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Do anarchists support "sustainable development"?

+4 votes
It's in quotations because I have my doubts about it. This is probably more oriented towards the more green anarchists here. What is sustainable development? Is sustainable development something that can be achieved? Is it something that should even be strived for? Or is sustainable retrogression more desirable?
Lots of questions in this anarchist's head!
asked Mar 21, 2013 by anonymous

2 Answers

+3 votes
"Sustainable development" is the label used to excuse expansion of industry and civilization now that humans have concluded that our world is, in fact finite, and that perpetual growth in a closed system runs counter to the laws of thermodynamics. Like "progress," development, sustainable or not, is about expanding the sphere of civilization's control and providing comfort, sedation, and absolution to the good citizens of empire. At least as we understand and use those words currently. (See also: green technology, social ecology.)

Does that mean we need to go backwards? Not necessarily. I am skeptical of the compatibility of a truly anarchic and egalitarian life with the comforts and technologies we (in the industrialized west) take for granted and are dependent on. However even if we lose many of the developments of civilization, I don't see that as retrogression.

The idea of historic/linear progress versus regression or returning to a previous golden age both are examples of what I would argue are civilized ways of viewing the world. Retrogression implies that we are on a linear path, and that is not how life works.
answered Mar 22, 2013 by ingrate (22,130 points)
–4 votes
I'm not sure if anarchism is inherently opposed to  technology, certainly their technology. But would it be against the principles of anarchy to redevelop technology in a way that does not bring us back to mass-consumption and the use of petrol?  Without technology, ignorance prevails because it's much harder to  get information across and goals are much less attainable because manual labor is a bitch. When over 100 years ago Nicola Tesla proposed wild technologies that could completely remove the need for combustion fuel and could bring power all over the world without wires, it was destroyed  for the sake of capital. Today what you call sustainable development is Al Gore telling gullible fucktards that their cars are causing global warming.(Look at all of these blizzards back east, must be global warming.) while he unloads from his private jet and is greeted by a stretch hum-vee.
A few years ago, I was debating on a forum about the destructive nature of corporation and someone could really say " You can't do away with corporations because they give us so many wonderful things"  The answer that I didn't bother to post  was that corporations don't give us wonderful things, science gives us wonderful things and corporations find was to exploit and repress them.

I think we can do without for the sake of the damage like shown in the Gulf Of Mexico, if not the finite nature of resources. Or that we just don't want to be wage slaves for the sake of keeping our precious cars on the road. The way I see it, sustainability is about independence and personal responsibility.
answered Mar 22, 2013 by solid_black (140 points)
I'd like to know why this was voted down? I'm here to learn not gain points, but if you're going to criticize a point, you need an argument.
i agree, the people who voted the answer down could have taken the time to explain.
i didn't vote you down, 'cause i think minus three is sufficient, but here is why i think your answer is not good.
a. associating technology with learning is unimaginative. the kind of learning that comes with technology is reliant on technology. there are other, i would submit better, ways of learning/things to learn.
b. manual labor is unpleasant when certain other things are taken for granted, like large scale production, alienation from our work, etc.
c. you sound like you don't think that global warming is real, which sounds crazy, but maybe that's just me.

and perhaps
d. etc.

but that's enough for now.
Dot, thank you for agreeing with me about that.

Rebuttal to A...

 It's understood that technology can provide a sort of left-brained education, but bear in mind that this sort of technology is what allow us to have this riveting discussion. Without technology, and perhaps with the use of pidgins to  transmit information, it is much more difficult to educate one's self.  If you want to learn about any subject, and it's only available on a hard book, maybe someone else has it out from the library, maybe there are no other copies in town and you have to send for one, wait for your request to the publisher to arrive, and then for the book to arrive, it could take weeks. Now, If I wanted to, I could go to anarchopedia.org and or wikipedia and in seconds be opened to a vast wealth of knowledge equal to numerous libraries. How ever you also make a good point. I do so miss my  childhood memories of visits to the public library, the adventure of going through shelves and physically experiencing literature. On the other hand,with technology, having calculators,  spell checkers and cache so you don't have to remember URL's it's all a great disservice to learning. If you Can  depend on technology to know this shit, what's the use of learning it. So,there has to be a middle way if you will.  

Rebuttal to C...

Manual labor is certainly less annoying when not being exploited by "mass-producers" It is still unnecessary if a more sustainable technology could replace the need. There are better things humanity could focus on, to get back to learning, as long as the human mind is occupied with toils, then learning and development become less and less of a priority.

Rebuttal to B...

The climate is most certainly chaining, but you can't listen elitists like Al Gore, and take what they say seriously. Al Gore is above all things an extremely hierarchal former vice president and a very poor choice for an anarchist to take as a teacher. Let's say that I'm most certainly opposed to the idea of anthro-sensitive climate change. Or at least within the official concept that  your cars are causing all of this trouble. I look up and see the chem trails and wonder if the problem is in fact with human intervention, who among us are the ones intervening. Maybe I wasn't quite criticizing global warming, not sure yet where to stand there, Please enlighten me, beyond saying that anyone who disagrees is crazy? But, I was criticizing those who say to do without and won't do without themselves.

Do you have any comments on   when I said that science is that which brings us wonderful things and corporations find ways to exploit them?  

Hope to read your D point.

Thanks, I always appreciate constructive criticism. Oh, did you take down, my essay? I understand if you did.
"chemtrails" ? Are you seriously bringing conspiracy theories into this ?

"Nicola Tesla proposed wild technologies that could completely remove the need for combustion fuel and could bring power all over the world without wires, it was destroyed  for the sake of capital."

I've seen these websites that try to make Tesla into this god of wacky inventions on conspiracy theory websites as well. This idea of "free energy" that doesn't have any repercussions for our natural environments is magical thinking.

I know of no well-read anarchists who would be into these ideas.

Conspiracy theories help to serve the powerful.

Also, if you don't believe that car culture (along with this massive techno-industrial system) doesn't impact the earth's climate (climate change, etc.), then I'm not sure what you are actually advocating for
You're using A/C power right now, which is the most ubiquitous of Nikola Tesla's inventions,Ya' nut.

I'm using solar right now ya' nut.

I'm going to bring up Mark Passio again because he is a real, self governing anarchist, Listen to his podcasts, he is certainly more eloquent and clearly more well read than anyone I've seen here. He is an anarchist and a truther!

Wake up you slave!

You also may have seen my post in which I discussed the relevance of no longer using fossil fuels because of the damage it does. It was voted down without one argument.

This is my last post  on this horrible contradictory site. Don't you think this system of rank is a little higherarchal?

There are more trolls here than a toy convention.

Goodbye assholes.
A troll calling out other trolls...ha ha.....ya' nut, solid black.

I looked up this Mark Passio. What's he saying is not new, its recycled John Birch Society, Lyndon Larouche, Alex Jones type crap. Passio under his references links is all about the usual conservative viewpoints and he doesn't have any anarchist theory or influences to his ideas.

solid black, your views are similar to jaysthoughts (Ludwig Von Mises/Ron Paul crap) and probably RedbloodBlackFlag aka
anarcho-moneybags. I'm glad you decided to join him and leave this website and hopefully find yourself a non-anarchist, ron paul type forum which better matches your philosophy.

Also, there's no system of rank here (based on the point system.) To me, its seems like it indicates a person's involvement on this website. It can be positive or negative...positive for showing someone's understanding of anarchist ideas or negative by a person just giving out votes or posting questions and/or answers that are odd or not showing any understanding of anarchist ideas (in the case of jaysthoughts, giving out over 400 negative votes with tons of pro-Ludwig Von Mises style comments.)
A person with more points than another person does not mean that they have authority over another person.

Its funny that you're calling me a slave, when you are enslaved to old recycled conspiracy theories that are usually held by conservative christians in my experience.

You are a loyal member of the Ron Paul Tinfoil Hat brigade.
There are wildly stupid conspiracy theories like those of lizard jews that do serve the powerful, But if you're going to try to refute that 9/11 was an inside job, you need evidence and not just attacking the idea with complete refusal to do any of the research for yourself.  

You call me a Ron Paul follower and "tinfoil hat wearer" without any basis for that.
I was the first voice of reason however when formyinformation asked whether voting could be useful to anarchists.  I completely refused to be called  non anarchist by those who still participate in the capitalist paradigm. Tell me, what is it that you do to live outside of governance?
And remember that I never attacked anyone, you're the one who went off on a hateful rampage because something I said challenged your cognitive dissonance.
i doubt that anyone here cares if 9/11 was an inside job or not. to care would mean that we think that it being an inside job was uniquely bad or unusual in some way. so you talking about it, as well as referencing al gore (who i also don't care about) and "elites" are all indications that you are on a very different trip than most of the people here. that is not even addressing the question of chemtrails or passio.
it's too bad that you chose to respond along the lines of "hateful rampages" instead of tackling the substantive criticism of ideas that you're trying to introduce into this site.
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