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So much of the left is anti-science and it's sickening

Submitted by __deleted_ in Science (edited )

Are you anti-GMO, anti-nuclear? That infuriates me already. But when I meet comrades that carry around crystals because they give them energy, I want to strangle them.

All those crystals and herbal scents and pendants and body-paints you buy come from petty-bourgeois vendors, btw. It's nothing but frivolous consumerism mixed with superstition.

I had thought that spending time with other leftists would be awesome for me but it's at the point where I can't stand it. Sure, don't get me wrong, lefties are the most fun people to be around. But having grown up obsessing over the latest planetary science all my life and then being told here that "the earth is alive, man! It's connected to all of us!" I just want to scream.

This is really the first time in my life where I feel oppressed for being an atheist. The amount of spirituality here that makes me police myself in what I say is unbearable. I made someone cry the other day for saying in response to how they felt compelled to do activism because the earth wants them to, "The earth doesn't care about you because it has no feelings to care about you. The earth simply is." I don't know what's going to happen when I tell them they are privileged for being religio/spiritual.

And then there's the anarcho-primitivists. What the fuck is with these guys? You don't like fossil fuels, sure I'm with you there. But no wind mills or solar either? Do you realize how many people will die if we did away with all technology? Sure, the metals exploited to build wind and solar create toxic environments for those communities. But if those communities owned the means of production they wouldn't make it so toxic to begin with and could mine the metals in a safer way.

They say to me, "Look how horrifying technology is! We shouldn't keep being this way!" To me, the anti-science types are conflating capitalism with science. There is distinction between the two. It is capitalism that uses and abuses science, not science itself that is bad. How can anti-science types not realize this? They then rebut saying capitalism and science are so intertwined that it's impossible to resist one and not the other. But this is bullshit to me because they are completely different! Science doesn't need capitalism at all, it even grew in pre-capitalist societies!

It's getting the point where I hate working with other radicals. I guess I can contribute to the resistance in some other way that doesn't involve people, doing research or investigative journalism, writing books and articles.

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SpiritOfTito wrote (edited )

Plenty of reasons to be anti nuclear.

Even if we took as fact natural disasters never occurred (cough fukishima thats still spewing radioactive waste into the ocean) nuclear waste has a half life of 24,000 years.

What countries like Norway(one of the more responsible nations on the planet) has basically been doing is tunnelling really deep into the earth and dumping the waste there.

And thats about the best you can do with nuclear waste and hope no one digs into that spot or an earthquake/volcano doesn't disturb that spot for the rest of its half life which is 24,000 years.

To put that in context 24,000 years ago humans were building hamlets built of rocks and mammoth bones.

Nuclear is absolutely shit when you factor in nuclear waste. Some of the less responsible countries have been shipping their waste to India and burying it underneath living populations.

Its not a magical energy source.

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zorblax wrote (edited )

Look up thorium power, specifically LFTR technology. It is better than old-style high-pressure uranium nuclear power plants in essentially every way.

As far as I know India is the only country that's seriously pursuing it, everywhere else is strung up with restrictions on nuclear research. And of course everyone loves uranium because you can use it to make bombs.

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sudo wrote

That's not anti-nuclear, that's a legitimate criticism of nuclear power. There are better ways to generate power, but those other ways aren't always feasible for a certain area. Until we can distribute power globally, nuclear power may be the least shitty way of generating power for a particular region.

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jhasse wrote

Until we can distribute power globally, nuclear power may be the least shitty way of generating power for a particular region.

You take it as a given that we'll have to generate power in every area.

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fuck wrote

I'm not anti-GMO, but I am anti-patent (especially when trying to patent DNA), and unfortunately in a capitalist society these two are inextricably linked.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

A (small and not-even-close-to exhaustive) list of resources for angry white atheists:

Science as Capital

Any anarchist be aware of Paul Feyerabend's critique of Science, some information about which can be found here: Wikipedia: Epistemological Anarchism

Also, Chapter 15 of this book addresses some relevant thoughts, can be downloaded free here: http://aaaaarg.fail/thing/51c58bfe6c3a0eda0b318200
PM /u/tnstaec if you need an invitation to the aaaaarg community.

Also there are meaningful feminist critiques of science, the book coming to my head now is Silvia Federici's Caliban and The Witch, iirc.

Then if you wanna go really hard there are poststructuralist critiques of Science as not divorced from Power, which can be found in Foucault.

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sudo wrote (edited )

From the article:

Of the various ways to critique science, the most fundamental addresses the scientific method, which emphasizes... c) the relevance of things (material reality) over all else (more accurately, it emphasizes a specific perspective on material reality, the only perspective that science recognizes as valid).

What do they mean, a specific perspective on material reality? What perspective? And what "alternative" perspective does science (probably rightfully) regard as invalid?

One problem with the scientific model is how it maintains and relies on a perspective of the world as a frozen (static) place.

