Bioethos as the space of justice and real improvement of human


The article demonstrates that modern system of biocapitalism includes life in the system of calculation and capital finally. Such human life finds lines of individual utopian project claiming enormous in-vestments. In one 's turn this tendency leads to the enormous growth of injustice and real threat of ruin of the most part of humankind. The formed situation demands to look for new ethos. This ethos, defined as bioethos, is the system of global survival and combined living. The system of bioethos includes in itself balanced distribution of benefits and burdens, forming of integral “biophilic” ethics and creation of new social anthropology, implying elaboration of bioethical conception of human. In the framework of this conception the idea of human “widening” through cooperation, solidarity, charity, self-restraint, self-sacrifice and creation.

Full Text

The process of globalization has ended with the appearance of system which is determined by number of researchers as biocapitalism (K. Rajan, A. Corsani, M. Boutang, B. Paulre). Human in such system if to see logic of its functioning through, has the right to existence in general only provided he is able to become entrepreneur-of-the-self, to transform himself into so-called human capital and to find market capitalization. One can say that within the framework of given system human life as itself absolutely is integrated in the order of calculation and capital being some business-project. Moreover even the origination of life as itself (planning of posterity) is becoming some investment. And if there is no to invest than such life a priori becomes impossible or bring with itself enormous social risks. There are two other features of biocapitalism which are taking out entropy potential of this system to new, higher level. The first feature means that the time of social utopias is over. Their place is taken up by “individual utopias, the object of which is not the future of society, but of drowning man himself, his children, relatives and may be copies which one can get by means of cloning” [1]. That is the object of individual utopia - some individual, his relatives, children. Cravings of modern human are directed on such aspects as invincible health, ability to strive for highest achievements without fail in different branches of activity, maximum comfortable, happy, active, long (eternal in transhumanistic perspective) life. The second feature connected firmly with this one is defined as Machenschaft by Heidegger. Modernity in description of Heidegger is the age of Machenschaft (the term itself highly approximately means “machinations, intrigues, underhand practices, evil, secret deeds”). Absolute power of Machenschaft is trying to bring into subjection everything, that there is and happens in the world, to make its calculation planetary. The results of the absolute power of Machenschaft is the transformation of human in animal, exhaustion of land, blunder regarding world. Up to the present 80 years later after the appearance of these Heidegger’s notes, which are called “black notebooks”, one can see results of Machenschaft clear. Most of all it is manifesting itself in enormous growth of injustice. Context which we described, is making force to look for the most equivalent to it definition of justice. Justice is “measure and order of due and right distribution of benefits and burdens” [2]. From this point of view the system of biocapitalism is very far from that to be considered just one. In fact it is tending to the maximum injustice, when exclusive minority of global citizens are 9 getting benefits mainly and enormous majority of simple citizens are obliged to bear burdens mainly. So, according to the information of Oxfam, international charity organization, which is struggling against poverty and connected with it injustice, 85 the most rich people of planet is richer then the half of the most poor its inhabitants [3]. In this connection the prominent expert in the field of marketing and economics, American professor Philip Kotler notes: “We are living up to the present in times, when the scheme of income distribution is like that which took place in ancient Egypt or at the court of Luis XIV before French revolution” [4]. The problem of global injustice is one of the most hard for solving and shameful problems with which humankind came across. Nowadays about 5 billions from 7 living on Earth people are either near the line of poverty or have crossed this line already. They have no possibility to eat well ( according to information of UN, each 8-th human is starving, being in so-called “pole of hunger” which is including 26 countries of African continent). They have neither forces nor time for education. These unfortunate are suffering from chronic diseases since either they have no access to medical service or such access is very limited. So hopeless state is compelling them to take the criminal way, using and distribution of drugs, participation in armed conflicts (these people are unlimited reserve for multithousandth terroristic army of IS with which regular armies of countries and the whole coalitions can not win). One can say, that natural, inalienable rights of the most part of humankind are violated rudely and gave up their place to the “right” of capital. Actually, only if one has capital the full realization of human rights is guaranteed. Capital, in this case, is like social- genetic code of human, which is inherited. Thus rich and superrich are forming special social-anthropoligical subspecies of humankind the degree of privacy of which is increasing. As well-known posmodernist-writer V. Pelevin bitterly and gloom joked in his last novel “only for whom financial reserve is given deserves life and freedom” [6]. What is more, modern capitalism is tending to the increasing of the capital concentration and is becoming more and more predatory. This tendency was revealed by French economist T. Piketty. The scientist demonstrated convincingly that if the incomes of 0,1% the most rich are increasing on 6% every year whereas rates of growth of economics average, come to 2% (this is still positive scenario for in reality the growth can be less, be lacking at all or even fall happens) it means, that after 30 years share of 0,1% in capital of planet will increase more then three times. It will possess 60% of the world property. Piketty, though, then and there specifies, that this is “hard to imagine in the framework of present political institutions if only not to suppose that very effective repressive system will be made, or unbelievably strong system of persuasion, or one and the other” [9]. One would like to remark, that modern political institutions already are acquiring some features of repressive system, when, for example, the attendance at the countries of EU by foreigners is claiming from them presentation of the document about existence of banking account and mass culture, being absolutely commercial culture, is enough strong means of brainwashing concerning forming real cult of money. Thus the problem of poverty and global injustice concerns not only 5 billions of poor but 99,9% of all humankind. At this point the factor of the very fast technological progress come into operation corresponding very well with cognitive biocapitalism. The growth of using of automation and information technologies is the potential threat for the huge number of working places at industry, in agriculture, retail trade and service. For instance “ researchers of Oxford university counted that 47% of modern professions can be automated during nearest 20 years” [5]. Such changes will affect hundreds of millions human who can lose means of livelihood and increase number of destitutes. Such nearest perspective, making real threat of destruction of the overwhelming number of people, is forcing us to look for new paradigm of human development, may be, even new ethos. One should remind that Greek term “ethos” besides custom and character also means combined living and rules, generated by social life, norms, which rally association for the overcoming of individualism and aggression. And in modern conditions the talk is about already not only combined living but about survival of humankind, nature and each individual. That is why one can propose the term “bioethos” for the designation of the new perspective system of global survival and combined living. This is important and urgent, because some prerequisite of such system is the political ground G20, which is including in itself not only leading countries of West, but other great countries of the world. 