>>>  Laatst gewijzigd: 28 december 2017  
Ik

Woorden en Beelden

Filosofie en de waan van de dag

Start Glossen Weblog Boeken Denkwerk

Waarderingen van techniek

Voorkant Kaczynski 'The road to revolution' Theodore J. KACZYNSKI
The road to revolution
Vevey, Switzerland: Éditions Xenia, 2009; ISBN-13: 978 28 8892 0656

[Dit is een van de vele edities van de teksten van TK en bepaald geen nette: het wemelt van de opmaakfouten. Het gaat mij vooral om de tekst Industrial Society and Its Future uit 1995.]

[Kaczynski - geboren in 1942 - staat ook bekend als 'the Unabomber' vanwege de aanslagen die hij tussen 1978 en 1995 in de V.S. pleegde en waarvoor hij levenslang kreeg. Je ziet er aan af dat ook iemand die zo intelligent is als Kaczynski - hij werd al op zijn 16e toegelaten tot Harvard en verwierf al jong een PhD in wiskunde - niet zonder meer een weg weet te bewandelen die praktisch en humaan is: formele intelligentie garandeert niet zo veel op het terrein van normatieve en emotionele intelligentie. De Engelstalige Wikipedia zegt over hem:]

"In 1971, he moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water, in Lincoln, Montana, where he lived as a recluse while learning survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient. He decided to start a bombing campaign after watching the wilderness around his home being destroyed by development, according to Kaczynski. From 1978 to 1995, Kaczynski sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23. Kaczynski sent a letter to The New York Times on April 24, 1995 and promised "to desist from terrorism" if the Times or the Washington Post published his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future (also called the 'Unabomber Manifesto'), in which he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large-scale organization."

[Alsof je in je eentje met een reeks bommen de wereld op zijn kop kunt zetten. Ik vind het een erg naïeve ontkenning van hoe de wereld in elkaar zit. Al zou alles waar zijn van wat TK over de technologische samenleving schrijft, dan nog is duidelijk dat deze aanpak de revolutie niet dichterbij zal brengen. En waarom doe je het dan? Het illustreert dat TK weinig gevoel heeft voor het - concrete - leed van anderen en alleen maar in abstracties denkt waarbij mensen als wiskundige symbolen gemanipuleerd worden om een uitkomst te bereiken.]

[Los van dat bommen leggen: De opvattingen die TK hieronder naar voren brengt over de industriële technologische samenleving worden door veel meer mensen naar voren gebracht, bijvoorbeeld door mensen in de hoek van het anarchoprimitivisme, een vorm van anarchisme waarvan TK ook een voorstander lijkt te zijn. Het is in de kern een 'terug naar de natuur', 'terug naar het eenvoudige leven', 'terug naar de totale autonomie' benadering. De technologische samenleving wordt vanuit een 'alles of niets' perspectief bekeken en gezien als een bedreiging die zich volledig autonoom ontwikkelt en zich onttrekt aan een sturing door mensen. Het enige dat je kunt doen is je er aan onttrekken. Iets wat TK dus ook werkelijk probeerde, maar waarbij hij ontdekte dat dat niet zo simpel is, zelfs niet in een groot land met veel ruimte als de V.S.]

(13) Forword

"For the sake of clarity, I want to state here in summary form the four main points that I’ve tried to make in my writings."(15)

"1. Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster."(15)

K. zegt dat hij voor gek verklaard wordt, maar zegt dat wat hij beweert in lijn is met grootheden als Bill Joy "Why the Future Doesn’t Need US" [Wired Magazine, April 2000], Martin Rees Our Final Century [William Heineman, 2003], en Richard A. Posner Catastrophe: Risk and Response [Oxford University Press, 2004].

"Joy, Rees, and Posner are concerned mainly with physical disaster and with the possibility or indeed the likelihood that human beings will be supplanted by machines. The disaster that technological progress implies for human dignity has been discussed by men like Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford, whose books are widely read and respected. Neither man is considered to be out on the fringe or even close to it."(15)

"2. Only the collapse of modern technological civilization can avert disaster."(15)

"Ellul, moreover, was not the first to formulate this conclusion. Already in 1934 the Mexican thinker Samuel Ramos clearly stated the principle of technological autonomy, and this insight was adumbrated as early as the 1860s by Samuel Butler. Of course, no one questions the obvious fact that human individuals or groups can control technology in the sense that at a given point in time they can decide what to do with a particular item of technology. What the principle of technological autonomy asserts is that the overall development of technology, and its long-term consequences for society, are not subject to human control. Hence, as long as modern technology continues to exist, there is little we can do to moderate its effects. (...)
Thus, if we want to defend ourselves against technology, the only action we can take that might prove effective is an effort to precipitate the collapse of technological society."(16)

Dat vraagt een door-en-door revolutionaire aanpak. En die hoeven we niet te verwachten van politiek links, zegt TK, integendeel:

"3. The political left is technological society’s first line of defense against revolution."(17)

"If you don’t like this application of the word 'leftist', then you are free to designate the people I’m referring to by some other term. But, whatever you call them, the people who extinguish revolutionary movements are the people who are drawn indiscriminately to causes: racism, sexism, gay rights, animal rights, the environment, poverty, sweatshops, neocolonialism, it’s all the same to them. These people constitute a subculture that has been labeled 'the adversary culture'."(17)

"4. What is needed is a new revolutionary movement, dedicated to the elimination of technological society, that will take measures to exclude all leftists, as well as the assorted neurotics, lazies, incompetents, charlatans, and persons deficient in self-control who are drawn to resistance movements in America today. Just what form a revolutionary movement should take remains open to discussion. What is clear is that, for a start, people who are serious about addressing the problem of technology must establish systematic contact with one another and a sense of common purpose; they must strictly separate themselves from the “adversary culture”; they must be oriented toward practical action, without renouncing a priori the most extreme forms of action; and they must take as their goal nothing less than the dissolution of technological civilization."(17)

(18) Industrial society and its future

[De paragrafen zijn genummerd.]

"1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in 'advanced' countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in 'advanced' countries."(18)

Hij wil dus een revolutie. Niet een politieke, maar eentje die de economische en technologische basis van de samenleving ondersteboven gooit. Volgt een stuk over 'leftism'.

"9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call feelings of inferiority and oversocialization. Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential."(21)

TK heeft een hekel aan het zwakke en machteloze gedrag van mensen die geen rationele kritiek verdragen en zich uitputten in politiek correct taalgebruik om niemand voor het hoofd te stoten. Ze zijn zogenaamd solidair met groepen als vrouwen, homo's, gehandicapten, en zo verder, maar alleen omdat ze die zien als zwak en kwetsbaar.

"They would never admit to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their problems."(22)

"Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality."(22)

"16. Words like 'self-confidence', 'self-reliance', 'initiative', 'enterprise', 'optimism', etc., play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone’s problems for them, satisfy everyone’s needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser."(22)

[Het is één van die merkwaardige dingen die steeds terug komen: de kritiek op links met die al te simpele generalisaties en met een hoop gepsychologiseer. Waarschijnlijk is die kritiek er omdat men daar probeert VAN BINNEN UIT het systeem te veranderen, iets wat volgens mensen als TK onmogelijk is. TK's opvattingen lijken gek genoeg bijna op het denken van Ayn Rand; de Republikeinen zullen hem dankbaar zijn. Waarom zo afgeven op links terwijl rechts het meest profiteert van de industriële samenleving? Je ziet ook wel kritiek op de conservatieven, maar dat is niets vergeleken met de kritiek op links. Heel vreemd. Vooral ook omdat al die eigenschappen die hij als positief ziet de basis vormen van de ideologie die uiteindelijk de industriële samenleving maken die hij zegt te verfoeien. Het heeft ook weer heel erg betrekking op de situatie in de V.S.]

[Van de andere kant ben ik zelf ook niet altijd kapot van progressieve politieke groepen. Mooie woorden en mooie concrete daden veranderen het economische systeem en de technologische samenleving natuurlijk niet erg. En mensen willen helpen zonder je eigen motieven en waarden en normen te kennen of je af te vragen of die mensen wel geholpen willen worden, maakt op mij ook weinig indruk, vooral niet als ze komen van mensen die het in deze samenleving zo gemakkelijk hebben. Maar corrupte machthebbers zonder enige doordachte visie, of uitbuiters, of bureaucraten, kunnen toch altijd nog minder op mijn sympathie rekenen. Links probeert in ieder geval iets uit solidariteit met mensen die het niet zo gemakkelijk hebben. Maar blijkbaar vindt TK dat je niet solidair moet zijn.]

"18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvious that modern leftish philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They attack these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More importantly, the leftists hate science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior) and other beliefs as false (i.e., failed, inferior). The leftist’s feelings of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility of IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior because such explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or blame for an individual’s ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is 'inferior' it is not his fault, but society’s, because he has not been brought up properly."(23)

"20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be effective, but many leftists use them not as a means to an end but because they PREFER masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait."(24)

[Het gepsychologiseer van TK vind ik niet erg nuttig. Linkse mensen zijn volgens hem overgesocialiseerd. Ze verdringen van alles daarover omdat ze zich anders schuldig gaan voelen bij alles wat ze nalaten te doen, ze kennen hun eigen echte motieven niet, en zo verder. Zo'n argument slaat altijd terug op jezelf: nu kan ik TK weer gaan psychologiseren en hem van alles gaan verwijten, liefst dingen die hij van zichzelf niet door heeft. Niet erg zinvol, lijkt me. Leg liever uit waarom links niet radicaal genoeg is, waarom alles wat links aan acties voert niet zal werken om bepaalde doelen te bereiken, en zo verder.]

