Friday, 2 September 2016

The best of both worlds?

Some of us traditionalist agrarians and tribalist greens sneer at industrialism, mass production, consumerism and consumption - and with good reason. If anything was primarily responsible for divorcing us from our tribal heritage and lineage, it is modernity, urbanism and technological 'advancement' that they imply. We like to tell ourselves we will have no need for such baubles once we get our autonomous villages up and running. Tilling our motherland alongside our kindred will be a real tonic for the soul - and (we like to tell ourselves) this will redeem us in the eyes of our ancestors. But on many levels, would our forefathers swap their hardships for our creature comforts if they could?

Of course, many of today's technologies (though possibly brilliant in themselves) are socially and spiritually useless. But what about those that aren't? We could work a field with a couple of fine shires and a sturdy plough, but won't the nags deserve a good vet, and where would the plough be forged and how will the ore be extracted? Yes, our ancestors worked all that out three or four millennia ago. They mastered husbandry and bred good stock. But knowing what we know, let's be honest, we would prefer a tractor would we not? I'm no expert, but doesn't making a tractor imply advanced specialised production methods? Our village networks are going to have to be on the ball to make them, maintain and repair them - then there's the fuel...We might have to grow a lot of sunflower (and don't you have to mix it with diesel?) We could see to our energy needs at village level - but we would need specialised, outside technology to begin with. This requires centralisation and a strong reactionary elite in the city-states.

Let's be honest - you'll have to be one hard-core green anarchist not to want to get the very best medical care and treatment should you ever need it. Yes, there is merit in the  argument that many of today's ailments are caused by industrial-technological society itself, and that these ailments can be alleviated by half forgotten and trusted folk remedies. But what if you got something serious? I'd want to see a specialist. But can't we have the best of both worlds? Would we noble savages be selling out if we sought a happy medium between our bucolic folkdoms and socially useful, progressive technologies? After the counter-revolution our reactionary elites should adopt a 'hands-off' approach toward the peasant caste in the rustic provencies of the empire. They could legitimately demand their cut of our yield in return for our protection, but a good ruler would let us villagers think we were the boss. The Emperor would instruct his ministers to pass decrees that fostered the development only of those technologies that were proven to be of use to the nation as a whole, and importantly, we will return to the old days when things were built to last and easily repaired.

I would welcome a debate within emerging eco-nationalist/tribalist circles on technology. How can we develop  practical, working theories that strike a healthy balance between simple, socially-useful, hardy technology and the agrarian primacy which truly national societies necessitate?