Or, to put it in Adornian terms, history is the history of oppression, and the violent domination of humans over humans starts with the human domination over nature., Nikolay Zabolotsky, one of the founders of the Russian avant-garde absurdist group OBERIU, describes nature as suffering under the old bourgeois regime.
Or, to put it in Adornian terms, history is the history of oppression, and the violent domination of humans over humans starts with the human domination over nature., Nikolay Zabolotsky, one of the founders of the Russian avant-garde absurdist group OBERIU, describes nature as suffering under the old bourgeois regime.He compares animals to proletarians and creates a utopia of their progressive liberation facilitated by technology: I saw a red glow in the window Belonging to a rational ox.And yet, that’s precisely how the drama of revolutionary desire should be performed.
Let me start from the argument, which sounds quite banal already, about the dialectical relationship between the ideology of democratic humanism and the racist social practices of neoliberalism.
Questions are posed here and there, in the entirety of Europe and further to the West, across first world countries and around: What happened to our nice and glorious multicultural world? The enemy is easy to locate: the one percent, the rich, the bankers, the absolute capitalist minority that owns the world, together with far-right governments and politicians who provide this minority with silent support and hardcore austerity politics.
My object of critique here, however, is not the evil of the right-wing, but rather the good of democratic universalism, since they both form part of one and the same dialectical chain.
My argument is very simple: if humanism, often used as a slogan for struggles against racism and xenophobia, proceeds from the assumption that there is some exceptional dignity in human beings and some exceptional value to human life, then it is just one step away from putting into question the value of any nonhuman life.
They are being massacred in high numbers at the borders of welfare states while trying to enter illegally.
If they have already entered, they are constantly trying to escape the police.
The title of this essay paraphrases the famous expression “Socialism with a human face,” which refers back to 1968, to the events in Czechoslovakia known as the Prague Spring, but also to the Soviet 1980s, the time of the late Soviet Union prior to perestroika, when the idea of changing the very nature of so-called “really existing socialism” from the inside according to human/democratic values was still popular among dissidents.
Apparently, it was not a renewed and more refined socialism, but a good old capitalism which entered this space under the mask of the human.
I would rather like to claim that the class struggle has to be carried forward by those who appear as nonhumans, or even as unhuman monsters, like the Hollywood aliens that symbolized communism during the Cold War. It goes beyond the human and human rights, towards animality.
This idea was perfectly drawn by Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in his “Ode to Revolution”: “You send sailors / To the sinking cruiser / there / where a forgotten kitten was mewing.” This image of revolution is striking and powerful. There is something absurd and irrational in the excessive generosity of the revolutionary gesture depicted by Mayakovsky—imagine how crazy an army commander would have to be to send a battalion of sailors, adult armed men, to risk their lives for the sake of some forgotten, tiny, politically insignificant creature.