This time, I thought we’d range out a little to a couple of stories from other recent publications: “On the Government of the Living: A Parable” by Matthew Cheney (Interfictions #4, Nov. 2014) and “Instructions” by Roz Kaveney (Lightspeed #54, Nov. 2014; reprinted from Odyssey ).
"We have decisively altered the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the rate of extinction. We have created unprecedented atomic isotopes and fossilized plastics. We have erected megacities that will leave an enduring footprint long after they have ceased to function as cities. We have changed the pH of the oceans and have shunted so many life forms around the globe—inadvertently and intentionally—that we are creating novel ecosystems everywhere. Of vertebrate terrestrial life, humans and our domesticated animals now constitute over 90% by weight, with less than 10% comprised by wild creatures."
In the end, the argument of Levinas and the Postcolonial is really about the status of the West and, having reckoned with the harder questions of its debt to mass violence and subjugation, what it means to read responsibly after an honest reckoning. This reading has to take a very fundamental problem seriously: decolonizing the colonizer.