December 21, 2010

The human has always been a flawed invention, something temporary, something that could never last. And only now, in the bleak, final days of our existence, do we realise that we were unreal from the outset. In which case the inevitablity of our extinction as a species becomes nothing more than of the decomposition of a certain form, the failure of a particular evolutionary trajectory.

We now know that the “human” is the invention of a failed species, a species which is remarkable only in that it has actively produced the conditions of its own extinction. And yet we continue with indifference. We continue to go to work, to walk through shopping malls and supermarkets, satisfying our vaccuous individualities in whichever ways we can, to go to war over diminishing resources and ideology, all in support of a fiction which is falling apart every day. The most interesting thing, though, is not that we continue to live our day to day lives from within such a pretence, but that we plan for the future as if the future will be the same as the present, as if things will continue to tick along indefinitely, as if it will all blow over.

One does not need to be pessimistic about this. Our liberation from the chains of humanity carries with it multiple implications for our attitudes towards extinction, the conduct of life, and for political practice. We understand that the specific and relatively insignificant evolutionary trajectory we call the human race was always heading towards extinction. The invention of man created the illusion that we were important, that our thoughts, our actions, our institutions and organisations, were important in some lasting sense, that we are the centre of it all. This we know to be a fallacy. But the realization of our impending extinction implies that these organisations, these institutions, these political practices are built on a fictional ground. Why, then, continue to tick along in the way that we do? The brute fact of our fate demands a new kind of political practice, unencumbered by the ideology of progress that still, to this day, dominates mainstream political discourse.

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