"26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’s expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the over-socialized person are more restricted by society’s expectations than are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a significant amount of naughty behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt, thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality; he cannot think 'unclean' thoughts. And socialization is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to conform to many norms of behavior that do not fall under the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leash and spends his life running on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense of constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties that human beings inflict on one another."(25)

"Leftists of the oversocialized type tend to be intellectuals or members of the upper middle class. Notice that university intellectuals constitute the most highly socialized segment of our society and also the most left-wing segment."(26)

"28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off his psychological leash and assert his autonomy by rebelling. But usually he is not strong enough to rebel against the most basic values of society. Generally speaking, the goals of today’s leftists are NOT in conflict with the accepted morality. On the contrary, the left takes an accepted moral principle, adopts it as its own, and then accuses mainstream society of violating that principle. Examples: racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poor people, peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedom of expression, kindness to animals. More fundamentally, the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty of society to take care of the individual. All these have been deeply rooted values of our society (or at least of its middle and upper classes) for a long time. These values are explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed in most of the material presented to us by the mainstream communications media and the educational system. Leftists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually do not rebel against these principles but justify their hostility to society by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not living up to these principles."(27)

[Niet erg sterk, deze analyse. De maatschappij is in veel gevallen, zeker in de V.S., helemaal niet in overeenstemming met genoemde waarden. Wat weer niet betekent dat veel linkse middenklassers niet bezig zijn achtergestelde groepen aan te passen aan hun eigen waarden en normensysteem zoals hij in de paragraaf erna beweert. Dat is tenslotte wat witte welgestelde, machtige midden- en hogere klassen al millennia lang doen.]

"32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problems of our society as a whole. Low selfesteem, depressive tendencies and defeatism are not restricted to the left. Though they are especially noticeable in the left, they are widespread in our society. And today’s society tries to socialize us to a greater extent than any previous society. We are even told by experts how to eat, how to exercise, how to make love, how to raise our kids and so forth."(28)

"33. Human beings have a need (probably based in biology) for something that we will call the power process. This is closely related to the need for power (which is widely recognized) but is not quite the same thing. The power process has four elements. The three most clear-cut of these we call goal, effort and attainment of goal. (Everyone needs to have goals whose attainment requires effort, and needs to succeed in attaining at least some of his goals.) The fourth element is more difficult to define and may not be necessary for everyone. We call it autonomy and will discuss it later (paragraphs 42-44)."(28)

"41. For many if not most people, surrogate activities are less satisfying than the pursuit of real goals (that is, goals that people would want to attain even if their need for the power process were already fulfilled). One indication of this is the fact that, in many or most cases, people who are deeply involved in surrogate activities are never satisfied, never at rest. Thus the money-maker constantly strives for more and more wealth. The scientist no sooner solves one problem than he moves on to the next. The long-distance runner drives himself to run always farther and faster. Many people who pursue surrogate activities will say that they get far more fulfillment from these activities than they do from the 'mundane' business of satisfying their biological needs, but that is because in our society the effort required to satisfy the biological needs has been reduced to triviality. More importantly, in our society people do not satisfy their biological needs AUTONOMOUSLY but by functioning as parts of an immense social machine. In contrast, people generally have a great deal of autonomy in pursuing their surrogate activities."(30-31)

"42. Autonomy as a part of the power process may not be necessary for every individual. But most people need a greater or lesser degree of autonomy in working toward their goals. Their efforts must be undertaken on their own initiative and must be under their own direction and control. Yet most people do not have to exert this initiative, direction and control as single individuals. It is usually enough to act as a member of a SMALL group. Thus if half a dozen people discuss a goal among them-selves and make a successful joint effort to attain that goal, their need for the power process will be served. But if they work under rigid orders handed down from above that leave them no room for autonomous decision and initiative, then their need for the power process will not be served. The same is true when decisions are made on a collective basis if the group making the collective decision is so large that the role of each individual is insignificant."(31)

"When one does not have adequate opportunity to go through the power process the consequences are (depending on the individual and on the way the power process is disrupted) boredom, demoralization, low self-esteem, inferiority feelings, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior, sleep disorders, eating disorders, etc."(32)

"45. Any of the foregoing symptoms can occur in any society; but in modern industrial society they are present on a massive scale. We aren’t the first to mention that the world today seems to be going crazy. This sort of thing is not normal for human societies."(33)

