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7

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

I don't have faith in civilized societies anymore than I have faith in non-civilized societies. Civilization is not needed for non-anarchist behavior.

I like to think about real life organization instead of dreaming of "returning" to a garden of eden. If you want to go back to the woods more power to you but I personally believe that civilization gives me more degrees of freedom than non-civilized societies. Also non-civilized life looks boring lol.

4

selver wrote (edited )

As a person raised within civilization, I prefer it. I don't really have too much interest in living in the woods. As an alternative to living in modern capitalism maybe, but not as something desirable in itself. I think that positive freedom is a good thing & a goal for anarchists, and that includes freedom to act & change one's environment.

The viability of it is irrelevant, we're fucked either way. Anticiv anarchists aren't going to take civilization down. In the impossible scenario that everyone did abandon civ, the runaway climate change would likely kill us all anyway. If people want to try to find ways to technologically prevent catastrophe, I don't understand what the objection is. And I don't buy the arguments about technology being inherently destructive. You can't separate the results thus far from the economic & political systems it happened within (more sustainable forms were possible, but were eliminated by the powerful).

But I'm sympathetic to both views and would probably favor some kind of degrowth.

2

ziq wrote

If people want to try to find ways to technologically prevent catastrophe, I don't understand what the objection is.

Same objection as to "ethical capitalism". An institutionally destructive system can't be reformed away with more hierarchy, more bureaucracy, more industry, and ultimately more capitalism - because industry and capitalism are really one and the same. There's no proof they can actually be separated since every socialist experiment that embraced industrialization was invariably full-fledged capitalism wearing a red veneer.

6

selver wrote (edited )

Socialists & capitalists are indistinguishable in their organizational forms. The love for the capitalist industrial system is right there in Marx, and his followers happily took it up. That is not an indictment of technology, but of centralized forms of production. Industrialism developed the way it did for context-dependent reasons, not anything inherent to improved technology & productive capacity. If you mean capitalism & the traditional factory system is one and the same, I would agree, but other less-destructive decentralized forms were always available to us. The form industrialism took did so for very specific economic/political reasons, and it would look completely different if anarchists took it up.

The factory system only appeared because of large concentrations of wealth & the need to economize on the steam engine through massive organizations. But when electricity appeared shortly after, it could have been the beginning of decentralized networks of sustainable production without all the long-distance transportation, but capitalists already had control of the economy & that would have destroyed their monopoly (and given workers means to quit their job at the factory).

4

ziq wrote (edited )

How can industry proceed without "centralized forms of production"? Industry as it stands depends on resources from every corner of the globe being extracted and transported for refinement and processing at various other locations and then transported again for manufacturing and then again to reach warehouses and then again to reach end-consumers and then again for disposal or recycling once the consumers trash the product.

That's without mentioning all the processes to obtain and refine the fuel for every stage of transportation and the processes to manufacture the transportation vehicles and the labor and resources to build the warehouses, factories, distribution centers, roads, server farms, retail outlets and so on, or the packaging for each stage of processing and shipping.

The true cost for such arduous and unsustainable processes would be completely unfathomable without capitalism. Without exploiting and enslaving and polluting and killing and hiding reality every step of the way. There's no way humans would mass produce anything if the true cost; true destruction (up to and including the complete collapse of our entire ecosystem) weren't being hidden by capitalism.

Making industry anarchist (non-exploitative, decentralized, voluntary, sustainable) would require that all those resources be extracted, refined, processed, manufactured and disseminated in the same general location... Using only renewable resources. Using only voluntary labor.

So I don't see how anarchist industry can be possible for any technologies more advanced than axes and ceramics. Even glass requires sand, which is incredibly destructive to exploit and a rapidly diminishing resource. People are being crushed with bulldozers all over the world now so the sand can be stripped from their ancestral land by industrialist robber barons. Why would anyone that lives anarchy; that is free, voluntarily stand by as their own land is bulldozed and polluted and forever destroyed so that they can have a few glass windows and jars in exchange?

Every technology has a net cost that is absolutely immense when measured by real metrics, unskewed by capitalism's destructive manipulations. Anarchy would expose those costs so that they would effect every single person that uses those technologies directly.

This is what happens when you close yourself off from your natural environment. You don't see the true cost of the civilization you were "raised" under.

4

selver wrote (edited )

Making industry anarchist (non-exploitative, decentralized, voluntary, sustainable) would require that all those resources be extracted, refined, processed, manufactured and disseminated in the same general location... Using only renewable resources. Using only voluntary labor.

Yes, that is the idea. Give or take, I think there could be a very limited amount of transportation.

