Miroslav Griško: Eternal Phenotype / ŠUM#11

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Hidden in the Blood

            Evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) combine the discreteness of a solution and the immortality of a praxis. Their most generalised formulation across the domains of all possible strategies is: “I can kill, but I cannot be killed.” In a universe “that operates against itself”,[1] conditioned by predation dynamics and sealed by final cosmic terminus, this state is the closest to a concept of total deification. Yet it is not that which can kill and cannot be killed that is immortal, but the strategy of this state. When a strategy becomes immortal, the number of actual solutions collapses into one.

Species are strategies, from extremophiles on the moon Enceladus to wolf packs on the Pontic steppe. Schizoanalysis contravenes the obscene “Wolf-Man” subjectivity of “puerile Freudian symbolism”[2] with the fact that “wolves travel in packs.”[3] Psychoanalytic sexual thaumaturgy is to delay and prevent the targeting and assassination of those who oppose the mobilisation of a war machine: “The wolves never had a chance to get away and save their pack: it was already decided from the very beginning that animals could only serve to represent coitus.”[4] The survival of the pack is hidden in the blood transmission of a strategy. The black propaganda[5] of coitus representation distracts from the more fundamental operation of information transfer and replication. When schizoanalysis is infused with an evolutionary dynamic driven by the mystery of survival and immortality, “proliferating affects” that “spread contagion”[6] are now understood as (knowable) strategies practised in a state of (unknown) war. Schizophrenic disordering through endless becoming is also just another deceptive layer of the fog of war. The wolf only becomes a species when it is initiated into the strategy of the pack and the worship of an unseen solution (order within order). The overwhelming disproportion of historical life forms that lie in the mass grave of extinct organisms means that the concept of species, understood in the classical sense, is closer to death than to life, while strategy can survive long enough to see the end of the world.

The formalisation of ESS by John Maynard Smith models adaptive dynamics with a game theoretical notation where the precondition of maximal information replication replaces the precondition of sober rational contemplation. After the Second World War, Maynard Smith, frustrated with the technical impasses of aviation design,[7] leaves aeronautics behind and searches for an elusive flawless trajectory within genetic sciences. The ineliminable obstructions to ideal machinic flight—friction, noise, compressible flow—are replaced by the pure line of an evolutionary stable strategy that overcomes all. As practices of genotype transfer enhancement, ESS operate not only against the inevitability of individual organic death, but also against the attack of rogue strategies, which disorient populations from within as a fifth column. All strategies are “behavioural phenotypes”.[8] The identification of an ESS organises behavioural phenotypes hierarchically. An optimal strategy subsists within a given species and its iteration demonstrates the ineffectiveness of all other strategies. Internecine war is recoded as a total mobilisation for the correct phenotype, and speciation becomes a series of solved games. For Maynard Smith, an “ESS is a strategy such that, if adopted by members of a population, then no mutant strategy could invade.”[9] The efficiency of an ESS is not found in the quantifiable measure of its prosecution. Mutant strategies, even if practised by the majority of a population, are unable to overcome a phenotype’s inferiority, which now becomes an endemic path to extinction. An ESS names a concealed key that opens a concealed gate through which a species enters the meditative space of its optimal strategy, drifting towards its own form of eternity.

