David Skrbina, Marshall, Alex, etc.
Skrbina's Creative Reconstruction vs. Kaczynski's Anti-Tech Revolution
Two Anti-Tech Collective members—Dr. David Skrbina and Marshall Sharp—debate two different conceptions of “revolution”. Dr. Skrbina presents and defends his own “Creative Reconstruction” proposal while Marshall defends Kaczynski’s ideas as laid out in ISAIF and Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How. Creative reconstruction suggests a popular and therefore voluntary controlled reduction of technological sophistication to a degree more sustainable and conducive to human wellbeing. Kaczynski’s proposal posits an extremely dedicated hyper minority of the population undertaking decisive action against critical points of the technoindustrial system during a period of immense stress.
Griffin: Alright, we're recording. Welcome, everyone. Thanks for joining us for another public discussion, anti tech collective public discussion where we, try to have a topic and have a little debate about which we're doing today for the first time and it should be exciting. We're going to have David here debate against Marshall about competing conceptions of revolution and anti tech revolution. So we'll having a little discussion between the two of them and then afterwards we'll have a Q&A session that everybody will be able to participate in and yeah. So that's kind of the basic format. Thank you again for being here. as I just said this, this first section is going to be recorded. We're gonna record the discussion between. Marshall and David, we're not gonna record the Q&A session so people can feel a little more free to maybe share their opinions if they are worried about being recorded. So yeah, the first section will be recorded. We'll post that on our YouTube and our websites for people to watch later. And for anyone that wasn't able to join us at this time today. So yeah, there's that. Please. I would say just hold your questions for the Q&A session. We do have a chat obviously that I'm people can feel free to chat amongst themselves with them, but I won't be listing or marking questions until the Q&A section. Just so Marshall and David can both have a chance to fully express their views and maybe answer any questions that. You would have like halfway through more people in. So yeah. And then lastly at the beginning here, if you haven't already, we would appreciate, but it's not required to fill out this little survey we. Have so that we can better stay in contact with you and you can stay better updated on future meetings of this sort that we'll have. But we'll also continue to post them on the. On the website under the upcoming events page, but I've so for every anyone that hasn't already filled that out and would like to. I'm posting the link in the chat right here. And so there's that. So here's I'm gonna layout kind of the timing that how we're gonna time things out and then I'll give Marshall and David each a chance to introduce themselves and then we'll get right into it. So basically, they're each gonna take about 10 minutes each to describe their initial positions. Uh Doctor Skibine is gonna go first on that. And then they'll take turns taking about 15 or 20 minutes each to cross examine each other and to analyse each other's views and present objections, things like that. And then after some discussion for about 1520 minutes, they'll each take about 5 minutes each to wrap up, just like conclude their their view or wrap up their. Case, so to speak. And then we'll move into the audience queues at Q&A and we'll keep track. We'll go in the line basically and or in the order of questions that are answered in the order that they are asked and that will go on as long as we need to. We can, we're we can be here as long as we want, as long as you guys wanna discuss, within a reasonable time, if, if. one of our speakers has to go and that’s, uh, the way it is. But we'll, uh go for a while. OK, so and I also uh for I'm gonna be keeping time. So I'll give one minute warnings for each of you at the end of your either an initial positions or cross examining or what. Cool. But so I guess we'll move into you guys introducing each other. I don't know, David, do. You want to go first.
Skrbina: Yeah, will do. Thanks. Thanks, gryphon. Right, so I'm David. Scherbina professor of philosophy? Yeah, one of. The founding members. Of our little anti tech collective here I've been writing, writing and teaching about philosophy of technology, critical writings against technology. For many years. I guess my critical thoughts and ideas kind of go back 30 or 35 years at this point. So quite a while, even before anyone heard of Ted Kaczynski or a Unabomber. But yeah, so long time correspondent with Ted Kaczynski and basically defended his viewpoint, his arguments in many different forums over the years and. Yeah, that's it for me. Short introduction.
Griffin: Cool. And Marshall, you want to introduce yourself, please.
Marshall: Yes, my name is Marshall Sharp. I. And don't nearly. Have the pedigree experience that doctor Srbina does. I've just kind of, you know. I went through a period of time, I studied philosophy. I've been studying philosophy in general for about 9 years now in school and on my own. And, particularly the anti tech philosophy for the last four years. And I've stumbled, on this kind of philosophical journey. I stumbled on a couple of philosophers that helped me stumble on it on a couple of philosophers that that until I eventually reached the ideas of Ted Kaczynski. And I kind of grabbed those and ran with them and. delved into this, this idea of, OK, what we're doing here is not sustainable. And it needs to be stopped. as far as mass society and modern technological society. So that basically I'm a, a member of ATC as well. And I just volunteered to try this try this thing. Out. that’s about all I got.
Griffin: Thanks, Marshall. We appreciate your willingness to come on and uh, participate. Cool. So I guess, uh, doctors Skrbina, you're gonna go first and you'll have, uh, 10 minutes to present your initial position. Do you need to share your screen or anything like that or? Are you just gonna?
Skrbina: No, I don't think so. I'll just, I'll just. Gonna talk through it. That's fine.
Griffin: OK, cool. Cool. All right, then I will start the timer. Right now.
Skrbina: So yeah, OK. I mean we set this up as a debate I hesitate to... it's not really adversarial debate because we're all all least all in this group here. We're all pretty much on. The same page. It's a matter of. Question it's a. Question of you know. Tactics and how to go about things and what alternatives we have and which. Maybe which alternatives might be more viable or more realistic? Or more successful than others. So I think that's kind of the framework for the debate. Somebody I think is familiar with Kaczynski's general position that we need to have a. Revolution against the technological system. He portrays it as basically a binary choice, right? So there is the, the, the one alternative, the one that pretty much everybody takes in the in the in the world is is a question of reform. So they want to fix or revise. The system and. Get rid of the bad, bad, bad parts. Keep the best parts, keep the good stuff. The things that supposedly. You like. Just basically reform the technological system, keep it as it more or less as it is, except maybe a little better, more efficient, safer. But keep the system going. So that's the reform option, Kaczynski argues. Pretty, pretty persuasively, I think that that will not work because reform will only yield temporary short term fixes at best. The system will continue to progress. Things will get worse even if we solve a couple of problems now much, much greater problems will arise. Down the road. So he his conclusion is the only the only viable solution is nothing to do with reform. It's a revolutionary action that has to end the system basically in its current form. So that's the general argument he he laid that. Out in the. Manifesto, which is now 2530 years old itself, at least quite, quite quite an old document. This at this point. But there was a even at the time of the manifesto, and then since in his his current writings, more recent writings, there’s a lot of ambiguity about what he means by revolution. He tries to outline some of the details. He says some things about. What? It's not. He gives some general characteristics, some general. Strategies, but still it's pretty pretty. Vague about how this is supposed to happen and what we. Can actually do. To try to undermine the structure of. The existing system. And in my correspondences with him over. Over the years, I debated with him. I, in my written letters to him, I sort of, would defend maybe a kind of reformist strategy or throw out some possibilities and say, what would you do about this? What would you? Do about that to just to kind of feel them out, to try to see how much he. Really understands and. What his actual views are about, about what a revolutionary. Approach might might be. And I guess I kept kept coming back to one part of the manifesto. So at the very beginning of his manifesto, in fact, in Section 4. He says this is a. Very. It's a new thing, this revolution. Against technology, it's not. A political revolution? It's not like any revolution in history. It's something that's very different. And therefore it's very hard to anticipate what will happen or to predict how it's going to go. and Ted explicitly says he says it may be violent, or it may be nonviolent. It may be fast, or it may be slow. It could take several decades, so he he's very open as to how this might go, which is the right approach to take because we have no basis at all in. History. This is a completely. Novel kind of the event. We could maybe draw certain lessons from some kinds of some aspects of history, but it’s pretty much an unprecedented situation that we're facing. So we're really covering a lot of new ground here when we're talking about revolution against a technological system. So my own approach was to argue for, well, I tended to agree. Let me just say this, I tend to agree with him in my rights with him and my other writings that we do need to undermine the system as it it exists today and if if basically scrapping or dissolving or undermining the existing system. That effectively counts as a revolution. The