For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Technology And The Coming Global Totalitarianism

Richard B. Wilcox

October, 2005


Executive Summary


1. Introduction

1.1 Foundations Of Power

1.2 The Dragon Eating Its Tail

1.3 Pandora's Box


2. Critical Perspectives On Science And Technology

2.1 The Scientific Mission: Order And Power

2.2 The Market Mechanism

2.3 Loss Of Knowledge And Nature: Return To Sumud


3. The Expanding Technosphere: Uses And Abuses

3.1 Power And Control

3.2 The World Expo

3.3 Emerging Technologies

3.4 Surveillance

3.5 Consumerism

3.6 The Weapons Industry And The Science Of Killing


4. Consequences For Cultural And Biological Diversity

4.1 Where Are We Coming From?

4.2 Bulldozing Biodiversity

4.3 Where Are We Going?


5. References


Executive Summary


This paper investigates some aspects of the coming global technological totalitarianism and the expanding technosphere. I argue that this is both a conscious and coincidental agenda of powerful individuals and institutions carried out through the process of reification of ideological beliefs which are transformed into institutions, facilities, technologies policies and ultimately, culture. I believe that by ignoring the costs of new technologies, what we lose in the bargain is immeasurable and potentially catastrophic. History was not or is not entirely inevitable, but it is also a question of human values in relation to natural changes. While there have often been positive effects for large numbers of people from technological development, in fact, the creation and use of technology has largely been abused to further ruling class interests.


1. Introduction


     People are so transfixed by the scientific marvels that parade before them, that they are frozen in the act of spectating.

     -- Michael Hoffman (2001, p. 11)


     People are becoming more and more like their machines. -- Edward T. Hall (1976, p. 39) 


     First I can give you cancer, then I can profit from your cure. -- sign on giant mad-scientist Glaxo/Bayer puppet in anti-biotechnology

     rally (“Biodevastation,” 2005)


   This paper investigates some aspects of the coming global technological totalitarianism and the expanding technosphere. I argue that this is both a conscious and coincidental agenda of powerful individuals and institutions carried out through the process of reification of ideological beliefs which are transformed into institutions, facilities, technologies policies and ultimately culture. I suggest readers consider these open-ended questions while reading this paper:

1. Is science and technology inherently destructive, or can it be harnessed to do good depending on whose interests are involved?

2. Historically, who has benefited most often from the exploitation of science and technology, elites or the general public (and non-human species)?

3. Are advanced forms of technology (so-called “high technology”) including computers, cellular phones, videos and televisions etc., helpful or harmful toward creating an ecologically sustainable society? Can we distinguish between one form of technology and another in order to determine whether it is “good” or “bad”?

4. What, for example, are the potential human health/environmental dangers of increased amounts of electro-magnetic radiation that exceed amounts humans were exposed to during most of natural history? What may be the possible benefits or harms caused by new technologies such as high-speed computer and internet transmission, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology or genetic engineering?

   As an environmental social scientist, I believe that by ignoring the costs of new technologies, what we lose in the bargain: culturally, socially, politically, ecologically, and as a species, is immeasurable and potentially catastrophic. History was not or is not entirely inevitable (i.e., determinism), it is also a question of human values in relation to natural changes (i.e., dialectical materialism; the reification of ruling class imperatives into cultural norms). While there have often been positive effects for large numbers of people from technological development (e.g., extended life spans through improved public sanitation and medical treatments), in fact, the creation and use of technology has largely been abused to further ruling class interests (Fotopoulis, 1998; Noble, 2001; Jensen & Draffan, 2004).


1.1 Foundations Of Power


   In order to maintain their power, the wealthier among us depend on robbing people of their lands, waters, dreams and aspirations. To the extent that we have wealth or status within the economic system, we all share some blame. Nevertheless, control through technology is one means whereby the ruling classes maintain power.

   The ruling class is crucial to the maintenance and development of technological totalitarianism. It consists of the United States at the hub of military and economic power. The G8 nations are the first tier countries supported by the lesser rich OECD countries at the second tier. Ruling class mechanisms include: the Bretton Woods institutions including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization; the Trilateral Commission; the Business Roundtable; and the World Economic Forum. In order to serve their broader economic agenda, foundations such as the Ford Foundation and financial speculators such as George Soros fund social programs around the world (Cottin, 2003; Roelofs, 2003). Elite lobbying groups, both domestic and foreign, play a powerful role in influencing the U.S. congress while the average citizen who is over-worked, confused by media misinformation, disaffected from the political process, absorbed by lifestyle consumerism, or for other cultural reasons, has largely vanquished her/his role as a participant in the political process. The array of mega-corporations, whose assets tower over the collected wealth of most of the world’s countries, have designated themselves as the prime architects of U.S. (and increasingly global) laws and policies. Some observers have noted that this "global monetocracy" persists in its merciless path toward planetary destruction due to the complex nature of our economic system (Madron & Jopling, 2003).

  This is a happy convenience for a system which benefits from increased social and environmental disruption (e.g., increased health problems benefit the pharmaceutical and medical industries; increased pollution benefits the pollution abatement industry, etc.). The standard economic measurement of gross domestic product that the United States and other industrial countries use does not make qualitative judgments about economic activity (e.g., concerning human and environmental welfare), it only measures growth (i.e., accumulation of monetary wealth) for its own sake. In line with the theories of neo-classical, free-market and neo-liberal economics, the Limited Liability Corporation operates by externalizing costs and accumulating profits. Today, corporations have evolved to the point where they are virtually exempt from social and environmental responsibility (Korten, 1995; Keen, 2001; Madron & Jopling, 2003).


1.2 The Dragon Eating Its Tail


  In such a system, the destruction of the environment is measured as a “good” since new technologies will be needed to clean up the messes caused by growth (e.g., urban sprawl, "natural" disasters, oil spills, air and water pollution) in the form of pollution abatement equipment, water purifiers, air filters and hybrid automobiles. Therefore, the same business interests that create environmental turmoil profit a second time in their half-hearted efforts to abate the original problems. Furthermore, one observer noted that the commodification of drinking water in the form of bottled water has led to misleading practices whereby corporations profit billions of dollars even when many bottled waters are shown to be no safer than the public water supply (Landau, 2005, August 27).  Profiting from disasters, whether real or imagined, accidental or manufactured, is a driving force behind industry and progress. Brain Waves newsletter reports that


     [f]ive of the top ten leading causes of disability worldwide are caused by problems with the brain and nervous system....The good

     news is that new treatments for those suffering from illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, depression and chronic pain are emerging

     quickly. Building on the success of the Human Genome Project and decades of brain research, neurotech now holds the greatest

     potential for major discoveries, commercial success and real investment opportunities [emphasis added] (Brain Waves, 2005, March 24).


   Pollution dumped into the biosphere by the chemical companies during the 20th century led one researcher to note that “there is a mass of historic evidence that suggests that [polio] is not caused by a virus but by industrial and agricultural pollution” (Roberts, 2004, May, p. 35). One can imagine the huge profits that pharmaceutical giants have made from the vaccination business alone. As the anthropologist Dubos (1965) concluded in his study of human evolution and disease, the war on disease that took place in the 1950s in the United States by spraying pesticides across the country failed to consider the complexities of targeting particular microorganisms. "[A] given pathogen [carrier of disease] is generally highly destructive in a given population when the pathogen and population first come into contact, and the severity of the infectious process tends to decrease...over several generations." Thus, the chemical industry's one-size-fits-all approach to disease-control was economically profitable but ignored less concrete historical, socio-economic and ecological considerations.

   Ever since public electricity systems began use in 1882, increasing stress on the human immune system has occurred. Technology researchers Ashton and Laura (1999) report:


     The biological effects of electricity depend on the magnetic field, electric field and frequency effects produced in the electrical

     environment....The frequency of the magnetic fields in our homes produced by domestic wiring, or in the vicinity of powerlines,

     corresponds to the power generation frequency which is usually 50 or 60 hertz. A fluctuating magnetic field can induce a current in a

     nearby conductor, whereas a non-fluctuating or constant magnetic field cannot. This is highly significant when considering the

     possible health impact of magnetic fields, as different frequencies may produce different biological effects (40 - 41).


   Ashton and Laura note that a number of other everyday modern appliances and practices are threatening human health. These include mobile phones, UHF TV microwaves, microwave ovens, computer VDUs and television screens, processed food, food additives such as aluminium in food, food irradiation, cadmium toxicity in the food chain, pesticide residues in food, chlorine and flouride in public water supplies, as well as the health effects from air conditioning, artificial lighting and noise pollution. However, these technological applications are now accepted by people in industrial society as normal.

   The techology that probably best defines the 20th century is the automobile:


     Who has not experienced the thrill of acceleration at the wheel of a car? A slight movement of the ball of the foot suffices to unleash

     powers exceeding those of the driver many times over. This incongruity between gentle effort and powerful effect, typical of modem

     technology, gives rise to the exhilarating feelings of power and freedom which accompany the triumphant forward march of

     technology. Be it car or plane, telephone or computer, the specific power of modern technology lies in its ability to remove limitations

     imposed on us by our bodies, by space and by time (Sachs, 1992).


   While bringing mobility and luxury to many, and great profits to the oil, tire and rubber and automotive industries, the social re-organization and disruption caused by car culture and the environmental destruction caused by the construction of cars and roads has been immeasurable. According to the World Carfree Network, a "car causes more pollution before it's ever driven than in its entire lifetime of driving." Furthermore, "[e]stimates of road fatalities worldwide vary massively: anywhere from 500,000 to 880,000 or even 1.17 million people die on the roads every year — 10 million are estimated to be injured" ("Some statistics," 2005, June 2).

