Mass Extinction, Security & Intervention in the Anthropocene

synthetic zerØ

No Promises: Mass Extinction, Security and Intervention in the Anthropocene
The concept of ‘security’ is paradoxical. It acknowledges the fragility of life and promotes strategies of ‘survival’ to mitigate this condition. Yet it also presumes that human interventions can guarantee survival – that is, ensure that life and death ‘go on’. This belief in the power of human agency to shape the conditions of being is epitomized by Anthropocene security interventions, ranging from military invasions to conservation norms to massive geo-engineering projects. But does the concept of security have any meaning in the face of mass extinction? I argue that the temporal dimensions of mass extinction undercut the possibility of security in several ways. First, extinction is not simply an aggregation of deaths; it marks the cessation of both life and death. This undermines the biopolitical logics that contemporary security discourses, especially notions of ‘resilience’ that emphasise the persistence of life processes through time. Second, mass extinction…

View original post 101 more words