On the Value of Life, or, The Botched Genocide

Genocide is as human as art or prayer.

It / would be better / That twenty million should die than one be saved.

It would be a stronger world, a stronger loving world, to die in.

Life is cheap, these days; / We have to compete with Asia, we are cheap as dust …

… whenever the sanctity of life is proclaimed, the smell of real blood is never far away.

God began this series of botched genocides by sparing Noah. Instead of a dove bearing an olive branch, a black-bird or vulture bearing hemlock could have spared us all this ridiculousness. The idea of “the remnant” has reached its comical finale. “The remainder” must also be considered: all that is left is the refuse, the swarming, writhing mass of human-garbage.

They loudly proclaim the sacredness of the life of all god’s creatures. Yet, to justify their frivolous existence, they rely on death: “I could die tomorrow! I could be hit by a bus!” This is, they say, “living life to the fullest!”

Today, what makes life worthless (that is: without value) is its sheer abundance. The number of superfluous people, especially angry, uneducated young men, abound today: “We are too many!” This is their cry as they blindly lash out against everything that functions, against everything that (they perceive) excludes them from its functioning.

If the twentieth century (or the uncountable, unrecorded centuries before it) could have taught us anything it is that life is not valuable. It is merely amusing that millions have starved to death, have been tortured to death, have been raped and left for dead, have been wounded so badly that death is a preference.

The Palestinians should heed well Herr Gandhi’s advice to the Holocaust Jews and commit mass-suicide;

the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.

This would spare the world having to watch the drawn-out, protracted, bureaucratic genocide Israel is committing before the gaze of an international audience.

If only Nature were more thorough, she would not leave her work half-finished. Instead, entire populations are ruined and the “charitable” turn out in droves in order to be recognized as “magnanimous,” to show that privilege born of greed is not merely self-interested. And the remaining population: the men rape the women, the women give birth to unwanted children, the children are raised in conditions of abjection. D.C. al Coda.

Humanity can be mobilized for great causes, there can be no doubt. Unfortunately, these causes always involve mobilization against their fellow man.

There have been no successful genocides amongst human beings, unless the extinction of animal species is counted as “genocide.” If, up to this point in history, the botched genocides are among the most “horrific” events, what would a successful genocide be like?

The “Other” is the victim of the present project of genocide (apart from Israel’s systematic destruction of the Palestinians). It is the “Other” that is the most pitiful victim of all because it is a victim of the democratic, inclusive regime of “universal human rights.” Once the “Other” has been exterminated, once it has become “one of us,” a liberated, consuming tax-payer, how will the value of life be determined? When there is no “Other,” there can be no differential to allow for any kind of calculation of value, let alone the valuation of life. Already, life is at a minimal value because the “Other” is so diminished. A glorious “Other,” not an “Other” fabricated to be a victim, is what challenges life to affirm itself in the face of absolute negativity.

All things considered, there is smug comfort to be had in indifference. Sooner help a wounded beast than aid a dying man on the street. Laugh at the dying stranger and walk away.

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