1- Aristotle's comment "to be human is only human" resonates today as a - warning; we need only say "nothing but" to radicalize the meaning: an eradication of all that is human. The tautological nomenclature Sapiens sapiens is evidence enough of an original, fundamental, fault. The knowing subject ends by realizing that he/she is part of a cycle in which close to 99% of all known species having ever existed are extinct. A vague foreshadowing of our own extinction, this threat inspires in our species a "series of countermeasures" to avoid what we do not wish to acknowledge as inevitable. Taking destiny into our own hands by manipulating to our own advantage the inexorable transformations linked to the mutational cycles of the universe has become the dominant illusion of Sapiens sapiens. This error in perspective resides in the fact that our destiny cannot be disassociated from that of the World-as-it-is, which defies comprehension. Under the pretext of changing our destiny, we jury-rig the inhuman mutational process. From the technè to the techno-scientific machinery, this error has followed a process of assisted evolution which speeds toward its terminal goal, the radicalization of fatality. The Technological machine is founded on an insurmountable paradox to which there is no other alternative than the (super-compulsive) rise of its "desire of desires" which leads to substituting a fatal reality (the first kind) with a second ultra-fatal reality (called virtual), where we drag things on, prolong them in somewhat the same manner that chemotherapy drags on the life of a metastasized organism. The enormous means by which the globally networked Technological machine arms itself for survival will play the role of metastacy - the chemotherapy becomes the cancer. The general theory of information with which the Technological machine is fed, a system open to its own excesses, carries a virus specific to media: mediatastacy.
2- The syndrome is true today for the management of planetary politics, for the European Balkans, for Africa, for the Caucasus, and to-day dramatically -- re the Middle-East --, for any region where capitalistic machinery is "taking care of" that part of the Global Market judged incompatible with inclusion in its evolutionary process (and vice versa). Madness and absolute crime (as an expression of the second ultra-fatal reality) reaches such an intolerable level that the global conscience actively pretends to take the grim events in hand with the sole intention of turning the intolerable into a ethical-religious standard (the World Trade Center, one uses the horrible events to better invert it to the profit of the Market or to the extension of an industrial and military power with a suspicious monotheistical guarantee.) The mutilated corpses and mass graves warn that a critical limit has been reached, releasing the activist discourse of a disappearing act, the corpse and the mound become the vector of the ideology of extinction. We witness a real period of mourning. A period of enforced mourning. Cancer is an anticipated mourning, mediatastacy gives birth to the enforced mourning period in which we attempt with all our might to forget the intolerable. The good news would be that information that hides the corpses -- that incorporates death by including it in its inverted therapy -- becomes itself deathlike. It has not other rule than itself, it gives itself up to its own disguised corruption.
3- To the call of the ethical-humanitarian propaganda apparatus - which is normally nourished on the imagery of victims and deplores «the absolute destitution of the population caught in the midst of fratricidal combats» echoes the reasurring "soteriological" voice of informational activism: «Life will return to normal, markets are open, people are returning home, elections will take place...» A whole proactivist movement is deployed in the disappearance of the corpses - a ritualized act of white magic -, whose goal is to transform the horrible event into a contingent episode through political, informational, counter informational, commissional, congregational, academic, politico-geo-economic activism. This is how, all things considered, humanism becomes revisionist. Here information follows a reshaping, or even genetic reworking logic, in order to neutralize the traditional idea of a sovereign living being.
4. But reworked according to what time-scale? That of the nurturing nature of the World-as-it-is or that of the microprocessor? Mediatastacy corrupts the notion of time. It seems rather normal that eradicating a major bug in living organisms would result in the decomposition of the classical predicates of the original version. Statements such as, "the destitution of a people held hostage" and "there is no problem in the Great Lakes [region of Africa]" take part in the same dialectic of anticipated extinction ; the terrifying nature of this language gives rise to a new one : transmuted and pataphysical (not serious), the only way to create a new logical system, one which foreshadows the extinction of humanity and the victory of inhuman technological values. Will it bring the return of a new eschatological time-scale? Or, more elegant, the emergence of mythical figures ? The return of the Titans? Could it be that the only way we can understand the destiny of man is with the aid of mythological representations?
5- The Technological machine, as the product of a destined double intelligence, results in the algorithmic doubling back of this fate, to the benefit of a humanity reconstructed by means of a therapeutic program whose goal is humanities own (metastic) end. A double paradox following two Original Errors? The first being the one which led to the development of the tools necessary for the transformation of living beings. " The original error common to both speciation (transformation of life) and carcino-genesis is a change in the genome, chromosomic or genetic. [...] Evolution has given man an intelligence unique on earth and controlled by an exceedingly complex constellation of genes. Cancer too appears with a selfish intelligence, death bearing and also governed by an exceedingly complex constellation of genes. Metastacy is the startling and fatal proof." (J. de Grouchy, Is Man Creations Cancer?) The second is the about take of knowledge caught in the trap of its own intolerable binomality (its oncogenetic double-bind); meta[static] linguistic which contaminates the event by the way it "genetically" transforms things : brushing aside the emotional content of the event by reducing it to its purely functional, technical and redundant aspects. This mediatastic manipulation of information thinks up its cancer the way thought thinks on thought, in a circular feedback which aims to set the intolerable to one side of the body whose signifying function of the affect it metastacizes.
