We deconstruct necrophilia in Western culture by exposing how it valorizes death and perverts the dignity of life.
A healthy democracy is participatory and consensual, but Western democracies are collapsing into post-political condition that makes democracy unrecognizable. The post-political condition has also been theorized as post-democracy, depoliticization and de-democratization. Governments, controlled by corporations, induce passivity in citizens by feeding an addiction to consumption and by discouraging activism. A passive citizenry is indicated by declining voter turnout. The lack of overt citizen consent and participation makes Western nations increasingly vulnerable to totalitarianism.
Theorists concur on four theoretical elements of the post-political condition:
- the neoliberal economy has subjected governments to the demands of corporations, rendering governments powerless to deal with macro issues such as climate chang
- in consensual postpolitics, government is a social administrator, replacing an institution where activists debate ideologies of equality and justic
- neoliberal governments create an environment of unspecific anxiety to soften public resistance to increased domestic surveillance
- in the ideological vacuum created since the Left ceded victory to capitalism, there are few Western political organizations advocating an alternative economic ideology based on agenda of equality and eco-social justice (Dean; Swyngedouw; Žižek).
Politics has become a public relations game, with large corporations owning and controlling the media – both the message and medium. Mainstream media witness the perversions of necrophilia but keep citizens in the dark about the real state of the world by producing propaganda that keeps citizens in their place. The voyeurism of the media can be compared to the observers of a date rape who videotape the necrophilic act and then post it on social media to extort the victim who never gave consent, was not a participant and is powerless to reclaim her privacy. Human rights are eroding through distortion. Persons with mental disorders who commit violent crimes are regarded as domestic terrorists. Religious organizations demand the ‘right’ to exclude based on religion. Activists are regarded as domestic terrorists if they obstruct the economy with blockades or boycotts. Governments perpetuate the oppression of vulnerable citizens, silence them and instil fear by invading their privacy. Governments promote consumption, which has the strategic effect of numbing the shrinking middle class into giving up privacy and freedom if it means greater protection for their lifestyle. This then is the perverted necrophilia of democracy in the dominant Western paradigm.
In contrast, a philosophy of natality celebrates collective imagination and initiative in generating new ideas and enacting them. Repoliticization disrupts the postpolitical consensus that has silenced and numbed citizens. The political task is to enlarge equality and freedom by acknowledging nature as a political being that is meting out justice through climate change and mocking those who co-opt the notion of sustainability in order to prolong capitalism’s tyranny. For models on acknowledging nature’s rights, we look to indigenous philosophies of vitality and regeneration including Buen Vivir or Sumak Kawsay in Andean cultures, Ubuntu in southern Africa and mino bimaadiziwin in Anishinaabeg (Simpson qtd by Klein np).
By deconstructing necrophilia, we clear a space in-between paradigms to imagine a different future and to begin moving forward to that future paradigm which I call natality.
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The full article on Deconstructing Necrophilia will be published in Canadian Woman Studies Journal (CWS/cf) Vol.31, #1 & 2 – a special issue on Women and Environmental Justice.
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