question is, how can that happen and what's the best way? Maybe what's the most benign way? I mean, we don't want to do this maliciously. It's not a presumably, it's not a malicious kind of revolution where you're trying to just cause damage and death and destruction. You're trying to just get rid of this technological system and get. Humanity to a more sustainable mode of existence. So this is really kind of what, what the debate such as it is between me and Ted and maybe between me and Marshall here today and other people, if they have questions and ideas, we're happy to hear about those. So I have argued in my writing, so I've written about. This I've written. In my book the Metaphysics of technology, which. Was published in 2015. And in an article that I published. In a book in 2021, the. The book was called. Sustainability beyond technology. I wrote a chapter. In that book. And I argued for something that I called creative reconstruction. So it was a kind of revolutionary, certainly radical. And I would say revolutionary strategy to really unwind the technological system. And the idea was that. Hopefully at some point and I'm trying to be optimistic at some point in the relatively near future, we'll be. This with probably a number of technological. Disasters. Some could be quite, quite traumatic for humanity. And the idea is that perhaps at some point in the relatively. New future we will realise. That this system is going rapidly out of our control. The problems are getting worse. It could be the end of humanity. It could be the end of nature or the life on life on. This planet, as far as we know. So I suggested a process of. Stepping back from the brink on a slow and methodic basis. And I called that creative reconstruction. They said, well, look, went from an unsustainable from, let's say, a relatively sustainable situation. And then we got into the Industrial revolution and then we got access to fossil fuels and things started accelerating. Then we had. Power devices then? We had electronic machines and then we. Have nuclear processes. Nuclear fuels and so forth and things rapidly have been accelerating ever since. So I said, well, look, if you if you want to have a sustainable society, if you want to get rid of. The system in its. Current form, which is what a revolution is. we can, we can in theory, if we are wise and somewhat wise, somewhat intelligent beings, we should be able to back ourselves out of this mess. And I've argued for a kind of an unwinding or reverse of the process that got us here. And I said, well, look we started. Are relatively sustainable, maybe in the in the Middle Ages or the early Renaissance relatively sustainable? Technologies. They were very simple technologies, but they provided a kind of society, a kind of functioning society, high quality of life, artistic expression, culture and all those nice things that that at least some of us would say that probably a good. Thing, but they weren't in an on. An unsustainable technological basis. So in fact, I picked out a well I’ve argued. For different dates, say. Roughly, the year 14113 hundred. I've argued that time frame. It's probably a good time, a good era that if we could target something that that might be a kind of a target to aim for where you can sustain a high quality of life, high level of culture but with very low scale technology. So I said, but look, it's taken us what, 506 hundred? Years to get from there to where we are today. So let's kind of take the process and let's just kind. Of run it. Backward. And that was that was one model that I threw out there. Let's say, let's unwind things on a on a gradual basis, gradually retracing our steps. Only much faster. Because we don't have 600 or 700 or. 800 years to. To do this, because we probably won't survive that long at. The current pace. So I threw out a number of. 100 years, so I. Said. Well, look, let's give ourselves 100 years a century to rewind our technological system back. To how it was. In, say, 1300 or 1200 or whatever, relatively early stages in the. Renaissance, for example. So I just threw out. A rough road map said. Well, look everything. that’s been. Introduced over the last say 7 or 8 centuries. We need to take it out of circulation. Thank you. Take it out of circulation at roughly 7 or 8 times as fast as we put it into circulation. So you would immediately start pulling things out. Whatever prohibiting, banning these things to pull them out of circulation. Just working yourselves backwards in time to unwind the system. Them working your way back through time as you move forward. So it's a reconstructive mode moving forward at a relatively rapid clip. Disassembling or deconstructing if you will these various technologies to get us back to a sustainable mode of existence. In 100 years, roughly speaking and to and to get to a level of, say the, the, the late Middle Ages, early Renaissance, that was one model that I threw out there that I think was a radical and I would call it a revolutionary approach because it is. Getting rid of the existing system certainly. But it's putting us on a basis that probably is sustainable, at least for a number of centuries, and still allows for a high, relatively high. Level of. Of culture and. Satisfaction of life, and I think that's. Probably a reasonable aim if we can. In fact attain that. So that's the that's the short version of. Of my case, what I've argued for in, in writing.
Griffin: Awesome. Thank you, David. And now Marshall, you will have 10 minutes to present your initial position and I will start the timer right.
Marshall: Alrighty, well, today I'm defending Kaczynski's position which doctor Skrbina, went over a little bit in in his introduction. based on, his his personal. History and whatnot with. With that ideology and so, yeah. What what? Kaczynski uh advocates for it is a more sudden and. You know. Kind of approach that. Will simultaneously. Invoke the system to a state of collapse. And this will be accomplished by a very small minority of the human population on Earth. And it will be. it will have to be worldwide and. Not quite simultaneous. But but uh, much more rapid than. Doctor Tribunal's proposal. it. It's basically based on the assumption that, as time goes on, the system, the system that that you know. Most of us reside within it. It's uh. It's a self propagating system that that is always proliferating, always multiplying based on a an. It's almost autonomous, it’s an, it's a natural. It's almost like a type of natural selection. The way the system and its parts, reach out and creep its fingers and you know. Just kind of suck the life out of out of yours and uh, it’s composed of intra dependent subsystems, right? So they're all dependent on each other. Parts are all you know. The whole is dependent on all the parts. So as time goes on, the system will become more and more interdependent, as various technologies are develop. Propagated within integrated into the overarching world system, example uh, is that, technologies which which begin as optional people end up being no longer optional and that is also true for the system. if we look at. something like. Satellites, which they're not the most critical part of the system, but the first satellite was launched in 1957. Right now they're almost 7000 satellites, probably more really. And especially like on the military side of things. That that's a critical piece of infrastructure now it's so satellites are no longer optional to the system itself, so. As this increased dependence occurs, it creates greater risk of catastrophic breakdown of the system. like a House of Cards and likelihood it it will collapse of its own accord but but it the point is that it’s doing damage now and I don't I don't think many people believe that like. It could collapse tomorrow. I mean it's, there are many things within the realm of possibility, but it’s not overwhelmingly likely that, the system will collapse tomorrow. So but it could, here in a. Few decades it could. Here in 30-40 fifty years you. Know that that’s not totally out of the realm of possibility. What we have here is a situation where. OK, this this this system is destroying the Earth currently right? Now as we speak. eventually some critical piece of infrastructure will fall and maybe it'll collapse on its own, even if this doesn't happen, there's going to be an adjustment period, which will be at the cost of long-term human suffering, destruction of extinction of species. Loss of human freedom and dignity because the system won't impose such strict restrictions on human behaviour that that the outcome was going to be terrible even if the system survives. So that so the best choice is is, as Kaczynski says, based on this line of reasoning for. A group to initiate the collapse of the system voluntarily and sooner. Rather than later. And he says they're the best and most efficient way to approach this. Is is for a very small majority. to start this this revolution. However, whatever form it may take. And utilise it like kind of a generalised plan of action to be ready for a critical juncture at which. they say, OK, well, it's time for us to end this thing. and sway it to, a near. Simultaneous collapse, relatively speaking worldwide. This would cause modern technology to fall. Then it would you. Know allow the earth to heal itself. And uh, you know. The people who are left will be. Prepared for it and would. Maybe see the folly of. The folly of technological progress, so this this is, mainly almost a purely utilitarian line of art. There would be a cost of great human suffering over a very short period of time. However, the cost over time, Kaczynski argues. and. I would argue that that would be. Higher if it's a technological system is. permitted to proliferate, and uh, Kaczynski also points out that that reforming the system will not work because, it essentially takes place on terms of the system. when you are engaging in reform. you’re engaging in compromise with the system there are, numerous examples of reform movements throughout history that have failed or made, you know. Pathetic amount of progress. You can see this in in all different sorts of you know. Movements of, liberal or left-leaning types that they they get little concessions from the system and then, like slightly better minimum wage and then. Ohh well. Decades later, the minimum wage hasn't changed. that. That's just one example. So not only it is a reformed, inefficient and oftentimes system can even just. Back on its compromises. Because, it's the most powerful. Uh, you know. Kind of global force there is. the system also, Kaczynski writes about this in his essay the system need his trick and which essentially the system will co-opt reform movements because it requires some kind of social societal change. That it it needs to. It needed anyways and it'll Co-op a reform movement that can help them enact that change, and then anything that goes wrong that they can blame the system can blame that movement. This happens automatically. It's not something like guys in backroom smoking cigars. Deciding this, but it just kind of happened on that part of the system. And so that you know. and even if the Co opting of the system with the reform movement is voided. reform is simply too slow it. It requires too many people to organise, communicate, debate, plan, prepare and execute just one relatively insignificant piece of reform. So that’s the that's the general idea is that it? It's. Got to be. Got to be a little faster. it’s got to happen sooner rather than later and time is of the essence. that’s kind of the gist of what Kaczynski saying even. Even if the. You know. General outline is very vague that the that the point is that the conversation has to be had and that's why there are plenty of other people who are trying to make make it less vague is to like be ready for this critical moment and talk about this thing. and essentially, build up a movement to say, hey, we don't want this thing around anymore. But yeah, that’s the essence of that.
Skrbina cross-examines Marshall
Griffin: Great. Thank you, Marshall. Yeah, so now we're gonna go back over. David, you'll have 15 minutes. Is that what? You wanted to do about 15 minutes to. Reply or?
Skrbina: Well, right. So were going to do a little cross examination section. I guess it wasn't really clear if I was going to start cross examining him or he was. Going to cross. Examine me first, but. I don't know if it if there's a.
Griffin: Preference or I guess I guess you go first since Marshall just spoke. So we'll start with you and then just I'll time. I'll time out like 15 minutes and let you guys know.
Skrbina: Yeah, sure. OK, right. So. So alright, so let's. Let's do a little critique of the view Marshall did a good job, I think of outlining the basics of Kaczynski's programme. And hit a lot of good points. But there's a lot of questions there about what's what we what we do about it, what it actually means, because we're trying to deal with reality here we what we really want to do. Everybody wants to have an impact. I think you want to do it in in the best way, the most effective way. And of course, as as Marshall. Pointed out right, sooner is better. And I think. We would all agree. With that, because I mean the. Systems causing tremendous damage. It's wiping out species as we as we speak. it’s, it pressuring people all the time in, in ever greater ways. So sooner is better but still. I. It's it that implies. You have some luxury to dictate what counts as sooner, what what counts as as longer and like I said, even Ted himself mentioned it could be a slow process. It could. It could. Be a fast process. It could. It really could be. Either way, he doesn't really. and a relatively slow process could. Be decades, I. Mean. This was in. His own in his own view. So. So I know, I guess maybe, maybe Marshall like one. One question is, even if we might like it to. Be sooner or faster. I don't know that we're in. A position to. To do anything about. That right, I mean, is it, I guess that's the question is the strategy different if we think it's? Absolute crisis has to come down now. Well, versus we have, in my view where I'm saying, well, look, we have some decades yet. Maybe if we start now maybe we have 50 years or 100 years that I think that. Would entail a different strategy. Then if we say we have to do what we have to do now. Immediately to tackle the system. So. I guess maybe that's. That's a. Question Marshall, right? How how, how? I mean if. How would those? Strategies vary. If we thought it was more urgent. Versus less urgent.
Griffin: I think he's actually asking you, Marshall, if you wanted. If you wanted to.
Marshall: So yeah, I wasn't sure if were doing like one person thought.
Griffin: I wasn't sure either, but yeah, yeah, go ahead, we'll make.
Skrbina: It a discussion I thought it would just be kind of what's kind of what. I was sorry we didn't really make it. Clear, but just kind. Of a Q&A between. You and me. Right. So so we can so I can sort. Of critically analyse your view and then, yeah, and then we'll go back the other way. So that's what I was trying to think.
