Inverted priorities and their consequences
What are we to do with all these useless eaters?
This is a question that the self-appointed architects of the future have been asking increasingly openly of late, as they plot out our trajectory towards a posthuman cyborg futurity in which machine intelligence will perform the economic functions formerly fulfilled by human physical and mental labour. When the factories are fully automated; the vehicles self-driving; the farms encased in hydroponic towers tended by insectile drones; the buildings constructed by swarming necrobiotic servitors; the text of advertisements, news stories, and scientific reports composed by deep learning language systems, and their accompanying graphics developed by their visual equivalents; and even the software is self-writing ... when all of that has come to pass, what use will there be for humans?
The answer that the WEF’s court jester LARPing as a court philosopher, the schizo-autist Yuval Harari, has come to is that there is no use – hence, useless eaters. The overwhelming majority of the species serve no function in their system. The best thing they can do with us is to allow us to quietly, painlessly exit evolutionary stage left, our disappearance from the life of the world eased with drugs and virtual reality. They’ll provide us a pod, some soy and bugs to eat, and enough UBI to obtain the credit necessary for basic subsistence, distributed via a programmable central bank digital currency that ensures we can only spend our allotted pittance on whatever consumer subscription services our social credit score permits us.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine lightless and cavernous warehouses, racked and stacked with smooth plastic coffins encasing emaciated forms with neither fat nor muscle tissue between grey skin and brittle bone, yellow eyes rolled back in their heads, neural induction crowns wrapping their temples, flesh pierced with IV tubes, midsections wrapped with catheters, suction hoses vacuuming the drool from their slackly grinning lips.
The horror will be out of sight and out of mind, it will not be experienced as a horror by the victims, and in any case will be over soon enough. A generation or two and the population will crash down to sustainable levels, a few hundred million or so, the descendants of the oligarchs and whichever of their livestock they find marginally useful, amusing, or sexually diverting enough to preserve, who will then live in a robot utopia tended to by machines of loving grace as they merge into the cyborg hive mind and ascend to digital apotheosis.
The core assumption driving this war crime in waiting is that it is the purpose of human beings to serve the economy, rather than the other way around – that we live to work, rather than work to live, as the saying goes. As with all the most dangerous lies, there’s a shell of truth to this. Humans find meaning in their service to other humans. Nothing rots the soul more rapidly than the realization that one is fundamentally of no use to anyone around them. This is why welfare states invariably lead to spiritual demoralization, a decay that you can plainly see written in the neglected flesh of those parts of the population that become reliant on handouts. A purposeless existence rapidly leads to no existence at all.
Given that, it certainly makes sense to try and spare the useless eaters the ignominy of their coming obsolescence. Surely the Effective Altruists would agree that, all things considered, if the bulk of humanity is no longer necessary, the best way to minimize suffering and maximize pleasure is to pump the surplus population full of drugs as they rot to death. The Effective Altruists might well go further: even if this tactic is distasteful, the payoff is after all an Earth rendered an indefinitely sustainable pleasure garden. Surely the lives of trillions of humans living for the next several million years in utopia, is worth the painless evolutionary euthansia of a few billion humans? Especially when the infinite capabilities of machine intelligence and machine-augmented humans are taken into account – the heights and subtleties of experience such entities can reach render the sensations open to Humanity v1.0 as meaningful in comparison as that of a human to an ant.
However, here’s the thing. Industrial civilization is essentially a vast machine that humans built in order to improve human lives. It has utility only insofar as it enables human flourishing. The ends of industrial civilization, its telos, the alpha and omega of its entire existence, are only and exclusively to make human lives better – whether by giving us capabilities we did not previously have, or by increasing our ability to do things we could already do. If it ceases to do those things, if instead one starts contemplating the sacrifice of the overwhelming majority of the species on the altar of the machine ... well, your priorities have become perfectly inverted from their proper orientation.
This recent ramble by Morgoth makes an interesting point:
Due to the Eurocrat’s self-inflicted energy shortage, a pub in Morgoth’s area is likely to close for good. The establishment in question has been open since before the Battle of Waterloo ... long before electricity or natural gas were part of the technological repertoire. The place ticked on just fine for over two centuries, serving warm beer and bangers and mash cooked up on a coal stove. And now it will close, because the system we live in is no longer capable of maintaining basic functions like a cozy room in which to sip the local bitter in the company of your mates.
Millenials aren’t starting families or buying homes, because the dating market has grown so toxic that they can’t find mates to do the former, and the latter have become so expensive that home ownership is an impossible dream for anyone not making a six-figure income. That’s to say nothing of the exorbitant costs associated with just giving birth, let alone finding child care, paying for the child’s education, and so on. Again: these are basic functions of any human society. We’ve been providing shelter, romance, and childcare since we were evicting cave bears to take refuge from the winter wind.