   Ironically, while the technology of mobility and the internal combustion engine is often blamed for “global warming,” Finch (2002) has clarified that one of the oldest forms of technology is also to blame, that being fire, and has renamed global warming to the more precise term “global burning” as the world’s forests and vegetation are put to flames to clear land for industrial agriculture.


1.4 Pandora's Box


   Considering the array of Pandora’s Boxes that have been opened by technological development, the possibility of human extinction cannot be omitted. Leslie (1996), a philosopher of science, describes disasters from genetic engineering, nanotechnology or computers as potential causes of human extinction. Although it may sound far-fetched, high energy laboratory experiments might create a new “Big Bang” or “an all-destroying phase transition,” whereby, if “the jolt of a high-energy experiment produced a bubble of ‘true vacuum’, this would then expand at nearly the speed of light, destroying everything...” (p.8). When it comes to military research, nothing can be considered too bizarre or coldly calculating. Snow reports that the U.S. military is involved in weather warfare.


     Adherents of weather warfare prefer to call it 'environmental modification' – or ENMOD. The corporate media has reported almost

     nothing about these aerospace and defense programs, or the technologies involved....World renowned scientist Dr. Rosalie Bertell

     today confirms that “US military scientists...are working on weather systems as a potential weapon. The methods include the

     enhancing of storms and the diverting of vapor-rivers in the Earth’s atmosphere to produce targeted droughts or floods"

     (Snow, 2003, March).


   The rash of recent wars waged by the United States and its allies such as Britain are accompanied with vague talk about a “war on terrorism” against “Islamic extremists” who were trained and funded by the CIA (Blum, 2000). Meanwhile, policing personnel, surveillance equipment and other tools of the Police State are being expanded and procured. The erosion of civil liberties is justified as serving the public when in fact the main benefits accrue to the web of interests in weaponry, prison, mass media and related industries. Buisnesses that profit from government contracts from the building and maintenance of the system have no desire to slow its growth. An illustrative case is "Halliburton, the Houston, Texas-based oil services conglomerate, which has made billions from the war [in Iraq] even in the face of charges of massive overbilling, shoddy work, official bribery and political influence-peddling" (St. Clair, 2005, July 14). Given these trends, concern over the uses and abuses of technology and the coming global totalitarianism is long overdue.


2. Critical Perspectives On Science And Technology


   Historically, who has benefited most often from the exploitation of science and technology, elites or the general public (and non-human species)? By looking at some of the foundational truths of Western science and the subsequent transformation of culture and nature, we can gain greater insight into this question.


2.1 The Scientific Mission: Order And Power


   In her classic critique of the origins of Western science at the time of the enlightenment, Merchant (1980) identified main tendencies of the "scientific revolution."


     The brilliant achievement of mechanism as a world view [in the 16th century] was its reordering of reality around two fundamental

     constituents of human experience--order and power. Order was attained through an emphasis on the motion of indivisible parts

     subject to mathematical laws and the rejection of unpredictable animistic sources of change. Power was achieved through immediate

     active intervention in a secularized world. The Baconian method [derived from the “Father of Science,” Francis Bacon] advocated

     power over nature through manual manipulation, technology, and experiment (p. 216).


   The birth of the scientific method whereby reality could be understood in terms of verifiable facts coincided with the consolidation of power in the hands of a secularized technocracy. This led to what Aronowitz, a philosopher of science, has described as the modern scientific paradigm and the concomitant loss of spiritual or non-quantifiable meaning:     


     Science is founded on the idea that the results of its methods—which are very specific mathematical and experimental methods—are

     equivalent to what we mean by truth. The mythology holds that science describes physical reality, that science is truth. And if science

     is truth, instead of merely one form of truth, then all other forms of truth-all philosophical truth, all ethical truth, all emotional,

     spiritual, relational, experiential truths-are devalued (Jensen and Draffan, 2004, October).


   As all "experiential truths are devalued," the logical inconsistencies of science are quietly swept under the rug. Categorizing academic knowledge into "departments," "schools" or "fields" is understandable given the need to focus attention and energy, yet also allows gate-keepers to dismiss holistic or cross-disciplinary thinking as unwieldy or irrelevant. Speaking of the “blind reverence to science” that its proponents adhere to, Collins (2005, February) notes that “biases and presuppositions pervade the very fabric of the elite's epistemic autocracy. Academia itself has become the official church for this cult of epistemological selectivity.” The Christian philosopher, Zacharias, in an informal meeting with scientists discovered “prejudicial hurdles of scientism.”

1. Zacharias: "If the Big Bang were indeed where it all began, may I ask what preceded the Big Bang?" The scientist's answer was that "the universe was shrunk down to a singularity." Zacharias responded, "[b]ut isn't it correct that a singularity as defined by science is a point at which all the laws of physics break down?" One scientist responded, "[t]hat is correct," which led Zacharias to conclude that "technically," the scientist's "starting point is not scientific either." The scientist could not disagree.

2. Zacharias asked if the scientists "agreed that when a mechanistic view of the universe had held sway, thinkers like Hume had chided philosophers for taking the principle of causality and applying it to a philosophical argument for the existence of God. Causality, he warned, could not be extrapolated from science to philosophy." Zacharias points out the contradiction. "[W]hen quantum theory holds sway, randomness in the subatomic world is made a basis for randomness in life." Aren't scientists "making the very same extrapolation" that they "warned us against?" One scientist replied that "[w]e scientists do seem to retain selective sovereignty over what we allow to be transferred to philosophy and what we don't," making a slight admission of the illogic of science (Collins, 2005, February).

   Another rupture in scientific logic is shown by the philosopher of ecology, Goldsmith (1998), who asserts that the "progress" associated with science and technology is actually "anti-evolutionary" since it is destructive to natural processes.


     In terms of the world-view of modernism and of the associated paradigm of science--the changes brought to the ecosphere in the

     name of progress by modern man, with the aid of science, technology and industry--are part and parcel of the evolutionary process.

     No distinction is made between the process which leads to the development of the world of living things, or the ecosphere, and that

     which leads instead to the development of the technosphere....On the contrary, these two obviously very different and indeed  

     conflicting processes are seen as one and the same. If they differ at all, it is only insofar as one type of evolution is seen as

     “endosomatic,” in that it involves the modification of organs and behavior; while the other, referred to as technical or “exosomatic”  

     evolution, proceeds largely by the making of new “organs” outside of the organism (p. 418).


   Amazingly, industrial and technological innovation, even if it calls for replacing humans with robots (or turning humans into machines with new "organs") and replacing nature with artificial surroundings is seen as scientific progress. On a sociological level, the environmental writers Jensen & Draffan (2004) elaborate on the idea of science as a tool of domination. Science leads to monotony, loss of individual freedom, loss of innate spontaneity and curiosity with the ultimate goal of replacing nature and humans with an automated "society."


     What does science do? It calls for everything to be measured. It calls for everything that cannot be measured to be ignored or

     destroyed, and everything that can be measured to be analyzed (according to the rules of science)....What is science for? To analyze.

     Why? To predict. Why? To reduce risk for those doing calculations (and their masters) and to control those about whom these

     predictions are made. Why do they do this? So those performing these analyses and predictions can rule over everything they can

     analyze (and destroy everything they cannot)....Under this rubric, what is power? It is the ability to control outcomes. What then, is a

     bureaucracy? It is administration of rules, efficiency and quantification. It is the administration of control. What, then is a culture

     administered by a bureaucracy? It is a machine (p. 73.)


2.2 The Market Mechanism


  Though the former Soviet Union, under communisim, used a centralized economic system which relied on the scientific paradigm, the market system has exploited technology with more intensity. The political philosopher Fotopoulis (1998) provides a critical explanation:


     Technology has never been ‘neutral’ with respect to the logic of the dynamics of the market economy. Still, not only socialist statists

     but environmentalists as well, explicitly, or usually implicitly, assume that technology is socially neutral...In a market embodies concrete relations of production, its hierarchical organization and, of course, its primary aim...[is] the

     maximisation of economic growth and efficiency for profit purposes (p. 60).


  The "improvements" prescribed by the so-called market economy are leading to technology dependence and an erosion of humanism, spirituality and cultural safe-guards against greed. While most products are made today by lowly paid laborers in the Third World, we can witness a trend where many goods or services that used to be hand-led by humans are now operated by computers and robots. This "primary aim" for "economic growth" does not necessarily serve the best interests of humanity. Sachs (1992, June), a sociologist and environmental thinker states the problem from a cultural perspective:


     There are two entirely different principles which can shape a society’s image of itself. Either a person-to-person or a person-to-things

     relationship predominates. In the first case, events are examined in the light of their significance with regard to neighbours or

     relatives, ancestors or gods; whereas, in the second, all circumstances in the life of society are judged according to what they

     contribute to the acquisition and ownership of things. The modem epoch, whose thoughts and aspirations revolve mainly around

     property, production and distribution, devotes itself to the cult of things; the use of technology is thus its beatifying ritual.


   Economics exploits those aspects of life which involve pleasure, convenience and security. Once established cultural systems are eroded and religious restrictions removed, with the aid of the market mechanism, the group is fragmented and individuals must fend for themselves. The message of modern society is that life affirming norms are to be dispensed and unrestrained individualism encouraged in spite of the costs incurred by society. Thus, advertisers target children who are the most vulnerable and open to suggestion and most likely to  become consumer predators.  


     Fear of emptiness and discomfort lead to greed. Greed leads to an obsession with getting what you want, which leads to putting

     acquisition and production above everything else. Frustrated greed leads to aggresssion, and the willingness to ignore others’

     feelings....How do you maximize production? Through making everyone efficient, that is, through getting rid of barriers to production.

     One barrier to production is diversity. People, resources, machine parts must be interchangeable. High technology is a tool of

     industrial production. Neither more nor less. Bureaucracy is the administration of production and efficiency. It is nothing less than

     this, but it is more. Bureaucracy is the administrative means to eliminate feelings, ambivalence, and anything else that might

     interfere with production. A lack of bureaucracy leads to a lack of efficiency. A lack of efficiency leads to production not being

     maximized. With production not maximized, the (neurotic) need to avoid discomfort through control is foiled. Fear returns. 

     (Jensen & Draffan, 2004, p. 78).


   The old adage goes: salesmanship is the practice of selling something for more than it's worth to someone who does not need it. But as culture loses its human and natural bases, people are more inclined to buy snake oil to soothe the discomfort and fear that accompanies modern life.


2.3 Loss Of Knowledge And Nature: Return To Sumud


   Most urbanized humans are so dependent on technology that they would be helpless within a few hours without electricity and running water. Apartment buildings themselves are machines, granting every amenity in order for their inhabitants to survive. And machines need energy. Critic of science, Keith, notes that since energy fuels the scientific paradigm, the public must be kept ignorant of its jargon, internal logic and workings.


     Energy is recognized as the key to all activity on earth.  Natural science is the study of the sources and control of natural energy, and

     social science, theoretically expressed as economics, is the study of the sources and control of social energy. Both are bookkeeping

     systems. Mathematics is the primary energy science. And the bookkeeper can be king if the public can be kept ignorant of the

     methodology of the bookkeeping. All science is merely a means to an end. The means is knowledge. The end is control

     (Collins, 2005, February).


   The world's immensely wealthy oil-oligarchy is an example of the way energy is used to impose a unified energy regime on society while ignoring the environmental dangers of a fossil fuel energy policy. For example, it has often been argued that oil companies manipulate oil prices for their own financial gain regardless of the suffering this inflicts on many sectors of the population (Chen, 2005, August 22). Since people are kept uneducated to the complex matters of oil geology and economics and alternative energy sources, they easily fall prey to the monolithic system.

   One means of controlling the public is through the mystification of knowledge in order to discourage people from attempting to understand the world. If understanding is beyond reach, then action to change injustices is futile. As another familiar saying goes: the more things change, the more they stay the same. But the reason they stay so is because the power structure that determines public policy has remained in place for so long. Thus, some modern schools do not emphasize critical or heterodox approaches to thinking and problem solving  but mainly teach social skills to children and act as a holding-tank and job-sorter for teens (McVeigh, 2002). Without the intellectual capacity to penetrate the complex power structure upon which society is built, people easily accept modern forms of mysticism (as promoted through the mass media).

   As Jensen and Draffan (2004, October) note, “[O]ur culture today is not secular, but just as religious (in the pejorative sense of superstitious, unconscious, assumed) as ever. Only today, science is the religion, experts are the priests, bureaucrats are the gatekeepers, and research and development institutions are the cathedrals.” Rich (1994) notes in his authoritative study of the World Bank's disastrous policies on the Third World that bureaucratic systems take on a life and logic which deny their own failings.


     [A]n original bureaucratic decision may appear with hindsight erroneous, harmful, pernicious, and irrational in terms of organizations

     substantive values and goals, not to speak of reasonable ethical norms. But once a sequence of actions is launched, the formal

     rationality of the organization takes over, and each intermediate decision appears eminently rational in terms of the situation that

     immediately preceded it. With each incremental action, the original decision is ratified (p. 235).


  What applies to bureaucracies can also apply to human applications of technology. As indigenous or "folk" knowledge is usurped by corporate advertising, critical thinking among citizens is weakened and dependency on industrialized products is enhanced. The techonocratic vision as championed by the World Bank and other financial institutions (i.e., the global monetocracy) has led to the replacement of natural life forms with artificial ones and what Goldsmith (1998) and his colleagues at The Ecologist magazine have documented in detail for over thirty five years, namely, massive environmental disruption. Humanity has appropriated approximately half of the biosphere’s (i.e., the living layer of the planet) “terrestrial net primary production” capacity for its own purposes. This has affected the basic climatological, hydrological and terrestrial life support functions of the planet. Goldsmith accuses the scientific community of “almost total indifference” to the environmental crises they have helped create through the reworking of the biosphere toward the goals of furthering the scientific paradigm.

   Many of our fears today are rooted in our placelessness, loss of sense of values, and the desacralization and devalorization of natural experience. Unraveling the myth of value-free science, the historian of science, Proctor (1991), traces the transition in Western society from the religious foundation and order of things as they had previously been understood from Aristotle to Aquinas, up to the age of the enlightenment. The changes in perspective brought about by the discoveries of Galileo, such as that the Earth was not the center of the universe, threatened the social structure (e.g., the Church) and its values:


     The scientific revolution is a revolution in our views of value, not just our views of nature. Value in the modern world is a human

     creation--the product of human arts and labors. The natural order is no longer a moral one; the cosmos is indifferent to the plight of

     humans. Things may be good or bad, but only in relation to humans or their actions. Something is good if it pleases us or may be put

     to use. Value is no longer etched in the nature of things; “Being,” in the expression of Koyre, has been “devalorized" (p. 41).


   In a devalorized world we are discouraged to find a sense of belonging in nature while the mass media encourages images of rape and murder as normal events. Technology critic, Roszak (2000), notes that


     [a]t the psychological level, rape stems from a distinct state of mind that is the same whether the victim is a woman or a rainforest.

     Rape begins by denying the victim her dignity, autonomy and feeling. Psychologists now call this “objectifying” the victim. When it is

     another human being who is being so objectified, everybody (except perhaps the rapist) can clearly see the act as a crime. But when

     we objectify the natural world [with “nature” clearly being metaphor for “woman,” according to Roszak], turning it into a dead or

     stupid thing, we have another word for that. Science (p. 97).


   Roszak's interpretation relates to Easlea's feminist perspective (1983), a former nuclear physicist who turned to a critical investigation of the nuclear arms race.


     [M]odern science is predominantly a 'masculine philosophy' that has a concealed if mutilated 'feminine' aspect. Just as masculine men

     attempt to conceal and continue to repress the feminine within themselves, so masculine practitioners of science eliminate the 'soft'

     content of what they practise and analyse (p. 174).


   Francis Bacon's 16th century masculine science also fed into the social and political sciences which sought justification for the tendency of humans to colonize lands and peoples. Writing about events in the Middle East, the journalist and historian Shamir (2005) illustrates this in his essay Sumud and Flux, noting that "[t]he Palestinians call their adherence to soil, to the particular and unique piece of land they choose to live in, by word Sumud” (p. 77). However, “Flux is the most general form of free movement, whether by liberal economic measures as in the Open Society of Popper and von Hayek, or by brutal force as in Zionism, or by revolutionary measures of Trotskyism, or by American military intervention as by Neo-Cons...” (p. 79). According to Shamir's reaffirming world view, we have traveled too far down the road of technological and financial empowerment (flux) and need to return to our human roots planted in the land, family, community, and spirituality (sumud).


     The world is better presented not as the Manicaean battlefield of good and evil, but as the Taoist arena of eternal struggle of opposing

     forces, of Energy and Entropy, of Diversity and Uniformity, or of Sumud and Flux. Both are needed, but total victory of one of the

     forces should be prevented, if mankind is to survive.

        Diversity, i.e. thousands of tribes, cultural traditions, languages, beliefs is the Paradise Lost of mankind. It is the spiritual equivalent

     of oil supply, as well, for Diversity is the source of energy. When Diversity, the huge battery full of energy, is being discharged, Energy

     is released and Uniformity, or Entropy increase as ‘the fee’ for the Energy released. Multi-culturalism is false Diversity, just a brief stop

     before the Uniformity, and death.

        Flux discharges ‘the battery’ of Diversity. In a balanced state, the released energy should create Art and Faith, but it could be

     redirected into utilitarian usefulness. Mammon, this personification of greed worship, competes with God (Art and Faith) for the

     release energy; or, as the Gospel puts it, ‘One can’t serve God and Mammon’. (p. 80).

        Mankind had a very long run of Flux. It gave us more personal freedom than we could have otherwise. But it was not a free lunch.

     We lost much of precious Diversity. When it will run out, we shall be spiritually dead. In order to survive, we should turn to Sumud

     (p. 81).


   For Shamir, when multi-culturalism is used in its politically correct usage it is a code for Western cultural and political hegemony, which results in homogenization and ultimate destruction. Just as sustainable forms of technology should not empower any group or individual over one another, or over-burden the Earth's ecology, true multi-culturalism re-valorizes the cultural and biological diversity that was destroyed by colonialism and imperialism, and respects and reaffirms the autonomy and sovereignty of diverse peoples.


3. The Expanding Technosphere: Uses And Abuses


   While the awesome power to do good through the rational use of technology is constantly trumpeted by technophiles and leaders of industry, many observers of science and technology have warned that the pace of change has outstripped the human ability to use technology wisely, efficiently and safely.


3.1 Power And Control


   Sachs' study (1992, June) of the effects of technology on Third World countries found that the North (i.e., the "rich" world), led by the United States, imposed a straight jacket solution to "poverty" in the South (i.e., the "poor" world) that involved the foisting of an inappropriate industrial infrastructure on cultures with different histories, geographies and environments.


     Take the example of an electric mixer. Whirring and slightly vibrating, it makes juice from solid fruit in next to no time. A wonderful  

     tool! So it seems. But a quick look at cord and wall-socket reveals that what we have before us is rather the domestic terminal of a

     national, indeed worldwide, system: the electricity arrives via a network of cables and overhead utility lines which are fed by power

     stations that depend on water pressures, pipelines or tanker consignments, which in turn require dams, offshore platforms or derricks

     in distant deserts. The whole chain only guarantees an adequate and prompt delivery if every one of its parts is overseen by armies of

     engineers, planners and financial experts, who themselves can fall back on administrations, universities, indeed entire industries (and

     sometimes even the military).


   Therein lies the trap of technology: while individual items of technology are marketed for reasons of luxury, convenience and necessity, acceptance of even one appliance can indebt one to the system. Technological advancement entails having a job, renting or buying a dwellling, owning a car, using a credit card and so on. Sachs points out that “[a]s with a car, a pill, a computer or a television,”  there are “interconnected systems of organization and production.” 


     [T]he use of simple techniques and that of modem equipment lies the reorganization of a whole society....[I]t is probably no

     exaggeration to say that the deep structures of perception are changing with the massive invasion of technology....[N]ature is viewed

     in mechanical terms, space is seen as geometrically homogeneous and time as linear....[H]uman beings are not the same as they used

     to be - and they feel increasingly unable to treat technologies like tools by laying them down.


3.2 The World Expo


   One way that we are encouraged to adopt new tools is evident in the World Exposition system which began in the mid 19th century during the peak of the industrial revolution ("World' Fair," 2005, August 27). The most recent World Expo was hosted by Japan with the theme ''Nature's Wisdom'' and the “intention of promoting economic development in harmony with nature” (Kakuchi, 2005, March 24). It was reported that the "event's theme was chosen to emphasise sustainable development over the current global trend of mass consumption that is blamed for destroying the environment and causing global warming and desertification." However, the examples organizers choose to illustrate how "sustainable development" might stop current trends of "mass consumption" revealed more about a concern for promoting technology than environmental sustainability. For example,


     [T]he Chinese pavilion represent[s] harmony between nature and urban areas achieved through technology. The site includes a video

     room with lotus-shaped seats where visitors can watch a circular plasma screen displaying traditional calligraphy and paintings....The

     Russian pavilion features a life-size model of a leisure spaceship.


   Japan's pavilion even featured robots that would be able to replace human workers:


     [T]he special attractions of the Japanese exhibit are 63 prototype robots, including live-looking and life-size humanoid robots that could

     one day play the role of caregivers for children or the elderly -- the latter being a rapidly growing proportion of the country's

     population (Kakuchi, 2005, March 24).


   Organizers did not comment on the irony of replacing able bodied human workers with robots in a country where homelessness (presumably due to unemployment in most cases) is a noticable problem. Indeed, as one neighborhood organizer told me about the Toshima ward of Tokyo where we both live, the Japanese government is presently closing down its community centers because of "lack of budget" even as they heavily invest in military technology (Wilcox, p. 72, 2005, April). Nevertheless, Japanese organizers of the Expo stated that 


     rather than being a showcase for advanced Japanese technology, the Expo in Aichi serves as a platform to emphasise the country's

     commitment to the global environment....Aichi is a landmark for Japan because it carries the message that we can play the role of

     being the centre in solving the world's environmental problems (Kakuchi, 2005, March 24).


   This promise was contradicted in part by the content of the exhibits which emphasized robotics versus fulfillment found through human endevour, video learning versus human interactions with one another, and space-ships over basic human and environmental needs. The construction of the Expo site infringed upon native forests and "the already endangered nesting goshawk, a bird species native to the local ecosystem.”  No mention is made by Expo organizers of Japan's record of destruction to global forests, wildlife and fisheries and how technology could be used, if at all, to repair damage caused by unlimited economic growth and rampant consumerism (Wilcox, 2001; 2000; 1999). While some pavillions from Third World countries attempted to use the event in a counterhegemonic way by promoting the environmentally friendly technologies of peasants and indigenous peoples (Kakuchi, 2005, March 24), this was secondary to the emphasis on an ever-expanding technosphere.


3.3 Emerging Technologies    


   Biotechnology is one of the most controversial technologies in use today. Many critics charge that corporately managed biotech science aims to control or own life forms thereby denying access to lands and natural resources to the world's people. Most well known are the battles over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), namely foods (i.e., GM foods), where consumers from around the world have opposed plans to introduce GM foods from the United States in their countries. Monsanto corporation has been one the biggest producers and promoters of such biotech products (Cohen, 2001).

   Biotechnology covers a wide range of ethical, legal, economic, political, ecological and human health issues. For example, Rifkin (2005, March 27), a noted critic of biotech pointed out that the latest applications could have disturbing results:


     Some researchers are speculating about human-chimpanzee chimeras?– creating a humanzee. A humanzee would be the ideal

     laboratory research animal because chimpanzees are so closely related to human beings. Fusing a human and chimpanzee

     embryo could produce a creature so human that questions regarding its moral and legal status would throw 4,000 years of

     ethics into utter chaos. If the purpose of creating this hybrid is to perform medical experiments, could those experiments possibly

     be morally permissible?


   It seems there are no boundries remaining to protect the sacredness of life, as humans evolve from ape to human and then back again, the circle nearly complete! Other key aspects of biotechnology include the corporate patenting and ownership of seeds (and other organisms) thereby attempting to monopolize the world's food supply; the misapplication of GMOs to increase nutrition and food intake in the Third World; potential as well as documented dangers to human health, wildlife and the environment from GM crops; ethical concerns about eugenics, designer babies, cloning, xenotransplantation (i.e., using animal parts in humans), and political profiling through genetic stereotyping based on false science; as well as the misapplication of biotechnology to solve diseases. In addition, throughout the Third World, indigenous peoples and biodiversity are intruded upon as their genes are "mined" by pharmaceutical and biotech companies

(Tokar, Ed., 2001). In the case of biological pollution from GMOs, Tokar ( March 25, 2005), a long-time anti-GMO writer and activist found that:


     The problem of transgenic contamination of organic and other non-engineered crops has become increasingly widespread. In

     Canada, farmers have detected varieties of canola that are simultaneously resistant to three different chemical herbicides, as a

     result of cross- pollination of different varieties genetically manipulated to be herbicide tolerant. These have come to be viewed as

     "superweeds,"requiring increasingly virulent weed killers to remove them.

          In Mexico, small amounts of genetically engineered feed corn imported from the U.S. have been planted experimentally by

     some farmers, leading to the widespread contamination of indigenous corn varieties with transgenic DNA in nine Mexican states. A

     2004 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists showed detectable genetic contamination of several popular varieties of corn and

     soybeans sold as non-GMO seed for commercial planting.


   And in Britain, the Independent newspaper reports that


     [o]fficial policy is portrayed as being neutral and based simply on scientific advice....Yet another nail was hammered into the coffin of

     the GM food industry...when the final trial of a four-year series of experiments found, once more, that genetically modified crops can be

     harmful to wildlife....They showed the ultra-powerful weedkillers that the crops are engineered to tolerate would bring about further

     damage to a countryside already devastated by intensive farming.The fourth and final mass experiment involving GM crops has found

     that they caused significant harm to wild flowers, butterflies, bees and probably songbirds. Results of the farm-scale trial of winter-sown

     oilseed rape raised further doubts about whether GM crops can ever be grown in Britain without causing further damage to the nation's

     wildlife (Connor, 2005).


   In the United States and Canada the biotech industry appears to have greater political power due to their long lasting relationship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This has led to the absurd situation where a farmer in Canada, Percy Schmeiser, who did not want to use genetically modified seeds, was sued by Monsanto corporation because his crops were contaminated by GM seeds which had accidentally fallen into his field and grew up as GM crops. Monsanto claimed he stole their patented product and sued him in court. Schmeiser concluded that “[i]ntellectual property rights (the new patent laws) now have precedence over private property law, the interests of the biotechnology companies now have precedence over those of the natural environment, and profits have precedence over food production, food quality and public health” ("Percy Schmeiser," 2004, May). Luckily for Schmeiser--a rare case where a farmer with the money, patience, courage and worldwide support to stand up to the corporate bullies--did not lose his farm to Monsanto. His website recently stated that


     [t]he Supreme Court issued their decision in May 2004 and one can view the decision as a draw. The Court determined that

     Monsanto's patent is valid, but Schmeiser is not forced to pay Monsanto anything as he did not profit from the presence of Roundup

     Ready canola in his fields ("Monsanto vs Schmeiser," 2005, September 9).


  Despite the odds against Schmeiser, his efforts show that the biotech food industry continues to run into opposition from concerned farmers, consumers and citizens. However, biotech research continues apace in corporate laboratories as genetics, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR) merge into a new technology that critics warn could result in large-scale accidents or be used for intentionally destructive purposes ("The revolution," 2003, August). The Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration reports a lack of government oversight in industrialized countries. Nanotechnologists are literally altering life at the atomic level. This will change the way we live and what we consume in order to survive. As the ETC Group reports:


     Over the next two decades, the impacts of nano-scale convergence on farmers and food will exceed that of farm mechanisation or of

     the Green Revolution. No government has developed a regulatory regime that addresses the nano-scale or the societal impacts of the

     invisibly small. A handful of food and nutrition products containing invisible and unregulated nano-scale additives are already

     commercially available. Likewise, a number of pesticides formulated at the nano-scale are on the market and have been released in

     the environment ("Down on the farm," 2004, November 23).


