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Toward an egalitarian planet May 17, 2011

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Technology, Transhumanism.
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An article over at IEET presents five proposals.  James Hughes and Mike Treder make reasonable suggestions, but this list suffers from lack of radicalism. To David Pearce, I suggest that the conditions of industrial civilization in the form alienation, discipline, and social stratification promote unhappiness. We exist constrained by soulless bureaucratic structures and consumed in endless interpersonal rivalries. The entire system rests on boldface violence, as anyone who steps out of line quickly realizes. Such an environment does not facilitate human well-being.

While I’m not opposed to interventions to the human organism to increase enjoyment, focusing on the internal may distract from the invaluable social struggle for genuine individual and community self-determination. We must go beyond representative democracy, the current examples of which shamelessly serve the interests of ruling elites. Liberal reform through the electoral process has come chiefly in combination with mass participatory organizing and militant direct action in the streets.

Local autonomous movements with a global consciousness stand as the best chance for approaching equality and liberation. The Zapatista Revolution in Chiapas serves as the classic example. Unfortunately, the nature of the world capitalist economy makes limited insurrections difficult. As Aviva Chomsky shows in Linked Labor Histories, labor organizing must be international for any hope of long-term success. Small-scale production technologies offer the possibility of getting off the grid and thus allowing for independence without material deprivation. Such technologies may also highlight the contradictions and absurdities the present distribution system. Alongside digital communications, this constitutes my hope for the future.

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