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Can technology serve the manifestation of anarchy

+4 votes
As technology progresses the inevitable is going to be full automation. Within my lifetime we'll see more and more jobs gone, probably most jobs really. What will this mean for everybody, how will people earn a living if there are no jobs?

To me, this is an opportunity to turn to anarchy and to further the development of a technological international community of non-coercive co-operation.

Giving over all manual jobs to technology will mean we can do what we've never been able to do before, completely relate and completely allow ourselves to grown mentally, emotionally, and creatively.

It seems to me complete technological use will be the final nail in the coffin of dictatorship in every form as companies will cease to exist as no one will be able to buy anything as no one will be earning. Just as no one will have the funds to start up companies to compete with the big businesses which have a stranglehold on the marketplace.

The logical step is for everyone to take control of technology to serve our needs as a whole rather than the needs of a few. Technology can be used to free us completely, because so long as we have to work, we're enslaved by those who claim to own and those willing to enforce that falsehood.

Full automation of food production, etc, means we can make a smooth and bloodless transition from ownership by the few to communal usage for the benefit of all. The latter obviously involving far less waste than current methods as individual ownership of things like cars, etc, would become unnecessary. Even food production could be more local and more varied than the present companies permit.
asked Dec 7, 2017 by curious bystander (550 points)

infatuation with technology is like all infatuations - it makes one blind to anything but what they want to see, when it comes to the target of that infatuation. i can appreciate an optimistic perspective at times, but optimism without a dose of practical analysis/observation is just another pair of rose-colored glasses.

btw, just to be clear, i am no primitivist, although i do lean strongly in the direction of anti-civ (those are not the same thing, though they share a good amount of critique). however, primitivists have some of the best critique of technology, so i'd strongly suggest reading up on that (if, that is, you have any interest in critique of something you seem to already have ... strong ideas [trying to be considerate here]... around). theanarchistlibrary.org has tons of related stuff, do a search on "technology" there, you should find some meaty stuff to chew on.

if you seriously think technology will free humans from "work", you have not been paying attention for the past 40 years. i have heard of many people complaining about losing their jobs overseas (where the work is done by other humans, at lower pay); i personally have never heard a single person complain of losing their job to technology (i'm not saying it hasn't happened, just that i've never come across it). its kind of analogous to the promise (decades ago) of computers leading to the "paperless office". what a fucking joke!

from an @-perspective, a major problem with technology is the level of destruction, imposition and oppression necessary to create it. for some people, that destruction may be worth it. but for others, myself included, it is not. and the big issue for me is that i had no choice in the creation of this technological world, yet i am infinitely impacted by it, mostly (though not entirely) in ways i despise. the technological world was imposed upon me, and it sounds like you would choose to do that ever more. not my idea of anarchy.

so, when you talk (in the other thread) about everybody getting together, everybody agreeing on one (anarchic!?!?) way of living, can you see how that could never possibly work with so many divergent perspectives, desires, priorities, etc? if you want to create a technological "utopia", i'd have no problem with that as long as it did not impact my life. unfortunately, there is no major technology i'm aware of that doesn't impact the lives of pretty much every living thing on the planet (by its creation if not its usage). some see that impact as positive, some see it as negative (and of course neither/both as well). how will you reconcile that in your one-world-of-anarchy?

Where is all this energy supposed to come from to maintain automation? It's never been explained to me on where the fuel to produce the energy for automation is going to come from without invoking something that sounds like an episode of ST:TNG.

Farms and food production is almost entirely dependent on oil, like 80-90% is dependent on it, and a lot of of it is used. In the past 40+ years there has been very little "innovation" to move away from oil, but instead depending on it more and more. For instance, iirc farms and food production relies heavily on all the different kinds of farm vehicles and crops dusters, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, transportation (airplanes , trucks, boats), more transportation, machinery, refrigeration , harvesting, additives and preservatives , containers (plastics, boxes, cans)...etc, are all oil based. Keep in mind, the earth is warming and food production is just pumping more and more toxic chemicals into the air, land, and water. Global warming is causing pretty big issues already with agriculture and it's most likely will get worse and worse. There's not much oil left and it's be pumped out more and each year. Food production automation would be just as destructive, if not more, and insanely wasteful, and definitely oppressive for the people close by to that mess. And that's just a small example of very destructive force that people insist is progress. I was talking about that with my dad-a-roo a few weeks ago.

