Manifestophilis: Experience, Survival, Violence

PH: You seem very concerned with the vagabond’s experience. The temptations of wandering, of homelessness, of the sins of, for lack of a better term, the lower class, or the classless.  

The Devil: Of course. That’s what I am: homeless. Cast out. The whole prodigal son story was made because Daddy wanted me to say ‘I’m sorry,’ but I won’t give him the satisfaction of saying he forgives me. I deal in the real muck of experiences. Drugs, pain, ecstasy, the distractions that prove we have the capacity to think.

PH: So you have no responsibility for the sins of the upper class?

TD: Not none. Never none. But that’s not really where my interests are. There’s an occasional collaboration between me and other sin … suppliers. Cocaine, uh, that’s a big one. Prostitution is pretty common across the board. But when it gets too corporate it gets, I dunno, stale?

PH: It doesn’t feel good?

TD: No. It. Like, I get greed when there’s some spite to it. Robbing a store you work for? I get that. But robbery to make more money while you’re sitting behind a desk with plenty of money already? What itch does that scratch? 

PH: But you think there’s a cathartic nature that can justify destruction?

TD: I think we need to acknowledge that life is a violent act, and some kinds of violence are static and some kinds of violence are kinetic.

PH: What do you mean by that? Static or kinetic?

TD: Living, real living, is like swimming in frozen water. You know you’re thrashing and pushing with your arms and kicking with your feet; but you also have that sinking fear that you’re already frozen solid, and it only dissipates when you see how the water is churning and the bubbles are flying. It’s that numbness where the only guarantee you have that you haven’t stopped is the movement of things around you. It’s what cats do. Cats understand that they can’t affirm their own existence by moving their paws or licking their fur, they need to push things over. They see that if that cup can fall off the edge because they exist then they must exist. Otherwise what force can act upon the cup? A kinetic violence is the acknowledgment that, to some degree, we must force ourselves on the world if we wish to justify our own presence. This means that there will never be a state of absolute freedom that is also fair, we will always engage in a battle between what I need to exist and what you need to exist. A static violence is when we live in a way that is passively destructive. By having what you have, someone must not have. So to live in a stable fashion where you accumulate more and more you are exist in a static lifestyle that is violent by its act of deprivation, and you probably don’t realize that it is violent. In kinetic violence you can at least acknowledge what you’re doing, and can even curtail its effects while you act it out, and let it change things. Static violence is blind to its own existence. 

PH: So we need to have the outside world to justify our own presence, even if our presence is inherently hostile.

TD: I wouldn’t even call it a justification, because whose the judge? It’s just the way things are. Things exist, and being in a headspace is entirely the wrong direction to prove that things exist. One should also keep in mind that kinetic violence isn’t universal, it can be very focused, and that allows for cooperation among people. 

PH: But also hierarchy.

TD: Certainly, as naturally violent creatures we are naturally hierarchical. Though I would say that true hierarchy usually develops once individuals with power realize they don’t need to use kinetic violence to maintain their will and simply stagnate into static violence. They let their underlings manage the dirty business where they don’t need to see it. 

PH: What is your opinion of humanity’s future?

TD: Fuck it.

PH: Really?

TD: Really! Fuck it! Fuck it all! What fucking good is it to try and save something that is everything? You want to know what the problem is? It’s not factories, it’s not greed, it’s not cars, it’s not any of that stuff because it is you! It’s the very human existence because this is the natural order of things. The concept of natural harmony where one species is in tune with what’s around it is garbage: anything that lives will do what it can to continue living, and will also work to spread its existence through reproduction. Anything that can spread, given an inch, will grow at the expense of anything that gets in its way. Ninety percent of the time, when the expansion begins to endanger the organism because of a lack of resources, the organism will die. It will kill itself, be devoured by something else, or move somewhere else.

PH: So those are the only options you’re saying we have?

TD: Basically, yes.

PH: What about the other 10% of the time?

TD: Well, if they realize what’s going on because another organism shows up and they begin to see the disruption of the environment around them, then maybe they have a chance. That’s what happened with the American Indians you know.

PH: When they encountered white settlers.