"48. It is well known that crowding increases stress and aggression. The degree of crowding that exists today and the isolation of man from nature are consequences of technological progress. All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The Industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before. (Also, technology exacerbates the effects of crowding because it puts increased disruptive powers in people’s hands. For example, a variety of noise-making devices: power mowers, radios, motorcycles, etc. If the use of these devices is unrestricted, people who want peace and quiet are frustrated by the noise. If their use is restricted, people who use the devices are frustrated by the regulations. But if these machines had never been invented there would have been no conflict and no frustration generated by them.)"(33-34)

"50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values."(34)

"57. The difference, we argue, is that modern man has the sense (largely justified) that change is IMPOSED on him, whereas the 19th century frontiersman had the sense (also largely justified) that he created change himself, by his own choice."(36)

"58. It would be possible to give other examples of societies in which there has been rapid change and/or lack of close community ties without the kind of massive behavioral aberration that is seen in today’s industrial society. We contend that the most important cause of social and psychological problems in modern society is the fact that people have insufficient opportunity to go through the power process in a normal way. We don’t mean to say that modern society is the only one in which the power process has been disrupted. Probably most if not all civilized societies have interfered with the power process to a greater or lesser extent. But in modern industrial society the problem has become particularly acute. Leftism, at least in its recent (mid-to-late-20th century) form, is in part a symptom of deprivation with respect to the power process."(36)

"63. So certain artificial needs have been created that fall into group 2 [those that can be satisfied but only at the cost of serious effort;], hence serve the need for the power process. Advertising and marketing techniques have been developed that make many people feel they need things that their grandparents never desired or even dreamed of. (...) Modern man must satisfy his need for the power process largely through pursuit of the artificial needs created by the advertising and marketing industry, and through surrogate activities."(37-38)

"64. It seems that for many people, maybe the majority, these artificial forms of the power process are insufficient. A theme that appears repeatedly in the writings of the social critics of the second half of the 20th century is the sense of purposelessness that afflicts many people in modern society."(38)

"67. Thus the power process is disrupted in our society through a deficiency of real goals and a deficiency of autonomy in the pursuit of goals. But it is also disrupted because of those human drives that fall into group 3: the drives that one cannot adequately satisfy no matter how much effort one makes. One of these drives is the need for security. Our lives depend on decisions made by other people; we have no control over these decisions and usually we do not even know the people who make them."(40)

"The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many things against which he is helpless; nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food, environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his privacy by large organizations, nationwide social or economic phenomena that may disrupt his way of life."(41)

"72. Modern society is in certain respects extremely permissive. In matters that are irrelevant to the functioning of the system we can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religion we like (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is dangerous to the system). We can go to bed with anyone we like (as long as we practice 'safe sex'). We can do anything we like as long as it is UNIMPORTANT. But in all IMPORTANT matters the system tends increasingly to regulate our behavior."(41-42)

"74. We suggest that modern man’s obsession with longevity, and with maintaining physical vigor and sexual attractiveness to an advanced age, is a symptom of unfulfillment resulting from deprivation with respect to the power process. The 'mid-life crisis' also is such a symptom. So is the lack of interest in having children that is fairly common in modern society but almost unheard-of in primitive societies."(42)

Mensen zijn heel verschillend in hun behoefte aan het 'power process' of in hun gevoeligheid voor marketing.

"83. Some people partly satisfy their need for power by identifying themselves with a powerful organization or mass movement. An individual lacking goals or power joins a movement or an organization, adopts its goals as his own, then works toward these goals."(44)

"It only remains to point out that in many cases a person’s way of earning a living is also a surrogate activity. Not a PURE surrogate activity, since part of the motive for the activity is to gain the physical necessities and (for some people) social status and the luxuries that advertising makes them want. But many people put into their work far more effort than is necessary to earn whatever money and status they require, and this extra effort constitutes a surrogate activity. This extra effort, together with the emotional investment that accompanies it, is one of the most potent forces acting toward the continual development and perfecting of the system, with negative consequences for individual freedom."(45-46)

"85. In this section we have explained how many people in modern society do satisfy their need for the power process to a greater or lesser extent. But we think that for the majority of people the need for the power process is not fully satisfied."(46)

"92. Thus science marches on blindly, without regard to the real welfare of the human race or to any other standard, obedient only to the psychological needs of the scientists and of the government officials and corporation executives who provide the funds for research."(48)

[Langzamerhand duikt bij het lezen de vraag op wat dan WEL echt geldt als autonome machtsprocessen en met moeite toewerken naar ECHTE zelfgestelde doelen. Want vrijwel alles wordt weggezet als surrogaat voor het ECHTE werk: wetenschappelijk werk, kunst, verzin het maar.]