Marshall: The way I see it right is that I tend to think you. we get we both agree that that sooner rather than later is better, at least to get something started, right. Because when I said, immediately, I would hope that everyone could charitably take that for to mean not. Oh well, we could all just get together right now and go get rid of. The system well, that's. Obviously ludicrous, you know? But. like you said, a span of decades to begin to prepare for, for, or even a few years to begin to prepare for something like this. it isn't a reasonable amount of time and it's kind of like. Or it is a reasonable amount? Of time, you know. Because I think that the earth all life on Earth still has a few more decades to. Live at least. You know. So the question is what what do we do with that time? Right. How do we use it wisely and you know. I tend to think. That that the preparations in general. Would be. Much easier under Kaczynski's view than it would under yours. Simply because of the amount of time and organisation and planning and essentially generating a populist movement of a huge mass movement of people who will back this thing, this, this creative reconstruction thing, it would take it would take. I think decades and decades and decades longer to be even begin the 100 year plan that that you you come up with. Than it would. For you know. To collect a. Amount of people orders of magnitude smaller than what it would require under your theory. Such that you know. the discrepancy in time essentially like a smaller group, used decades to plan it and execute it with suddenness, whereas a larger. Group it would. Take more and more decades to plan it and implement it, and then after that it takes a. 100 years you. Know what? I mean, so I think there. Are more time constraints involved? With less realistic.
Skrbina: Right. So. Yeah. So, OK, I mean there, there is an advantage I would I would grant you that, right, so so so Ted seemed to think that a smaller group, he talks about individuals or small groups, right. This is a famous phrase that he. Uses a lot. And obviously, individuals and small groups can act more autonomously and faster than any social group that that requires consensus or planning or whatever normal. Things that people do right. So that that's certainly true. But of course they have less. Well, I don't know in. In some ways. They have more, more. Scope, because maybe they're unregulated, but they also have maybe more challenges in front of them as as individuals or small groups. So I guess that's kind of one question that I had on the on the kaszinski approach, we'll we'll kind of get to mine in a minute. So I just want to kind of just focus. On Ted's right for this this. Little segment, I mean he does say Ted does. Say that it that we. That no action will be effective. Until the system is so weak of its own accord, like you mentioned. That it that it's like, I've talked about like a skyscraper that's wobbling on a rocky, rough foundation that's crumbling already, right? So it really has to be kind of this wobbling system already and then and then revolutionaries can come in and kind of start shaking it, and pushing and then maybe maybe we can accelerate the process and get the thing to collapse, I think. That's kind of. That's kind of the picture that Ted has been painting for us, at least as far as I. Understand it. So on the one hand, there is a little bit of a waiting time because I think Ted even says that right now it’s not. The system is too strong right now. It's too. Stable. So now it is a kind of. A waiting game already, even on Ted's. He does say right. There's this point in the manifesto where he says there's kind of two things that he recommends people do. He says increase the stress on the system to try to make it wobble more. Right, get it more wobbly and shaky. That's the first thing. Secondly is. To promote, develop and promote an anti tech ideology, so kind of systematic. What I simply clear what what that means, but some kind of systematic philosophical or detailed writings, presumably. About why technology current the current industrial technology is is so destructive, right? Maybe when alternative vision of society might be. A kind of. Maybe a more benign future, maybe kind of arguing for that case, trying to draw on other revolutionaries because you want to build your revolutionary core. So I guess that's part of this waiting. Game, I think. That, that, that Ted has in mind. So so I guess. I don't know. I mean to, to me that if if if I'm looking at 10 to you his perspective it's got to focus on those two things heighten the stress. So OK, So what are we doing? Heighten stresses. I guess we should all ask. Ourselves, that and. Secondly, are we really promoting an anti tech ideology? I mean, in one sense, that's what this group is doing. This is what the anti tech collective is doing this is. What I've done in my own writings. I've kind of argued against the technological system, tried to promote alternatives. Explain why it's. Why it can't be reformed? So I've argued against reform myself. But I always kind of felt like Ted's Ted's view was just a little bit either too incomplete or too, too lacking in details or too intractable. Maybe for. I don't know for even for would be revolutionaries. I mean it's like I say it's a little bit really hard to. Know how to how to proceed. So I know you don't like this idea of like a waiting game, and I and my view, I don't think it is a waiting game. We'll get to that in a minute. But but even on. Ted's view it's. Kind of. It's kind of a waiting game, even as it is. So I don't know. What any. Any thoughts on? That Marshall well well.
