Tag Archives: suicide

The Limit of the Posthuman

As I’ve remarked before and will, no doubt, remark again and again, hatred of men is hatred of civilization since civilization is in its very essence a masculine enterprise. 

And yet, hatred of men is now at the core of what passes for liberal urbanity.

The blame is usually assigned to feminists. But feminism is itself a symptom, of the order of an opportunistic infection thriving in a weakened body no longer capable of fending off even low-grade assaults on its integrity.  In any case, the real question is not how women have become so powerful (this is itself a feminist myth) but how men have grown so feeble.

No huge mystery there. Male enfeeblement proceeds apace with the occlusion of the warrior ruling caste by  mercantile upstarts. Europe leads the way. The “Enlightenment” starts there and at first seems to confer  technical advantages that allow Europeans to subjugate the rest of the planet. And yet, these new, and seemingly unlimited powers that modernity granted to Europeans were silently and invisibly poisoning them from within.

The West today is populated by a race of Daleks, hideous, blobby mutations occupying a technological shell that gives them fearsome powers but outside of which they cannot survive. For the Daleks, as for contemporary Westerners, gender is an unwelcome reminder of an earlier and outmoded form of existence. As with the Borg, the Daleks’ power to subjugate races still dominated by mere biology hides from them their own degraded ugliness. The Daleks and the Borg are the fictional creations of a civilization that unconsciously recognizes in them a representation of itself.

What fiction has as yet not been able to envisage (to my knowledge) is the vulnerability of the “posthuman.” For the posthuman is irrevocably maladapted to live in any but the most artificial and energy-intensive environment. Outside their heavily armored cocoons, the Daleks are essentially slime. But worse, slime haunted by a primordially human drive, a death drive. Their harsh metallic cry when encountering the least form of resistance is “Exterminate!” But what remains perpetually refractory to extermination resides inside themselves. In other words, what they cannot exterminate is the ultimately suicidal drive to exterminate, to reduce everything around them to the void that inhabits them. 

In the end, the Enlightenment project to bring all of nature under rational administration (of which the Daleks are a futurist extension) must resolve into suicide.  For the rational administration of nature cannot mean anything other than the abolition of nature, its nullification as Other, possible only by means of the actual liquidation of the consciousness arrogant enough, unhinged enough, to conceive it .  Thus, it is perfectly logical, though perhaps unsettling, that Western civilization today appears to ardently desire its own erasure, an erasure that manifests, among other ways, as a Western war against whatever remains of Western virility.

The final triumph of the West will therefore be its own disappearance. The posthuman will prove to have been yet one more delusion of the human.

Suicidal Ideation

The ongoing reckless demonization of Putin and Russia and ruling class enthusiasm for reviving McCarthyism and the worst excesses of Cold War Russophobia suggests that the decrepitude of the Western elites has now reached the point where they unconsciously desire their own extinction. This latest drive to war, fomented for the most part by ostensible liberals, is ripely overdetermined. In addition to the usual and persistent factors that drive American bellicosity–the need to justify profligate public expenditure on a bloated military/intelligence apparatus, the myth of American exceptionalism and the paranoia it fosters about countries and figures unwilling grovel before it, the illusion of American invulnerability fostered by a combination of technological mastery and geographical insularity–there has been added the pressing need of the neutered “left” to prove that it retains some vestige of testicular function. One of the peculiar phenomena of recent times is the spectacle of female-dominated liberal men compensating for their emasculation by displaying intolerance for “toxic” masculinity. South Park’s PC Principal provides a fictional illustration of this phenomenon.

In Putin, this pathetic anti-macho machismo has found an ideal target. We are witnessing the late fruition of something that started in the ’60s, when baby boomers who had internalized anti-Soviet propaganda along with their mother’s milk redefined left-wing radicalism in expressly anticommunist “countercultural” terms and became the progenitors of today’s “intersectional” pussy-hatted left. Who could have foreseen that Sen. McCarthy would achieve reincarnation as a bespectacled lesbian?

Where will this lead?

If the past is prologue, we are one the eve of World War III. The present drive to war is bipartisan. The only disagreement between American “conservatives” and “liberals” is about target priority. Should the U.S. go to war with Russia? China? Iran? Or all three at the same time.

Until recently, it had seemed as if the cultural, moral, and intellectual decline of the West would proceed as a largely internal process of cretinization. One noted how, with each passing day, the culture became ever more enmeshed in its sentimental lies about … everything. The modern dilapidation of patriarchal authority had progressed to the point where it had completely compromised the process of acculturation and socialization that mitigates infantile narcissism and produces relatively sane adults. The result is that since the ’60s–when the breakdown rapidly accelerated–Western societies have been vanquished by hordes of internally generated barbarians all clamoring to be unquestioningly recognized as uniquely gifted and deserving of mass adulation. The related sophistries of feminism, diversity, and identity fetishism were invented to accommodate the vastly inflated egos of these monstrous, developmentally arrested children.

And accommodate them they have, to the point where Western societies have developed a full-blown allergy to the merest hint of realism. Today, one courts controversy by merely pointing out that the sexes are biologically different. On the right and the left, self-serving ideology has supplanted reality testing and one of its consequences is the tendency common to both sides to seek the cause of internal societal collapse in the malignancy of external agents. This is just as evident in the pussy-hatter belief that Russia robbed Hilary Clinton of her entitled claim to the presidency as it is in Trump’s equally deluded belief that military confrontation and tariffs will restore American global supremacy.

When a country that has squandered untold billions on fruitless military adventures nonetheless evinces an appetite for more, one must conclude that it has succumbed to a death drive. In recent decades, Hollywood has fantasized all manner of cataclysms that might threaten the destruction of the homeland, but in all instances the fictional threat is averted by the intervention of heroes of the human or superhuman kind. What Hollywood cannot imagine is a scenario in which the heroes themselves, seized by madness, destroy themselves and their world. “Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom gods lead to destruction.”