  Whether or not the nano-tech and food companies will be able to fulfill their grandiose claims of a nano-particle super-food, thereby  delivering plentiful and nutritious food to consumers more efficiently than standard farming methods, they are presently investing billions of dollars toward that aim. The proof is in the nano-pudding. Undoubtedly, given an option most people would prefer not to eat such techno-gunk. However, with the increasing corporate monopolization of the food supply consumers may no longer have a choice ("Food sovereignty," 2002, June 14). Most processed and "fast" foods (i.e., "junk food" as opposed to "whole food") are already full of unhealthy ingredients even as the U.S. government fails to hold food manufacturers accountable ("MSG," 2005, September 12).


3.4 Consumerism  


   There is a sinister aspect to the information technology (IT) boom that most users of its hardware are only dimly aware of. Africa has long supplied the rest of the world with precious commodities. Over the centuries these have included human slaves, elephant ivory, oil, timber, animal parts, cash crops and valuable minerals such as diamonds. Today, the newest hot-commodity is coltan which is used mainly in cell phones and in other high tech products. As reported in the political journal, The Handstand ("Congo," 2005, May):


     Coltan is made of the minerals columbium and tantalite, or Coltan for short. Tantalite is a rare, hard and dense metal, very resistant to

     corrosion and high temperatures and is an excellent electricity and heat conductor. It is  used in the microchips of cell phone batteries  

     to prolong duration of the charge, making this business flourish.

        [T]he prime producer of Coltan on a world in Africa where 80% of the world reserves are to be found. Within this continent,

     the Democratic Republic of Congo concentrates over 80% of the  deposits, where 10,000 miners toil daily in the province of Kivu

     (eastern Congo), a territory that has been occupied since 1998 by the armies of Rwanda and Uganda. 


  Unbeknownst to most cell phone users, "cell phones and children's video games are tainted with the blood of 3.2 million deaths since 1998" while "other mega-technologies contribute to forest depredation and spoliation of the rich natural resources of paradoxically impoverished peoples." High mortality is brought on by warring factions and the contamination of civilian miners and their families at mining sites. Several companies "associated to large transnational capital, local governments and military forces (both state and 'guerrilla')" have colonized the region and grapple for the mining rights to extract coltan and other minerals. African journalist Kofi Akosah-Sarpong states that "[c]oltan in general terms is not helping the local people....In fact, it is the curse of the Congo."

   There is an additional health crisis occurring at the user-end of the cell phone. Worthington (2005, February) reports that “[s]ome people appear to have an almost pathological emotional attachment to their cell phones.” In major cities around the world people regularly talk, read, play games and send text messages while using cell phones, often oblivious to their surroundings as they walk incognizant of the crowds of people and traffic that surrounds them. Most users are unaware that a


     cell phone is a microwave transmitter....Microwave energy oscillates at millions to billions of cycles per second. The Journal of Cellular

     Biochemistry reports that these frequencies cause cancer and other diseases by interfering with cellular DNA and its repair



   Cell phones promote cell shrinkage, "rapid cell aging" and cancerous cells to "grow aggressively.” In addition, “[c]ordless phones...emit the same dangerous microwave radiation as cell phones.” Worthington reports that medical researcher Dr. Henry Lai  found that "brain cells are clearly damaged by microwave levels far below the U.S. government's" safety guidelines which critics believe do not adequately protect users and others within range of the phones and microwave transmitter towers. Worthington cites additional research that claims that "government agencies and cell phone manufacturers KNEW YEARS AGO that cell phone radiation at present exposure levels is dangerous to human health" [emphasis in original]. Yet, according to Lai's findings,


     even tiny doses of radio frequency can cumulate over time and lead to harmful effects...cell phones can also leak huge amounts of

     radiation from the keypad and mouthpiece. This radiation deeply penetrates brain, ear and eye tissues, which are especially susceptible

     to microwave damage (Worthington, 2005, February).


   Ashton & Laura's research (1999) on the carcinogenic effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure found that "[f]ifteen centimeters from common household electrical appliances such as can-openers, electrical shavers and hair dryers, the 50-60 hertz magnetic field can be" equivalent to "2 million times" the levels of EMF that occur in nature (pp. 42-43). This research supports the idea that holding a cell phone--a miniature microwave oven--close to your head for any length of time is unnatural and possibly dangerous.


     Studies have...shown that the pineal gland is sensitive to electromagnetic field exposure. Human and avian circadian rhythms or daily

     physiological cycles are lengthened in shielded environments that exclude natural and artificial electronic fields. Electric fields of 60

     hertz have been observed to depress pineal melatonin levels in animals, and pineal melatonin depression has been associated with

     cancer growth. Other hormone effects manipulated by electric fields have also been observed and experiments have shown that at

     certain intensities, 60 hertz electric fields may suppress T-lymphocyte cytotoxicity which is part of the body’s natural defense against

     cancer (p. 45).    


Worthington (2005, February) reports that recent studies


     confirm that cell and cordless phone microwaves can: Damage nerves in the scalp; Cause blood cells to leak hemoglobin; Cause

     memory loss and mental confusion; Cause headaches and induce extreme fatigue; Create joint pain, muscle spasms and tremors;

     Create burning sensation and rash on the skin; Alter the brain's electrical activity during sleep; Induce ringing ! in the ears, impair

     sense of smell; Precipitate cataracts, retina damage and eye cancer; Open the blood-brain barrier to viruses and toxins; Reduce the

     number and efficiency of white blood cells; Stimulate asthma by producing histamine in mast cells; Cause digestive problems and

     raise bad cholesterol levels; Stress the endocrine system, especially pancreas, thyroid, ovaries, testes.


   Nevertheless, the US government's Food and Drug Administration claims that "[t]here is no reason to conclude that there are health risks posed by cell phones to consumers" even as the cell phone industry plans to market more powerful phones. Because of the huge profits involved and lack of governmental regulation, corporations are marketing cell phones to children despite findings that “[m]icrowave to the head is extremely hazardous to children." Additionally, "cell phones can alter electrical activity of a child's brain for hours, causing drastic mood changes and possible behavior and learning disabilities."

   The commercialization of childhood is a crucial issue because once children are addicted to habits, substances, or forms of technology, the impact on behavior can be lasting. After carrying out sociological studies on the commercialization on children, Ruskin and Schor (January, 2005) noted that


     [f]or a time, institutions of childhood were relatively uncommercialized, as adults subscribed to the notion of childhood innocence, and

     the need to keep children from the “profane” commercial world. But what was once a trickle of advertising to children has become a

     flood. Corporations spent about $15 billion marketing to children in the United States each year, and by the mid-1990s, the average

     child was exposed to 40,000 TV ads annually.


   The intended effect is to pacify the audience and instill addiction to pleasurable delights. Hoffman (2001) believes that such commercialization is having a dehumanizing effect on the young:


     If we consider the hours in a day most Americans spend in front of a TV and add to that the hours children spend immersed in the

     digital world of video games and add to that their forthcoming immersion in computer-simulated worlds of supposed 'history' and

     'travel' in their schools, and we see the gradual creation of a population of dwellors-in-perpetual-illusion (p. 94).


   People become more like their machines as they find relationships with machines more fruitful and predictable than those with humans, animals or the outside world. One veteran political activist concluded that new forms of technology can lead to alienation from neighbors and impede the ability of people to organize around important social and political issues:


     I see the flood and the created demand for hi-tech toys [in San Francisco] that now targets virtually every age group as another

     form of social control, getting the younger generation and their kids addicted to cell phones, iPods, mP3 players, Blackberrys, as

     they were to the Walkman and CD players. There are kids in schools today that cannot function without music in their ears, who

     can't stand silence and have lost the ability to think. Cafes used to be where people went to talk, not it's where people bring their

     lap tops and the only talking they do is on their cell phones (J. Blankfort, personal communication, August 28, 2005).


   Despite the large amount of money people spend on electronic gadgetry, the computerization of thought processes may not actually improve the ability to think. As one news report found, 


     [t]he less pupils use computers at school and at home, the better they do in international tests of literacy and maths...being able to

     use a computer at work - one of the justifications for devoting so much teaching time to ICT (information and communications  

     technology) - had no greater impact on employability or wage levels than being able to use a telephone or a pencil....Pupils tended to

     do worse in schools generously equipped with computers, apparently because computerized instruction replaced more effective forms

     of teaching (Clare, 2005, March 3).


   This would tend to support Schor's findings (2004) that commercial culture is harmful to children's well being. Her research presented irrefutable statistical results, some of which are summarized below:


     High consumer involvement is a significant cause of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and psychosomatic complaints.

     Psychologically healthy children will be made worse off if they become enmeshed in the culture of getting and spending. Children with

     emotional problems will be helped if they disengage from the worlds that corporations are constructing for them. The effects operate in

     both directions and are symmetric. That is, less involvement in consumer culture leads to healthier kids, and more involvement leads

     to kids' psychological well-being to deteriorate (p. 167).


