Technophobia & Socialism
aabdo at SPAMwebtv.net
Thu Jun 15 10:45:34 MDT 2000
I think that the tone of these 'questions' firmly puts YOU into this
block of <we> that Mark was talking about. It really should not be
so difficult to figure out who is in this <we> that Mark criticizes for
being unwilling to accept the seriousness of the ecological crisis that
capitalism has put humankind into.
As for as who might be the more solid block in this <we> than just the
individual Carrol? It should obviously be the gigantic solid block
of Social Democractic liberals in the First World countries. These
are the 'Leftists' that seem to only be capable of piddling around with
the most limited and myiopic politics......Should we vote for Nader or
Gore this year?
Mark stresses the reinforcement of imperialism as being of dire
necessity to prop up First Wold psuedo-democracies in the near future.
This big bloc of <we> are the people that want a Left that avoids the
issue of opposing imperialism almost altogether.
This gigantic bloc of Liberal minded 'Leftists' are those that want to
construct a better version of capitalism. "Alarmism' is anathema for
them. They still have total faith in what they consider to be the
benefits of technological progress that await them just around the next
If only a few small glitches can be worked out......?!.
This, unfortunately, is a faith that the Marxist movement has
historically latched itself onto. The capitalists can't do it
right, just us... if we can only obtain worker's power! Mark made
several points illustrating the naivete of thinking that there will be
any material basis what-so-ever ahead for the construction of these 'new
Yes, reality looks pretty grim. But pretending otherwise cuts off
the ability to deal realistically with creating a serious opposition.
If society is just seen to be non-urgently meandering along as always,
then our politics will do the same. That's one reason it has been
so hard to construct an anti-imperialist movement in the First World.
What's the rush?
Should we be lovers and admirers of technology? Or technophobes
and Luddites? We should realize that the situation has
fundamentally changed since the days of Marx and Engels, and even the
days of Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao.
Technology holds no great inspiration and hope ahead for the masses as
in those times. Only the de-acceleration of technology can bring a
return of hope. It has been the construction of technology without
reason that has brought us into this realm of ecological nightmare that
faces us today.
Let us marxists stop being the greatest cheerleaders of new technology.
It is akin to how the British and US CPs were the greatest patriots in
World War 2. It is a prescription for ideological inertia thinking
that there is no real emergency for the planet ahead. What
unwholesome timidity...... Let's just build the trade unions now,
Comrades???? Then we can get some environmental controls legislated.
We need to deconstruct an unwholesome technology that surrounds us
everywhere. A technology that tears apart society and ecology.
It's more than just a question of control. Do we even want most of
this crap that makes up the fabric of our lives?
Do we even want to keep a communications technology that communicates
non-stop? Do we want transportation that makes us move non-stop?
Do we want a food technology that has us eating, eating, eating?
We have to de-construct this techology without end. It's going
nowhere, and will deconstruct itself, even if we don't take the
necessary steps, and do it ourselves. Capitalism has
overconstructed new technology, over constructed new 'desires'.
And in doing so, capitalism has eaten the planet using an ill considered
We should be able to admit as radical critics, that the technology we
will inherit in the coming total chaos, is almost entirely crap that
will be of limited value anyway. I don't see salvation in high
tech. Marx, and other Marxists of his time, were in total error in
believing that technology was what would liberate workers and peasants
from drudgery and illness.
Marx might have been unable to foresee this nightmare world capitalism
has created. But we should not hide our heads in sand regarding the
magnitude of the destruction. It won't be possible within a decade
or two, anyway, as Mark clearly stated.
With clear analysis of the problems, we can provide some sort of
coherent ideology to fuel the explosive resistance ahead. And
anti-imperialism has got to be the new mainstay of resistance within the
First World, as well as the rest of the world. Building an
anti-imperialst coalition should be the Number One Priority of all
Leftists. We do this out of self interest to save the planet.
Mark Jones wrote:
> We have to stop hiding from the truth, we have to stop labelling those of us
> who are trying to deal with it as 'apocalypticists' then turning our back on
> it and trying to carry on as normal.
Who is this We?
How does it (this we) come into existence as a collective body able to
arrive at a collective view?
How does this we implement that view in practice?
I really can't pay much attention to any proposition about "WE" that
does not first answer these and related questions.
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