Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: In what world will we wake up tomorrow? Now, for the first time in history, we can consciously choose our future.

I read the news feed: the world is closed; the economy is collapsing before our eyes. The army patrols the streets in different countries including those universally developed and democratic. In one of the European countries, such an army patrol examining the local nursing home found that the staff had fled leaving the helpless old people to stay with the dead patients. One of the bloggers posted images from world’s online cameras: extinct streets and canals of Venice, an empty alpine ski resort, depopulated Wall Street. One gets impression is that he is in a third-rate post-apocalypse dystopia.

But as I looked through my window I saw, as before, a dense stream of cars on the street, people rushing about their business, a young mother strolling with new-born. Life goes on. And not only in Russia. People who have closed their homes in different countries in fear will also take to the streets tomorrow. What kind of world will they see?

Epidemics of the past often caused a change in the development path of human civilization. Different kinds of pestilences - global pandemics, local epidemics - have repeatedly changed the face of human civilization, redrawing the geopolitical map of the world or breaking socio-economic formations. Historians have long and thoroughly studied this phenomenon; I will not dwell on it.
However, since medicine, and especially epidemiology, reached a certain level, no plague could claim the role of the global “perestroika manager.” Even the infamous Spanish flu could only slightly push the world towards the Great Depression and the emancipation of women, but world’s basics were intact.
So what happened now? COVID-19, of course, is very nasty, but it’s clearly not up to the scale of the same Spanish flu. How did it manage to literally bring the world economy to its knees in just a couple of months, and force people to voluntarily go into self-isolation?
The answer - and many experts agree on this - is the only one: a new, aggressive and poorly studied virus, has become the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The old, prematurely dilapidated world was not even ready for such a challenge.
“The pandemic has dealt a powerful blow to the world community, changing the course of our daily lives and depriving us of any confidence in tomorrow. It generated fear, anxiety, stress and all the imaginable and unimaginable destructive emotions that have flooded our hearts,” recently said the representative of the Dalai Lama in Russia, the CIS countries and Mongolia, the supreme lama of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche.
Until recently, we were arrogantly proud of our imaginary technological development, tolerance and false democracy - and now, all this is immediately washed away by a representative of the well-known and almost familiar family of coronaviruses.
But what would happen if a real threat arises? While we still fight COVID-19 press reported about the first victim of Hantavirus in distressed China. Unfortunately, we also know this virus well. Usually it is not transmitted from person to person, but if a new strain has mastered this mode of spread. It’s bad: the mortality rate of diseases caused by hantaviruses reaches 12 percent, which is much higher than that of COVID-19. And its symptoms and consequences terrify even people with strong nerves.
I am not a doctor, and even more so, not an epidemiologist, and I have no desire to talk about topics that I don’t completely understand. But the question is: if, the scenario of 2019-2020 winter repeats in a more dramatic version in the future, how will we human race react? And it's not just about epidemics.
Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian and futurologist, draws attention to the fact that now none of the world leaders is concerned about developing a collective plan for the world after a pandemic. In his opinion, the international community was gripped by collective paralysis,
Unfortunately, I have to agree with such opinion. Not only on a global scale, but also in none of the countries that consider themselves outposts of humanity, politicians are not able to offer society any new idea for further development.
Such intellectual impotence is a chronic disease of modern big politics, or rather, those bureaucrat politicians who are called upon to develop it, but in reality, they are only slowing it down. Too many private or narrow state interests contradict the basic interests of human civilization as a whole.
Back in 1992, the UN convened a conference in Rio de Janeiro to develop a unified concept for sustainable development. Such significant tasks as the eradication of poverty, the rational development of cities, the preservation of marine ecosystems, etc. were put on its agenda.
Politicians today are trying to cling to the past, offering to deal with the global crisis with measures based on bankrupt principles. Perhaps it may even work. The question is for what period of time?
As a Buddhist, I believe that everything in the world is interconnected and balanced; all phenomena must be in harmony. But man proved to be an unprecedentedly ferocious predator, destroying everything around him. He often does it without need. What is now left of the richest flora and fauna of the past? How long will we still pollute the water, earth and atmosphere of our planet? And who will guarantee that the Universe will endure our egoism endlessly?
I would not give such a guarantee. Moreover, I am sure that if dinosaurs possessed intelligence, they were proud of their dominance on the planet and believed in their eternal existence. But where are they now?
Removing the present humanity from the face of the Earth, as shown by the COVID-19 pandemic, is quite simple: a particularly harmful virus, eruption of a super volcano, asteroid… There are many options. After such event, our civilization with the existing world order would hardly be able to survive. Therefore, we have no choice but to prove our intelligence by agreeing on new principles for the living arrangement of mankind.
I have already proposed to Nobel Prize winners that in order to do so the leaders of all countries should gather under the auspices either of the UN, or possibly, some new international organization that haven’t tainted itself. The main thing is that not only presidents, kings and prime ministers, but also spiritual leaders and leading scientists should take full part in this meeting. It is not very important how long the discussion will continue, it is important that upon its completion the world would receive a new, consistent and satisfying, if not for all then at least for most people, development programme.
Of course, it’s hard for me to judge what priorities such a representative assembly would choose, but I think the majority would agree to put man and his right to life as most important issue.
Think for yourself: in the last two hundred and three hundred years, the entire human civilization has revolved around one idea - uncontrolled consumption. For the sake of this, scientists are working in laboratories, for the sake of this, politicians argue hoarsely. And, alas, for the sake of this wars are waged.
One day I came across statistics showing that the countries of the anti-Assad coalition led by the United States spent nine billion dollars a year on military expenditures in Syria! This huge money brought only grief and suffering for the Syrians and how much happiness did it bring to ordinary people of coalition countries?
In the United States, according to experts, the military budget will reach $ 750 billion this year. This is the largest budget its history. Have they become happier, smarter or better? Maybe they got rid of terrible diseases like cancer? There all are rhetorical questions.
But if a man and his right to life are declared the priority of civilization, then our resources will not be scattered across armed forces of different countries, but invested in common causes: the fight against diseases, raising the intelligence of mankind, creating a comfortable environment for everyone. The war, under whatever good pretext it is waged, will be recognized by what it is - a crime against humanity with all the ensuing consequences for its initiators and performers.
Politicians are mistaken in believing that the world will remain the same. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly showed that the old world no longer exists; its final destruction is only a matter of time. But perhaps for the first time in history, we can make an cognizant choice of how we will live. Or, just as well we may close your eyes and, having survived this pandemic, wait for the next.

First President of Kalmykia, sixth President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov