Achille Mbembe on planetary consciousness

Philsopher and professor Achille Mbembe spoke to Nils Gilman about his visions for society’s future and how we need rights that don’t rely on the nation-state:

Can we rely on infrastructures that have, to some extent, contributed to turning the world into a burning house? Can we rely on them to learn how to inhabit the planet anew, how to share it as equitably as possible? To foster a new consciousness that gives ample space to notions of bio-symbiosis — life in symbiosis with humans and nonhumans?


Planetary politics should be connected to a politics of life, to a politics of the Earth. That includes all creation: all the people of the world; the creations or works of humanity; the mass of things we have invented; animals, plants, microbes, minerals; and mixed bodies (which is what we all are). In other words, the whole physical universe, all of reality, including (since I’m drawing from the African pre-colonial archive) spiritual and biological energies consistent with the definition of the living world.

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