Marinetti & No Future

If all individuals, all groups and societies, all human institutions reaped the fruits of their respective labors today — tomorrow you could walk the earth and hear only the wind, the stupid sounds of nature. When did we forget that we deserve annihilation?

Thomas Ligotti

Let’s become food for the Unknown, not out of desperation, but simply to fill up the deep wells of the Absurd to the very brim!”


The world is an ecumenopolis named Paralysis.

“History, in our eyes, can be nothing but a falsifier, or at best a miserable little stamp collector or a collector of medals and of counterfeit coins. The past is necessarily inferior to the future. And that’s how we want it to be. How could we possibly see any virtue at all in our most dangerous enemy, the past, that gloomy mentor and abominable tutor?”

Bourgeois history is eternity on rails, a ceaseless motivity carrying us all ever higher, plumbing the promise of climax for occulted exhaustion. The cage of eschatological time has been replaced with the prison yard of the bright and impossible future — swapped out lakes of fire and brimstone for visions of eternal improvement without attrition. Both structures need to be assaulted and razed to the ground.

Marinetti finds a strange ally in Benjamin’s tiger’s leap when he acknowledges his own destiny is to be discarded, annihilated by an insurrectionary youthfulness that is already on his trail. Were this program put into proper action, history would shatter, the long march would end as a stampede, the “slow, ragged breathing of the monster” would go tachypniac.

How do we square a model of revolution that occurs with violent seizures, decade upon decade, generation upon generation? Such a model seems to inherently be based on a model of reproductive futurism (or “fighting for the children”) as defined by Lee Edelman in his No Future: a “Ponzi scheme” of ceaseless reproduction of “The Child” as the ultimate teleological offramp in contemporary politics — a model that Mark Fisher refers to as “domestoeconomic” and Berlant and Warner, in their essay “Sex in Public”, identify with a “national heterosexuality”. This is where fears of white genocide originate from: the dysgenic collapse of the nation state in the face of the failure of reproduction and, of course, the right type of reproduction. But notions of genocide are just surface scrim. The insane fetish of reproduction, in Edelman’s view, composes that which is queer as total zero, a monstrous ordinal of sterility, and as such the flatlining of the nation state altogether. However, Berlant and Warner close Edelman’s null provocation by pointing out that queerness is not actually fundamentally the state’s antipode. National heterosexuality territorializes queerness and reformats it into blind reproduction yet again. Adopt, buy, reproduce familial relations. Support the metacultural apparatus of national heterosexuality. Of course, this is the site upon which recent queer activism for marriage operates.

Returning to Marinetti. Specifically, his novel Mafarka the Futurist. The titular Mafarka is engaged in a novel form of reproduction: a son that is not the product of a union, but an extrusion of his own heroic will. Progeny from Outside. Named Gazurmah, he is a golem, a construct of terrifying potency:

“No power will be able to withstand him… I have never once doubted that I would create a son wholly worthy of my spirit… Infinity is his!… Do you think such a miracle is not possible? That’s because you have no faith in your power as men!…”

In constructing Gazurmah, Mafarka blazes a path towards a brutal, heroic future that does not require national heterosexuality or adherence to the cult of the metaculture: “Our will must go out from us so as to take possession of matter and change it according to our whim. In that way we can mold everything around us and endlessly regenerate the face of the earth…” Mafarka rejects his former men (the living) and gives himself utterly to the creation of a monstrous, anti-fertile, cybernetic future, one solely populated by promethean gods. Technology is the raiment of the titans to come, to paraphrase Junger. Death to The Child, Eternal Demolition of Natural Limits!


Brainlet Corner 1: What is Philosophy: Intro & Ch. 1

Brainlet Corner is my attempt to actually read books in their entirety in an intensive way. Please don’t own me. Hopefully it will be a series.


There is already an incredible amount of work on D&G’s notion of the concept andalongside and in tandem, the conceptual persona or friend. The concept answers the question “what is philosophy?” quickly: philosophy is an act of creation—”forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts”. Only philosophy can create concepts, not science, art, and especially not design (which only produces simulacra), which have robbed the concept of its initial meaning and degraded it.

The answer was already known and had not changed, they say, but the conceptual poetics has been modified. Asking what is philosophy requires knowledge of the temporospatial and personal circumstances in which the question is being asked—which Hegel would identify as “the Figures of its creation and the Moments of its self-positing). This creation is dependent on the conceptual personae that are engaged with throughout the process of its fabrication, the spectre of the friend.

