Homo What?

The Challenge of Caring About the World

Image by Aaron Burden.

As some members of our species are at it, hell for leather, killing other members of it wholesale and openly, aided and abetted by “democratic” national and international institutions in the “crime of all crimes”—genocide—humanity’s current situation is one in which the end of our species, and all the rest, is looming in the even more heinous crime of ecocide. The problem is so immense that it’s impossible to understand why it’s happening, even if there are some answers to other questions like what, to whom and by whom, where, how, and when. I can only sift through insights offered by other people to see if any nuggets gleam with a little light giving some idea about why this is happening. I guess I’m saying that what follows is a hotchpotch (or a calaix de sastre – a tailor’s drawer, as we say in Catalan).

Whence this madness? One thing for sure is that it comes from our own species. I see four interrelated, overarching symptoms that humans are closer to demens than sapiens: 1) the myth of human exceptionalism in the fantasy that, self-identified as sapiens, humans are separate from other species; 2) inability to accept that we, too, are animals, product of symbiosis with all sorts of species, and the responsibilities of care arising from that; 3) pushing the notion of sapiens to the extreme faber situation of contemplating “co-evolution” of machines and humans; and 4) regular mass killing of members of our own species, and feckless routine annihilation of others.

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