Published in  
January 25, 2015

We have never been modern

To confront today’s many crises is, perhaps, first to realize the dirty lie that is the modern project, and to come to terms with the politicizing fiction that fosters the ‘realness’ of the ‘great divide’ between human and nature, subject and object, I and other, fact and story.

To quote Latour,

We have never been modern: we are not ensconced in ontological limbo looking out safely upon the traffic of things.

To engage an-other is to be shred apart, and there are no facts separable from their fabrication. Even critique and deconstruction assume the purity of the analyzing subject and the analyzed object.

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We are not modern, and to see this is to understand the need for a deeper politics – one which bequeaths unto us a sense of being ordinary and yet unravels the orgasmic sensuousness of the circle of life; one which rattles us from our imprisonment to the techno-economic and rationalistic abstractions of mass culture by which we, like mannequins at a troubled clothing store, have been reduced to spectacle and dead silence; one which takes us from our fixation with our own tired voices into a loamy parliament of things, a choir of nonhuman ‘objects’ that never falters nor sleeps.