The friend, as far as I can tell, is rooted in a greek urbanity—the philosophy of the forum/agora. Creation of concepts is a social act, an amphisbetesis or striving/competition between the philosopher and the “friend, lover, claimant, and rival” which constantly must be worked through and inhabited. It is this relation that defines the philosopher in relation to the concept, which seems to me to be a stepping outside of oneself in order to fabricate and extirpate the concept from within (as an act of friendly creation that involutes into sodomy (or just masturbation)).

D&G follow Marx in making completely clear that philosophy is not a passive act, not performing examinations or contemplation. The identification of philosophy as motion, uncertainty, procedure seems to remove all useful distinction between theory and praxis as altogether irrelevant; theory or conceptual production is in fact practical production (of aerolites).

D&G quote Neitzsche in saying concepts are not gifts, but they must be made and created (or more accurately, self-created, allopoetic), which is to say, backed up and fortified (which I take to be gathering an accretive disk around the bright ordinal of the conceptual components, a cosmogenesis). In this sense, creation is “always a singularity”, albeit one that occurs along multiple valences and collects them into an internally objective and externally subjective epigenetic haeccetic unity, a “whole but a fragmentary whole”, a totalization of its components (which may themselves be concepts), constantly haunted by the “mental chaos” that’s hunting it. (Side note: how is this different from Hegel’s dialectics (as I understand them through Lenin, the contradictions of an object constantly lie benthic within the object and threaten to overwhelm it). Maybe the relation is that to D&G the chaos that forces the concept to embody a shattered unity is anterior to the concept itself?)

The concept does not stand alone. As I mentioned earlier, it is contingent on the Figure and the Moment; or, as D&G describe it, as a landscape they call the plane of immanence, the “field”. “Here concepts link up with each other, support one another, coordinate their contours…” A massively codependent landscape populated by ordinals that are “distinct, heterogeneous, and yet not separable”. They blur into each other and co-associate in what D&G call a “zone of neighborhood, or a threshold of indiscernability” where traffic occurs between adjacent (like) concepts, leaving the ordinals (“intensive features”, all of this is a question of intensities above all, a vast topos) as hard points, condensations (guess the disk of accretion image from earlier was kinda accurate). This landscape is traversed at infinite speed by the point of omniscient survol. The image that occurs to me is a song in the round: a layering of constantly returning complexity (or as the text says, a “refrain”) that allows the singular point of the listener to experience all the processes of the song at once as intensity goes negentropic). The concept is absolute internally and in relation to its problem but relative to the distributed plane-system in which it lies, freely associating with other concepts along thresholds and bridges. It is “real without being actual, actual without being abstract”—possessed of both its pedagogy in the former and ontology in the latter.

Language w/r/t a defined philosophical grammar is important here—best I can tell is D&G are trying to move away from the idea that concepts are their extension rather than their intension or that a concept is analogous to its friend/associated conceptual persona(e) and the language used to define it. When they address the Cartesian cogito it is in the interest of ripping it out of language and turning it into a diagram by identifying the components that compose the intensity.

D&G take care to mention that though the use the image of the landscape as a cartography of concepts (conceptopography I guess), there is nothing here to track space or time. The point of survol is the god eye, everywhere at once. Not even energy (which is just a corporealization of intensities) exists here. “The concept is defined by the inseperability of a finite number of heterogeneous components traversed by a point of absolute survey at infinite speedthe specific infinity of the concept.” So a concept, and the plane in which they appear, is modifiably infinite (w/r/t the concept) and probed by an equally infinite (or maybe transfinite) eye. To D&G, survey is speed. Thought is speed.




“There is no dialectic between social and technical relations, but only a machinism that dissolves society into the machines whilst deterritorializing the machines across the ruins of society, whose ‘general theory … is a generalized theory of flux’…”

Which is to say, cybernetics.

Chronotopic mapping is, above all, the recognition of a need of system aesthetics. In fact, the word map is no longer helpful where we’re going. We must ask Bateson’s question: “What is it in the territory that gets on to the map?” The answer should, of course, be nearly nothing. Reducing the map, as chronotopos does, to an empty container rather than the totality of available information is a fundamental deletion of importance. The necessity of representation dissolves like a bad dream. The fetish of recording is revealed as a sad joke taken too far.

The ecstasy of recuperation ends as the indigestible is fatally consumed…the intestines erupt in bleeding ulcers and become the place of feverish, hallucinogenic degrees of decomposition and calcification. Welcome to Interzone…the haemorrhage of the Global Village.