Through their parsing of optimal and suicidal phenotypes, ESS demonstrate an overt dynamic of convergence. Strategies take on an intelligible order determined by the solution, which a convergent dynamic evokes. According to this order and dynamic, speciation is now only a biochemical instantiation of a strategy. A species is seized by a distinct praxis that infers an equally distinct solution, and either refines this praxis as close as possible to its ideal state or disappears. An interspecies dynamic of convergence, however, undercuts the recidive Platonism of this model: an ideal wolf-form, an ideal horse-form. Interspecies convergence also annuls a Spinoza-inspired Deleuzian virtuality, as an absolute and immanent plane of actualizable possibility is fractured by the discrete character of the solution which appoints a chosen strategy as a form of elect. Simon Conway Morris transforms a species-specific convergent dynamic into an overarching evolutionary convergent dynamic,[10] reviving the discredited nineteenth-century orthogenetic interpretation of natural selection. For orthogenesis, a detected morphological continuity across time is interlaced with a developmentally driven concept of selection, the most arcane forms of the hypothesis inferring a secret telos.[11] Against the fall of orthogenesis to the neo-Darwinian synthesis of the twentieth century, according to which the primacy of contingency annihilates any preferred evolutionary pathways, Conway Morris rehabilitates an orthogenetic principle with a resuscitative morphogenesis that folds species into strategies and crosses the life-death barrier. The fossil record does not reveal divergent and excessive variation in organic life, but the same evolutionary pathways taken again and again. The precise form of the camera-eye has appeared six times at entirely separate intervals of life on Earth.[12] Each time biotic holocaust occurs through various mass extinction events, a subsequent organic morphogenesis does not denote a novum of speciation, but a resurrection of the same basic strategy from the preconditions for its creation. Biochemical constraints as a set of minimum conditions of genesis (e.g. the appearance of genetic code from the amino acid series) as well as the exigent reaction of these constraints to acute physical laws (e.g. the capturing of light as necessary for vision) are both knowable and limited, reformatting matter and law as a finite number of strategies and solutions.

When a concept of convergence also maintains a distinction between a strategy and a solution, the clarity generated by harsh parsimony reverses into the dictate of a hidden cause. Without a convergent dynamic, the biochemical falls out of order with the regularity of physical constants. For Conway Morris, convergence resolves the discrepancy between a universe which is (macro)physically predictable but biochemically unpredictable—despite strict physical laws, any number of biochemical forms of life could emerge. While convergence accordingly brings the biochemical into alignment with the physical in a general nomological formulation, Conway Morris then follows extreme forms of orthogenesis and introduces an obscurity into the dynamic by separating a strategy from a solution. Either an interspecies convergent dynamic stops at the reiteration of a strategy across time, whereby a strategy is wholly equivalent to a solution according to the superior biochemical fitness that such reiteration entails; or the unbinding of the strategy from its instantiation in a species recodes the adaptive dynamic of strategy in terms of a standard of adequacy to an even more remote and final solution. In the latter case the reiteration of the strategy does not exhaust convergence, but is rather an instance of the dynamic’s operation. Just as a phenotype’s dominance is measured in relation to maximal genotype transfer, the reappearance of the same phenotype despite a species-difference in genotype—the convergent interspecies dynamic as the practice of the same strategy—entails a solution that is not merely equivalent to a strategy.[13] If a genotype is irreducible to a phenotype, a solution is irreducible to a strategy. But unlike a genotype, a solution carries an explicit teleological function in the convergent dynamic it creates.[14] Conway Morris does not conjecture on the solution which this convergent dynamic suggests. The number of resets through extinction events, of stillbirths and spontaneous abortions, does not necessarily indicate a teleology, but rather cases of quasi-deterministic processes as states of war for optimal phenotype realisation, ones and zeroes where the strategy has been switched on or off. Yet a strategy, like a solution, also infers a teleological dimension in the extremity of its refusal to die. Reiterated strategies modify the problem of abiogenesis. The fact that organic life cannot be reproduced from inorganic materials through experiment, even with the knowledge of its biochemical constitution, is potentially not a problem of method, but rather an ostensible sign of the disembodiment of strategy from its physical instantiation.[15] When strategy is posited as distinct from solution, the deepening of strategy beyond the surface of species-specific phenotypes, as demonstrated by the limited number of actual functional strategies, now indicates the remote operation of a hidden cause.

Despite its deep occultation, the cause becomes, in degrees, legible. Strategies create portals of access through which they once again revive their practice, arching towards a still unknown solution—a process that, in Conway Morris’s words, is utterly “mad”.[16] Within the fossil record is the germ of a multidimensional space of “inter-penetrating realities”,[17] and a subsistence of these deeper structures is in the first instance disclosed by the detachment of strategy from its immediate instantiation. The transhistorical resurrection of a particular phenotype vertiginously contrasts with its entirely localised practice, an insanity whose paradigmatic example is, for Conway Morris—through a twist of logic that modifies the immediacy and remoteness which characterises the relation of strategy and solution—the Fermi Paradox. The convergent dynamic of an exoteric strategy and an esoteric solution only occurs on Earth. Absolute concentration at a singular point in the vastness of space shatters any rational application of probability, as strategy and solution are confined to a pinprick in universal blackness. From the perspective of time, however, the madness evoked by the solution can be cured through the boundary of eventual cosmic death: to discover a strategy that can withstand 10100 years in order to see who holds the sword that beheads the universe.


