Dumai

1

Dumai wrote

one sense that many people use the word gaslight is when you do something, and then claim that you didn't do that, in fact it is all in that person's head.

well... i haven't done that?

and yes i would say "gaslighting" as a form of psychological manipulation is inherently abusive. i don't see that kind of thing as a minor semantic quibble

1

Dumai wrote (edited )

if you don't think technology is completely apolitical, with no effect or socio-political impact for the most part, then "neutral" is absolutely the wrong word to use in a discussion about social politics

if you don't think it only contributes to interests that are totally universal then "impartial" is also the wrong word to use

if somebody were to say that the state is an impartial/neutral institution because it could conceivably be used to enforce, say, social welfare polices that materially contribute to the economic security of the poor, would you agree with that? would you moderate your critique of the bourgeois interests at play in the modern state? including those in welfare? i feel like for an anarchist that would be impossible

just because you can, in the abstract, say that something has both good and bad effects doesn’t make it a politically neutral actor. namely because that doesn’t make it impartial. at best it gives it a kind of political plurality. i think most people understand that

aside from anything else, you said something had to be neutral if it is neither completely good nor completely bad, which is so blatantly fucking wrong i forgot to mention it because it just seems so obvious

1

Dumai wrote

What you could do is perhaps 1 explain why such langauge like nuetral or ambivalent is inadaquate

i feel like i've been doing this the entire time?

2 proppose an alternative vocabulary or way of conceptualizing what i mean

all you really have to do is say that it's not an essential evil. that's not all that hard is it?

guilt trip and gaslight people who get annoyed with you be my guest?

gaslight???? do you know what gaslighting is or are you really accusing me of emotional abuse for disagreeing with your terminology??????

1

Dumai wrote

well the reason i'm arguing now is because i think your logic could be used to describe almost any social institution, framework, or system as "politically neutral" or "ambivalent", and i think it's valuable to maintain a more robust political discourse

if you want to spend your whole life explaining to people how you're using terminology like this (against their popular connotations), fine, but i guess now you can't say nobody didn't warn you how tedious it is to be this vague

1

Dumai wrote (edited )

So if technology is not ambivalent it is either absolutely good or absolutely bad (i played a little trick by replacing good with liberatory, bad with oppressive, but whatever is good or bad to you) I know you don't think technology is essentailly good, so i must conclude you think technology -- in every sense, whether potential or actual, is totally bad and unsalvageable.

none of this is true -- aside from anything else you have more options than "good", "bad", or "neutral". following your logic i'd be forced to say most things in the world are politically neutral, which is obviously not true

the language you use does kind of matter and i think calling technology "ambivalent" would suggest that is essentially adaptable and has only a very plain or socially passive utility. if you don't think that's true then you shouldn't really use that kind of descriptor. if you want to do that anyway, make peace with the fact that a lot of people on the left are going to respond the same way i did

you're not actually putting forth a counter argument

like what am i supposed to argue against here? that technology "in the abstract" can't be used for different purposes? and that some of these things might be desirable?

4

Dumai wrote (edited )

tolkein's orcs echo racial imagery derived from european cultural memories of mongol invaders... the fact that they were, at one point, explained to be corrupted elves adds a really worrying anti-miscegenation theme

aside from that, it's quite easy to read a mythologised nationalism and reactionary anti-modernism in tolkein's work, so the fascist connection pretty plain to see

1

Dumai wrote (edited )

I agree, I'm not giving any general law that applies to all technologies everywhere, nor am i saying all actually existing technologies are essentially adaptable.

in that case “technology is fundamentally ambivalent” is an incredibly contentious and misleading way of phrasing something very trivial

imagine if i said “religion is fundamentally politically neutral and ambivalent” and justified this by pointing to how religion has been, and continues to be, a plurality of traditions within traditions and has been “put to use” in many different ways. don’t think anyone here would agree with that lol

although on the point that technology’s potentiality to organise social action is neither good nor bad — disagreed. i actually think that’s a big part of what makes a critique of civilization necessary. i also i think i made that pretty clear in the passage you quoted (and then agreed to?)

1

Dumai wrote

Since we're agreed upon all these things

i never agreed to your statement about "technology"; not all technologies are created equal

What word we use doesn't matter, the point is that technology is fundamentally ambivalent , and intrinsically neither oppressive or liberatory

what is "technology" here? some technologies are convivial, flexible, may be more accurately described as tools rather than technology. others constitute divisions of labour, hierarchical power relations, or otherwise coordinate human action. making a blanket statement about "technology" in the abstract and describing it as essentially adaptable is not a good approach. i really don't see anything "ambivalent" about any technology

1

Dumai wrote (edited )

i'm not here arguing that writing is inherently oppressive or anything, i'm not zerzan lol

but here:

So like i said above, technology is in some ways neutral in other ways not. Writing has historically been a tool of rulership and management, of manipulation and social control. It has also been a mediium of expressing love and desire, pursuing freedom, and coordinating revolt.

none of what you just said sounds very neutral to me:

if you’re asking the question “is this technology politicised?”, don’t just think “does it aid me or my enemies?”. think “how does this shape, organise, or impact state and society?”

whatever purposes you use writing for, its omnipresence in highly literate societies has radically transformed modern social existence; i feel like this is the most obvious thing i could say about it. to call that "neutral" assumes this state is a default, which it isn't. just because writing can be used by different people with different motives doesn't mean it's neutral, and i don't consider that a bad thing

1

Dumai wrote

the reason i jumped to mass culture is because TheLegendaryBirdMonster was talking about writing — and i don’t think i’d be exaggerating if i said 99.9% of what you and i read comes from there. and i do consider mass public culture political, namely because the nation-state couldn’t exist without it

if you’re asking the question “is this technology politicised?”, don’t just think “does it aid me or my enemies?”. think “how does this shape, organise, or impact state and society?”

2

Dumai wrote

the reason i posted it is because it's still the best and most concise primer on anarcho-primitivism i know, and it immediately clears up a lot of common misconceptions about what it is, how it started, and why

it definitely should count for something that the most notable anprim contingent from the very start is nothing like what you said anarcho-primitivism is

even if you're of the opinion that anprims, by and large, do now behave the way you described (which i'm still not sure is true), it still probably should have warranted mention that they haven't always been this way and a lot of them still aren't

and also that you're not really gonna find any anarcho-primitivism of that sort in their foundational texts

i didn't post any of that with the intention of shitting on your perspective

1

Dumai wrote

looking back at it now i can see how i'd come across that way and i probably should have been a bit more careful -- i still stand by what i meant and you definitely misinterpreted that but that might have been as much my fault as yours

but if i misrepresented post-leftism, simplified the movement to the point that it couldn't come across as anything but absurd, and failed to mention the possibility that it could be anything else, i'd hope somebody would flag me on that.

2

Dumai wrote

i mean i could already tell it was a strawman so that didn't clarify all that much

like in that conversation the other day i straight-up told you that you were free to disagree with the mainstream definition of ethics, all i wanted you to do was to be more comprehensive with your explanation so as not to confuse or mislead neophytes.

here all i'm saying the explanation of anarcho-primitivism you gave is far from exhaustive and it would probably help to represent the incredibly messy history of the movement with a little more nuance. like at least mention it, because i doubt anybody who's ever done any significant reading on anarcho-primitivism is unfamiliar with the currents moore describes in that article