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Under anarchy, could an-prims and techie anarchists co-exist?

+2 votes
Disclaimer: I am not an an-prim, and in fact I am far from one, though I do agree with an-prims to some extent on critiquing the role technology plays in human society. I'm going to try to not sound like a dismissive asshole or someone who is deliberately misrepresenting primitivism.

That being said, one thing I've always wondered about an-prims is how they view people outside the primitivist "scene" for lack of a better word. The critique I hear all the time for example is that primtivists would let a huge portion of the population die who depend on medical technologies to stay alive, because they just want to destroy all civilization and technology no matter what. That sounds to me like a hyperbolic characterization of primitivists and seems like it would defy some basic anarchist principles. So more generally speaking, I guess what I'm asking is: Do primitivists expect everyone under anarchy to give up technology and become hunter-gatherers? Would people who didn't want to become hunter-gatherers be forced in some way to give up technology anyways? Would primitivists be breaking into my house and smashing my computers?

Again, I know that this sounds like an unfair characterization of primitivism and like it would violate some basic anarchist principles, but I really know very little about primitivism so I'm just being upfront about my questions. I've always thought that under anarchy, primitivists would want the freedom to go be hunter-gatherers and would militantly defend the destruction of the environment - all things I'm down with as long as people like me are also allowed to do our own thing (of course without forcing technology onto primitivists, or anyone else for that matter, as happens very often in our society). Or is there an inherent, possibly insurmountable tension between the primitivist position and non-primitivists that would ultimately mean one side would have to win out in the end?

To add to that: Do you think that there is any potential for cooperation and dialogue - I'm talking especially in terms of theory, since we both want to destroy the State and capitalism and hierarchy and so on - between primitivists and techie type anarchists? Does primitivism have anything to offer us techie types? Though I should add to that, that cyber-anarchism or whatever label you'd want to call it has to itself bring something to the table, since the tech world is dominated mostly by "anarcho"-capitalists and lolbertarians. The only thing close to a techie anarchism that I know of is "anarcho-transhumanism", whose theory seems to consist mostly of a single website steeped in Old Left ideas, and Deus Ex game manuals.
asked Mar 17, 2016 by n1x (610 points)
n1x: " I'm inclined towards the position that technology needs to be thought of as something for human development rather than something humans develop"

are you referring to "technology" as the overall processes, mindsets, drivers, etc (what some might call the "institution" of technology), that constitute a technological society? or simply the products of said institution?

either way, now that i think of it, your inclination seems to put the cart before the horse. humans had to develop technology, or it would not exist (leaving aside the extraterrestrial arguments). humans continue to do so, pushing ever further into scientific realms that seem scary as shit to me; all the while destroying massive amounts of life in the process. most/all human developments have been claimed to be "for human development" (betterment, growth, progress, etc). that is a shallow argument for a critical thinker, imo. it ignores or trivializes questions like:

at what cost does all this "human development" come? what about all the folks that had NO say in those developments, and whose lives have been forever changed/destroyed as a result of the ideologies and activities required? what makes that type of human development so unquestionably "correct" - for everyone? why is such development imposed (as opposed to offered as one possible option)? [i could go on and on...]

" ... the techie types would not only be concerned with production that isn't environmentally destructive or inefficient, but would also not be producing mountains of garbage..."

wow. that is a HUGE leap of faith on your part. is that simply wishful thinking, or do you have some reason to think that? if the latter, i'd love to hear it.

hey baa, i think what i was trying to say that perhaps didn't come across is that while most @primms may not speak for everyone else, the names that are most concerned with developing (or perhaps just enforcing) @prim ideas are the two mentioned. i am definitely not thinking of armies of jz clones, although there is something very funny there (under the horror).

and my experience has been that when anarchy is hyphenated, it always gets less emphasis than whatever is supposed to be modifying it. but, you know, call me tired and cynical ;)

hi dot, i think what you wrote earlier came across pretty close to what you said here. i didn't think you imagined the armies of clones (it sounds funny to me too when i picture it)......rather it sounded like n1x framed it that way.

thanks for relating your thoughts about hyphenated anarchy. i think that's an important observation. i probably incorrectly assumed anarchy would have more importance than the modifier. i've read some of zerzan, jensen, tucker....but maybe not enough to pick up on that. i also haven't had any discussions - in person, or online - with people who consider themselves @prim, or many other anarchists with other adjectives. thankfully (from what i've read), most folks on this site tend not to qualify their desire for anarchy.

you don't appear tired and cynical to me. i imagine you've had a lot more experience reading and talking with anarchists with adjectives than i have. i wonder what most of the anarchists with modifiers would say about themselves in terms of which has more importance to them....anarchy or the qualifier.

'when anarchy is hyphenated, it always gets less emphasis than whatever is supposed to be modifying it.'

dot, thank you for saying that.


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