Max Stirner got it right. It’s not mindless solipsism to reject the concept of ‘humanity’ or ‘mankind’ in the abstract. On the contrary, it puts you into a raw and undeniably visceral relationship with reality. Certainly, abstractions are sometimes useful if we want to have a conversation that touches on things which are, possibly, transcendent or beyond us, but does it then follow that one should make a promiscuous habit out of it?
Ideology is only ever, at best, a tool. ‘Sounds like an ends-justifies-the-means mentality!’ Tough shit. If life were fair, God would have created us with a Universal Basic Sustenance program. There’s no escaping the fact that if you want to eat, you have to kill or you have to go digging and searching. If you can’t accept the consequences, that’s on you and you alone. That’s not nihilism. That’s karma.
But we’ve figured out how to pay one another so we don’t have to kill and dig for ourselves. Ideology motivates us to do this for one another. It’s also useful in that way.
But what happens when the celebrities of this world stop campaigning to keep freshwater sharks from going extinct and when 2nd Amendment absolutists stop saying that the common man should be allowed to buy a military tank? Precious little. The sharks will get trapped in bays dirtied with spilled oil and the gun absolutists will shoot their way out, only to be followed by bigger sovereignties who have no problem bombing their way in.
Someone is always hungrier. Someone is always a better shooter.
With these odds, what room left is there for ideology if it doesn’t serve the purpose of survival?
One can spend a fortnight trying to figure out whether or not it is an optimist position or a pessimist position to posit that, since man showed up on this earth in the past, he could certainly end up on this earth again in the distant future even if he were one day wiped out. Why not? Creationism and Evolutionary Biology both fail to address the horrors of the Platonic Idea - that human beings, even in their banality, are possibly some kind of inevitability, as is everything else.
People worry about AI going rogue… Humans are already a form of AI - human consciousness has gone rogue within the limits of nature. There’s nowhere to go but up for a species which believes itself to be the answer to its own extinction, even if up is only a classier form of said extinction. Animals have been doing well and fine, roaming the world without destroying it for millions of years, and somehow we keep asking how to become better humans, rather than better animals.
It is said that laughter is unique to humans. What the hell do hyenas and chimps do then? No, what is unique to humans is its reverence for time. But in its reverence for time, it created excess time, the space in which it was able to cultivate unbridled ideology. Humans believe in formulas which they claim to be completely founded upon logic but which also just so happen to fulfill all of their emotional needs. Red pill or blue pill? Doesn’t matter. One is just the non-drowsy of the other. You can’t fight a disease with some over-the-counter pain relief.
It cannot be stressed enough that in nature, there is no ‘truth.’ Truth was invented by man because he was the first creature on this earth to tell a lie. He recognized the truth as soon as he was no longer capable of telling it. And we have been lying to ourselves ever since. Believing ourselves to be beyond nature or having transcended it, we turn nature into the lie of what need not be. ‘Man is better!’
But ‘man’ keeps changing his definition of himself. The very concept of ‘man,’ in early history, excluded large groups of people who are now considered men for ethnic or biological or cultural reasons. One has to wonder, who inaugurated all of these unfortunate people into the species of ‘man’ when they could have gotten by well enough as they were? To be included in ‘humanity’ is to be insulted - not belonging to a party that would have you as a member and all that.
Now that all people are part of mankind, it is easy to herd us. A thousand lies are told each day as to why this or that portion of humanity deserves less food.
Imagine a lion guiding a lamb toward its pride and gently positing that it kindly make itself a sacrifice to satisfy the hunger of the lions. Such would be an absurdity in nature, for even though we consider nature a lie (or an ‘old’ truth), we instinctively feel that what happens in nature is somehow truer, even if we wish to make something far more comfortable to think about true instead. No, the lion does not get away with this in nature. Among ‘men,’ among ‘humanity,’ among ‘people,’ this is the basis of our communication.
A thousand and one principles are put between your food. One goes to bed hungry only after having told oneself the last lie it is possible to tell.
Boycott Wal-Mart to pacify your ego. They’re not going to suddenly bring all their jobs on-shore because you’re children are starving for the cause of their parents.
Let this be your litmus test:
If your children are going hungry, ask yourself whose principles are eating their food. Is it yours or someone else’s? If it is someone else’s, you just may be the unfortunate victim of a larger historical process which is bigger and stronger than you but no more true. If your children are starving for your own principles, then you may have missed the mark.
Children serve as an extreme example, for they are where we simply feel the metaphorical need to measure just where survival sits in our lives. One can continue to read their morning and evening blog post with a cup of coffee or cognac, all with titles such as, ‘Why Libertarians Are Actually Autistic,’ ‘How Tinder is Good for Monogamists,’ or ‘Why the French Revolution Was Actually Right Wing,’ all one wants, but in the end, one is simply programming oneself to give their attention to one particular brand.
And that brand is ultimately going to tell people who gets to eat. Every. Single. Time. (as the kids punctuate).
It’s never you who gets to eat. Or, there is always the implication that you’ll get to eat later, so long as you sacrifice your time, your energy and your balls for The Class, The People, The Race, The Tribe, The Nation, The Party, The Truth, etc.
‘You poor, weary deconstructionist.’
On the contrary, I do not deny the existence nor the utility of any of these items - what Stirner would have called ‘spooks.’ I merely state that treating them as things for which one should die defeats the purpose of their existence. These are all human security systems and that is all. Insofar as they fail to provide the basic function of keeping people secure, they are illegitimate and meaningless.
You can tell me all you want about your identity, your people, your hurts and your victimization, your camaraderie, your traditions and songs of old, your exploitation, but if you are turning just as much cheese in to the new boss as the dead God of old, you have entirely missed the point.
Following a dangling carrot, naturally, you tend to miss a beet.