Karl Marx cherished the Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gifted it to humans, enabling them to advance and build civilizations. However, Zeus punished Prometheus for his actions by chaining him to a rock. This story has symbolized humanity's progress or fall, depending on one's perspective. Marx and other radicals viewed Prometheus as a symbol of humanity's liberation from religious limitations and its pursuit of knowledge. They believed that socialism would release humanity from the constraints of capitalism and unlock human creativity.
In today's world, there is a debate within the Left about whether they should embrace the spirit of Prometheus to break free from societal limitations or remain skeptical about human progress and the potential for humanity to transform society. This skepticism stems from the negative consequences of colonialism, Nazism, and Stalinism, which led to a loss of faith in humanity.
Fifty years ago, the Apollo 11 moon landing represented a major Promethean achievement, demonstrating humanity's potential. Currently, tech billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos lead new space exploration efforts. Critics argue that these projects only benefit a wealthy elite, while others question the need for space exploration altogether.
The Left should advocate for the collective prosperity of humanity by arguing that the cosmos' resources be used for everyone's benefit. Space exploration can lead to new technologies that benefit all. There is no need to choose between improving life on Earth and exploring space, as both can coexist.
The Russian Cosmists believed humanity was destined to conquer the cosmos through innovation and technology. Space exploration should be seen as part of the socialist tradition of using science and reason for the masses' benefit. Humanity has the power to shape its destiny, and by embracing our Promethean potential, we can unlock our full potential as a species.
Today, people are more interconnected and possess greater technical abilities than ever before. The widespread belief that we must live within our means and abandon progressivism may be a dangerous denial of our potential. Both the right and left have their own forms of anti-Prometheanism, which often serves to reinforce existing power structures and demoralize the general public.
A new Prometheus doesn't have to be a powerful political party; it can be a collective effort thaPost too long. Click here to view the full text.