An addendum, added several months after the fact – This is so..wow. Even though I still hate the same things you’d expect a green anarchist to hate, I no longer endorse many of the key ideas contained here & would actually argue against some of them. I really doubt (m)any people read this, but I felt like pointing this out. Ancaps still suck, though; that hasn’t changed.
Primitivists & anti-civ types are probably the most frequently strawmanned subgroup of anarchists; and as an anti-civver, I get rather sick of hearing the same arguments over and over again
I was recently sucked into a silly facebook quibble with an ancap who regurgitated the usual, anti-primitivist tosh:
“If you hate technology so much, WHY ARE YOU ON THE COMPUTER?!” (…as though I ever asserted any blanket opposition to all forms of technology; as though modern industrialism hasn’t severely eroded other traditional means of communication.)
“If we adopted the way of life you propose, millions of people would die!” (..as though billions of people aren’t already starving under the current techno-capitalist model.)
“You just hate human creativity!” (..as though ‘humanity”s crowning achievements must be characterized by our ingenuity at discovering evermore ways to violently extract resources from the land.)
“OMG There won’t be any medical care!” (..as though ‘the modern medical industry’ and ‘medicine’ are synonymous. This one is the most galling to hear from anarchists, because it’s so ethnocentric – it’s like a white USian walking into an Ethiopian restaurant & exclaiming, “Yuck! This isn’t food!”
Obviously, much of the irritation came from the fact that I was trying to engage with an ancap (which I don’t recommend), but the arguments he repeated are often tossed around in leftist circles, too. My responses to him (and other strawman-whackers) went as follows:
[In response to the claim that anti-civvers are gleefully awaiting worldwide starvation:]
If you’d really like to know who wants to starve the world, look at the people who unthinkingly accept ecologically unsustainable modes of existence that will inevitably end horribly.
Obviously, the current rate of population growth can only be sustained by our current level of technological dependency; but the point is that our current level of technological dependency is monstrously destructive and WILL end badly, not that anti-civ types want to snap our fingers and magically impose pre-industrial modes of existence on the world.
Accusing anti-civ types of desiring genocide is like saying, “You want me to be homeless!” when someone warns you to come outside because your house is on fire.
The increase of state power coincides with & feeds upon the domestication of man – the resources most essential to survival (food, medicine, & shelter) are those which the state & its capitalist cohorts most eagerly monopolize, increasing everyone’s dependence on this terrible machine.
For instance, it would be a relatively simple matter for the state to blockade an urban area for some reason (to target an anarchist enclave, for instance), effectively starving everyone inside – city-dwellers depend on imports to survive; and most people are completely disconnected from their food – most people don’t keep gardens, most people can’t hunt or fish. Were there a blockade, there would be violent food riots in under a week.
This is one of many reasons why it’s important for anarchists of all stripes to think critically about our dependence on techno-capitalism.
Seriously: If you care one bit about this planet & the future ability of all creatures to live peacefully on it, stop the strawmanning & intellectual dishonesty.