In terms of what I shall write, I will not tell you everything, for I want each of us to yearn and search for more questions, answers, and solutions to the problems of our collective Earthly realm. We can no longer continue in our misguided ways: inhumanity, individualism, capitalism, militarism, racism/ethnocentrism, disconnectedness, easy questions and/or answers to life’s problems (hence the problems of our world), increased and enhanced technology with a decrease in human values and personal responsibility for all, amongst other things.
Technology is not the answer to the problems of the world today. Technology, as a form and as a word, has changed in meaning since the “Industrial Revolution in Europe” (the only one that many of us are taught. But, for what reason?). Before that time period, technology was an art form; it was not a motivation or an apparatus to bring forth more money and material wealth. Technology was understood and it was not treated with “godly” powers, as it is nowadays in this country. Technology should not constrict or confine personal growth, as human beings; it should be a tool and “not the way”. We must redefine technology as an art form to bring out the better qualities of each of us as people: consciousness, self-consciousness, dignity, respect, equality, responsibility and accountability, sense of community, honesty, creativity, and so on. Technology should not be our ruler or master, we should harness it and use it only for the betterment of all Life for the future, near and distant.
I admit that modern technology has brought forth some good things, but with all good things, there are its destructive qualities. Technology might have brought forth "progress", however, we do know that it has brought immeasurable pain and suffering to humans across the world, and the Earth as well. You may ask, how has technology harmed us? Just look around at the water, the soil, the air, the other animal and plant life around us, our homes, our schools, just look at us (especially our bodies). Whatever harm we do to the other organisms of the Earth, it is rippled back to us, as humans, for we are all connected and inter-related through a common Life Force and bond. Technology has stripped the humanity from us here in the US, and with the aiding of capitalist-imperial expansion, it has made us robotic consumers who only want more and more at any cost, rather it be human lives or whole ecosystems. The question then becomes, do we really need more? Getting more for ourselves will not reduce unemployment, will not provide adequate pay and childcare for all people in this country or else where, will not bring a sense of dignity or respect or humanity to each of us, will not increase the value of relationships between ourselves and all living things, it will decrease all of that. We need to stop focusing solely on the individual effort and look at the communal effort, that worldly effort to put technology in a new light.
In a pamphlet from the National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR) printed in February 1981, entitled A Job Ain't the Answer comes this excerpt: “After the war (World War II) U.S. capitalism expanded by leaps and bounds. Using the advanced technology from the war and cheap energy and materials from the Third World, we were soon producing more than we really needed. So the corporations began a systematic campaign to turn us into thoughtless consumers, unable to distinguish between our Needs and our Wants. Women, forced back into homes by the end of war work, were the special target of this campaign…We can refuse to accept the slot of Labor and Job-Holder to which capitalism has reduced us. As human beings and as citizens we can take responsibility for the struggles necessary to create a new economy, an economy which serves our deep human need of the kind of Work that develops our skills, encourages our cooperation and enables both men and women to work and share in building strong families and communities and in making political decisions for our communities and country.”
I believe that it is up to all people to look critically at the current “progression” of technology for profit and destruction. The decision to use or not to use technology should not be determined by the “chosen few” in industry and government. Technology affects us all, and so we all should have our chance to speak on that issue. Should we concentrate on making more technology so that we can consume more and more and forget about our social and political responsibilities as citizens of this country? Or should we concentrate more on rebuilding our families and communities? How do we decide what technology is good for all of us and what is not? Should we decide that or let “experts” decide that for us? Should we look for alternatives to technological inventions or just except what the corporations force down our throats? Should we use our human potential of creativity and create our own technology that is non-toxic, sustainable in all ways, and benefits us all, not just a few? Should we know what are all of the possible effects of an invention are for us now and in the future (near and distant)? Now is the time to decide.
Irucka Ajani Embry can be reached at email@example.com and thinks that we should learn about the electromagnetic energy effects of technology on our bodies.
Irucka Embry for PRAVDA.Ru
The Luddites http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRluddites.htm
Luddism and the Neo-Luddite Reaction http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/luddite.html
Book Review of In The Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations (Sierra Club, 1991) by Jerry Mander. http://www.alternativeculture.com/books/mander.htm
Physics, Politics & Prophecy http://www.alternativeculture.com/books/russell.htm