Patricia MacCormack

Australian Scholar

Patricia MacCormack is an Australian scholar who lives and works in London. Currently she is Professor of Continental Philosophy in English and Media at Anglia Ruskin University.

Quotes edit

  • Human exceptionalism is using the Earth, exhausting the Earth, treating the Earth as if the Earth is for us as a resource. We don't act as if we are part of the Earth. And nonhuman animals are beneath us in this schema. And then certain animals are more valid than others. And our measure is based on the equivalence to us rather than on the fact that they are on the Earth … and then within human, we have a similar hierarchy, where white, heterosexual, usually rich men are at the top and then arguably, you know, the rest of us.

The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene (2020) edit

The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene. Bloomsbury Academic, 2020. ISBN 978-1350081093
  • If the United States and other religious fundamentalist countries of any religion see themselves as God's people, all I can say is bring on the Antichrist and End of Days.
    • Occulture: Secular Spirituality, pp. 111-112
  • Human extinction is still a sparse, loose idea advocated by sometimes opposing groups. Most obviously, there is the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT), the Church of Euthanasia and efilism. VHEMT is somewhat divided between those who wish the human race to cease population in order to eradicate human overpopulation and its exhaustion and destruction of the earth, and those who also choose not to breed but see an apocalyptic horizon and operate under an 'every man for himself' attitude of imminent hedonism 'for tomorrow we die." Ahumanism subscribes to no singular human extinction group, but clearly the message of the former sector of the group is more in keeping with the affirmative benefits of human death.
    • Embracing Death, p. 143
  • The Church of Euthanasia has as its four stations of the cross sodomy, suicide, abortion and cannibalism. In their activism towards the end of human life on the planet, their posthumanism interestingly resonates with human minoritarian activism. Roughly, these correlate as sodomy with queer (where sodomy is defined as any non-reproductive sexual act, including masturbation, asexuality and heterosexual intercourse with no intention of procreation), abortion with female/feminist sexuate rights, cannibalism with animal rights, where human carcasses are used as a source of food instead of murdering animals, and suicide with agency over one's own life and thus death, including euthanasia with disability rights in reference to the right to die versus the enforcement of life on those who express a wish to die but cannot execute their own death. It shouldn't need to be pointed out that neither group advocates murder or eugenics (however ironically that may sit considering the murder advocated by sanctioned capital and war machines). These are two of the longest established of now many groups advocating human extinction.
    • Embracing Death, pp. 143-144
  • Currently, we see the rise of the 'Extinction Rebellion' deploying direct action, a tactic also utilized by abolitionist and euthanasia groups. The extinction rebellion remains anthropocentric at its heart, because it sees the threat of ecological crisis primarily through the lens of a threat to human survival. It makes no room for the grace of stepping aside and embracing human extinction so that the world may flourish, which would be the most effective form of rebellion against individual death, the death of diversity or species extinction.
    • Embracing Death, p. 146
  • The continuation of diachrony in perceptions of life and death spreads across a form of antinatalism essentially co-opted from a kind of Western fetishism of Buddhism, namely efilism. Coming etymologically from the reverse of 'life', efilism claims it is better never to have been. Efilist philosophers such as David Benatar hinge their arguments on basic binaries of pleasure and pain which roughly correlate to good and bad and extend to a vindication of life and death. Efilism has a vague correspondence with utilitarianism but emphasizes the suffering of life over utilitarianism's greater good. Both are absolute in their perception of the capacity to evaluate which is which, making both dependent on economic measure of value as an either/or, and to an extent both on (anthropocentric) determinism. Efilism's redeeming feature is that it promotes antinatalism, and often veganism, in its aspirations to a reduction in suffering, and this attitude promises potentials for opening the world through the cessation of the human.
    • Embracing Death, pp. 152-153
  • However, efilism's claim that all life, human and non-human, should be ceased is a hubris I am not convinced humans have a right to exert. While the cessation of suffering humans cause is already manipulated in a way that could come under an efilist rubric, these 'management' tools usually come in the form of culling populations of nonhumans to redress an imagined environmental balance most usually caused by humans in the first place. Domestic efilism such a neutering rescue animals is necessary, especially when rescuing can involve the speciesism of feeding one slaughtered animal to sustain another, and neutering humans is the logical way to prevent the perpetuation of this practice as well
    • Embracing Death, p. 153
  • For me personally, I am deeply saddened that there has never managed to be an annihilation of the human species, in spite of of plague and war, the latter seeming the ultimately ironic kind of self-serving apocalypse showing the absolute idiocy of the human being the pinnacle of the pyramid of life. While the earth is in the grip of the apocalypse the anthropocene delivers, humans fear an apocalypse that our consumerism, our greed and our narcissism welcomes.
    • Future in the Age of the Apocalypse, pp. 176-177

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