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First of all, let’s see how the Revolution dealt with animals and other nonhumans, or with those who were “not human enough.” After the October Revolution of 1917, the idea of a “revolution in nature” and even of a “struggle against nature” was continuously advanced in all spheres of the nascent Soviet society.Nature was supposed to have changed—liberated from its reliance on necessity but also preserved from the precariousness of contingency.
But it equally abuses artists, intellectuals, the precarious, the disabled, the sick, the poor, and the retired—all those whose very existence does not correspond to the holy land pictured by the perverse imagination of the right-wing.
In brief, the far-right is the evil attacking the freedoms and rights won by the people in the course of twentieth-century class struggles, and then carefully guarded by social democrats.
My object of critique here, however, is not the evil of the right-wing, but rather the good of democratic universalism, since they both form part of one and the same dialectical chain.
My argument is very simple: if humanism, often used as a slogan for struggles against racism and xenophobia, proceeds from the assumption that there is some exceptional dignity in human beings and some exceptional value to human life, then it is just one step away from putting into question the value of any nonhuman life.
A diffuse avant-garde attitude unconditionally sustained the idea of a point of no return, a “giving up the ship,” a total transformation of the social and natural orders towards emancipation and equality.
Nature was also considered a battlefield for class struggle.
Or, to put it in Adornian terms, history is the history of oppression, and the violent domination of humans over humans starts with the human domination over nature., Nikolay Zabolotsky, one of the founders of the Russian avant-garde absurdist group OBERIU, describes nature as suffering under the old bourgeois regime.
He compares animals to proletarians and creates a utopia of their progressive liberation facilitated by technology: I saw a red glow in the window Belonging to a rational ox.
They are being massacred in high numbers at the borders of welfare states while trying to enter illegally.
If they have already entered, they are constantly trying to escape the police.