Technological Slavery 4th Edition, 2022, 01Comment
I have to begin by saying that I am deeply dissatisfied with this book. It should have been an organized and systematic exposition of a series of related ideas. Instead, it is an unorganized collection of writings that expound the ideas unsystematically. And some ideas that I consider important are not even mentioned. I simply have not had the time to organize, rewrite, and complete the contents of this book.
The principal reason why I have not had time is that agencies of the United States government have created unnecessary legal difficulties for me. To mention only the most important of these difficulties, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California has formally proposed to round up and confiscate the original and every copy of everything I have ever written and turn over all such papers to my alleged "victims" through a fictitious sale that will allow the "victims" to acquire all of the papers without having to pay anything for them. Under this plan the government would even confiscate papers that I have given to libraries, including papers that have been on library shelves for several years. The documents in which the United States Attorney has put forward this proposal are available to the public: They are Document 704 and Document 713, Case Number CR-S-96-259 GEB, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.
没时间的主要原因是美国政府为我制造了不必要的法律困难。其中最重要的一点，加利福尼亚东区的联邦检察官，已经正式提议收集并没收我所写的所有论文的原件，以及每一份副本，并将所有论文免费交给所谓”受害者”。根据这项提议，政府甚至可以没收我提供给图书馆的文件，包括那些已经在图书馆书架上放了好几年的。这项提议的文件可供公众查阅：美国加利福尼亚东区地区法院第704号文件和第713号文件，案件编号 CR-S-96-259 GEB。
At this writing (March 21, 2007), I have the assistance of lawyers in resisting the government's actions in regard to my papers. But I have learned from hard experience that it is unwise to leave everything in the hands of lawyers; one is well advised to research the legal issues oneself, keep track of what the lawyers are doing, and intervene when necessary. Such work is time-consuming, especially when one is confined in a maximum-security prison and therefore has only very limited access to law books.
I would have preferred to delay publication of the present book until I'd had time to prepare its contents properly, but it seemed advisable to publish before the government took action to confiscate all my papers. I have, moreover, another reason to avoid delay: The Federal Bureau of Prisons has proposed new regulations that would allow prison wardens to cut off almost all communications between allegedly "terrorist" prisoners and the outside world. The proposed regulations are published in the Federal Register, Volume 71, Number 63, pages 16520-25.
I have no idea when the new regulations may be approved, but if and when that happens it is all too possible that my communications will be cut off. Obviously it is important for me to publish while I can still communicate relatively freely, and that is why this book has to appear now in an unfinished state.
The version of "Industrial Society and Its Future" that appears in this book differs from the original manuscript only in trivial ways; spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and the like have been corrected or improved here and there. As far as I know, all earlier versions of "Industrial Society and Its Future" published in English or French contain numerous errors, such as the omission of parts of sentences and even of whole sentences, and some of these errors are serious enough so that they change or obscure the meaning of an entire paragraph.
What is much more serious is that at least one completely spurious article has been published under my name. I recently received word from a correspondent in Spain that an article titled "La Rehabilitación del Estado por los Izquierdistas"("The Rehabilitation of the State by the Leftists") had been published and attributed to me. But I most certainly did not write such an article. So the reader should not assume that everything published under my name has actually been written by me. Needless to say, all writings attributed to me in the present book are authentic.
I would like to thank Dr. David Skrbina for having asked questions and raised arguments that spurred me to formulate and write down certain ideas that I had been incubating for years.
我要感谢 David skrina 博士提出的问题和论点，这些问题和论点促成了我形成并写下我酝酿多年的想法。
I owe thanks to a number of other people also. At the end of "The Truth About Primitive Life" I have thanked by name (and with their permision) several people who provided me with materials for that essay, and some of those people have helped me enormously in other ways as well. In particular, I owe a heavy debt of gratitude to F.B. and to Patrick S. I owe special thanks to my Spanish correspondent who writes under the pseudonym "Último Reducto"1 and to a female friend of his, both of whom provided stimulating argument; and Último Reducto moreover has ably translated many of my writings into Spanish. I hesitate to name others to whom I owe thanks, because I'm not sure that they would want to be named publicly.
