[HacktionLab] FWD: swecw-list> Luddism for the 21st century.

mp mp at aktivix.org
Sun Jan 6 11:02:22 UTC 2013

Further to (relatively) recent "discussion" about science and capitalism
and their entangled nature:


"Well written article that looks at class and technology harmful to
commonality and the non-nuetrality of much contemporary science via a
history of the Luddites."


In order to understand the Luddites, it is vital to appreciate that
modern Western societies are not merely examples of capitalism but of
technocratic capitalism.  The coming together of science and capitalism
happened at the early stages of the development of capitalism,
specifically in the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. Most
radical critiques of capitalism assume that the root of the problem is
the power relations at the heart of the capitalist economic system,
which corrupt the “purity” and “objectivity” of science, but it can be
argued that the economic and social domination in many ways actually
takes its lead, its methods, concepts and structures from its technical
partner, and that this is what defines modernity.

As was stated explicitly by many of the founders of modern science in
the 17th century, the role of science is to penetrate the secrets of
nature with the aim of controlling it for human benefit. Writers such as
Francis Bacon describe nature as an unruly female that must be subdued
and ordered through a masculine science. Scientists tend to feel that
they have the right to manipulate nature in whatever way they wish, and
have little regard for limits on barriers stemming from the integrity of
nature, such as the species barrier.

In the 20th century the Frankfurt School sociologists, and later
eco-feminists such as Carolyn Merchant, have argued that it is the
attitude of domination towards nature inherent in both science and
capitalism which has led to the environmental crisis we face today.

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