Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ending the Industrial Occupation of the Planet

Pondering the shared etymology of both nature and native in the Latin nasci- (to be born, that is to say, to make an appearance in the world), I find myself thinking were we to conceive extractive-petrochemical industrial-model practices less as matters of ill-considered exploitation and more as matters of ongoing foreign occupation it might change our estimation of the acceptable, appropriate, and even necessary resistances unsustainable civilization calls for.


John Howard said...

Good idea, Dale, I will help spread that meme.

The downside though is that people who realize how much they depend on their oil will shrug and end up being in favor of foreign occupation in general. People are really attached to their lifestyles.

Dale Carrico said...

I am not making the point (though it is also, of course, true) that what have come to pass for "civilized" lifeways depend on the devastation, usually facilitated by militaries, of overexploited regions of the world -- a point exacerbated, possibly beyond healing, by resource descent (peak oil, topsoil loss, air pollution, peak coal, species die-off, freshwater depletion/salination/toxification, antibiotics resistance, and so on).

It is a larger earth-alienation that I have in mind when I speak of extractive-petrochemical industrial model technodevelopment as a kind of foreign occupation -- my point is a variation on the Arendtian warning that we earthlings court catastrophe if we begin acting instead as if we were "dwellers in the universe."

To the extent that "geo-engineering" discourse represents the consummation of military-industrial ideology -- the moment of the perfect false identification of the ongoing destruction of the living world as the way to preserve the living world -- it becomes clearer why I emphasize in my many critiques of "geo-engineering" the earth alienated vantage assumed by its advocates, the re-imagination of themselves as aliens arriving on an alien planet, and "techno-terraforming" a Terra terrorized by technoscience.

Although people declare themselves stubbornly attached to their lifestyles it is remarkable to discover how bendable they seem to be to the will of completely arbitrary and palpably unjust austerity measures demanded by corporate-militarist oligarchs, for example. In other worse, I call bullshit on the claim that people really can't be moved from their wasteful suicidal pointless and usually in any case miserable lifestyles. But come what may, we have reached the point when continued waste and destruction will detach them from their lives, without which they cannot continue in their lifestyles in any fashion, however attached they fancy themselves to be to them.