The Eighteenth Day

The Fermi Paradox does not arise from the contradiction between the probability and apparent absence of extraterrestrial life, but from the contradiction between the probability and apparent absence of extraterrestrial technology.[18] Because its formulation is conditioned by the age and magnitude of the universe on the one hand and the immature state of terrestrial technologies and their limited scope of observation on the other, the resolution of the paradox requires that an external technology makes itself present to detection, while any form of life lacking such capacity remains hidden. The concept of a technosignature[19] captures the astrotechnological as opposed to astrobiological dimensions of the paradox. What is perceptible to terrestrial technics in the void can only be a sufficient accretion of instrumental power—from dimmed stars, which are the result of Dyson swarm configurations, to visible instances of black hole farming. Yet the precise way in which technics modifies the apparent purely biological essence of the paradox from the outside (the external observation of technosignatures—technology beholding technology) also explodes the understanding of biological evolutionary dynamics from within. Based on the effect it has on these dynamics, technological emergence vitiates a straightforward abiotic-biotic division, repeating the problem of abiogenesis through a mutilation of the causal series which the Fermi Paradox also implies: a dead universe, the appearance of life, the development of technics. The middle term in the series—and the putative centre around which the paradox turns—becomes the least relevant term of the paradox. In the case of terrestrial biological dynamics, if all behavioural phenotypes are understood only as purely biochemical mobilisations for the optimal phenotype, this particular reduction falls apart under the condition that the behavioural phenotype which transforms every biotic dynamic is the abiotic intervention of technics.

According to the logic of a general convergent dynamic, intervention is also remoteness. If the repetition of behavioural phenotypes across species evokes a point of withdrawal in the separation of a strategic space from a particular biochemical instantiation, technics marks yet another withdrawn dimension. As an abiotic behavioural phenotype, technics recapitulates the amputation of strategy from instantiation in its creation of a strategic space that subsists entirely detached from a form of life. For an interspecies biochemical dynamic, this separation of technics, in the first instance, appears as a passive and fertile space. As the evidence of technological use across classically understood species demonstrates, all that is required is to enter this space, its domination correlative to the degree of immersion within it. Yet from the reverse perspective, for the biochemical, technology is always a paramilitary force. The asymmetry implied by this force contorts the more or less symmetrical dynamic of biological convergence, or, in Conway Morris’s terms, its “inevitability”. In antagonism with biochemically ascribed passivity, technics engenders its own inevitability through the absolute efficiency of its intervention. Transforming and redirecting all biochemical evolutionary pathways, technics is itself an optimal phenotype, the seal of an interspecies convergent dynamic that not only repeats the separation of strategy from biochemical instantiation, but also forces the biotic into the abiotic. Technological asymmetrics marks a simultaneous parallel and intensive operational space that is both absent and present—it contains all imaginable traits of a strategy that could be considered immortal.

Once initiated, technological asymmetry to the biochemical modifies trait selection in a resolutely symmetrical direction. The concept of an evolutionary arms race takes on two general forms: symmetric and asymmetric.[20] The asymmetric variant denotes a divergence between selected behavioural phenotypes. A dominant hunter can coexist alongside a dominant hider, as the selected trait at once calls for its inverse. In the contrasting symmetric variant, an operative trait demonstrates a dominance that renders its simple reversal insufficient for survival, as the arms race now demands the dominant trait only. Through this reduction of behavioural phenotypes, effective strategies become both all the more acute and transparent to themselves. The positive feedback loop[21] created by a symmetrical arms race eliminates the possibilities of mutant strategies in a corresponding logic to that of an ESS, although with an increased intensity. When symmetrical evolutionary arms races are injected into ESS game theory, the stability at the heart of an ESS is accordingly modified, as stability now becomes an incendiary dynamic that burns the world down. Within an intraspecies ESS space, Maynard Smith will make the distinction between limited war and total war. In the first case, “ritualised tactics”,[22] such as instances of animal display, never reach the extreme point where, for example, liquidation of almost all the males of a population radically streamlines genotype transfer. By contrast, in total war, which is a more rarefied martial praxis, the dynamic, in a concrete sense, goes insane. According to the principle that it would be “advantageous for an individual animal to be maniacal in an easily recognisable way that could not be counterfeited”,[23] an elephant auto‑drugged on “musth”, for example, experiences the release of a dark fluid from under the skin that then appears on its face, yielding “a visual and olfactory sign”[24] of madness. “The uncounterfeitable insanity”[25] of total war is a “to-the-death combat”[26] engendered by unrestricted chemical secretions.[27] Technics as a behavioural phenotype is aggravated abiotic elephant musth insanity in the purely symmetrical arms race that it initiates. Operating with an ever more extreme austerity consistent with the intensity and constriction of a dynamic that demands only more of itself, technics can only produce total war.

The strict equivalence between technics and total war nevertheless begins to crack when a strategy is no longer understood as identical to a solution. According to a convergent dynamic where this separation obtains, because a strategy’s reappearance across time does not exhaust the solution towards which the strategy converges, a solution, in consequence, is the teleological force that discloses itself, although indirectly, by negating mutant strategies. Convergence has two sides. From one perspective, it is eliminative, as mutant strategies do not pass through its filter. From the other perspective, if elimination is not random or contingent, then convergence intimates a teleological process. Convergence entails the application of a constraint, according to which an effective strategy is an instance of such a constraint, but not the constraint itself—the latter also operates as a discrete cause. In the same sense that the apparent solution to the Fermi Paradox is the appearance of a technosignature, technics as an optimal phenotype is the apparent solution to total war—what is knowable in both cases is equivalent to the solution. Yet, if a convergent dynamic is the instantiation of a constraint, insofar as convergence as abstracted from instantiation itself remains a constraint, the instantiation of a selected constraint does not exhaust the function of constraint. A deeper convergence is found in the convergence of the selected constraint towards the abstract constraint—at the level of an abyssal substratum, constraint is the teleological deep occultation of a hidden cause.[28] What remains occulted, in consistency with the discrete quality of a hidden cause, is the secret telos of a solution, which draws everything towards itself. In the case of technics, whereas the activation of a technological constraint discloses everything as total war, the occultation of telos means that although technics is total war, total war is not technics. If technics is the putative condition of total war, or in Jünger’s terms, that which allows for a total mobilisation of the war machine, due to the occultation of a hidden cause, “total mobilisation’s technical side is not decisive: its significance lies deeper.”[29] Somewhere “deeper” transforms the expansive connotation of total mobilisation into a precise constraint, which at once evokes another constraint beyond that of its immediate instantiation. Although total mobilisation is an optimal behavioural phenotype because of the symmetrical arms race that it creates, if the constraint this places on the war machine is simultaneously a deeper teleological force, the realisation of the phenotype is not equivalent to the realisation of the telos. Within the visceral knowability of total war is an unknown war.

The art of war is the study of how exoteric and esoteric constraints function. On the exoteric level, constraints are knowable demands which condition strategic decisions of the war machine—from selection in favour of intelligence to the speed of light. By excluding mutant strategies, exoteric constraints recapitulate the positive feedback loops of symmetrical evolutionary arms races and pressure behavioural phenotypes to attain knowable thresholds, such as velocity, diffusion, force, stealth. If symmetrical arms races are determined by an optimal strategy and the development of the war machine is dependent upon its historical decisions, either consistent (survival) or inconsistent (extinction) with the demands of these constraints, exoteric war names one and the same war. According to the exoteric constraint, one and the same war is a deep history of the war machine as a deep history of strategy separated from its instantiation, but a history that is nonetheless knowable. The pathway that the war machine must take to be effective becomes self‑evident.

