Tag Archives: Freedom of Choice

Freedom of Choice and Morality as a Conditioned Reflex (Part 1)

Rarely does a question succeed in evoking so much debate as the question concerning the nature and origin of human morality. Immanuel Kant called the moral energy that resides in the human soul an impenetrable mystery.

Those of religious faith believe that our morality is given to us from above, from God. If this is the case, why didn’t God give morality to all people in equal measure so that we could live a peaceable life without being continually plagued by the complex problems of coexistence? Why do the type of people we consider immoral exist? Would these individuals also consider themselves to be immoral and where is the proof that we are right and they not?

Some people believe that the moral principles to which the majority adheres can be instilled in a child via their upbringing. If that is so, why is it that brother and sister who receive the same upbringing and love from their parents often end up supporting completely different moral values in their adult life?

Each one of us can no doubt cite hundreds of examples of this tendency among their friends and relatives. Research shows that upbringing can only assure the passing on of etiquette (how to sit properly at the table and hold one’s knife and fork etc), but not ethics or morals. Naturally, one’s upbringing and education have some effect on the formation of a person’s sense of morality but to a lesser degree than we might think. More often than not, our upbringing teaches us to hide where our morality is lacking.

Totalitarian systems believe that even if the morality they choose to cultivate cannot be instilled naturally, it can be forcefully driven into the minds of the adult population through propaganda and repression. So why is it then, that time passes and the population inevitably rises up in protest against the morality that has been enforced upon them?

Genetics fans who like to explain everything in terms of the gene would say that human morality is unequivocally determined by a person’s genetic makeup. If this the case then why do identical twins experience a different sense of morality?

What ultimately defines our morality as human beings and where does it originate?

In the 17th conversation of The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer” which focuses on the topic of Freedom of Choice, we identified the human soul as the ability to choose to act in accordance with or against one’s natural instincts, the most fundamental of which is the gene preservation instinct. The morality of every human being represents the result of how they choose to behave and treat others. This is what accounts for the diversity in our sense of morality as human beings, the difference between one person and another, one group and another.

Let’s take the example of a small group of 2-year-olds playing in a sandpit, who as yet have developed no sense of their own morality. It is not unusual to observe one child, attracted to one of the other children’s brightly-coloured toys, trying to take it from them. At this point, the unfolding scenario becomes potentially diverse and unpredictable because, at this age, children are still unfamiliar with the rules of conduct established by a conventional sense of morality. It would be correct to say, the morality developed and accepted by the majority in society. Here follows one possible scenario for how the children behave next:

  • Day one: The ‘child-aggressor’ (more often than not a boy) takes the other child’s toy and walks way happily. The “child-victim” stays put and lets out a loud howl.
  • Day two: The ‘child-aggressor’ tries to take the other child’s toy again but the “child-victim” having learned from the experience of the previous day, shows a strong response and fights to stand their ground. The ‘child-aggressor’ is left with a few bruises but no toy.
  • Day three: The ‘child-aggressor’ having learned from the previous negative experience, approaches the ‘child-victim’ and offers one of their own toys in exchange for the other child’s toy, thereby initiating a possible satisfactory outcome for both parties and laying the foundation for a more civilised relationship in the future.

There are endless scenarios for the possible outcome of this type of interaction and I am certain that morality among primitive peoples developed in this manner, through trial and error in relationships with others. As a child grows and develops from the moment of birth to adolescence, they walk the path of acquiring a personal sense of morality, just like all humanity has done over the ages, from primitive societies to modern day society.

Of course, for every child, the path is an individual one and its shape will depend on a whole range of conditions: the influence of older siblings, parents, school environment, etc. In the same way, the path is different for each individual nation which explains why their moral codes differ to some extent, albeit not fatally! The difference between nations is often defined by where each nation is positioned on the arrow of time. In society, just as with children and even adults, the development of morality is connected not only to individuality but also to age.

The main conclusion I would like to draw here is that whereas a common morality can be adopted by a majority, there is no such thing as a common morality per se. There is no absolute or universal morality. The commandment “Thou shalt not murder” for example doesn’t work when it comes to street gangs and is quite inappropriate in the context of an army at war.

Moreover, a person’s sense of morality can change not only from one person to another and from one group to another. We all know of examples where the moral principles of an individual or even a whole nation change with changing circumstances. People will very quickly drop a moral code they held previously and just as easily take up a new one if the circumstances call them to do so.

For example, the moral principles that underpin the interaction between a man and a woman can change when circumstances so require. In the 1970s, I ended up at a Soviet youth camp on the Volga River near the city of Kazan, which took up to five hundred young people at any one time from all over the Soviet Union. On the very first evening, there was a disco attended by 500 young people, all furiously driven by the Law of Gene Preservation. The group was made up of young Soviet women; majestic, formidable and all dressed up and very timid-looking, young Soviet mathematics students (mainly men), who were participating in a scientific conference that was being held over a few days at the youth camp.  What a shock it was to discover, after no more than half an hour had passed, that the ratio of young men to women in the room, far from being the normal 1:1, turned out to be less than 1:10 i.e. one young man to every 10-11 young women.

So what happened next? I won’t go into details, but a couple of hours later, half the lovely ladies who recognised that their chances were slim and didn’t want to negate the normal model of behaviour, saw no point in staying and left the disco hall. The other half, on the contrary, turned a blind eye to the convention, took the initiative and vied for the attention of the men they invited to dance. The young men, despite their initial shyness, suddenly adopted the role of the “lady” and were blatantly fickle in choosing whose invitation to accept.

The disco continued like any other, the only difference being, that the role of suitor was played by the women and the role of the lady, by the men respectively. I remember this occasion so vividly because it was the first time I had seen so clearly how moral conduct in relations between a man and a woman, which have developed over centuries, if not millennia, can transform in the blink of an eye if the situation requires it.

In conclusion, morality is nothing more than a ‘Pavlov’ conditioned reflex, which is evoked in response to external conditions and stimuli and which disappears the moment those conditions are removed.

