New Humanism’s Inhuman Forgetting

The usage of new ecological thinking in contemporary academia always feels ahistorical to me.

The rush to address the intensity of the present crisis leads to a glossing over of all that came before it. An emphasis on human/non-human relations becomes an awkward rehash of German Idealism’s insertion of the subject itself into the nature it cannot know.

Paradoxically, however, this new emphasis results from a recent humanist discourse. It is an example of the late-capitalist ego attempting to (re)produce and (re)introduce an anti-egoic thinking which it doesn’t realise there is a precedence for.

Why doesn’t it realise this? Because of capitalism’s enclosing of fields of knowledge that it believes are other to itself. The desire for this never went away, however, and now finds itself reemerging, like the emperor in his new clothes, picked out for it and recontextualised by the neoliberal institution itself.

The result is never not superficial and that’s how they like it.

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