Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Are you opposed to power, on the grounds that authority is impossible without it?"

This question is unanswerable to me because I don't understand what you mean.  Could you ask it in a more specific way?

I do think that science system concentrates power and is disruptive and destabilizing as the market system does, or rather that they are actually part of the same system.

With the question do I feel lucky not to be bacteria?  When I said I didn't understand this question before, you said this question had to do with the risk of being a mammal, and facing extinction, versus the security of being a lower life form and surviving as long as the planet? 

I think this question again involves attempting to transcend the human perspective. But instead of getting really huge in scale, you're going in the opposite direction. I still think it's a delusion for a human scientist to think they could transcend the human perspective, the human measure.  But the interesting thing is that after doing that, you then embrace being human, with relief.  And it seems to see the human from this perspective as being more heroic, rather than just accidental, in being willing to exchange security for the rewards of culture and human progress.

This question also brings up symbiosis and the idea that there is no clear separation between our identity and that of the bacteria, fungus and viruses. Inside our cells are a collaboration of different life forms that came together, according to Lynn Margulis. "I am we."

It also relates to the different uses of evolution, between the conflictual, competitive, winners-losers, best fit for the environment view, and the symbiotic view of mutual influence, in which every being is somethings else's environment, and beings produce their environment, are not just impacted by it.

The relationship between evolution and human progress and the cultural struggle over the definition of evolution in the service of ethical or political goals is underneath this conversation all over the place.  Evolution is made into an image of progress, they become like mirror images.  Evolution becomes the prototype for the market, science, arts.  I haven't read much about evolution, but it's a ground where are the cultural battles are played out, similar to the art world issues of the '80's.  A site for a contest of meaning about the possibility of transcendence.  And people like Richard Dawkins and David Dennett -- I don't think it's just about them attacking religion, I think they also are opposed to the believers in transcendence who are evolutionary scientists.

And I definitely think the contest of meaning is over whether our "true nature," fate and destiny is to live in competition and domination (power) or symbiosis and mutuality (wholeness, self-regulation).  Debates over evolution become a way to define what's possible...Like the contest of meaning about pre-civilization, the short, brutish life versus utopianism of John Zerzan, and Ted Kaczynski's pragmatic middle ground.

No comments: