This is an article posted with permission of a guest writer originally posted on Bastyon. Views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the site.
In retrospect it might seem to be of some importance to mention that @insanityisfree actually is not a primitivist. This person just wants to defend primitivism. Well, insanity is free
A little while ago I had a rather toxic conversation with a primitivist called @insanityisfree, wherein he maintained that in order to be allowed to have a conversation with him about primitivism I am required to have read some of Ted K’s writings. (he later linked me a 33 page pdf that supposedly ‘couldn’t be any smaller’)
I maintain that, now I have done exactly that, I have learned nothing new about the topic that I didn’t already know and I hearby thank him for wasting my time and hiding behind other people’s writings.
I maintain that most philosophical works are a waste of time filled with hot air and discuss things most people already know or things that are simply idiotic; even when they bring something truly new the writer often takes multiple pages describing a concept that could’ve been described in a single paragraph.
I maintain that, if you can’t explain your positions (or someone else’s) simply, then you don’t understand them well enough and that, even though everyone has an obligation to learn, you also have an obligation to be able to defend your position regardless of whether the person you’re talking to has.
Ted K’s writings include the following parts that I will not be going over: the psychology of modern leftism, feelings of inferiority, oversocialization, power process, surrogate activities, autonomy, simpler social problems have proved intractable, revolution is easier than reform, strategy, two kinds of technology, the danger of leftism and final note.
I will not be going over these parts as I don’t disagree with them, are not defining of primitivism or are just irrelevant. I will deal with each section that I at least partially disagree with and is actually defining of primitivism. I’ll do so by quoting and supplying commentary and from a libertarian perspective.
links to my previous conversation with insanityisfree on this topic:
(included in case someone wants to know where all this is coming from)
link to ted k’s pdf i’ll be discussing: http://editions-hache.com/essais/pdf/kaczynski2.pdf
Sources of social problems:
“We attribute the social and psychological problems of modern society to the fact that that society requires people to live under conditions radically different from those under which the human race evolved and to behave in ways that conflict with the patterns of behavior that the human race developed while living under the earlier conditions.”
I agree that in a lot of cases natural means healthy, but one cannot assume particulars from a general rule. Each case of unnaturality needs to be shown to be at least likely to be unhealthy separately.
“If the use of these devices is unrestricted, people who want peace and quiet are frustrated by the noise. If their use is restricted, people who use the devices are frustrated by the regulations. But if these machines had never been invented there would have been no conflict and no frustration generated by them.”
‘Oh no the sound of scooters makes me rage!’
The use of machines should not be restricted, except for when it causes outright harm. If a scooter causes someone to be deaf, a lawsuit and eventual settlement will ensue. People need to learn to zone things out. Some people get bothered by things like motorized vehicles and such that didn’t even occur to me to be bothered by, personally I think people just wanna have something to complain about. It is true that people need something to do, but ted seems to forget here that when they don’t, they often just complain about stuff. People like being tribal. They hold positions on things just for the sake of antagonizing the other. That too is a ‘surrogate activity’.
Learn to deal with it.
“The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently, it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”
Traditional values often imply things like hard work and family values, which are necessary for humans to function properly and are the bedrock for technological advancement that these conservatives are in favor of.
What traditional values, to which this doesn’t apply, are there? Conservative values are often general enough that they apply to nearly all societies regardless of technological level.
Real conservatives don’t think that every tradition will or should last forever. that’s a strawman. it is however true that some people label themselves as ‘traditionalist’ or ‘conservative’ as a cover for authoritarianism. Not all, but they do exist.
“Beyond that, a technological society HAS TO weaken family ties and local communities if it is to function efficiently”
Simply untrue. A technological society HAS TO reject the state’s influence if it is to function efficiently.
“Suppose that a public official or a corporation executive appoints his cousin, his friend or his co-religionist to a position rather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. He has permitted personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to the system, and that is “nepotism” or “discrimination,” both of which are terrible sins in modern society”
I personally disagree with nepotism or discrimination being issues at least in the private sphere, and the notion that people really care that much about nepotism in private institutions is also wrong. people rightly care about nepotism and discrimination in government and wrongly care about discrimination in private institutions usually.
“Would-be industrial societies that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyalties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient. (Look at Latin America.)”
Putting it simply: Latin America is shit because there are too few white people, too little technology and too little freedom. Same with Africa. Africa is a prime example of how technology is necessary to improve lives.
