left and right in their effort to dislodge the systems from stalemates, vying for shifts in paradigms.
We may talk about the birth of a technological singularity made up of robots and programs.
We may talk about the birth of a technological singularity made up of a vast silicon network that wraps itself tight around Earth, with the aid of human atoms, agonists and connectors.
We may talk about the battle between nature and technology.
We may talk about the integration of nature and technology.
We may talk about Earth as an organism resisting a cancer of metal, plastic and silicon growth.
We may talk about Earth as an organism developing organs that enable it to make contact with other organisms in the universe.
We may talk about the birth of a new system of consciousness, an existence overarching human agency in the same way a human transcends cell agency. We may call this system the Cytologicon, a framework which defines the human condition in the wake of super-sophisticated, grand organization, helping us anticipate the future on the basis of knowledge, self-awareness, and fact.
In other words, the implications are endless and the future uncertain. Which is exactly what a self-respecting, quantum-savvy, intelligent and conscious species expects from life: the inability to predict the future with certainty; the capacity to affect the future via its expectations, observations and deeds; the opportunity to grow and get to know the world rather than sit tight in the womb and never come out.
Non-birth is not an option (fact!) and out of the question. It’s time to break out of our comfy, cozy, safe echo-chamber to face the wondrous world that awaits us. We may surprise ourselves and find meaning in the phrase ‘larger than life’ after all, proving to ourselves that there are truly no limits to our potential. It will not be an easy ride, but it will be fascinating, extraordinary, creative, and definitely on the right trail, far away from the neanderthal dais and its display of fossilized items. We may yet prove not the architects of our demise but the creators and stewards of a body that takes us places and expands our horizon. Just as DNA once did, when it came together and made up cells that made up organs that made up organisms that took DNA out of the sea and into a world of wonder.