It’s all so dark

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

What is?

My writing?

My Tweets?

Or what I say offline — mostly to my wife?

Possibly, but why shouldn’t it be that way?

Largely, I suspect, because we have an inbuilt hue of optimism or because we’re told that it’s depressing to be around someone who doesn’t make us feel good.

I’d love to offer a solemn apology but for what?

Telling the truth for once.

You see, for most of my life, I had this need to find peace, to be accepted into the fold and, well, not to toddle off this mortal moil without having done something with my life. But then it dawned on me, mostly, if not exclusively, from looking into the abyss of the Anthropocene:

we’re the problem; and if we weren’t here, then what?

At first, I thought I was losing my mind. There must be another way. But the more I thought about things, the more I read, the more I investigated our evolution and eventual demise, I realised that there was no other option if we wanted to save the planet than for all humans to go extinct.

Of course, I’ve no expectation that that’s going to happen but I do feel I’ve stumbled across something — call it anti-natalism (“AN”) if you will — that deserves to be discussed and not dismissed out of hand as too nihilistic or on the lunatic fringe of philosophy. Whilst it might be said that the term only came about sometime in 2005/6 after the publication of David Benatar’s early academic papers and his book, Better Never To Have Been, it has a long history, albeit one that’s never gone mainstream. Even if you’re not comfortable with the term, there’s still plenty of mileage to be had in sharing our respective views on the ethics of bringing sentient/human life into being and deciding if: a) that’s the best thing for them, and b) the world needs more human life. On the latter point, as difficult as the point is to discuss, if it’s not already obvious, our anthropocentric exceptionalism is by the far the biggest or most obvious reason for the mess we’re in that and the capitalist ideal — ideal for who you might ask?

In the end, though, no matter what I say (and the many thousands of people who opine upon the AN message), I know that given our inbuilt predilection to continue the lineage of our species, and even allowing for falling birth rates in some countries, everything apropos population will carry on much as before. Specifically, once brought into the world, the message will ring out that everyone needs to live up to their potential and seek comfort at any cost. (We have only one earth but we’re devouring it at such an alarming rate that it and its natural resources will disappear much quicker than we think.) And that’s fine but you only have to look back over the past 50 years to realise where we’re headed. And it sure ain’t nirvana. Hell more like.

Of course, if you feel like leaving a comment here or message me to take me up on my dark, brooding fascination with AN then I’m here — for now.


— Julian



“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen

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Julian Summerhayes

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen