[2014] The labor of the inhuman

  title={The Labor of the Inhuman, Part II: The Inhuman},
  author={Negarestani, Reza},
  title={The Labor of the Inhuman, Part I: The Inhuman},
  author={Negarestani, Reza},

My highlights:

Define what is human by a constructible hypothesis, a space of navigation and intervention.

Human significance in the sense of a labor that consists of the extended elaboration of what it means to be human through a series of upgradable performances, that is rigorously inhuman.

Humanism cannot be regarded as a claim about human that can only be professed once and subsequently turned into a foundation or axiom and considered concluded.

The capacity to engage discursive practices is what functionally distinguishes sapience from sentience. Discursive practices as rooted in language-use and tool-use generate a de-privatized stabilizing and contextualizing space through which true collectivizing processes are shaped. A collaborative project of practical freedom referred as “we” whose boundaries are constructible and synthetic.

To make a commitment means “what other commitments” it brings forth and how such consequent commitments demand new modes of action and understanding, new abilities and special performances that cannot be simply substituted with old abilities because they are dictated by revised or more complex sets of demands and entitlements.

Humanism is a system of practical and cognitive commitments to the concept of humanity. Radically revisionary to our assumptions and expectations about what “we” is and what it entails.

Reason’s main objective is to maintain and enhance itself. It is the self-actualization of reason that coincides with the truth of the inhuman.

Humanism is the initial condition of inhumanism as a force that travels back from the future to alter the command of its origin. Constructs the opportunities of the present by cultivating the positive trends of the past through the revisionary forces of the future.

The rational agency is not personal, individual, or necessary biological. Inhumanism is a commitment to humanity via the concurrent construction and revision of human by the autonomy of reason, its self-determination and responsibility for its own needs. The construction of human without recourse to a constitutive foundation, a fundamental identity, an immaculate nature, a given meaning, or a prior state.

Constructing a revisable picture of us that functionally breaks free from our expectations and historical biases regarding what this image should be. A critically urgent and indispensable addition to the growing chain of obligations.

Rationalism is not a substitute for a political project, even though it remains the necessary platform project, even though it remains the necessary platform that simultaneously informs and orients any consequential political project.

In order to act on the system it is necessary to know the system. It is imperative to treat the system as a constructible hypothesis in order to know it.

Any political project aimed at genuine change must understand and adapt to the logic of nested hierarchies that is the distinctive feature of complex systems. Change cannot be effected except through both structural modifications and functional transformations across different structural layers and functional levels.

Any commitment that prevents revision and does not maintain the scope of construction ought to be updated. If it cannot be updated, then it ought to be discarded. Freedom only grows out of functional accumulation and refinement, which are characteristics of hierarchical nested, and therefore decentralized and complex systems.

Liberation is a project, not an idea or a commodity. Its effect is not the irruption of novelty, but rather the continuity of a designated form of labor. Structural and functional accumulation and refinement that takes shape as a project of self-cultivation.

To identify liberation as the sufficient content of freedom produces irrationalism, and as a result, the precipitation of various form of tyranny and fascism. The sufficient content of freedom can only be found in reason. Freedom is not liberation from slavery, it is the continuous unlearning of slavery.