Classic EssaysRevilo P. Oliver

The Alien Ant Farm

Below is an excerpt from the essay “History and Biology” by the great Revilo P. Oliver. The piece (parentheses added to make Seidenberg’s origins clear) reminds us of the idea that the opposite of life is not death, but “un-deadness” or a zombie-like existence.

IN THIS PERFECTED socialist world there can be no change and hence no history: That is why the perfect man of the near future will be, in Seidenbergian terminology, “post-historic.” Everybody will be happy, because there will be no individuals — only organisms that are a part of a species and have no separate consciousness. To see how attractive the inevitable future is, you have only to reflect, dear reader, how much happier you would be, if you were an ant or a cockroach in your basement.

You would operate by what Mr. (((Seidenberg))) calls “pure reason.” You could not possibly be affected by religion, art, literature, philosophy, science, capitalism, racial discrimination, or any of the other horrid things that will have to be blotted out anyway in the interests of Equality and Social Justice. You could never have a thought to trouble you. You would have no consciousness; hence you would not know that you exist, and would have no organ that could feel pain when somebody steps on you. What more could you want?

If you are so reactionary as to prefer to be conscious, even at the cost of being unhappy from time to time, you may be amused by the similarity of Mr. Seidenberg’s vision of the future to the scene described in one of the oldest of the Babylonian tablets, on which the cuneiform characters represent an oddly sibilant and staccato language: a-na mat la tari kak-ka-ri-i-ti-e ila istar marat ilu sin u-zu-un-sa is-kun, etc.

To the land whence none return, the place of darkness, Ishtar, the daughter of Sin, her ear inclined.

Then inclined the daughter of Sin her ear to the house of darkness, the domain of Irkalla; to the prison from which he that enters comes not forth; to the road whose path does not return;…to the land where filth is their bread and their food is mud. The light they behold not; in unseeingness they dwell, and are clothed, like winged things, in a garment of scales….

Of all of mankind’s nightmarish visions of a future existence, that Babylonian conception of the dead as crawling forever, like mindless insects, in a fetid and eternal night has always seemed to me the most gruesome.

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Gerald Goldberg
Gerald Goldberg
11 November, 2018 5:29 pm

THE JEWEL WASP AND THE COCKROACH! JEWS AND JEWEL WASPS OR HOW JEWS TURN GENTILES INTO ZOMBIES Israeli Scientists Unlock Secret of Mind Control — in Zombie Cockroaches Now we know how the jewel wasp turns the bugs into helpless living nurseries. Andrew Tobin Mar 19, 2014 4:51 PM It’s like something out of a horror movie. To procreate, the jewel wasp turns an unfortunate cockroach into a “zombie slave” by poisoning its brain. The wasp then leads the mindless cockroach into a lair and uses its living body to feed and grow a baby wasp, which ultimately emerges from the cockroach’s abdomen. That ends the cockroach’s story, leaving only one terrifying mystery: how exactly the wasp “zombifies” its victim. Having labored to answer this question for years, researchers at… Read more »

Reply to  Gerald Goldberg
31 August, 2022 9:16 pm

I gotta be honest with you. The risk of an equivalent human fate, worst than death, scares the crap out of me.

31 August, 2022 9:11 pm

“(…) that Babylonian conception of the dead as crawling forever, like mindless insects, in a fetid and eternal night has always seemed to me the most gruesome.”

Not unlike what’s going on in effect, of course… the real fight being between the Conscious and the Unconscious, Humans and non-humans.
What attitude must one have towards the dangerous, the unaware?