Comment 43255

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 13, 2010 at 21:15:37

As all can see from my website, I'm far from anti-technology. I wholeheartedly believe we should all embrace it - take the last appliance you had break, look it up online, and build something cool with the parts. As far as independant, off-grid energy goes, I have a solution which can yield megawatts very quickly: electric motors can work in reverse as electric generators. Which means that next time a fan or washing machine breaks, it can be integrated into the house's power systems at the base of a small windmill, waterwheel or stationary bicycle. Or hooked up to a Stirling Engine or Telsa Turbine, or other alternative-technology.

Even the Luddites were not anti-technology. They were against certain technologies (notably, new weaving frames) which devalued their labour and lowered the quality of their products. It was a rebellion about the social inequities which appeared at the dawn of industrialization. And at it's height, the British army had more troops fighting them than they had fighting Napoleon at the time. though like so many other terms ("anarchist", "Malthusian" etc it's poorly understood).

And I'd never suggest we force people to give up technology. I once had John Zerzan, perhaps the world's leading intellectual in the anarcho-primitivist community, tell me exactly the same thing. I just think we should stop giving billions of our dollars to projects like the Tar Sands, suburban development or big industrial fishing fleets. If they can design a subsidy system that works, I'd welcome it, but as it stands, that money belongs to the people of Canada, not Suncor. GM just died a death of "natural capitalist causes" and was brought back as some sort of oil-sucking pseudo-socialist super-vampire. The money that took could have given composting toilets and solar water heaters to millions. This kind of commitment to petroleum-era technologies needs to end right now, as it not only makes problems (oil depletion, debt etc) much worse, but flushes away any money we might be able to use to fix the problem.

The ultimate, ugly truth that most Canadians and Americans don't want to face is that our lifestyles inflict an incredible amount of harm on the world around us, most of which we never see. People are clearly being forced into low-tech, poverty conditions right now, and if that ended, we'd find ourselves up a certain creek very quickly.

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