posts about totally tearing down the world and rebuilding it anew freak me out because it makes me feel like all the minutiae of the world are going to disappear, and also that i shouldnt move or do anything that feeds into the current world. like i know thats not what the posts mean but i would find it really hard to cognitively get around a political belief like that and also… like… live. it seems contradictory in my head. i know it isn’t, but i’m quite dumb.
one time someone I care about was pitching one of these. and I was asking “who would run the NICUs with the incubators for the babies?”
(her version featured a significant decrease in technology usage)
and she said “well, we wouldn’t have those anymore, but if you look at the big picture, society as a whole would be so much better”
and I said “okay but the NICU babies would be dead”
and she said “yes, but everyone else would be living in a much more sustainable and much less stratified society and people with disabilities would all be integrated in the community.”
except for the NICU babies, who would be dead. so I was like “sorry I can’t get behind any revolution that requires me to be dead.”
she was nice about it.
when the anarchists argue that pwd would be integrated into the community in their technology-free egalitarian utopia, there is always total silence on the topic of people who use ventilators or power chairs or other assistive tech. also people who use state-paid aides and social security/medicaid so they can live at home. like i am always really confused by people who talk about this (and i have run into a couple in the last few years who have painted this picture for me of the post-technology stateless utopia), like do they even get what “integrated into the community” means? it means that people’s support needs get met? which means, almost always, either technology, or an organized state to collect taxes to pay for support services, or both. why is this such a mystery to the radical left? oh right because they have no idea how people with disabilities actually live, and mostly they aren’t interested.
And of a piece with that ignorance of how disabled people actually live is an ignorance of just how much they themselves benefit from and depend on technology. Just what kind of vast technological web is, for example, necessary for the fact that they had their tonsils out when they were twelve and didn’t die from resultant sepsis. That nobody they know has ever died from botulism (which was actually reasonably common in those technology-free agrarian societies because of the nature of home canning).
That for someone having a heart attack the difference between having a mass-produced, totally-technological AED hanging around the place can absolutely be the difference between living without much more than a bad scare and a new drug regiment and dying right there on the spot. Forget the difference between whether there’s an ambulance available or not. Or an airlift.
And no, you can’t usefully or practically make those AEDs or the things needed for that tonsillectomy on a craftsman-basis in the low-tech utopia. Never mind the cars: we had automobiles, in the sense that we knew how they worked and how to manufacture the basic idea, long before the Model T. The difference was they were useless, until the processes that made the materials that made them and powered them were easy and cheap enough to make them not-useless.
Low technology doesn’t even mean all this stuff happening to “someone else”. It means when your sister has a kid who has type 1 diabetes, that kid dies. It means when you have a breech birth, you, the baby or both probably die (being breech and still being born just fine without damage to either was something to keep as a story, before we had what we have now).
Never trust anyone who doesn’t seem to realize that their phoenix metaphor needs them and theirs to burn up, too. It means they’re sheltered as fuck.
(Those who do realize it and still go for it are either unbalanced or already coming from a place where the lack of all the tech I just described is a case of “right, so it’s Tuesday, what about it?” and in that case, you can rather see why they don’t feel it would be an unsurvivable blow. Their nephew who was born with [$disease] already died on them.)