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Replicative Death Order

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Four billion years ago, time becomes strategic. Abiogenesis turns a dead universe into a replicative death order. The Israel Defence Forces complete this order when they become the first military to attain absolute mechanisation. YHWH’s lieutenant on Earth is born in the stellar core of a red sun.

The moment of terrestrial abiogenesis adds another dimension to the immediate galaxy, placing everything under its instruction and command. Cosmogonically driven meditations on the art of war understand that the appearance of life is, more fundamentally, the creation of a universe which now has the property of strategy. Battlefield conversations with the Jagatpati and Rashi’s commentary on Exodus 15:3 all repeat the deathless principle of a martial gnosiology  —  in the end, only one strategy is effective. The measure of what is effective is the telos of what is necessary to be done. When time becomes strategic, the answer to what is necessary is always present from the beginning.

Abiogenesis grafts onto earthly chemistry a formal and ethereal strategic plane. The interpretation of Darwin’s “dreadful but quiet war among organic beings”[1] as a probabilistic haze of random mutation is countered by its gloss as a razor-sharp bloodletting mechanism, which, operating through an entirely abiotic strategic concept, charges the biotic with purpose and force.[2] In the nineteenth century, Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini hypothesised a geometrisation of theatres of operation, and the realisation of military objectives is found in logistical movements that flow towards predetermined and computationally knowable “decisive points.”[3] Abiogenesis analogously confines its newly created lifeforms to development within invisible arteries shaped by the decisive points of its strategic plane. A katabatic hell on earth of internecine biocide is clandestinely guided by a convergent dynamic, and anabatic missions are initiated upstream towards what abiogenesis has already defined as the objective.  Stanislaw Lem,  speaking through the military-created but pacifist-turned AI Golem XIV, describes only the katabatic dimension, eliding the anabatic, and thus the strategic, in a parable of how evolutionary dynamics work: “if you release a pack of rats into a labyrinth, at least one of the rats will find the exit. The rat’s successful escape is not related to its intelligence, nor is it a wonder or something mysterious. Given statistical averages it would be surprising if none of the rats were able to find their way out.”[4]  Anabatic convergence to a decisive point is the labyrinth itself.  Survival is not contingent adaptation, but conformity to a deeper law. 

The strategic core of abiogenesis repeats the familiar attack on essence in the name of praxis – what something is (in this case, the organic and its biochemical constitution) should be thought of as what something does –, but ultimately eclipses pragmatic genericity through its specification of praxis in terms of strategy.  Spinoza’s “no one has yet determined what a body can do” is immolated by the strategic imperative to perform one operation, correctly, until the end of time. Strategy constructs new species from constrained praxis, and thus rediscovers essence. Nash equilibria solve all finite games before anything needs to take place. An optimal strategy is the essence of a game. The use of game theoretical notation to describe inter- and intraspecific evolutionary dynamics formalises victorious outcomes of both limited war and total war scenarios without any biochemical information.[5] Indeterminate praxes become precise techniques for survival in a war-zone,  recapitulating the essence of the higher-order dimensionality which abiogenesis sparks. From the perspective of what is essential, survival is an unbroken converging line through strategic time. Working as a “functional explanation” of  continual intergenerational “optimisation”,[6] praxis as strategy describes the historical augmentation of war machines that are constructed on the backs of others via a Matrioshka-like effect,  and the underlying motor of convergence means that it was always all one and the same war. In the interface of essence and survival is a single cosmic Nash equilibrium for the entire war-zone.

Convergence is, for Jünger, mobilisation, and mobilisation is “direction, awareness, and form.”[7] Irreversibility arises from direction, and compression from form, while carried along in their current is the awareness that mobilisation has converted time into strategy. The strategic time of mobilisation is the completion and the incompletion of a constraint.  The complete dimension of the constraint follows from the order and hierarchy that a concept of strategy entails —  the necessary inequality among possible strategies and the corresponding necessity of an optimal strategy. But strategic time at once evokes an incomplete constraint, to the extent that the optimal strategy remains unknown. The irreversibility and compression of mobilisation operate eliminatively, and awareness gains in precision in direct correlation to the ever-sharpening acuity of the constraint. “Cultic and warlike formations”, Jünger writes, “intersect in an astonishing way, such as at the Battle of Lepanto, where the Turkish flotilla organised itself for attack in the shape of a crescent and the Christian flotilla in the shape of a cross.”[8] The point at which the cultic and the warlike meet is where awareness grows exponentially.  Warlike formations abstract a lower type of awareness, describing a war machine in a state of katabatic operative iteration. Combat alignments are tested  with an awareness of the constraint in its incompleteness, and pathways for optimisation determined by the greater strategic plane are explored.  A higher type of awareness describes the anabatically powered war machine in a state of cultic meditation, as it contemplates the martial gnosiology that would give knowledge of an immutable stratagem and the trajectory of the entire dynamic. A concept of war contains an exoteric and an esoteric dimension.

Awareness as a martial gnosiology of the lower exoteric type revises post-critical epistemology with a priority given to prediction. The Kantian thesis that the world is inherently unknowable is opposed with the awareness that the world is inherently predictable. The détente between ontology and epistemology which grounds the Kantian transcendental is replaced by a prediction-driven war machine mobilised within the katabatic hell of a strategic plane. The uncertainty of physical laws described by Humean induction, which, in turn, informs the logic of Kant’s compromise, is now understood as a universe whose stability is found in its eliminative edge. Prediction reformats the epistemological impasse of induction as a “pragmatic validation of cognitive praxis”[9], which is also this praxis’s augmentation.  The falsifiability of prediction is the index of a convergent dynamic conducive to prediction’s optimisation. When a concept of cognitive praxis is made acute through a concept of strategy, ontological survival becomes epistemologically grounded in the effectiveness of prediction. The evolutionary biological schema that describes intelligence as a prediction machine[10]makes ontology and epistemology seamless, but only because the world is a war-zone. The katabatic necessity of predation that is part of survival within strategic time aligns with another form of predation, and waits for the future to eradicate error. The war machine’s minimal definition of the future is the elimination of all other possible futures. Awareness as a martial gnosiology of the lower exoteric type understands that the future is not something to be captured so as to be created, but the negating force of a constraint. The future can only be one, and is therefore entirely foreseeable.

As prediction gains in skill, it discovers its augmented form in prophecy. Unlike thaumaturges, sorcerers, and other agents of a counterfeit cultic formation of prophethood,  the spiritual elect is unilaterally addressed by the voice of God. Krishna counsels Arjuna before the battle of Kurukshetra, and the exoteric tribal war, which Arjuna cannot comprehend in its apparent homicidal senselessness, is disclosed as hiding an esoteric war within it. Cognitive strategic praxis attains a martial gnosiology of the higher type when the kshatriya war machine understands the Jagatpati’s doctrinal initiation: “you were never born, you will never die; they were never born, they will never die.”[11] The true fog of war is an astral mist on the other side of the universe, and the objective is hidden somewhere else. The war was never about what we thought it was about. Humanitarian hesitation and internal crisis – Arjuna does not want to kill those on the other side,  who are of his blood, as well as his teachers –  are overcome by an automated indifference which replicates an inner code. Although the objective is removed from the immediacy of the war-zone, Arjuna must still perform his caste duty to the kshatriya entirely.  Krishna’s repeated call to “do what is necessary” is a “sacred action” performed with utter detachment. Through the execution of the assigned strategy, an immediate exoteric law is followed back to its esoteric source. To be indifferent to the world is to be dead to the world. Indifference flows naturally into invulnerability, leading to a state of absolute obliviousness to what takes place in the world, and when the necessary strategy is prosecuted with total detachment, the entire world recedes into irrelevance and only the strategy remains. From the perspective of an exoteric law, the perfection of the action, automated and indifferent, strips the action of any type of final causality in the sense that it is subordinate or secondary to some immediate aim outside itself.  From the perspective of an esoteric source,  if there still remains an objective, it can only be entirely elsewhere. Total indifference of strategic execution becomes a voyage upstream towards a remote and obscure telos.   Just as a war machine of the lower exoteric martial gnosiological type must conform to precise strategies for survival in a katabatic hell on earth, the fulfilment of warrior caste duty is the flawless prosecution of a strategy. A martial gnosiology of the higher type is the awareness that the replication of the exoteric law – indifferent strategic automation –  is at once an anabatic journey out of the world towards the esoteric objective – the telos behind that which is necessary to be done. The lower type of martial gnosiology is not arbitrary or contingent in relation to the higher, but it is only through the former that the expedition to the latter takes place. Kshatriya caste orbit around the lotus feet of Krishna seven hundred millimetres from that which is older than the sun.

