Chapter 29 The Earth - TrisoIaris Movement
Novel：The Three-Bodyauthor：Cinxin Liu pubdate：2019-02-14 15:06
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Chapter 29 The Earth - TrisoIaris Movement
The most surprising aspect of the Earth-Trisolaris Movement was that so many people had abandoned all hope in human civilization, hated and were willing to betray their own species, and even cherished as their highest ideal the elimination of the entire human race, including themselves and their children.
The ETO was called an organization of spiritual nobles. Most members came from the highly educated classes, and many were elites of the political and financial spheres. The ETO had once tried to develop membership among the common people, but these efforts all failed. The ETO concluded that the common people did not seem to have the comprehensive and deep understanding of the highly educated about the dark side of humanity. More importantly, because their thoughts were not as deeply influenced by modern science and philosophy, they still felt an overwhelming, instinctual identification with their own species. To betray the human race as a whole was unimaginable for them. But intellectual elites were different: Most of them had already begun consider issues from a perspective outside the human race. Human Civilization had finally given birth to a strong force of alienation.
As astounding as the speed of the ETO's growth had been, the number of members did not tell the whole story of the ETO's strength.
Because most of its members had high social status, they held a lot of power and influence.
As commander in chief of the ETO rebels, Ye was only their spiritual leader. She did not participate in the details of the organization's operation, didn't know how the ETO grew so large, and wasn't even aware of the exact number of members.
In order to grow fast, the organization operated semi-openly, but the governments of the world never paid much attention to the ETO. The ETO knew that they would be protected by the governments' conservatism and lack of imagination. In those organs wielding the powers of the state, no one took the ETO's proclamations seriously, thinking that they were like other extremists who spewed nonsense. And because of its members' social status, governments always treated it carefully. By the time it was recognized as a threat, the rebels were already everywhere. It was only when the ETO began to develop an armed force that some national security organs began to notice it and realized how unusual it was. Consequently, it was only within the last two years that they had begun to attack the ETO effectively.
The members of the ETO were not of a single mind. Within the organization were complicated factions and divisions of opinion. Mainly, they fell into two factions.
The Adventist group was the purest, most fundamentalist strand of the ETO, comprised mainly of believers in Evans's Pan-Species Communism. They had completely given up hope in human nature. This despair began with the mass extinctions of the Earth's species caused by modern civilization. Later, other Adventists based their hatred of the human race on other foundations, not limited to issues such as the environment or warfare. Some raised their hatred to very abstract, philosophical levels. Unlike how they would be imagined later, most of them were realists, and did not place too much hope in the alien civilization they served either. Their betrayal was based only on their despair and hatred of the human race. Mike Evans gave the Adventists their motto: We don't know' what extraterrestrial civilization is like, but we know humanity.
The Redemptionists didn't appear until long after the ETO's founding. This groups nature was a religious organization, and the members were believers in the Trisolaran faith.
A civilization outside the human race would doubtlessly greatly attract the highly educated classes, and it was easy for them to develop many beautiful fantasies about such a civilization. The human race was a naive species, and the attraction posed by a more advanced alien civilization was almost irresistible. To make an imperfect analogy: Human civilization was like a young, unworldly person walking alone across the desert of the universe, who has found out about the existence of a potential lover. Though the person could not see the potential lovers face or figure, the knowledge that the other person existed somewhere in the distance created lovely fantasies about the potential lover that spread like wildfire. Gradually, as fantasies about that distant civilization grew more and more elaborate, the Redemptionists developed spiritual feelings toward Trisolaran civilization. Alpha Centauri became Mount Olympus in space, the dwelling place of the gods; and so the Trisolaran religion—which really had nothing to do with religion on Trisolaris—was born. Unlike other human religions, they worshipped something that truly existed. Also unlike other human religions, it was the Lord who was in crisis, and the duty of salvation fell on the shoulders of the believer.
The main path of spreading Trisolaran culture to society was the Three Body game. The ETO invested enormous effort to develop this massive piece of software. The initial goals were twofold: one, to proselytize the Trisolaran religion; and two, to allow the tentacles of the ETO to spread from the highly educated intelligentsia to the lower social strata, and recruit younger ETO members from the middle and lower classes.