"93. We are going to argue that industrial-technological society cannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing the sphere of human freedom. But because 'freedom' is a word that can be interpreted in many ways, we must first make clear what kind of freedom we are concerned with."(48)

"94. By 'freedom' we mean the opportunity to go through the power process, with real goals not the artificial goals of surrogate activities, and without interference, manipulation or supervision from anyone, especially from any large organization. Freedom means being in control (either as an individual or as a member of a SMALL group) of the life-and-death issues of one’s existence: food, clothing, shelter and defense against whatever threats there may be in one’s environment. Freedom means having power; not the power to control other people but the power to control the circumstances of one’s own life. One does not have freedom if anyone else (especially a large organization) has power over one, no matter how benevolently, tolerantly and permissively that power may be exercised. It is important not to confuse freedom with mere permissiveness."(48-49)

Of met de bekende burgerlijke vrijheden zoals vrijheid van pers en zo.

"111. The foregoing principles help to show how hopelessly difficult it would be to reform the industrial system in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing our sphere of freedom. There has been a consistent tendency, going back at least to the Industrial Revolution, for technology to strengthen the system at a high cost in individual freedom and local autonomy. Hence any change designed to protect freedom from technology would be contrary to a fundamental trend in the development of our society. Consequently, such a change either would be a transitory one - soon swamped by the tide of history - or, if large enough to be permanent, would alter the nature of our whole society. This by the first and second principles. Moreover, since society would be altered in a way that could not be predicted in advance (third principle) there would be great risk. Changes large enough to make a lasting difference in favor of freedom would not be initiated because it would be realized that they would gravely disrupt the system. So any attempts at reform would be too timid to be effective. Even if changes large enough to make a lasting difference were initiated, they would be retracted when their disruptive effects became apparent. Thus, permanent changes in favor of freedom could be brought about only by persons prepared to accept radical, dangerous and unpredictable alteration of the entire system. In other words by revolutionaries, not reformers."(54)

"113. So even on very general grounds it seems highly improbable that any way of changing society could be found that would reconcile freedom with modern technology. In the next few sections we will give more specific reasons for concluding that freedom and technological progress are incompatible."(55)

[Een bijzonder eenzijdige weergave. Geen enkele samenleving kent de vrijheid die hij hier zit te verdedigen tenzij het gaat om een primitieve stam van een paar honderd mensen die leven van vissen en jagen. En dan nog ... Dan krijg je weer de macht van de magie, van de priester en zo verder. Het soort vrijheid dat TK verdedigt bestaat alleen wanneer je in je eentje ergens op het platteland leeft en met niemand iets te maken hebt. Samenleven betekent nu eenmaal individuele vrijheid inleveren. De vraag in elke samenleving is alleen: in hoeverre en hoe?]

"The system HAS TO regulate human behavior closely in order to function. (...) The system HAS TO force people to behave in ways that are increasingly remote from the natural pattern of human behavior."(55)

[Precies. Maar niet alleen de industrieel-technologische maatschappij dus. De vooroordelen van TK, of misschien zijn heimwee of zijn voorliefde, blijken uit het vervolg:]

"For example, the system needs scientists, mathematicians and engineers. It can’t function without them. So heavy pressure is put on children to excel in these fields. It isn’t natural for an adolescent human being to spend the bulk of his time sitting at a desk absorbed in study. A normal adolescent wants to spend his time in active contact with the real world. Among primitive peoples the things that children are trained to do tend to be in reasonable harmony with natural human impulses. Among the American Indians, for example, boys were trained in active outdoor, pursuits - just the sort of things that boys like. But in our society children are pushed into studying technical subjects, which most do grudgingly."(55-56)

[Ja ja. Maar wat is 'natuurlijk'? En hij weet vanuit de natuur blijkbaar precies wat goed is voor jongens. Hij zegt gelukkig niet wat precies goed is voor meisjes bijvoorbeeld, want dat zou wel eens zo simpel kunnen zijn als mannen behagen, kinderen krijgen, en het huishouden doen.]

[Wat niet wegneemt dat de mate waarin het systeem druk uitoefent op zijn deelnemers een probleem kan gaan vormen. Daar heeft hij dan weer wel gelijk in. Ik denk dat zijn analyses op dat punt interessanter hadden kunnen zijn wanneer hij niet zo in zwartwit-tegenstellingen hing. Het is alles of niets bij TK.]

