Interesante reflexión enviada al mail por “Askafroa”.
Traitors to our own kind
Eco extremism and anthropocentrism
When i was a child my father once told me about a rat who got lost in his office, the confused rodent immediately sparked panic amongst the workers who were not used to wildlife interfering with their orderly routine and after a long chase they finally cornered the animal. Relived he and his coworkers considered the unusual situation as good as over when the rat, scared and surrounded by giant creatures with no apparent motive, ran towards them and started its last attack. Loudly squeaking the prey became the hunter and chased anxious workers, clearly overburdened with the situation, on to tables while others were desperately trying to protect their ankles from the clearly suicidal rodent and while its last stand ended with its own destruction none of the people in the office that day would ever forget the moments where they were cowering on tables on the run from an animal a hundred times smaller than them. In its last moment the rat wasn’t rational, it did not distinguish between the workers who wanted it dead and the ones who wanted to set it free and it did not comply in the hopes of living another day. It saw humanity as one, a menacing power far beyond its own who wanted nothing more than get rid of this threat to daily routine. Its feral instinct kicked in one last time and it fought till its own end. In a sense this rat understood the spirit of eco extremism better than most of us humans ever could. A desperate last stand to no immediate end besides our own is so alien to the mindset of humanity when for, most of us, the goal is to live as long as possible. We fear death but deep down i believe the rat understood that even if it lived that day soon there is nowhere to run anymore. On an increasingly overpopulated earth there simply is no place for wild nature and if its end hadn’t came in that office it would have been a car or a disgruntled canal worker a few days later. Compliance brings nothing but buying you a little bit of time, fleeing somewhere else is always a temporarily solution before that place as well becomes infested by humanity. It is this feeling that’s the underlying sentiment of ITS, out of this feeling of violent hopelessness eco extremism was born. I feel more of a kinship to the rat and its motives than to any social cause and this is why eco extremism was never a stranger to controversy. The rejection of humanistic values is nothing more than a open declaration of war on the anthropocentrism that’s the foundation of almost all of western philosophy, various leftist Ideologies included and while the leftist is quick to determine that overt misanthropy is, in a twisted way, anthropocentric itself (one must simply admire the leftist refusal to mentally age past the age of ten you so rarely hear “no you” outside of playgrounds and schoolyards) eco extremism’s misanthropy is less the centering of humanity out of a desire for easy solutions or a symptom of the superiority complex over nature inherent to the domesticated modern human, its a case of correctly identifying the perpetrator. As the activist likes to say “the people destroying the planet have names and addresses” of course they have and they are easy to find out just look at the next letter you get. The destruction of nature by the hand of corporations doesn’t come from a place of sheer evil, the average CEO has no hatred of nature like a children’s book villain, it comes from the rational point of supply and demand. This demand for comfort would still persist after some utopian revolution and the left has to satisfy it otherwise the majority of people would just go back to the economic system that gave them smartphones, cars and microwaves. That’s why,besides the simple fact that anti capitalism is a byproduct of industrial civilization and therefore pretty unnecessary without it, certain “ecological” schools of thought enjoy such popularity amongst the left. They promise the illusion of sustainability, similar to what the advocates of green energy preach you, without changing the current standard of living. As various anti civ thinkers had to painfully learn you cant build a movement around the promise of “less but natural” because the majority of humanity is content if not happy with industrialized living and consumerism so this time its worker lead co ops that pollute the planet, city councils who approve oil pipelines through wild nature and trains instead of planes who destroy entire ecosystems. If “all power comes from the people” we have to admit our complacency. Even when faced with climate change the go to response of humanity is to calm themselves with empty promises and otherwise ignore it, to paraphrase Grey’s law “any sufficiently advanced apathy is indistinguishable from malice”.
After the enlightenment and with it the ideals of anthropocentrism, rationality and humanism took over Europe they joined Europeans on their colonial conquest until this mindset took over most of the world and became a cornerstone of modern society. The universe stopped centering around the sun and instead started to revolve around humanity, everything, nature included became judged by its use for humans,nothing had value on its own anymore. This is also true for those who desire to “protect” or “safe” the earth, for environmentalism even in its most “radical” forms (primitivism and deep ecology). Their critique of civilization is born from a domesticated mother and how does the old saying go ? “the master tools will never destroy the masters house” the foundational Idea behind anti civ is one of rational self preservation, its the self serving desire to preserve earth for future generations by stealing from past ones. There is no real connection to nature in their writing and while they are trying to make up for it by copying indigenous traditions they mostly got from books written long after the fact it stays the sad imitation of an imitation. Like nature indigenous society has no value on its own, the value comes from the credibility it is able to lend to anti civ theory. As soon as a tribe becomes to patriarchal,violent or “civilized” by some arbitrary standard it loses its merit in the eyes of the anti civ thinker. Anti civ either ignores or doesn’t understand (depending on the author) the influence different landscapes and its spirits and gods had on indigenous society and therefore turn Indigenity into a homogeneous, socially just and peaceful theme park version of itself. But when you ignore the land you get a critique that is once again centered around human suffering, “civilization is bad because of the harm it inflicts on humanity” and even the instances where it destroys nature are measured in their repercussions for humans. Civilization caused hierarchy, war, mental illness, obesity, addiction and likely every other evil that inflicts humanity that alone warrants its destruction and the war industrial civilization wages on nature is an afterthought at best. In most Instances environmentalism is a reaction to the imminent threat that environmental destruction