10 We will try to note some features of bioethos proceeding from the conception of bioethics as “ social-anthropological doctrine of justice” [10]. First of all, this is the system of balanced distribution of benefits and burdens, assuming in case of special need guaranteed basic income for all extremely poor inhabitants of planet. Realization of this measure is possible through the introducing of the system of progressive taxation and introducing of the annual progressive tax on capital (according to Piketty). It will make possible to stop the endless, entropy growth of inequality and injustice and at the same time to preserve forces of competition and incentives, ensuring business activity. Difficulty of this solution which is in claiming of very high degree of international cooperation and regional political integration already began to be overcoming step by step. Secondly, this is forming and introduction in educative systems of all countries intergral “biophil” ethics which can be created on the basis of traditional religious ethics, deontology, humanism and bioethics. Integral biophil ethics could become worthy conceptual answer to nihilistic tendency, which was generated by global biocapitalism. Thirdly, bioethos supposes creation of new philosophical anthropology, the basic principle of which could become thesis that human develops not at (or, at least, not only at) competition and deepening rivalry expense, but owing to cooperation, charity, solidarity, selfrestraint, self-sacrifice and creation. The elaboration of bioethical conception of human is possible in the framework of new social anthropology, which could represent alternative to the conception of so-called “human nature” which can be socialized outwardly, but can not be improved with the aid of culture in principle. Content of “human nature” is the set of instincts, which are totality of the reactions to the pressure of the environment. These instincts are defined as natural (T. Hobbes). After that, purpose to which human is aspiring, transforms in profit step by step, interpreted from the point of view of utilitarianism (J. Bentham). As the result definition of “human nature” is formulated, where human is interpreted as “rational animal”, moved by the instinct of selfpreservation and exclusively hedonistic motives that leads people to the constant rivalry. This logic is completed by the idea about the environment of human existence as the field of rivalry (competition) of “rational animals” exclusively. Thus, need transforms in virtue. The essence of this transformation is the affirmation that society consisting of free individuals, who are “naturally” vicious, egoistic, aspiring to rude sensual pleasures predators, not far gone from animals, can be limited by law and other repressive means is able to achieve peace and prosperity. Besides interaction of people is interpreted as right from the start existing “war of all against all” (social chaos), but it is affirmed, that on reaching chaos some threshold entropy the mechanism of self-organization are started and new order arises. “All legitimistic from scientific point of view theories of origin, development and essence of money obviously and non-obviously are conditioned by conviction that the only possible environment from which by some mystical way the conditions.. .of fragile peace and order can be formed, which, admittedly, it is considered, are supported only by means of violence. Then money must be regarded as material vehicle of this system violence though is not able to neutralize the turbulent environment of aggression and rivalry, but is able still to a certain extent to regulate it” [8]. However, the type of human, which in the conception of “human nature” (from Hobbes to sociobiology) is regarded as unchangeable presence, becomes extremely dangerous in modern conditions of the very fast increase of knowledge and development of technologies, for such human has at his disposal deadly instruments. Besides, the real restrictions in his “human nature”, which could stop the tendency of deepening rivalry and possibility of using of these instruments owing to moral numbness, irresponsibility and carelessness, are lacking . And then the fragile peace can stop its existence already finally. Perhaps, exactly that is why such well-known representatives of the financial elite as W. Buffet and B. Gates in 2010 appealed for the most rich people of planet and their families to join to the drive which is called “Giving pledge” and to give considerable part of their fortunes for charity. At present the list of giving written undertaking has already more than 150 humans and texts of their pledges one can read on website. One would like to think, that such action is the kind sign of understanding of all gravity of the state. There is outstanding phrase in the last novel of Dostoevsky “Karamazov’s brothers”: “Human is generous, 11 I’d restrict”. In this sense conception of “human nature” is incredible and destructive “narrowing” of human. Contrary to it, the idea of bioethos is necessary and salutary “widening” of human. It means that the space of bioethos is commune in the most wide sense of the word (it can be Christian commune, Mussulman ummah, Jewish kibuz, different non-religious forms of civil society, global association at last). It means that without justice, solidarity, self-restraint, self-sacrifice (heroism) and courage human sinks into destructive individual utopia of cold calculation, ecstasies of power, unlimited consumption, false eudaimonism and transhumanism. Thus, the elaboration of the idea of bioethos as space of justice and real improvement of human would enable to indicate perspective of the returning to human, existing in the reality of biocapitalism in the state of global alienation, his family essence that implies the relationship of human to himself as to available living kin, as to universal being and therefore free. Bioethos is the space of creation, which is interpreted maximum loosely and including in itself construction of global dialog, charity (as “creation” of benefit), formation of the human of “ennobled image”, one can say, human of bioethos. And the best characteristic of such human is the following interpretation: “The founder of Christianity gave up the forms of life and the forms of discourse, which could make him great and significant. By own life, consisting of constant dying, and own cross death he demonstrated that there are no answers given once and for all.. .it is impossible to escape death, one can only let it in life and already overcome there” [7].