"Thus most individuals are unable to influence measurably the major decisions that affect their lives. There is no conceivable way to remedy this in a technologically advanced society. The system tries to 'solve' this problem by using propaganda to make people WANT the decisions that have been made for them, but even if this 'solution' were completely successful in making people feel better, it would be demeaning."(56)

"119. The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human needs. Instead, it is human behavior that has to be modified to fit the needs of the system. This has nothing to do with the political or social ideology that may pretend to guide the technological system. It is not the fault of capitalism and it is not the fault of socialism. It is the fault of technology, because the system is guided not by ideology but by technical necessity. Of course the system does satisfy many human needs, but generally speaking it does this only to the extent that it is to the advantage of the system to do it. It is the needs of the system that are paramount, not those of the human being."(57)

"It is simply taken for granted that everyone must bow to technical necessity. And for good reason: If human needs were put before technical necessity there would be economic problems, unemployment, shortages or worse. The concept of 'mental health' in our society is defined largely by the extent to which an individual behaves in accord with the needs of the system and does so without showing signs of stress."(58)

"121. A further reason why industrial society cannot be reformed in favor of freedom is that modern technology is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another. You can’t get rid of the 'bad' parts of technology and retain only the 'good' parts."(58)

"125. It is not possible to make a LASTING compromise between technology and freedom, because technology is by far the more powerful social force and continually encroaches on freedom through REPEATED compromises."(60)

"127. A technological advance that appears not to threaten freedom often turns out to threaten it very seriously later on. For example, consider motorized transport. A walking man formerly could go where he pleased, go at his own pace without observing any traffic regulations, and was independent of technological support systems. When motor vehicles were introduced they appeared to increase man’s freedom. They took no freedom away from the walking man, no one had to have an automobile if he didn’t want one, and anyone who did choose to buy an automobile could travel much faster and farther than a walking man. But the introduction of motorized transport soon changed society in such a way as to restrict greatly man’s freedom of locomotion. When automobiles became numerous, it became necessary to regulate their use extensively. In a car, especially in densely populated areas, one cannot just go where one likes at one’s own pace; one’s movement is governed by the flow of traffic and by various traffic laws. One is tied down by various obligations: license requirements, driver test, renewing registration, insurance, maintenance required for safety, monthly payments on purchase price. Moreover, the use of motorized transport is no longer optional. Since the introduction of motorized transport the arrangement of our cities has changed in such a way that the majority of people no longer live within walking distance of their place of employment, shopping areas and recreational opportunities, so that they HAVE TO depend on the automobile for transportation. Or else they must use public transportation, in which case they have even less control over their own movement than when driving a car. Even the walker’s freedom is now greatly restricted. In the city he continually has to stop to wait for traffic lights that are designed mainly to serve auto traffic. In the country, motor traffic makes it dangerous and unpleasant to walk along the highway. (Note this important point that we have just illustrated with the case of motorized transport: When a new item of technology is introduced as an option that an individual can accept or not as he chooses, it does not necessarily REMAIN optional. In many cases the new technology changes society in such a way that people eventually find themselves FORCED to use it.)"(60-61)

"128. While technological progress AS A WHOLE continually narrows our sphere of freedom, each new technical advance CONSIDERED BY ITSELF appears to be desirable. Electricity, indoor plumbing, rapid long-distance communications how could one argue against any of these things, or against any other of the innumerable technical advances that have made modern society? It would have been absurd to resist the introduction of the telephone, for example. It offered many advantages and no disadvantages. Yet, as we explained in paragraphs 59-76, all these technical advances taken together have created a world in which the average man’s fate is no longer in his own hands or in the hands of his neighbors and friends, but in those of politicians, corporation executives and remote, anonymous technicians and bureaucrats whom he as an individual has no power to influence. The same process will continue in the future. Take genetic engineering, for example. Few people will resist the introduction of a genetic technique that eliminates a hereditary disease. It does no apparent harm and prevents much suffering. Yet a large number of genetic improvements taken together will make the human being into an engineered product rather than a free creation of chance (or of God, or whatever, depending on your religious beliefs)."(61-62)

"136. If anyone still imagines that it would be possible to reform the system in such a way as to protect freedom from technology, let him consider how clumsily and for the most part unsuccessfully our society has dealt with other social problems that are far more simple and straightforward. Among other things, the system has failed to stop environmental degradation, political corruption, drug trafficking or domestic abuse."(65)

[Je ziet aan de teksten hier dat TK zich uitsluitend baseert op wat hij waarneemt in de V.S. waar het geld de baas is. In Europa en andere werelddelen zijn de bedrijven / is het neoliberale kapitalisme lang niet altijd zo dominant aanwezig.]

"140. We hope we have convinced the reader that the system cannot be reformed in such a way as to reconcile freedom with technology. The only way out is to dispense with the industrial-technological system altogether. This implies revolution, not necessarily an armed uprising, but certainly a radical and fundamental change in the nature of society."(66)

[Maar hoe ziet die revolutie er dan uit en hoe komt het zover?]

"A reform movement merely offers to solve a particular social problem. A revolutionary movement offers to solve all problems at one stroke and create a whole new world; it provides the kind of ideal for which people will take great risks and make great sacrifices."(67)

"149. Presumably, research will continue to increase the effectiveness of psychological techniques for controlling human behavior. But we think it is unlikely that psychological techniques alone will be sufficient to adjust human beings to the kind of society that technology is creating. Biological methods probably will have to be used."(70)

"In the future, social systems will not be adjusted to suit the needs of human beings. Instead, human beings will be adjusted to suit the needs of the system."(71)

De technieken daarvoor worden door het systeem steeds verder ontwikkeld totdat totale manipulatie van mensen mogelijk wordt. Wat dus te doen tegen die degraderende industriële samenleving?

