Large-Scale Experiments with the Species

To the extent that, in modernity, those sociobionomic imperatives which once strictly determined the maintenance of the species are tending to become modifiable and as it were “fluid” under the effects of human reflection and communication, the history of the species tends to take on an experimental character and become an >Experimentum mundi. We distinguish between involuntary large-scale experiments with the species, such as the revolutions occurring in earlier and later modernity, and that one great large-scale experiment with the species in which, as the world becomes more and more unified into a single world-system, ever more nativistically >enlightened citizens of the world are playing an active part. All those experiments with and on human beings which are each of them, taken individually, strongly condemned are in fact only possible within the framework of that large-scale experiment with the species which rests upon the lottery with genes and individual destinies that is represented by the begetting of children by procreation; the narrowing of our gaze to focus upon such individual crimes, however, succeeds precisely in distracting us from the fact of this larger-scale “experiment on human beings”.

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