If morality is nothing more than a conditioned reflex, why do we attribute such great importance to the teaching and promotion of morality? What is this ‘natural’ morality that society is constantly seeking from its members, and the family from its children?

It’s not actually a difficult question. Compassion or empathy, which lies at the core of the concept of morality, exists to one degree or another only in gregarious, herd-like species, including human beings. Understandably, solitary animals have no need of compassion. Compassion and mutual assistance within the herd are of direct benefit not only to every member of the herd in its task of Gene Preservation but also to the herd as a whole.

In my research, more than anything else, I was astounded by the behaviour of wolves, who brought back food from the hunt for a wolf-invalid. One may confidently claim, that herds of animals which are incapable of empathy are equally incapable of survival.

Recently, scientists discovered the altruism gene, which we more popularly refer to as compassion. So far, the altruism gene has only been found in microbes living in colonies but it is very likely that it will also be located in all gregarious living beings.

The taboo on murder within a herd is dictated by the Gene Preservation Law and again, this law explains the moral of encouraging the murder and destruction of other hostile herds. However, in specific circumstances, the same law may engender the opposite behaviour even within the herd, as for example in the case of lions where the new head of a pride will kill the cubs of the defeated male.

Among our human ancestors, the prohibition of murder was also applied solely within the tribe, although with the development of globalisation, the extent of the prohibition’s reach has expanded its boundaries. The universal prohibition on murder, to which Jesus Christ called man, will clearly only be implemented after the complete globalisation of the planet.

Morality which calls us to respect the Freedom of Choice of others, as a way of guaranteeing respect for our own Freedom of Choice, emerged in human society quite recently and only exists in democratic countries, where human rights as a priority are officially proclaimed. This complex form of morality, which exists only among human beings and which remains a constant focus of both the arts and the sciences, is, of course, a product of Freedom to Choice, which likewise exists solely among the human race.

Recently, a rumour was circulated in the global press that a freedom gene had been discovered, or to put it more clearly, a Free Will gene. Later they started to refute the rumour which may well have been fake news. Other ‘unscientific’ considerations, however, have been raised related to the topic of Freedom of Choice and so we shall comment on them here.

According to science, humankind’s ancestors (Homo habilis) have existed on the planet for about 3-4 million years. Ninety-nine percent of that time, if our ancestors did evolve, then they evolved in the same way as their primate relatives in accordance with Darwin’s theory. If our ancestors used sticks and stones during this time, then it should be pointed out that many other primate species used and use to this day these same implements for hunting and gathering.

And when less than one percent of this time was left i.e. 30-40 thousand years ago, the first signs of human evolution appeared i.e. signs of human activity significantly differentiating the species from other primates. Even in this period, for 30-35 thousand years, humankind was just ‘building up’ to the process, preparing for the great, real, human evolution.

The human evolution of the past 5-10 thousand years has taken place with exponential acceleration leading to what we see of the modern-day world with all its aeroplanes, ships, missiles and preparation for a flight to the planet Mars.

Suspicious? In my opinion, it is more than suspicious.

Perhaps, 30-40 thousand years ago (give or take a few) a Freedom of Choice gene appeared among mankind’s ancestor’s for the first time as a result of a process of natural mutation. This moment can be called the birth of the first Homo sapiens, or Homo eligenti as suggested in The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”. Some might call it the reason genome, but that’s irrelevant and doesn’t change the essence here.

The mutation which allowed people to start choosing their behaviour freely, rather than acting as a response to blind instinct turned out to be extraordinarily helpful and from this point onwards, the carriers of the freedom gene acquired a huge advantage over other humans around them in the struggle for survival.

Over a period of 30-35 thousand years, the gene victoriously expanded across the breadth of the earth and finally, 5-10 thousand years ago, only the descendants of the new gene carriers remained. This most certainly explains the disappearance of the Neanderthals. Those primates who were genetically very similar but didn’t carry the new gene remained primates stuck with their sticks and stones.

(Part 2 of this article which explains why humanity naturally tends to become more tolerant and less violent over time is available here)


Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

This article isn’t intended to give a comprehensive overview of the topic. It is simply an addition to the book’s contribution to the theme of morality already considered at length in “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.

 

Consumerism: a response to an American reader

Reader: 

Dear author, you are wrong about the United States. There is no Freedom of Choice or any real freedoms in the United States. It is impossible to implement any political ideas. All we have is consumerism. People are only free in as much as they buy, sell and consume goods and services.

Author: 

Let’s start by defining what consumerism is from the point of view of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.

Consumerism is first and foremost the freedom to choose goods and services! In other words, consumerism is part and parcel of overall Freedom of Choice and therefore, we aren’t talking here about the complete lack of Freedom of Choice that exists or existed in places such as North Korea, Cuba and the Soviet Union

But consumerism is only one aspect of Freedom of Choice and can even be successfully implemented independently of general Freedom of Choice, as it was, for example, in Chile during Pinochet’s dictatorship, in South Korea during the reign of dictator Park Chung Hee, and as it is in modern Communist China.

To claim that there is no Freedom of Choice in the United States is to completely ignore the fact that one half of the American population is locked in “battle” with the other, for and against Trump. If that is not Freedom of Choice to express your opinion about the future running the United States, then what is?

If Trump does finally succeed in crushing the free press and dispersing the independent justice system, I wonder what you would have to say about the United States then?

But that will never happen. The best and most proactive portion of the American population wants to preserve its Freedom of Choice and has absolutely no intention of parting with more than two centuries of democratic history just like that.

On the Freedom of Choice

In his novel, ‘East of Eden’, John Steinbeck discovered that in the biblical parable of Cain and Abel the words which God is supposed to have spoken to Cain after he had murdered his brother, are different in British and American translations of the Bible to the original Hebrew. What is a small difference in translation actually implies a huge difference in the meaning of God’s words particularly with regard to Freedom of Choice.

In the English King James edition God’s words sound like a prediction: ‘Thou shalt rule over him’ (You will rule over sin) which would appear to mean that the men can go freely about their lives, knowing that the feeling of sin will be overcome automatically.