"166. Therefore two tasks confront those who hate the servitude to which the industrial system is reducing the human race. First, we must work to heighten the social stresses within the system so as to increase the likelihood that it will break down or be weakened sufficiently so that a revolution against it becomes possible. Second, it is necessary to develop and propagate an ideology that opposes technology and the industrial system. Such an ideology can become the basis for a revolution against industrial society if and when the system becomes sufficiently weak-ended. And such an ideology will help to assure that, if and when industrial society breaks down, its remnants will be smashed beyond repair, so that the system cannot be reconstituted. The factories should be destroyed, technical books burned, etc."(76-77)

"If the breakdown is sudden, many people will die, since the world’s population has become so overblown that it cannot even feed itself any longer without advanced technology. Even if the breakdown is gradual enough so that reduction of the population can occur more through lowering of the birth rate than through elevation of the death rate, the process of deindustrialization probably will be very chaotic and involve much suffering. It is naive to think it likely that technology can be phased out in a smoothly managed, orderly way; especially since the technophiles will fight stubbornly at every step. Is it therefore cruel to work for the breakdown of the system? Maybe, but maybe not. In the first place, revolutionaries will not be able to break the system down unless it is already in enough trouble so that there would be a good chance of its eventually breaking down by itself anyway; and the bigger the system grows, the more disastrous the consequences of its breakdown will be; so it may be that revolutionaries, by hastening the onset of the breakdown, will be reducing the extent of the disaster."(77)

"168. In the second place, one has to balance struggle and death against the loss of freedom and dignity. To many of us, freedom and dignity are more important than a long life or avoidance of physical pain. Besides, we all have to die some time, and it may be better to die fighting for survival, or for a cause, than to live a long but empty and purposeless life."(77)

"169. In the third place, it is not at all certain that survival of the system will lead to less suffering than the breakdown of the system would. The system has already caused, and is continuing to cause, immense suffering all over the world."(77-78)

"170. "Oh!" say the technophiles, "Science is going to fix all that! We will conquer famine, eliminate psychological suffering, make everybody healthy and happy!" Yeah, sure. That’s what they said 200 years ago. The Industrial Revolution was supposed to eliminate poverty, make everybody happy, etc. The actual result has been quite different. The technophiles are hopelessly naive (or self-deceiving) in their understanding of social problems. They are unaware of (or choose to ignore) the fact that when large changes, even seemingly beneficial ones, are introduced into a society, they lead to a long sequence of other changes, most of which are impossible to predict (paragraph 103). The result is disruption of the society. So it is very probable that in their attempts to end poverty and disease, engineer docile, happy personalities and so forth, the technophiles will create social systems that are terribly troubled, even more so than the present one. For example, the scientists boast that they will end famine by creating new, genetically engineered food plants. But this will allow the human population to keep expanding indefinitely, and it is well known that crowding leads to increased stress and aggression. This is merely one example of the PREDICTABLE problems that will arise. We emphasize that, as past experience has shown, technical progress will lead to other new problems that CANNOT be predicted in advance (paragraph 103). In fact, ever since the Industrial Revolution technology has been creating new problems for society far more rapidly that it has been solving old ones. Thus it will take a long and difficult period of trial and error for the technophiles to work the bugs out of their Brave New World (if they ever do). In the mean time there will be great suffering. So it is not at all clear that the survival of industrial society would involve less suffering than the breakdown of that society would. Technology has gotten the human race into a fix from which there is not likely to be any easy escape."(78-79)

"179. It would be better to dump the whole stinking system and take the consequences."(82)

"180. The technophiles are taking us all on an utterly reckless ride into the unknown. Many people understand something of what technological progress is doing to us, yet take a passive attitude toward it because they think it is inevitable. But we don’t think it is inevitable. We think it can be stopped, and we will give here some indications of how to go about stopping it."(82)

"We have no illusions about the feasibility of creating a new, ideal form of society. Our goal is only to destroy the existing form of society."(83)