Only true for when the things it's studying are static (like the laws of physics). Biologists certainly don't consider the world to be static.

Also problematic is the idea that everything can be broken down into discrete, quantifiable parts, that the whole is never more than the sum of its parts.

Again, untrue. Go ask a biologist if they believe that every organism can be fully understood in isolation from its surroundings. There are many disciplines where this is true, though (for example, chemistry).

Underlying both of these perspectives are the premises that the best or only way to know the world is to distance ourselves from it, to be outside of it; that this distance allows us to use the world; that utility is, in fact, the appropriate relationship to have to the world.

You mean that scientists often try to isolate the thing they are examining? Yes, that is to avoid any outside influence that would interfere with their measurements. But they never said anything about isolation being the proper way for humans to live.

On a practical level there is the understanding that scientists are operating within a system that is based as much (if not more) on hierarchy and funding as it is on paying attention to what is actually going on around us.

Then the problem is with capitalism itself, not science. Also, hierarchy is not the problem with society, it's the fact that this particular hierarchy is exploiting people.

The more subtle ones have to do with how we ask questions (“when did you stop beating your child?”), who we ask questions of (related to the questioner’s access, biases, language, etc.), what questions we think to ask, and how we understand the answers we get, as well as what meta-interests the questions serve (how are the assumptions of this culture fed and/or challenged by who, how, and of whom these questions get asked?).

If certain people are asking loaded questions, then the problem is that they're asking loaded questions. Still doesn't invalidate science as a whole. Also, what loaded questions are they talking about?

Western education predisposes us to think of knowledge in terms of factual information, information that can be structured and passed on through books, lectures and programmed courses. Knowledge is something that can be acquired and accumulated, rather like stocks and bonds. By contrast, within the Indigenous world the act of coming to know something involves a personal transformation. The knower and the known are indissolubly linked and changed in a fundamental way. Coming to know Indigenous [ways of knowing] can never be reduced to a catalogue of facts or a data base in a supercomputer; for it is a dynamical and living process, an aspect of the ever-changing, ever-renewing processes of nature.

I suppose now would be a good time to point out that just because indigenous people believed something, doesn't mean it's true. We support the struggles of indigenous people, because they have been slaughtered, and then forcefully relocated, and their culture was erased. But, that does not mean that everything that indigenous people believed was true. How is it possible for the "known to change in a fundamental way?" When I learned Newton's law of universal gravitation (F=GMm/r^2), I don't think I changed the law itself by learning it (and how could I?). Furthermore, I didn't change in a fundamental way. It was just one more thing that I then knew. Also, what indigenous tribe believed this?

it also continues christianity’s theme of a pure abstract and universal truth, separate from the sludge of everyday life, with scientists and doctors in the position of clergy that is, people who know more about us than we do.

Because certain things (again, like the laws of physics and mathematics) are pure, abstract, and universal truths. We now have accumulated so much knowledge on these subjects that it takes years and years of study to understand it all, something which most people do not have the time or motivation to do. So, when someone wants to know how black holes work, they can either get a PhD in physics, or they can have an expert explain it to them, and trust their explanation. Again, this isn't a bad thing, it's just a consequence of how much knowledge we've built up (and I'd say that's a really good thing!).

Some people believe in science (as something they don’t understand that can solve their problems) in ways similar to how others believe in god.

The difference being that science actually delivers.

Some people cite scientific references the way that other people cite scripture.

The difference being that scientific references are actually true.

Traditionally, science posits a neutral objective observer, a fantastical being to compare to any angel or demon: this neutral observer has no interest other than truth, which comes from information, and information is received inside of laboratories, with carefully identified variables and carefully maintained control sets.

Would you prefer scientists to not even try to be neutral at all, and thus come out with bogus results? This is supposed to be a criticism of science - if they aren't critical of this particular bit, then why bother mentioning it? And if they are critical of it, why?! Striving to be as neutral as possible when investigating something is good!

Science exemplifies this cultures tendency to specialize, and consequently to create experts, people who know every little thing about specific bits, but not how those bits interact with other things — clearly a result of thinking that is thing-based (vs. for example, relationship-based).

Once again, only true for certain fields, where what they're studying really is thing-based.

So for instance, practitioners of allopathic medicine prescribe multiple medications to people, frequently without having any idea about how these specific drugs will interact with each other

Yeah, I'm pretty sure doctors always ask if you're currently taking any medication before they prescribe you a new one. If you've ever seen commercials for a certain pharmaceutical drug (which are another problem with capitalism, but not with science itself), they'll always end with, "Do not take X if you are taking Y medication, or if you have symptoms of Z." They've thought it through, as best as they can.

much less any idea about how a person’s feelings or other life experiences are related to their physical health.

No, they also ask about that, but it's not a general practitioner's job to treat mental health problems - they'll probably refer them to a psychologist.

In other words, the inhuman aspects of totalitarian states are related to the reliance of those states on science as the ultimate arbiter of value: indeed, the idea that everything must be of measurable value is part of the scientific paradigm.

