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A Vitalist Manifesto
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A Vitalist Manifesto

Gabriel Stein & Zachary Verdin

March 15, 2023

It is past time to admit that all objects — people, places, and things — are imbued with a vital energy that acts upon the wellbeing of everything they come into contact with.

By interrogating these connections, objects can modulate the energy they transmit and receive such that networks of people, places, and things that regulate collective wellbeing emerge.

We acknowledge that by denying the existence of vital energy, our polities have stripped most objects of their animating forces. This denial has incited a crisis of empty objects which, though abundant and convenient, elide interrogation such that the networks that arise from their connection extract from, rather than cultivate, collective wellbeing.

We must labor to revitalize the networks we belong to by recommitting to interrogation — disengaging from those people, places, and things in our lives that are not vital while strengthening our connections with those that are.

The subjective nature of vital energy renders a universal project impossible. We disclaim even the potentiality of a practice beyond connecting individual objects via interrogation, while acknowledging that a global politics that supports a multiplicity of local practices may arise.

Perversely, global anti-vitality, which we term extractionism, is not only possible, but the default praxis of most polities. Our project is to resist and dismantle structural denial of vital energy by effectuating resilient local networks of objects that support wellbeing against a world of extraction.

Vital objects connected to this work: Timothy Morton and hyperobjects/hyposubjects, Kurt Goldstein and self-actualization, Marie Kondo and KonMari, Guy Debord and dérive, McKenzie Wark and prototypes, Alexei Yurchak and hypernormalization, vitalist biology (as metaphor), Jainist vitalism.