THE HUMAN AS A VALUE

Anatomy art by Leonardo Da Vinci from 1492 on textured background.

Whilst the human is something enormously valuable that should be treasured, in actual fact it is a worthless thing, made so by its dubious existence. Asking what humanity is, is like asking what a unicorn is: everyone knows what it should be like but no one can actually find one.  

In the conditional sense, humanity has become a should be: The human should be something we want to become, even though we already are. But: How can we become what we already are? The problem is that everything we want to become (and do become), things like our nationality, race, wealth (or lack of wealth), and religion, strip us of the human thing that we authentically are.

In a sense, our human way of life erodes our humanity. Because of this, the value of the human needs to be regained. It needs to be rediscovered in our nostalgic ability to resurrect lost things, restore them, and preserve them. Of course, there is a great irony in this process, that what needs to be discovered is that which is all around us; that we cannot find the forest because the tree we are sitting under gets in the way. But this irony only reveals the simplicity of the task once we find the will to achieve it. To rediscover we have to merely remember; recall that our humanity is that which unites us to the rest of our species; it is that which we all have in common … that we are bipods with hands that have fingers and a thumb; that we have the ability to laugh, etc.. However, an amputee is not considered non-human because they have lost a leg, or a thumb, and one can imagine human beings who never smile or laugh. No, the real determiner of the human being is rooted in our special intellect, in our special ability to communicate via language, and in our curiosity, to know things, and our creativity to invent and make things. It is in these qualities that the sapiens instincts are housed, and it is the sapiens qualities that really define the human.

Curiosity creates our restlessness and our passion for uncovering. It makes us capable of boredom, when there is nothing that sparks our curiosity, and fires our creativity. Curiosity then is a positive human value that needs to be stimulated and nurtured by any sapiens-human society. Likewise, our intellectual and high artistic values need to be resurrected as that which is valuable, where valuable is considered as that which is enriching for our humanity.  

But aren’t we curious and creative enough already? If you look around, the world is full of the fruits of our curiosity and inventive imagination: Aren’t we living in a marvellous information age in which we can enjoy the gifts of the incredible technologies we have already developed and can be purchased? Yes, and no … because in the reality expressed in that question lies the great divider of the human … in human civilisation as we have it at the moment, the fruits of our creative, collective, curiosity have to be bought. Money, and what we call the economy, is the great shredder of humanity, slicing through us like a ploughing machine through the common home of our humanity.

A civilisation geared toward what money can buy, turns its back on the human and the intellect as things of little value in themselves. Intellect in a society driven by the plutocratic impulse of making money, will be little more than a small tool toward achieving that final goal, or even an impediment to it. Intellect in our society is not valuable in itself, and its only value comes from the salary gained by the kind of job requiring intellectual skills. In the economy, the authentically human is undervalued while those with the anti-human, human-shredding skills that know how to manipulate money are the successful sub-species that has turned much of humanity into the sad-cruel figure of the homo economicus.

When civilisations become too dependent on, or become slaves to their own technologies, decadence sets in, and this truth must not ignore the most influential technological invention we have ever come up with – money. Our relationship with money has been the most obvious whilst at the same time most obscure process of human degeneration. In its essence money is a tool that can be used to facilitate exchange and make life simpler. Nevertheless, the effect of money on society has been quite the opposite. Money is now a complex thing that dominates all human societies. It creates more misery than happiness; it is responsible for the virtual enslavement of the vast majority of human beings; it is used as the measure of society and its use is, for the most part, unjust.

Money is the root of all evil: and yet we cannot live without it. We are totally dependent on the evil of it; it is the cause of all degeneracy; it is degeneracy itself. The degenerate-value of money.

To be able to remedy this essentially anti-human reality buried in the very fabric of our civilisation and to resurrect the authentic nature of the human, will require a revolutionary upheaval. Yet at the same time, that revaluation will have to come from a very simple source: through the recognition of the authenticity of what we already are – through a recognition of the authentically human. To rediscover we only have to remember.  