Guilt by association.


And I'm stopping there, partially because the next section deals only with anthropology, which isn't my field, and also partially because I'm getting tired of reading this.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Cool of you to take time to make such a long response! I just woke up and have dishes to do so I'll give it a proper read sometime today.

If you'd read further though you'd see that much of the rest of that page is other anarchists doing just that, in a reply-response cycle.

Personally I think defending science is great, but I'd rather the defenders did it without the posture of being 'sickened' (because it sounds a lot like "looking down on"), and their defences should in themselves be aware of the limitations of science from the get-go.

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zorblax wrote (edited )

angry white atheists

I love being typecast!

sudo already made every critique I could make of that article.

My issue with the whole "everything is relative!" standpoint is that it is self-defeating. That viewpoint is also relative, and it might just be that everything is perfectly rational and knowable and measurable at the core.

The post-structuralists take the rationalist argument and, seeing that it is obviously epistemologically flawed, do an about-face and enter their own dogma where their epistemological model(everything is relative to your viewpoint, man!) is assumed to be true, and even worse they violate their own rule by thinking they have fully understood and encapsulated everything with their viewpoint.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

Also, if you get a grip on the critiques of leftism by the post-leftists, it's not so hard to understand where anarcho-primitivism is going.

A good summary of the critiques made by post-leftists is made in the sidebar on r/Postleftanarchism. From there coming to grips at the negative critique of civilisation and then the positive solution proposed is a hop skip and a jump.

Even though I disagree with anarcho-primitivists, I think it's definitely a good exercise in broadening your sense of what is possible and what is radical to come to understand what they are saying.

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Lenny wrote

I object to wasteful consumerism and superstition, which leftist wouldn't?

But there are completely legit reasons to oppose fossil fuels, nuclear power, and even GMO's. I think it is unfair to compare these destructive technologies to "New-Age" crystals and stuff. Anyway, lots of "New Age" stuff that used to be scoffed at by scientists is accepted by them now: Yoga and acupuncture for example.

Science in a capitalist world is a tool for capitalists to maximize their profits. I think many of the give-me-science or give-me-death people fail to recognize this and the destructive effect it has on life on this planet.

The reason why fossil fuels dominate the energy industry is not because it's a particularly good energy source. It is because powerful corporations have vested interests in dismantling their competition, and the states they fund aim to maximize strategic political influence in the world.

When a company sells patented seeds that are designed to withstand being deliberately bombarded with, what is essentially toxic waste, and then creating the conditions that require those expensive patented seeds to be rebought again and again, that isn't something we should be supporting. But that's how GMOs are implemented under capitalism. It's all well and good to say we support GMOs because of how they could be used rather than how they are used, but that's not very practical. They're used the way they used and supporting a fantasy world version of them is illogical.

Same goes for Nuclear power. It was created to wage utter devastation on America's enemies, to kill millions and contaminate the land for generations.

Even when it's used for power generation, why would any anarchist support imposing their will on another community to store the toxic, carcinogenic waste that we have no real way to dispose of? You know they won't want to store the waste on their own soil, they'll send it somewhere where it will poison impoverished communities.

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sudo wrote

When a company sells patented seeds that are designed to withstand being deliberately bombarded with, what is essentially toxic waste, and then creating the conditions that require those expensive patented seeds to be rebought again and again, that isn't something we should be supporting. But that's how GMOs are implemented under capitalism.

Then you're not against GMOs, you're against DRM in GMOs. I don't see why saying DRM-free GMOs would be the norm under socialism is a "fantasy," any more than saying DRM-free software would be the norm under socialism (and it would be).

Same goes for Nuclear power. It was created to wage utter devastation on America's enemies, to kill millions and contaminate the land for generations.

Totally wrong - nuclear fission was discovered by researchers who were seeing what happens when you bombard X particle with Y particle - creating a weapon was not their intention.

You know they won't want to store the waste on their own soil, they'll send it somewhere where it will poison impoverished communities.

Spent nuclear fuel is stored in compounds with heavy radiation shielding - it won't be poisoning anyone. The only danger is that millions of years later, people will forget where it was buried, stumble across the site, open it, and be exposed to radiation then.

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Lenny wrote (edited )

Then you're not against GMOs, you're against DRM in GMOs.

If 100% of GMOs use DRM, then what use is it saying "I support GMOs"? You could make the same argument about the police. "Even though 100% of police are bastards, I support them because we could potentially create a non-bastard police force some day". It's fantasy.

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sudo wrote

You're making the fallacy of composition. Just because something is true for a certain part of the whole, or even every part of the whole at one certain point in time, doesn't mean that it's a feature of the whole. DRM very clearly does not have to be a feature of GMOs, just like software very clearly does not have to have it. Imagine, in some alternate universe where the Free Software Foundation never existed, that all software eventually contained DRM. Would you then call yourself anti-software? No! If you're against one certain feature of something, but you otherwise like the thing, then don't say you are against the thing as a whole. Say you are against the one feature. Don't be surprised if people misinterpret you when you say you're anti-GMO, but you really aren't.

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Naokotani wrote

Same goes for Nuclear power. It was created to wage utter devastation on America's enemies, to kill millions and contaminate the land for generations.

Totally wrong - nuclear fission was discovered by researchers who were seeing what happens when you bombard X particle with Y particle - creating a weapon was not their intention.

I assume he/she means developed.

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sudo wrote

Ok, but that doesn't make it inherently bad. It can be used to destroy, or to generate electricity. It doesn't make sense to refuse to use the benevolent functions of something because it also has malevolent functions as well.

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tnstaec wrote

Anyone who supports nuclear should go clean up Fukushima.

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aiwendil wrote

I am anti-GMO and it is not because of Genetically Modifying Organism in and of itself. I haven't seen anything that suggests that the practice of modifying organisms is harmful(though it certainly could be depending on what you intend to do). What is harmful is modifying those organisms to be round-up ready. Round-up has been conclusively shown to cause cancer, birth defects and a whole slew of other human health problems, over and over again. So if you don't see a problem with GMO food you are actually denying science.

Nuclear also causes a number of problems especially for those of us who are primitivists. Nuclear waste has to be stored indefinitely in very expensive to maintain facilities. If those facilities fail to be maintained, that waste could slowly leak into our ground water and thus into crops and water supplies. That is only one such danger. In the event of a societal collapse of any kind, nuclear plants could potentially melt down without oversight from humans. Anything that needs that much maintenance is a disaster waiting to happen. Fukashima is not an outlier, it is an inevitability. Over a long enough arc of time all nuclear facilities will have just such a disaster affect the. It is total lack of foresight.

When analyzing whether a technology is good or bad, it is not simply enough to ask ourselves "can we do it," but also, "should we do it."

Technology is not inherently bad. It is also not inherently good. Right now the consequence of industrialization seems to be loss of freedom and destruction of natural resources. I don't think that has to be the case. For example we can design ways to wash clothing now that use way less water than doing it by hand and we can recycle that water with grey water systems and then send it finally through bioremediation systems before that water re-enters the water table. We CAN do that, but we are not currently doing that. So I think what most of us are seeing is that technology is actually becoming a net negative in our lives.

I don't think we should just embrace all technology because not doing so will get on your nerves. I think we need to analyze the ethical imperatives and consequences of all technology and decide if there is a place for it that is #1 safe and #2 useful.

Thats my 2 cents, feel free to be upset with me. I don't view myself as somebody that hates science or denies science. I just have a different interpretation of the data than you do.

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tnstaec wrote

Well said.

"Anti-science" is becoming yet another co-opted term. There are people who are actually anti-science. Creationists, global warming deniers and flat-earthers actually deny established bodies of scientific research. Critics of GMO and nuclear tech don't deny the science behind it. We're looking at that very science and concluding that either there's not enough data yet to make a wise decision about applying these technologies, or that the science supports the conclusion that the risks outweigh the possible gains.

We're talking about specific technologies, not science as a whole. Science aspires to be value neutral, and as /u/aiwendil says, we need more than just science to tell us whether or not, and in which situations we should put a certain technology to use. We need ethics and wisdom. We need to consider precautions. At the rate at which advances in technology have done immense damage to the Earth it's not longer tolerable not to consider long-term (unintended!) consequences.

It stands to reason that anarchists are skeptical of new technologies. We can't even begin to do sensible assessments of new technologies while capital and the state are the ones who are making all of the decisions!

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jhasse wrote

There are more reasons for being anti-GMO and anti-nuclear than being anti-science.

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sudo wrote

If by "anti-nuclear" you mean "There are safer ways to produce electricity than nuclear power - we should only use nuclear when all those other clean methods aren't feasible, and only in areas that aren't prone to natural disasters that could cause a meltdown of the plant," then I wouldn't call that anti-nuclear. That's a perfectly reasonable thing to say.

If you're anti-GMO, though, you most certainly are anti-science.

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jhasse wrote

we should only use nuclear when all those other clean methods aren't feasible

There's another alternative: Don't produce more power.

If you're anti-GMO, though, you most certainly are anti-science.

Why? It's also quite a political topic, regarding patents etc.

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sudo wrote

There's another alternative: Don't produce more power.

But we will have to, at some point, dismantle the old fossil fuel power plants. If we don't replace them with something else, then everyone in that region will go without electricity. That will mean no refrigeration for food, no electricity to power the life-saving machinery in hospitals, no traffic signals, telephones, computers, or any other thing you can think of. If that power can be produced with solar panels or windmills, excellent. If no other form of clean energy is feasible for that region, then nuclear power will work.

Why? It's also quite a political topic, regarding patents etc.

Then say you are anti-patent, or anti-DRM (or whatever its equivalent for genetic engineering is called). If I told you I hated coffee, but I really meant that I only hated coffee mixed with cream because I'm lactose intolerant, then I would be responsible for the misunderstanding. Anti-GMO means someone is against GMOs as a whole.

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jhasse wrote

If we don't replace them with something else, then everyone in that region will go without electricity.

Actually if we remove nuclear power plants, the first thing to happen will be that electricity prices will go up. That will result in consumption going down. Maybe enough so that we can go without nuclear power plants.

or whatever its equivalent for genetic engineering is called

That's the thing: I don't know a term for this, that's why I would say I'm "anti-GMO". But I get what you mean :)

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote

"harms the planet"? What does that mean?

Mass agriculture definitely reduces the 'health' of the biosphere -- where 'health' is a measurement created by humans -- but the biosphere isn't an entity, it has recovered from worse before. Not even the worst scenarios of nuclear war could wipe out life on Earth.

Basically, sure, agriculture as it's currently practiced 'hurts' the biosphere. But trying to restore the biosphere to some 'natural state' is a futile exercise. We'd be better off trying to find ways we can retain species diversity and eco-regions than try to re-wild areas that will never be the same again.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote

What other option is there? Killing ourselves? Trying to go back to once was will never work, the past is long long lost, and mass extinction is inevitable at this point anyway.

The Apocalypse will never come. Humans are too adaptable, and evolution is too adaptable. Any collapse is by nature temporary.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote

There is no other option

Actually, there is: keep living.

You have such a superficial pessimistic view about the world! Your pessimism completely fails to take in the big picture.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote (edited )

Sure, or that people generally adapt rapidly to environmental collapse(you can look at Egypt or Iraq for good examples), or that we have no idea if the manmade extinction event will be short-term or long-term, or that we can't know what technological innovations will come in the future which might alleviate the problems.

Basically, you make a lot of assumptions about the world that aren't necessarily true, and are only confirmed by your negative view of the present.

Oh, and about "the apocalypse": People have been waiting for the end of the world for as long as people have existed. Sometimes they've even pronounced the end times, often because their particular civilization was falling apart. So far they have all been wrong.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote

"save the environment" of course not. There's not even anything to save, even in the best possible case it is irreversibly changed. What they can do, though, is blunt the impact.

Those people did not have scientific evidence

Sometimes they did. Sometimes they had really bad famines and diseases and storms. Usually they could see the evidence right before their eyes, without the need for scientific investigation.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote (edited )

You mean that global warming causes them?

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Defasher wrote

"You're being pessimistic. Sure billions of people are going to starve, thirst or drown to death. But maybe a few rich people will survive in their underground bunkers!"

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__deleted_ wrote

If by feeding 7 billion people you mean "harms the planet"...

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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__deleted_ wrote

Ah, so you advocate killing a portion of the population to save the rest? My god.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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__deleted_ wrote

So what is your solution to '7 billion people harming the planet'?

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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Lenny wrote (edited )

This. These people act like scary anprims are going to genocide humanity, when humanity has already genocided themselves. You're just not denying it.

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__deleted_ wrote

If primitivism is something that's going to happen to all of us, something out of our control, then what's the point of labeling yourself a primitivist? It's not a conscious action, it's just a state of being you foresee being forced on every human on the planet.

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sudo wrote

Fucking everything harms some form of life on the planet, in some way. Some animals eat plants - that harms the plants that get eaten. Some animals eat other animals - that harms those other animals. Sometimes they eat them to extinction. Sometimes natural disasters or changes in climate cause extinctions (even far before humans existed). The only way to make sure that no life is ever harmed is to get rid of all life on Earth. Oops, but that would be harming life, wouldn't it?

Life has survived massive changes in the biosphere before, and it can do so again. To say humans shouldn't even engage in agriculture because it would mean chopping down some trees is profoundly stupid. Either we harm the trees, or we harm ourselves by having massive starvation. If you think that a human's life isn't more valuable than a tree's, then I shouldn't waste my time reasoning with you.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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sudo wrote

What's your point? We obviously are not against nature

My point is that pretty much anything humans do will harm some other form of life in some way, and, even if humans reverted to gathering food and doing absolutely nothing else, life would still be harmed by natural causes. So, if natural life will be harmed anyway, why harm ourselves as well?

To say that the entire planet(including humans) is less valuable than human life... is "profoundly stupid"

Agriculture doesn't put the entire planet at risk, though. I don't see why you're saying this.

to say that we would have mass starvation as a result of not exploiting plants is "profoundly stupid"

How the fuck else are people going to eat, then? If humans could photosynthesize, then that'd be great, but we can't. We have to eat something, and eating plants and fungus is less shitty than eating animals. If you think you can survive without eating anything, go ahead and try it. See where that gets you. I can't believe I have to explain why eating food is necessary, fuck.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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sudo wrote

Again, what's your point? Primitivists are not against nature. We must kill things or gather things to eat. That's quite obvious. We are against disrupting a natural equilibrium and dominating the food cycle

Already been done. You want to go back? That'll require large amounts of the population to die, because 7 billion people won't be able to get by on gathering (plus, suddenly switching to gathering for 7 billion people would be very disruptive to the current natural equilibrium).

Does burning gasoline put the entire planet at risk? It may not seem so while driving a single car, but the accumulated action certaintly puts the whole planet at risk, and doing so less hurts only slower than it would have otherwise

Granted, but we're talking about agriculture. Does the sum total of all current agriculture put the planet at risk? No.

Hunting, gathering. Doing what puts us on the level of a sustainable environment. I can't believe I have to explain how to get food from the wilderness. Even right-wingers know that hunting is a thing, although they use technology which puts them at incredible advantages when they do it

That's not feasible or sustainable for 7 billion people. Plus, the entire reason why we moved away from hunting and gathering in the first place is because it's far too unpredictable. There's a drought, and plants aren't growing as much in the forest? Not as much of a problem with agriculture - use irrigation. The species you're hunting is dying off, so there's not enough food? Well, now your tribe will start dying off, too. To make an analogy, the reason why agriculture is superior to hunting and gathering is the same reason why planned economies are superior to the free market - because humans have some level of control over what's produced (and when we're talking about food, that's the most important thing to get control of). It's too late to say that we shouldn't develop agriculture, because it would destroy ecosystems - we've been doing it for several thousand years now. The damage has already been done. The problem, really, is overpopulation. The solutions to that are to implement birth control measures, and to research how to set up a sustainable society on other worlds in the solar system.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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sudo wrote

Correct

Then let's try to avoid that. The deaths from climate change will be bad enough.

It absolutely does. It creates water shortages, envelops land which was lived in by animals, kills countless insects with pesticides, corrupts the soil, is potentially invasive, etc.

So, like I said before, it can destroy a local ecosystem. But not the entire planet.

Using up Earth as a burner, huh? Interesting and predictable plan. What birth control measures do you have in mind?

If socialism wins, we wouldn't be using it as a burner (it has already been "burned"). A socialist government wouldn't allow a planet to be destroyed for profit. If we achieve global communism before colonizing other planets, then there wouldn't be any reason to recklessly pollute other planets, as we have done Earth. And how could we? All other planets in the solar system are extremely hostile to Earth life as it is - we could hardly make them worse. Whether or not we can make them better remains to be seen.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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sudo wrote

Why? I would prefer freedom sooner than later

...Because we don't have to mostly die off. Just don't dismantle agriculture, and we stay alive.

Local ecosystems effect their surrounding ones, and those effect their surrounding ones, and so forth. The agriculture you are purporting is a global one, not a local one. Not that it matters

Then the world would have ended by now, since we've destroyed more than one ecosystem already. You're over-estimating the impact it would have.

Government; what a romantic ideal which will never come to fruition. Follow your leader towards the money, because that's what government is, the hierarchy that upholds money and profit

So, you don't understand socialism, then.

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surreal wrote (edited )

Science existed thousands of years before capitalism. And it works! it improved the life quality for some humans so it can be applied to all beings on the planet. Science isn't just about knowing or knowledge, animals can learn too and they even use tools and pass the knowledge to generations. It's conscious knowing that makes us improve our 'train of thought' to find our ways to survive.

Nature seems compicated but we managed to bend the rules making tools and stacking empirical knowledge, can we break the rules of nature? maybe! we won't know until we try.

I want all the 'tools' of my mind and the minds of others to feed my curiosity and science helps me bend the rules of nature and communicate with minds thousand of miles away using particles and waves!wow

But science may not be the absolute truth because we don't know what is so we should be consciouss about the possibility of it being completely wrong.

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Naokotani wrote

I get what you are saying to an extent, but it is also important to remember that many of the things you are deriding are perhaps part of fairly legitmate cultural traditions. If they are being taken out of context and abused, then perhaps that is an issue, but if people are practicing diverse forms of culture that enrich their lives, then I think they should have fun.

Also, if socialism means we get to go from capitalist thought police to socialist thought police, then you make anarcho-primitivism sound pretty enticing. I would rather sit in a hut and eat tubers while exploring what existance means to me than living in any society that tells me what I should or shouldn't believe.

It is not that suprising that people confuse science with capitalism, since they are both largely the result of rationalism and enlightenment thought and evolved in the Europe around the same time. Additionally, the fruits of science are controlled almost enitrely by capitalists, and many people probably associate technology with science. Corporations are one of the major patrons of sceince, and when they are allowed to self regulate and monitor their own science, then bias is essentially assured. The proliferation of bad corporate science has had pretty disasterous effects on the enviroment, and has caused many people to lose faith in the scientific method as a whole.

Instead of having conniption fits when people don't correctly understand what the scientific method is and why it is a useful tool for understanding our world, it is important that you be understanding and carefully assist them in understanding the nuances of science and its benifits.

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tnstaec wrote

So much of "science" is capitalist propaganda pretending to be objective and it's literally sickening.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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__deleted_ wrote

Do you realize how many people will die during the environmental apocalypse?

Why don't you enlighten me? I'll even put on a tin foil hat so you don't feel alienated.

It's also toxic for the planet.

Even cow farts are toxic to the planet. Do you suggest we ban cows?

To me, you clearly don't understand that even basic anarchism has beliefs that are not neccesarily connected with capitalism. Abolishing capitalism is not the only staple of anarchist thought. I don't quite understand why you are focusing so hard on capitalism when critiquing primitivists, it seems like an odd focal point for that

Because once we address capitalism, everything else will be semantics. Capitalism is what has put a strangehold on us, without it, the planet will heal itself.

No, it is humans who "use and abuse" technology and science

Humans corrupted by capitalism...

Are you sure you know what a primitivist is or have you even talked to one?

I doubt they exist off of the internet tbh.

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theblackcat wrote

Even cow farts are toxic to the planet. Do you suggest we ban cows?

I sure do.

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sudo wrote

I'm pretty sure they were asking if you supported killing all the cows, not just not eating them anymore. Do you support that?

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theblackcat wrote (edited )

What else are we going to do with the 1.5 billion cows in the world? Release them? They'd continue to devastate the environment for generations. They don't exist in the wild, humans created them, so the only thing to do is turn people away from meat eating until there are so few of them being bred for slaughter that the industry will be no more.

If humanity somehow got its shit together to actually ban cattle and other mega polluting industries, then it wouldn't be an instant ban, it would just prevent farmers from breeding more cattle - they'd still get a year to sell the animals they already bred.

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sudo wrote

Well, that's better than just mass slaughtering them all at one. But, you said humans created cows. I assume you meant humans are responsible for breeding them so that their population got so high, not that we literally genetically engineered cows, and that they didn't exist beforehand. Right?

Also, in your first comment, when you said you support "banning cows," that made it sound like you wanted to exterminate the entire species, hence my reply. "Banning the cattle industry" would have been more accurate.

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theblackcat wrote (edited )

We domesticated cows and bred them to be the ultimate meatsack. They barely resemble wild bovine populations now.

I would like a ban on industrial meat. Wild bovine species would continue to exist even if industrial cows were phased out. But they won't be phased out as long as India exists. All the breeds will survive.

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Lenny wrote (edited )

Humans corrupted by capitalism...

Humans aren't going to magically stop being corrupted by capitalism, even after capitalism fails, the damage is done.

Even cow farts are toxic to the planet. Do you suggest we ban cows?

I do. We don't need billions of cows eating all our grain stores when we could be feeding the whole world population 12 times over with that grain we feed to cows.

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zorblax wrote

Not trying to justify the ridiculously large meat industry, but the grain we feed livestock is high-calorie but low in other nutrients, and a lot of it is inedible to humans.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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zorblax wrote

This implies that there isn't a natural balance in a natural environment.

There isn't, though. Nature is always in flux, it always has been, it always will be. Like capitalism, life thrives off instability.

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__deleted_ wrote

Oh, so you are one of those "erasing capitalism erases all problems" people? This kind of naivity is no more than a joke

It doesn't erase all problems, it simply creates the conditions that will allow us to address these problems as a collective, without interference from lobbyists and politicians, and motivated only by what is good for all.

This implies that there isn't a natural balance in a natural environment. Quite anti-science if you ask me

Except that cows aren't in any way natural, they were engineered by science to feed us.

It's quite entertaining that you are bashing "anti-science" people, when you aparently have the nerve to hypocritically deny that climate change and man-made global warming exists. Here's a good start for you

I didn't do that, I simply think your whole biblical apocalypse conspiracy theory is ridiculous. Yes, climate change is real, but no it won't result in the end of humanity. We'll adapt as we always do. Why on earth would we allow the planet to be destroyed? We live on it. It goes against all our survival instincts.

Your article (which I'm only a paragraph into so far) talks about "worst-case scenarios", but that doesn't mean we'll be facing those scenarios, it's simply a far-fetched possibility.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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__deleted_ wrote (edited )

More harm caused by technoloy and science

If you took buffalo straight out of the wild, bred them with each other, and tried to feed 7 billion people, it would never work. They need to be domesticated and have specific traits bred in them to feed us more efficiently. It's not a bad thing, to change something in order to better meet our needs...

Perhaps because much of the damage is already done. Perhaps because most people won't give a single shit about the environment and will have the same thoughts as you up until they are affected by it first-hand.

Exactly. At some point, it will directly affect even the United States, and they'll be forced to curb their emissions.

We're in the middle of a mass extinction but nobody seems to care, why is that?

Because we're not going extinct, there are more of us than any time in history. If we start to die off, the problem will fix itself because there will be less greenhouse gasses being produced with less consumers.