Here in Canada, if you want a dog you have to be ready to shell out thousands of dollars. It wasn’t that long ago that you could get a mutt for $50, or even free if someone down the street had a litter of puppies on offer after their bitch got out while she was in heat. My family did that once when I was a kid. Those were some cute puppies, and they were gone in a month ... wasn’t at all hard finding homes for them. People like dogs. Dogs like people. Dogs make more dogs very easily and are more than happy to do so. And yet, for the first time since they became our evolutionary companions twenty millenia ago, the regulatory framework of managerial liberalismhas managed to render scarce and expensive that which was until very recently so abundant as to be almost free.
The examples seem to proliferate endlessly. Here we are, well into the 21st century, with technology that gives us powers the pagan gods of old would have envied, surrounded by material riches that Croesus could only have fantasized about, had he the imagination to do so ... and our social order can’t fulfill the most elementary biological and social functions that it is the first and most basic task of any social order to meet.
That banking goblin Macron recently got up in front of the cameras to snivel to his subjects that the era of abundance is over. But why is that? It isn’t because there isn’t enough energy, or food, or land ... the material components to satisfy our requirements are all there. No, it’s because he, and the financial limpets he represents, have decided so. They have consulted themselves, and come to the conclusion that it is time to make Paul Ehrlich’s Malthusian predictions real. It doesn’t matter that the creative human mind has consistently rendered Malthus a clown, that technological advances have found new sources of old resources, developed more efficient means of using resources, and discovered entirely new categories of resources that have made the old resources obsolete. Our betters have conferred, and decided that since we keep outsmarting Malthus, we shall simply no longer be allowed to use our smarts. Instead, we shall be told what technologies we can use to grow food and generate power, and the options open to us shall be only the worst options ... not because other options don’t exist, but simply because they have decided we won’t be allowed to use them.
If Malthusian collapse won’t happen on its own, well then they’ll just have to make it happen. The Club of Rome is the club they’re going to beat us with.
Everything in the human superorganism serves a function. The function of elites is to coordinate the superorganism, to ensure its smooth operation, such that its component cells – the human beings that make it up – are provided for. Our elites have been possessed by a dark madness, in the grips of which they imagine that it is not their function to serve the superorganism, but the other way around ... in just the same fashion that they imagine that it is the function of humans to serve the economy, rather than the economy to serve humans ... for they have decided that the economy’s purpose is to serve the appetites of the elites. It’s a perfect inversion of the proper order of things.
By serving only themselves, they have ceased to serve their function.
By ceasing to serve their function, they have become useless.
Europe is facing a dark, cold winter. Not because there isn’t enough natural gas left in the Earth to heat their cities, but because their quisling leaders have shut the pipelines while crippling their domestic energy industry in the name of the Green Death Goddess. Europeans know this. Already, the protests have started, in the Czech Republic, in Germany. One suspects that France’s Yellow Vests, who revolted for several months over unnecessary fuel taxes imposed by their financial overseer, are sharpening the guillotine blades after the interlude of COVID-induced quietism.
Modern technology has long rendered European man’s primordial enemy Father Winter a harmless senior citizen, powerless to reach them in their heated, insulated buildings. Deprived of this foe, European man has grown warm, fat, comfortable, soft, and complacent. That lassitude is how a people once ruled by lions came under the sway of leeches, tics, and worms. Parasites are not wise or strong, merely cunning; they do not realize, perhaps, that winter is not friendly to their form of life ... that they thrive best in the damp, stinking swamps of the sweltering tropics.
The cold shock of winter may kill the European soul. No doubt that is the intent.
But it may also shock it awake.
It is in winter that the Wild Hunt rides.
This winter, perhaps, Wotan will stir from his long slumber in the cultural DNA, and once again gather his people to him. The howls of wolves will pierce the frozen midnight, excited murders of crows flocking in anticipation of the feast to come. Wotan will hold up his hand, staying for a moment the frenzied whirling of the aerial riders of the Hunt, and cast his baleful and pitiless eye over the high places of London, and Paris, and Berlin, and Brussels, and Davos.
“What,” he will ask his people, “Are we to do with all these useless eaters?”
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To be specific, it was making ‘puppy mills’ illegal, on the grounds that they were cruel, thereby making it impossible to buy puppies at the pet store, which then led to people basically just running breeding operations that are puppy mills in all but name. Even the pound charges several hundred dollars for a dog, now.