Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Article 'In Defence of Industrial Anarchism'

0 votes

I recently read an article in issue 90 of Organise entitled 'FALC On Punching Left' which referred to an article 'In Defence of Industrial Anarchism'. Can anyone tell me where I could find the article?

asked Jun 15 by Stuart

Stuart, the idea that tools and technologies are somehow separate from the intentions, designs, and worldviews of their inventors/implementers is woefully naive at best, and willfully ignorant at worst. Let's take your example of "nuclear fusion" [sic] to "generate power or abused and used to make bombs." You are confused (semi-pun intended). Nuclear fission is what generates power and is used in atomic weapons, and the intertwining of "atoms for peace" (civilian application of controlled fission/chain reactions to generate electricity for the grid) and atomic weapons existed from the beginning of the specialized field of physics. The funding of scientific research for civilian and military applications has always been created, maintained, and controlled by the state, and the state is always and almost exclusively interested in expanding its control over its citizens, either through increased intrusion into their daily lives through the use of public infrastructure or through militarist mobilizations. The idea that nuclear technology is somehow separate from this process, or that its civilian applications are "good" (apparently you're uninterested in how to deal with spent fuel rods and other forms of radioactive waste, an enormous deferred cost of this "good") while the exact same technology and infrastructure are magically transformed into "abuse" because you don't approve, is, as I said, woefully naive. It is a wholly inadequate analysis for anyone who considers themselves to be any kind of anarchist; you cannot separate the public availability of various technologies from the policies and programs of government. If you are opposed to the project of government -- the foundational component of anarchist philosophy -- then at the very least you need to be a lot more aware of the role of the state in technological research and availability.

just in case you're interested:


stuart: "I think my comment about a future society moving into space was a bit of an unnecessary aside."

perhaps to you it is, but to me it speaks volumes about your acceptance of/desire for imperialist/colonialist type activity - in the supposed interest of "humanity". there is a long history of that kind of behavior (with the same justification/rationalization), and it is a very significant point in any discussion of anarchist thought and action.

as to the whole technology question, there will always be disagreement about that here, at some level. and i think that is absolutely necessary, given where the world is today, along with the hugely varying desires of different individuals and groups. i just wish folks would leave morality (implicit or explicit) out of the discussion. given the extent to which thoughtful people disagree on the subject, i think it is pretty clear that there is no objective "good" or "bad" about it. for me the question needs to be framed in the context of people's desires and priorities - which will always vary from individual to individual (and group to group). folks often bring up the idea of some "collective good" (perhaps in line with your "humanity"); yet, there is no single "collective" which would all agree on what is "good" or not.

also, it is not necessary for one to exist - or even desire to exist - in a complete vacuum of self-sufficiency, in order to be staunchly against the idea of some overarching "society" which forms the basis for some ideal life for all. imo, that is a false dichotomy driven by a tendency toward binary thinking.

it is, however, difficult for me to envision a life filled with advanced industrial technology that does not require such a massified (and largely homogenized) collective existence.

there is the concept of "appropriate technology", which used to be discussed (maybe still is) among certain green and anti-civ types. given the world as it actually exists today, i find that a much more interesting and relevant discussion than the all-or-nothing binary of tech: yes or no.

in addition to the comment by boles about intent and funding sources regarding high tech, there is the unavoidable discussion of the impact of designing and creating these technologies, on the multitudes of lives that had absolutely no input into the decisions behind those activities.


rejection of the concept "the good of humanity" does not equal (or imply) "total self-sufficiency".
hi stuart, welcome to the hive.

i don't call this place "a hive"....if anything, the "technology is a force for good" ideology is something i hear from almost everyone i meet who does not consider themselves anarchist....those of us here are but a few straggling bees who have flown away from that hive and happened to have found each other in cyberspace.

and i don't know why my comment about "conformity is an obsession" for george costanza got deleted....it has some relevance, and i find it quite funny.

Please log in or register to answer this question.