Everything else you listed are products of centralization & mass production, neither of which I am advocating. Roads, warehouses, factories, distribution centers, server farms, retail outlets - are all the product of a state-capitalist system that destroys the alternatives in order to centralize wealth. I'm not saying the consumer culture we have now could ever survive, but consumer culture is hardly a product of civilization, the version we know only came about over the last century. I think local production is feasible. General use CNC machines & the like. There's so much material already extracted that can be repurposed. The sort of horrors you're describing would never occur without state violence, no one's going to bulldoze their forest to send the resources overseas, but they might use a sustainable amount to build shit for themselves or for friends from other places. I could see the potential for some high tech projects for important things, not mass-produced ones. I just don't think this is an all-or-nothing situation.

Most of the damage done so far was from shit that should not have been done in the first place, like cars. If it had been done properly from the beginning it wouldn't seem like such an absurd suggestion.

3

ziq wrote (edited )

What about the inherent alienation that technology produces, the isolation from each other and our environment it allows? Is an alienated, isolated, emotionally closed-off populace even capable of practicing anarchy?

How do you stop "anarchist technology" from growing and creating more technology that becomes increasingly destructive and authority-forming? How do you stop technology from creating hierarchies between those that have it and those that lack it? How do you get a detached, apathetic populace that are conditioned to receiving the instant dopamine release technology produces to give a shit about anything that doesn't give them an immediate reward? How can they care about what's happening in the world outside their sterile little bubbles when they're plugged into their digital ecosystems that allow them to ignore everything outside of them until it's too late?

What does "decentralize" even mean in the context of industry? Do you mean "cottage industry" - families producing a simple local product for the local market? Can that even really be called industry? Or do you mean actual mass-industry where electronics are created from materials acquired from diverse ecosystems as I assumed? Can the tech-industry exist without mass production since technologies are made up of so many disparate components? CNC machines look like they require globalized mass industry to be manufactured. It's hard to imagine a cottage industry family workshop creating them using locally sourced materials and without exploiting others.

no one's going to bulldoze their forest to send the resources overseas

That's my point though. Tech is habit-forming. Once a population decides they "need" it, they'll oppress whoever gets in their way to acquire it. If they have to bulldoze an entire country and enslave the inhabitants to mine the minerals to make their cellphones or VR goggles, and their culture revolves around that technology, they'll do it. They won't care if they or their victims have declared themselves anarchists. Anarchism doesn't mean anything, like any word, it can be misappropriated to justify any horrible thing if framed as being for the "greater good".

3

ziq wrote

BTW let's turn "pro-civ" into an insult as powerful as "liberal".

3

this_one wrote

"pro-civ" or "civvie"? :P

2

ziq wrote (edited )

That one's good. Also

Brociv

JoeCiv

And the classic Yuppie.

3

videl wrote

im probably more anticiv than prociv, but im confused about what people even mean when they talk of civilization. is civilization the same as industry? is it any sedentary living? does it require agriculture?
anyway, im definitely against civilization as it stands today. maybe a desirable civ is possible, but at the very least it would somehow have to keep the majority of the earth as a viable place to live in wilderness. so basically no expansion or pollution. otherwise it's just like the prison we have today. and historically civ cant help but grow and pollute.

4

Pop wrote

From An Invitation to Desertion:

We indict the Civilization of Leviathan as a truly insane way of life predicated on the creation of States to enforce the enslavement of the many so that the parasitic few may acquire absurd wealth and influence. Such social relations are poisonous to all involved, being based on venality and coercion, ridiculous commodity fetishism, and the death of real human community through domination and atomization.

We denounce the world-eating mode of subsistence known as agriculture, with its effacement of ecosystems and their replacement with human domesticates, as a fundamental human error, one generative of mass extinction, soil exhaustion, war, and overpopulation.

We refuse the techno-industrial logic that treats the beautiful tapestry of the living world as just so much grist for the mill, as an unliving “resource” to be “developed” — that is, to be endlessly plundered and paved, extirpated of life, and replaced by parking lots, factory farms, waste dumps, extraction sites, and our apartment complexes and offices that fittingly resemble battery cages.

We reject the meaninglessness of modernity that has produced perhaps the most humiliated, dislocated, deskilled, distracted, lonely, unhealthy, and unloved people that have ever lived.

We champion anarchy: the freedom that comes from conscious self-ownership and voluntary relations of mutuality with our human and nonhuman kin in small, autarkic, face-to-face communities based in a regenerative relationship with the land.

We call for the application of knowledge gained from both traditional wisdom and modern ecology to the pursuit of modes of subsistence that are harmonious with the world that sustains us: foraging, hunting, fishing, and forest gardening.

We espouse a Neo-Luddism that consists of eschewing toxic and stupefying technologies, learning well-rounded skill sets for furnishing a living, and exploring and reviving traditional knowledge, skills, and forms of healing.

We embrace the vivacity of deeply ecologically harmonious ways of life and the sense of place, presence, and fulfillment that comes from nourishing and being nourished by an enveloping, living world full of consciousness and agency.