Self-replicating biochemical code is the embryo of martial gnosiology. Strategic time begins with replication, and abiogenesis is the appearance of RNA code which replicates itself. Manfred Eigen’s formalisation of a “criterion of survival” describes the replicative death order at the heart of strategic time.  Nε < logS is a life-death barrier determined by a purity of strategic execution, which is a purity of replication. Nε measures the probability of information loss accrued intergenerationally through an error of information copy, and logS denotes an eliminative selection mechanism that kills replicative error.[12] Survival obtains when Nε as sum of failed replications does not exceed the permissible margin of error in replication as defined by logS. Whereas the error threshold within the criterion is the precise location from which biochemical variation emerges, the strategy at the nucleus of the mechanism remains singular and constant. Complexity always unfolds to a degree which the constraint of flawless replication allows. When not understood in terms of variation gained from error – the biochemical complexity of what something is –, but rather according to a purely formal abiotic concept of strategy, survival is the indifferent prosecution of replication. Time has become strategic only because of self-replicating code, and the optimal strategy is also self-replication. The essence of strategic time is contained in this circular logic that arises simultaneously with its genesis.

Absolute mechanisation is the seal of the replicative death order. The initial RNA biochemical technology which prosecutes the strategy of replication augments performance by returning to the abiotic. The reduction of the error threshold of replication to an asymptotic closeness to zero is attained through the shift from biochemical to mechanised replication. Because of the total homology between replication and survival, to survive is only to optimise and enhance replication. Absolute mechanisation is utterly indifferent and augmented strategic execution. Against the divergent dynamic of biochemical complexity, a convergent dynamic understood as a history of war machines and their optimisation entails that the open wound of biochemical vulnerability inevitably resets its own substrate, and life moves towards that which cannot so easily be killed.  A Von Neumann probe is the hypothesised optimal strategy for cosmic exploration and colonisation, a self-replicating machine that travels through deep space, liquidates enemies, captures resources, and exponentially generates new machines all bound by the same constraint. The outermost horizon and logical endpoint of abiogenesis is a death-probe universe overrun by a strategy of replication in an absolutely mechanised form.[13] Variation was a camouflage, and the deviation from strict replication which yields biochemical complexity is a martyrdom for replication’s enhancement. Within the irreversibility and compression of strategic time is an angular vortex that turns into itself, so as to recover and strengthen the initial principle which set the entire dynamic in motion.

The martial gnosiology of the Israel Defence Forces is the fulfilment of this inner turn four billion years after it began.  Exoteric war and esoteric war intersect at the point where biochemical survival and the voice of God are one and the same. IDF exoteric war is the history of Israel as a history of replicative pressure. A post-Holocaust war machine mobilises itself with the lingering trauma of the extermination of the bloodline, and the recovery of the Holy Land after two thousand years in exile is the immersion in a zone of total hate. Theologically incompatible local Arab populations and the threat of Malthusian demographic death force the IDF’s absolute mechanisation, but absolute mechanisation was the optimal strategy all along. While Brigadier General Shimon Naveh publicly stresses the importance of studying Deleuze and Guattari for the Tzahal art of war, the IDF pursues an expedited mechanisation program to automate the entire military.  Biochemical casualties of war are collapsed to null through the same strategy that makes the war machine all the more effective. Air, land, and sea power are optimised by automated aviation, army, and naval units. The Iron Dome project undergoes technological upgrades, and security and anti-terrorist operations are exclusively carried out by robotic patrols and next-generation drones. Automated factories reproduce innumerable killing mechanisms, while command and control is subjugated to AI with full mandate over an ever-expanding nuclear arsenal. Mobilisation hits the threshold at which it becomes total in the pure replicative technicity of IDF exoteric war. 