TD: Yes. The whole rhetoric that they were in-tune with nature with the way they lived is utter bullshit. It’s a romantic notion that utterly pacifies their culture. Everything doesn’t mean shit environmentally when the animal is still dead and you’re overhunting, and they were overhunting. White settlers didn’t starve just because they set up shop in a swamp and couldn’t farm the land, the game was scarce! It wasn’t there! And the addition of more people, more people trying to eat what was scarce, and making what was there migrate, that’s what made the indigenous people wake up and start giving a real damn. This is true in the Massachusetts’s Bay and it’s true in Hawaii. It’s true all across. 

PH: Is this likely to be the source of human extinction?

TD: Probably not true extinction. Not in the sense of *bam* you’re dead. Maybe over a really long period of time. Really, it’s more likely to be a culling than anything else. Small groups of human beings will survive where food is still naturally available and where urban infrastructure isn’t present. 

PH: You mentioned the “using every part of the buffalo” image, you say it still doesn’t work because it promotes the exhaustion of the animal resource itself.  Does that mean you support vegetarianism and veganism? 

TD: Not as a full ideology. Like, you just want to avoid eating meat? You think the animals are cute? Fine. More power to you. But is it going to change anything? No.

PH: Why not? Isn’t action the basis of change? If there’s no demand for those harmfully extracted resources then can’t we move to supplying less harmful resources?

TD: But given the current population, the cost of producing, preparing, and providing food, it doesn’t matter. Agriculture kills animals, it kills species, it pollutes. And don’t bullshit me with that community garden, commune, utopia crap because that’s not happening until people are forced to do it and people aren’t going to be forced to do it until most people are dead anyway. Right now, it doesn’t matter how many little gardens you make, no one solution exists for every kind of life that’s out there. Fresh produce is a practical and affordable solution to everyone’s dietary needs? No. It’s not. And guess what, most agriculture required to feed large groups of people is so destructive anyway that you are still an indirect murderer. Everyone is killing all the time anyway. If we want a solution the real answer is a nuclear cleansing: wipe out as much infrastructure as possible, render previous habitats unlivable, and decrease the population. 

PH: Do you agree with Ted Kaczynsky’s arguments and methodologies as put forward in Industrial Society and its Future?

TD: I know you’re going to get tired of hearing me say this, but yes and no. I would say that all of humanity’s contemporary problems stem mainly from the abundance of human beings. Of course, that’s probably the hardest pill to swallow: to accept that you need to kill yourself, to some extent, to save yourself. Amputate, I guess, a large segment of the population. What Kaczynski does well is his examination and dissection of what he calls the Leftist Psychology and its inability to come to legitimate solutions, however, I don’t necessarily think its effective to say that contemporary issues are solvable only by reverting to a supposed “natural state” of tribal life. If the human race can effectively halt its expansion while maintaining current infrastructure then it should continue its technological development. The issue is that we are in a state of too much need. The Left simultaneously argues that we think we need more than we do and that we need to provide more to meet the needs of individuals. Of course, the argument that its an issue of organization and priorities has legitimacy, but the cost of the solution is itself massive because of overpopulation. So if humanity cannot curtail its reproduction by its own will in a stable manner it must be forced to. Either it will happen via ecological reactions – disease, natural disasters, changing habitats, et cetera – or else it will have to fall to drastic, violent measures such as war, nuclear attacks, or the widespread destruction of urban habitats. 

PH: You use the term ecological reactions. Does this suggest something along the lines of Gaia theory?

TD: There are an infinite number of interconnecting patterns at play in any environment. It’s a mistake to think that these patterns are themselves a balance, or that they act with intention. When I say “reaction” I mean in the sense of a chemical reaction, rather than a social or emotional reaction. It is not the Earth as a body reacting, it is simply the consequences of limited resources. 

PH: So is technology necessarily anathema to human freedom?

TD: First off, I’m talking about survival, not freedom. These are entirely different, and it’s stupid to assume otherwise. Again, if we limit and diminish the human population then there’s no reason not to keep maintaining technological advancement. It’s the fact that we’ll need fewer resources that’s important. Perhaps technology can subjugate people’s freedoms, but that’s not really my concern to be honest. It will be just another thing for people to fight, and that’s my way of life. I’m not saying humanity has to try and survive. It’s entirely acceptable to choose to maintain freedom and live until you die off. Perfectly way to go. If you want to survive though, that requires a much higher body count.

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