4

ziq wrote (edited )

Civilization leads to industry, but it existed before industry. It requires agriculture, yes. It generally arises when agriculture replaces hunter-gathering on a wide scale. Small scale agriculture mixed with foraging and hunting isn't civilization. Civilization is basically city life - centralized, depends on imports, lots of humans closely packed together where they can be readily exploited for their labor.

It's not any sedentary living - people who live on or near the equator (where all ape's including humans thrive) have no real need to live nomadically because food is abundant all year round. Or at least it was until industry and agriculture bulldozed all the rainforest. But generally permanent settlements were unnecessary and counterproductive because prolonged human activity degraded the land without giving it a chance to recover.

EDIT: Sedentary - I guess I misunderstood what you meant. Before civilization, people worked far less than they do now, so it's not really an apt-comparison. We hunted and foraged for a few hours a week and spent the majority of our time engaged in creative pursuits. Today we labor all day for little reward and have very little leisure time. I'd say civilized people are far less sedentary than uncivilized people.

3

videl wrote

seems like what i would imagine as a desirable civilization wouldn't really be considered a civilization then

3

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

TLDR: civilization is a society organized around networks of cities that are not self-sufficient in food, depending on the farmlands around and/or import-export. Most of the time (always?) classes appear between the farmers and the food-eaters.

first paragraph here is a bit more "in depth" about it. I'm not anticiv so my definition may be missing stuff for them.

2

RedEmmaSpeaks wrote

I too, get more than just a little suspicious about discussions about civilization. Given that the term has so long been tied up with racist, jingoistic BS, it's hard to hold any discussions, because you can't entirely be sure what definition the other person is using. You have to dig deep into the surrounding text, really read between the lines, to understand what definition they're using, because without this understanding, these discussions are very tricky.

If we are defining civilization as "a group of people with a shared way of life/beliefs about the way the world works and the upbringing of children," then just about every group of people qualify, including tribes in the Amazon. If, however, our definition of civilization necessitates a massive hierarchy with vast disparities of wealth between various levels of society, then you understand why the Western World has long taken a dim view of indigenous groups.

Though when we talk about indigenous peoples, we must be careful to remember that they didn't have just one way of life; they had many. Some of them were nomadic, while others, the extent of their wanderings was they had a summer home and a winter home which they traveled between. Others were semi-nomadic, living in one place until the land is used up, then moving to some place else, coming back to original location a few generations later, after the land has had time to heal.

Indigenous tribes' lifestyles depended on where they lived. They were smart enough to know that a one-size-fits-all standard of living (where everyone has the same kind of houses, eats the same food, does the same kind of work), doesn't work. Really, the only way so-called Civilized Man has made it work is with the help of a state powered by vast infusions of nonrenewable resources.

Then again, I also find these discussions somewhat limiting, because they too often, seem to operate under the either/or mindset, where we can either have the cool tech of today or live like cavemen pounding on stuff with rocks. There's no reason we can't meet halfway, figure out how to marry the old and the new. I'm a firm believer in "Hold onto what works and jettison what doesn't."

In any case, people will still create art and take care of each other, regardless of what new civilization comes about.

3

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

The environment is collapsing but civilisations will probably outlive it. I'm not sure we're at the end of civilisation yet.

-2

amongstclouds wrote

I think you have it the other way around. Civilization WILL collapse and the environment will outlive us.

2

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

no fish, no bees, and 4 degrees will only fuck up the poor countries. I can not see europe falling in the next 100 years; while I predict the current collapse to happen during that time.

6

ziq wrote (edited )

This assumes capitalism will be able to keep exploiting the rest of the world to buffer the West from the effects of collapse. But if collapse destroys the global South, there's no way that doesn't in turn affect the West. The West is a vampire that requires the South's blood to survive. The moment that supply is cut off, there is no wealth in the West.

Resources are running out, at some point the West will lose its lifeline. Probably while the South is pouring into the West's borders desperately trying to survive climate change.

2

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

That's if the current trend will continue further. I believe the bourgeoisie will wake up at some point and for example, start doing geoengineering (and cooling the world while fucking up even more the fauna and flaura).

The scenario you're presenting is possible, but imo you're underestimating people's ability to survive, especially those leeches.

Thought I agree civilization will loose a lot of control globally and we're gonna have bloody times.

3

ziq wrote (edited )

I think you overestimate their standing. They think they're invincible as did the rulers of every civilization shortly before it collapsed. And this time the collapse is global because it's the first global civilization. Their arrogance won't save them from nature's wrath.

3

ziq wrote

By telling themselves it's not production that's the problem, it's the people controlling production. Because apparently if "the people" controlled it, all the problems would magically disappear because "the people" are holy and sacred and amazing and perfect.

2

6cd6beb wrote

People aren't nice to each other by default, there needs to be some rules, structure, and order to incentivize them to be.

We can try to fix what we've got or scrap it because it's not working.

so obviously collapsing at an apocalyptic level

Your words. It feels good to trash things and burn them down but ultimately it's not productive.