I don't understand how more technological "progress" could lead to people becoming more free? Afaict, this technological "progress" is just going to continue to enslave people is more and more ways than it already does. It's going to continue to screw and oppress folk in other areas that have to deal with the byproducts or side effects of all this "progress." It's just going to keep on destroying other folks land while the west exploits their resources so "we can have nice things." Just look at how much destruction it has caused in the past few hundred years in the name of "progress." The energy has to come from somewhere and wherever that area is, the people there are going to bear the burnt of it against their wishes

I suppose there's a tiny chance that technology could lead to anarchy when or if it collapses upon it's self as it's not sustainable, but I doubt that too.

wall-o-text over :)

Now i gonna type technology into the anarchist library. I don't think I ever searched that on there before. Hmm...
"It seems to me complete technological use will be the final nail in the coffin of dictatorship..."

complete horseshit coming from the tech-wiz department of dumbassery. I don't think google is cute and playful, they are creepy authoritarians in every sense of the word. I don't want to work hacking their robots anymore than I want to scrub the toilets of 711, and technology still is so buggy and dyfunctional it makes everyone mad.

One of the interesting technological debates coming out of mainstream politics is whether AI will enslave the human race in the future; no, technology has an incredibly long way before it becomes unstoppable and autonomous. Civilization will always be mastered by really pompous humans, and everyone will have their special place cleaning the toilets, scooping the horseshit, and getting mad at computers because they keep fucking up while they are trying to help the customers.
I like the speculative tone of your inquiry and I like to think about the possible futures ahead. A few things I've read have given me some clues that you might want to check out: The Cybernetic Hypothesis which is in the anarchist library talks about cybernetic communism in which ownership and profits become less of a priority than management and control. There might be more free stuff in the future because it will keep people docile and be cheaper for authority than maintaining austerity. Also here is a short article I found which has some interesting insights:

http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Cybernetic_Communism

See you in the future.
technology is definetly interesting, and humans have practically always been "cyborgs". I just think that modern computers and technology are waaaay too complicated for a society to communally control unless everyone agreed to it all at once. Take the linux vs. windows debate. Linux is a somewhat successful attempt to create a non-hierarchical community of computer nerds. If you can get yourself involved in using the programs or programming, you can have an input as to how linux functions, and you can make and run the programs yourself. However, most people who like today's extremely wide variety of free computer programs will feel the need to also run some version of windows because it's practically compatible with all of them. I really like Windows 10, after i installed the updates it's super fucking fast, very rarely do i get a "program will not respond" warning. This could all change with some systematically fatal bug in a windows update...and well, if that happens, what else can i do other than wait for the next update from microsofts technocratic elite?

i feel like i have a somewhat corny point of view, society could just scale back technology a little tiny bit...and that would lead to all sorts of autonomous explorations and innovations. Robots, to perfrom basic functions like farming, are not my idea of examples of this. What is the farming elite going to do when the robots have some malfunction that the people who made them don't even understand? Someone once told me that scientists have been able to manufacture sheets of beef though...i wonder where this experiment will go in the future...

Technology should be embraced. This is one way to do it.

embrace away, just don't expect me to. i'll use tech to whatever extent makes sense for my life, but embrace it? nah, i got over that the minute i was smart enough (or dumb enough, depending on perspective) to bail on the first dot-com boom.

i have yet to hear a single reasonable explanation of how cryptocurrency has even an iota of explicitly anarchistic potential. so far, it is just another commodity up for exchange on the marketplace; one that can be used to purchase other commodities, indeed, but that just makes it.... money. i personally have spent the past 15 years trying to remove (the need for) money from my life.

on the other hand, the blockchain network technology that cryptocurrencies are built upon... there is some definite potential there.

It is easier for businesses to avoid regulation if paid in crypto because they then control the funds, not the bank. It therefore has a great deal of anarchistic potential.

yeah, well, i don't consider it anarchistic to give businesses better control of their money. businesses exist to make profit, which can only come from the exploitation of individuals (and anything else they can exploit). rather antithetical to anything anarchistic.

we obviously do not agree on what is anarchistic, so we have no basis for ongoing discussion.

'Yes' because technology can serve the manifestation of many things, including anarchy. It's a good question because there are specific things that can be done to promote anarchy through technology

If someone where to conduct business with another with the intention of making a profit how would you propose preventing them from doing so?

dotnetspec: "If someone where to conduct business with another with the intention of making a profit how would you propose preventing them from doing so?"

i wouldn't try to prevent them from doing so...that feels like a waste of my energy.....but,

i put my attention and intention toward not conducting business with another for profit, whether theirs or mine.

dns: in any anarchist world i would choose to inhabit, their attempts at exploitation would be forcefully rejected by those they attempt to exploit. no exploitation, no profit. live with it, or live with the consequences. ancaps like yourself would then most likely attempt to hire goons (private security forces, aka [pseudo-]cops) to subdue said rejections and enforce your exploitation. at which point you will have proven yourself equivalent (in behavior if not intent) to the state you claim to abhor. congrats! you are the boogeyman you seek to destroy.
funky@, you know i share your hostility to ancap. but saying "ancaps like yourself" will do this horrible thing isn't good faith arguing. we don't know what DNS would do,. and assuming the worst doesn't help the conversation stretch any more than it does when ancaps come here and accuse us of future oppressive acts, because "obviously we're for authoritarianism"...

this site is not for convincing anyone of anything, but it is for explaining what we think to people who don't already know the benefits and weaknesses of what we think. yea?
note that i didn't say "will do", i said "most likely attempt". of course i don't know dns personally, or what they individually would do. i was pointing out what ancaps have said over and over again, and how i see that as antithetical to anarchic behavior. what's your issue?
a judgment call obviously, but dns seems to be posting things i disagree with but with a good attitude, and i really hate it when people accuse me based on something they think i might do in the future. hence, my reaction...
my "accusation" was a generalization - "ancaps like yourself" - and a hypothetical one at that. so i'd agree if you pointed at that as your issue. (though the generalization is supported by dns' own statements on this site). i have no issue with dns' attitude, just their perspective and hypothetical behavior based on it. if i implied otherwise, my bad. i probably could have worded it better, framing it as more of a question.

but whatever: i reacted, you reacted... and so it goes.
:)

more spaces stupid software can't make me say more if i don't want to
bornagain: You must have an interesting lifestyle ... can you say more or have a link explaining how that works?
I didn't want to deviate from the important technology discussion. I should possibly bring this up in another thread. Just to clear up my perspective here. It's non-aggression principle (NAP). If I was concerned for a family member's security, for e.g., I would do business with a security company who would probably profit from the transaction. I would expect them to effectively defend my family member. If they pre-emptively attacked the source of the aggression that would be a breach of contract and I wouldn't pay them and I would never do business with them again. It's not ideal. I would rather it didn't exist as a problem. Aggression is, so far, a feature of humanity that's unlikely to disappear overnight. I would rather have a measure of control over it than allowing the State a monopoly. If you have a better, non-sentimental, practical, solution I would be interested to hear it.
dns, it sounds like you're saying in your ideal world there would be a stable currency, but you give no indication of how. Like why and/or how would the security company accept whatever currency you're using to exchange for their services as valuable to them? What's ensuring the value of the currency? Sometimes I wonder if people that share your beliefs have a basic understanding of currency and economics. I mean if y'all did, surely it would dawn on y'all that anarchism and capitalism is not possible one would assume.

"If I was concerned for a family member's security, for e.g., I would do business with a security company who would probably profit from the transaction. "

if i was concerned for a family member, i would - along with some friends/allies if i thought it necessary - deal with the threat directly. even today (leaving aside the world i would like to live in), i don't give the state a monopoly on dealing with aggression that concerns me. i take primary responsibility for my own well being, and for helping and getting help from those i care about and choose to engage with. direct action and voluntary cooperation, core anarchic principles. no value exchange, no currency, no profit, no economics. just individuals living, relating, and dealing with their own shit. 

conflict is a part of life; i cannot imagine a world without conflict, because such a world is completely unrealistic (not to mention it would be beyond boring). no living being could feed itself without killing another (forget the "sentient being" rationalizations that ideological vegans like to fall back on); conflict is inherent in life and survival. the question is, how do we deal with conflict? do we insert layers of technology and authority between the conflicting parties? that is the status quo approach, and i can say with complete confidence (built on almost 60 years of experience) that i find that approach an abject failure. i'd rather deal directly, whatever the outcome. of course i cannot fight an army by myself; if i am ever faced with that, it's most likely time for the poison pill.