In this section ted seems to align very much with conservative and libertarian values, but blames technology seemingly for no good reason. The fault of all the issues he elaborates on lies with the state, not technology.
Disruption of the power process in modern society:
In this section, ted tries to paint the picture modern man is worse off than the primitive man and goes over a bunch of issues that are not the fault of technology but of the state. It repeates a lot from earlier sections regarding the power process.
“Legally there is nothing to prevent us from going to live in the wild like primitive people or from going into business for ourselves. But in practice there is very little wild country left, and there is room in the economy for only a limited number of small business owners.”
First off, the state does hunt you down for tax evasion if you try and live in the woods. This depends on the exact circumstances and the government, but still.
Secondly, there is plenty of room in the economy for small business owners. It’s just a matter of overthrowing the state, which upholds most monopolies, to make more room.
How some people adjust:
This section essentially tries to pin characterizations on people in favor of modern society. I can’t speak for all these people nor do I have studies on these characterizations (nor does Ted show any) so I’m just gonna use myself as an example as anecdotal as it may be. I will cut it short somewhat, because this section is a bit of a waste of time.
“Individuals with a weak drive for power may have relatively little need to go through the power process, or at least relatively little need for autonomy in the power process. These are docile types who would have been happy as plantation darkies in the Old South.”
I never really accept authority. I’m libertarian for a reason. i have a great need to be autonomous. I’m still against primitivism
“Some people may have some exceptional drive, in pursuing which they satisfy their need for the power process. For example, those who have an unusually strong drive for social status may spend their whole lives climbing the status ladder without ever getting bored with that game.”
Nearly everyone fits into one of these first two categories. This seems like just an excuse to label people you don’t like. Also doesn’t apply to me since I’m not that successful coincidentally.
“Some are so susceptible that, even if they make a great deal of money, they cannot satisfy their constant craving for the the shiny new toys that the marketing industry dangles before their eyes. So they always feel hard-pressed financially even if their income is large, and their cravings are frustrated.”
Doesn’t apply to me. Never cared about the newest trend or having a new car or whatever.
“Some people have low susceptibility to advertising and marketing techniques. These are the people who aren’t interested in money. Material acquisition does not serve their need for the power process.”
Finally found one that applies to me. I have to be honest i don’t think anyone on the planet doesn’t fit in at least one of these categories, nor does he explain why this would be a reason to be in favor of technology. He goes on to list a bunch more ‘just right’ categories and think this is a waste of time, so I’m gonna stop here.
“But even if most people in industrial-technological society were well satisfied, we (FC) would still be opposed to that form of society, because (among other reasons) we consider it demeaning to fulfill one’s need for the power process through surrogate activities or through identification with an organization, rather than through pursuit of real goals.”
I don’t think he made clear up until this point why surrogate activities are so bad beyond them being ‘demeaning’ or something. The surrogate activities he describes seem kinda awesome. Like the pursuit of science or making yourself healthier by working out and the like. What’s so ‘demeaning’ about that? If you don’t have a healthy body you usually don’t have a healthy mind.
It almost sounds like Ted just didn’t work on his physical health and his mental health deteriorated as a result. (Not an argument, but if you look at pictures of him he doesn’t look healthy. Just saying)
I can characterize him just as much as he tries to characterize others.
The motives of scientists:
“Is the chemist curious about the appropriate classification of a new species of beetle?”
He can be. who are you to assume these things? many scientists are curious about a lot of things across different fields. I can imagine myself being interested in these things despite not being a scientist.
Also, funny how the mathmatician turned political ideologue (and terrorist) is commenting on how people can’t be interested in fields other than what they’re used to.
“In any case it is not normal to put into the satisfaction of mere curiosity the amount of time and effort that scientists put into their work. The “curiosity” explanation for the scientists’ motive just doesn’t stand up”
I put time and effort into learning how the Biot-savart law works just because I was curious. I later applied this knowledge (together with knowledge of the Lorentz law) in creating simulations of particles in a magnetic field. some people have time on their hands believe it or not.
“Some scientific work has no conceivable relation to the welfare of the human race. most of archaeology or comparative linguistics for example”
This is a very ignorant statement. there is a general principle that useful information can be found where you didn’t expect it, which justifies the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.
Take the microwave for example. conceived by accident when some scientist left some food next to his radio apparatus. Microwaves are generally more efficient than most tools of preparing food (although it only works for some foods and not all) and as such it was a valuable find even if it was by accident.