Marshall: I would say. To a degree under your view. Be a waiting game. As well, right? because I believe that you say that you know. In order for people to realise that, you know. This idea of creative reconstruction needs to happen in order for popular appeal to be to be gained in in the anti tech line of thinking. Is that they’re going to have to be some disasters. I think you've mentioned in an interview that that, there's going to have and. And in some writing that there's gonna have to be, people are gonna have to witness terrible, terrible things on large scales, which, which is very similar to what Kaczynski. Saying about how there's going to have. To be some critical. Moments where that wobble is going to happen that the difference is under Kaczynski's line of thought. OK, for Kaczynski's, supporters, they might take that as an opportunity. OK, the system's super weak. Let's do something to cause stress and make it wobbly like you said, whereas under, proponents of your view might view it is OK, well, hey, hey, everybody, look at that. That's the reason that we should get rid of this system. So those are. The two strategies and but, but I think the waiting game is is essentially the same with under both theories.
Skrbina: Well, like it's like I say I'll. I'll I'll defend mine. In a minute, we'll get to when we. Do that section. I'll explain. It's not really a waiting. A game, in my view, but. I'll. I'll, I'll, I'll kind. Of defend that in a minute but but. But still on Ted's. View if we're just, if we're talking about his. View for the. For the next few minutes. I mean it feels. Like, there's not a lot you can do, right? He wants to heightened. Stress on the system he wants to build international linkages. He wants to support, trade agreements and international treaties and that link economies. Currencies together because of very large interlinked system granted has has a potential for a collective collapse and that's I think that's really. One of Ted's. Points. OK, that's a good idea, but what do? We do what? Do you and? I do to foster global interconnection of large scale systems. I don't know. I there's not a lot you and I can do even if we consider ourselves. Radicals or revolutionaries? Yeah, we're we're at loss. What? What can we do there, right.
Marshall: I think he argues that. That's pretty much going to happen automatically anyway. I think he the basis of his idea is that this interconnectedness of the system is going to happen of its own accord. it’s not going to be the revolutionaries don't have to make the international treaties because of the politicians who are, cops in the machine of the system. Do it for the revolutionary.
Skrbina: But what we do have to, but we do. Have to heighten the. Stress. So what will we do? What will you do?
Marshall: Yes, well.
Skrbina: What will you do? What will you do if you're defending Ted, what would you do to heighten the stress as an individual? Or here we are as. A small group. What will we do to heighten the stress on the system?
Marshall: There's very little I would do personally me because, heightening social stress, you know. The activities involved are, uh, somewhat could could be somewhat dangerous and illegal. And I would never advocate for dangerous or illegal activity, probably all. Right, let's. Well, let's, we'll keep.
Skrbina: Those separate right? Presumably there's presumably there are legal means to do what we're talking in there. Yeah, legal ones we don't want. To talk about the. Illegal ones here, even in the legal. Even in the legal sphere. Presumably there's something, I guess in principle that. We could do to heighten the. Stress. So that would be. The question even within the legal bounds of normal laws, normal civic law. What could we do? To heighten the stress on the system right now?
Marshall: Yeah. Well I did want to say that I absolutely do not advocate for illegal activity we don't know what other people are doing so so that is a good point that we don't know what other people are up to.
But but the other thing is that in terms of what can you do it in a legal sense, you know? It would be it could take the form of there is an amount of popular appeal that needs to be gained but but really much much of the work right now. If we're if we're talking about the right now, much of the work really is. Doing things like this, having discussions amongst people and, fostering refinement of ideas because because. you’re right. Kaczynski's ideas are vague and generalised and very difficult to pin down. I think. I think he does this on purpose. Because he realises that this is extremely complex situation and you don't know what specific situations might pop up which could wreck, any more specific plan that a group of people had in mind so. really I think it it fostering communication between people as time goes on and talking about specific situations, talking about what's going on on the global and international national scale, and kind of pinpointing, OK, these areas, these areas are are are interesting.
