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”.
Notes on Technological Domination and the Myth of the Citizen – Some Enemies of the Best of All Transgenic Worlds
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.
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”.
The Final Solution – Renaud Miailhe
“My generation, or perhaps the one preceding mine, has been the first to engage, under the leadership of the exact sciences, in a destructive colonial warfare against nature. The future will curse us for it.”
(Declaration of Erwin Chargaff, pioneer of molecular biology, 1976)
Simple questions of technological progress abound in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.
In response to our introduction to Murray Bookchin's philosophy of technology, a commenter asked:
What's so bad about Prometheanism? Sounds good to me! Defying the gods, playing with fire, storming heaven...
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.
Energy Crisis and Social Crisis – Miquel Amorós
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.
Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) was a pioneer of radical ecological thought and working class autodidact. Bookchin's political trajectory took him from Stalinism (as a 9 year-old, he was soon expelled), to Trotskyism, to anarchism, to eventually breaking with anarchism and founding libertarian municipalism/communalism in an attempt to engage with the local state.
Chapter 3 and portions of Chapter 4 from Jean-Marc Mandosio’s book, Après l'effondrement: notes sur l'utopie néotechnologique (Éditions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 2000), in which the author discusses the disastrous effects of what he calls “neotechnology” on the human species and how these disasters are imposed as wonderful innovations in all domains, from music and books to genetic engineering, resulting in a “four-fold collapse” affecting the human perception of time and space, the ability to think, and “the very idea of humanity itself”.
Six short texts from a book published in 2012 (Anti-developmentalist Perspectives) largely based on talks given in 2009-2010 on the topic of the need for a transition from the economically, environmentally and spiritually unviable city-centered system of globalized capitalism to a new territorial dispersal of human society and productive activities, attaining a higher synthesis of the restoration of the liberating aspects of the city (freedom, public space) and the traditional virtues of the “territory” (local production, self-sufficiency) that can only be brought about by an anti-capitalist revolution.
Translated in January 2014 from the Spanish original as published in: Miguel Amorós, Perspectivas Antidesarrollistas, Editorial Germinal, Valle Maipo Bioregion, Winter 2012.
The above book is available online (January 2014) at: http://editorialgerminal.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/amorc3b3s.pdf
In these notes for a 2006 talk, Miquel Amorós depicts primitivism as an example of “false consciousness and ideological deviation” whose initial “kernel of truth” in the 1990s (its fervent opposition to development) was annulled in the next decade when the movement “rejected the idea of revolution” and “fell into a paralyzing fatalism” that keeps the primitivist, who identifies “the humanization of the world with … the domestication and artificialization of man”, “in a state of waiting, hedonistically expecting that a catastrophe will resettle a disillusioned humanity in the aboriginal jungle and put rational thought back on the road of instinct, magic and voodoo”.
Primitivism in Technological Society – Miquel Amorós
“I am as free as nature first made man,
Ere the base laws of servitude began,
When wild in woods the noble savage ran.”
“The Conquest of Granada”, John Dryden, 17th century
An annotated synopsis of the views of Günther Anders on the question of “work” or “labor”, including numerous quotations from Anders published here in English for the first time (which the author claims “are undoubtedly among the most radical and best examples of the critique of labor that appeared during the 20th century”), along with many choice selections from his pithy observations regarding conformism, technology, “duty”, “the right to a job”, “the humanization of labor”, consumerism, television, sports, etc., which in many respects anticipate some of the ideas later advocated by Guy Debord and the situationists.
Work Will Not Set You Free: Notes on Günther Anders – Franz Schandl