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teamramonycajal  ·  2454 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Riot?

    The citations that you are berating merely for their word choice or format (such as a movie) are not there for the data. They are there to establish the philosophical terms that the author uses. To me it sounds like you simply don't understand.

    Industria is not a place. It is a network of knowledge and power; invisible, but its affects are everywhere.

Why not 'place' in a more metaphorical sense? As I said, there are efforts of a sort to integrate what you might call 'industria' - this hypothesis that the author has set force which seems to try to encompass all that is the industrialized society, or at least that's what it seems - and 'wilderness'; green tech, energy-saving technology, renewable energy sources.

Anyway, the whole thing reads like a screed against everything industrialization has done for us with an undertone of anarcho-primitivism (which the author seems to predict - "Finally, ‘modernity’ is used frequently to try to capture the phenomena under discussion, but this temporal term puts opponents of the system in the untenable position of appearing to call for a return to some romantically conceived, ‘pre-modern’, Arcadian past. In normative terms, modernity’s opponents must be, by inference, ‘backwards’ or ‘behind the times’. ‘Modernity’ also unfairly universalises the problem of Industria to all of humanity, since all humans live in the ‘modern age’. Moreover, as soon as an attempt is made to situate some human groups outside this temporal modernity, one is open to charges of romantic imaginings au Rousseau. ‘Modernity’ ignores the spatiality of the Industrian system, including the spatial limits that make wilderness, and cultural diversity, possible. ‘Industria’ refers to an intensity that is not coextensive with either the Earth or humanity.") in some ways.

Unless the point of the entire thing is merely involving, say, native Americans or indigenous Australians and so on in management of the local ecosystem, and then my primary objection is more along the lines of Roger Sandall's "Culture Cult" criticism (here's a relevant article.): yes, investigate their practices. Investigate why they work. Operationalize, quantify, hypothesize, and draw conclusions. If it's effective, which in many cases it is, integrate it into best ecological practices. But don't treat them as a culture in stasis. What do you think of the young Native Americans who seek to get off the res to do things like attend college and medical school, as many have done (the current head of the Indian Health Service is one), those who attend not only the tribal colleges but many non-tribal colleges (there are plenty of Native American student groups on campuses across the country), those who want to live and work in the same ways that white and black and Asian and all other sorts of groups do in the wider world? Don't cut them off from the rest of society, especially our advances in things like science, engineering, and medicine. Don't infantilize them or dehumanize them into valuable but stationary, powerless baubles that you get to look at on a shelf while claiming you're helping them out by sticking in a gilded cage. Don't romanticize them (and this essay is HEAVY on the romanticism, and it could be argued that from this perspective they are almost as racist as the people calling native Americans uniformly stupid drunkards or indigenous Australians a bunch of stupid violent Abos). A quote from the article I linked might sum it up well:

    What Hemming is describing is the fruit of the inviolable-sanctuary approach to cultural survival. This rests on what might be called fortress theory, and has two cardinal principles: that “culture” and “people” and “land” should be seen as indivisible, and that they can be kept this way forever in a suitably constructed territorial redoubt. Whatever is happening in the world around them, ethnic cultures should as far as possible be preserved unchanged. With the help of an army of administrative personnel, custodially responsible for seeing to it that they go on wanting the same things they have always wanted, their cultural heritage will be kept alive. Social change is bad—at least as it affects these picturesque tribal peoples—and should be stopped.

    Among the Xingu Park Indians, it is in fact safe to say that the older generation remains strongly attached to its remote lands, and intends to go on living there, hunting animals and gathering fruits. But what do younger Indians want to do with their lives? If there is one thing we have learned from modern history, it is that individuals often outgrow their ethnic cultures, find life in a fortress claustrophobic, and choose to move on. In contrast to museum exhibits, real human beings have a way of developing ideas and ambitions and desires–including for aluminum pots–beyond the ken of conservators. Fortress theory, multicultural “essentialism,” and the enduring cult of the noble savage are the enemies of those ambitions and human desires.

    In the final paragraph of Die If You Must, Hemming wonders uneasily whether the pessimists might have the last laugh after all–whether the Amazon’s “beautiful, ancient, and intricate cultures will be maintained only artificially as curiosities for tourists, researchers, or politically correct enthusiasts.” That is quite possible. But it is not the only undesirable eventuality.

    Preserving ancient cultural patterns is laudable, but it is not enough. No society in history has ever stood still, and however beautiful, and ancient, and intricate ancient cultures may be, it is wrong to lock people up inside them and throw away the key. Uprooting the dishonest and patronizing cult of the noble savage is the work of generations; but as far as today’s Amazonian Indians are concerned, the main priority must surely be to ensure that those among them who do not want to play the obliging role of historical curiosities, endlessly dressing up for visitors whose expectations they feel bound to fulfil, are able to find something else to do in the modern world–on the reservation or off it. In that quest we can only wish them well.

As for this?

    Not all knowledge is good knowledge.

This is a goddamned foul idea, and you know it. Knowledge is never anything but good. It is what you do with it that can be good or evil.