Every man is born on Death Row, time and place of execution, method, unknown. We are all ‘zeks.’ The world is a prison from which, on a daily basis, the inmates are led forth to die, first this one, then that.
No one chooses to be in this world. In a sense it is a massive, forced labour camp. It’s even worse than a prison. For one needs commit no crime to be here. It is peopled by the innocent. As Calderón has it:
‘Pues el delito mayor Del hombre es haber nacido.’
‘For man’s greatest crime is to have been born.’
Another thing that singles this world out as being worse than any prison is that the inmates, sentenced to death in the end, can be punished for no reason and at any time. They can perform exceptionally yet be struck down without warning and in the most ridiculous of ways. Chance and error rule the world with an iron fist.
‘Homo totus est calamitas,’ said the ancients, ‘Man is wholly abandoned to chance.’
Possibly worst of all is that one never gets to know or see the camp guards. Who is running this show? For what reason does this exist? Now a Gulag inmate sentenced to twenty years hard labour can say he is here because of a State order, and must work on this canal and when he’s served his time he shall be free. But what can we say in our camp?
Only that we’re here to help DNA replicate themselves through the constant creation of new organisms.
‘We work for the DNA, not the other way around,’ said the famed scientist. It is for this reason the ancient Latins said we are:
‘nervis alienis mobile lignum’
‘wooden puppets moved by extraneous forces’
‘Nature has no goal,’ says Nietzsche.
The commander at Auschwitz was known to tell new arrivals, ‘The only way out of here is up through the chimney.’ The only way out of our ‘camp’ is death. Death, the only cure for life.
Regular prisons feed inmates, here, one is left to one’s own devices. There is also a way to appeal a sentence that comes down from the state.
But who shall we appeal to?