Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Forget Anarchism!

Anarchism was invented at a time of technological optimism, when most people believed that technological progress was essentially benevolent.

Anarchists accepted this common idea. They believed that, if modernization caused any problems, it was because technology was controlled by the corporations and by the state. We could eliminate the problems by eliminating this top-down control.

Today, it should be clear that technological progress is a two-edged sword. It can reduce economic scarcity and give the world a standard of living that people did not even dream of centuries ago. It can also cause global warming and ecological collapse, pollute our air and water slice up our cities with freeways, and use genetic engineering to change what it means to be human.

Today, it should be clear that we need the state and the law so we can choose among modern technologies - so we can use technologies that are beneficial and ban those that are destructive.

It is ironic that some radicals in the anti-globalization movement still call themselves anarchists, when they are actually trying to preserve the traditional sovereignty of the state, because they realize that the state is needed to control the technology of global corporations.


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