Criminal Antinatalism? – The “Criminals of the Spirit” of Kondylis (1943–1998)

An argument developed by Kondylis clearly shows why the antinatalist, as a radical critic of the meaning normally ascribed to human existence, has to reckon with the most violent resistance from his fellow men:

“Whoever calls into question ‘the meaning of life’ necessarily challenges the human drive to self-preservation and counts thereby, among his fellow human beings, as a ‘criminal of the spirit’ who undermines the foundations of social existence quite as much as ordinary ‘criminals of the deed’ tend to render useless, through their contravention of practical social norms, society itself as an institution devoted to this human self-preservation. The claim to power, by entrenching itself behind the belief in ‘the meaning of life’, provides itself with the greatest possible appearance of ‘objectivity’, the most perfect disguise conceivable.” (Panajotis Kondylis, Macht und Entscheidung)

Should it really be the case that claims to power lie dug in behind all professed belief in ‘the meaning of life’, the antinatalist must renounce all hope of agreement or approval from the side of such entrenched power-structures. The antinatalist, indeed, does not call into question the possibility that one can lead a ‘meaningful’ life; he casts doubt, however, directly upon the moral dignity of procreation and thereby “threatens”, at least symbolically, the continued existence of human society.

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