Russian Transhumanism

Russia has always been considered a hotbed of utopias, both from above and from below, that is: State and intelligentsia (think of Peter the Great, Nikolai Chernyshevskii‘s socialist-utopian novel "What‘s to be Done" or Dostoevskii‘s ideal man Count Myshkin, the Idiot) – and at the same time there was a strong milleniarism among the people, a religious zeal leading to a variety of sects, peasant and folk beliefs resulting sometimes in bizarre mass movements. (Skoptsy) (This history has been brilliantly described in Leonid Heller‘s and Michel Niqueux‘s book which unfortunately is only available in French and German.) But the period after the October Revolution became a peak-period in the history of utopian thinking which resulted in a Soviet "laboratory of dreams," as some scholars have named it. Expecting world revolution right around the corner, artists, scientists and politicians equally were caught in a frenzy seeing themselves as agents of a "final fight" against the old powers, and,once religion,the "opium for the people", would be abolished, the Age of Reason, championed by science and technology, would lead mankind to a breakthrough in evolution, a new Fourth dimension and ultimately into a universal, cosmic paradise. Numerous scientists developed projects and experimented with strategies to take control not only of both physical and mental human life, but also of nature, geological, meteorological and even cosmic events and conditions.

On the 22nd of January, 1922 an article was published in the official Moscow Newspaper Izvestiia, rather a declaration which demanded(!) "to grant immediately the full rights to an unlimited life to everybody, including the Dead, who had helped to build the Realm of Freedom without enjoying it themselves." It was signed by the "creatorium of biocosmists-immortalists."

The spiritus rex behind such bizarre demands for immortality was Nikolai Fedorov, one of the most bizarre philosophers of the turn of the century. His lifelong obsession was the so-called "general deal" (vseobshchee delo), the resurrection of all dead people of all times, not as a Christian epiphany on the Day of the Last Judgement, but as a scientific project in the very literal sense.

"The task of men consists in the transformation of all born creatures, all which came into existence by itself and therefore all mortal beings into manufactured and therefore immortal."

Notes:

Folksonomies: transhumanism cosmism

Taxonomies:
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/society/unrest and war (0.267016)
/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.218701)

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Concepts:
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Immortality (0.797697): dbpedia | freebase
Soviet Union (0.787973): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Russian Civil War (0.767260): dbpedia | freebase | yago
October Revolution (0.759829): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Thought (0.724696): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Zealotry (0.689069): dbpedia | freebase
Literal (0.688802): dbpedia

 Russian Utopias, Transhumanism and the Magus of Silicon Valley
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Menzel, Birgit ( Oct.10, 2013), Russian Utopias, Transhumanism and the Magus of Silicon Valley, Retrieved on 2015-01-13
  • Source Material [www.academia.edu]
  • Folksonomies: todo transhumanism


    Schemas

    15 JAN 2015

     Russian Transhumanism

    An exploration of Cosmism, precursor to the modern transhumanist movement. To Read: The Philosophy of the Common Task, reference 1785
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