Submitted by Tequila_Wolf in anticiv (edited )

Installment one on what is called short-sightedness here.

One of the main arguments I hear from thoughtless pro-civ people is around the production of medicine. Almost invariably, diabetes comes up.

Their argument amounts to something like this:

  • Diabetics need modern industrially-produced insulin to live.
  • Fuck you, genocidal ableists who wanna take away some poor diabetic's medicine!

To which anticivs say:

  • To start, just a quick reminder that we are anarchists, so we are not interested in taking away your medicine. No anti-civ people say that, and we all understand the ways that since we currently live in civilisation we have to survive on the terms available. But let's unpack the other ways that you are wrong.
  • Consider the ways that civilisation is the cause of diabetes. Type-2 diabetes, for example, massively involves a person's context: unhealthy diets, sedentary behavior, and socioeconomic factors that limit access to healthcare and healthy lifestyle behaviors.
  • Civilisation, which stratifies societies and is born around the time of agriculture, tracks the development of exactly the kinds of factors that cause diabetes.
  • Yes, you guessed it: Hunter-gatherer societies have extremely low incidences of type-2 diabetes.
  • Since type-2 diabetes is about 90% of all diabetes at the moment, getting rid of civilisation would likely hugely decrease the amount of people with diabetes in the first place. We wouldn't have to prescribe the medicine produced by industrial society if we didn't have industrial society.

To which the pro-civ person graciously replies:

  • Oh my god you left out the type-1 diabetics! Ableist genocider! Don't you know that type-1 is purely genetic and not tied to lifestyle factors?! I can't believe you would let 10% of diabetics just die like that!
  • Checkmate, anticivs!

The anti-civ tries to keep it together and be methodical about it:

  • Look, there are actually a lot of things to say here. Three things.
  • Let's start with a scenario that assumes you are correct. In the current world, let's say 100 people have diabetes. Proportionally, would mean that 10 have type-1, and 90 have type-2. However because civilisation is built on segregation and exclusion, only around 50% of people have proper access to the medicine made by civilisation. This means that, within civilisation, people with diabetes who also are not able to access proper medication are 50 out of 100.
  • Now, again, assuming that you are right about type-1 folks needing civilisation, let's think about this: Since type-2 appears not to exist in hunter-gatherer societies, if we got rid of civilisation even if all of the type-1 folks still had diabetes and had no access to proper insulin, that would mean that those who are not able to access proper medication are 10 out of 100.
  • So, with civ, 50 out of 100 do not get proper care. Without civ, 10 out of 100.
  • If you try to make a reformist claim, about how things are not necessarily like this, how we could extend access to the remaining 50 people while keeping technological society, you are ignoring the whole systemic critique we are offering. i.e., this exclusion is a feature and not a bug of civilisation. Anyway, even if hitherto wholly-unprecedented reformers undertake a global project (ugh) and quarter the incidence of inadequately treated diabetes down to 12.5%, it would only then be about level with a non-civ alternative. Of course, since it is civ, that quarter which was excluded would invariably be classed, racialised and otherwise excluded, rather than being receivers of extra care.
  • Second, its not just that so many less people will have a worse time with diabetes without civ. It's not just that there are 40 more people with untreated diabetes under civ, it's that all that untreated diabetes comes hand in hand with a world of horrific scales of war, slavery, torture, extractivism, alienation from each other, alienation from the world we live with and share, and alienation from the cosmos. Civilisation itself is a the grandest mass-disabling project of all.
  • Finally, you are wrong to say that diabetes type-1 is not affected by lifestyle factors, unless you mean personal choice, which is not the relevant factor here. Because type-1 is clearly affected by socio-economic circumstances. This is evident in how type-1 has been steadily on the rise in recent decades. And yes, you guessed it, type-1 has much lower incidence in hunter-gatherer societies. So even outside of the broader mass-disabling of civilisation, just considering diabetes, civilisation is overwhelmingly ableist.

