Alpha Centauri Quotes: Human Hive
Quotes that go into the believes of Human Hive faction
In my last post, I talked about Alpha Centauri: an awesome game about the various factions of the survivors of an apocalypse on Earth forming various nations based around different ideologies and working to come out on top while trying to avoid the flaws of Earth in the past. One of the greatest things about Alpha Centauri that I forgot to mention, however, is the quotes. These quotes from the leaders of each faction usually point out the depth of each of their belief systems as well as the flaws too. Here, I can present the quotes of each leader and provide my interpretation of each one. Here, I can start with the collectivist ideology of Chairman Sheng-ji Yang and the quotes on how he describes the Human Hive, his particular faction, and give my own personal interpretation. Feel free to add your own interpretation in the comments if you wish:
Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment.
— Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter" (Accompanies completion of the Secret Project "The Ascetic Virtues", and is the "welcome to the game" faction quote)
This is one of the easiest quotes to interpret since it is related to collectivism and the belief that the individual must give themselves up for the goal of mankind. However, it also adds the idea of a spiritual transcendence: once you give yourself up for the greater good, you should - in the mind of the honorable Chairman - achieve some form of enlightenment that could never come to you if you hold onto your overly individualistic ways.
I maintain nonetheless that yin-yang dualism can be overcome. With sufficient enlightenment we can give substance to any distinction: mind without body, north without south, pleasure without pain. Remember, enlightenment is a function of willpower, not of physical strength.
— Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter" (Accompanies discovery of the "Monopole Magnets" tech)
This quote seems to pull from Taoism and Buddhism with the idea that mind and body, pleasure and pain, are all interconnected in the great game of life. Here however, the Chairman believes you can have a life where collectivism leads to no one suffering and have a mind that can withstand almost anything that happens to your physical body.
My gift to industry is the genetically engineered worker, or Genejack. Specially designed for labor, the Genejack's muscles and nerves are ideal for his task, and the cerebral cortex has been atrophied so that he can desire nothing except to perform his duties. Tyranny, you say? How can you tyrannize someone who cannot feel pain?
— Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter" (Accompanies first construction of the Genejack Factory base facility)
This, to me, is a quote that shows one of the more problematic aspects of the Chairman’s ideology. Here, he has genetically made someone who basically is a genetically engineered servant to society that can’t be under tyranny since he is designed to enjoy his work. After all, if the person doing all of this labor is happy to do nothing but work for the greater good, then it is no longer tyranny to make them work grueling hours right? Many might disagree with that sentiment, but some might see his perspective, if only because the world of the planet humanity has ended up on is so brutal that having people who will always work for the greater good and technically enjoy it is beneficial.