Vladimir Putin, Elon Musk and cosmologists

Michel Elchanin gave us an appointment at Le Wepler, Place de Clichy, in Paris, very close to the headquarters of Philosophy Magazine, which is its editor. “On the site of this café started Céline Journey to the end of the nightThis philosopher excites his passion for literature.

science and mysticism

At the beginning of February, we are not talking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: we are still far from imagining it. We planned to talk about another whole expansion, another whole journey: the resurrection of the dead and the colonization of space, two dreams that Russian cosmologists cherish.

Bringing the body and soul of the dead back to life from their ashes? Leaving the Earth becoming overcrowded and settling on other planets? It sounds like the plot of a science fiction novel. However, these utopian theories, developed in the nineteenth century, have persisted in one form or another underground to this day. Explains the author of the book Lenin walked on the moon.

embalmed Lenin

“One can see in Fyodorov’s mysticism a reaction to the West naively presented as weary, tired, discontinued, materialistic, stuck in matter.” The philosophy of joint workincorporating most of the ideas of Nikolai Fyodorov (1829-1903), as well as his correspondence, was published in French at the end of 2021 by Editions des Syrtes.

Read also: Nikolai Fyodorov or Belief in Human Beings

The analogy of cosmology did not disappear with the death of Fyodorov in 1903. Several currents of his thought, such as the “bio-universalism” of the years 1910-1920, emerged from the anarchist tendency, which saw death and attachment to the land as a limit imposed by capitalism. But the mystical Christian movement led by Fyodorov’s disciples would be outlawed by the Bolsheviks led by Lenin. Ironically, Lenin’s followers would also be embalmed as a saint awaiting his resurrection.

Christianity of the future

Very early on, literature seized upon these ideas to display and question them. Dostoevsky specialist, Michel Elchaninov, to whom he devoted two articles, comments: “At the end of his life, Dostoevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov. While writing, he maintains correspondence with one of Nikolai Fyodorov’s pupils. The promise of the resurrection of the ancestors is of great importance to him. Cosmological theories in his work show a hint, but Dostoevsky raises the question of future Christianity, making it possible to achieve the true resurrection of the dead thanks to science.

Read again: Dostoevsky’s life and work did not end in curiosity

After Dostoevsky, many writers of the first half of the twentieth century were influenced by Fyodorov. Platonov ignites his ideas in his novels such as Schwingerwhich were written between 1926 and 1929. Bulgakov parodies the demagogic verses of scientists who believe that they can create life in dog heartwhere ominous eggsPublished in the mid-1920s, all Russian science fiction literature feeds on cosmology.

space conquest

After Fyodorov, the cosmologist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) aspires to a complete reform of humanity, to a new beginning of the human race, thanks to the colonization of space. Once the dead are brought back to life, the densely populated Earth must be left, and humanity, for its good, will evolve towards greater maturity: “Earth is the cradle of humanity, but humanity cannot remain in its cradle forever,” he wrote in his many texts about the desired conquest of space .

Read also: Sputnik, an improvised propaganda weapon – Le Temps

Model Elon Musk

The Russian cosmopolitanism of the nineteenth century found fertile ground in the Silicon Valley of the twenty-first century with billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, who became the standard bearers of the very active transhumanist movement. Michel Elchaninov: “California transhumanism feeds on very diverse sources but acknowledges its debt to Nikolai Fyodorov. Elon Musk cites Konstantin Tsiolkovsky as a model.”

What do you think of this soul community between cosmology and transhumanism? “In its desire to remake man from top to bottom, cosmic, underground, fueled the Soviet tyrannical project. By analogy, some discourses in Silicon Valley, which claim a desire to suppress death and depict a cosmic life, carry within them a totalitarian and unequal aspect.

the good of mankind

In 2007, Vladimir Putin visited the Konstantin Tsiolkovsky House Museum in Kaluga, 200 kilometers southwest of Moscow. He publicly praised the example of the philosopher and inventor. “It is strange to see Putin quoting such an eccentric author as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who considers man to be doomed to immortality,” comments Michel Elchaninov. This honor allows the Russian president to present specific Russian aspirations for space conquest. While the Americans, he said, would seek to dominate other nations, the Russians would aim for the good of mankind, in line with what Tsiolkovsky believed.

Finally read: Andrei Markovic and Françoise Morvan: “The Master and Margarita is an act of resistance in itself” – Le Temps

Does Vladimir Putin, who plans to remain in power until 2036, dream of being immortal? What does Michel Alchaninov think about it, author of another great article, Inside Vladimir Putin’s mind (Published in a joint edition by Solin / Actes Sud in 2015)? “It is out of the question, for Russian leaders, to assert that scientists will try to resurrect the dead, and this will not be seen by the Orthodox Church with good eyes, for which cosmologists are heretics. Putin, who would like to remain young as long as possible, may be a secret cosmologist, But not in public!

Michelle Chaninoff
Lenin Walked on the Moon – The Crazy Story of Russian Cosmologists and Transhumanists
Solin, Acts Sud, 241 p.

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