The Failure of the Project of Culture

Although, as we have said, he drew from this observation no truly antinatalist conclusions, Auschwitz, for Adorno, represented “irrefutable proof of the failure of the project of human culture as a whole.” (Negative Dialektik) And in our own view too Auschwitz must count as the final, morally definitive, turning-point event establishing the profound ethical questionability of the bringing forth of further human beings. The proof that “the project: culture” had failed, however, can be seen to have been established at a far earlier point in history than the mid-20th century. We see this proof, for example, in the millions of human beings that “cultivated” Europeans murdered or otherwise caused to perish, in their hunt for gold and silver in Central and South America, already centuries before this date.

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