The damage being done is exponential, and nobody wants to solve the problem which is rooted in civilization, because that would sacrifice their comfort

Excuse us for not wanting to sleep on the ground, drink parasite infested water and eat raw fox liver. If humanity could survive by reverting back to a primitive ape-like state, then there would be no point in saving us. We'd lose everything that makes us who we are, our creativity, our zest for experimentation and discovery, our need to advance ourselves and forever expand our minds and improve our lives.

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sudo wrote

Thank you for this. I agree with everything you said; and I would add that I also can't stand when leftists start spouting conspiracy theories. There was a time when I was driving back from a protest with a few other comrades, and someone in the car said they believed that all the US presidents were blood relatives of each other, and that there was some shadowy family who was trying to make sure that every US president was a member of their family. I told them that was ridiculous, and to show their proof, if they had any. They did not have any proof. But, the other leftists in the car all decided to back up the conspiracy theorist! They were all the type of communists that haven't actually read Marx or Lenin - they just agreed with leftist statements that sounded right (I suppose they also agreed with factual claims that "sounded right," too, and made no effort to verify them).

Also, anarcho-primitivism is the stupidest leftist ideology I've ever heard. I made the same arguments you did to an an-prim, and they told me I should read "Against His-story, Against Leviathan," the definitive book for anarcho-primitivism. I couldn't make it past the first few chapters, it was so bad. The author, despite having a college education, decided to write the entire book with the vocabulary of a 5-year old. You have to constantly translate what he's saying from 5-year old to English. And what he does have to say is really dumb. The one thing that sticks out in my memory is that he considers evolution to be just another creation myth, any of which are equally valid. He doesn't understand that science isn't a set of beliefs, it's a method for understanding the world. That book is, without a doubt, the worst piece of "leftist" literature I've ever read.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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ziq_postcivver wrote (edited )

I call bullshit. We reject all unsustainable tech, the only difference is we're not dogmatic like you guys, insisting that even sustainable, reclaimed and lifesaving tech be banned, which is a patently absurd notion for an anarchist to support - banning people from using tools that were developed after the stone age for no reason other than fear.

Furthermore, we recognize the contributions of anprim theory to postciv's development, we're just not beholden to the traps of ideology.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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ziq_postcivver wrote (edited )

If you can make it on your own, using locally sourced or recycled materials, and it does more good to life than harm, it's sustainable.

We're not fools, we know most modern technology created under capitalism today isn't sustainable, we're just not so quick to demonize all tech. If we abandoned unsustainable tech, people would have no choice but to develop sustainable alternatives and to reuse and repurpose obsolete tech.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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ziq_postcivver wrote

I'm not sure what you mean by 'high tech', we support theoretical sustainable technology that could conceivably be developed in the future, as well as current technologies that can be made sustainably (e.g. hammers, scythes, eyeglasses, anesthetic).

We're under no allusions of it being advanced technology, especially in comparison to what capitalism gives us (by completely disregarding our health and environment in favor of advancement).

What postciv does is gives regular people (that are too accustomed to a capitalist existence to completely give it up) a little tunnel in their minds they can burrow through, in order to embrace the idea of a world without (current, destructive) technology. By leaving room for theoretical sustainable tech in the future that may or may not ever exist, they're a lot more willing to listen to our ideas.

It lets us bring these ideas to a much wider audience than primitivists will ever manage with your 'no medicine, no post-stoneage tech, fuck you' dogma.

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ArbitraryHuman wrote

All those crystals and herbal scents and pendants and body-paints you buy come from petty-bourgeois vendors, btw. It's nothing but frivolous consumerism mixed with superstition.

Since when has every leftist on this board bought any of these things regularly? I certainly don't.

This is really the first time in my life where I feel oppressed for being an atheist. The amount of spirituality here that makes me police myself in what I say is unbearable. I made someone cry the other day for saying in response to how they felt compelled to do activism because the earth wants them to, "The earth doesn't care about you because it has no feelings to care about you. The earth simply is." I don't know what's going to happen when I tell them they are privileged for being religio/spiritual.

I myself am an atheist, yet I have not encountered such spirituality on this site, nor have I ever felt oppressed by an overwhelming support for spirituality (which, so far, seems to me to be solely your own problem). Again: who, exactly, qualified you to make such generalizations about the rest of us?

Sure, the metals exploited to build wind and solar create toxic environments for those communities. But if those communities owned the means of production they wouldn't make it so toxic to begin with and could mine the metals in a safer way.

...not really. If the communities owned the means of production, there would still be the laborious process of figuring out how to make it less toxic; the mining is not toxic itself simply because capitalism exists. If capitalism were overthrown, I'm sure that the people would try to find ways to make it less toxic, but you have disregarded the fact that this would take more than just overthrowing capitalism. There's a lot of extra effort that needs to be put in for a non-toxic method to be created and implemented.