and climate change pose for humanity’s survival so instead of accepting that like everything before and after us, the age of humans has an expiring date, they ignore earths decision to get rid of the plague that is humanity and keep fighting against the tide and therefore once again center the needs of humanity over other species and even earth itself. The deeply European mindset behind environmentalism, the lack of spirituality makes the whole thing feel like a good scam, you treat nature like an algorithm meant to be solved instead of accepting that some things are not designed for us to understand. Even in its current unnaturally expanded form the human lifespan is so short compared to a mountain or a tree, completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things and yet in true enlightened fashion we claim that we are superior, that our survival is the first priority. We dare to assume our understanding of the world is the right one though we are nothing but mere children compared to even the youngest mountains and lakes. Like the zoo animal which, if born in captivity, is hard to re-wild since it has grown accustomed to the cage that provided safety and comfort,we, the children of industrial civilization, are almost incapable to think in uncomfortable non anthropocentric terms. To accept the fact that we will never really understand nature nor should we strive to do so, that we are nothing more than one animal amongst many, meant to be just another puzzle piece to an incredible complex ecosystem and how our original function as both prey and predator means that we were designed for death by nature and therefore should accept it as natural just as we currently accept death by car accident or cardiac arrest. Our self preservation instinct became a lazy, passive Insistence on the survival of the ill fittest. The notion that nothing lasts forever and nature is in a state of constant change where species die out while new ones will be born to take their place is not to comprehend for the scientific minds who declared war on nature and victory over it in the same breath. Surely we will be able to cheat death, nature and fate in a triple strike since we are far too rational to respect any of those concepts anyway.
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
In its early stages eco extremism was no doubt influenced by neo luddism, (green) anarchism and animal liberation but after some time and some self reflection ITS found its voice not in the egalitarian polemic of anarchism or in the revolutionary gospel of ted kaczynski but in indigenous resistance and the indiscriminate attack of the wild. The eco extremist is a force of nature as political as wildfires, floods and the swift attack of animals of prey and like the hurricane who knows neither mercy nor moral we declare war on humanity at large, craving to sacrifice as many as possible to the pagan gods of old, just one reason amongst many why eco extremism was never intended to be a philosophy taught at universities or meant to create a movement. Not only is the european mindset beyond those concepts alien to it, if we would lust for political power, academic acceptance or mass appeal we wouldn’t invoke the forgotten gods of nature in our writing rather we would worship the deities of the modern age and wave around alleged facts, sing the praise of science and logic. Eco extremism means the utmost rejection of anthropocentrism with all its rationality and humanist social causes, it is not a political dogma set in stone, no common pantheon of deities or set of morals, no plans for future utopias or present activism. What makes eco extremism what it is, is the focus on attack, to wage a lone war against industrial society with no chance of reward or victory and to do it in the here and now not in or for a Future that only exist in the imagination. This war is not and never will be part of a greater agenda and we do not claim the moral superiority of working towards some greater good. Earths retaliation will never be political and it doesn’t bow to European definitions of morality. To say it in a way science junkies can understand its a simple case of newtons third law: “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.” Nature detected a disturbance to the natural order and now seeks to eradicate it. In its war eco extremism is, contrary to political movements and ideologies, not limited to mankind. The spirit of ITS is the same as that of the tiger who, when faced with the destruction of its natural habitat, develops a taste for human flesh, the wolf who frightens the shepherd at night, the storms that ravish human settlements after the last of the nearby trees has fallen, the indigenous warrior who fought the European invader to preserve the way of his ancestors so he can, if he’s not able to live as part of nature, at least dies as one. The call of nature is our teacher and our leader and we don’t need more, there is no human wisdom that could compare to the truths of wild nature. When a place becomes overpopulated by rabbits the local fox population increases, when a place becomes overpopulated by humanity eco extremism arises. There are powers far beyond our own and in one way or another they will restore the balance. Eco extremism is just one amongst many names Humanity created to explain the unknowable, a human expression of earth’s self defense. And while we won’t bring human extinction ourselves we gladly join earth, as a fifth column of traitors on our species, in its retaliation.
You don’t have to love eco extremism and eco extremism doesn’t want you to. Too often it speaks uncomfortable truths and no love can grow from such honesty. No one wants to admit complacency, no one wants eco extremism but we all deserve eco extremism. Your outrage over it’s “innocent” victims rings hollow when we are all living over the corpse of nature. We kill a million lifeforms everyday simply by existing. What you are witnessing is nature’s final attack and humanity’s last stand and whatever side you choose, you now have to live with the consequences. When there’s nowhere to escape attack is the only option. And even when my attack is nothing compared to a raging fire or an unstoppable tsunami, mine is the racing heart of a cornered rat. The certainty that when faced with no way out, death on your own terms is preferable over a life on the run. That is my personal truth, nature’s call sounds different for every listener. Sometimes there’s defiance in hopelessness and sometimes even a losing battle must be fought. After centuries the rat became a synanthrope, adjusted to humanity and yet the old instincts are far from gone, this is true for the rats and for humans as well. Eco extremism is, by design, not meant to be described in rational terms but if you would ask me I would say that eco extremism is a feeling. The feeling that I rather die as part of nature, a hunter like my earliest ancestors, than languish in artificial cities full of artificial feelings and a night sky without stars, and maybe that makes me, for better and worse, truly human, that’s more than any humanist can claim to be.