Human Resurrection (2)

sydney-climate-emergency negative

One of the reasons why we do not believe in humanity is that we believe in the economic plan of the world above and beyond humanity itself. It is as if we think: “In the beginning God created the dollar. On the second day he created Adam and Eve and said, ‘Share this dollar between you, I’ll leave it up to Adam to decide how.’”

Humanity has suffered an anti-human historical process of segregation that has been inspired and fuelled by economies of exchange that have always been equally decisive. But, what must we do in order to turn this around? What must we do to be able to look out onto a truly human landscape for once?

Firstly, it must be accepted that not everyone has something all the time to exchange and/or not everyone who does have something to sell will be able to find another person willing or capable of paying the cost of what is fairly calculated for that exchange.

Once we consider this fact, it is easy to see how the free market is not ‘free’ enough. If it were sufficiently-free then we would also be liberated from the economic condition on survival that forces us to always be exchanging whether we actually have anything to give or not.

In order for the ‘free-market’ to take care of itself, as the neoliberal economists maintain, a large part of humanity will have to surrender to the dictatorship of the self-regulation of markets. This system is neither free, nor just, nor human – and nor is it necessary. From the point-of-view of humanity we are immersed in an economic system that is neither desirable for humanity, because it does not fulfil the needs of all of humanity, and neither is it necessary. So, if it is neither good nor necessary, why do we maintain it?

We maintain it because we cannot see a viable alternative. This is because the economy we have is also the ‘reality’ we have. To see the solution, we will need to look out of the fish-bowl we are swimming in – and there is nothing harder to do than that.

However, we do have a clue. If the problem is the economy and the economy is money, then the solution probably lies in imagining a society free from money. This seems impossible at first, but if we think about automation and start to imagine the development of that automation on an enormous scale (which is an inevitable evolutionary step in civilisation’s progress with or without money) then it is logical that all production will eventually be automated with a minimal requirement of human labour.

Even though this automation will result in a loss of jobs, from a human perspective, this evolution has to be encouraged, although it can only be a positive step forward if it is accompanied by the abolition of money. With money eradicated from the picture, unemployment is no longer an issue. Each will find his or her own way of making their life fulfilling.

The key therefore to changing the economy and allowing humanity to become something, is to abolish money. This idea sounds horrifying at first. What would we do without money? After all, money is the only real incentive we have for making any exchanges: without it, all exchange, and, consequently, all progress would cease … Wouldn’t it?

Despite what most economists proclaim, the economy has not evolved with the progress of technology. In fact, in many cases, it retards technological progress. Scientific progress should be spiking more sharply than it is, and the reasons why it isn’t is quite simple, and has a lot to do with the way our economy works.

For example: the economy has not been able to implement the clean-energy alternatives that are needed on massive scale to kerb the climate emergency, quite simply because it is more interested in the profits to be squeezed out of the extracting and burning of carbon-based fuels. Despite the overwhelming consensus that a switch to clean energy is essential for the survival of civilisation as we know it, corporate powers are milking what they’ve got to the last drop. Even though their tactic of squeezing the last cent out of their business may cause a complete collapse of the biosphere that supports life on earth, the market does not adjust to the needs and desires of the general public. Rather it is a dictatorship that controls the status-quo and will do whatever it can to ensure it remains the main benefactor of what that status-quo has to offer.

If the economy worked properly and well for human interests and human progress then we would not be facing this existential crisis.

Our current economic status quo is impossible to maintain. The free-market has been an immensely dangerous experiment that is failing humanity like no other experiment ever has before.

The alternative lies in facing the reality (the beautiful truth) that technology will liberate humanity from labour and completely revolutionise the way that we look at exchange. Personal fulfilment, and our fulfilment as human beings, does not rest on what we as individuals can receive from others in exchange for what we can give them in return, but rather in the act of giving itself. In order to give, our needs must be guaranteed and every human being should have his or her basic survival needs guaranteed by the paradigm that structures the whole of humanity. That is the first step to human justice and the first step to the great revolution that will amount in a human resurrection.

 

GO TO PART ONE: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/human-resurrection-1/