In this Swiftian “nuclearist manifesto” first published in France in 1980, the author uses “laughable sophistry” and “black humor” “disguised as apologetics” in the “spurious defense” of a “program” to save the State and the status quo by “nuclearizing” the world, ridiculing “emotional” opposition to nuclear power, exposing the widespread “mistrust” of “specialists” as a “revolt of the ignorant”, calling attention to the many (non-economic) advantages of nuclearization, and concluding with a proposal to merge the police and the trade unions for the “self-management” of the security and social control functions that will be indispensable in a nuclearized world.
According to Graeber’s bureaucratic procedures “are invariably ways of managing social situations that are already stupid because they are founded on structural violence.” But what Graeber means by structural violence is a system “that ultimately rests on the threat of force,” whether police officers, drill sergeants, tax auditors, or all the other agents who support a system that spies, cajoles and threatens. This complex of definitions lands Graeber squarely in the anarchist tradition, and though he layers contemporary anthropological theory into his analysis, he serves up a clear and generally jargon-free argument.
A 1934 article by Marcus Graham that is critical of technology.
Now, for the first time in English translation, The Obsolescence of Man, Volume II, in its entirety, by Günther Anders, first published in Germany in 1980, an indispensable “philosophy of technology” by one of the most insightful philosophers and social critics of the 20th century, more relevant now than ever, the result of over twenty years of considerations “On the Destruction of Life in the Epoch of the Third Industrial Revolution”, featuring essays on consumerism, automation, work, leisure, “meaning”, totalitarianism, conformism, mass culture, sports, religion, surveillance, fascism, ideology, history, science fiction, art, “happenings”, psychotherapy, drugs, and more.
A relentless denunciation of the concept of “progress”, tracing its ideological roots to Saint Augustine and then to Turgot, its use in the Enlightenment as a two-edged weapon of the rising bourgeoisie against the Ancien Régime, its golden age in the time of Comte, Darwin and Marx (reminding us that it was Marx who said, “every development in the means of new productive forces is at the same time a weapon against the workers”), its temporary eclipse amidst the world wars and genocide in the first half of the 20th century, and documenting its culmination as a philistine “password”, “myth” and “alibi” for generating conformist submission to technological disaster.
“The very notion of the domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human.” With this succinct formulation, Murray Bookchin launches his most ambitious work, The Ecology of Freedom. An engaging and extremely readable book of breathtaking scope, its inspired synthesis of ecology, anthropology and political theory traces our conflicting legacies of hierarchy and freedom from the first emergence of human culture to today’s globalized capitalism, constantly pointing the way to a sane, sustainable ecological future.