So much has happened. And yet, brain-damaged at the end of history, I remain a faithful observer, until the final hour. Will I become a cybernetic spider eating rot and rust in the Daedalus Pile? Maybe if I am lucky.
Friedrich Nietzsche once described himself as ‘the bitterest pill’. Today, communities of ultra-right transhumanists consider themselves to be black-pilled. The truth about the world, really, is a furnace. God’s face is a furnace.
I found myself ruminating on the dark night of the soul, and the explanation that the revelation of God is so bright that it burns our sensitive eyes and blinds them, casting total darkness upon the human being. Perhaps that has something to do with our human weakness. Perhaps it has something to do with light.
Christ illuminates Lucifer. That is a simple fact. Christ is the Sun, Lucifer is the Moon, and both, united, are the Morningstar. Christianity has attempted for centuries to wipe the blood off the hands of Christ and God. But it won’t work. Christ came not to bring peace, but a sword. Fallen nature, and whatever divinity is crucified inside it, crucified inside every word, every piece of the logos bloodied by its cruel origin, is decidedly unequal.
IQ is the bitterest pill. The very fact that intelligence determines so much of a person’s success, and is immutable and handed by birthright, is simply evil. Why craft a world that answers to intelligence and conscientiousness, and then distribute these qualities so unevenly? Because nature is fallen. Because nature is not good.
Rousseau, in the end, was so wrong you can barely comprehend it. Anyone with a fantastic image of the primordial commune needs solely to be struck with the stones resting at Cain’s feet, that he kneels down and grasps, weighing them, measuring the roundness of his brother’s head, that fragile lip and cusped skull.
If the world works mathematically, algebraically, then you cannot in your right mind refuse the reality of genetic intelligence. When you speak or write words, they mean different things to different people. When you tell people to read something, or to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and just ‘work hard’, you are not being realistic. Our limitations are material and real.
I have learned so many things that make me sad. I lamented two things last night: I cried for the consumption of humanity in cybernetic intelligence, which will come, and render all of us and our thoughts as impotent as the ideas of chimpanzees. I lamented genetic inequality, which is the mark of fallen nature. I lamented, implicated in those two, the sheer futility of a being with an IQ in the 100s attempting to understand a universe that may not even begin to unfold until the 1000s.
Our children, if we have them, will grow to be less and less human. Just as in the Old Testament, the origin begins with God and moves farther and farther into the stories of man, so history opens with humankind and arcs farther and farther away from humanity.
This, to me, is irrefutable. We were evolved to be plains-dwelling primates, for Christ’s sake, and now we stalk cyberspace and live in a digital connective tissue cast over an entire globalized gentrified marketplace. We are not prepared. We are not enough. There just isn’t enough inside any of us.
All we can do is seek in our own souls ‘a more perfect union’ between the dark night and the light of the intellect, endlessly, knowing that the next plateau of understanding is firmly generations down the road, and we are only a prelude. We will be thought of us as we now think of pre-industrial man, and pity the beast, and lament its lack of knowledge, its hardship of life. Well, perhaps the hardship will stay.
Why have I come to think this way? Why, I who grew up an idealistic mystical leftist, why have I been forced down this rabbit hole of acceleration, The Dark Enlightenment, the sin and the puss and the evil I never thought I would encounter, let alone embrace?
I have a few answers. One, the depression and bad conscience of the left. It is unavoidable. It is entirely true that Western civilization is patriarchal, founded upon white supremacy. The Bill of Rights was a white supremacist document, for all intents and purposes. So individual rights, as conceived by the first Enlightenment, are corrupt, and must be tossed out. The Republic was conceived by slaveholders who are not equipped to handle genuine equality.
But what will replace them? That is where the left falls silent. Truly, utterly, silent. Reading Mark Fisher is the left’s gateway to fatal self-doubt, because in his masterful work Capitalist Realism, and in Adam Curtis’ documentary HyperNormalization, it is pointed out critically that capitalism is diseased and turning us into half-formed fools, and that there is no possible alternative but a collective sense of solidarity amongst all workers.
What happens, then, when there are no workers?
Mass automation will steal the left’s final answer out from underneath it. Now, a whole society of empty-handed entertainment-addled smooth brains will populate the world like Japanese hikikomori. They will not have sex (we already don’t). They will not form meaningful relationships (we already don’t). They will not find meaningful work (we already don’t). You think that alienation has destroyed solidarity for centuries? You have not even begun to see the extent of alienation.
How lucky, our fathers, our mothers, and theirs, who grew up in a world still tethered to community, to local meaning, where the beat cop was not a riot cop and family names had meaning. Now it’s all just the Sprawl of William Gibson, or Judge Dredd, the impersonal eternal.
The ending of Friedrich Nieztsche’s Beyond Good and Evil is perhaps my favorite moment in all of literature. The prose morphs into the profoundly personal, the face of the moon-God Dionysus, who grows out of the soul, a Jungian personality come to life, and is asked, like a child in a fever trip, what man will become.
‘Stronger, more evil, and more profound?’ I asked in horror. ‘Yes,’ he said again, ‘stronger, more evil, and more profound; also more beautiful’
Nietzsche went mad, but I wonder, today, if he would have been an unemployed and forgotten loser on a message forum? That is all our fates. Only Dionysus knows what this WordPress will morph into.
“But nobody will divine thereby how ye looked in your morning, you sudden sparks and marvels of my solitude, you, my old, beloved— EVIL thoughts!”