In the American Standard translation, God’s words sound like an order: ‘Do Thou rule over him’ (Rule over sin), which would appear to mean that men are obliged to obey God without a murmur of doubt.

Only in the original Hebrew version, by saying: ‘Thou mayest rule over him’ (You may rule over sin), do God gives man the freedom to make the difficult choice, whether to fight against sin or not! With just one Hebrew word ‘timshel’ (‘Thou mayest’) God communicates to man, that he always has Freedom of Choice.

Steinbeck writes:

Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?”

“Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?”

“Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But ‘Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph.

Adam said, “Do you believe that, Lee?”

“Yes, I do. Yes, I do. It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of deity, saying, ‘I couldn’t help it; the way was set.’ But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There’s no godliness there. And do you know, those old gentlemen who were sliding gently down to death are too interested to die now?”

Adam said, “Do you mean these Chinese men believe the Old Testament?”

Lee said, “These old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. They are critics of truth. They know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. They do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. But this—this is a ladder to climb to the stars.” Lee’s eyes shone. “You can never lose that. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.


The text above is taken from the second part of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.

Is it reasonable to appeal to the conscience of corrupt officials and to dream of having honest political leaders?

In robbing their own people, corrupt presidents, ministers and officials are fulfilling the instinct of gene preservation which is inherent in human nature, i.e. they are taking care of their own children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. It is reasonable to appeal to the conscience of corrupt officials and to dream of having honest political leaders?

I would answer directly and without hesitation: No! It is not reasonable!

In developing countries there exists the widespread misconception that the low levels of corruption that exist in highly developed democratic countries is down to the greater honesty of the ruling elite. I am sorry to have to disappoint you but even in countries with a developed democracy, the gene preservation instinct functions in just the same way as it does in more backward countries. You only have to look at some of the most recent examples:

  • As soon as sales dropped in the business belonging to the daughter of America’s newly elected president Donald Trump, the President used his official account to protect her business, and his official Counsellor Kellyanne Conway in an attempt to gain the favour of her boss, openly advertised Trump’s daughter’s company products on national television.
  • French presidential candidate Francois Fillon is accused of embezzling public funds during his time as member of parliament and minister ‘illegally’ paying large sums of money to his wife and children;
  • Vice-president of Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, was arrested on charges of corruption.

Anyone who comes to power and is faced with the opportunity of providing a secure future for their offspring even if it means doing so in a dishonest manner at the cost of robbing the offspring of ordinary people, will almost always succumb to committing this kind of crime. However, it is true that there are countries in the world where corruption exists at a very low level whilst in other countries, the power vertical is clearly corrupt through and through.

Evidently, it’s not all down to the gene preservation which works in the same manner the world over. So is it down to people’s freedom of choice? That is exactly it!

The percentage of the population that actively manifests freedom of choice, otherwise called ‘civil society’ defines the position of a country on the time axis; it defines the country’s level of democratic development, and finally, it defines the intensity of the nation’s struggle against corruption.

Based on Freedom House estimates the percentage of ‘civil society’ fluctuating between 25-35% in the developed countries of the West thanks to the free press and independent justice system, between 2-5% in the majority of post-Soviet countries, and being almost equal to zero in totalitarian states.

However, the scenario isn’t as gloomy as it first appears. As explained in “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”, the freedom of choice, and consequently the percentage of ‘civil society’, will steadily increase on a global scale, as indeed we see happening from a historical perspective. Such tendency towards ‘civil society’ is also accelerated by an increasing access to internet throughout the world and easier access to knowledge and education for both men and women.

The emergence of Freedom of Choice among Humans

Reader: “Here you write that God gave man Freedom of Choice. Can God not be excluded from the equation in this instance?”

Author: “Of course! Whereas the most developed human-like primates have existed for 2-3 million years, the very first signs of Freedom of Choice appeared just 20-30 thousand years ago. Evidently, at this time, the gene responsible for Freedom of Choice developed in a group of primates as a result of natural mutation. Those who carried the gene, homo eligenti, became stronger than the primates overcoming them in the competition for food, territory and reproduction. Most importantly, this primate group initiated a process of rapid evolution which eventually led to the creation of contemporary civilisation. Other primate groups were unsuccessful in the battle for food and territory and remained at a more primitive level of evolution.”

Racism, Nationalism, Patriotism as the consequences of Xenophobia. Why and how did they arise and how long will they continue to exist?

Xenophobia, as a primordial instinct, arose with the appearance of living beings on Earth as a natural response to the threat posed by other species, and even members of the same species who belonged to external groups. We have all witnessed one to three years old children crying when they are approached by a stranger.

The phenomena of racism, nationalism and patriotism exist among humans as a result of the kind of xenophobia that existed when primitive humans, gregarious by nature, could only survive and Preserve their Gene with members of their own tribe existing on the same habitat, considered the homeland.

Exactly the same phenomenon can be observed in the animal kingdom only then we use different terms to describe it. This same behaviour can be clearly observed in a pack of wolves for example, who will fight other wolf packs as ferociously as other species of animal such as bear.  

Unlike xenophobia, neither racism, nationalism nor patriotism can be said to be biologically inherent in human beings. Take children’s pre-school groups for example. Children of different races will play together without it ever occurring to them that they are in some way different from their play-pals. All racial prejudices are adopted from by the child from their parents as they get older, who in turn adopted the prejudices from their own parents etc, going back to the era of race wars.

Aside from ethnic racism, other forms of discrimination exist in the world against religion, gender and class. Why do these forms of discrimination continue to existence in modern society?

The answer is simple – apartheid. Wherever schools exist in which children are separated into groups on account of race, religion, sex or class, discrimination in all its forms will continue to exist. The adoption of desegregation laws in the USA more than half a century ago represented a significant step forward in achieving the eradication of ethnic racism in America. On the territory of the former Soviet Union class racism, proclaimed by Marxism-Leninism that asserted the superiority of the proletarian class, receded into oblivion together with the Communist regime that fostered the ideology.