"183. But an ideology, in order to gain enthusiastic support, must have a positive ideal as well as a negative one; it must be FOR something as well as AGAINST something. The positive ideal that we propose is Nature. That is, WILD nature: Those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are independent of human management and free of human interference and control. And with wild nature we include human nature, by which we mean those aspects of the functioning of the human individual that are not subject to regulation by organized society but are products of chance, or free will, or God (depending on your religious or philosophical opinions).
184. Nature makes a perfect counter-ideal to technology for several reasons. Nature (that which is outside the power of the system) is the opposite of technology (which seeks to expand indefinitely the power of the system). Most people will agree that nature is beautiful; certainly it has tremendous popular appeal. The radical environmentalists ALREADY hold an ideology that exalts nature and opposes technology. It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for countless centuries many different kinds of human societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become really devastating. To relieve the pressure on nature it is not necessary to create a special kind of social system, it is only necessary to get rid of industrial society. Granted, this will not solve all problems. Industrial society has already done tremendous damage to nature and it will take a very long time for the scars to heal. Besides, even pre-industrial societies can do significant damage to nature. Nevertheless, getting rid of industrial society will accomplish a great deal. It will relieve the worst of the pressure on nature so that the scars can begin to heal. It will remove the capacity of organized society to keep increasing its control over nature (including human nature). Whatever kind of society may exist after the demise of the industrial system, it is certain that most people will live close to nature, because in the absence of advanced technology there is no other way that people CAN live. To feed themselves they must be peasants, or herdsmen, or fishermen, or hunter, etc. And, generally speaking, local autonomy should tend to increase, because lack of advanced technology and rapid communications will limit the capacity of governments or other large organizations to control local communities."(83-84)

[Wanneer je zo redeneert is het dus natuurlijk dat miljarden mensen honger gaan lijden omdat ze niet in de positie zijn om nog voor zichzelf te zorgen. Wanneer je zo'n leven dicht bij de natuur propageert, propageer je ook dat mensen zich niet mogen weren tegen ziekte en zo verder en ga je er simpelweg van uit dat de wereldbevolking weer terug moet naar de situatie van eeuwen geleden. Dat het recht van de sterktste ongetwijfeld weer zal opduiken, inclusief de ene strijd na de andere, is dan ook logisch. En de 'natuurlijke selectie' opvattingen dienen om alles te rechtvaardigen. Uiteraard is het te simpel om 'terug' te willen naar een situatie zonder technologie. Wanneer je dat wilt erken je op geen enkele manier dat technologie ook goed gebruikt kan worden. Het gaat niet om de technische middelen, op deze manier overschat jet het belang ervan juist, het gaat om het economische systeem dat alleen maar groei wil en zo verder.]

"195. The revolution must be international and worldwide. It cannot be carried out on a nation-by-nation basis."(88)

[Ja, zeker, en doe dat dan maar eens zonder al die technologie. TK's benadering is volkomen zinloos. En omdat hij zelf ook voelt dat het dan wel erg lastig wordt:]

"202. It would be hopeless for revolutionaries to try to attack the system without using SOME modern technology. If nothing else they must use the communications media to spread their message. But they should use modern technology for only ONE purpose: to attack the technological system."(90)

"214. To avoid this, a movement that exalts nature and opposes technology must take a resolutely anti-leftist stance and must avoid all collaboration with leftists. Leftism is in the long run inconsistent with wild nature, with human freedom and with the elimination of modern technology. Leftism is collectivist; it seeks to bind together the entire world (both nature and the human race) into a unified whole. But this implies management of nature and of human life by organized society, and it requires advanced technology. You can’t have a united world without rapid long-distance transportation and communication, you can’t make all people love one another without sophisticated psychological techniques, you can’t have a 'planned society' without the necessary technological base. Above all, leftism is driven by the need for power, and the leftist seeks power on a collective basis, through identification with a mass movement or an organization. Leftism is unlikely ever to give up technology, because technology is too valuable a source of collective power."(93)

[Volgt weer een eindeloze scheldpartij op de linksen.]

"229. The leftist is oriented toward large-scale collectivism. He emphasizes the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty of society to take care of the individual. He has a negative attitude toward individualism. He often takes a moralistic tone. He tends to be for gun control, for sex education and other psychologically 'enlightened' educational methods, for social planning, for affirmative action, for multiculturalism. He tends to identify with victims. He tends to be against competition and against violence, but he often finds excuses for those leftists who do commit violence. He is fond of using the common catch-phrases of the left, like 'racism', 'sexism', 'homophobia', 'capitalism', 'imperialism', 'neocolonialism', 'genocide', 'social change', 'social justice', 'social responsibility'. Maybe the best diagnostic trait of the leftist is his tendency to sympathize with the following movements: feminism, gay rights, ethnic rights, disability rights, animal rights political correctness. Anyone who strongly sympathizes with ALL of these movements is almost certainly a leftist."(98)

[Ah, mooi, ik ben duidelijk een linkse rakker ... ]

[De rest van dit boek bevat nog wat korte teksten van TK. Maar ik heb genoeg gezien, ik denk niet dat er nog andere ideeën naar voren zullen komen.]

Start  ||   Glossen  ||   Weblog  ||   Boeken  ||   Denkwerk