Lucretius on the pussification of the modern human

Compare the modern human to the pre-cellphone people. Or how about the stronger ones of the 90s? And the stronger coke fighters of the 80s? And the even stronger psychedelics-graduated social critics of the 70s? And the sensitive avant-garde psychedelic poets of the 60s? And … back … back farther.

Teddy Rosevelt and the Rough Riders.

George Washington.

Those fucking first colonists—beasts and bearers of massive hardship and terrors unknown to Europe. The colonists had to toughen-up to the level their own ancestors of 2000 years before, since the Native Americans added 2000 years of wandering before the surplus and leisure time of agricultural population and division of labor could allow any kind of new developments (architecture, metalwork).

And back and back we go, to the medieval times with their dirty communal living and rampant disease and death and games that usually involved torturing and killing. Brutal.

And back further to Lucretius:

The earliest weapons were hands, nails and teeth. Next came stones and branches wrenched from trees, and fire and flame as soon as these were discovered. Then men learnt to use tough iron and copper. With copper they tilled the soil. With copper they whipped up the clashing waves of war, … Then by slow degrees the iron sword came to the fore; the bronze sickle fell into disrepute; the ploughman began to cleave the earth with iron, …

And here’s the part that I found so warming:

Lucretius envisioned a pre-technological human that was “far tougher than the men of today … They lived out their lives in the fashion of wild beasts roaming at large.” The next stage was the use of huts, fire, clothing, language and the family. City-states, kings and citadels followed them. Lucretius supposes that the initial smelting of metal occurred accidentally in forest fires. The use of copper followed the use of stones and branches and preceded the use of iron.

Amazing! Look at this savage. He is stronger, healthier, has better waking and sleeping habits, is more vigilant, and can survive in harsh environments. He has the greatest skill. He is skilled at surviving. They have well-rounded in the most important (vital) ways. There are no stupid hobbies, no wastes of time, no neurotic habits. There is James Bond and Kurt Saxon 24/7 and perfect fulfillment.

And today?

The American man especially is such a joke. Especially these wanna-be Nazis, these Trump rednecks who really are hankering for something like divine group-via-hero worship. They want to worship an abstract hate idea that will give them the pleasure of seeing niggers and Mexicans killed and locked up. Make no mistake—that knowledge is not a minor pleasure. Augustine called the relative happiness-boosting boon of seeing others in agony live is a “chief” pleasure!

Trump rednecks carry this love of other-pain. They cannot help but give the Nazi salute in public and relish the strong reaction against it. And partly their impish motivation is justified—it really is just a gesture, and they might actually have black friends. But Trump people aren’t very artistic, so that’s the exception. The rule is that they have no black friends, and do enjoy the random murder of blacks by police or rednecks who play as policing in order to make their murder look like legitimate community protection. Because, hey, isn’t that what police do? They walk around and murder the occasional nigger for resisting arrest for push away when being choked or brushed against. (If you touch a cop, even if he moves to touch you, that is assault and you will die. This is the #1 reason why cops are allowed to murder.)

But besides the junior Nazi copycat league, Americans are stupid in this even sicker way: they are life-support appendages for cellphones. The humans do the calculations and money transfers from work to bank and then from bank to seller. Boom—that’s the main piston swing in the circuit of capital. Cell phones are carrying out (almost) all the actions! The meaning making. The next design choice or OS update. The standard for HTML. The tracing and human desire modeling data. The mapping that moves you (the animal holding the cellphone) to places to buy the shit or do the work that keeps the infrastructure that … builds cellphone factories. They are the agents, we are their mobile placenta and field of artificial (natural) selection that guides their next iterations. But there are objective things also—the systems of financing networks, current known engineering—that guide their biological changes.

We really are batteries.

We should mourn like Lucretius for the Day of the Stronger Man.