Using a shell that drew elements from human society and history, the game explained the culture and history of Trisolaris, thus avoiding alienating beginners. Once a player had advanced to a certain level and had begun to appreciate Trisolaran civilization, the ETO would establish contact, examine the player's sympathies, and finally recruit those who passed the tests to be members of the ETO. But Three Body didn't attract much notice, because the game required too much background knowledge and in-depth thinking, and most young players didn't have the patience or skill to discover the shocking truth beneath its apparently common surface. Those who were attracted by it were still mostly intellectuals.
Most of those who became Redemptionists got to know Trisolaran civilization through the Three Body game, and so Three Body could be said to be the cradle of the Redemptionists.
While the Redemptionists developed religious feelings toward Trisolaran civilization, they were also not as extreme as the Adventists in their attitude toward human civilization. Their ultimate ideal was to save the Lord. In order to allow the Lord to continue to exist, they were willing to sacrifice the human world to some degree. But most of them believed that the ideal solution would be to find a way to allow the Lord to continue to live in the Trisolaris stellar system and avoid the invasion of the Earth. Naively, they believed that solving the three-body problem would achieve this goal, saving both Trisolaris and the Earth. Admittedly, perhaps this thought wasn't all that naive. Trisolaran civilization itself had thought so through many eons. The effort to solve the three-body problem was a thread that ran through several hundreds of cycles of Trisolaran civilization. Most Redemptionists with some in-depth math and physics knowledge had attempted the three-body problem, and even after knowing that the problem was mathematically unsolvable as posed, the effort did not cease, because solving the three-body problem had become a religious ritual of their faith. Even though the Redemptionists had many first-class physicists and mathematicians, research in this area never yielded any important results. It took someone like Wei Cheng, a prodigy who had no connection to the ETO or the Trisolaran faith, to accidentally come up with a breakthrough in which the Redemptionists placed much hope.
The Adventists and the Redemptionists were always in sharp conflict. The Adventists believed that the Redemptionists were the greatest threat to the ETO. This view wasn't without reason: It was only through some Redemptionists who had a sense of duty that the governments of the world gradually came to understand the shocking background of the ETO rebels. The two factions were of approximately equal strength within the organization, and the armed forces of both had developed to the point of starting a civil war. Ye Wenjie used her authority and reputation to try to patch over the division between the two, but the result was never ideal.
As the ETO movement continued to develop, a third faction appeared: the Survivors. After confirming the existence of the alien invasion fleet, surviving that war became a most natural human desire. Of course, that war wouldn't occur for another 450 years, and had nothing to do with those living today, but many people hoped that if humans did lose, at least their descendants who were alive in four and a half centuries could live on. Serving the Trisolaran invaders would clearly help with this goal. Compared to the other two factions, the Survivors tended to come from the lower social classes, and most were from the East, and especially from China. Their numbers were still small, but they were growing rapidly. As Trisolaran culture continued to spread, they would become a force that could not be ignored in the future.
The ETO members' alienation developed variously from the faults of human civilization itself, the yearning and adoration for a more advanced civilization, and the strong desire for one's descendants to survive that final war. These three powerful motives propelled the ETO movement to develop rapidly.
By then, the extraterrestrial civilization was still in the depths of space, more than four light-years away, separated from the human world by a long journey of four and a half centuries. The only thing they had sent to the Earth was a radio transmission.
Bill Mathers's "contact as symbol" theory thus received chillingly perfect confirmation.
Chapter 29 Vocabulary Note
wielding - to have a lot of power and use it
proclamation - an official public statement about something that is important
spew - to say a lot of bad thing quickly
unworldly - not having a lot of experience of life; naive; having qualities that do not seem to belong to this world
elaborate - having a lot of details and very carefully planned
twofold - having two important parts
proselytize - to try to persuade someone to join a religious group
tentacle - influence
intelligentsia - the people in a society who are most highly educated
sympathies - belief in or support for a plan, idea or action
eon - an extremely long period of time
as posed - as it looks; as it shows
prodigy - a young person who has a great natural ability in a subject or skill
chilling - something is chilling makes you feel frightened
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