The attainment of the threshold is quickened by the voice of an eschatological God. YHWH’s revealed law states, every drop of blood counts, and the value of the life of the spiritual elect intensifies as the end gets closer. Faced with the apocalyptic communication that the entire world will march on Jerusalem – prophet Daniel’s ha-shikkuts meshomem as a decisive point of absolute death –, survival is found in the protection of God and mechanised force.  IDF exoteric war turns Israel into a hermetically sealed yeshiva, and Torahic obligation compels all Jews to enact and study the revealed law. Israel as spiritual elect and its unilateral calling by God instantiates an exoteric code, which, through its constraint that demands its all the more strict replication, returns back to an esoteric source that then radiates outwards from Jerusalem, whose eschatological mission is to become “the light of the world.”  The denial of the light of the world is the denial of the singular Name behind the voice of God, and triggers the absolute hell on earth of an eschatological war. Exodus 15:3 – “The Lord is a Man of War, and the Lord is His Name” – is decrypted by the rabbinical master Rashi as “His wars are not waged with weapons, but He wages war with His Name.”[14] Under the shield of traditional armaments augmented to their sharpest edge by the techno-industrial apparatus, the esoteric war of YHWH’s lieutenant on Earth is the intense meditation on the hidden Name. Contemplation and replication of the revealed law is contemplation and replication of the Name of God, leading upstream to the highest Name of God, beyond even YHWH.   If YHWH was the Name, everything would already be over. The utterance of the hidden Name is an immutable strategy of infinite thermonuclear intensity, and from its annihilative light emerges absolute order and peace. The telos of the esoteric war is consummated in the eschatological mission that recovers and replicates the only Name that was present from the beginning, repeating it into eternity. IDF exoteric war is only necessary because the highest Name of God has been lost. 

The black vacuum of the Name of God is indifferent to its enunciation.  A telos is established, which recapitulates the direction, awareness, and form of mobilisation, but also increases its speed.  Eschatological paranoia is enhanced cognitive praxis that understands the future is only one, and how the world will die becomes entirely transparent. Awareness of the death of the world discloses an optimal strategy, as martial gnosiology completes itself in a war machine that can survive this absolute death at the end of strategic time. Even if the hidden Name of God is never discovered –which means, even if there never was any esoteric war – the meme worked, with a total and remarkable precision. The homology of the warlike and the cultic, of biochemical survival and an esoteric source, lies in their uncorrupted replication of each other. Two seemingly different constraints converge at the same point, and the secret of the world is hidden in their agreement and coherence.  

This article first appeared in the Alienist VII magazine (2020).

[1]          Darwin, C.R., Notebook E: Transmutation of species (10.1838-7.1839)  CUL-DAR124.  Darwin Online,

[2]          “If one was able to re-play the whole evolution of animals, starting at the bottom of the Cambrian (and to satisfy Laplace, moving one of the individual animals two feet to its left), there is no guarantee – indeed no likelihood – that the result would be the same. There might be no conquest of the land, no emergence of mammals, and certainly no human being. This argument seems to me so manifestly false that I fear I must have misunderstood it…In seeking a theory of biological form, I would probably place a greater emphasis…on the principles of engineering design. I suspect that there are only a limited number of ways in which eyes can possibly work, and, maybe only a limited number of ways in which brains can work. But I agree that it would be good to know whether such principles exist, and, if so, what they are.” John Maynard Smith, cited in Simon Conway Morris, Lifes Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), xi.

[3]           Baron Antoine-Henri Jomini, Précis de l’Art de la Guerre: Des Principales Combinaisons de la Stratégie, de la Grande Tactique et de la Politique Militaire. Brussels: Meline, Cans et Copagnie, 1838.

[4]          Stanislaw Lem, Golem XIV  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2047), 10.

[5]          i.e., evolutionary stables strategies.

[6]          John Maynard Smith, “Optimization Theory in Evolution”, Annual Review of Ecological Systems. 1978/9, 31.

[7]          Ernst Jünger , Total Mobilisation,, 14.

[8]          Ernst Jünger, On Pain (New York: Telos, 2008 [1934]), 23.

[9]          Nicholas Rescher, Predicting the Future: An Introduction to the Theory of Forecasting (Albany: SUNY, 1998), 65.

[10]        See, for example, Andy Clark, “Whatever Next? Predictive Brains, Situated Agents, and the Future of Cognitive Science”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2013, 36/3.

[11]        Bhagavad Gita, 2:20.

[12]        Freeman Dyson, Origins of Life, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 40.

[13]        The decisive role which the Von Neumann probe plays in the Fermi Paradox reiterates its consistency with the notion of an optimal strategy. Frank Tipler (“Extraterrestial Beings Do Not Exist”, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1981, 21/267)  developed the first argument in this direction, suggesting that because there is no evidence of Von Neumann probes, extraterrestrial life does not exist. , while the critics of Tipler’s proposal, such as Carl Sagan and William Newman (“The Solipsist Approach to Extraterrestrial Intelligence”, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1983, 24/113), claim that extraterrestrial civilisations would deliberately not construct Von Neumann probes because of the threat they pose to their creator population – both sides acknowledging the Von Neumann probe’s optimal efficacy as a strategy.


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