Cladistic Postmodernity

A posthuman future of markets in everything, artificial intelligence and a dividualisation of the subject augurs itself as the gears of machinic evolution grind. “These new logistical and organisational possibilities produce new ontologies for conceptualising and abstracting information and using it to delineate spaces of action. ‘For the individual agent and complex system alike, this is the continual re-assessment of reality following the (vital) trauma of ontological crisis’. These new ontologies further dividuate the circumstances of being and identity, and produce posthuman forms that compete in increasingly level playing fields for political viability and social recognition”[1]. In combination with crises like the coronavirus pandemic and the auspices of climate change, a future that blurs the line between human and posthuman emerges.

In Orlov’s anti-Gaia hypothesis, the technosphere is conceptualised as intelligent series of non-homeostatic feedback loops that augur greater growth at any cost. Its treatment of organic life can be seen in factory farms, corporations’ quantification of human labour as a means to an end, and the emergence of abstract priorities, of “universal conquest”[2] through space exploration or logistical control. “Human beings too are now exchangeable pieces. A forester ‘is today positioned by the lumber industry. Whether he knows it or not, he is in his own way a piece of inventory in the cellulose stock’ delivered to newspapers and magazines”[3]. This industrial collectivity has given rise to the primacy of human capital with its emphasis upon constant adaptation in the face of planned and unplanned adversities. With the coronavirus pandemic, the capacity to adapt in the face of a semi-deadly virus has meant a regression to digitised lives and atomistic isolation. Human capital here (“reskilling”, workers as assets, “value generation”[4]) is little more than a metaphor for a meta-organisational paradigm of which labour is one cog.

Political structures intensify these posthuman arrays as society becomes massified and urbanised. “They make cosmic and metaphysical values out of their needs”[5], as seen in the demographic trends of greater ethnic and cultural homogeneity as globalised relations favour transnational class interests and a cosmopolitan culture stacked alongside a multicultural hotchpotch of megacities and migration flows (to be exacerbated by the heat death of climate change and the hypertrophy of non-urban livelihoods). White hinterlands developing in exurbs, rural areas and small cities[6] are one symptom of this, as white families try to find a sense of national community outside city networks. However this is a temporary shift as the children of these families increasingly live within diverse city districts, increasing the levels of community distrust in highly diverse areas as different ethnic and cultural groupings mix and segregate in various ways. Higher rates of interracial coupling testify to this. “In 2001, there were only around 2,500 Bangladeshis and Pakistanis living in a Bangladeshi-Pakistani couple out of the groups’ combined population of more than 1 million. This despite the fact that both are Muslim South Asian ethnic groups living in urban areas of Britain. Antagonism, group location and customs limited intermarriage. These groups were more likely to marry White British than each other”, but even then at low rates. The interracial coupling figures for black-white and white-Hispanic are comparably higher in Western countries[7]. A future of racial intermixing and non-white majorities in Western countries awaits, naturally changing the power structures of these societies.

On one side this could see the emergence of an ethno-traditional society that combines white-majority frameworks surrounding culture with mixed-race communities, moving from white majorities to inter-ethnic tribalism, a kind of mulatto nationalism. The slightly increased rates of voting for Trump in black and Hispanic communities testifies to this as do the immigration opinion polling amongst ethnic minorities in Britain. While there is no racial element, there is a shared feeling of nationality. On the reverse side, the emergence of a bioleninist power structure can be seen. A paradoxical call for greater racial recognition of minority rights is parsed through an intersectional matrix of competing demands, producing an inverted pyramid of minority conscience undergirded by an anarcho-tyrannical concept of justice, where racial minorities are consistently oppressed and are not responsible for their actions. Justice here is the implementation of this inverted pyramid in the realms of law and politics, where demands are filtered so that those of the oppressed come above those related to class or economic concerns. Racial struggle sessions, an HR-led system of judgment, and one rule for some but not for others[8].

Both these posthuman and post-racial arrays are vectors for homogenisation and globality. A population of human capital or consumer denizens is much more controllable than tight-knit communities and small-scale variations in socio-economic actions. However it is much more fragile, as the instantiations of the 2008 financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic attest. A naïve globalisation “creates interlocking fragility, while reducing volatility and giving the appearance of stability. In other words it creates devastating Black Swans. We have never lived before under the threat of a global collapse”[9]. The centrality of gargantuan financial institutions and platform systems creates strong systemic risk[10], particularly as the latter contain the elements through which they can be undermined as well as undergirded[11]. Greater ethnic homogeneity presents greater vectors for viral load and reduced immunological differences.