At this point in the conversation the pro-civ person changes topic to the next thing they were positioned to rail against, while assuming that the Big Anarchists they heard this from have an adequate response to the argument which they simply aren't educated enough to know yet. And the anti-civ person wonders if it was worth it this time.



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kinshavo wrote

I would do this for any other condition affected by civilization and ultimately they draw the transphobia card. if queer and trans theory depend on civ we are reading the wrong theory imho


kinshavo wrote

The main difference is when framing transqueerness in surgical procedure and medication - I won't engage much bc I am ignorant about it and I am cis.

I just know enough to think they are weaponizing identity and queerness to hide whiteness and middle-class liberalism


ratratratrat wrote

as a trans person, surgery and medication also exist without civ, hormones can be synthesized from animal and plant sources and surgery can also be performed, tbh i would trust the cavemen that performed trepination on people during the ice age to do my top surgery over a modern surgeon.


roanoke9 wrote

Great points- no criticism but a comment: you are so so generous (nice steelman usage) to let them assume 50% access to the full benefits of modern med tech.


kinshavo wrote

Sorry the shit question and I don't want to be tone deaf. How much weight do you think modern hormones and surgical procedures have in trans wellness and quality of life? I agree with you but it's not my place to have this opinion or even debating this - the argument you have also toucha how other non-white or non-western cultures have about queerness/gender nonconformity and etc -

And if many of us are on board of gender nihilism and radical anarchoqueer theory.. those questions are already answered if don't want to fall behind liberal wokeness or leftist prociv discourse (prociv or antiAnarchist, not sure what worste)

Anyway people like you should have more weight on this discussion and your voice heard


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

I'm not going to go into detail about it now, but here's an inadequate summary:

The entire notion of a gender binary is an effect of reductionist, segregationist, excluding tendency inherent to state-thinking.

A trans woman who has had surgery is no more or less a woman than a cis woman who has had surgery. But it's our completely socially-constructed invented idea of what a woman should be that creates the dysphoria in both women that causes them to desire to change their bodies in the first place. A practice of anarchy would include destroying any kind of fixed abstract notion of a binary (or trinary, or whatever) as the base for anybody's sense of lacking something in relation to a notion of gender.
Destroying civilisation is inseparable from destroying the infrastructure that creates these desires. It is part of the feminist notion that there is nothing wrong with our bodies, nothing lacking at all in the first place.

There's more to say about it on many levels, but this is how it reflects what I've said in this post.


ratratratrat wrote

i think it depends on the person, personally i am fine without hormones it’s just my chest that i can’t deal with, while others would want more done, but that also has a lot to deal with the expectations put on us by society. my chest is not just gender related, but so much of ‘passing’ and surgery is just confirming to gender roles, and i feel like a lot of gender dysphoria wouldn’t exist if the concept of sex/gender didnt exist either. i believe trans liberation can only come when we accept that as trans people we should not try to conform to cis standards of gender but abolish them instead.


RanDomino wrote

Do you think capitalism and civilization are the same thing?


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote (edited )

No, capitalism is just one particular form of civilisation. Assuming it's useful to say more, civilisations have been around for millenia and are characterised well enough in the general description of them on wikipedia, while capitalism is generally understood to have emerged out of feudalism in Europe at the end of the middle ages. What they both have in common is state-forms and state-thinking as normalising processes which decide in advance what may be thinkable or doable.

Why do you ask?

Edit: I edited my post to make this clearer, thanks!


LajkaBear wrote (edited )

Anarchism = not a single rock placed atop another?

Correct. Anarchism is when all rocks are flying in a perfectly egalitarian, horizontal manner in the general direction of anybody who suggests that anarchism is a statism with a human face or whatever the fuck you are trying to convey with this really shitty metaphor.


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

I said state-forms, which is a more general political notion including states, denoting any apparatus that seeks to capture relations in a territory and structure them in advance of people's interaction with the territory itself, creating social stratification in that territory.

Churches and other hierarchical institutions would be included among these, but so would any reified ideas, like present-day notions of justice or happiness.