Whereas racism born of xenophobia is condemned throughout the world and nationalism disapproved of, patriotism is universally encouraged. 

Yet even this tendency is changing. In united Europe attempts are clearly being made to foster in children a feeling of pan-European patriotism in place of an ethnic, state-based patriotism.

There is every reason to suppose that the consequences of xenophobia will be mitigated by examples of rapprochement between nations and increasing globalisation as all these developments are accompanied by an increase in global Freedom of Choice driven by the Law of Humandynamics.

And yet, it is still very early days.


Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson.

Karmak Bagisbayev is an author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”, an Amazon bestseller in Russian Literature, Atheism and Agnosticism.

How long Trump will remain in power?

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

Today, anyone and everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock is busy predicting how long Donald Trump will remain at the wheel of power in the United States. We are making our own prediction based on the principles of The Last Faith.

Trump’s election promises can be divided into two main categories. The first, to increase the population’s standard of living by reducing taxes and re-shoring manufacturing jobs. In other words, to improve conditions necessary for Gene Preservation. The second category includes Trump’s promises and open threats to reduce levels of Freedom of Choice in the United States, first and foremost for African Americans, Latin Americans, immigrants, Muslims and women by building walls, restricting entry and banning funding for abortion services. Trump continues to attack the independent justice system and America’s free press.

In my previous article written immediately after Trump’s election prior to his assumption of office as President of the United States, I tried to make a short-term forecast regarding his political future. However, Trumps’ first decrees aimed at implementing his threats allow me, in fact require me, now, to speak more definitely.

First of all, let’s look at the following question: Just exactly who is the Trump voter?

As I wrote in The Last Faith, the number of people who actively practice Freedom of Choice on a daily basis, even in a democratic country like the United States, barely exceeds one-third or even a quarter of the population.  The portion of the population that needs improved conditions essential for Gene Preservation more than they need Freedom of Choice, as we saw after the election, accounts for no less than half (by comparison, in Russia it’s 86-91%). These are the people who voted for Trump and this fact has to be acknowledged. About 20% of the population voted for Clinton for various reasons.

So does this mean that Trump will be settling into the White House for a long time to come? Absolutely not! This is why.

Firstly, America is not North Korea or post-Soviet Russia. Two hundred years of practicing democratic freedom, in other words, broad Freedom of Choice, won’t just disappear just because Trump or anyone else wants it to. And even though, as we said, the number of people in America practicing Freedom of Choice on a daily basis is no more than a third or even a quarter, look at the types of people who make up this portion of the population.  The group includes almost all America’s celebrities: famous scientists, Hollywood directors and actors, well-known musicians and singers, artists, architects, sportspeople and writers i.e. people with huge moral influence over the people of the United States. The protests we see happening won’t just settle down all by themselves. Most importantly, Trump’s policies are being harshly criticised by CEOs of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others who represent the face of large-scale business in twenty-first century America.

In our last article, we said that if Trump were to begin his busy activities of office by raising living standards i.e. by improving conditions for Gene Preservation, then he stood a chance of winning the support of at least half the population of the United States thereby remaining in office – at least temporarily! Instead, Trump began his term in office by curtailing Freedom of Choice across the entire country. Without complete Freedom of Choice in manufacturing relations the economy will be doomed! This is a fact that has been illustrated many times by the economy of twentieth century communist countries, which could not be saved from ruin even by shooting millions of peaceful civilians. Only China, which maintained its Communist regime but blatantly replaced communist industrial relations with limited capitalist equivalents, managed to keep its economy afloat. Sooner or later, evolving Chinese capitalism will exhaust its limited resources of economic freedom and demand the establishment of true democracy in the country, or, in other words, full Freedom of Choice. It is inevitable.

Trump however, has not limited himself to threats which curtail political freedom. In his election program, he promised to re-shore manufacturing capacity with the goal of creating new employment opportunities. It was strange to hear such statements from a businessman evidently not comprehending the inflation of prices that would ensue to say nothing of all the other obvious ramifications associated with implementing such madness. Something tells me though that this won’t happen. The law of Humandynamics, in the form of the American business world, won’t allow Trump to enforce limitations Freedom of Choice in industrial relations to such a degree that he dictates where and how manufacturing companies may do their business. If Trump attempts to curtail these freedoms, he’ll be forced to stand down.

P.S. The news has just come in that the Court of Appeal in the United States has upheld a block on Trump’s immigration ban. Now it is up to the United States Supreme Court to bring an end to this dispute. Is it quite possible, that America has reached a bifurcation point in its democratic development. Whether or not the Supreme Court realises this or not, we shall see in due course.

Genghis Khan, Brexit, Trump and Burkinis

Causes of the Birth, Rise and Fall of the Great Mongol Empire.

The personality of the leader and conqueror, Genghis Khan, is something that continues to intrigue historians to this day. All the major events related to Genghis Khan’s life and empire, when, how and in what order he carried out his many conquests, have been exceedingly well-researched. An abundance of ancient Uighur, Arab, Middle Asian, Persian and particularly Chinese written documents exists which describe these events in some detail. But that was the thirteenth century!

Historians today tussle over the issue of the ethnicity of the khagan and his descendants. In the vast expanse of the Russian Internet, you will find many different types of articles on Genghis Khan. Some are written in the traditional style of Russian historiography and describe the catastrophic “Tatar-Mongol” invasion which destroyed much of the nation and saw the onset of the almost three-hundred-year Mongol Yoke, responsible for holding Russia back for centuries. Others vary in theme ranging from claims that the invasion was a fake to the life of Genghis Khan and his grandson Batuhan, to the Russian princes and the period of their reign described as being one of great prosperity for Russia.

Often the authors of such articles make reference to portraits painted by Europeans which they themselves have never seen. I remember seeing portraits and sculptures in Central Asian, Caucasian and Slavic style, depicting Vladimir Lenin with the same ethnic features as the artists and sculptors who created them. That’s not to mention those who left to conquer China, Central Asia, Caucasia, Misr (Egypt), Syria and Persia.