Welcome to Interzone. Welcome to the urbicide of the planet. Methodologies turn to ash. Cartography flips back into fascism as we remember, finally, it was initially developed to survey property, consolidate territory, and direct the movements of armies…the hydra-head of Black Capital consumes the head of the state…augury and excrement of the war machine. In supplication to absolute deterritorialization the notion of territory itself boils and drains into the past, leaving vast turgidity which we will nonetheless inhabit. “Tell me, why are you here already, in this endless sea, with no land to hop on, or air to croak with, it makes no sense to me at all!”

In the scylla-charybidean chiral pinch we find ourselves, identity is stripped down to nothing. Persons are reducible to 2 opposite tendencies: vectors, distance/time functions that take off from space; and more importantly, a nearly-infinite capacity to move at fiber optic speeds.  Recognizing this removes the concept of personhood. They are not wholes. They are not even swarms. They are euclidean amoebae—and here, it is important to note, the nucleus is diminished in relation to cytoplasmic extensibility.

What chronotopos does that time-geography does not is recognizes this as fundamental and seeks to apply an aesthetics without incarcerating the amoebic, interring it once again within flesh. Space is necessarily annihilated by time and by technē both, disintegrating utterly and forever under the magnificent onslaught. When the amoeba-I communicate it is no longer with messages, it is with participation in supra-planetary marketspace. Buying is speaking, murmuring intonations into the thousand ears of Black Capital. My voice is heard in far-flung distribution centers, logged on secure servers in places my physical nucleus could never access, shooting through wires, aggregated and flattened to nothing. Materialism cracks and rots. Amoeba-I walks through walls.


CHRONOTOPOS/The body in capitalism pt. 1

Chronotopos is in many ways coterminal with time-geography, or the cracking open of the static plane of territory and subsequent invasion by temporality. The body in capitalism is not a body at all, but rather the recognition that the age of corporeality is over. Both phrases look inside physical reality and find a cavity of utter entropy and pure dissolution. The thesis is this: space and the body (or identity) have both been annihilated by time.


Practically, chronotopos is simple enough. Instead of treating the map as the site of infinity, treat it y=0, and plot time on the y axis, taking off from surface structuration.

t-s aquarium

Cartographic friction is annihilated by the speed and surgical efficacy of the line. At the same time, chronotopos is a visualization of qwernomics in spatial practice, upending the Rosen-Roback model of classical economics to reveal a secret sigilization just out of focus of quotidian geography, and the dromological time-space compression of the landscape undertaken by individualized spatial practice.


PC Adams’ A Reconsideration of Personal Boundaries in Space Time sees a near-total reformatting of Torsten Hagerstand’s initial time-space aquaria to reflect the even greater practical abstraction of the human body in the advent of digital communications. Adams borrows McLuhan’s description of the body in media as tentacular and dendritic, and in fact poses the need for body and person to be separated into dialectic pairs. The body remains in space—this is Hagerstrand’s finite line, moving across the laminar surface of the map—while the body expands, contracts, shifts, diffuses.

Social Media Connections map

While agreeing overall with his central thesis—that a user’s communication via digital media to another user, be they miles, countries, or worlds away, is tantamount to being there—the image of tentacular extension is, in my opinion, too placid. What is happening here is not a reaching out and the receipt of haptic feedback; rather, it is a swallowing or a twinning. The body may remain an euclidean nucleus, but the person branches, swarms, becomes cybernetic.

ext dia



Of course, time and space are perhaps most succinctly joined in the formulation for velocity: distance divided by time. Thus, chronotopos is, in the first instance, about speed, and in particular, its representation.


Sadie Plant writes that to enter the digital is to be invaded. Adams obviously agrees: his map of “personal extensibility” as seen above, is a map of a user. Digital and material coexist and smear into each other. Fundamentally, Adams-mapping, a subset of chronotopic mapping, is to recognize that the body is nothing, your person is you—and your person isn’t even fully perceivable or even terrestrial. You exist on servers, in fiber optic cables, pinging off satellites. This becomes more and more true as more data comes online: habits, purchases, path-dependencies become starkly illuminated. And as such, there is a mutual invasion, a systemic incursion in which participating in the digital is not really the novel finding, but the extent to which the digital is participating in you.


1. I am BABALON. The word before was true, but improperly spoken. I am COPH NIA, that of RA-HOOR-KHUIT.
2. My WORKING is in the gathering of the child. The child is multiple.
3. My wand shall be completed. The wand is the PASSAGE, a canal of divine birth.
4. The empyreal path works in TRINITY. Look ye both above and below, heavens and hells. I shall bring ye up from them, and also down.
5. I will PILGRIMAGE for ye. Prepare my resting place. My home is inside the inversion. My consummation is in A Blessed Mirror.
6. Only I am enough this time, as it always was. My SIGN IS THE STAR. Look to the East and also for its passage in the boundless.
7. Call my name BABALON and know the sundering of the AEON is at hand.

The Red Tower

Bekinski pyramid

“I see together with Lovecraft the potting around of enormous foul masses, moving in endless waves, stepping over the last remaining crystal structures of resistance of spiritual elites; I am gazing, in ecstatic powerlessness of my hallucinatory awakening, at the shimmering black foam, the foam of black disintegration, terror of democratic stench and frightening organs of these convulsing corpses, which…are preparing our final defeat, leading us to a destination which they themselves do not know, or, more precisely, know it too well, on the way there with relish sucking out our bone marrow; this is the hallucinatory leaden mantle of Human Rights, this faecal-vomitory discharge of Hell, although by saying so, I am insulting Hell.”

—Jean Parvulesco

“Somewhere above them, unaware of the subterranean drama, naive or dishonest “aristocrats,” intellectuals, merchants cynically use the fruits of the bloody battle. They do not confront Matter, freed from it by the voluntary sacrifice of Knights Templar of the Proletariat…But sooner or later he will look up and … deliver his last blow. With a crowbar against the deathly dull eye-socket of the computer, at the glowing window of a bank, at the twisted face of an overseer…The proletarian will Awaken. Rebel. Murder. Neither the police nor fake socialist parties will be able to hold him back…His mission in history is not finished. Demiurge still breathes. The Soul of the World still weeps. Her tears raise a dismal howl in the black consciousness of the Creator. It is a call. It is a factory whistle. It is the sounding of Angelic Trumpets.

—A. Dugin


The capitalist pyramid popularized by the famous IWW poster is more accurate than commonly thought. There’s a reason Parvulesco recognized the pyramid as the shape of the Atlantean power structures of the current age, constructed by agents of Nonexistence at intentional sites to serve as microfascistic attenuators, ushering in an age of “dissolution in the lower waters”. But the joke is on the agents: the dawn of a new aeon born in rot and decay is exactly the program of a revolutionary proletariat. The pyramid overflows with blood.

The pyramid is a not a mass but a diagram of flows. It speaks to stability, transmission upwards from the base. In the case of capitalism, surplus value is communicated upward. In the case of “democracy”, it is (supposed to be) the popular will. This means the pyramid’s flows are based on a principle of extraction; wicking the necessary materials up and up, further out of the grasp of the generating element. It’s a one-way circuit: there is no completion moving from top to bottom. Rather, the calcified, reified weight of the flows themselves, in other words, the weight of the structure, comes to bear horribly on the backs of those on the bottom, each successive rung adding more crushing weight. It a strategic monster, a hard point, a tactical volume locked down and auto-patrolled. At the bottom: twisted backs under the strain of the concrete whip.

The proletarian revolution recognizes the pyramid similarly as the site of expulsion. The general strike leaves the pyramidial sluices barren for a time. But we must poison the channel, pour our black rot upwards, until it collapses, its meaning and form disintegrating as it is re-inaugurated as a Saturnalian site of pure transgression (workers punching up through the floor), phase shifting at once into an acupunctural site of revolt on the leprous dermis of the current world-system. The embodied toxins of class hatred swamp the whole of society at once as pinprick conflagrations become a burning wave.


Dugin is right in identifying the occult character of proletarian work. Divorced from reality as much as possible by authoritarian fiat, the proletariat is exiled outside, and below. When we pour our poison into the system, the infernal leeches to the surface, vomitto negro exploding, Ligotti’s Red Tower, swamping the system with our hate, our noxious fury.

In Left-Wing Communism, Lenin maintains the Bolsheviks operate within and at the knife’s edge of the activities of not just the proletariat but all toiling classes, expounding revolutionary discipline freshly vindicated by the rising White tide of 3 years of a war collapsing under the weight of its generated corpses. Lenin, Blanqui, and Parvulesco explode into fractalized kaliedoscopes of each other, faces melting into one: Lenin’s Bolshevik vanguard, Blanqui’s occulted cadre, Parvulesco’s ‘conspiracy of Being’ led by the million-faced Lacone Madore.