   As children become more vulnerable, technological gadgets offer an escape from immediate problems and may exacerbate existing ones. Schor reports that in order to sell expensive products to children, corporations are aggressively seeking shrewd marketing techniques. A behavioral pathology that already affects many people is an addiction to shopping, but corporations are trying to exploit this. “Some researchers have been explicit” about their goal “to combine scientific discoveries about the brain with computerized technologies, to craft ever more effective and irresistable messages" (p. 109). Marketing is rapidly moving into the area of "neuromarketing."


     Neuromarketing involves using brain science to determine how to sell to consumers. The BrightHouse Institute for Thought Sciences in  

     Atlanta is paying people to have MRI brain scans done while they look at pictures of different products. Harvard Business School

     professor Gerry Zaltman pioneered this technique in the late 1990s...and has patented another method called ZMET, which is

     enormously influential in the field [of marketing], and has been used with teens and children. Which companies are involved?

     BrightHouse’s Adam Kovel is tight-lipped: “We can’t actually talk about the specific names of the companies, but they are global 

     consumer product companies" (p. 110).


Jensen and Draffan (2005, October 9) note that some researchers are taking this approach even further:


     Recent research has been aimed at co-opting the rats’ will. Scientists put an electrode near a pleasure center in the rat’s brain, and

     others to stimulate whiskers on each side of the rat’s nose. The scientists then trigger, for example, implants near the left whiskers,

     and follow that by triggering the pleasure center. This convinces the rat to move left. After only ten days of this, rats can be trained to

     climb trees, walk, and stand in the open, or do many other things rats don’t normally like to do, controlled by technicians issuing

     commands from laptop computers up to 550 yards away.


   One might speculate that these types of projects are aiming to turn people into submissive consumer automatons with the added side-benefit of weakening their intuitive resistance to political tyranny. Once again, this kind of experimentation evokes the moral question raised by Rifkin as to the making of "manzees," the half humans, half apes: power through control of existing organisms and altering or creating new organisms when more control is needed as a means to an end.


3.5 Surveillance


   According to the logic of technological advancement, more is better, and more power to control others reduces risks to those who have power and want to hold it. Thus, empires rarely give up their foreign bases but tend to expand. The same tendency applies domestically: as policing powers increase, society becomes dependent on "crime" and policing and prisons as an economic and cultural fix. Yet, the farther we move toward convenience, security and efficiency, the farther we move away from the spontaneity and joy of life.


     The human nervous network is a complex of billions of neurons and synapses washed in biochemicals sending subtle multileveled

     messages. Human communities consist in part of millions of these nervous networks interacting. More-than-human communities

     consist in part of millions of species interacting in verbal and non-verbal ways. We can’t fathom the world, much less control it,

     much less redesign it after our ambitions’ impoverished goals. By trying to monitor everyone’s behavior and thinking, and by trying

     to compel everyone to follow rules, we reveal our ignorance of the complexity and subtlety of human cultures and the natural

     world (Jensen & Draffan, 2004, October 9).


   Take the example of Japan, a society with a long history which was operated within a hierarchical structure and an increasingly fraudulent  political system (Chan, 2005, September 15). Japan's leaders have brilliantly adapted the country to the modern technosphere for practical purposes (and under pressure from imperial masters such as the United States), but also for wealth enhancement and as a tool of social control. McVeigh (2002) describes the innumerable totalitarian social tendencies that already exist in Japan, some of them amenable to  technological tampering:


     Japan, as a technologically advanced, late capitalist society, offers us a good example of the politics of visuality, a place where there

     are numerous sites in which one is watched: neighborhoods policed by kouban (“police boxes”); public spaces scanned by cameras;

     offices filled with desks over-seen by managers; assembly lines monitored by supervisors; classrooms and school ceremonies

     administered by teachers; reception areas watched; guard houses staffed by sentries; guarantors required whenever a substantial

     financial commitment is made; and educational and occupational examinations and interviews conducted by prospective instructors

     and employers. The ubiquitous gazes generated by these sites normalize, judge, include, exclude, praise, and denounce. The official

     gaze establishes imagined lines of socialization that produce normalized subjectivities, connecting observers with observed....In

     other words, the gaze is internalized and authority is positioned in the self [emphasis added] (pp. 77-78).


   RFID (radio frequency identification) computer chips are now being introduced into many facets of business and commerce in Japan and other countries, as well as for political uses as with RFID chip passports ("METI selects," 2004, June 25; "RFID passports," 2005, June 3). With the usual pretexts of "efficiency" and "wave of the future," this trend threatens civil liberties and privacy (Hand-Boniakowski, 2004, August) while reinforcing a totalitarian social mentality that has often characterized the Japanese political system. Hencke (2005, June 7) reports that In Britain there is a trend to electronically monitor workers:


     Workers in warehouses across Britain are being "electronically tagged" by being asked to wear small computers to cut costs and

     increase the efficient delivery of goods and food to supermarkets....New US satellite- and radio-based computer technology is

     turning some workplaces into "battery farms" and creating conditions similar to "prison surveillance", according to a report from

     Michael Blakemore, professor of geography at Durham University. The technology, introduced six months ago, is spreading rapidly,

     the system could make Britain the most surveyed society in the world. The country already has the largest number of street

     security cameras.


Professor Blakemore warns about electronically tagged workers and worries that computers are "taking over the human rather than humans using computers." As workers are compelled to work more faster the possibility for injuries due to repetitive motions increases. This new kind of work regime is also part of a growing trend of


     [o]ther monitoring devices...being developed in the US, including ones that can check on the productivity of secretaries by measuring

     the number of key strokes on their word processors; satellite technology is also being developed to monitor productivity in

     manufacturing jobs (Hencke, 2005, June 7).


   Shortly before he died the mathematical genius Norbert Weiner “saw the danger in his brainchild, the computer, and warned against letting it play too prominent a role in human affairs” (Hall, 1976, p. 39). Another Pandora's Box opened. Robots are now being developed to mimic human "thinking" such as "self awareness" and experience physical "senses" such as "touch" ("Robot report," 2005, September). So while robots are becoming more human-like, the opposite trend may be occurring as well.  While computers and information technology offer many advantages to people who consume various products, these technologies also allow corporations to track people's behavior by monitoring credit cards, cellular phone numbers and email addresses. Once again, we see the trade-offs that occur when new technologies are introduced with little democratic debate over whether they will benefit society or harm it.


3.6 The Weapons Industry And The Science Of Killing


   Weaponry, with the priniciple aim to intimidate or kill an enemy, can range from ancient forms of knife, club or spear, to a handgun or rifle, to the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, a nuclear missile. Albright and O'Neill's research on science and military issues (1999) revealed that


     [p]lutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU), commonly called "fissile materials," are the key ingredients of nuclear weapons,

     making them two of the most dangerous materials in existence. There are more than 3,000 tonnes (metric tons) of these materials in

     the world, enough for more than 230,000 nuclear weapons (p. 1).


   While the quantities and types of conventional, nuclear and other sorts of innovative weaponry are proliferating--with the United States far in the lead as producer and seller of arms (Wilcox, 2005)--the question arises as to how normally calm, kind and peace-loving persons can be involved as scientists or military bureaucrats in their role to proliferate ever more sinister forms of weaponry?

   A retired military colonel offers this succinct summary of the reasons for war: “[m]en are greedy, men are vicious, men are cruel. As long as you have human beings on earth, you are going to have wars. History bears this out. And as long as you have wars, you are going to have armies and soldiers and weapons. How can you deny it?” (Prokosh, 1995, p. 5). While one could argue over the colonel's cynical view of human nature, it would be hard to deny that wars have become more prevelant and often more savage than they were in the ancient past. Although methods have changed, the willingness to kill remains with us. Prokosh's (1995) study of "the technology of killing" noted of the colonel's remarks:


     The colonel’s vision is of a battlefield where his forces can enjoy the advantages of technology without limit. Yet the logical outcome

     of never-ending advances in killing power is ever more devastation, ever worse injury to soldiers, ever more destruction to civilian

     life. War is a supremely irrational and destructive enterprise....Yet the conduct and preparation for warfare are highly organized; the

     weapons used are based on the best national technologies; and the people engaged in each component of this vast operation are

     surrounded by an ethos which values their contribution, and a jargon which allows them to communicate comfortably without

     focusing on the dreadful effects of their work (p. 5).


   In other words, modern warfare and the political system that upholds it have normalized the process of killing. "Killing" as an efficient industrial function, much like canning beans or brewing cappacino to perfection. For example, [i]n the United States, [The Princeton Group of scientists] established during [WWII]...[used] new experimental techniques, they documented the wounding process with unprecedented thoroughness and precision" (p. 19). This was carried out with precision to document the most destructive effects of munitions on the human body. The effects of high velocity projectiles were studied to learn about “the damage inflicted on various body parts.” Data was gathered on the degree of damage that can be caused to muscle fibers, ruptures to capillaries, nerves that can be “pushed aside,” shattered bones and ruptured intestines. The ideal target of the human head being viewed simply as a “’liquid medium’ (the brain)” where “a high velocity missile creates a temporary cavity with the substance being violently pushed outwards” (p. 20). “The mathematics of wounding” is the grotesque scientific attempt "to place wound ballastics on a sound quantitative basis" (p. 22).  

   Not only do projectiles kill by moving through space, landmines wait for their victims for as long as they remain operable. Even after significant efforts of peace activists, the United States announced that it "may soon resume production of antipersonnel land mines" and renege on the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty (Baker, 2005, August 3). Though


     Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes these weapons that kill and maim an estimated 500 people, mostly civilians, each week....With very

     few exceptions, nearly every nation has endorsed the goal of a global ban on all antipersonnel mines at some point in the future....Such

     acts (by the U.S.) would clearly be against the trend of the emerging international consensus against any possession or use of

     antipersonnel mines.