Archaeology teaches us the history of humanity. Some of your own arguments about human nature we only know about because we reflected on archaeological finds and without it, we’d be deluding ourselves into a false view of human history. That’s like saying history or psychology doesn’t matter.
Linguistics allows us to understand how each language functions. It makes it easier to learn new languages and is heavily used in the creation of artificially constructed languages like Esperanto. Linguistics is also used in psychology and the creation of (primitive) artificial intelligence.
“As with many other scientific achievements, it is very much open to question whether nuclear power plants actually do benefit humanity. Does the cheap electricity outweigh the accumulating waste and the risk of accidents?”
Yes. If you care about the environment at all you’d know that nuclear installations are actually less bad for the environment than coal supposedly is. People often claim the world is ending when it isn’t.
The nature of freedom:
In this section he defines ‘freedom’ as the ability to have power over one’s own life and to be able to fulfil the ‘power process’, which he describes earlier in the section ‘power process’.
I disagree with this definition and think ‘freedom’ means to not be controlled through coercive means. Slight difference, but still. I will not deal with his view on freedom beyond this as it’s just a matter of semantics.
“If they [the manifesto] had been been accepted and published, they probably would not have attracted many readers, because it’s more fun to watch the entertainment put out by the media than to read a sober essay. In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.”
You were wrong to do so and your writing contributed nothing significant to the world that it couldn’t have contributed through peaceful means. If you have to violate the natural rights of a person to get what you want, then you’re no better than the system you try to overthrow.
This is why I call this guy a terrorist, because he is.
You can claim all you want that ‘noone would’ve listened’ because it ‘would’ve been drowned out by the media’, but look at libertarianism: they never killed to get what they want and are still well enough off to call themselves a significant political force.
Primitivism can’t say that and likely never will. All you managed to do is paint yourself as insane and give yourself a cult of personality (which I suspect is all you ever really cared about).
Some principles of history:
“If the Founding Fathers had lost their nerve and declined to sign the Declaration of Independence, our way of life today would not have been significantly different.”
Why then is America not like Canada? Why is it a superpower with strong federalism instead of a unitary state like Canada pretty much is (despite officially being a federation). Why is Canada significantly more lefty with fewer gunrights?
I’m not saying that America is a ‘good’ country per se, but to say we would’ve gone in the same direction is ludicrous. Without the constitution we would’ve been like Canada. Gunrights are being protected by the constitution even if only by a little bit.
“Maybe we would have had somewhat closer ties to Britain, and would have had a Parliament and Prime Minister instead of a Congress and President. No big deal.”
You don’t understand politics if you think that. Parliamentary governments are often formed through coalitions. This means the top level of executive government is constantly competing with itself for votes, which weakens it enough so that the underlings can take advantage. These underlings selectively release information to the media to hurt political parties that don’t wanna play ball.
I don’t know about England, but it is a significant issue in the Netherlands. So much so that the ‘ambtenarij’ (the collective of executive underlings) is considered the fourth branch of government, yet completely unelected and, if a minister ever tries to clean house, they guarantee the loss of their political career. So, corruption gets helped
It is also one of the few countries on the planet without constitutional review.
Politics is a matter of nuance. The devil’s in the details as they say. It’s not the case that there is a system that cannot be corrupted, but it is the case that some systems make it harder and some easier.
In America, the local government takes your home for being late with paying a tax. They at least need an excuse. There are voluntary institutions to help mitigate this. There is at least some chance to fight this through the legal system.
In the Netherlands, the national government steals an entire rural neighbourhood because they want to (unless there is significant public outcry or demonstrations). Not a joke. That happened and was common at some point. You will not get help. There is no way to fight this through the legal system. often no compensation. The state literally ruined you’re live for no reason.
Trust me. Details matter. America is a bad country, but a good country relative to other western countries.
“Even if changes large enough to make a lasting difference were initiated, they would be retracted when their disruptive effects became apparent. Thus, permanent changes in favor of freedom could be brought about only by persons prepared to accept radical, dangerous and unpredictable alteration of the entire system. In other words by revolutionaries, not reformers.”
‘Let’s kill people!’ lol. Again, libertarianism and other ideologies are doing fine without your ideas.
