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Communiqué of the Hypertrophic Commons

The coming politics will not be one of States against States or States against humanity but will be of States, humanity, and nonhuman forces all combating one another.

Saying that politics is an act of “resistance” was never true, except for the most literal
interpretation of conservatism. We must search and replace all occurrences of “resistance” with “impulsion” or perhaps “thrust.” Thus the concept of resistance in politics should be superseded by the concept of hypertrophy.

Resistance is a Clausewitzian mentality. The strategy of maneuvers instead shows that the best way to beat an enemy is to become a better enemy. One must push through to the other side rather than drag oneʼs heels. There are two directions for political change: resistance implies a desire for stasis or retrograde motion, but hypertrophy is the desire for pushing beyond. The goal is not to destroy technology in some neo-Luddite delusion but to push technology into a hypertrophic state, further than it is meant to go. “There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present - day society: to retreat ahead of it,” wrote Roland Barthes. We must scale up, not unplug. Then, during the passage of technology into this injured, engorged, and unguarded condition, it will be sculpted anew into something better, something in closer agreement with the real wants and desires of its users.

One can see this in the engorged growth of our toes as they transform into paws, of our breasts as they grow out of our chests and in the features of our faces, cells transforming and growing into new unhuman forms. We accept that to wine, we must die, we must transform and she our old ways of knowing and bein bodies in the world, shifting into new unknown bodies with new sense organs, new emotions and new ways of cognition. This is our new politic, but it is also the oldest mode of survival for humans, to become something more than they are, to become human, then animal again, then unimagined forms of energy, circuitry, flesh and fur.

“If our global context of climate change, disasters, pandemics, or complex networks tells us anything, it is that political thought today demands a concept of life adequate to it anonymous, unhuman dimensions, an unhuman politics, for unhuman life.” (Thacker)

The most elemental unit of life is a form-of-life. We offer a commons to forms-of-life. We cannot privilege the human and must now ethically intervene in the fact that a human form-of-life is not longer viable. To make our forms-of-life hypertrophic is to become transspieces, transreal, intersubjective. Hypertrophy in this sense means superseding the limits we have imagined for our bodies, stretching our skin and breaking out of it. As Donna Haraway wrote in the early 21st century, “we have never been human”.

This is not only survival but hospitality.

This is not only survival but hospitality. The virus is politically ambiguous. We choose to work with and through it rather than against it. Hypertrophize the virus and become transspieces!

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