   The Pentagon recently "requested 1.3 billion dollars for [a new] mine system, as well as for another mine called the Intelligent Munitions System." The Pentagon did not indicate in what way these landmines were meant to be "intelligent," the name implying that they might be able to differentiate between enemy combatants and civilians in the way that a "smart missile" can supposedly pinpoint a target and reduce "collateral damage" (i.e., civilian casualties). In addition to new forms of conventional weapons, Jensen & Draffan (2004, October 9) note that


     military researchers at MIT and elsewhere are working hard to fabricate technologies that will...allow soldiers to leap buildings, deflect

     bullets, and even become invisible. Shoes containing power packs will store energy when soldiers—or state police, or corporate security

     guards, insofar as there’s a difference—walk, then release this energy in bursts to allow them to jump over walls. Soldiers-cops,

     corporate goons-will be given exoskeletons, like insects, to deflect bullets.


   Thus, the rate of innovation of weaponry is rapid. Jensen and Draffan cite weapons enthusiasts who applaud the day when there will be “...really effective substitutes for chemical and biological weapons: deadly bio-machines of finite life that could be released by sub-munitions, showering opponents in millions of nanobots...that could literally eat humans alive" (2004, October 9). Already a "robo-soldier" is in use in the Iraq war in order to search for enemy insurgents while protecting the lives of American soldiers. Robo-soldier is described by its makers as "[a] reconnaissance robot used for military purposes which can detect enemies and fire at enemies without detection" (Regan, 2005, January 27).

   In addition to the retired colonel's reason for war, because "men are greedy, vicious and cruel," the ideological reason given during the Cold War era was that it was the price "we" had to pay to fight communism. But with the Cold War long over this does not explain the current  pace of militarism. The oft cited need for "national security" and a "strong military" is counterproductive to creating sustained security for the world's peoples. According to Johnson's (2004) study of the U.S. military empire, in the current climate of "preventive" war, military "solutions" implemented by the Pentagon are strongly preferred over diplomatic solutions offered by the State Department.

   The simplest explanation for modern militarism is the huge profits garnered by the arms trade. In the 20th century lucrative military contracts are funded by global taxpayers, namely Americans. In the wake of World War II, the revisionist scholar Harry Elmer Barnes writes in the classic work, Perpetual Peace for Perpetual War (1953), "[t]here was no income tax before 1913, and that levied in the early days after the amendment was adopted was little more than nominal. All kinds of taxes were relatively low. We had only a token national debt of around a billion dollars" which could have been easily paid off in a year's time (p. 3). Yet with each consecutive World War, the U.S. national debt rose dramatically to about 260 billion dollars in 1951 with 60 percent of each tax dollar paying for "military service" (Barnes, Ed., 1953, book jacket). As the National Priorities Project documents, after 2 and a half years the cost of the Iraq war alone is approaching 200 billion dollars and increases at the rate of 2 thousand dollars per second ("Cost of war," 2005, September 6).

   At the same time, the U.S. national debt is listed at over 7.9 trillion dollars ("U.S. National," 2005, September 6). Astonishingly, one economist has estimated that from 1973 to 2002, aid to Israel and losses in revenue to the U.S. government due to the political practices of lobbying groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has cost U.S. taxpayers "about 1.6 trillion" dollars (Francis, 2002, December 9). This alone is a significant slice of the overall debt and represents a dramatic change since the pre-World War I era when Americans paid hardly any taxes.

   According to the War Resisters League, current U.S. military spending claims 30 percent of every tax dollar while veterans payments and interest paid on past military spending claims 18 percent of each tax dollar ("Where your," 2005). Starck reports that "[w]orld military spending rose for a sixth year running in 2004, growing by 5 percent to $1.04 trillion....With expenditure of $455 billion, the United States accounted for almost half the global figure, more than the combined total of the 32 next most powerful nations "(2005, June 7). Despite the fact that some people earn their living from the military or related industries, overwhelmingly "war" is a system of institutionalized theft on a gigantic scale, shifting substantial portions of individuals' earned income into the pockets of the wealthy operators of the military industrial system. As U.S. Marine Corp General Smedley Butler once famously stated: war is a racket.


4. Consequences For Cultural And Biological Diversity


   Whether or not technology makes life easier, more pleasant, or longer-lived for large numbers of people, these are secondary questions to the reality of rapidly eroding human cultures and the continued ecological basis for their existence.


4.1  Where Are We Coming From?


   Not normally considered to be a tool since it is properly considered part of the body, one "tool" that has enabled humans to thrive has been the human tongue. Oral traditions have been indispensable for human survival and provided the basis for people to carry on their traditions and accumulate knowledge. For example, Harris (1986) notes the anthropological importance of language in human evolution, whereby,


     [i]n effect, cultural take-off is also linguistic take-off. A rapid and cumulative rate of change in traditions implies a breakthrough in the

     amount of information socially acquired, stored, retrieved, and shared. It is impossible to celebrate the one without celebrating the

     other (p. 66).


   Yet, in an United Nations study tracking trends among the world's indigenous peoples, the cultural anthropologist Posey (1999) notes:


     Human cultural diversity is threatened on an unprecedented scale. Linguists estimate that between 5,000 and 7,000 languages are

     spoken today on five continents. Languages are considered one of the major indicators of cultural diversity. Yet an estimated half of

     the world’s languages--the codification’s, intellectual heritages, and frameworks for each society’s unique understanding of life--will

     disappear within a century. Nearly 2,500 languages are in immediate danger of extinction; and an even higher number are losing the

     ‘ecological contexts’ that keep them as vibrant languages (p. 3).


   The celebration of culture seems to be coming to a depressing end as robots take over for "unreliable humans" and their "innefficient" traditions in order to make way for homogenization of culture and nature. Whether or not one accepts the arguments set forth by ideologues of the global monetocracy, the randomness and brutality of "progress" is destroying the planet's cultural and biological heritage (Madron & Jopling, 2003; Korten, 1995). How did this dire situation come to be?  

   Writing 49 years after Christopher Columbus and the Europeans arrived at the island they named Hispaniola (modern Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1492, the Spanish priest De Las Casas (1992) recounts the unspeakable atrocities that took place at the hands of the Spaniards. In Hispaniola, they murdered and enslaved the native peoples in order to plunder the island’s food, gold and resources. Those who did not submit were murdered or severely tortured while those who did were forced to dig gold from the mines until they died of exhaustion. There was no escape from the first holocaust carried out against the native peoples (p. 27). The main island and surrounding islands were described by De Las Casas as being “densely populated with native peoples” who were “devoid of wickedness and duplicity” as well as being “humble, patient and peacable.” In that idylic setting of tranquility and primeval beauty, on the other hand, the


     Spaniards...behaved in no other way during the past forty years, down to the present time, for they are still actiing like ravenous

     beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples, doing all this with the strangest and most varied new

     methods of cruelty, never seen or heard of before, and to such a degree that this Island of Hispaniola (having a population that I

     estimated to be more than three millions), has now a population of barely two hundred persons (p. 28).

         [T]he Christians, with their horses and swords and pikes began to carry out massacres....They attacked the towns and spared

     neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but

     cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughterhouse. They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could

     split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their

     mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw

     them into the rivers, roaring with laugher (pp. 33 - 34).


   The Spanish carried out massacres and plunder all the way from Florida to the Kingdom of the Yucatan to Guatamala to Peru. As other Europeans colonized the world over the following centuries a more refined ideology gradually replaced overt barbarism. Bodley (1990) explains that in the field of anthropology indigenous cultures were studied by Europeans in order to “reconcile the natives” to the “inevitable” loss of their “maladaptive cultures” (p. 2). By contrast, the modern “culture of consumption” which has justified the acculturation of indigenous peoples through “technological ethnocentrism” claims that “the materialistic values of industrial civilization are cultural universals [and that] industrial goods are always superior to handcrafted goods.” This claim is supported by the false notion that “tribal cultures are unable to satisfy the material needs of their people” (p. 6).

   After World War II, Sachs (1992) describes how technology was used as a "Trojan horse" to bring the Third World under a more elaborate system of domination. Since there were many movements from colonial independence after the war, the U.S. and its allies needed a pretext to allow land and labor to be exploited while convincing Third World leaders of their benevolent intentions. As Sachs puts it, "[i]t was not until after the Second World War, precisely in the age of ‘development’, that the Third World countries moved into focus" and the industrial world imposed its "material-centred viewpoint." Technocrats from "aid" agencies visited the non-industrial world and "lo and behold, discovered an appalling lack of useful objects wherever they looked." This was a boon for American, European and Japanese manufacturers of industrially advanced products.


     However, what was of primary importance in many villages and communities - the tissue of relationships with neighbours, ancestors

     and gods - more or less melted into thin air under their gaze....John F Kennedy called upon Congress in March 1961 to finance the

     ‘Alliance for Progress’. ‘Throughout Latin America,’ he said, ‘millions of people are struggling to free themselves from the bands of

     poverty, hunger and ignorance’. In the wake of such an exposition, in material-centred terms, of the aspirations of people throughout

     Latin America from traders on the Gulf of Mexico to cattle farmers of the pampa the strategic conclusion was self-evident. ‘To the

     North and the East,’ Kennedy continued, ‘they see the abundance which modern science can bring. They know the tools of progress

     are within their reach’ (Sachs, 1992).


