Alien Anthropology


I’ve been watching and worrying as the wheels of war turn once more, churning lives and bodies like fuel for some gargantuan machine that blindly seeks nothing more than its own effective self-propagation. No one can control this monster and as a complex information-processing system, all contours and arcs of territorial self-interest and existential fear converge towards those narratives and behaviours that only ever recreate the conditions (as transmission medium) through which violence and confusion self-replicate.

There is such a confluence of catastrophic suffering in any conflict that assertions of responsibility, causality or aspirational (and peaceful) resolution can only ever be partial, incomplete. Do you think that we even vaguely understand this world (and ourselves in it) well enough to do anything other fall serially, eternally and hopelessly back into the suffering we each and all at base seek to avoid? What is it about our aggregate self-interest and collective needs for security and safety that leads to precisely those conditions and contexts that diminish their presence in the world?

It is precisely the boundaries and aspirational certainties of narrative self-determination that lead us into cycles of conflict. It is also the profoundly unintelligible unity of life and humanity as peace that inversely defines the freedom we all aspire to.

The way to peace is through and as a concession to the logical, material impossibility of ever obtaining full control. No one is prepared to acknowledge this and so wars will continue. There is probably another way and direction here, if not substantive or enduring closure, but the most dangerous thought of all (it seems) is to suggest that the danger, fear, hatred and suffering that percolates through and as manifest human insecurity is not inevitable and can actually be solved.

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