In this paper we propose that with the emergence of European colonisation, ecological destruction has been informed by the enactment, broadening and deepening of the gathering power of the disturbed cosmology of proprietary-being.
As bearers of a radicalised proprietary-being (a certain relation of persons to things), white Europeans, (including we ‘marginal Europeans’ in Walter Mignolo’s (2000) sense of the geographically distant bearers of European imperial languages, memories and practices), gather themselves in the cosmos through gathering the cosmos as a set of things to be owned, studied scientifically, and manipulated technologically. In doing so, Europeans elevate themselves to global creators, managers, and distributors of being, positing European whiteness as the predator of being (the coloniser), of souls (the Christian), and of labour (capital). The predator of being/souls/labour practices ontological, spiritual and economic war against the human and non-human world. This, we argue, marks the disturbed white European cosmology as being criminal at its core; only through willing the Sovereign being of the other out of being, does the white European will its own being into being.
How then to imagine a decentred European whiteness as a move toward coexistence? We propose a starting point: attention to the experience of a certain being-acting differentiation and its implications for design grounded in the desiring for and of unconditional coexistence. We explore the idea that the desire for unconditional coexistence, for living-with fellow humans, non-humans and nature, constitutes a radical desire for transformation so long as it is itself unconditional, taking the shape of responding to the call of a Sovereign other.