New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
In the opening sections of Das Capital Karl Marx would utter the strange and terrifying truth about capitalism: “Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” We are mere cattle upon which the machinic assemblages of Capital cannibalized and expulsed as excess and extraneous waste. The notion of sleep has been used by poets and Gnostics alike throughout time as the leitmotif of ignorance, bliss, and innocence. Asleep in one’s ignorance goes the saying. To be asleep is to be so immersed in the normalization process of the worlds ubiquitous systems that one no longer has that critical acumen to be able to step away, step back, step out of one’s environment and see it for what it is: an artificial construct within which one is imprisoned. All the Zombie films from Romero’s classic to the latest edition have one theme: the mindless hunger and desire of the consumer for its next meal ticket, the endless feeding frenzy of a mindless horde in search of filling the emptiness of its depleted flesh, its desiring machininc life. Like sleeping zombies we move to the puppet strings of invisible codes and algorithms that supplement, decide, and program our lives within a 24/7 dreamworld constructed to fulfill our deepest desires.
Without even the slightest thought we are being slowly but surely integrated into a machinc civilization that will in turn feed on us until it has no need for us at all.
“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” – Gary Kasparov
An essential aspect of what people call the “deep” state is its continuity despite formal (or nominal) changes of regime. We might call this the “real” state, whose continuity and impunity is derived from its masters: the capitalist ruling class.
That class, and the system it has created, is in general crisis, the result of a cascade of contradictions it can no longer “export,” having spread its structural disease of infirmity across the globe. A consensus has emerged among international capital that there is no escape from the crisis except to quickly complete the task of global conquest, and to accelerate the financialization of all aspects of life, including in the “home” countries of imperialism. The rulers believe — with objective justification – that they are in a race against the clock, and that Russia’s resistance to the massive imperial offensive begun in 2011 could cause the clock to run out, and the ultimate death of their class.
Their fears were compounded by the wholly unexpected capture of one wing of the electoral duopoly by the billionaire real estate developer, Donald Trump, who is personally rooted in a political current of domestic capital that is fixated on using the state to inflate land values and related assets. In a profoundly racist society such as the United States, the manipulation of land values is inextricably tied to race: it requires the ability to control and remove less desirable populations from real estate that is to be “developed,” and to enlist whites in a general “uplift” project (“Make America Great Again”) whose subtext is always racial.
The Brain of History or the Mentality of the Anthropocene
Catherine Malabou’s lecture is titled “The Brain of History or the Mentality of the Anthropocene” and will explore topics of the human condition and humanity’s disruption of both earth’s geology and biology. The lecture will further explore Malabou’s approach to renewing an interchange between traditional philosophy and the hard sciences.
Catherine Malabou is professor of philosophy at Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University. She has written extensively on contemporary French and German philosophy but it is with her encounter with neuroscience that have distinguished her research.
The lectures was held on Saturday 21 January 2017 at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and it was produced on the occasion of the exhibition The New Human in cooperation with Stockholm School of Economics Art Initiative. The lecture was part of “What is Human?”, two lectures on the science and…
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Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not.
States within the global political economy today face a twin insurgency, one from below, another from above. From below comes a series of interconnected criminal insurgencies in which the global disenfranchised resist, coopt, and route around states as they seek ways to empower and enrich themselves in the shadows of the global economy. Drug cartels, human traffickers, computer hackers, counterfeiters, arms dealers, and others exploit the loopholes, exceptions, and failures of governance institutions to build global commercial empires. These empires then deploy their resources to corrupt, coopt, or challenge incumbent political actors.
From above comes the plutocratic insurgency, in which globalized elites seek to disengage from traditional national obligations and responsibilities. From libertarian activists to tax-haven lawyers to currency speculators to mineral-extraction magnates, the new global super-rich and their hired help are waging a broad-based campaign to limit the reach and capacity of government tax-collectors and regulators, or to manipulate these functions as a tool in their own cut-throat business competition.