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“The 3 Body Problem”: China’s Poisoned Chalice?

Where’s the Universe headed? Downhill, according to “The 3 Body Problem”.

Not a Warm Body

So maybe you are aware of the hot sci-fi movie on Netflix “The 3 Body Problem” (T3BP)? The first Chinese sci-fi film to win a famous global prize for sci-fi stories. Yep, it’s pretty good, probably one of the best sci-fi books and movies I have ever encountered. So well worth reading and seeing.

But let’s forget for the moment about all the tech-head stuff you get in such movies, and it has plenty and much of it is very innovative. But what gets me interested is the contemporary perspective? Is it possible to put all the stuff in it about aliens and intergalactic wars aside for the moment?

There's a lot of political commentary in this trilogy of novels. The Chinese won’t be pleased at its political tilt as shown by its view on the Cultural Revolution in particular. Shouldn’t we all have forgotten about that by now? But no doubt it will generally be pleased about the way it positions China as being on the wave of the future, culturally and technologically.

The Future According to China

Works of literature often offer us a tacit and informal view of the future without realizing it. T3BP reveals profound distrust of others, starting with the aliens but extending into human society. Is that what is driving Chinese global perspectives now, both diplomatic and military?

Are the 3 bodies also a reflection of Chinese views of the US and Taiwan, and every other nation out there especially in the South China Sea? Is the author Liu Cixin really writing about Chinese culture from its vast history until now and after to underscore the lack of trust that underlie all relationships, whether between humans or aliens, or humans and themselves? Is that a premonition of the way Chinese leadership currently sees everyone else on this Earth?

I think that’s what we see in his theme of the “chain of suspicion”, a cosmic, not just a planetary reality? Do intelligent beings, aliens from Trisolaris or nearer to home, always construct a mental dark forest of their surroundings?

Hobbes or Orwell – Who's Badder?

Liu Cixin’s view of the natural world is that it is always and inevitably militaristic. Anything else is wishful thinking. Might is right you might say. The alternative is chaos such as the Cultural Revolution. So, the only rational choice is raw military power. Any good guys, such as the Wallfacers, will quickly be eliminated, physically, mentally or spiritually or all 3. That’s what Space Forces are for, so make sure nothing survives to challenge the Lord, or the Supreme leadership.

From that viewpoint Liu Cixin is not an optimist or spiritual as at first you might be misled to think. In fact, he is the reverse and right in tune with China’s current leadership and direction, Hobbesian is the word.

The “3 Body Problem” starkly reveals to us where the world is going, at least from the Chinese perspective. In fact, according to this view, the future is hopeless as far as freedom and free will is concerned. Batten down the hatches of the space force leviathans and prepare for war!

If you’re thinking 1984, be my guest. To ignore history is to repeat it.

That of course is exactly what the monitors of democracy and freedom such as Freedom House are telling us too. These aspirations are being weakened and marginalized as we speak. The American century has come and is now almost gone. Works such as T3BP are telling us what comes next. That’s the chalice that T3BP and China are handing us.

It doesn’t look good.







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