Kazakh historians claim rights to Genghis Khan referring to the “concrete” argument of the khan’s tribal affiliation. Apparently, the khan, along with his entourage and entire army (which according to Chinese sources consisted entirely of representatives of the clans and tribes which survive to this day in the Middle and Senior “zhuz” (Kazakh tribal divisions) belonged to a uniquely kazakh tribe of direct Genghizid-Tore descendants. Naturally, the Mongolian people, who share the same name as the invasion, cannot but claim affiliation to Genghis Khan. That said, their historians have not yet been able to successfully respond to their opponents’ argument that the term “Mongol” did not exist prior to the birth of Genghis Khan and was invented by him personally. The historians of many nations that may or may not once have been part of the Mongol Empire claim relatedness to Genghis Khan. Among them, the most surprising is perhaps the Japanese claim.

I don’t intend to get caught up in the arguments of professional historians, however. My goal is simply to provide answers, as far as that is possible, to my childhood questions: ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’.

How were Genghis Khan and his descendants able to create the largest empire in the history of mankind in just fifty years, even though they started with nothing?

Why is it, that despite the fact that there are documented incidents in which whole towns and their inhabitants were annihilated, the conquered peoples were generally willing to accept Genghis Khan’s rule and lived peacefully within the Mongol Empire right up until its decline?

Why did the Mongol Empire rule for less than three centuries before disintegrating and finally disappearing when historical records show no significant attack either from external enemies or local uprisings? Why did a similar historical scenario repeat itself seven centuries later in the same geographic area in the form of the Soviet Union, which existed for just 70 years before its own decline?

With rare exceptions, why have none of the peoples inhabiting the areas of the former Mongol Empire achieved the democratic gains of Western countries, despite the fact that some of them have survived civilisations of the past that were in their time more sophisticated than the contemporary civilisation of Europe.

Why?

I’ll try and answer some of these questions from the point of view of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.

First of all, it is worth remembering which historical time and circumstances surrounded the formation of the identity of the legendary conqueror, Genghis Khan. It was a time when in most of Eurasia, ferocious war was ongoing aimed only at destruction. Everyone was at war with everyone else. Extensive farming methods dictated the need for new pasture and arable lands. War raged not only between nations but between tribes and kin. The Chinese Three Kingdoms were fighting amongst themselves, as well as dozens of individual principalities of Rus’, all the proto-Kazakh tribes and everyone else as well… There was all-out human destruction throughout the vast territory of Eurasia. It was as if every human being believed that the only way to preserve their own gene was to annihilate that of their neighbour.

Ironically, the greatest earthly crime against the Law of Gene Preservation was committed in its name. Someone had to put an end to the bloody feast and history saw fit to call on Genghis Khan.

The young Genghis Khan, at that time still called Temujin, lost his father and all his senior male relatives to war and ended up a head of his family line when he was still a child. The young Genghis Khan had the sole aim of putting an end to the constant conflict, at least in his immediate environment, in order to save his family and prevent his genes from being totally wiped out. Displaying the remarkable abilities of warrior, diplomat and organiser, he quickly achieved his goal by uniting the free herders of clans close to his own and subjecting to his rule neighbouring tribes and their lands. However, fearing imminent clashes with new and more powerful distant neighbours, he had no choice but to continue running campaigns against them. From then on things developed according to the internal logic characteristic of all imperial conquests, revolutions and wars, which ultimately takes control of their leaders, sometimes even against their will.

Once an army of shepherds, who have since forgotten their nomadic livelihood, becomes a professional military force, growing in number, it has to be fed and given a share of the spoils of war. To maintain the army, the empire is forced to continually expand.  So then followed the conquering of the Kingdoms of China, the Central Asian khanates, the Russian principalities and later, the countries of the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

The first question that must be answered is how Genghis Khan was able to conquer such enormous territories with a population ten times, if not hundreds of times larger than that of the Turkic-Mongol tribes that followed him? Military professionalism and the fearlessness and valour of the steppe nomads could not have been sufficient. We know that Genghis Khan’s army was able to resist the well-equipped professional armies of local kings, princes and khans, but why has history left almost no trace of widespread popular resistance to the foreign invader?  The only exception might be the battle of the Kalka River, where the Western proto-Kazakh tribes and the Russian princes and their ‘druzhinas’ attempted to resist two ‘tumen’ of Jebe and Subutai the Valiant, which consisted mainly of members of the tribes of the Eastern proto-Kazakhs.

I am convinced that the main “secret” of Genghis Khan’s victories and his success in maintaining peace with his conquered peoples lay in the style of governance that his administration applied on occupied territory.

Marco Polo writes: “Conquering an area, he did not punish the population or violate their property rights. He simply instated a few of his own men among them, and then left with the rest for further conquests in distant lands. And when the people of the conquered land realised that he would protect them from all their neighbours and that they suffered no evil under his rule, and when they saw his generosity as emperor, they became loyal to him in body and soul, and went from former enemy to faithful servant.”

For example, during the period of the Tatar Yoke not one church was destroyed in Rus’. On the contrary, thousands of churches and hundreds of monasteries were built. I should add, that the Mongols refrained from interfering in the way of life of their conquered peoples as a matter of principle. Neither did they interfere in the economy, religion or rites and customs of these peoples. They levied a reasonable tax of ten percent on all types of income and took upon themselves the responsibility of protecting the perimeters of the territory from external threat. It has to be said that the Tatar-Mongols fulfilled their obligation quite conscientiously, one example being the well-known battle at Chudsk Lake against the German knights. The protection of the perimeter was not only a matter of guarding borders; it meant staunch isolation of the peoples of the empire from any external relations and was a method borrowed by local kings and khans and again later under Communist regimes.