“Apart from the fact that people who make such suggestions seldom propose any practical means by which the new form of society could be set up in the first place, “
Libertarian means to get what they want: Agorism, evading taxes, other forms of civil disobedience, pushing for privatization and lack of government interference and of course spreading the message through peaceful means.
Ted’s efforts have failed despite taking ‘radical measures’ involving taking people’s lives and all he got to show for it is a cult of personality and nearly no popularity for his ideas.
“it follows from the fourth principle that even if the new form of society could be once established, it either would collapse or would give results very different from those expected.”
Same applies to primitivist societies, but ted fails to see that for some reason. Even though primitive societies have existed, with increased knowledge of science and with the (then maybe historic) existence of technology, the results are still uncertain.
Restriction of freedom is unavoidable in industrial society:
“Among the American Indians, for example, boys were trained in active outdoor pursuits — just the sort of thing that boys like.”
That’s what ‘surrogate activities’ are for.
“When a decision affects, say, a million people, then each of the affected individuals has, on the average, only a onemillionth share in making the decision. What usually happens in practice is that decisions are made by public officials or corporation executives, or by technical specialists, but even when the public votes on a decision the number of voters ordinarily is too large for the vote of any one individual to be significant.”
That’s why democracy indeed doesn’t work. I agree. dictatorship doesn’t work either (nor does Ted seem in favor of it). then what will work? Ultimately it comes down to creating a system that wipes out any corruption without allowing for arbitrary rule to get rid of dissidents.
What is the best way to do this? In my opinion, that would be voluntary association. Not the removal of technology. That will just cause a lot of people to die. But he’s okay with that it seems.
“Thus pesticide or chemical use near a creek may contaminate the water supply hundreds of miles downstream, and the greenhouse effect affects the whole world.”
Sue the polluters for damages like used to be done before the state made it illegal after being bribed by said polluters.
“The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human needs. Instead, it is human behavior that has to be modified to fit the needs of the system. This has nothing to do with the political or social ideology that may pretend to guide the technological system. It is not the fault of capitalism and it is not the fault of socialism. It is the fault of technology, because the system is guided not by ideology but by technical necessity.”
Sure, Communism didn’t kill tens of millions of people. Neither did Nazism or pro-war ideologies. Ideology has zero effect on society. That was sarcasm obviously. Indeed, Communism didn’t work because it tried to deny human nature. Relative to communism capitalism can easily satisfy human needs. No system is perfect obviously nor would primitivism be as it would necessitate a lower world population to stay afloat.
“It is simply taken for granted that everyone must bow to technical necessity. and for good reason: If human needs were put before technical necessity there would be economic problems, unemployment, shortages or worse.”
Yeah, without technology people would die and not just in the way you describe. Thanks for refuting your own argument, though.
You would think that there would be a ‘but’, but no. It’s a strange out of place comment. Before this he talks about it being ‘humiliating’ to retrain workers and after this about mental health and how it defined as being ‘against the system’. There is a grain of truth in that last part, but still.
This kinda adds to my suspicion that Ted just wants people to die honestly. He’s outright saying that being ‘humiliated’ is more important than ‘shortages or worse’.
“Once again, for purely technical reasons it is not possible for most individuals or small groups to have much autonomy in industrial society. Even the small-business owner commonly has only limited autonomy. Apart from the necessity of government regulation, he is restricted by the fact that he must fit into the economic system and conform to its requirements.”
Market forces are not oppressive. People don’t have to buy your stuff if they don’t want to. If you want to live by yourself you can just do so. social interaction is not the same as lack of autonomy. That’s something abusers tend to belief coincidentally. All this is just as much true with less technology around.
“THE ’BAD’ PARTS OF TECHNOLOGY CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM THE ’GOOD’ PARTS”
There is no such thing as good or bad parts of technology. Like a gun it’s only as good as the user. To keep people from doing bad is a matter of how strong the justice system is. Such systems have existed even in primitive times (like the Germanic ‘thing’ assembly). This is unavoidable regardless of technological level. people kill each other with rocks, if they can get away with it.
“Progress in medical science depends on progress in chemistry, physics, biology, computer science and other fields. Advanced medical treatments require expensive, high-tech equipment that can be made available only by a technologically progressive, economically rich society. Clearly you can’t have much Progress in medicine without the whole technological system and everything that goes with it.”
Ted against cancer treatment confirmed. Another great argument against his own ideology.
