Sunday, December 27, 2009

Industrial Evolution

I've found a by-product of writing a lot is the accidental coining of a new (for me) useful phrase that captures a large concept.

In zillions of dialogues I've tried to place myself on some ideological map, and having half-on half-off resonance with capitalism, anarchism, conservativism, liberalism and consumerism.

Maybe what I depend on, enable, and can heartily endorse 100 per cent is Industrial Evolution.

This means no hard coded allegiance to Wall Street capitalism or our current energy infrastructure, it allows me to have no long term allegiance to any current political/economic regime (e.g. a specific corporation, political party) or technological configuration (the oil market).

It does create a permanent blockage to my being anti-industrial, or placing capital N Nature (everything not produced by humans) as a higher or equal priority. It also places religion, mysticism, and subjectivism in boundaries.

This Industrial Evolution concept may supplant my Athena, Goddess of War and Technology religious aspiration.

Reply ( or extension of thesis ) from Seth Galbraith:

The cult of Athena followed the sun with exponential acceleration until the period between 1900 and 1950 when the light of progress finally shone on every nation, day and night, the humanistic phase of Industrial Evolution became saturated, the concept of human rights encoded in the law of the United Nations, and history came to an end, with the marginal exception of sorting out the widespread hypocrisy of dictatorship disguised as democratic, republican, socialist government.

Then the posthuman phase of Industrial Evolution began, leading to much confusion. Those who measured the success of Industrial Evolution in terms of employment (the size of the Industrial Working Class, sometimes combined with "service sector" jobs) pronounced the end of the progress.

Those who measured the success of Industrial Evolution in terms of consumption (profits, growth, productivity, GNP, GDP, trade deficits, etc.) faced the horrible stagnation of saturated demand and the looming spectre of finite resource depletion.

This left only two measures of progress that provided people with any optimistic predictions:

(A) Measuring progress by how completely we have returned to Nature: dismantling civilization, reducing of the human population to a utopian society devoted to the pursuit of one superstition or another. Various parties are advocating such societies based on the dogmas of islam, nature worship, racial supremacy, christianity, existentialism and other religions.

(B) Measuring progress by adaptability: not the sweat we put into the machine, or the tonnage of manufactured outputs, but the increasing variety and utility of the machines themselves. Technodiversity of economies modeled after the biodiversity of ecologies. This then becomes the antithesis of the return to Nature, which insists upon the reduction of economic technodiversity.

The Nature metric requires that we sacrifice all of the benefits of civilization, including our freedom and our lives, for a higher moral purpose. (Our bodies are - after all - merely dust given form via the stored energy of buried Carboniferous forests.) The Adaptability metric allows us to count the continuation of civilization as progress without requiring either expansion or contraction of the built world or human population.

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