human: The currency aspect is another discussion. I'm assuming the exchange is acceptable to both sides accounting for whatever currency, stable or unstable, they agree to use. Perhaps you could ask a question regarding an understanding of currency and economics where we could address this? I don't have the privilege to do so on this forum.

funky: nothing wrong with dealing with the aggression directly if you have that capability. I'm thinking of those times where the force is greater than one's ability to deal with it directly or where we may have greater confidence in someone else's ability to deal with that force. A security company with experience and expertise may handle a situation better than I could myself with my own associates (equally inexperienced). Why not contract (with a mutually acceptable currency) to our mutual benefit?
funky: what's important is that we are free to contract (including rejecting the contract). The two parties might "exploit" each other for mutual benefit. Why should one party 'forcefully' reject when he can simply reject?
You've mentioned it numerous times in this thread. This isn't ancap 101 and as much as I love asking questions, making a question about currency simply has nothing to do with this site. You know, contracts are completely meaningless without some sort of enforcement. If you hired a mercenary force and they violated some contract you had with, you'd just not pay them, you say. Is there something guaranteeing that you wouldn't have to pay them? What if the mercenaries have a difference of opinion on the contract and feel they didn't violate it? On a scale of 1 to 10, how pissed do you think the mercenaries you hired to defend you would be if you refused to pay up?

human, if "currency simply has nothing to do with this site" why did you bring it up?

I would only contract with an organization that I trust. At least I could choose which one it was, unlike with government, and then be responsible for my own error of judgment. Perhaps if that particular agency had a reputation for being better at collecting on debts, for it's own breaches of contract, than for delivering on the contract in the first place, it's business may suffer over time. The State on the other hand is almost guaranteed to behave in the way you describe as it has a monopoly on violent coercion.

Neither situation is perfect. But one gives me more choice.

dns: this is starting to become a cyclical discussion, which means we have reached a point where nothing new is being said. you obviously want businesses/currency/value exchange/profit to continue to exist; i do not. punto, se acabo.

funky, my Spanish is rusty. As I asked bornagain: You must have an interesting lifestyle ... can you say more or have a link explaining how that works?

I'm open to being enlightened on this point and not necessarily in this thread as I indicated. But OK we can agree to differ here. I want value exchange to continue to exist, you do not.

My understanding is and always has been that anarchy (whatever label is applied) would not involve a removal of value exchange from society. That there appears to be a strand of thinking that wishes to remove this element is new to me. So far I'm not convinced of the merits.

dns: what does my lifestyle have to do with the theoretical/hypothetical discussion we are having? i live as best i can according to my principles, desires and priorities.

but here's where i think there is a huge disconnect: the world i desire to live in is a world where human social activity (and organization, if that word even applies) is on a radically different - dramatically smaller - scale than the current world. in such a world, your economic elements would make no sense to me; both aggression and self-defense could likewise exist only on that much smaller scale. anything that attempted to grow beyond some (arbitrary and contextual) point would meet immediate resistance from virtually everyone.

yes, that is all hypothetical.

i think it is the scale and resultant complexity of human society in the modern world that requires institutions of control and domination. that is why in this world i cannot see anarchy existing beyond specific individual relations. hence, that is where i focus in my actual, non-hypothetical life. anything else is mental masturbation. which can be fun at times.

funky, I believe value exchange makes sense even on a very small scale. I only asked about lifestyle as I cannot imagine one that doesn't involve value exchange in some form. In this current world or any hypothetical one. Perhaps my imagination is limited which is why I'm open to alternative views and examples. Aggression that met with immediate resistance from virtually everyone we agree is a hypothetical currently (otherwise no taxation for e.g.).

Believing that our current complex, modern society 'requires institutions of control and domination' is not an anarchist view by any stretch of the imagination.

