On the mystery of Love

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

Of all the questions posed in the prologue there is just one question to which The Last Faith is unable to provide an answer, or to which it has only provided 50% of an answer. This question concerns the mystery of Love. For clarity’s sake, here we are talking only about the natural form of love that occurs between a man and a woman. The Gene Preservation instinct undoubtedly lies at the root of this kind of love. In a sense this fact might serve as an appropriate answer to the question and yet, it still only goes halfway towards a full answer because Gene Preservation instinct cannot explain why love is so supremely selective. Why does a man or woman in love, long to preserve their genes exclusively with one sole representative of the entire second half of humanity? Even if we cannot provide a rational answer to this question, we can at least look at it more closely.

At the outset, I deliberately avoid attempting to define love in the context of strange, sublime, mystical speculation, leaving that rather to poets and preachers because such definitions cannot be subjected to experimental verification. Neither can I adopt the definition of Love offered by materialists based on medical research such as the biochemical meeting of perfectly opposite pheromones. After all, sometimes people fall in love at first sight, even in the winter when they are wearing thick clothes impervious to pheromones! People can even fall in love through a movie screen! Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor or Vladimir Vysotsky and Marina Vlady are prime examples of this. And how are we to understand one-sided, unrequited love? For that too is love, oh and what love it is! This type of love occurs more frequently than mutual love, it is just that we hear of it less often and sadly, only when there is a tragic outcome.

Attempts to explain the concept of love based solely on the striving to protect and pass on one’s genes hold no water at all.  The ideal solution and best means of protecting and passing on one’s genes is found in the classical form of monogamous marriage based on mutual attraction and shared interests and views on life. As we know, marriages which are not based on passionate love are fragile and undermined by the hyper-critical attitude of the lovers to each other, the virulent need to squash their partner’s Freedom of Choice and desire to have possession of the soul of the object of their love. Marriages of this kind will only last if over the years passionate love is transformed into mutual affection.

Neither can love be explained exclusively by Freedom of Choice. Has anyone really ever chosen with whom they will fall in love? In many languages the Russian word ‘vlyubitsa’ is literally expressed as ‘falling and tumbling into love’. For example, in English the equivalent expression is ‘fall in love’ and in French ‘tomber amoureux’.  How on earth can one speak of choice, moreover of free choice. I had a friend who lived to the age of forty something and all his short life he saw no meaning to life without love. He was always ‘tumbling into love’, spending the night in the entrance hall to the flat of his beloved so that in the morning he could meet his ‘goddess’ with a bunch of flowers. When he came into easy money he would hire restaurants and the orchestra would sing and play especially for his love. I have to say, that very few objects of his passion were able to resist such an onslaught of attention, even in the case of married women from respectable families who had wealthy, influential husbands. In contrast I have known both men and women who have loved no-one but themselves their entire lives. There is nothing interesting I can say about them.

With that, we may have excluded various erroneous attempts to explain what love is but have made no progress in our own search for an answer to this question. Perhaps this is why we have lyrics of love to feed poetry, music, paintings, literature, film and theatre which make up such a large and important part of human life. Any form of art related to amorous poetry represents the conscious or unconscious striving to answer to the question: “Why does love exist?” And the day that a rational explanation of love is found, lyrics of love will breathe their last. Something tells me though, that we will not be seeing this day for a long time to come.

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Cuckoos, dragonflies, Bonobo monkeys and the Law of Gene Preservation

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

Question from reader N:

Dear Author,

Your theory on the Law of Gene Preservation is totally indefensible! Take for example the cuckoo. As soon as the cuckoo has laid its egg it puts it into the nest of another bird and forgets about it forever. The other bird sits on the egg until the chick hatches and sometimes even nurses it.  Is the Law of Gene Preservation working here?

Author’s reply:

Dear Reader N,

Here the maternal instinct may be absent in the cuckoo, but in no way is the Law of Gene Preservation absent! If the Law of Gene Preservation did not work among cuckoos they would throw their eggs away, or even worse, eat them. On the contrary, cuckoos only put their eggs in the nests of birds when they are certain that the other bird will sit on their eggs until they hatch and then feed their chicks. In this way, the cuckoo gene is preserved.  All living beings in nature are subject to the Law of Gene Preservation, otherwise they would not survive.

Reader X:

I would like to add one more example to illustrate the working of the Law of Gene Preservation and its precedence over the Basic Instinct. From Wikipedia: Dragonflies mate on the fly. The secondary copulative apparatus in males is highly specialised and has no analogy among other insects. The male dragonfly removes any sperm left by a previous male before inseminating the female with his own. The females of some species (dragonflies) mimic the colouring of the males to reduce the amount of attention they receive so that they can move more quickly to the egg-laying stage.

Author:

That’s a wonderful example. Thank you!

 

Reader A.K.:

Dear Author,

You claim that animals do not have Freedom of Choice. Allow me to contradict you there. The female Bonobo monkey often gives herself to the male, who brings her a large ripe banana. In other words, does she not make a choice to reject the other males? Could you say that there is a kind of prostitution among bonobos?

