The trending topics on Facebook and other social media such as the suicide of one our beloved characters (Robin Williams) and the militarization of our police force in Missouri we are reminded of the Human All Too Human-ness of our existence. I am also quite aware through memory that this news is almost to an extent banal, and again I use this word in the Arendt sense–where we begin to accept these things as a natural occurrence of our modern age. The Missouri anger is the backlash that yes we are starting to believe in the fact that we are alone (as the government is part of the problem, even if they are better than the ridiculous state governments of these small areas), and that yes maybe Nietzsche is correct that ‘god is dead’, but as Slavoj Zizek reminds us this is simply a fetishistic disavowal because in the United States the belief in some kind of fate or “everything happens for a reason” is still highly prevalent. With this said, we can see the existential scene where a women looks up to the faithful sky after watching Fox News and does her best Zarathustra: the earth is in desperate need of a new meaning, we need a new direction because the old one is no longer working.
Nietzsche is helpful in that we have come to a place in our time where he writes that we need to stop idealizing and moralizing reality. He writes, “perhaps this very renunciation will lend us the strength to beat renunciation; perhaps man will rise ever higher when he no longer flows off into a god”. To become overhuman, to improve the human not at the expense of the planet but in order to think a new, not an idealized state of Christianity in a world to come, or a Platonism in which to remove error as much as possible will reveal a world over this one, but instead an immanent technologically mediated egalitarian one. We must be clear and not falter back into a humanism in which we assume the idea that man is a rational animal, and will always make the morally correct choice, but instead As Nietzsche states here, “If the motion of the world aimed at a final state, that state would have been reached. The sole fundamental fact, however, is that it does not aim at a final state”. With no finality of the earth, we must make one, very much in line with the idea of Existentialism that humans must create their essence.
As Nietzsche claims, “I teach you the Overman. Man is something that should be overcome.” Man’s time has come, the time is right for an overcoming of man or a post-anthropocentrism that is bio-mediated or even as Deleuze and Guattari write, ‘becoming-machine’. Deleuze wrote in a hermetic tradition that releases the existential burden of the body, but only now can we begin to consider this possibility. The body is something that shows extreme plasticity. Here I follow Rosi Braidotti, “The ‘becoming machine’ understood in this specific sense indicates and actualizes the relational powers of a subject that is no longer cast in a dualistic frame, but bears a privileged bond with multiple others and merges with one’s technologically mediated planetary environment. The merger of the human with the technological results in a new transversal compound, a new eco-sophical unity, not unlike the symbiotic relationship between the animal and the planetary habitat.” We must begin to think in the terms of what Guattari called autopoietic subjectivation, which is a link between organic matter and machinic matter.
As you have read so far let me be clear that I agree with Katherine Hayles that this does not mean the end of the human but:
the posthuman does not really mean the end of humanity. It signals instead the end of a certain conception of the human…What is lethal is not the posthuman as such but the grafting of the posthuman onto a liberal humanist view of the self…Located within the dialectic of pattern/randomness and grounded in embodied actuality rather than disembodied information, the posthuman offers resources for rethinking the articulation of humans with intelligent machines.
The anthropocene needs to be reconceptualized and steps need to be taken in order to right the wrong. The ‘murderer of god’ needs to stand account and then to be overcome with biotechnological remediation where the standard humanist rhetoric needs to be replaced with a posthuman, post anthropocentrism.