“Even if medical progress could be maintained without the rest of the technological system, it would by itself bring certain evils. Suppose for example that a cure for diabetes is discovered. People with a genetic tendency to diabetes will then be able to survive and reproduce as well as anyone else. Natural selection against genes for diabetes will cease and such genes will spread throughout the population.
The only solution will be some sort of eugenics program or extensive genetic engineering of human beings”
Yep he’s outright pro-death. To be clear, he’s arguing eugenics is an undesirable outcome, but he’s also arguing that it’s better for weaker people to die off as soon as possible. He’s outright claiming that technology will either result in degeneration or eugenics. This is outright incorrect.
If humanity will ever become so degenerate that we will get into trouble over it, then it would first affect the weak and the strong later. If insulin is getting more difficult to produce (for some fantastical unspecified reason that will never happen), then it will cause the people dependent on it to die first. So, natural selection will still occur when nature deems it necessary.
“the consequences of unregulated genetic engineering would be disastrous.”
Why? no reason given other than “think about what Korea would do with it”, which isn’t an argument. This kinda seems like when people thought the world was gonna end because a Maya calendar said so.
“Inevitably, genetic engineering will be used extensively, but only in ways consistent with the needs of the industrial-technological system.”
People act to preserve themselves. Genetic engineering removes what it means to be oneself. Why would this practise get out of hand if used at all? I can easily imagine people simply embracing their imperfections and tabooing the notion of genetically engineering humans (which has already happened from what I can tell).
Certain cultures consider makeup to be too ‘artificial’ and ‘boastful’ to be accepted. Plenty of people in modern western society think similarly and no company requires makeup for any job except creative jobs like performer or model. Even that last bit can be remedied by simply getting rid of the state upholding the monopolies associated with such jobs.
Technology is a more powerful social force than the aspiration of freedom:
This title is true. This is why libertarians support technologies like bitcoin and cryptography so much. technologies that undeniably work more to preserve freedom than destroy it.
“Imagine the case of two neighbors, each of whom at the outset owns the same amount of land, but one of whom is more powerful than the other. The powerful one demands a piece of the other’s land. The weak one refuses. The powerful one says, “OK, let’s compromise. Give me half of what I asked.””
What if the weaker one keeps refusing? if the stronger one wants to compromise then that means going to war over it is undesirable. Just keep saying ‘no’ and maintain clearly defined borders, and of course, there is also the fact that other land owners wouldn’t want to risk losing what they own either when some landowner decides to start invading people. Coalitions would form. This analogy doesn’t work.
The following section is too long to quote but he essentially complains about traffic limiting the ability of walkers to walk across the city and that it’s impossible now to get a job within walking distance.
First off, it’s completely possible to do so. It depends on how cities are planned. if cities are planned like in America it is indeed nearly impossible. that’s however not the case in Europe where city planning is more organic and living areas are within walking distance of industrial complexes. this is a ‘you’ problem and not a world problem.
Secondly, I can tell you that it’s no problem walking from one city to the next. I myself have done so (an about ~40 km walk) and I had no issue avoiding traffic. you can walk for miles without seeing any traffic in some places (even in more densely populated countries) and the ability to go from the Netherlands to the alps in a day is worth the minute or so you have to wait at each traffic stop, which you only come across a couple times or so when walking from one side of the city to the other if you plan your route properly. That’s a walk of about an hour btw.
Get over it. Traffic isn’t worth killing people over.
“how could one argue against any of these things, or against any other of the innumerable technical advances that have made modern society? It would have been absurd to resist the introduction of the telephone, for example. It offered many advantages and no disadvantages. “
Thanks for making an argument in favour of technology again.
The following is a continuation of the previous quote
“Yet, as we explained in paragraphs 59-76, all these technical advances taken together have created a world in which the average man’s fate is no longer in his own hands or in the hands of his neighbors and friends, but in those of politicians, corporation executives and remote, anonymous technicians and bureaucrats whom he as an individual has no power to influence.”
Get rid of the state. problem solved. Don’t kill innocent people. That makes you just as bad, makes you look insane (and rightly so) and makes your ideology look appalling.
“History shows that all social arrangements are transitory; they all change or break down eventually.”
Social protection against death hasn’t. More than anything it has become stronger over time. People don’t like dying. This is so obvious that it is often forgotten about creating the delusion that social arrangements never last.
“A few years ago its seemed that there were secure legal barriers preventing at least SOME of the worst forms of environmental degradation. A change in the political wind, and those barriers begin to crumble.”
