"You Use Tech, Owned!"

Tech-skeptics are people that aren't worshippers of modern technology and industrial society, and are rather skeptical about if technology benefits us as much as is popularly believed.

Over the past few months I have been reading books by tech-skeptics like the Finnish radical ecologist Pentii Linkola and the American anti-technology advocate Ted Kaczynski, as well as other environmentalist authors that aren't as hardline on technology. Their arguments make sense. It's obvious that they're on the right train of thought, and their vision of the future course of actions are very persuasive but radical, and are ones that I believe we should either consider discussing or endeavour to undertake for the sake of human dignity, autonomy and the environment upon which we rely heavily.

An argument that is often used to refute tech-skeptics is the "You use technology, but you advocate against it! Owned!". In this article I will answer just why this argument is not only a low IQ take on technological-industrial skepticism, but also a weak standpoint when you read into the philosophy.

We're too young

The reason why so many in the 'Pine Tree Gang,' Anarcho-Primitivist or Eco-Fascist movement (which we will simplify to tech-skepticism for the sake of brevity) still use technology and haven't yet escaped to the woods to live their ideology is because the price of land isn't exactly cheap. Additionally, most of us in anti-tech, pro-environment circles are still young adults, and that these ideas the authors who produce content for these circles are most prevalent among Generation Z and young adults. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers won't have to deal with the consequences of the impending ecological catastrophe as much as I, for instance, will. Furthermore, the older someone gets, the more you could say they are domesticated. We will hereby define domestication as the reliance on technology to fulfil their everyday basic needs, and not possessing the knowledge to fulfil these needs without technology. The younger someone is, the less they have domesticated habits ingrained into them.

When I can accrue the resources, I plan on eventually going down the path of living amongst wild animals and nature in a cabin or homestead with a big family and a community of close friends, living simply, happily and off the land. This goal is due to the likelihood of where technology and society will end up in a few decades with 5G technology, civil unrest, political tyranny and invasive government spying, and rampant overcrowding looking to accelerate. To carve out a life for yourself where you are only reliant on yourself and those you live off the land with is a noble and doable goal. This willpower shows a heroic resistance and strength that is lacking these days, because the looming ecological catastrophe that is on the horizon, thanks to the 'sixth extinction event,' threatens society and those reliant on it to live.

The control technology has on us

I have had arguments like "you go to university and study journalism, yet you hate technology," "look at you, you have a computer, a smart phone and other tech gadgets" leveled against me recently. Despite what people think, it's not an ideological contradiction to use these technologies and have anti-technology beliefs. How else are you going to accrue enough wealth to buy up land to transition your life into a simpler and primitive lifestyle on a homestead, if you don't have a smartphone, a computer, email address? Or some form of transportation besides a bike or walking, when you are as young as I am? Furthermore, going to university and studying journalism has actually improved my writing ability, surprisingly, considering the indoctrination that goes on at universities. Technological-industrial society is imposing, in that once something is invented, it eventually is adopted enough and becomes mainstream so that society changes to accommodate its utility, and you are then forced to use it. This is evident with smartphones, computers and cars. Technology is so entrenched in everyday life that it controls your every movement and interaction.

"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." - Ted Kaczynski, Industrial Society and Its Future

How do we characterise a society free of technology and industry? An important note is that removing technology would only mean living with tools that were present a century or so ago. And a distinction to be made is that we would be using tools instead of technology; tools are things that can be made in small numbers through cooperation, not large-scale organisation which will cause alienation and reliance on said technology. This doesn't mean going back to the Stone Age, as tech-skeptics aren't cavemen.

Getting your voice out there

The best way to spread your ideas these days is through use of the Internet. The internet has been turned into the town square of yesteryear. If you are going to spread your ideas, though, you should combine real life activism and online activism for the best results. You can also have skeptical views of technology and spend a lot of time online researching new things, spreading the message and suggesting books on the topic. It is also important, though, to balance that time online with offline activities like hiking and live what you preach as much as you can.

The future

What is the future course of events then? Under a liberal democratic capitalist society reliant on technology and industry, I predict more civil unrest and instability, increased levels of environmental pollution and biospheric extermination, growing resentment towards technology, more psychological problems and an eventual collapse of most of the Earth's ecosystem and beauty. Note: only the animals and insects that can adapt quick enough will survive; I do not believe there will be a total extinction of life on Earth, though. What we should be aiming at instead is environmental conservation and autonomous, local activism focussed on trying to improve the condition of your surroundings (picking up litter and planting plants to help insect populations). Most importantly, learning useful skills that will help us lessen our reliance on technology, and eventually achieving a post-industrial system built upon nationalist principles and strong local, autarkic communities, that utilise tools that existed 100-150 years ago, instead of invasive, large-scale technologies which will eventually control us. I strongly recommend reading authors like Ted Kaczynski and Pentti Linkola to understand the mindset behind tech-skepticism.


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