"Believing that our current complex, modern society 'requires institutions of control and domination' is not an anarchist view by any stretch of the imagination."

that makes no sense whatsoever. it is my view that anarchy is not possible in mass society; it is only possible within specific individual relations (hence my desire to live in a world without mass society). my view is an explicitly anarchist critique of mass society. saying is not anarchist is a straw man. i could easily say that your desire for persistent profit-seeking value-exchange relationships is not anarchist by any stretch of the imagination. but note that i did not; because i don't claim a monopoly on the meaning of anarchy, nor do i care how others define it. i only know what i want for anarchic relations in my life.

dns, i didn't know you intended the "interesting lifestyle" comment toward me.

now that i do, i still don't know how to answer you. i don't know what you find "interesting", and i don't know what you mean by any "links" that would express something about my particular life....unless someone has written about me that i don't know about!

i desire to live with the least amount of mediation as i possibly can at any given moment -  between me and other people, the earth/land/water/air/plants, and all the other creatures - mediation that comes in all forms - money, technology, government, law, religion, media, Education, Science....

obviously, my ability to do that varies constantly based on my emotional/mental/physical strength at any given moment, based on my skills, on the relationships i have with other people and their relative (to me) resistance or willingness to relate without mediation, based on my needs and desires, my imagination, the place where i live, etc.

when it comes to money, i mean to say that i use it as little as possible while trying to remain as healthy and happy as i can.....i have no desire to replace one money system with another in my life. people have written books and websites about this - if you want i can list some of them here. i've used ideas from other people, i often find inspiration from their words for my own actions, but i don't follow any prescription.
@dns, I am asking you to at least try to further explain what you've wrote to get a better understanding, but I see you're just retort back with a response about why don't I post a new question about it and repeat same old same old ancap phrases.

@baa, I've never seen you use capital letters until today with "Education, Science." Maybe dot and f@ will see that it's okay to use capital letters occasionally in informal writing. ;)
hey human.....yeah, i think i used capitals there to distinguish between institutionalized forms of experience and those without....i gotta say it still didn't come easy now that i've taken to not using them!

funky, your view that 'that anarchy is not possible in mass society' is again new to me. I believe it is otherwise I wouldn't have any interest in the topic. Is requiring "institutions of control and domination" a critique of mass society or simply an acceptance of it? We can all organize our specific individual relations however we choose but it won't be long before they are strongly influenced by broader, wider, deeper forces in society generally. Not appreciating that turns 'anarchy' itself into a straw man, easily knocked over by adversaries because, as you say, it 'is not possible in mass society'. We all have desires but the world is not designed in such a way that they will necessarily materialize. I have a desire for freedom and I believe that somehow attempting to suppress mutually beneficial value-exchange relationships would impinge on that freedom. Yes, we obviously have different definitions of 'anarchy' and that is a good topic for another thread (I can't start one I'm not allowed to post questions). If the term is not defined at all it would become meaningless and simply whatever anyone wanted it to mean. I believe anarchy is more interesting and important than that and deserves a more universally applicable definition.

bornagain, first time I didn't realize this thread would get so busy. Then I realized it wasn't obvious and I retrospectively edited to add the reference to you. Apologies for any confusion.

What I found interesting is how you live 'not conducting business with another for profit'. Do you provide for everything in your life yourself? Yes, please, I would be interested to see your links, thanks.

Again it seems like a topic for another thread. However, living without conducting business in some form sounds troublesome and I was interested to get a sense of how that works in the real world according to your experience.

human, I did further explain what I wrote. I didn't mention a new question (that was in a response from 7 hours earlier and I didn't repeat it).

DNS, you can ask questions, and post comments (obviously), just don't post answers. thanks.

human :P
dns, no worries about the confusion.

no, i don't provide for everything in my life myself, but much more than i once did.

other people i know and trust often help me, as i do for them. and sometimes that occurs even with people i don't know that well. so i continually try to put more of my energy toward those types of relationships, as opposed to business/monetary relationships. and so more of my life has moved into that way of relating.

far from feeling troublesome, i've found much more joy, playfulness, confidence, and creativity by living without money in as many ways as i can. sometimes i've also experienced frustration and difficulties, mostly with people like family and friends who don't understand why i want to live this way....but overall i feel much more satisfied and happy as a result.

you might check out charles eisenstein and mark boyle. they both have written books and you can also find the entire texts online on their websites for free. you might also check out couchsurfing.com, and really, really.free markets. and of course, the old fashioned way - friends, lovers, family - things and activities people more often used to do for each other that have since entered the money system. i knew of a friend of a friend who paid 1000 bucks for a week to board their dogs when they needed to leave for a funeral....what about a friend or neighbor taking care of them?