I would rather not say what anarchism is in relation to this, but I do think that anarchists typically are against all state-forms, and we seek to escape structured by them through our practices of prefiguration (organising ourselves with different sets of relations in a territory) and bypass them to destroy them through collective and individual direct action.

If you're having any more trouble, let me know what about, and we could probably recommend you something to engage.


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

And remember, diabetes treatment is not all or nothing. Here is an article I found on the topic:

I imagined that something like this might be the case but I was not familiar of any confirmed plants that could do the work.

I think this should be a wiki page, or something similar.

You are welcome to do that if you like.


Majrelende wrote (edited )

I think they would certainly be nice, but it's the same as diabetes. Don't forget that under civilisation, transgender people have been generally oppressed, and it appears that with the rise of right-wing ideologies worldwide, the present window of inclusivity's days seem to be numbered. (as with past windows of inclusivity conveniently forgotten to appease the narrative of progress)

It's the same as diabetes, I think. I am basically on my own, for one, and if half the trans people in the world live in unwelcoming countries, then much more than half are being denied socially santioned transition. Modern remedies might be good for those who can get them, but they are typically limited to certain privileged people in conducive social environments, and I don't see that likely to change positively in the future; rather, the opposite.

It's better to have a small, non-transphobic society that does its best for transitioning than waiting for a perfect revolution (that somehow doesn't go rotten) to create a civilised utopia wherein it is supposed that all humanseveryone generally gets what they want. at the expense of the rest of life.


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

It's also in this light that we can understand the quote from the CrimethInc poster about beauty:

To see beauty is simply to learn the private language of meaning which is another's life - to recognize and relish what is.
Beauty must be defined as what we are, otherwise the concept itself is our enemy.
Why languish in the shadow of a standard we cannot personify, an ideal we cannot live?


256 wrote

Trying to save one species by eradicating another is worse than a zero-sum.

Discourses around civilisation often miss that the installation and abolishment of civilisation cannot differentiate adverse outcomes, assumingly because civilisation is too complex too grasp or control.

When a drug is tested and it is found out that the illness it tries to cure has different types and the types are not really distinguishable, apart from the response to the drug; when it is found out that one part of the ill people gets cured by the drug, while another significant part gets killed by the drug, many ethical frameworks would question the drug.

I don't really know if diabetes and civilisation are related in any way, but counting who gets killed where is not enough.

Once I made quick calculation here about veganism, which is not as threatening as diabetes, where I estimated that some 80-100 tons of cobalt are needed for B12 every year if every person globally was vegan. Holding the position of abolishing mining could lead to abolishing artificial B12 by a 'short-sighted' logic. Mining of cobalt now is in the scale of several hundred thousand tons of cobalt per year though, so incomparable. B12-'mining' and battery-grid-scale cobalt mining are completely different categories.

What I get from that is that we cannot use these formalised flags (anti-civ, civ etc.) to refer to complex issues.

Nevertheless, here are some buzzwords:

a) Large scale mining / chemical production causes death and suffering.

b) Not treating illnesses produces preventable deaths and suffering.

c) Treating some illnesses might sometimes require large scale extraction and processing.

d) Not doing a) or b) does not necessarily cancel the outcomes of the respective other one out, i.e. 'preventable-suffering-anti-civ' and 'suffering-pro-civ' may not have the solutions to each others problems.¹

e) Solving problems might not look like trench warfare with clear polarisation, i.e. it might not matter when spaces are defended and it might not matter to profiteurs of each POV who resists them.²

¹I assume this is because of the 'future-facing' problem conception of both POV.

²Fuck querfront though, so this is incomplete.


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

What I get from that is that we cannot use these formalised flags (anti-civ, civ etc.) to refer to complex issues.

I'm not 100% clear how your paragraph about veganism has anything to do with this, or how you imagine veganism to work in the event we move towards a more anarchic world.

Are you aware that cows etc require mined cobalt supplements in our current world also, because of the extractive nature of civilisation? It is meat-eaters who are consuming the most mined cobalt.