About the authors

K. S Smirnov

Volgograd State Medical University

PhD, associate professor of Department for Philosophy, Bioethics and Law with the Course of Medical Sociology


  1. Judin B.G. Creation of transhuman// Bulletin of Russian Academy of sciences. 2007.-V.77. № 6.- P. 526.
  2. Karchagin E. V. Justice as bioethics principle// Bioethics. Volgograd: Publishing house VolgGMU, 2015.- № 2 (16).- P. 12.
  3. Kotler P. Confronting Capitalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System.- Moscow: Jecsmo, 2016.- P. 42.
  4. Kotler P. The same. - P. 43.
  5. Kotler P. The same.- P. 102.
  6. Pelevin V.O. The lamp of Methuselah/ Victor Pelevin.-Moscow: Publishing house “Je”, 2016.- P. 45.
  7. Pigalev A. I. Apocalyptics of postmodern.- Volgograd: Publishing house VolGU, 2012.- P. 58, 59.
  8. Pigalev A. I. Deconstruction of money and postmodernist conception of human/ A.I. Pigalev// The questions of philosophy.-2012.- №8.- P. 56.
  9. Piketty T. Capital in XXI century.- M.: Ad Marginem Press, 2015.- P. 438.
  10. Smirnov K.S., Petrov K.A. Ethical reflection of biocapitalism (actual controversy of culture)// Bioethics. - 2016.- №1 (17).- P.9.



Abstract - 10

PDF (Russian) - 0


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Copyright (c) 2017 Volgograd State Medical University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies