Being and Superbeing
“To be, or not to be!” is no longer the question. We are no longer interested in being merely human. The question now is “How super-human can we become?” The answer thrills us enormously: there seems to be no limit to this.
My main obsession, as you may have noticed, is trying to figure out what is going on in the world – what are the basic trends? One of them seems to be the development of inhuman forces - forces we can’t talk about because we have no labels for them – or inadequate labels, such as those my Marxist friends are fond of using – to say nothing of my Capitalist friends.
Lurking in the background are forces that forbid us to recognize them – and also forbid us to be. Self-aware people are the very thing that scares it most – and it works the hardest to eliminate. It must have the whole world to itself – and it has been very successful at achieving this.
For most people, this whole line of thought seems insane: pure paranoia, seeing boogeymen where none exist.
“boogeyman.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (1 May 2011). dialect : a monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening children <be good or the boogeyman will get you>
If something this serious was really going on, people reason, there would have been a television special about it long ago. There is only one flaw to this reasoning: their television is run by the boogeymen. Since these inhuman forces have no names, boogeymen is as good a label as any. And what I have referred to as Superbeing is nothing but their presence.
So far I have been using words, rather cleverly I think, but now it’s time to get more concrete. Just what am I talking about? The most concrete example I can think of is the automobile - the most potent force in the 20th Century. Just what is this thing?
Immediately, we run out of words to describe it. It is just some enormous force field we cannot resist. One of the impersonal forces I have been referring to. It provides individual mobility, as its name implies, but it is much more. It is a kind of castle on wheels – one that empowers its users in many ways. It lets them become Superbeings – something they absolutely cannot resist.
But one question has to be asked: does it make them more human? The answer, unfortunately, is “No”. It makes them Superhuman, which is something else entirely. A person walking is clearly human. Even a person riding a bicycle is moving under their own power. But when you add an internal combustion engine to this you get something else entirely: Superpower.
People have become reproductive organs for their cars – they have completely rebuilt their world – to say nothing of their sex-lives, around it.
Once again, the same question must be asked: “Has this made them more human, or less human?” Most people don’t even know what the question means. They have forgotten what it means to be human – and no one wants them to remember – the schools included. They no longer teach the humanities, and the teachers themselves have become inhuman.