i don't know if you want specific examples or not, but i could easily take any arena where people normally use money (basically everything these days....i can hardly think of any activity that hasn't been monetized) and describe what i've done instead. but the most important thing to me involving this way of living comes from the perspective of wanting to, more than any particular specifics, because when you don't use money for something, you can find myriad ways to do it if you want to. the other tough thing is finding people who want to relate this way, because almost everyone i meet thinks in terms of using money (even when they feel totally stressed out by it), with all the conditioning that comes with that....but that seems obvious....not many people consider anarchy/anarchic relationships....out of fear and loss of trust in themselves i suppose.

and i don't "need" nearly as much as i once thought i did, so that makes a big difference too.
bornagain. Interesting thanks. I'll check your references. For myself I distinguish between money/currency etc. as simply a tool/technology and the societal constructs it may be connected to but I will explore the point further in the http://anarchy101.org/2382/is-any-form-of-money-currency-compatible-with-anarchism thread.

I admire your efforts to manage this very difficult problem (the way that money is intimately tied up with our current Statist system) in a way that makes sense to your life. You've obviously thought about it and are attempting to match those thoughts with your actions. Your example may be more influential than you know. I hope so....
thanks, dns.

i don't think i influence too many people, although i know every person affects every other person in some way when they interact. and i've sort of given up the idea of influencing others....i'd rather just meet more people who want to relate anarchically, pushing back on (and weaving through) the boundaries set by the ideology of authority.....challenging and encouraging each other to do so.
dns, let me clarify. what I meant was that I think mass society is in direct conflict with any anarchy I am interested in. I do not see how a mass society could function without institutions of domination and control. anarchic relations can exist within that context, but as you point out, they can only go so far (in mass society). that is, again, why I want mass society gone along with its requisite institutions. i don't expect that to happen in my lifetime, and I sure as hell cant make it happen. so therefore I focus my energy on creating my life as much as possible outside of mass society, with the desire to find and nurture relationships with others that feel the same way.

as for a  universal definition of anarchy... anarcho-capitalism. as long as there are people who believe anarchy and capitalism can be somehow reconciled, there could never possibly be a universal definition of anarchy. that said, there are some core tenets I think most would agree with, and there are threads on this site that address that.
I get the impression people are feeling somewhat defeatist regarding the prospects for anarchy just at a time when, perhaps, the best opportunities in a long time are beginning to present themselves: Brexit, Italy elections, Catolonia, de-centralized consciousness generally (small steps in the right direction at least).

In line with the debate in this thread my view is that technology is a part of that opportunity if we're prepared to see it as a tool and look at how it works and what it can do for us. What if I simply wanted to support bornagain by sending him some bitcoin? Should we miss out on that possibility because of ideas (that may be valid in many other ways) regarding exploitation and profit?

Going from small to large scale (mass) is a big issue, I agree. But if we start to embrace tools like this https://www.freedomcells.org we have a better chance of reaching a critical mass that embodies the central component of anarchy which is the removal of imposed authority. I don't think we should let terms like 'capitalist' etc. distract us from that common goal.

defeatist...? not at all, not me. unless your only frame of reference is "critical mass" and the like. the unity of thought/desire that "critical mass" implies is an absolutely false unity. as clearly evidenced by this comment:

"I don't think we should let terms like 'capitalist' etc. distract us from that common goal." 

you might as well have said: "I don't think we should let terms like 'the state' etc. distract us from that common goal."

@funky. "the unity of thought/desire that "critical mass" implies is an absolutely false unity" - so if enough people conclude that an anarchic society is preferable to one dominated by the State that would be 'absolutely false'? Are you actually for anarchy or just against 'capitalists'?

The State and Capitalists are two distinct entities:

The State:

"a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government"

Capitalist:

"a person who uses their wealth to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism"

If I had said that I'd be saying two completely different things.

DNS, funky@ and i have both already said very clearly that we disagree with separating capitalism and the state in the way that you do, as if they have no relationship or don't foster each other.

you obviously disagree, but just pretending we never said that is indicative of an unwillingness to listen, which makes these conversations harder than they might be useful.
hey dns, if you would "support" me with bitcoin, why not just do the same now and support me with dollars? going from dollars to bitcoins doesn't expand (or fundamentally change) the possibilities that exist now. "charity" derived from profit, either way.
dns, perhaps you can help me figure out why ancaps/agorists use these websites like http://ancapistan.com/ or https://www.freedomcells.org/map/ to dox themselves or make it easier to figure who & where they are? It seems so bizarre.
@dot: they are distinct entities. I didn't say they have no relationship. Where have I said that or pretended that you didn't say that? Please look again and see that the problem arose from words being put in my mouth.

