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What Would Zarathustra Say?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013). (Space and Mobility in a Mediatized World)
Lund University.
2014 (English)In: Monstrous Geographies, 2014, , p. 12Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we address the contemporary interest for the monstrous and non-human beings in popular culture, fiction as well as in academia, make some speculations about its popularity and ask ourselves what Zarathustra would say? Jameson remark that it is easier to imagine the end of the world rather than the end of capitalism (1998) – itself a précis of the monstrous condition we find ourselves in – serves as a door opener for our deliberations. Agamben’s claim that the human and the non-human are positioned on a threshold rather than on either side of the walls of polis, allows us to imagine monstrous geographies’ topological spaces that fuse the human/non-human, bios/zoē and biopolitics/thanatopolitics. The monstrous, in other words, is the doppelganger of the human. Out of this we make two tentative inferences regarding the current popularity of the monstrous. First, an increasing awareness in the collective cultural imaginary that the corporeal, psychological and cognitive capacities of the human will soon be inadequate to live up to the demands of ‘turbo’ capitalism, a capitalism on steroids so monstrous that we do not see its monstrosity any longer. Secondly, predatory capitalism follows the logic of active nihilism, one that relies primarily on topological rather than Euclidian spatial logics. As such it is ‘blind’ to ontological distinctions (gender, race, human, non-human). Thirdly, this does not imply that passive nihilism is no longer relevant for the logics of predatory capital. Indeed, monstrous figures may embody passive nihilism more fully than the non-monstrous. For if capitalism is the true monster, then monstrosity – in its active and passive guises – is now banal. Is not the monstrous, then, really the non-monstrous? We conceive the tree interpretations as interrelated and central to the post-political condition. Post-politics can thus be conceived as the era of banal monstrosity, a nihilistic condition in which the whole world is being violently subdued by predatory capitalism. Does this presage the dawn of the higher men, a post-nihilist era? What would Zarathustra say?

 

Key Words: Monster, nihilism, post-political, capitalism, anthropological machine, biopolitics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , p. 12
Keywords [en]
Monster, nihilism, post-political, capitalism, anthropological machine, biopolitics
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34326OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34326DiVA, id: diva2:755155
Conference
Monstrous Geographies
Available from: 2014-10-13 Created: 2014-10-13 Last updated: 2019-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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