Artificial evolution is the same thing as natural evolution. Same shit, different day. Artificial evolution happens through the ecosystem we vainly call ‘the economy,’ as if there is anything separate on this Earth, and there isn’t. It’s all connected, which is precisely why ‘the economy’ is breaking global ecosystems today.
Artificial life — commodities, corporations, capitalist empires — exist on Earth and as part of earthly ecosystems. This should be obvious by now because the larger ecosystem is dying, but people are still fucking around and finding out. This hubris all stems from the artificial division of the world into natural and artificial, thus entirely missing the artificial evolution happening right in front of us, and the natural destruction it causes.
This is an old topic for me, but I bring it up because understanding the politics of today becomes easier if you zoom out a few billion years, for perspective. For example, what America is doing in places like Ukraine, Taiwan, and ‘Israel’ seems politically complicated, but it’s biologically simple. Russia, China, and Palestine have resources that it wants to eat, and it makes some shit up which will all disappear into the geological record, like feathers on a dinosaur. All that will be left is bones, pollution, and a trace of radioactivity if we’re unlucky. America is not merely a hegemon, it’s a Hegemonster, and Hegemonster hungry. Beyond all the politics and propaganda, that’s all.
The Great Oxygen Holocaust
I’ll go back a bit before we go forward. 3.5 billion years at least. Billions of years ago (bya), there was a huge energy boom, as certain bacteria discovered solar power. They farted out massive amounts of oxygen, which killed off other lifeforms (anaerobic life) and started polluting up the oceans and atmosphere, but they didn’t give a fuck. The getting was good, so they kept going. Then the Earth reached a tipping point around 2.5 bya and froze down to the Equator. This killed nearly everything, and it took millions of years for bacteria to balance the thermostat.
I mention this because without knowing where we came from, we have no idea where we’re going. We don’t even understand what fossil fuels are. It’s the same cyanobacteria, etc. We burn the trapped energy that was trapped for a good reason, like heathens digging up the graves of much more powerful ancestors. We act like evolution is some fact we trapped in a book and like it doesn’t apply to us, because we have smartphones and toasters. But what are smartphones and toasters if not evolution in action! This seems impossible for us, but life is constantly evolving out of other life, often in forms that kill their ancestors.
If you asked anaerobes of billions of years ago, they’d say aerobes were not ‘real’ life, that they were ‘artificial’ or some other epithet, but in the long run, who gives a shit? Life is always emerging in improbable places, in forms that were impossible before. This is how silly we seem denying the very existence of the artificial life already walking among and, indeed, all over us. AI movies have trained us to look for AI that looks, walks, and fucks like us, when this is completely evolutionarily redundant. What is the point of reproducing these weird apes? Capital has been reproducing for centuries, and that’s the broader genus of artificial life. And that’s what’s running amok, choking us out with its carbon emissions, like those aerobes from aeons ago.
We have artificial life evolving an increasing amount of eyes in our very pockets and we don’t even notice. Indeed, we think we control these things, lol. It’s a symbiotic relationship, and the symbiote is increasingly coming out on top. Meanwhile our living relatives die in the millions and we think this isn’t a problem for us. Meanwhile we’re ruled by corporations and we think ourselves in control. We don’t know where we come from, what we are, and thus we miss where we’re going entirely.
The bias of living in fucking PowerPoint presentations and Cartesian planes is thinking that bigger is always better. The entire phenomenon we call ‘progress’ is chopping phenomena up into two variables and plotting them against each other. We see economic growth going up for hundreds of years, then natural resources going down for those same hundreds of years, and not put two and two together. The Cartesian plane only lets you think of two things at once, and PowerPoint keeps you from thinking for more than 12 seconds.Meanwhile modern science is siloed out from the natural philosophy. This science without wisdom mainly destroys the world with a few people dedicated to feeling bad about. The whole system misses the ecosystem we live in entirely.
We are part of an ecosystem, not some special species that gets to live in a magical economy with no connection to anything, and no consequences. We don’t get to just manipulate nature without nature changing at all, duh. We’re not even the first species to get high on its own supply, and nearly kill everyone in the process. Indeed, modern climate change is just the consequences of digging up those same aerobic lifeforms and lighting them on fire, running the Great Oxygen Holocaust in reverse!
Climate change is just one of the ways we have broken this ecosystem, that’s how deep our misunderstanding runs (and ruins). We need to rethink this is we’re to understand anything properly, including petty geopolitics.
Evolution At War
If you’re looking for a history of artificial evolution, which we are, it’s not hard to find. And if you’re looking to connect it to modern predations, it’s in the same spot. Dig up the grave of any monarch, or see them laid out ignobly in any museum. People have been buried with weapons almost since we had either, and you can see the weapons evolving much faster than the humans. To future lifeforms (which may look more like an axe than an ape), it won’t be clear who was in charge. Indeed, I’d say the weapons are clearly dominating us.
How else do you explain the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in Ukraine, or tens of thousands of innocents in Gaza? Moloch is not merely evil, Moloch is hungry. Capital, once incorporated, simply has to reproduce, and that applies to arms dealers as much as any corporation. Indeed, the corporate form itself emerged with colonialism, devouring people and land is in its DNA. You could argue the same about the state in general. Colonialism, once it incarnated greed into corporations, simply had to grow and extract resources. The city must suck dry the provinces or die, and if the Empire goes global, it has to suck it all. Moloch has no morals, only an ever-gaping maw.
Once you strip away all the words about colonial empires — like the colors/feathers of dinosaurs — all that’s left is artificial monsters that consume resources. Just artificial beings evolving in a certain environment, then dying when the environment changes. Or fucking up the environment themselves, like our aerobic ancestors. That’s precisely what’s happening today.
Geopolitics is the wrong level of analysis for understanding world affairs. Geology is more apt. Russia, China, and the Middle East have massive natural resources, that’s why they must be broken apart and capital-colonized. It has fuck-all to do with Ukraine, Taiwan, or even Israel, that’s just garnish to make the meal go down. Capital’s got to eat and Russia, China, and the Middle East have got the meat. That’s all that’s going on here. The global tyranny we live under is not so different from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, after all.
That’s all the America Empire, the heir to the British Empire, the nadir to the entire White Empire, that’s all it is after all. Not a hegemon but a hegemonster, consuming fossil fuels to fuel its inevitable descent into a fossil of its own. Now the fuel is running out just as its pollution chokes the world, but Empire can’t stop. Even though the Empire is running on fumes, they’ve still got enough juice to genocide Palestinians, eviscerate Ukraine, and who knows what else they’ll get up to.
Remember that all the reasons for ‘Israel’ or NATO will disappear like dinosaur feathers. These hotly debatable issues of the day are meaningless dust geologically speaking. The only thing the Hegemonster will leave is a record of mass extinction, pollution, and radiation. America was an inherently fossil-fueled civilization and can only end up one way. As a fossil. The arc of artificial evolution with unchecked energy is the same course natural evolution took. Hell, it’s the same energy. Instead of the snowball then, we get the fire next time. That’s the bigger story, beneath all the little folk getting crushed in the news in front of us. Hegemonster hungry, but Hegemonster running out of resources. That means Hegemonster hangry, which is not good for anyone.