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We live in a moment of new, rich, and strange antagonisms-the clash between human and nature, between societies and natures, and between entangled species and the geological, ecological, and meteorological systems that support them. Karl Marx might have thought that the social dialectic was leading to the purification of the fundamental opposition of human classes, but many now believe the new war of the world is defined by antagonism among humans and all other classes of existence. Anthropogenic climate change and toxicity have created revolutionary ethical, political, and conceptual problems and frictions. But what if the problem of climate and toxic catastrophes has set off a much richer and much stranger problem? What if one of the conceptual consequences of these catastrophes is not that humans will not exist in the future but they never existed in the way the Western Enlightenment and its spawn, liberalism, imagined? What if there is no human, or even any humans, but merely regionally more or less densely compacted forms and modes of existence, one component of which has been abstracted out and named "the human"? What if these regions of existence are off-gassing in such a way that hey produce themselves as their own waste products?

Elizabeth A. Povicelli: Between Gaia And Ground (2021)

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Intellectual historians have never really abandoned the Great Man theory of history. They often write as if all important ideas in a given age can be traced back to one or other extraordinary individual - whether Plato, Confucius, Adam Smith or Karl Marx - rather than seeing such authors' writings as particularly brilliant interventions in debates that were already going on in taverns or dinner parties or public gardens (or, for that matter, lecture rooms), but which otherwise might never have been written down. It's a bit like pretending William Shakespeare had somehow invented the English language. In fact, many of Shakespeare's most brilliant turns of phrase turn out to have been common expressions of the day, which any Elizabethan Englishman or woman would be likely to have thrown into casual conversation, and whose authors remain as obscure as those of knock-knock jokes - even if, were it not for Shakespeare, they'd probably have passed out of use and been forgotten long ago.

David Graeber & David Wengrow: The Dawn Of Everything (2021)