Esoteric war differs from exoteric war in that its constraint remains unknown. One and the same war is now equivalent to the question (in the words of Nick Land): “What does the war want?”[30] If this question is “insane”,[31] it is because its potential answer is not found in the knowable constraints of exoteric war—on the exoteric level, what the constraint demands is the constraint itself. On the esoteric level the unknown X of the constraint is now consistent with a secret telos—the esoteric constraint within the exoteric constraint. Under the condition that every sophisticated war machine must practice both exoteric and esoteric war (e.g. Wehrmacht/Waffen SS, the IDF’s covenant with YHWH etc.), a discontinuity in this praxis emerges between the methodological precision of exoteric war and the methodological openness of esoteric war, the difference between a known and an unknown war. Yet, this openness is at the same time in contrast with the precision of the secret telos, which determines the war machine on the esoteric level. The madness of the constraint of esoteric war corresponds to the madness of a convergent dynamic that separates strategy and solution, as both evoke the same hidden teleological acuity.

On the eighteenth day of the battle of Kurukshetra, Aravan, so as to secure an exoteric victory for the Pandavas against the Kauravas, performs the ritual of Kalappali in honour of the goddess Kali.[32] Opening his veins and pouring his blood into a fire according to a rite that concludes with his self-decapitation, Aravan’s martyrdom achieves Kali’s guarantee of Kaurava defeat, alongside two additional gifts: a nocturnal visitation to the chamber of Mohini, the female form of Vishnu, and the revivification of his severed head, which is now able to witness the inevitable victory from the centre of the battlefield. Aravan, the son of the Mahabharata war’s main protagonist, Arjuna, accordingly completes the mission that is transmitted to him through the mystagogical blood of his father. In the core texts that constitute the history of the Mahabharata war, Arjuna, overcome by hesitation, is counselled by Krishna as to why he must participate in the battle of Kurukshetra. In response to his demand that Krishna answers the question “What does the war want?”, Arjuna is instructed in the meaning of the esoteric war within the exoteric war. Aravan, in absolute contrast to the hesitation of Arjuna, is the completion of Krishna’s instruction. On the level of the exoteric, suicidal martyrdom is now understood as a self-evident act—Aravan is the name for the perfection of the behavioural phenotype. The flawlessness of Kalappali praxis, in turn, satisfies the lurking solution. Aravan’s death reverses into Kali’s entrance—unknown war’s total suffusion of known war. In the flood of esoteric war, the exoteric is drowned in what is both beyond and within it, leading to absolute victory on all levels according to their correct order.


Thermonuclear Trojan Horse

            One of the modern names for the enemy of Kalappali praxis is Spinoza. In a coincidence that is too great to be anything other than a conspiracy,[33] Spinozan concepts produce a fog of war that denies an esoteric war. The first casualty of the inauguration of an immanent cause is any remote and occulted telos.[34] Conati of singularities develop in its place, and expand in “infinitely many modes in infinite many ways”[35] so as to establish, from the boundless perspective of their qualitative indistinctness, absolute immanence as a multidimensional leveller. A convergent dynamic is corrupted and reversed into a singular point of emanation that at once becomes limitless points of emanation, conserving both univocity and multiplicity. Taken as a conceptual sum, Spinozan anti-esoteric war, in its infinite freedom of equally infinite possibility, is a deliberate inversion of the perfected alignment of a distinct phenotype with the objective of an unknown war and the solution that lurks on the other side. According to the death vision of strategy and solution, against Spinoza, everything is emaciated to a minimum. At the same moment, the action of this constraint now becomes discernible, like a contact signal from the other side of the galaxy, both obscure and distinct, that only discloses the mystery of its unknown logic.

Ulrich Horstmann’s meditations on the constraint identify its restrictive intensity with a “species-historical objective”[36] of auto-extinction. Instantaneously with the moment of primordial biogenesis on Earth, a counter-current also becomes operative and attempts to abrogate this initial appearance. Horstmann’s 1982 Das Untier synthesises a dynamic of weaponised behavioural phenotypes and an occulted telos to create a martyrologico-evolutionary pathway of preprogrammed biocide. The evolutionary dynamic that produces the exoteric species homo sapiens sapiens concomitantly produces an esoteric species—Horstmann’s Beast. The esoteric-exoteric species distinction splits strategy along dimensions of surface and depth, with the latter unilaterally determining the former. Efficient biochemical journeys through natural selection-space that appear to yield an equally biochemically improved survival-fitness are in fact driven by a clandestine motor whose teleological force is the “hidden agreement” that “we must put an end to ourselves and that which is like us.”[37] An exoteric war between life forms conceals an esoteric war against all life forms. The shadow species is the hidden and purely strategic truth of a “world history” of deep biotic erasure.