Author:

Dear A.K.,

This is quite different to the kind of Choice that people are capable of making. The female bonobo operates exclusively according to her innate programming to choose the best genes to cross with her own. It is not as if she can take precautions! Here there can be no great surprises and so there is no real free choice, or for that matter, prostitution. The whole process is totally determined. A female bonobo will never choose a sick, weakling male who can’t get for her a large ripe banana. Despite the genetic similarity between the bonobo and human beings that make them our close relatives in the animal kingdom, we cannot claim that we are identical.  Surely you must have heard of cases when the beautiful, clever sportswoman marries the ugly, weakling, unattractive youth of little promise shocking all her friends and family and vice versa? The predictability of individual human Choice is only probabilistic, although public choices, as the totality of large numbers of individual choices, can be predicted with great accuracy.

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The common cause of Revolution

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

As the unforgettable Marx-Engels historical materialism which I was taught at Soviet school explains, the cause of socio-economic revolution lies in disparity between the development of productive forces and existing relations of production. Totally agreeing with Marx and Engels on the subject of socio-economic revolution, let us ask ourselves the following questions: “What are the reasons for scientific-technical revolutions, which no less powerfully shake society and transfer it to a new level of social progress, for example, in the case of the latest digital revolution? What of revolutions in the arts, and the anti-racist and anti-colonial revolutions of the second half of the twentieth century? What about the feminist revolution that spread successfully throughout the Western world significantly changing the face of western society in the first half of the twentieth century? What about the gay revolution that is surging now in Europe and North America?”

One can hardly talk of productive forces and relations in production in the context of these revolutions. So what changes essentially as a result of these types of revolution, as well as socio-economic revolution? Is there one main cause common to them all?

It turns out, that there is! The reason lies in the disparity between levels of Freedom of Choice in society with regard to the various issues that relate to its requirement.

Following the ‘Law of Humandynamics’, the total amount of Freedom of Choice in human society can only grow, even taking account of the fact that in certain periods levels of growth will freeze and even allowing for short periods of fluctuation in restricted areas.  The growth of Freedom of Choice itself  follows an uneven path. For significant periods of time, the growth rate in Freedom of Choice may develop smoothly, and then suddenly, be subject briefly to spasmodic growth, which breaks through existing obstacles. This rapid change is what we call revolution. As a result of all the types of revolution listed above, Freedom of Choice jumps abruptly to a new level, and this is true whether it be in the sphere of relations of production, relationships between the sexes, attitudes towards small states, racial and sexual minorities, interpretation of new art forms or in the newly expanded framework of science.

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Freedom of Choice, the collapse of empires and colonies, the inevitability of globalisation, Brexit and the Ukraine

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

Despite the fact that the great empires such as the Roman, Mongolian and Ottoman Empires were created with fire and sword, they still turned out to be fairly durable and long-lived. Why?

These empires lasted because they expanded the scope of freedom of choice among their conquered peoples. The new leaders provided their subjects with protection from external attack, granted them equal civil rights, access to better education, entrepreneurship and free trade. They ensured their inhabitants safe freedom of movement throughout the empire’s lands and preserved their right to religious freedom. When the development of technology and with it, the entire economy demanded further and continuous growth in freedom of choice, the existing rigid vertical power structure began to conflict with the force for change and this lead eventually to the  break-up of the empires. In any social structure, there will always be strata that benefit from low levels of freedom of choice among other segments of the group, and it is these strata that exert resistance to the force for change and growth of freedom of choice, although in the longer term, over the course of history, their efforts will be proven ill-fated. As we can see, empires rise and fall according to the ‘Law of Humandynamics’.

With regard to the colonial systems which were also created with fire and sword, the conquered peoples were assigned the role of second-class citizens with low levels of institutionalisation of freedom of choice in comparison to citizens in the metropolis. This doomed the colonial systems to collapse and accounts for them being relatively short-lived. Even formal equality in civil rights established for example in the case of the indigenous population of Algeria has not deterred their struggle for independence from France. The Algerians see and understand that the level of Freedom of Choice which they enjoy is significantly lower than that of the French population in France.

When the uniting of different peoples is conducted in such a way that Freedom of Choice grows at the same rate for all citizens, regardless of any one group’s size and power, this type of union is called globalisation and only this type of unification has any true development potential. This is why streams of thousands of refugees risking death from bullet and shipwreck are leaving their own countries where they have zero Freedom of Choice and seeking shelter in the countries of the European Union. This too is in accordance with the ‘Law of Humandynamics’.

So why did Brexit happen? Are levels of Freedom of Choice increasing or decreasing in post Brexit Britain? The answer to this question lies in the statistics of the voting age. The younger generation sensed instinctively the imminent decrease in their Freedom of Choice, which will be followed by a fall in Freedom of Choice for the entire country in the near future. Even the opportunity to choose one’s own spouse will be decreased, to say nothing of all the other areas of life affected. That sector of the population won, which fears the growth of Freedom of Choice in the country most, and which stands to lose as a class if levels of Freedom of Choice are increased. A certain fluctuation has occurred which is quite permissible within the context of the ‘Law of Humandynamics’.

But Britain is not North Korea, either in size, or in its isolation from the outside world. It will not be possible for the current state of fluctuation to be maintained for long. Very soon, in just a few years time, we will be sure to see ‘Brentrance’.

Similarly, in accordance with the ‘Law Humandynamics’, in the gruelling fight in the Ukraine between class sectors for and against the growth of Freedom of Choice, the former will inevitably win, albeit suffering local and temporary losses.

The same battle is taking place in Turkey and the result of this struggle is no harder to predict.

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