Olga Zeveleva
October 2017.

When is the world revolution going to start?

revolutionPolitical sociologyzizekPoliticsSocietySociology
1 answer

I am a pessimist here, in the sense that I am a pessimist communist, but still a communist. 

If I were to try and explain this to my son, for example, I would say: of course, with all the sabotage of any real progressive hope, we might think "why don't we simply resign? Let’s be good leftist Fukuyamaists, let’s fight for gay rights here, better healthcare there - these modest measures." 

One big problem, I think, is biogenetics, so-called posthumanism. There is a real prospect of controlling people in new, unimaginable ways. China is leading here. I once had a contact, I met him at a conference, the boss of the Chinese biogenetic branch of their academy of sciences, and he gave me a small brochure with a program, you know? The first item, programmatic item, was the aim of biogenetics in China is to control the material and psychic mental welfare of the Chinese people. So they openly opt for this, and they are already making it, trying to - it’s like a bad science fiction. 

But we are already doing it in the West in a more refined way. The Chinese idea is that they are already beginning to practice this, since our data are digitised. For example, if you are active in some prohibited domains, reading too much dissident literature... And in China this doesn’t mean so much Western ideology, as ecology and especially free trade unions. In China, if you say “free trade unions”, it’s the worst thing you can say. You can be for capitalism, nobody cares. If you are for free trade unions, it’s bad. So the idea is some central computing system identifies, notices this, that you are involved in any criminal activity, if you broke the law in any way, and then each person will get a certain grade or estimation of your “social trust”. They call it they call it in a very nice way, social trust. And this will have fateful consequences. If your social trust is low, you will not get a passport, you will not get a permit to travel, you will not get sensitive jobs and so on and so on.

But they discovered that in England and in the United States, the do it in a more discreet way. It’s like that in China they do it it more openly. When this happens in China, North Korea, we say “oh, horrible, horrible”. But in a discreet way, maybe even more efficiently, we are already doing this here. I spoke with somebody whose brother works in these genetic departments - forget about these North Korean nuclear weapons, the big thing is biogenetics, biochemical weapons and so on. For example, they already have this thing (I read it, it’s just not so emphasised in the public), it’s so simple, it’s like a small piece of luggage which emits radiation, you press a button and the group of people, one kilometre in perimeter, for a certain time, they lose their will to act and ability to think and so on. 

I think it’s one of the biggest questions of social control: who will control these different ways to regulate our mind? Will it be big companies, will it be states? And I think big companies can in some sense even be worse than the state and so on. So we have all these problems, plus migrations and so on. I don’t think that capitalism, the way we have it today, as a global capitalism, can survive this in the long term. I believe that in Hollywood, big blockbusters, these post-apocalyptic films - in a sense, they are right. Either something like a big emancipatory whatever - I call it communism - will come, or we will face a new apartheid, like in old fantasy movies. society like all those old fantasy movies, that are nicely made, at least visually... That one with Jennifer Lawrence, “Hunger Games”, where you have basically a class division that is even stronger than classical Marxist class divisions. Because in classical Marxist class division, okay, say if you are a capitalist and I am a worker or vice versa, we still somehow are supposed to participate in the same legal system, at some formal level - which is a lie, but it still means we share some basic rights. I think a much stronger apartheid is coming now, where the working class will not only be directly politically dispriviledged, but even in the long term (it’s already quite realistic), it will become a biologically different race.