我还要感谢一些人。在《原始生活的真相》一文的结尾，我点名感谢了那些为我提供素材的人，其中几位在其他方面也给了我极大的帮助。我要感谢 F.B. 和 Patrick S。还要特别感谢我的西班牙记者朋友（笔名 "Último Reducto"）和他的一位女性朋友，他们为我提供了很多令人激动的观点；Último Reducto 很快把我的许多作品译成了西班牙语。很多人的名字不便在此提及，因为我不能确定他们本人的意愿。
For the sake of clarity, I want to state here in summary form the four main points that I've tried to make in my writings.
Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster. There may be physical disaster (for example, some form of environmental catastrophe), or there may be disaster in terms of human dignity (reduction of the human race to a degraded and servile condition). But disaster of one kind or another will certainly result from continued technological progress.
This is not an eccentric opinion. Among those frightened by the probable consequences of technological progress are Bill Joy, whose article "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us" is now famous, Martin Rees, author of the book Our Final Hour, and Richard A. Posner, author of Catastrophe: Risk and Response2. None of these three is by any stretch of the imagination radical or predisposed to find fault with the existing structure of society. Richard Posner is a conservative judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Bill Joy is a well-known computer wizard, and Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal of Britain. These last two men, having devoted their lives to technology, would hardly be likely to fear it without having good reason to do so.
这不是什么新奇的观点。被技术进步的可能后果吓到的人，还有 Bill Joy，他的文章《为什么未来不需要我们》很出名；Martin Rees，《最后一小时》一书的作者；Richard A. Posner，《灾难: 风险与应对》一书的作者。三位都不是所谓的激进分子，也并非意欲对现有的社会吹毛求疵。Richard Posner 是美国第七巡回上诉法院的保守派法官，Bill Joy 是著名的计算机奇才，而 Martin Rees 是英国皇家天文学家，后两位毕生致力于技术发展，除非有充分的理由，他们不应对技术产生任何恐惧。
Joy, Rees, and Posner are concerned mainly with physical disaster and with the possibility or indeed the likelihood that human beings will be supplanted by machines. The disaster that technological progress implies for human dignity has been discussed by men like Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford, whose books are widely read and respected. Neither man is considered to be out on the fringe or even close to it.
Joy、Rees 和 Posner 主要关注物理形式的灾难，以及人类被机器取代的可能性。技术进步将给人类尊严/价值带来的灾难也已被 Jacques Ellul 和 Lewis Mumford 讨论过，他们的著作都广为人知，他们也并非所谓边缘人物。
Only the collapse of modern technological civilization can avert disaster. Of course, the collapse of technological civilization will itself bring disaster. But the longer the technoindustrial system continues to expand, the worse will be the eventual disaster. A lesser disaster now will avert a greater one later.
The development of the technoindustrial system cannot be controlled, restrained, or guided, nor can its effects be moderated to any substantial degree. This, again, is not an eccentric opinion. Many writers, beginning with Karl Marx, have noted the fundamental importance of technology in determining the course of society's development. In effect, they have recognized that it is technology that rules society, not the other way around. Ellul especially has emphasized the autonomy of technology, i.e., the fact that modern technology has taken on a life of its own and is not subject to human control. Ellul, moreover, was not the first to formulate this conclusion. Already in 1934 the Mexican thinker Samuel Ramoss3 clearly stated the principle of technological autonomy, and this insight was adumbrated as early as the 1860s by Samuel Butler.4 Of course, no one questions the obvious fact that human individuals or groups can control technology in the sense that at a given point in time they can decide what to do with a particular item of technology. What the principle of technological autonomy asserts is that the overall development of technology, and its long-term consequences for society, are not subject to human control. Hence, as long as modern technology continues to exist, there is little we can do to moderate its effects.