@bornagain: I recently tried to help someone configure an international fiat wire transfer. After 3 weeks we gave up. I've transacted crypto with the same person in seconds. Not fundamental true, still just value transfer, but convenience and ease can be a tipping point for a technology becoming broadly accepted. Fees much lower so smaller payments become viable. Also we cut out the banking system, which I think is significant. What's wrong if I send you (or anyone) "charity" derived from profit?

@human: http://ancapistan.com/  looks like a work in progress don't you think? Freedomcells is much more developed. I've setup a local 'cell' and been able to connect with other agorists worldwide. Quite important as we are in a tiny minority globally. 'Who' they are depends if they've used real names or not, but can be contacted via PMs. Where can be determined from the 'cell' locations. It's trying to do a lot technically and largely achieving it, although quite confusing when you first experience it.

Overall it is in line with the agorist objective of removing dependency on the State which is impossible to do as an individual. Economic and political activity needs to be conducted entirely outside State channels (which have been designed to coerce conformity). To do this it is necessary to co-operate with others (devoid of any kind of authority structure).

dns, bitcoins are converted to and from dollars (and other currencies) on an exchange. they have "values" in dollars. the government looks at them like securities for capital gains. so they still get tied into the existing monetary systems. do you disagree?

i didn't make a moral judgement (right/wrong) about profit and charity....i just have no desire to make a profit of other people or for people to profit off of me.....i don't need bitcoins or dollars, i need food and shelter. and i don't want my life monetized, or the ideology of a monetary system.

@funky: re: your blockchain link

A cornerstone of Statist propaganda is the idea that without it there would be chaos. We are told (and most people believe) that State institutions are necessary to prevent dishonest and/or violent actors from harming us. When it is discovered that it is the State institutions themselves that are dishonest (bailouts) and violent (wars) we are told that they remain, nevertheless, better than the alternatives.

That narrative is undermined when we have a technological alternative to human (State) trust in the form of cryptology and the blockchain.

There is no point in re-creating the State on a blockchain. Important principles such as the NAP have to be appreciated at the same time as any kind of technological implementation such as Bitnation.

I'm currently undecided on Bitnation but follow the idea with interest.

A separate thread on blockchain may be useful as 'technology' is very broad? I am unable to create one myself.

@ba: you can convert them into fiat on exchanges which is useful for now (we've had our 'value/monetization' debate elsewhere and I believe agreed neither of us would impose our values on the other via  apv).

The government will always look at any issue in a way that ties it back to themselves and subsequently their control over it. In this sense, I don't care how governments look at things, I care how they enforce things (via apv). Crypto, used correctly, prevents them from looking at our economic activity and hence makes it harder for them to extort it whilst, at the same time, undermining their justification for controlling said activity in the first place (to 'protect' us).
i dont know quite how you havent got this yet, but literally no-one here -except syrphant- cares about protecting economic activity from anyone, including the government.  the horse your flogging is so dead its mulch im growing food in.

you can fight your economic war with the gubment whilst i try to live joyfully and immediately with the experience around me.  let me know when its over, k?
"... we have a technological alternative to human (State) trust..."

that right there pretty much sums up why i have no interest in continuing this particular discussion. some people are just "true believers" in technology - they place some kind of immutable "trust" in it. it is a kind of faith that (justifiably, imo) evokes the ubiquitous comparisons with religion. it is the same ideological basis with which people actually believe that tech is going to somehow, someday provide the solutions to all the problems that have been created by ... largely that very belief.

climate change, poisoning of air, water and soil, energy consumption on a scale beyond comprehension (or necessity), the dumbing down and physical/emotional/psychological degradation of human life, ...  these are issues that exist due to technology and the faith put in/on it, particularly by humans in positions of power capable of imposing it on everyone else (while coercing many of them into the same belief/faith).

ok, that is a bit of a rant, and i didn't mean to go there. but there you have it.

dns, you have engaged in this discussion openly, intelligently and respectfully - which i appreciate, seriously. but you have demonstrated time and again that you simply want to keep making the same points over and over, without regard for what most of us are saying in opposition. it is clear that you have faith in tech, and you think it is going to somehow bring about a world that you find liberating (by eliminating or otherwise diminishing the state while allowing economics to continue dominating human relations).

i don't. period.
@funkyanarchy couldnt -and didnt- say it better myself.

i am going to start a new thread about a more specific aspect of technology, so this one doesnt become über cluttered

1 Answer

+3 votes
The idea of automation is one that has almost always interested me, and my views have changed violently over the years.