And what’s the mutual factor? A conspiracy for the permanent suspension of habeas corpus, in its most literal sense. Like Joe Laz: natural laws demand natural outlaws. The Revolution will be dug up from below. It’s lucky for us Lenin’s corpse remains in state, preserved behind glass. The rest will have to be reinstated, exhumed, pieced back together at the site where they were finally swallowed whole. Hell is full and the dead walk the earth. A molten wave of dead labor, a rotting Red Guard. “In the ranks, both visible and invisible, of the Black Order to which we belong, those whom death has struck down march on side by side with those who are still standing.” But this time they will not make the same mistake. They will return with the capitalists, dragged lifeless behind them, corpse-chaperones all. This is the Final Event of History, Fukuyama be damned (and indeed, as one of the lapdogs of the capitalists, he will be).

A crucial aesthetics appears: the Revolution irrupts from below. This notion must be reclaimed. Upwelling, exploding, bursting through the black lith underpinning modern high democratic capitalism and sinking its already-collapsing frame. A theological-aesthetic diagram might pose Revolution as the final, sighing closure of the circuit kicked off by Lucifer’s fall. Finally complete, the sordid history ignited by non serviam cracks and rots, stage clear for the work of a new world to begin—this time bathed in the light of nova sol.


on Impossibility

Every morning in [location not found] is the same. Wracked coughing as the body realizes it has just spent another night intaking poisons. Sheets yellow with a thousand nights of accumulated sweat, but not worth wasting washing water on. The window is open to the heat of the veld and the gibbering xenocomm interface of population and city. Light filling the room like some horrible fluid, spilling over the windowsill and pooling onto the floor. Looking out over the buildings, so new and so harried they still bristly oddly with rebar, seemingly leaning toward the Spine, which at this point thickens with additional transit tubes hung from cables as it tumbles toward the coast. Sky to sea a sheet, nicotine colored, the location of the horizon as good your guess as mine, a bleary latitudinal omphalos only discernable as a subtle desaturation. From the rim of the world civilian skimmers and Maersk behemoths alike issue in some secretive gnosis. These are bad thoughts to be having now. I turn my gaze inward to the the hotel’s information board, a demonstration of the hotel’s shabbiness: an ancient OS, a shattered screen. The cartoon sun trapped inside hideously intones that it is 5:45 AM. The high temperature today is 45 degrees. It is already 37 degrees. The Lagos NSE opened at 2150 but (the Sun says) is projected to finish at 1870-1890. Shanghai is at 302,780. New York is 0. Ha ha. Some vestigial part of my brain pings doom at me. A Chinese state minister is dead as of 3 this morning Kampala local, his lungs having collapsed in the 2 minute walk from his motorcade, going through the first of many security gates into Zhongnanhai. Should have worn a mask. The West Coast of the Republic Formerly Known as California is on fire – a still image appears, showing pillars of smoke reaching for the sky like the bilious fingers of elder gods springing from the palm of the urban carpet of Los Angeles valley. Lima is terrified of the Big One, anteshocks coming on fast, seeming to rise stratospherically towards some eschatological asymptote. Atmospheric carbon has dipped a bit to 523 ppm. In local news – a mere fifteen steps south – militants of some currently unknown political or religious affiliation failed in their attempt to sever strategic spinal conduits. Thank god for that. Everything is, however briefly, holding itself together.

I turn away from the screen and move to the bathroom. I feel arbitrarily pieced together, a collection of incongruous parts piled into a corner and brought to life. Returning to the room at 3 too high to think and too drunk to see. The day’s pay and favors turned to drugs and lenient bouncers.

A delegation from the Displaced States are coming in today – a visit which continuously proves intractable and threatens to sink the Amorobo Center’s water budget purely on due to the amount of coffee consumed. Last time the DS came in I didn’t go home for two weeks, sleeping under tables in unused conference rooms or buying local k off the entourage, maddened with sleep.