Good riddance. I was never in favour of more Statism. if you think that was ever a good thing you don’t understand how to resolve the world’s problems. the state makes problems worse. that’s not the fault of technology though.
Technology has made pollution less severe, not more. Newer cars pollute less than older cars. Before the car, other forms of pollution existed like waste products from meat and feces. New forms of pollution have come to pass, but are not overall more polluting than older forms.
Would you rather live in the modern world, where a few lakes in the whole world are polluted, or the old world, where most rivers have feces floating in them or where a scrape may cause infection (an exaggeration, but still)? I mean if we define pollution as how hostile the environment is to human life, then the modern world is less polluted, not more.
Pollution in the modern sense is usually just a buzzword referring to modern problems specifically to make the past seem less bad.
Control of human behaviour:
“And a considerable proportion of the system’s economic and environmental problems result from the way human beings behave. Alienation, low self-esteem, depression, hostility, rebellion; children who won’t study, youth gangs, illegal drug use, rape, child abuse, other crimes, unsafe sex, teen pregnancy, population growth, political corruption, race hatred, ethnic rivalry, bitter ideological conflict (e.g., pro-choice vs. pro-life), political extremism, terrorism, sabotage, anti-government groups, hate groups. All these threaten the very survival of the system.”
Incorrect on a lot of those points.
When it comes to alienation, low self-esteem, depression, hostility, rebellion, unsafe sex and teen pregnancy: the state uses these to keep the population complacent.
When it comes to youth gangs, illegal drug use, race hatred, ethnic rivalry, bitter ideological conflict, political extremism, terrorism, sabotage, anti-government groups and hate groups: the state uses these to ‘divide and conquer’ and for ‘false flag’ operations that keep people supporting the ideologies that don’t really hurt the state and in turn keep the population complacent.
This is why terrorism doesn’t work. This it why you didn’t achieve anything with killing people.
When it comes to rape, child abuse and other crimes: the state only cares because the people care and would rise up against these things if the state did not do something (at least superficial) to prevent these things.
When it comes to children who won’t study and population growth: yes, those actually hurt the state with the one caveat being that reducing the population too quickly will result in an ‘aging population’.
Political corruption is what causes the state to act the way it does and is inevitable in any state. It is part of the system at this point, not against it.
“Of course, most parents whose children possess the trait will have them undergo the therapy. It would be inhumane to do otherwise, since the child would probably have a miserable life if he grew up to be a criminal.”
That’s one of the most psychotic things I’ve ever heard. it’s like saying: “Oh, our kid is imperfect so bring in the scissors! we’re cutting out the imperfection!”. Fucking Frankenstein mentality. Let me tell you: if my future wife were to suggest that, I’d leave her immediately.
“But many or most primitive societies have a low crime rate in comparison with that of our society, even though they have neither high-tech methods of child-rearing nor harsh systems of punishment.”
Most primitive societies don’t have clear-cut definitions of what constitutes a crime. Nor is it easy to report on these. Primitive societies are known to be rather careless with human life (especially those of other tribes) for a reason.
“In a world in which most children are put through a program to make them enthusiastic about studying, a parent will almost be forced to put his kid through such a program, because if he does not, then the kid will grow up to be, comparatively speaking, an ignoramus and therefore unemployable.”
There will always be jobs that people want to remain human; plenty of shops are unindustrialized like bike maker, icecream man or waiter, because people like the social interaction that comes with them, and like you said earlier yourself: plenty of jobs simply require obedience.
This section outright treats human suffering as a matter of being sad rather than a matter of them being well off. human emotion is only relevant in so far as it affects their overall health. To idealize this notion of ‘happiness’ is one of modern society’s greatest diseases. Do you think that the people that brought us this modern age cared about that? No, they just cared about feeding mouths, preventing diseases and such and rightfully so.
When humans are well off, they invent new things to be upset about like feeling ‘depressed’. Most of that ‘depression’ is humans not having enough to do. Go do something for crying out loud! ‘Surrogate activities’ exist for a reason and have not been demonstrated yet to be bad in any capacity beyond ‘being humiliating’ or whatever it was. That’s just the depression talking. Get over it instead of killing people. Don’t you think you caused plenty of unhappiness by doing so?
“Even if the breakdown is gradual enough so that reduction of the population can occur more through lowering of the birth rate than through elevation of the death rate, the process of deindustrialization probably will be very chaotic and involve much suffering.”