6- If the rhetoric of disappearance participates in a purely Darwinian form of evolution -and thus selection of species - the mutation operates in two ways: an extinction (of life or meaning) and a meta-linguistics which neutralizes the emotional impact thus destroying the intolerable meaning of the extinction by anticipating it through all manner of manipulations (including genetic). The hospital kills charity: the conscience has joined its object and both will disappear in the myth of a new man : new but pacified. It seems as if the Technological machine, the recycling bin of traditional mythology entirely transformed, has appropriated the metaphysics of mother nature. Why not turn evolution over to the hand of " man"? We patch up the event in the same manner we try to patch up and rid the body of its faults. CADS (computer assisted design of species) is taking place and a " new man" is on his way, a new body is being born deus ex machina from a band of compulsive humanoides, not counting those without access to the means... Once again, will it be the "unpredictable" that haunts every overly systematic enterprise? Its bane? Its subtractive horizon.
7- It is no laughing matter and it has no name : the Unspeakable. Allowing a genocide to occur, mass graves to seed the landscape, allowing the food chain to be corrupted and pollution to poison -- to then take action, pretending, at least at first, that it's important, updating the world in real time while at the same time burying the events in a rhetoric of triviality: all are part of strong and unprecedented symbolism. A mythology of modern pathos, of impure intelligence (converting the natural emotion into a neutral one), to disguise the horror is to enter the realm of the unspeakable. But the unspeakable has penetrated to the very heart of the Technological mechanism itself, unspoken but active: metastic. A review of de Bataille and Nietzsche is useful here; every quanta of fictional action finds its affectation in the Hegelian circularity where the play (The Tragedy) of homogeneity takes place.
8- The insane, the unspeakable, fatalism, the heterogeneous, the virus of the infinite have broken into the norm. If that can happen, then we can imagine that the cursed part of our species can be recycled in the "new norm". Is the inhuman thus ready to become a consensual value, aiding a cohort of mutants to cross the stream of an artificial time to a new episode of the species? A transfiguration of the original Error in the form of a new (biological) incarnation?
9- The Judaeo-Christian error (Guilt) should have clued us in regarding this. Is this the refinancing of a paleo-anthropological Original Error -- the massacre of the Neanderthals committed by the latest biological model? Divine barter or barter divine : « Without our permission - our League - you shall not destroy life », says the All Powerful of the Fable, - « using one we conspire against the other, but in My name... » But the proliferation of the species can only lead to the disintegration of this type of League. Moses: willful recurring fault as the generator of the Law: « Walk in my footsteps or you will go nowhere; Obey or you will have no Promised Land. » And Jesus, the other Other, He of the enfeebled Fable (Nietzsche): « I am suffering incarnate, suffer-me, suffer for me, gather yourselves around mine own to deliver yourselves from Offense.» The buying back of sins is still barter. From the gravity of a conscience troubled by a primordial mistake we pass to the frivolous (barter): word games, words of revelation, theology, scolasticness, a whole meta system to lead to an ideological reorganization of the extinction of faulty bodies. Frivolous, the body, but clever like Paul-the saint. Clever like a virus today.
10- Will Art become the art of revealing ancient and modern lapsus ? The intelligence, not of knowledge but of the madness of knowledge and its linguistic disguises. Will art become the esthetic pleasure which transcends (Bataille would say 'trandescendant') the strategy by which the species, by ever more subversive means of values subversion tries to play with, by rendering esthetic, its own extinction -- an our-days-are-numbered 'edge-of-the-abyss esthetics' contemplating the disastrous beauty of the void. Neither serious nor grave nor grotesque, but simply pathetic, because it is prophetically clear that the original pathos of the body (as yet still embodied of its biological anomalies) is hidden in radical reserve at the heart of all technological stands... Held at reserve in the privacy of the initiatic micro-circles for bi-encephalic bodies with one head looking at the past, the other squinting into the future...
N.B. Blanchot in L'Ecriture du Désastre, p. 137, 1980
«Mythical or hyperbolic cancer : why do we so fear the word, as if behind it we could see written the unspeakable? Because it attacks the code by the authority of which we, living and choosing to live are kept in the security of a purely formal existence, obeying a standardized signage of a program whose process is normative from one end to the other. Cancer symbolizes and realizes a refusal to respond : a cell which refuses to respond to orders, which develops out of order, in anarchical fashion, and more: it destroys the very idea of a program, renders doubtful the exchanges of messages and the possibility to reduce everything to the simulation of symbols. Cancer, in this view, is a political phenomenon, one of the rare ways to dislocate the system, to disrupt the program and universal signifiers by proliferation and disorder, a task once played by leprosy and later, the Plague. Something we poorly understand maliciously neutralized the master-plan. Its not causing death that cancer is a special menace : it is a mortal disordering more frightening than death which gives it the trait of being uncounted and uncountable, in the same manner that suicide disappears from the statistics which try to take it into account.»
One need only perform a symbolic transfer from physiology of the body to the whole plural human system starting with its new mediatastic Logos and then examine the disruptions which we are privy to. This includes the transgenic manipulations of plants and the danger of environmental contamination which it implies. Genetic manipulation and the will to transfiguration (c.f. Tibon-Cornillot), and the general overload inflicted on information are two sides of the same coin. We might ask ourselves if we are merely witnessing the pursuit by human mediation of the very natural transformation of species. In this case, that which disrupts the norm (and that which up till now in terms of individual philosophy/ethics, or that of small political groups was a sign of health, of revolt, of counterbalance or unknowing) is provoking, by a subtractive effect, the contrary of that which the powerful technoscientific cocktail is trying to avoid. Against "legal addiction", willful intoxication...
Translation from French: Morgan Saletta.