  This ideology continues to hold sway despite the frequent shocks, crises and popular resistance movements that have historically characterized capitalist development. For example, the Project for a New American Century, the think-tank which was widely credited for helping to initiate the Iraq War in 2003 blandly states at its website that "American leadership is good both for America and for the world" ("Project for," 2005, September 9). The millions of victims of the wars and illegal interventions throughout the world carried out by "American leadership" might disagree (Blum, 1995).

   Therefore, even with President "Truman’s pledge to provide scientific and technical aid" the deck was stacked against most Third World countries to develop their manufacturing bases (Sachs, 1992). If this had happened, it would only have led to competition with the imperial alliance countries and an actual free-market, not the rigged poker-game that was set up for them by their former colonial rulers (Chomsky, 1993). Still, the command that Third World countries should "develop" their economies fit well, for, "if ever there was a single doctrine uniting North and South it was this: more technology is always better than less." Sachs' (1992) offers a compelling interpretation of this doctrine:


     The popularity of this doctrine derives from the tragic fallacy that modem technologies possess the innocence of tools....Throughout all

     classes, nationalities and religions the consensus was for ‘more technology’ because technology was viewed as powerful but neutral,

     entirely at the service of the user. In reality...a model of civilization follows hot on the heels of modern technology. Like the entry of

     the Trojan horse in the ancient myth, the introduction of technology in the Third World paved the way for a conquest of society from

     within. In almost any developing country you can find unused equipment, rusting machinery and factories working at half their

     capacity. For the ‘technical development’ of a country demands putting into effect that multitude of requirements which have to be 

     fulfilled to set the interconnected systems whirring. And this generally amounts to taking apart traditional society step by step in order

     to reassemble it according to functional requirements. No society can stay the same; there can be no [industrial infrastructure]

     without remodelling the whole....Through transfer of technology, generations of development strategists have worked hard to get

     Southern countries moving. Economically they have had mixed results, yet culturally - entirely unintended - they have had

     resounding success. The flood of machines which has poured into many regions may or may not have been beneficial, but it has

     certainly washed away traditional aspirations and ideals. Their place has been taken by aspirations and ideals ordered on the co-

     ordinates of technological civilization - not only for the limited number who benefit from it, but also for the far larger number who

     watch its fireworks from the sidelines.


4.2 Bulldozing Biodiversity


   The Indian ecologist Shiva (1997) identifies "the technological and economic push to replace diversity with homogeneity in forestry, agriculture, fishery and animal husbandry” as the main factors which are transmogrifying nature through the "development" paradigm

(p. 65). Shiva cites two forces that are in conflict: culture in harmony with life versus corporate ownership of life.


     Common property knowledge and resource systems recognize creativity in nature...biodiversity carries the intelligence of three and a

     half billion years of experimentation by life forms...Intellectual Property Rights regimes [for example, claims of ownership of gentically

     modified seeds], in contrast, are based on the denial of creativity in nature. Yet they usurp the creativity of emerging indigenous

     knowledge and the intellectual commons (p. 67).


   In a separate study, Shiva (1995) concluded that the conversion of species diverse forests and crops to monocultures occurs due to the corporate imperative of "economic efficiency" (i.e., rate of wealth accumulation).


     [C]ategories of ‘yield’, ‘productivity’, and ‘improvement’ which have emerged from the corporate viewpoint have been treated as

     universal...all tree-planting programmes financed by international institutions in recent years...have spread eucalyptus monocultures

     across Asia, Africa and Latin America (p. 48).


   Despite the facts that eucalyptus trees use much water and degrade biodiversity, because they are fast-growing and are deemed to be economically efficient they are favored by timber industries. On the other hand, although the economy would not exist without the natural world, biodiversity impedes economic efficiency when it blocks valuable resources from being extracted:


     Given that the industrial sector does not benefit from the diversity of species and uses of trees, forest programmes deliberately

     destroy diversity for increasing yields of industrial raw material...naturally diverse tropical forests are considered ‘unproductive’.

     Referring to the diversity and large biomass [the plants, animals, insects etc.] of tropical forests, a forestry expert has stated ‘that

     from a standpoint of industrial material supply, this is relatively unimportant. The important question is how much...of preferred

     species...can be profitably marketed today. By current utilisation standards, most of the trees in these tropical forests are, from an

     industrial materials standpoint, clearly 'weeds’ (pp. 48 - 49).


   Indeed, after a 23 year study in a Ugandan rainforest, one biologist concluded that for rain forests to be logged sustainably, "harvesting must mimic natural treefalls - consisting of no more than one large tree per hectare per century, done by hand to minimize forest disruption" ("Rainforest permanently," 1999, August 24). This is in stark contrast to industrial logging which is to cut, plough and bulldoze every standing tree and shrub in sight in the shortest possible time.


4.3 Where Are We Going?


   The trees are felled in the rainforest and shipped to major cities to build the dwellings that Koestler's "urban barbarians" inhabit, drifting from day to day in the smog, the semi-willing participants of the post-industrial service economy. A trenchant social philosopher, Arthur Koestler concludes:


     He [sic] utililzes the products of science and technology in a purely possessive, exploitive manner without comprehension or feeling.

     His relationship to the objects of his daily impersonal and possessive....Modern man [sic] lives isolated in his artificial

     environment, not because the artificial is evil as such, but because of his lack of comprehension of the forces which make it work--of

     the principles which relate to his gadgets to the forces of nature, to the universal order. It is not central heating which makes his

     existence “unnatural,” but his refusal to take an interest in the principles behind it. By being entirely dependent on science, yet

     closing his mind to it, he leads the life of an urban barbarian (Winner, 1992, p. 283).


   Philosopher of technology, Winner (1992) elaborates on the idea that far from improving life, overall, technology has dumbed-us-down and outstripped our ability to adapt to the rapid changes imposed by the elite technocracy.


     [M]embers of the technological society actually know less and less about the fundamental structures and processes sustaining

      them. The gap between the realities of the world and the pictures individuals have of that world grows ever greater. For this reason,

     the possibility of directing technological systems toward clearly perceived, consciously chosen, widely shared aims becomes an

     increasingly dubious matter. Most persons are caught between the narrowness of their everyday concerns and a bedazzlement at the

     works of civilization. Beyond a certain point they simply do not know or care about things happening in their surroundings. With the

     overload of information so monumental, possibilities once crucial to citizenship are neutralized (p. 326).


   To offer a banal illustration, my son's newly built elementary school has many "environmentally friendly" features such as a small wind-power generator and a solar-panel. But when I asked various people at the school how much electricity was produced by the generators no one was quite sure. We eventually found a pamphlet (that no one had read) that the generators were to be used only in case of an electrical black-out. Surely, this is a small step in the right direction. Though some of the upper grade students receive lessons about how the generators work, most school time is devoted to traditional curriculum and socialization activities. In the meantime, the city of Tokyo, even while being one of the most economically developed and convenient cities in the world, is itself a massive consumer of natural resources, not to mention a relentless cacaphony of screeching machines, rumbling automobiles, thundering building and highway construction noises and pervasive smog. Loud speakers pervade urban Tokyo, whether at the train stations or mounted on trucks that roam the city, they endlessly blast annoying "information" and advertising in order to capture the weary. These activities are jarring to the mind and force people to withdraw behind their psychological barricades. But Japan is not the only victim.

   As Hoffman (2001) observes:


     With the onset of machine technology known by the interesting sobriquet, “Virtual Reality,” the immersion of mankind into the

     counterfeit, computer-generated cryptosphere, intensifies, and the march of induced hallucination, digital money, junk from Wal-Mart

     and miracles by priests in lab coats, accelerates, commensurate with the spiritual and mental deaths of the animated corpses of the

     masses of the walking dead of America (p. 6)

        Couple this with the increasing very rapid destruction of wild nature and our ability to access it, and modern humanity becomes

     almost totally cut-off from the voice of God, emerging as enslaved drone-bees: wired, processed, helmeted and programmed....Outside

     murders rage, the invasion tides swell, the blood is polluted, the control is tightening, the asphalt is pouring, the landmarks and the

     wilderness are vanishing, the heritage is dying and memory itself is dwindling. Inside, in the Videodrome, the scantily-clad bodies are

     shaking, the music beat is pounding, the lights are flashing...(p. 94). 


   Despite the pessimistic conclusions presented above, if there is a chance to save our world we had better act soon. A practical step is for people to nurture their historical roots with the countryside. With so many people now living in urban areas this would ease some stress from overcrowding and offer models for sustainable living. The environmental writer Sale (1996) believes that a sustainable society must understand the geography, climate and biology of the various regions that it inhabits. Rearranging the scale of our communities, from large to small, and rejecting the paradigm of the State while adopting the paradigm of Bioregion, are key to this vision. The values of such a society include the appreciation of community, conservation, stability, self-sufficiency, cooperation, decentralization, diversity, symbiosis and evolution. More concretely, knowing and loving the land, learning its lore and history and realizing the potential of natural resources are integral to the success of an ecologically sensitive and thriving community (471 - 484).

   Winner (1992) wisely recommends that “technologies be given a scale and structure of the sort that would be immediately intelligible to nonexperts” (p. 326). Building thoughtful communities which employ modest and liberating forms of technology rather than chaotic mega-cities while simultaneously opposing the technological and political totalitarianism that is being imposed from the ruling class will be required if there is to be a sustainable and meaningful future.


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