He’s outright saying people will suffer if the system collapses. Any ideology that advocates for this is guaranteed to be unpopular for good reason.
“revolutionaries will not be able to break the system down unless it is already in enough trouble so that there would be a good chance of its eventually breaking down by itself anyway; and the bigger the system grows, the more disastrous the consequences of its breakdown will be.so it may be that revolutionaries, by hastening the onset of the breakdown, will be reducing the extent of the disaster.”
Emphasis on ‘may’. the system will collapse in part but never in full and that’s a good thing. You should want to preserve the parts that work and destroy the parts that don’t. Helping to destroy everything is not helping anyone and just increasing the total amount of suffering.
“Ancient cultures, that for hundreds of years gave people a satisfactory relationship with each other and with their environment, have been shattered by contact with industrial society, and the result has been a whole catalogue of economic, environmental, social and psychological problems.”
Ancient cultures practised slavery, human sacrifice and cannibalism. Sure, these didn’t exist universally, but to suggest that ‘ancient cultures’ are necessarily better cultures is ludicrous and life is not about dopamine. It’s not about the satisfaction one may gain from slaying one’s foes, it’s about making sure humanity is well off; to create. not to destroy, and to suggest that ancient cultures created more than modern society has is outright false.
““Oh!” say the technophiles, “Science is going to fix all that! We will conquer famine, eliminate psychological suffering, make everybody healthy and happy!” Yeah, sure. That’s what they said 200 years ago. The Industrial Revolution was supposed to eliminate poverty, make everybody happy, etc. The actual result has been quite different.”
There is a word for the ‘others’ now, huh? that’s like Jews calling others ‘goyim’. this is just getting into tribalism.
Also, how many poor people can afford to eat meat every day, have a fridge, air conditioning, etc. and can afford to go to the doctor every so often? nearly all of them. kings in the medieval era couldn’t.
The only reason why ‘poverty’ hasn’t been ‘solved’ is because the standards of what counts as ‘poverty’ have changed over the centuries. what people at the time referred to as poverty is vastly less prevalent at least in developed countries. In countries like china or the countries of Africa these things still indeed exist, but that’s because they have trouble industrializing!
You’re making my points for me.
“This is merely one example of the PREDICTABLE problems that will arise. We emphasize that, as past experience has shown, technical progress will lead to other new problems that CANNOT be predicted in advance “
This is just the never-ending fear of the unknown humans keep suffering from. the world is not gonna end. Calm down.
In this section he goes over several possibilities he considers likely and plays all of them out to suggest only when we remove technology will we maintain humanity the way we know it.
Here’s a possibility he left out: what if we develop AI, maintain control over it and simply remove the ‘elite’. In particular let’s say we remove the state and consequently any monopoly that was build by the state. how are the elite gonna do anything described in ‘the second option’ he lists, if they aren’t there. It kinda seems to me that it’s not a matter of technology but a matter of politics and economics.
I personally think we will all have home AIs similar to how we have calculators and computers. It’s just the next step in the chain. and we should realize that when everyone has an AI at their disposal new opportunities will arise. We have trouble imagining this now, but will seem obvious to us then. We didn’t expect cryptocurrencies to exist either only a couple decades ago.
It is also very much possible that AI will not be based on neural technology at all, but instead will be very algorithmic and understandable to human minds. This will allow us to understand ourselves better as well and allow us to make fewer mistakes and learn more effectively and efficiently. My suggestion is: similar to how some humans train themselves to be ‘human calculators’, why wouldn’t humans simply train themselves to become ‘human AIs’?
People fear human-AI interfacing, but only because we imagine it as something implanted and irremovable. Why do you think phones are so popular? Because they’re not permanent! you can buy a new one whenever you want. people may not be super smart, but you’re underestimating them if you think they’ll just blindly accept anything implanted in their brain.
Get rid of the state and things work out just fine, instead of:
“dump the whole stinking system and take the consequences.”
as he puts it.
Be more selective in what you get rid of and be less paranoid. Stop killing people and just argue your point like everyone else. get over the noise, if it bothers you so much.
Ted puts his own issues before everyone else’s lives. I think he’s an egocentric terrorist with a very screwed up view of the world. Instead of dealing with it, he kills innocent people.
Any thoughts? Let me know. Leave acomment.
Dominus Zork guest writer