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rot wrote

the only way to become 'sustainable' is to lower our consumption. we cant maintain growth and ecology

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Pop wrote

sounds like you're going for a kind of pro-civ approach
I'm interested in these from anarchist positions

have you engaged with the arguments around how cities tend to be growth-oriented and so cities are unsustainable?

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rot wrote (edited )

not really. I just started to get into anti-civ arguments and I tent to agree that society is unsustainable, especially cities.

basically we need to move from civilization to un-civilizition not necessarily in the sense that we need to go 'back' to hunter-gatherer tribes but that something new can be built.

Ed: i think "pro-civ" would be thinking that everything would be fixed by windmills ans solar collectors

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Pop wrote (edited )

Cool, I just couldn't tell from looking at a few of your posts

hopefully we'll get a few more prociv people here to engage on these topics

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rot wrote

from the little bits that I've heard their defense is that technology will fix the problems i't created, we just need to wait for the engineers to find it

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Rosa_Chomsky wrote (edited )

And what would you rather? We go back to having no electricity and kids dying without hospitals, or that we keep burning coal?

I think nuclear is the best choice, but for other renewables we just need to come to mutual agreements on how the mine benefits us both.

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Pop wrote

And what would you rather? We go back to having no electricity and kids dying without hospitals

one of the most interesting things for me about pro-civ arguments is that pro-civ people would presumably be disgusted if someone said the exact same thing in justification of colonialism, but they have no problem with it when it's a justification for civilisation, an inherently colonial process

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[deleted] wrote

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ziq wrote

Anticivs recognise that the resources, labor, hierarchies, exploitation, suffering needed to maintain "modern healthcare" are destructive at an apocalyptic level and do far more harm than good. A little like stabbing yourself in the heart to kill a fly that landed on your shirt. They also recognise that most of the sickness in the world is caused by civilisation, and so the way to preserve the most lives (and actually keep Earth habitable for future generations) is to end civilisation.

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[deleted] wrote

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ziq wrote

Anti-civ is just a critique of civilization, it doesn't try to prescribe solutions or rules for living your life. But we can look at how some anticiv-adjacent ideologies see technology if that would help.

It's important to understand the green anarchist definition of technology, which is best described in the anarcho-primitivist primer:

Technology, on the other hand, is the product of large-scale interlocking systems of extraction, production, distribution and consumption, and such systems gain their own momentum and dynamic. As such, they demand structures of control and obedience on a mass scale - what Perlman calls impersonal institutions. As the Fifth Estate pointed out in 1981: 'Technology is not a simple tool which can be used in any way we like. It is a form of social organization, a set of social relations. It has its own laws. If we are to engage in its use, we must accept its authority. The enormous size, complex interconnections and stratification of tasks which make up modern technological systems make authoritarian command necessary and independent, individual decision-making impossible.'

Anarcho-primitivism is an anti-systemic current: it opposes all systems, institutions, abstractions, the artificial, the synthetic, and the machine, because they embody power relations. Anarcho-primitivists thus oppose technology or the technological system, but not the use of tools and implements in the senses indicated here. As to whether any technological forms will be appropriate in an anarcho-primitivist world, there is debate over this issue. The Fifth Estate remarked in 1979 that: 'Reduced to its most basic elements, discussions about the future sensibly should be predicated on what we desire socially and from that determine what technology is possible. All of us desire central heating, flush toilets, and electric lighting, but not at the expense of our humanity. Maybe they are all possible together, but maybe not.'

So that's what anprims have to say about technology. This is what postcivs say:

Primitivists reject technology. [Post-civs] reject the inappropriate use of technology. Primitivists reject agriculture: we’re not afraid of horticulture, but we reject monoculture (and other stupid methods of feeding ourselves, like setting 6 billion people loose in the woods to hunt and gather). Primitivists reject science. We just refuse to worship it.

This piece goes into more detail, and critiques the primitivist perspective:

Another absurd proposition that primitivists stand behind is that tools and technology are inherently oppressive, and we should therefore abandon them. While many tools and technologies can be applied in oppressive ways, there is nothing ingrained in tools or the development of technologies that makes them oppressive.

It seems especially foolish for primitivists to argue this position when the society they advocate returning to is replete with tools and technology. Spears, bows and arrows, stone axes, obsidian knives, cordage, hand drill fires, pottery, totem carving, body modification and jewelry, basketry, hide tanning — these are all tools and technologies employed by primitive societies. Primitivists advocate learning these skills as a part of “rewilding” ourselves and our world, and yet they continue to denounce tools and technology. Seems a little hypocritical, doesn’t it?

[...]

Civilization has also given us the alphabet, writing, and printing. Alphabets and writing were initially created for the purpose of keeping economic records and in general for bolstering complex economic systems. Printing was first made common in ancient China for record keeping and artistic purposes. These technologies, while used unethically and harmfully throughout the ages, are not intrinsically bad or undesirable inventions, as primitivists argue they are. This is not to say they are without drawbacks: large-scale paper manufacturing is devastating to forests, modern chemical inks are toxic to plants and animals, powered presses waste large amounts of resources, written and printed matter can be used as propaganda, and writing and reading can usher in elitism if taught only to a few and kept from the masses.

The benefits of these technologies far outweigh the downfalls, especially if used sustainably and with responsible safeguards against the previously mentioned misapplications. These are the tools of knowledge, and knowledge, as they say, is power. Its at least partially by writing and reading that we learn midwifery, herbal medicine, primitive skills, anarchist philosophy, good arguments to annihilate our political foes, how to work leather, historical precedents to modern anarchism, how to fix bicycles, and an unending cornucopia of other empowering information. Without civilization’s need for economic accounting, we wouldn’t have these powerful tools.

You can see there's a big difference between various anticiv perspectives on technology. I'm personally post-left, so I don't care to adopt a rigid ideology that would dictate rules about how to live.

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JayGrym wrote

"Trolley Problem"

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Pop wrote

Being maybe a little pedantic though I'd avoid utilitarian approaches/conceptions of the problem

while we're at this we can critique the idea of numbers

It's definitely not just about how many live or die or even how much suffering; I would rather live freely with more pain than caged with less, and so our values around liberation are probably the core consideration

That said, I do actually think civilisation causes much more suffering and death than noncivilisation

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ziq wrote

Pretty much. Except all potential future life on the planet is on one side of the track, and one person on the other.

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shanc wrote

And that one person is lay between the tracks and might survive the trolley going over them anyway.

For a long time I thought my child had been saved by modern healthcare. It'd been an extremely difficult birth. After finally being officially debriefed by the hospital I found out that his life had been saved by a stephoscope, forceps and a scalpel. Not exactly hi-tech intervention.

Not saying that there aren't people who are dependent on very sophisticated tech to keep them alive, ofc there are. Just saying that not everything that happens in hospitals couldn't happen without a civ behind it

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ziq wrote (edited )

And also, we have no way to pull the lever anyway. We can only look at it from afar.

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MHC wrote

Your computer device uses copper and gold etc.

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