Man, no doubt, deserves even the most painful of labels: “the cancer of the Earth”, a terrible mistake of evolution. But is there (still) anything good in the human species, as part of the biosphere?

Man is not a sensible creature, not in the least. Rather than Homo sapiens, the wise primate, man should have called himself Homo insipiens, the insane primate. Every zoologist, even an amateur, can see how inexplicably more practically and reasonably animals arrange their lives than humans, who are now getting ready, according to their strange calendar, to enter a new millennium. Amidst the vast chaos and devastation it has wrought, humanity will just barely make it to the year 2000 — it will hardly make it much further.

Man is a lunatic, not a sapiens; but Homo, the handed one, that he certainly is. Hands have made man a luminary: thanks to his technical ingenuity, he has turned into the great bully of all living creatures. If only some other animal species were as dextrous as man with its hands, and endowed with reason, it would have long ago wiped the human species off the planet.

Democracy: The Seal of Ruin

Stupidity reaches a climax among those people who argue — without having learnt a thing from history or being able to read a single sign of our times — that man knows what is good for him: “the people know”. From this absurd assumption derives a suicidal form of government, parliamentary democracy, born among the tyrants of mankind, the West. Alas, it looks like the bubble of democracy will never burst: as we struggle to enter the new millennium, we can abandon all hope.

Democracy and the public right to vote guarantee that no one other than the sycophants of the people will rise to power — and people never clamour for anything other than bread and circuses, regardless of the costs and consequences. Even the one possibility, comparable to winning the lottery, that some intelligent exception might rise to the positions of power, is completely lost with democracy. Our hapless species might also produce a rare mutation within its ranks: someone capable of controlling the people without being led by it; someone capable, when necessary, of taking a stand against the people. But unfortunately the era of hereditary kingship and feudal lords is over, and even the rise of dictators has been made impossible: mankind is carefully planning its own demise.

What Do We Mean by “End of the World”?

In the human mind, the end of the world does not mean the end of the universe, nor that of our solar system or planet. The globe will continue its course. Surely, some form of life will survive after man is gone, at least in the depths of the ocean, whose creatures will take their energy from the warmth of the Earth’s core rather than the sun. The “end of the world” is understood as the extinction of one’s own species, its death down to the last individual. A few millions of these ends have taken place in the past and will take place in future centuries. For mammoths, the end of the world meant the disappearance of the last mammoth; for the Glanville Fritillary butterfly it means the death of the last Glanville Fritillary.

People who speak about the human end of the world, which looms in the very near future, are belittlingly labelled doomsday prophets. The gift of prophecy, however, is no longer necessary to predict certain events: only an ability to differentiate between uncertain optimism and actual reality is needed. The end of the world is a calculable fact. A pair of eyes is all that is needed to predict it — a pair of eyes wide open.

Is There Anything Good in Us Humans?

Man, no doubt, deserves even the most painful of labels: “the cancer of the Earth”, a terrible mistake of evolution, etc. But is there (still) anything good in the human species, as part of the biosphere? I am here thinking in terms of my own culture and country.

Science (standard research, science for the sake of knowledge) and art are still being practised: these represent the original contribution of humanity to the animal kingdom. The essential achievements of science took place long ago: the Golden Age of visual and musical arts occurred centuries ago. Thankfully, even today there are some humans who are doing things wise and beautiful. And — something even more rare — here and there some civilised people still lurk.

Individuals can still be found who perform deeds of compassion with all their heart, in the Church, social services and health sector. Similar people can also be found in everyday life: individuals who are good in the most genuine sense of the word, who brighten and warm the whole human community around them; people who are not swayed by the “passing fancies of the world”.

All of these people look out for their friends and relatives, and practise neighbourly love. True greatness, however, is only encountered among those few rare individuals who extend their protection to the whole of Creation, the whole living layer of the globe. Amid the raging and clamouring rabble, among the frantically accelerating häkkinens and mäkinens [race drivers Mika Häkkinen and Tommi Mäkinen], there is still a group of people committed to environmentalism and the guarding of life. Some of these people, each in their own way, attempt to influence others through associations and unions.

It is a miraculous thing that this small, sane core of humanity, which combines knowledge with emotion and is still attempting to preserve what is fair and good for as long as possible, is able to show such patience amid all of the fuss. While these people cannot tilt at windmills, they still cling to the last shreds of nature that have not been raped by man, the last remaining forests, in an attempt to delay the coming end and give the biosphere some extra time, however short it may be.

These people still ponder, discuss, write, negotiate and try to develop conservation programmes, which are then inevitably torn to shreds by ignorant property owners and their lackeys. The greatest wonder at the turn of the millennium is the fact that there are still some protectors left, who in their hearts still cherish the values of faith, hope and love.


clp-foto1-loThis is an excerpt from Can Life Prevail? (official Facebook page) by Pentti Linkola (unofficial Facebook page).

The book is included in Arktos massive Christmas sale. Can Life Prevail? (Softcover)  £12.50 (£16.95) Can Life Prevail? (Hardback) £19 (£25.95)

Kindle:, ($8.50 / £5.50)

About The Author

Profile photo of Pentti Linkola

Pentti Linkola was born in Helsinki in 1932. His father was the rector of Helsinki University and his grandfather had worked as chancellor of that same university. Pentti Linkola, however, chose a very different path. Having spent most of his life working as a professional fisherman, he now continues to lead a materially simple existence in the countryside. A renowned figure in Finland, since the 1960s Linkola has published numerous books on environmentalism. Today, he is among the foremost exponents of the philosophy of deep ecology.