My views used to be similar to yours, in that I saw the possibility of zero-work as a chance for widespread liberation.  But there were many problems I had and still have with this notion.

I will name drop a lot, and I justify this by encouraging you to read up on any ideas you find particularly difficult or interesting, and as such I will try to provide pointers.

Capitalism, technology, civilization, production; these are not things I think can be explained in purely economic/material things.  Woven into these issues are values, ideologies, philosophies, theologies etc.  Whilst economic exploitation, and economic privilege, do go some way towards explaining the world today, there comes a point where an honest appraisal of the world cannot be explained by a class exploiting the rest of humanity for their own personal power and pleasure.  The fact is that a lot of rich people are totally miserable.  They work long hours, incur great amounts of stress, worrying about numbers in their bank accounts, numbers in general.  They engage in self destructive as well as aggressive behaviour.  Why?  Because they sincerely believe in notions of material value and production.
Society functions to produce more to make more society to produce more to make more... on and on forever.  This is the ideology of the modern world.  Instead of engaging and experiencing with the world as actual, existent, sensory beings, we are producers and consumers of material commodities.  The experiences are secondary to what we materially derive from them.  To steal a phrase from the Situationist Guy Debord, ‘being is replaced by having, which is replaced by appearance’.

This draws upon many ideas.  For starters, Max Stirner’s idea of the Spook; an idea that can ‘possess’ an individual and make them act as if that idea has a meaningful corporeal existence.  Typical examples are great causes or social projects, such as a Nation or Civilization, to which citizens must sacrifice their lives to build, maintain, and grow, but St Max extends this even to notions such as Humanity, or Truth, or Justice.  The same can be said of Production; it is concieved of as some actual existent fact about the world to which indiviudals must devote some portion of their lives to increasing.  It is this notion of Production, and its counterpart Consumption, that the development of technology is pushed towards.  The logical endpoint of current techno-productionist system is not a kind of ‘fully automated luxury space anarchism’, but in fact the removal of the human element altogether, with automated production for its own sake.

This of course doesn’t even consider the cost of reaching the level of technological advancement you describe.  It is fair to say that technology now is not used for the creation of more anarchy, but for the expansion of Society, and the projection of homogeneity and conformity.  What will the mental state of these future humans be with the advent of full automatism?  How far down the rabbit hole of ecological destruction will we have to go to develop, produce, and maintain this technology?

Now consider the roles of Master and Slave.  There is a large body of theory that states that the only way that any individual copes with being a slave is to be a master, and that to be a master you must first be a slave.  That is to say everyone is both a slave and a master, though of course to different things.  This might mean that a working man is slave to his boss, but might be master of his wife, or children.  The woman might be slave to her husband, but could be master to a poorer woman, coloured woman, or perhaps her children again.  What about the King, or the Capitalist?  Their mastery is obvious, but what about their slavery?  The King is slave to notions of Honour perhaps, to Prestige, to Law, to Kingdom.  The Capitalist to Profit, to Production.  What are the implications of everyone having their own personal robot-slave?  Surely anarchy is the attempt to break away from this simultaneous domination and submission, and I wonder whether automation is necessarily the way towards this.

I have my grave doubts that technology can lead us towards anarchy.  Look at what it is used for right now; what technology there is that is directed towards human experience is almost exclusively used to escape the world that we have built pursuing that very technology.  Think of TV, of the Internet, of the emergence of Virtual Reality.  These exist to remove us from our reality, to place us somewhere else, to mediate our relations through things.  It seems to me part of a systematic attempt to objectify every aspect of reality, from person to relation.  Are we really the masters of Technology, or do we serve Science in the pursuit of Technology?
answered Feb 28 by shinminmetroskyline (1,820 points)
If referencing Debord and Stirner is name dropping "a lot", then a lot of us who frequent this sight are in trouble.
I had initially planned on more, but had forgotten who and what by the time I got to writing the next bit, so I just wrapped up and went to sleep.
sleep>name dropping/footnotes/etc.
depends on the footnotes!
if i could upvote this answer more than once, i would.
@funkyanarchy <3
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