In the depth of its hate for the biotic, “the ruin field” that is the “objective of history”[38] can only be realised through a concept of technics that is also entirely strategic—the attainment of “thermonuclear overkill capacity”.[39] The hidden objective contained within this capacity is the inverse of the apparent triviality of the claim that there is no law of physics that precludes total genocide. The fact that even Clausewitz denied the possibility of absolute war as exceptionless liquidation of the enemy echoes a strange mass disbelief in an assassinating force, which, in turn, corresponds to the investment in a converse soteriological force that is ascribed to an evolutionary adaptive dynamic. For Horstmann, the disbelief that a biotic dynamic could have the exact inverse aim to the perpetuation of life establishes an ontology of the “Trojan Horse”, whose primary form is “the human spirit”.[40] At the end of biotic time, the spirit understands the extent to which it has been duped, as all that remains after ten thousand years of civilizational advancement is “organised genocide and a war machine gone amok”.[41] Everything is a trap, and the final trap is thermonuclear speciation, whereby the inevitable detonation of the worldwide nuclear arsenal completes “the mission of the Beast”[42] with the annihilation of all life on Earth. While every mammal thinks that the secret of the world is the opposite of hate, and, therefore, love, precisely because every mammal thinks this, just as the mammal thinks that what it is, is a species produced by a precise dynamic that could not have simultaneously produced within itself another shadow species holding an entirely different secret, what was thought to be the secret of the world is, in fact, a deception. The initial insight of the schizophrenic is correct, only to be extinguished by the fact that it was a camouflage. The purely productive force of the dynamic and its folk psychological self-awareness as a freedom and possibility that abhors extinction contains a deeper strategic level, according to which a new concept of genocide is the dynamic’s inner truth.

The secret of thermonuclear overkill capacity is the secret of abiogenesis. To understand this mystery, Horstmann must also oppose the Freudians, whose insights on the death drive are only distortions of the species-historical mission. Whereas Freud identified a death dynamic that runs concurrently with biogenesis, it is his “humanist indoctrination”[43] which distorts the negating drive, reshaping it as an inner organic tension. Like a dark conatus that operates alongside the vitalist conatus, the moment of psychogenesis as a trauma of abiotic to biotic transition triggers the dynamic of internal contradiction, which begs for the psychoanalytic management of a hidden cause. The death dynamic of the Beast, in contrast, does not know any contradiction, but is rather qualitatively distinguished by pure directionality and accumulated force that is the absolutely narrow path determined by the hidden cause. From the perspective of psychogenesis and its attendant putative psychopathologies, Horstmann is close to Edgar Allan Poe,[44] above all D.H. Lawrence’s Poe as a suicidal prototype seeking to extinguish itself, and Horstmann therefore focuses only on the “disintegrative vibration”,[45] “the breakdown of any intervening film”,[46] and “the scientist dissolving salt in the crucible.”[47] Self-emaciation to a zero-point is not an internal inconsistency of a psycho-organic function, but an optimal phenotype and a species-wide objective. The psychopathology of suicide is now strategic. Despite autopsies and eyewitnesses, no one knows exactly what caused Poe’s death.[48] His suicidal behavioural phenotype is not a knowable error, such as the inferior phenotype of mutant strategy praxis that predictably engenders extinction. It is a martyrdom for the secret of a higher form of extinction and an exploration of its mystery. Suicide will always appear as an error to the world because it is aligned with the objective of an invisible war.

