Book Cover

Life On Meltdown, the second book by M J John (John Muthukat) published in March 2014

How can we make sense of the enormous scale of the present human crisis?

Today we live in a consumerist, free-market world where the collusion among the merry-making politics and money-making market is the order of the day. In this world of big powers and giant markets, democracy has become the greatest hypocrisy. Money buys the political leadership much like our global money bigwigs buy IPL Cricket/Football Championships.

Here is the prettiest utopia called the modern scientific welfare state which is fast evolving as a myth born out of a system of joint deception of man’s illusory victory over mother nature, and over his own innate nature. The coming society will certainly find us humans as the most superstitious beings in history, and will mark modern ‘welfare state’ as a state of collective stupidity in the realm of what they may term as a sophisticated utopia we call science. How modern welfare state has today become “undesirable, ungovernable, and unaffordable” is the topic under discussion here. Added to this critical dilemma is the growing evidence of the Apocalypse manifest with recent tornadoes, violent storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, global warming, new terrorism and nuke threats.

We are all surprised as to what has actually happened to mankind: that most people do not feel, think or act like the normal human species, and that these `abnormal’ humans include people all around us—our experts, leaders, celebrities, our own friends and family members etc. Even those rare normal-looking humans have become highly passive and non-responsive to the present problems and crises. Nowadays, it is only in advertisement, mass media and Reality Shows that we see certain proactive human behaviour. But these gimmicks too end up as merely acting on payment or as part of certain narcissist behaviour.  

We are all surprised as to what has actually happened to our society: that our society has become a highly diseased one. It is like a highly vitiated and corrupted “pond” in which almost all life forms, including humans, are at an advanced stage of decay – mentally and physically. For just one example, almost 90% people of modern society (inmates of this highly vitiated and corrupted “pond”) suffer from one or more kinds of degeneration diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer etc.

Collective stupidity in society becomes disastrous when we fail to question the false definition to basic social concepts like knowledge, power, wealth and the like which then end up as collectively accepted social norms that are only fit for marketing. The forces that advantageously and opportunely patronize these falsified concepts become leaders.

Knowledge, power and wealth were live and organic matters since millions of years, only for them to get widely mechanized and monopolized as synthetic matters by the opportunistic forces – and the leading forces among them becoming super powers like America, Russia, UK, France and China – and thereby these concepts losing their original live and organic status and becoming just their opposites as synthetic knowledge (modern science), synthetic power (military-industrial complex) and synthetic wealth (global corporation whose money versus real wealth of Nature).  No wonder, mankind is now clamouring loudly that planet Earth is fast becoming hostile to life forms, for example, by losing most of her organic, live wealth (life-friendly environment) of all life forms, including humans.

Author M.J. John discusses these problems in his new book LIFE ON MELTDOWN.

This book is a bracing assessment of the planetary crisis that we can no longer avoid, warning that we are face to face with the last chance it offers to build a better world. As someone who hates to become an ‘expert’ of any hues, author M J John studies modern world and finds the present civilization as the stupidest of all civilizations ever built by man, and also establishes modern man as the worst captive of this system.

In making sense of our civilization in catastrophic crisis the new book, Life on Meltdown by M. J. John (John Muthukat)  is a concise and  well-written critique of postmodernism. Having written and published his earlier book, Story of Man – Layman (in 1990) John has great delight to introduce to the readers this new book which seems to be a better read on the present crisis.

This book goes where far too few researchers have been willing to go, and it is addressing the basic causes behind the present global multiple crises, including the ongoing global warming that fast changes the climate to be too hot, too cold and too turbulent for us to survive.

Today there is all indication that planet Earth is in a post-evolutionary phase, and we live at the end of Nature. Here John has done the entire tough work of reading through the complex, and sometimes nonsensical, ideas of the most influential postmodern philosophers, and making their theories accessible. The book provides a compact insider description of the present mode of human evolution which, according to the author, is actually the progress of a ‘mass ailment’. Due to this mass ailment, the modern world is undergoing the process of life meltdown on a global level. In support of his arguments, the author here expounds a theory, a new theory of degeneration, namely, the ‘macro-free radical theory of aging’ that explains the fast spreading immature degeneration of all life forms that threatens the survival of every living thing on the planet, including us humans.

Here the author finds the present human cultural mindset as the main fundamental block in undertaking any effective remedial measures. The fundamental cultural beliefs that this civilization is humanity’s ULTIMATE invention and must continue at any cost and not be abandoned under any circumstance, and that this perception has also long become intrinsic to the human mind. The effect of this fallacy is that it’s almost impossible for the people of our culture to entertain the idea that there could be any invention beyond civilization. For them civilization is the end, the very last and unsurpassable human social development.

The book concludes: our problems and their solutions are as simple as this: if a person walked up to you and said, “Every time I pour kerosene all over my house and light it with a match, my house catches fire. How do I stop my house from burning?” You would say “Stop dousing your house with kerosene and putting a match to it”.

Yes, our problems and their solutions are this much simple. Here the only clue may be that we must be able to demystify our problems from their present complexities. This book is an honest attempt to address this dilemma.

This book however has proved that modern reductionist science, which is the backbone of the present industrial culture, is a merchandise of half-truths and therefore a product collective stupidity, and thus a symptom of mental illness. Here  modern mankind is badly caught in the ‘technology’ trap of its own making. Like a monkey in a trap holding a banana refusing to let go to free itself, modern humanity, long addicted and trapped in reductionist science and technology, is doomed by its own stupidity. It is the old monkey trap story of how hunters in Africa trapped monkeys by putting bananas in a bottle.

As the monkey with a bottle stuck on its hand, mankind is fearful of any change today: it fears failure and it fears success. The monkey keeps its hand doubled up in the bottle holding on to the banana, just as modern man is holding on to the highly consumerist and pollution-ridden technology despite the fast unfolding fact that this industrialism is out to destroy mankind soon. Because, like the monkey refuses to open its hand and free itself,  modern man too refuses to let loose his hold on technology and let go the industrialism, he can’t go free and think of alternate methods in the world in which human species lived for millions of years without modern technology of industrialism.

To address the fundamental pathogens, humanity will be required to turn away from the conventional concepts and approaches of our institutions. This fundamental change in direction is fraught with anguish, as old ideas die hard. Illness today is more mental than physical, more social than material and more complexly system-related than any particular individual-related. There simply cannot be any individual or even sectarian solution to a chronic problem/disease that is more societal than individual, more mental than physical, more complex, global  and fundamental and pertaining to this stupid INDUSTRIAL CIVILIZATION than anything sudden, provisional or superficial. For example, the sudden increase in the prevalence of obesity or diabetes or cancer is the result of several economic, cultural and environmental changes that have altered the lifestyle choices of people over a long period of time. Hence these choices are beyond the individual’s control and scope. Here even the so-called holistic remedies too will have only very limited roles to play if the approach is only on individual basis.

This is a cause book pertaining to humanities/environmentalism genre.  FOREWORD  to this book was written by Hon. Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, the former Justice of Supreme Court of India, a powerful human right activist and an influential voice and enlightened spirit of Indian civil society, INRODUCTION to this book by the national literary award winner writer, scientist, researcher and film director C. Radhakrishnan and REVIEW of the book by C. R. Neelakandan, the eminent environmental activist and critic.


Read more related essays by John Muthukat




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