To The New Man (first letter)

You’re the only one I know not caught between centuries.
You’ve kept running without compromise or second thoughts.
About a hundred years ago, suffragettes predicted your “feminization” as a result of modern civilization and its techno-cultural reconfigurations of social reality. They said aggressive masculinity was on its way out.
Machismo may have helped to build steam trains, colonial empires and the atom bomb, but their ascendancy would render such a disposition useless in the end.
You were going to favor cooperative communications, consensus building and equitable divisions of labor. Did the Great War get in the way?
Darwin’s nuanced theory of natural selection was reduced to a spectacular fragment. The “survival of the fittest” has been generating horrible consequences out of context ever since.
You’ve shunted the interdependency necessary for Life. Mutual aid hasn’t had a chance since you arrived on the scene. You claim we are alone, weak and inadequate — that everyone must fend for themselves at the expense of all else. You insist on the market sorting everything out.
You’ve been the only Vanguard all this time, despite your lack of courage, invention or ability to lead, and now time is running out. You’ve embraced the meaninglessness of things, but never as a kind of morally indignant protestation. It’s been part of your commitment to specialization — your focus on self-satisfaction.
You get yours when you can (in whatever you perceive, name or represent).
You reconstitute yourself across all strata of society. You proliferate a simulated, feral existence — living as the gratification of unfettered appetites by any means necessary.
The Common Good, Science, Justice — they’re not a part of your plans, but you insist on using them as a pretense. You keep claiming predation as a kind of applied ethics.
This is your one backhanded, almost-acknowledgement of other ways of being in the world (those involving a concern for others), but there’s never been anything righteous about the accumulation of Capital and you know it.
Your lies are so old now — older than the news of your newness — and you’ll remain inhuman when there’s nothing left to take.