An Insurrection Against Destiny
“Imagine a number of men in chains, all under sentence of death, some of whom are each day butchered within sight of the others; those remaining see their own condition in that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is an image of the human condition.” - Blaise Pascal
Someone said that the main sad passion in which this time is soaked is this generalised feeling of impotence, faced with the ever more evident end of any noble idea, with the disappearance of any extraordinary horizon, with the hindering of any bold act. In the face of the daily massacres and devastations – of the external world, as of the internal universe – nothing seems worth attempting. Everything appears vain, mortified in the reproduction of an eternal present. After, long time ago, hitting the iceberg, this titanic society only has to sink. Useless to make a fuss; or... ?
An interesting question to pose oneself. What can those do who don’t cultivate any illusions on the possibility of a social change during this period of time that separates us from the fatal destiny of humanity (which will be relieved of an infinite number of persons that only lived because they were born – like some hoped a century ago with the Great War)? Some say we have to dedicate ourselves to hedonism, to seek out material pleasures capable of providing us the intensity of life – even if only for a flash. In the absence of reaching the climax of communism one day (“to every one according to their needs and their desires”), ephemeral sensuality emerges as the last line of defence of what is still human. Others say we have to dedicate ourselves to cataloguing and learning survival techniques – to make fire with two sticks, to be able to recognise and grow edible and medicinal plants. In the absence of reaching the climax of anarchy one day (“my freedom that extends infinitely through the freedom of others”), historical intelligence will be the last line of defence of what is still human. We have to learn to use weapons, according to yet others, to strike those responsible of the imminent apocalypse because they deserve neither to be forgotten nor forgiven. In the absence of reaching the climax of revolution one day (“the destruction of all oppressive structures and the eradicating of all authority”), ruthless vengeance will be the last line of defence of what is still human.
Of course not everyone agrees to take note of the sorry fate of the world. The state’s servants don’t; they proceed to massive injections of unbridled optimism to fight anxiety and overcome depression. “The devastation of the environment will be defeated by new technologies. Inequality will disappear with the generalisation of communication and interactive technologies in the workspace as in daily life.” Academics – faithful cultivators of power – demand information for all, a connection for all by calling for the accessibility of data for all (even if they don’t flatly deny the new intellectual and perceptive illiteracy produced by the virtual world). Scientists – condemning humanity to the sorry fate we’re witnessing – paint new paradises in glowing colours where hunger will disappear from the face of earth thanks to genetic manipulation and where industrial pollution will be eradicated by new inventions, biofuel, solar panels, synthetic materials fabricated in laboratories. And many opponents also don’t want to take note of the fate to which power has condemned this world. They spice up their hope with gestures of goodwill, humanitarian activities, while bowing to the orders of power that views their opposition as a good way to avoid that one would break ranks and that the lid would blow off.
“When we act, we should certainly not be guided by the despair of our convictions” said a philosopher who openly asserted the necessity of joining theoretical despair with practical resolve. Lucidity concerning humanity should not lead to a deadlock or to resignation, but should be the propulsion for action. Let’s dare to base our action on the revolt against fate, to continue dreaming with our eyes wide open, to stay ready for adventures, to keep an enthusiastic look by examining the possibilities to quicken the sinking of this titanic society. Because nothing is ever finished, no destiny is invincible, nothing disappears forever and everything can fall apart today.
That bold action, individual conviction and the dream of a world rejecting its own destiny will be our compass in the storms that approach.