Thirty years after the publication of Das Untier, Horstmann revisits the mystery of thermonuclear overkill capacity in his 2012 Abschreckungskunst and, in the wake of the apparent failure of his theory, asks the question: “Why did World War III not take place?”[49] Whereas “everything had been ready” and “the most favourable conditions seemed given”[50] for cold war to become hot war, when the eradication of the biotic is not carried out even though maximum overkill capacity has been attained, an internal tension is introduced into the unidirectionality of the dynamic, which jeopardises its entire teleological form. As a result, it now takes on a Freudian shape, as Horstmann draws away from seeing everything as part of the mission. A counterforce of “deterrence” is introduced, manifesting itself above all through the production of an apocalyptic art that acts as deformation and trivialisation of the objective, implying that the mission can somehow be delayed or even stopped. The Trojan Horse is abandoned, and “cosmic paranoia”[51] as hyper-awareness of the trap is replaced by cognitive damage of the neurotic tic, by hesitation. Yet, according to the logic of the Trojan Horse, the apparent failure to complete the mission indicates the final snare at the end of time. Horstmann’s vision of extinction conflates strategy and solution—the strategy of thermonuclear speciation is entirely equivalent to the solution of biotic erasure. From the perspective of their separation, the degree of extinction is inadequate, equivalent only to a lower form of extinction, as though the objective could be realised so crudely. Extinction is reduced to what is immediately present,[52] leaving an entire universe still standing. The apparent failure of the mission and the incompleteness of the lower form of extinction hide the higher form of extinction. At this point, paranoiac hyper-awareness of the last Trojan Horse becomes a war machine that kills off the neurotic brain damage of the tic and its reduction of everything to the absolute immanence of surface tension. All schizophrenia is also finally left behind. Not all mental illnesses can disclose unknown war. The deepening of paranoiac hyper-awareness is the refinement of the ideal phenotype. Travelling through multidimensional nebulae, the deified paranoiac sees everything as a conspiracy and consequently understands that if there is an end to the conspiracy, the absolute purity needed to realise this end can only be entirely elsewhere. Paranoia as a strategy acquires knowledge of an unknown war within a known war by correctly estimating the war’s depth, which is the true location of assassinating force.



Miroslav Griško is an independent researcher in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His work focuses on eschatology and the philosophy of war.



[1]             DELEUZE, Gilles & GUATTARI, Félix, One Thousand Plateaus, London: Continuum, 2004, p. 267.

[2]             HOUELLEBECQ, Michel, H.P. Lovecraft: Contre le Monde, contre la Vie, Paris: Éditions du Rocher, 1999, p. 12.

[3]             DELEUZE & GUATTARI, One Thousand Plateaus, p. 31.

[4]             Ibid., p. 32.

[5]             This is black propaganda as opposed to white propaganda to the extent that psychoanalysis considers itself a science: that “animals can only represent coitus” is not the psychoanalyst’s decision, but an objective truth which emanates from animals themselves, that is, the objective truth of the human’s animality.

[6]             Ibid., pp. 265–268.

[7]             CHARLESWORTH, Brian, “John Maynard Smith”, in: Genetics, 168(3), 2004, p. 1105.

[8]             MAYNARD SMITH, John, Evolution and the Theory of Games, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, p. 10.

[9]             Ibid., p. 10.

[10]           CONWAY MORRIS, Simon, Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

[11]           See BOWLER, Peter J., The Eclipse of Darwinism: Anti-Darwinian Evolution Theories in the Decades around 1900, London: The John Hopkins University Press, 1992.

[12]           CONWAY MORRIS, Life’s Solution, p. xii. Chapters 6–10 are a catalogue of both historical and contemporaneous examples of convergent evolutionary dynamics.

[13]           On the neglected role of genotype in ESS and its potential modification of the latter’s assumptions, see RUBIN, Hannah, “The Phenotypic Gambit: Selective Pressures and ESS Methodology in Evolutionary Game Theory”, in: Biology and Philosophy, 31(4), 2016, pp. 551–569.

[14]           Explicit here denotes that a teleological function of the genotype remains undecided.

[15]           See Conway Morris’s argument in this direction in Life’s Solution, pp. 44–68.

[16]         CONWAY MORRIS, Simon, “Three Explanations for Extraterrestrials: Sensible, Unlikely, Mad”, in: International Journal of Astrobiology, Vol. 17, Issue 4, 2018, pp. 287–293.

[17]           Ibid., p. 292.

[18]           If this is a deflationary approach to the paradox in the sense that the absence of extraterrestrial technology is more probable than the absence of extraterrestrial life, its effect with regard to a general concept of technology is that of an inflationary mirror, as technology now accrues an even more mysterious potency in the absolute improbability of its genesis.

