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The Animal Sphere
In the Air
A Mutual Loss
The Independence of Value and Meaning
- As what regards humans, I am allowed to hold my own views. As what regards nonhuman animals: somebody else is gonna tell me ... (PDF)
Starve your sense of ...
The Entrails of Power: ' ...But even more than fear or rage, it is contempt which urges him to crush it. An insect, something so small that it scarcely counts, is crushed because one would not otherwise know what had happened to it; no human hand can form a hollow small enough for it. But, in addition to the desire to get rid of a pest and to be sure it is really disposed of, our behaviour to a gnat or a flea betrays the contempt we feel for a being which is utterly defenseless, which exists in a completely different order of size and power from us, with which we have nothing in common, into which we never transform ourselves and which we never fear except when it suddenly appears in crowds. The destruction of these tiny creatures is the only act of violence which remains unpunished even withinus. Their blood does not stain our hands, for it does not remind us of our own. We never look into their glazing eyes. We do not eat them. They have never - at least not amongst us in the West - had the benefit of our growing, if not yet very effective, concern for life. In brief, they are outlaws. If I say to someone, 'I could crush you with one hand,' I am expressing the greatest possible contempt. It is as though I were saying: 'You are an insect. You mean nothing to me. I can do what I like with you and that won't mean anything to me either. You mean nothing to anyone. You can be destroyed with impunity without anyone noticing. It would make no difference to anyone. Certainly not to me.'
The idea of l'art pour l'art' renders the evolution of cultures meaningless, by cutting the ties of a meaningfulness that is able to relate.