技术产业体系的发展无法被控制、约束或引导，即便可以，也很难有明显效果。这也一样不是什么新奇观点。从 Karl Marx 开始，很多作者就已注意到，技术在很大程度决定了社会发展进程。实际上，他们已认识到是技术在统治社会，而不是社会在统治技术。Ellul 特别强调了技术的自主性，即，现代技术具备自己的生命力，不受人类控制。此外，Ellul 并不是第一个提出这个结论的人。在 1934 年，墨西哥思想家 Samuel Ramoss 就清楚地阐述过技术的自主性，甚至早在 19 世纪 60 年代，Samuel Butler 就已提出过这一观点。不会有人质疑显而易见的事实：人类个体或群体是可以控制技术的，可以在一些时点决定如何使用特定的技术。技术自主原则的意思是，技术的全面发展及其对社会的长期后果完全不受人的控制。因此，只要现代技术继续存在和发展，我们就无法缓解其影响。
A corollary is that nothing short of the collapse of technological society can avert a greater disaster. Thus, if we want to defend ourselves against technology, the only action we can take that might prove effective is an effort to precipitate the collapse of technological society. Though this conclusion is an obvious consequence of the principle of technological autonomy, and though it possibly is implied by certain statements of Ellul, I know of no conventionally published writer who has explicitly recognized that our only way out is through the collapse of technological society. This seeming blindness to the obvious can only be explained as the result of timidity.
除非技术社会崩溃，一场巨大的灾难不可避免。因此，如果我们想要保护自己不受技术主义的侵害，我们能够采取的唯一行动就是努力促成技术社会的崩溃。虽然这个结论是基于技术自主原则的推导，虽然它也可能是 Ellul 暗示的。据我所知，没有一位出版作家明确表达过，我们的唯一出路是使技术社会崩溃。对显而易见的事实视而不见，只能被解释为胆怯。
If we want to precipitate the collapse of technological society, then our goal is a revolutionary one under any reasonable definition of that term. What we are faced with, therefore, is a need for out-and-out revolution.
The political left is technological society's first line of defense against revolution. In fact, the left today serves as a kind of fire extinguisher that douses and quenches any nascent revolutionary movement. What do I mean by "the left"? If you think that racism, sexism, gay rights, animal rights, indigenous people's rights, and "social justice" in general are among the most important issues that the world currently faces, then you are a leftist as I use that term. If you don't like this application of the word "leftist," then you are free to designate the people I'm referring to by some other term. But, whatever you call them, the people who extinguish revolutionary movements are the people who are drawn indiscriminately to causes: racism, sexism, gay rights, animal rights, the environment, poverty, sweatshops, neocolonialism... it's all the same to them. These people constitute a subculture that has been labeled "the adversary culture."5 Whenever a movement of resistance begins to emerge, these leftists (or whatever you choose to call them) come swarming to it like flies to honey until they outnumber the original members of the movement, take it over, and turn it into just another leftist faction, thereby emasculating it. The history of "Earth First!" provides an elegant example of this process.6
左派是技术社会抵御革命的第一道防线。今天的左派像一个灭火器，可以扑灭任何新生的革命运动的火种。我所说的“左派”是什么意思？如果你认为种族主义、性别歧视、同性权利、动物权利、原住民的权利、“社会正义”是当今世界面临的最重要的问题，那么你就是我所说的左派分子。如果你不喜欢“左派”这个词，你可以用别的词来指代这些人。不管你怎么称呼他们，消灭抵抗革命运动和对抗革命的人，就是那些容易被种族主义、性别歧视、同性权利、动物权利、环境议题、贫困议题、血汗工厂、新殖民主义等所吸引的人。这些人构成了一种被称为“敌对文化”的亚文化。每当抵抗运动开始出现时，他们会像苍蝇一样蜂拥而至，直到他们的人数超过了革命运动的成员，革命组织被接管，从而变成了另一个左派组织，无法保持最初的革命目标。"Earth First!" 的历史就是一个很鲜明的例子。
What is needed is a new revolutionary movement, dedicated to the elimination of technological society, that will take measures to exclude all leftists, as well as the assorted neurotics, lazies, incompetents, charlatans, and persons deficient in self-control who are drawn to resistance movements in America today. Just what form a revolutionary movement should take remains open to discussion. What is clear is that, for a start, people who are serious about addressing the problem of technology must establish systematic contact with one another and a sense of common purpose; they must strictly separate themselves from the "adversary culture"; they must be oriented toward practical action; and they must take as their goal nothing less than the dissolution of technological civilization.
- Último Reducto has no connection with the Mexican fascist group that, coincidentally, has adopted the same name.
- For information on these three works, see our List of Works Cited.
- Ramos, pp. 104-05.
- Jones,p. 46.
- See Hollander as referenced in our List of Works Cited.
- The process is ably documented by M.F. Lee (see List of Works Cited).
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