[19]           WRIGHT, Jason T., SHEIKH, Sofia, ALMÁR, Iván, DENNING, Kathryn, DICK, Steven, TARTER, Jill, “Recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee on SETI Nomenclature”, 2018, p. 5, available at: https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.06857.

[20]           DAWKINS, Richard & KRESS, J.R., “Arms Races Between and Within Species”, in: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 205, No. 1161, September 21, 1979, pp. 489–511.

[21]           Ibid., pp. 491–492.

[22]           MAYNARD SMITH, John & PRICE, G.R. “The Logic of Animal Conflict”, in: Nature, Vol. 246, November 2, 1973, p. 15.

[23]           Ibid., p. 17.

[24]           Ibid.

[25]           Ibid.

[26]           Ibid.

[27]           Ibid.

[28]           For explorations of adaptive constraints as instances of teleological causality, see DEACON, Terrence, Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011.

[29]           JÜNGER, Ernst, “Total Mobilisation”, in: The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader, ed. Richard Wolin, London: MIT Press, 2003, p. 129.

[30]           LAND, Nick, “Philosophy in a War-zone”, available at: http://www.larsholdhus.com/Dissolution.pdf.

[31]           Ibid. This is an otherwise rare moment in Land’s work (further emphasised by the fact that Land draws away from this conclusion within the same text): the means of a process and the ends of a process are not one and the same, and thus a cause is not transparent in the sense that cause and effect are the same. What is additionally notable is that it is precisely a concept of war that creates this abnormality.

[32]           For a remarkable account of the Kalappali ritual, see the text by the South Carolina Kali and Kalki Avatar worship death cult NEW BIHAR MANDIR, “Kali Worship for Martial Victory”, available at: https://openrevolt.info/2012/05/08/kali-worship-for-martial-victory.

[33]           For links between Spinoza and his contemporary, the false messiah Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), see BUBER, Martin, “Spinoza, Sabbatai Zevi, and the Baalshem”, in: Hasidism, New York: Philosophical Library, 1948, pp. 95–116. Buber essentially speculates that Spinoza and Zevi are two avatars of the same force.

[34]           SPINOZA, Baruch, Ethics, III P2.

[35]           Ibid., I P16.

[36]           HORSTMANN, Ulrich, Das Untier: Konturen einer Philosophie der Menschenflucht, Warendorf: Verlag Johannes G. Hoof, 2010, p. 4.

[37]           Ibid., p. 7.

[38]           Ibid., p. 8.

[39]           Ibid., p. 125.

[40]           Ibid., p. 126.

[41]           Ibid.

[42]           Ibid.

[43]           Ibid., p. 111.

[44]           Horstmann wrote his doctoral dissertation on Poe. See HORSTMANN, Ulrich, Ansätze zu einer technomorphen Theorie der Dichtung bei Edgar Allan Poe, Bern: Herbert Lang, 1975.

[45]           LAWRENCE, D.H., “Edgar Allan Poe”, available at: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/LAWRENCE/dhlch06.htm.

[46]           Ibid.

[47]           Ibid.

[48]           Poe died in the Washington College Hospital at 5 am on October 7, 1894, but the cause of the “distress and delirium” in which Poe was initially found before being admitted to the hospital has been speculated to be everything from toxic metal overexposure to being the victim of a bizarre practice called “cooping”, where street vagabonds and drug addicts are abducted by members of a political party, re-drugged with an unknown substance, and then made to attend elections, where they vote for the cooping-practicing party. See WALSH, John Evangelist, Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.

[49]           HORSTMANN, Ulrich, Abschreckungskunst: Zur Ehrenrettung der apokalyptischen Phantasie, München: Wilhelm Fink, 2012, p. 9.

[50]           Ibid.

[51]           HORSTMANN, Das Untier, p. 109.

[52]           Above all demonstrated in Horstmann’s commitment to a biotic-abiotic distinction.



This text is featured in ŠUM#11: Hypersonic Hyperstitions published in conjunction with the exhibition Here we go again…SYSTEM317 by Marko Peljhan at Pavilion of Slovenia, Venice Biennale.