It all started with prehistoric Man inventing a stick so as to have better access to fruits that grew high in the trees. Subsequently, Man used the invention to beat others. Later came sharpened stones used as tools for digging the soil or cutting meat. Subsequently, this was put to use slashing others’ throats. Then came the wheel to make travel speedier, but in the end, it was utilized to catch up with a running foe and slaughter it. All those little innovative devices gradually but inevitably turned from regular facilitators of life into monsters used to subdue fellow earthlings. But Man would not stop there.
Time passed and God’s wicked children became smarter and handier in their ways of creating new tools with the potential to be turned into a variety of destructive appliances. The higher the intellectual development, the more complicated and menacing the discoveries became. Over time, breakthroughs came about, among them the invention of gunpowder, a new monster which was annihilating tens of millions of lives even centuries after it was introduced.
But the biggest and scariest among the invented monsters was atomic power, which not only has the capability to light bulbs in our homes, but also possesses the terrifying potential to bring entire Mankind back to where it was sweating to create a stick to gather fruit or a stone knife to make food preparation easier. The celebrated split atom marked the outstanding explosion of human intelligence and was put to our good services forthwith, but it also placed us momentarily on the verge of a to-be-or-not-to-be stance provided its power were translated into nuclear combative potential. So another monster was born, which is the aggregate nuclear arsenal of the world that might be put into commission any time if one of its owners gets angry with another and shoots the damn thing in a fit of fury.
What kind of distressing propensity of a human mind is that? Somebody came up with a sarcastic euphemism to obfuscate the shudder-giving word ‘nukes’ – the word ‘deterrent’ with a somewhat soothing, benign meaning, but as has recently been proved, the deterrent function of a nuclear weapon may in a matter of seconds be turned into sheer nonsense if the nuke-owning superpowers want to see each other off the surface of the Earth.
So, Godzilla is out there, not sleeping. The world’s neoliberal bunch thinks that it is sincere fruitful cooperation and mutual understanding that can save the Earth from Godzilla, denying any primacy of military power or political rivalry between nations. Nobody in the world could have imagined a full-scale war right in the middle of blissful, calm and cooperative old Europe, but that human proclivity to create monsters is right there, and we are not willing to get rid of it.
A well-known politician once said that ignoring a problem does not mean that it goes away; conversely, it gets bigger, and sometimes comes back as a giant monster seeking to destroy us. This is an attitude, and probably a very wise one. We make choices, and oftentimes, those choices are so significant that Mankind’s further fate might very well depend on them. The villains we tend to create are waiting for the right circumstances to gobble up their inventors. This might be true as we further develop the latest “monster,” the much talked about Artificial Intelligence. Incidentally, it is already in intensive use all over the place. What if it slips out of our controlling hand and, in its unrestrained advance, turns into something that is no longer subject to human management? If a once delightful moment of splitting the atom ended up creating a nuclear monster, why is it excluded that the forging of another monster like AI could not prove just as dangerous?