As a result, the peoples of the Mongol Empire were virtually cut off from the developing outside world for eight centuries right up until the end of the twentieth century. Any sign of internecine feud was punishable by death. This was not for the sake of the conquered peoples of course, but for the sake of peaceful rule and tax collection. With the same aim of streamlining the taxation system, the Mongols built roads and initiated the postal service. They basically pioneered the process of forcibly globalising conquered peoples by administratively uniting disparate concentrations of single ethnic groups. They laid the foundation for the creation of powerful future states, such as the unified state of China formed from the Three Kingdoms and a unified Russia, from dozens of autonomous principalities. This fact was openly acknowledged by the grateful Chinese in the creation of their seventeen-part serial film “Genghis Khan”.

Expressed in the language of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”, the Mongols created the ideal conditions for the realisation of the Law of Gene Preservation for the empire’s entire population, which had not existed under the previous rule of tzars, khans and princes.  In my opinion, this explains the lack of serious popular revolt against the Tatar Yoke, a fact to which other historians have paid relatively little attention. There is evidence to show, that during the relatively calm and peaceful period of the Tatar Yoke, the Russian and Chinese ethnoses who came under the protection of the Mongol army, increased in size transforming later into the continental ‘superethnoses’.

Although the Western and Eastern proto-Kazakh tribes clashed tragically once again after the battle on the Kalka River near Ain-Zhalta (now Israel) in the armies of the Egyptian Mamluks and the Mongolian troops, it was nonetheless, during the reign of the Mongol Empire that their rapprochement began, a rapprochement that should have culminated in the formation of a single Kazakh ethnos after the collapse of the Empire.

The slogan the leaders of the Mongol Empire gave to their people sounded thus: “Be fruitful, multiply, work, pay the tithe and don’t meddle in things that don’t concern you!”. It is basically a slogan that is still used to this day.

With regard to Freedom of Choice, levels of personal freedom were low even among the conquerors. The individual need for Freedom of Choice was generally low during this historical period. It was the traders and merchants who were realistically able to expand their Freedom of Choice. The merchants were permitted to move freely, and most importantly, safely with their goods throughout the entire gigantic territory of the Mongol Empire.  Having banned the people from building armies and administrative systems based on the principles of familial kinship and ethnic affinity, Genghis Khan made the inhabitants of the empire equal in their civil rights. Each individual had equal opportunity to advance their career within the empire’s own social and political structures. In other words, he gave equal rights to Freedom of Choice, albeit at a very limited level and this undoubtedly facilitated the strengthening of the Empire.

In fairness, similar reforms were made in all “successful” empires both prior to the Mongol Empire and subsequently. At least, this was the case in the Roman, Napoleonic and Ottoman empires. In contrast, empires that have tried to found their power on the principles of giving precedence to one particular group, such as the racial principle in the case of the German Nazi’s, and the class principle in the case of the Soviet Communist’s, have all met an early death. Whereas the German Empire, in which a person was physically incapable of overcoming the racial barrier, lasted for just twelve years, the Soviet empire, lasted for seventy due to the fact that it gave its more unprincipled members the opportunity to “change” their class nature and “accept” the Communist ideology.

In all fairness, there was one act that mitigated the very low levels of Freedom of Choice in the Soviet Empire which extended the period of its existence, and that is the fact that education was universally accessible to all.

So why did the Mongol Empire collapse? The answer lies, once again, in the nature of the two laws: Gene Preservation and Freedom of Choice, or rather, in their contradiction.

Time passed, aggressive territorial campaigns were brought to an end and life began to adopt a more peaceful course. The Mongolian elite on the ground, who were granted unlimited power, became maddened by the endless possibilities of huge Freedom of Choice. Driven by the Gene Preservation instinct, they embraced the compulsion for unlimited wealth and increased personal power, naively believing that they could keep their riches for eternity, leaving it all to their descendants. Where are they today, the descendants of that elite and their wealth?

Blinded by power and looting, not only negating the general moral principles that had developed by that time, but also rejecting the direct admonitions of Genghis Khan’s ‘Great Yasa’, his descendants began a relentless fratricidal war. In the madness of the greed for personal wealth, even Genghis Khan’s original purpose was forgotten: the accumulation of wealth for the sake of posterity, in other words, for the sake of fulfilling the Law of Gene Preservation. Explicit and implicit father-child-brother and son-in-law killings became common in the courts of crown princes throughout the empire. Is not a similar scenario taking place today among the presidential families who inhabit the former lands of the Mongol Empire?

The collapse of the Empire became inevitable. The strict power vertical created by Genghis Khan, the likes of which, had never been seen before, finally crumbled and other independent state formations appeared in its place.  Palace coups were also plotted, as a result of which, power fell to the hands not only of the Chingizids, as was the case in Central Asia, but also to representatives of the comprador elite, such as those who ruled in Russia and China, who had previously served the Mongolian authorities in collecting taxes and controlling the population. Whatever their original status, all who claimed the title of king, khan and emperor, installed a totalitarian form of government in the Mongol Empire, and immediately set about building local power verticals in the style of Genghis Khan but which were much more ferocious in relation to the local community and their neighbours. At the same time, the law of serfdom was finally being written and consolidated in Rus’. The new rulers continued to mercilessly rob and oppress their own people, who, never having tasted Freedom of Choice, took it all without so much as a murmur. The spirit of slavery created by the Mongols stuck for centuries.

It is hardly surprising then, that five hundreds years later, the communist dictators who came to power throughout the lands of the former Mongol Empire chose the same totalitarian (or at best authoritarian) ideology and form of government, and displayed the same predatory and contemptuous attitude towards their people. In the Soviet Union, which took seventy years to accept the total inefficiency of the communist economy, the leaders of socialism, continued to take a firm grip on power and backtracking, installed in their countries equally inefficient principles of oligarchic, state-directed capitalism.

According to the Law of Humandynamics, the level of Freedom of Choice in the world is increasing. Is the law is effective though on the territories of the former Mongol Empire? Yes! I have total confidence that it is. It might be slow, creeping along with creaks and groans, but it is working. One hundred and fifty years have passed since the abolition of serfdom. We no longer see the communist kolkhoz and Sovkhoz state farms that brought with them Holodomor that took the lives of millions. The Marxist-Leninist ideology no longer lives to justify the annihilation of millions of innocent people. Among other rights that have appeared since those times, we now have a right to own property, to leave the country and to re-enter it when we choose. So, yes, there is evidence that the Law of Humandynamics is effective in lands of the former Mongol Empire.

Can one also say, that the peoples who inhabit the former territory of the Mongol Empire today are free? With the exception of South Korea, absolutely not! There is no genuine freedom of speech or freedom of the press in these areas of the world. These states have no independent electoral courts, no free elections and in a word, no Freedom of Choice. The ruling elite, continues to educate its population in an authoritarian and paternalistic spirit, intimidating them with the threat of what the outside world would do to them if it weren’t for the “father of the nation” – their only real support in an uncertain and ever-changing world. Even the Russian saying, ‘the sheep led by a lion is stronger than lions led by a sheep’, has been hammered into our heads since those times.

The ruling elite will always strive for wealth without limits. They will always push to consolidate and expand their position of power, in other words, their own Freedom of Choice. It would be foolish to think that one could appeal to the conscience of the elite and request that they moderate their appetites. The elite will never take the initiative to change this pattern. It will continue to focus on increasing its own wealth at any cost, like fermenting bacteria continue to absorb sugar from grape juice, transforming it into alcohol until there is no sugar left and the concentration of alcohol destroys it completely. It is more efficacious to remind the rest of society that they are justified in protecting their two sacrosanct rights to Gene Preservation and Freedom of Choice.

The behaviour of the elite is just as natural as a business that strives to expand, merge and swallow up other businesses. In democratic societies, people have learned to oppose this tendency by creating anti-monopoly laws and multi-party systems, in other words, by creating and protecting Freedom of Choice. I will never forget times in the Soviet Union when the sum total of the Freedom of Choice Communist leaders granted to the people was the right to choose between drinking vodka in the kitchen or watching football on television.

The more that freedoms are usurped by the elite and denied to the rest of society, and the lower the general level of Freedom of Choice among a people, the deeper corruption will go and the quicker (peacefully or otherwise) the Law of Humandynamics will kick in, obliged as it is to raise the level of Freedom of Choice in society as a whole.


Brexit, Trump and Burkinis.

To conclude, it is worth considering two minor fluctuations in Freedom of Choice that have taken place recently in countries with high levels of Freedom of Choice: Brexit in Great Britain and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

In Britain and America, the fluctuations occurred due to the choices made by the less educated portion of the population, mainly living in provincial areas – roughly half the country’s population.  The establishment and more progressive portion of the population, who mainly live in large cities and who have enjoyed more Freedom of Choice thanks to the technological revolution of recent decades, “forgot” about those who have been left out of the process and were quite taken back by the results of the elections in the USA and Britain’s referendum. The vote of the more ‘backward’ portion of the population was more a vote of protest that a vote explicitly in favour of Brexit or Trump.

As a result of Brexit, Britain is already anticipating a drop in Freedom of Choice among large and medium-sized businesses since the free marketing of their products throughout Europe will become limited. British pensioners will no longer enjoy the free and affordable choice of residence on the warm seashores of France, Spain and Italy that they had before. And British youth will be much more limited in their choice of university in Europe. As it is not clear how those who did vote for Brexit will experience more Freedom of Choice, one can only expect resistance towards Brexit to increase.

When, earlier this year, local authorities imposed a ban on wearing a burkini in some French départements, I predicted that it could not hold. The Freedom of Choice of French Muslim women did indeed drop, but the ban did not lead to an increase in Freedom of Choice for any other portion of the French population. Consequently, the overall level of Freedom of Choice in France fell and the ban on burkinis quietly disappeared into history as an example of the stupidity of local officials. Similarly, it is difficult to see exactly how Freedom of Choice can increase for the portion of the British population, who voted in favour of Brexit, except perhaps for those who live by outmoded slogans of independence. I have no doubt that the British establishment is secretly wishing that they could ‘quietly forget’ about the referendum just as officials quietly forgot about the burkini ban in France.

The potential consequences of Trump’s election in America are less obvious. If he does actually implement the promises he made in the run-up to the election, then Freedom of Choice in America will fall for a huge army of Afro-Americans, Muslims and immigrants. Women will feel the effects as well.  On the other hand, if Trump succeeds in significantly and quickly reducing levels of unemployment and raising the economy through tax cuts, which in turn leads to a higher standard of living (in other words, if he increases opportunities for Gene Preservation among the majority of the population) then anti-Trump protestors may well calm down temporarily. If however, those who voted for Trump don’t feel any personal growth in Freedom of Choice that would promise increased living standards, then the protests will be revived on a national level.

As we can see, whatever the time, whatever the place, measures that increase Freedom of Choice for anything less than the majority of the population lead to revolutionary change. Those changes may be peaceful if, as in democratic countries, they come as a result of referendums and elections. Change that occurs in countries where the population does not have political freedom may, on the other hand, be catastrophic.


Karmak Bagisbayev, author of “The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer”.

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson.

Applying the Principles of The Last Faith to Parenthood

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

In decision-making processes related to the upbringing of children, you can ask yourself one simple question: “Do the child’s actions inhibit Gene Preservation in another or restrict another person’s Freedom of Choice?”

If the answer to this question is yes, then you can safely impose an absolute ban on the child’s actions. If the answer is no, there is no need to place any restrictions on the child at all. They must simply be helped to understand the situation and then make their own decisions.

Here are some practical examples of the classical instructions we give to children:

“Share your toys”. No child is obliged to share their toys with anyone else. The child should decide for themselves who they wish to share their toys with based on how they get on with the other children around them.  If a child does not want to share then he or she won’t share with these children either. Beyond that, it is preferable to let the child make their own decision. Naturally, a child’s parents can help clarify the situation but the decision must remain the child’s prerogative.

“Don’t tease or kill animals”. There must be an absolute ban placed on this kind of behaviour because it undermines the realisation of Gene Preservation in animals. The ban does not apply to the cases where a child needs to preserve his/her own gene, e.g. eating meat or killing an animal which attacks a child.

“Don’t fight or hit other children”. It all depends on the situation. If a child beats another motivated solely by aggression then this behaviour must be stopped totally because it contradicts Gene Preservation (and/or Freedom of Choice) in the case of the other child.  A child has the right to hit another when provoked in defence of individual Gene Preservation (and/or Freedom of Choice).

“Be obedient”. No child is obliged to be obedient to their parents in everything. According to rules of communal living, the child and parents need to establish cooperative relationships so that the child understands what kind of behaviour is totally prohibited and why (it is the parents’ task to explain the reason for a boundary, preferably by applying the principles of The Last Faith). Parents may advise their child to act one way or another, but should never force them to act in a certain way.

“Be tidy and diligent”. It all depends on the situation. For example, in their own rooms children should be allowed to arrange their toys and belongings however they like. In communal rooms, in accordance with the basic rules of communal living, the child should take into account the wishes (freedoms of choice) of his or her parents, brothers and sisters.

“Don’t be indifferent”. A child must choose for themselves whether a particular situation causes them concern or not. No child is obliged not to be indifferent.

“Respect the elders”. No child is obliged to respect the elders simply because they happen to be greater in years. Respect must result from a child’s Freedom of Choice.

“Love your parents”. A child is in no way obliged to love their parents. This is entirely a matter of Freedom of Choice. One may simply hope that during the early years of life that a child spends living together with its parents, close affectionate relationships will be formed that will last throughout the child’s life.

It should be noted that the parents mostly have no Freedom of Choice about whether they love their children or not because parental love has its foundation in Gene Preservation.  This explains why some parents spend their entire lives loving their unloving children.

What is more important: Gene Preservation or Freedom of Choice?

Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson

This question is inspired by the almost million-strong anti-Maduro march that took place yesterday in Venezuela. Why is it that the population who put up with and even welcomed N. Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, can no longer tolerate his heir?

Let’s begin at the very beginning. In ancient times when man still knew nothing, or almost nothing of Freedom of Choice, this question would never have arisen.  There was no doubt at all that physical Gene Preservation among human beings, as well as all living matter, was the ultimate priority. At that time, the only Freedom of Choice that existed for the individual was the dream of becoming the wise Chief of the tribe, who would understand that the preservation of his personal genes depended directly on the preservation of the genes of the other tribe members. It is true that such leaders did exist, albeit rarely and their grateful tribesmen would compose songs and legends in their honour. As time passed though, kingdoms and queendoms appeared; chiefs turned into kings and queens to whom the peoples transferred their attitudes towards the former chiefs. The only Freedom of Choice a person had, was the possibility of secretly escaping from one king for the sake of another at the risk of losing one’s life. Only one in thousands would ever take the risk.

Time passed and rudimentary elements of Freedom of Choice that were permitted in the economy came into conflict with the feudal structure of society that existed under the kingship. Freedom of choice demanded full freedom in the production and promotion of merchandise, freedom to accumulate wealth from one’s labour, in short, laws which would establish equality among all members of society. Then the great bourgeois revolutions began rolling across Europe and endorsing the basic human freedoms: the freedom to vote, the freedom to elect and be elected, the absolute equality of all citizens before the law and so on. The most vehement adherents of Freedom of Choice rushed to assimilate the American continent.

As a result, the opportunity to preserve one’s genes increased for all members of society. However, all nature of crisis and particularly ongoing significant inequality between various members of a society who now possessed considerable freedom, made them seek again and again for a different choice.

Time passed and then politicians and their parties began to appear on the historical stage offering very simple solutions to problems, solutions that could be easily understood by poorly educated segments of society. They would claim that the people’s problems were the fault of self-indulgent, robbing-capitalists (in the case of the communists) or hostile robbing-States, or even robbing-Jews (in the case of the Nazis). To deny the robbers the possibility of robbing, they would ask the people to permit them to limit their Freedom of Choice, just a little bit.  Lacking in sufficient historical experience, the peoples would grant them their request, readily and voluntarily. In Russia in 1917, the Communists took power into their own hands without asking the people for permission and deprived the population of Freedom of Choice. For example, on the third day after coming to power, they shut down all non-communist newspapers.

Usually all new political authorities are able to achieve this for an initial period under slogans such as “Expropriate the expropriators” and “Rob what was robbed!” as was the case at one time with Stalin and Hitler and very recently, with Hugo Chavez. Any economy though, when deprived of Freedom of Choice begins to stall and soon falls apart either for objective inner reasons or under fire from the peoples who refuse to sacrifice Freedom of Choice.

And if, as has already been stated, in ancient times, human Gene Preservation was barely dependent on individual Freedom of Choice, by the end of the nineteenth century (in Europe and North America), it had become increasingly dependent on Freedom of Choice. Today, in the twenty-first century, more and more people throughout the world understand that without Freedom of Choice the people cannot be fed, which means that they cannot protect their genes. Now Gene Preservation and Freedom of Choice are inseparably linked and it is impossible to implement Gene Preservation successfully whilst negating the existence of Freedom of Choice.

In the light of the recent million-strong march in Caracas, one thing is certain: Nicholas Maduro’s days are numbered.

The main conclusion of this short article is that in the twenty-first century, in countries in which there is no Freedom of Choice, the reliable realisation of Gene Preservation becomes extremely difficult to achieve and this is why we are seeing huge streams of refugees fleeing their homelands for other countries in which Freedom of Choice is guaranteed. Moreover, the overriding majority flee taking their children with them, not for the sake of Freedom of Choice of which they have only a very vague conception, but solely for the opportunity to protect and pass on their genes.

As far as some developing countries are concerned, dictator-leaders who claim that economics comes first and politics second are simply lying! An economy can never grow in conditions of total corruption which is always the inevitable consort of life in a society deprived of freedom. Even in the case of China, where economic freedom devoid of political freedom has generated tremendous results, there is no doubt that these results will soon exhaust themselves and the world of business will demand the provision of total Freedom of Choice.