These are dark and darkening times, challenging us to look deeper to grasp the roots and dynamics of the looming civilizational crisis. Chronic illness of the planet calls for radically new thinking if there is to be any hope of renewal. When We Are Human: Notes from the Age of Pandemics (Feral House, 2021) offers thought at a necessary and primal level. All previous civilizations have failed, and now there’s just one global civilization, which is starkly, grandly failing. To deny or avoid this fact is to remain in the sphere of the superficial, the irrelevant. The physical environment is reaching the catastrophe stage as the seas warm, rise, acidify, and fill with plastics. Icebergs ahead and floating past beachgoers idly watching the planet die. So much is failing, so much is interrelated in the technosphere of ever-greater dependence and estrangement. Social existence, now strangely isolated, is beset by mass shootings, rising suicide rates, slipping longevity, loneliness, anxiety, and the maddening stream of lies and concocted politics. Zerzan trains his passionate focus on several fields of discourse: anthropology, history, philosophy, technology, psychology, and the spiritual. Points of light that become a kaleidoscope refracting new insights and contributing an overall picture of late civilization.
Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi’i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com.
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