“Homogenization is entropy. The two concepts are not strictly distinguishable. What was discovered under the name of entropy was the destruction of difference”[12]. This is where ideas of greater globality and integration become problematic if not outright stupid. The WEF’s Great Reset is paradigmatic in the way transnational class interests combine with technophilic nightmares and egalitarian sentiments to produce a Deleuzian array of control. It produces an “ontological inequality” between “those who adapt from those who resist”[13], limiting the potentials to voice opposition or exit a system premised around the valuation and control of everyday life. And, similarly to Taleb’s criticism of naïve globalisation, a Great Reset of global governance potentiates worldwide collapse scenarios. “Overall progress has continued despite the rise and fall of nations, and the incompetence and short sighted greed of politicians, because for more than two thousand years there has always been a safe haven, somewhere in the world for people of learning to flee the violence and barbarism of failed states and tyrants”[14]. In other words, systems of exit from entropic, ossified structures.

If traditional ways of life and heterogeneous cultures and ethnicities are to, if not reassert dominance, maintain a voice and a space within these growing arrays of control, homogenisation and utilitarian valuation, a cladistic future may be required that asserts spaces or pockets of de-massified control. “Cladistics can be identified with a rigorization of taxonomic nomenclature. A system of names writes a cladogram, which is to say a model of evolutionary history, and of biological relatedness. Any cladogram is an evolutionary hypothesis. It proposes a particular order of splitting. Any such proposed order is empirically revisable. Cladistics maps the whole of disintegrationism below the cosmological level, and perhaps even up to it. Naturally, it is supremely controversial. The full scope of its provocation has yet to be understood. Insofar as cladistics is explanatory, however, much follows. Notably, identity is conceived as essentially schismatic, and being is apprehended fundamentally as a structure of inheritance”[15].

A further schismatic deconstruction of prevailing control systems, of posthuman and meta-organisational value structures, is required. At the level of being, this can be conceptualised as the emergence of a linguistics of non-technology. This is not the overcoming or subsumption of technology, but a system of language and reasoning that isn’t reliant on technological relays. The assertion of moods, of theological interactions, of mortality and the innately human over techno-industrial or scientific reasonings. At the level of social systems, the consolidation of small, integrated, self-reliant communities along the lines of Taleb’s fractal localism or a Misesian[16] decentralism[17]. Religious communities have already engaged in this cladistic splintering, bucking the demographic trends of their secular counterparts (Orthodox Jews, the Amish and the Mormons). Outside of this, preppers and militias present another factor, as the rich are buying up remote properties and procuring specialist security and medical services[18]. Reducing social networks down to a sustainable Dunbar number, as well as moving them offline would also help in reducing the influence of technospheric control.

The coming crises and collapses are already being seen. The coronavirus pandemic and associated recession; the unsustainable private and public debt levels; the systemically situated monopolies and platforms; ocean and soil acidification; climate change-led desertification; racial discord and urban violence; technocratic control arrays and lockdowns; as well as other potential events, necessitate a cladistic decentralisation and a linguistics of non-technology that preserve the space for human sociality. This isn’t a bright or optimistic future, but it may be a survivable one.


[1] https://thelibertarianideal.com/2019/07/14/fields-of-potentiality-part-2-posthuman-developments-and-flows/

[2] Dmitry Orlov, Shrinking the Technosphere

[3] https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/understanding-heidegger-on-technology

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/heathermcgowan/2020/11/05/the-coronavirus-ushers-in-the-human-capital-era/

[5] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

[6] Eric Kaufmann, Whiteshift

[7] Eric Kaufmann, Whiteshift

[8] https://www.takimag.com/article/riots-what-riots/

[9] Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan

[10] Jonathan William Welburn et al, Systemic Risk in the Broad Economy

[11] https://thelibertarianideal.com/2019/04/20/amazon-as-a-vector/

[12] https://jacobitemag.com/2019/07/15/disintegration/

[13] https://winteroak.org.uk/2020/10/05/klaus-schwab-and-his-great-fascist-reset/

[14] https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/21/what-is-the-great-reset/

[15] https://jacobitemag.com/2019/07/15/disintegration/

[16] https://mises.org/wire/new-libertarian

[17] https://thelibertarianideal.com/2019/09/08/postscript-on-libertarian-subject-users/

[18] https://www.ft.com/content/79781c20-051d-41c4-bd2c-31ceffb763e8

One thought on “Cladistic Postmodernity

Leave a Reply to Nightcap | Notes On Liberty Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s