“Rewriting Revelations as a legally actionable document” is a far more realistic description than my actual briefing, which for most projects reads as if I’m a cross between a soothsayer, an accountant, and the Angel of Death. My title varies from contract to contract. My degree is in Anthropology from a now-failed university in a now-failed state, which has only served to raise the perceived value of my diploma. My superiors refer to me as a Specialist in Terror Management.

t.m. began as an inquiry into the fear of death and the reverberations that such a realization has within the human organism on both psychological and physiological levels. Increasingly, it is speculated that this realization – that human life is a perpetual shuffle toward death – is the impetus for the inscrutable series of misfirings that created the cascading autopoetic market-field we now refer to as sentience. With this approach, all of human history can easily be conceived of as attempts to escape death or glorify it, or any other action in between. A hundred thousand years spent digging a grave.

The schema of terror management was later reformed as praxis. Unafraid of taking the initial revelation provided by the progenitors of t.m. and using it as ballast on a freefall through deep time and as a head lamp while walking through the antediluvian ruins of former empires. The central crux is this: the thenatic is not merely felt by the individual, but is scalable, piggybacking the cybernetics of expression to spread pathogenically, whereupon it infects and corrodes the engine of cultural expression and produces a death cult enantiomorphic with the entire of human civilization. Prior empires had experienced spasms of this thenatic drive at the end of their shelf lives.

However, there was another, more occulted praxis that operated shiftily toward the back of the room in the congregation of t.m.’s possibilities. This was the weaponized form of t.m. that accepted it as an excellent way to keep one’s finger on the pulse of current events by analyzing past microcosmic simulacra. Psychohistory in a way. Where this form differed was that it held t.m. could function as a lens that could accept data in real time, and in doing so, prove itself incredibly valuable. We are the caretakers of the burning field of a finite history. We hang the carcasses of nations from meat hooks. We dowse for the hidden Great Annihilator and write sigils in his blood, entreating Gnon. We are a k-netic brain that comes to know itself.

Essentially, t.m. offered a way to sell out – by predicting failures and offering those predictions to the highest bidder. States were very interested in their own mortality – and this, it could be argued, was an indication of governmental agencies’ nascent sentience. States coming alive, speciating wildly, breeding into murderous shapes. Dogs to wolves. But still knock-kneed. Newly born and terrified of their own shadows, states made a fucking habit out of throwing obscene contract fees at people such as myself, who by dipping into current events, case studies, and deep patterns offered a suggestion of what would fail when. Essentially I functioned as a doomsday predictor, the keeper of the clock. It was as if the guy who sat on the sidewalk and screamed that the end is nigh had been given a job, a suit, and a security clearance.

The Displaced States are very interested in what I have to say. They have been displaced for so long and so utterly that their dissolution predates t.m.’s existence as a discipline. They maintain an active presence however. The majority of the population subsists on loaned land or flotilla cities that move up and down the coasts of the South China Sea. DS diplomats, like those arranged around this conference table in a room on the 27th floor of the Amorobo Center, are faceless. Interchangable. They live like their nations: nomadically, moving hotel to hotel, city to city, convening in various seats of various powers, all the while attempting to effect some sort of permanent ownership of new territory, preferably furnished as a gift. It has been 15 years and no dice. They will not stop. For them, this is a fight for reparations. The lucrative promise embodied in the release of large amounts of real estate onto the market under the sovereign aegis of highly motivated developers cannot have failed to also cross their collective minds.

The delegates from the Displaced States are always polite to the point of stiff formality with me, I think because I am not UN but a contracted civilian. The UN in these cases functions much like it always has: obviously ineffectual, but there by necessity and by default. Today the delegates are here to consult with me as to the continued survival of their archipelagic territory of flotillas and squatted-upon shorelines. They all greet me with salutations of good morning. They tell me this is an auspicious moment: they have contracted with the Chinese geoarchitects responsible for the construction of the Red Star island chain as well as an architecture firm out of Seattle specializing in arcologies. Finally, they tell me, humanity’s powers have colluded to create a world in which a state without a country can generate its own territorial holdings. I sigh inwardly, like all oracles before me that must deliver the news of portents most foul to the king.

“There are several problems I can identify right now,” I report, freezing smiles on several faces. “First, the use of territorial engineering to construct terra firma is a notoriously fraught exercise. The reason it has worked so well for Beijing is that any constructed island only exists insofar as it is a small node upon which to construct the actual structure, which is invariably a military installation. The first step is to harden the coastlines. Experiments that attempted a naturalistic topography always fail. Fighting the sea is a war, pardon my observation, that you have already lost.” I smile to soften the blow. “Their is no hope of a nation without war, or a people without conquest.” My grin widens. “This is elementary stuff.”

Horribly, the delegation smiles back. Wax skin stretching back over yellow and black teeth. “We had the same thought,” one says.