…with automation comes a progressive increase in the proportion of constant capital; we then see a new kind of enslavement: at the same time the work regime changes, surplus value becomes machinic, and the framework expands to all of society.
—Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
To know our true condition, to realize that we are condemned to live under a fantastic mass of darkness, beneath oceans and successive circles; to know that man, atrophied and infirm, vegetates in submarine lairs like the proteus, that blind eel-like creature that lives in subterranean waters, naked and transparent … to know this is the first step in Gnostic thought.
—Jacques Lacarrier, The Gnostics
Isn’t it true, our fear of Artificial General Intelligence – AGI, otherwise known as Superintelligence, – these radical creatures of our imaginal dreamtime and machinic futures – isn’t it true that they mask the undeniable truth of our inhuman core? Our fear of losing jobs to the machines, of being obsolesced by the new conditions of automatic society, being not only replaced but condemned to exclusion and utter annihilation at the hands of forces we cannot master – isn’t this to acknowledge our hidden collusion with corruption? Haven’t we begun to realize the thing we fear most is the buried truth of our own insignificance in the universal scheme of things? That Homo sapiens is not the center of exceptionalism in the Universe – much less on planet earth, and that we of the West – and, let us be clear – what we mean by the West is the White man’s West, this patriarchal androcracy of progressive globalism, with its pretensions to global mastery and enslavement of all other cultures under the universal enlightenment of democracy and profit? This age old male dominated society and civilization has in its bid to Universalize all others, democratize the world – impose upon all those Others the rule of Law and Tolerance – Other’s who would not yield or condone our ways! – to enslave the complexity of the earth under the monocultural Western image of Man. Hasn’t this supposed dream of democracy and capitalism instead unleashed the monstrous underbelly of the universal darkness and disparity of things, brought forward the impossible truth at the core of our Western heritage: the truth of our inhuman telos and trajectory – the temporal engagements of our annihilating fires?
Even now as we face the revenge of the machines, an incestual world of self-replicating clones and artificial life proliferating across the planet, isn’t it true that we secretly desire this embrasure? The slight opening in-between two impossibilities? Isn’t it possible that the impossible dreams of escape and exit, transcendence and our universal desire to be elsewhere and Other – caught in the gaze of our own cloning processes, forever bound to the narcissistic bodies of our own beleaguered infidelity and shame – is forcing us to deface the Other we’ve always been? We who have never accepted the truth of our inhumanity we’ll be condemned to the inhuman mutation at the core of our Western deliriums and nightmares. Becoming monstrous is our destiny, one forged in the necessitous delusions of our forgotten mythologies, our collective dreams of madness.