Towards Cultures of Aliveness. Politics and Poetics in a Postdualistic Age.
An Anthopocene Manifesto
Andreas Weber and Hildegard Kurt (extract):
Toward a Policy of Life
In the Anthropocene, sustainability can only be meaningfully reconceived through the perspective of “Enlivenment”. We need to be devoted to “cultures of aliveness” to enable truly sustainable behaviour. Unfolding cultures of aliveness is an epochal political project. It is a vision of civilisation going beyond day-to-day crisis management and the “flight mentality” of politics.
Let us call this vision a “policy of life”. A policy of life strives for a civilisation in which principles, institutions, and economic practices follow the maxim that life shall be. Such an ethos cannot be achieved in the short term, it requires a commitment comparable to the human rights movement since the original Enlightenment: an obligation to create a solidarity-in-being among all living subjects.
The political agenda of Enlightenment was intended to elevate humankind from its incapacitation by granting it rational agency. A policy of life (“Enlivenment”) enlarges this struggle to a more comprehensive goal: liberating the feeling and creative human from an ideology of dead matter, granting it embodied agency, too.
A policy of life preserves the necessary Enlightenment values – such as individual dignity, justice, and equality – while reconnecting them with their roots which rest in the co-creativity of everything alive. It does not substitute “rationality” with “life” but sees rationality as the quest to unfold a culture that is aware of, and responsible for, the potential imaginative aliveness in all living things.
A policy of life searches for alternatives to the dogma of growth and addiction to consumerism. It does not seek technological control; it strives to promote the experience of aliveness. It creates economic productivity through ecological stability and meaningful actions.
Berlin, May 2015