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Anissimov preaches authority to prevent authoritarianism April 30, 2011

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Primitivism, Technology, Uncategorized.

It’s a bit of a conceptual jumble. Ey jumps from the horrific state of nature to medieval feudalism to Stalin. While I share the concerns about technoscience-enabled tyranny, I consider the rhetoric of security central to the project of domination rather than a counter to it.

Anissimov errs in conflating the natural lack of rules with feudalism as well in challenging Hobbes. It’s critical to remember that the empirical evidence undermines those famous claims about the advantages of civilization versus the state of nature. To the contrary, research shows better or equivalent health outcomes among historical hunger-gatherers as compared with seventeenth-century European urban centers. At best, Hobbes wrote only for eir own social class. Until the last century or two, the much trumpeted civilization, order, and progress strictly benefited a tiny elite at the expense of everybody else. Check out Health and the Rise of Civilization by Mark Nathan Cohen for the details.

Even now, the record stands decidedly mixed. Do longer lives outweigh the psychological harm caused by social hierarchy and the constant self-vigilance (Foucault’s disciple) that Anissimov mentions? Pick your poison, as they say. Acknowledging the dangers posed by technological developments should not function as an excuse for ignoring the manifest suffering under the status quo. As one of the many living unhappily on the margins, conservatism of any kind has minimal appeal to me. What do I have to defend?



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