technology

Aircraft carrier imperialism - Amadeo Bordiga

Amadeo Bordiga examines the significance of sea power in modern imperialism after the decline of the land-based feudal empires of Europe, the rise of Portuguese imperialism with the conquest of the Indian Ocean trade routes in the 15th and 16th centuries, the decisive role played by naval supremacy in the World Wars, and its culmination in the contemporary nuclear aircraft carrier strike force, “the terror of the world”, as the global spearhead of the long reach of American imperialism, in this 1957 installment of “The Thread of Time” series.

The culture industry in the 21st century - Robert Kurz

In this revised and expanded version of a 2010 talk, Robert Kurz examines the continuing relevance, and the limitations, of the concept formulated by Adorno and Horkheimer in 1944—the “Culture Industry”—with discussions of “cultural pessimism”, the postmodern “cult of superficiality”, the role of technology in cultural change, the “abstract individual”, advertising, the Internet, “virtualization”, “interactive” media, exhibitionism and narcissistic self-promotion, the pseudo-“gift economy” of the Net, the impact of the current economic crisis on the culture industry, the “depletion of cultural reserves”, “estheticization”, and the impossibility of a separate “cultural revolution”.

Love your monsters - Bruno Latour

Dr Frankenstein with his creation

Bruno Latour argues that a post-environmentalism needs to accept that human society cannot be disentangled from non-human nature. This means nature can neither be mastered, nor simply left alone.

Anti-developmentalism: what it is and what it wants - Miguel Amorós

A 2014 restatement of the meaning of “anti-developmentalism” by the Spanish activist and author, Miguel Amorós, which he defines as the new form of the “modern class struggle”.

Notes on technological domination and the myth of the citizen - Some Enemies of the Best of All Transgenic Worlds

Published in Spain in 2000, this withering critique of biotechnology—composed in the situationist style—characterizes the production of GMOs as the latest “enclosure”, this time affecting the genome, “the most intimate commons of all” (Rifkin), and as an industrial offensive to create a “point of no return” by monopolizing patents on life itself and “substituting technical solutions for choices of a political nature”, for which purpose the miserable “citizen” and “civil society” movement were invented, to “modernize” the “methods of political management” so that the population can be more easily enlisted to support this “mode of production” that is “radically hostile to life”.

The mad history of the world - Michel Bounan

In this book first published in France in 2006, Michel Bounan recounts the history of the world according to a developmental schema defined not by modes of production, but by modes of “collective mental disorders”, specifically “socio-neuroses” corresponding to particular stages of human history (sedentary agricultural imperial civilization/phobia, classical capitalism/obsession, and the “society of the spectacle”/hysteria), and speculates that the catastrophic collapse of industrial society will result in a “true catharsis in which all particular neuroses are dissolved” and humanity will rediscover the lost “unitary consciousness” of our primitive ancestors.

The final solution - Renaud Miailhe

An essay on biotechnology, its ideological precursors and its disastrous implications, with discussions of eugenics, futurism, fantasies of space colonization, genetic intervention to mitigate the harmful effects of unbridled technological and industrial development, genetic screening, the Human Genome Project, and the “proletarianization of life”.

What's wrong with Prometheanism?

Prometheus: mythical figure who stole fire from the gods

Simple questions of technological progress abound in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.

Energy crisis and social crisis – Miquel Amorós

An essay calling attention to the crucial importance of energy resources and technologies in modern society and the looming energy crisis that the author predicts will be the opportunity for real social renewal based on libertarian and ecological principles.

Murray Bookchin's libertarian technics

A robot adjusting solar panels

The first in a series of critical introductions to thinkers and concepts that inform discussion of the climate crisis, looking at Murray Bookchin's ideas about technology.