Skrbina: Well, I would agree, but to me that comes under the heading of anti-tech ideology. So we're talking about ideas and we're promoting thinking and readings and, helping people write and doing podcasts. I mean, that's all good stuff. But to me, that's part of the second item, right? The anti-tech ideology that Ted calls for. And I and I think we're doing that we're doing what we can and I. Think that's great, right? So that's, but that's only. One piece right, so the. Question is on the other piece, is there really? Anything we can do at all? As individuals or small groups legally, to heighten stress in the system, or is that point completely irrelevant and Ted shouldn't even brought it up because we because it's meaningless? That's the question right?
Marshall: I think that there can be plans made for direct action, but there are like moments that that need to be... the potential revolutionaries would have to wait for certain moments. To invoke direct legal action. In order to increase this social tension and also. It it it could work, it could. Work out as. A sense of like. they could instigate mass protests about. something tangentially related to. The problem, but you know. That, and the protests would cause social tension. an illegal legal protest, of course. And, then this could, you know. Provide to them. another justification that they could use to build. Their ideology. You. Know it could work, that they they provide a little bit of legal social tension in in some legal direct action, maybe even civil disobedience type wage, and then use that attention that they gain from. Those situations to promote their ideology and that and you know. Kind of reverberate.
Skrbina: Yeah. So well, so here's one. Side I don't know Gryphon how much we got a couple. Of minutes left in this little segment.
Griffin: I was just. I was just. Letting you wrap up. But we're we're about, yeah. If you wanted to do that so. Let's just.
Skrbina: Just let me last one point then it will. Switch over, I'll. Defend my view. Here, but I'm thinking like COVID. Alright, so I've argued that COVID is basically a technological disaster right from from the origins being. Engineered in a lab. Spread around on high tech transportation systems, high tech vaccine, I mean that's kind of multiple aspects. it’s, it's a technological problem. So I think if if we could highlight that fact and. A lot of people. Really, mad as hell because they lost relatives and families over the cold. The thing if they could be made to see that, that's. The kind of a technological. A problem at its root, I suppose that might be effective in in raising the visibility of an anti tech view and I suppose you could say well that's going to tighten some kind of stress on the system because people are going to say, hey, this is a result of technology advanced technology cause this thing to be what it is and we always looked at technology. To solve the problems of technology and that never works as we know from history. So I mean to me that's maybe if I'm trying to think of one example, maybe that's an example. I don't know what you think, Marshall, but that's one that comes. To mind to me.
Marshall: Yeah, that that's. that's certainly 11 way as well. I tend to think that you know. The social stress thing it it is almost happening automatically as well now. Now it's of course it's always better to heighten that a little bit, you know. And in your individual life, you you can heighten social stress a little bit. But let's say you have a somewhat important job. what I mean? You're. And you decide. what? I'm going to slack off and drive Colin sick today and maybe something happens that, a butterfly effect of. Bunch of things that cause social stress happen in your own personal life. So. So I mean, there are things you can do that are technically legal in your own personal life, that heightened social stress. to that. To a degree, that that's. Relevant on on the scale that we're talking about? Yeah. But but the that's something as well. But I generally believe that that the whole heightening social stress thing. Is more for the realm of people and activities who I don't know anything about and I don't necessarily condone. What they do so.
Skrbina: Well, that's probably a good, good point for further. Discussion. Maybe we need to have an. Episode on that or, somebody should. Do some writing. Like, what does this actually mean? What? Does it actually mean this heightened? Stress thing, right? That would be actually. Really kind of good discussion because there are a lot of different. Aspects of this thing, right? So that would be. That would be good, but I think Griffin maybe just for the sake of time, let me let's switch over to kind of. To kind of my view right?
Marshall cross-examines Skrbina
Griffin: Yep, yeah, I'll start a timer. Right now.
Skrbina: Yeah. So again, so creative reconstruction, again, the argument is to give ourselves time because. I think it's. It's the self understood that a slower revolution would be less catastrophically damaging, certainly to people, maybe also to nature. Then a fast revolution. So I guess that's one thing, unless we're like I say, unless we're deliberately being malicious here, there's probably no no inherent advantage and causing more more pain and suffering than necessary. I've argued that we need to start right away. So to me, there's really no waiting. We need to start immediately backing out of things, starting with the most recent introduction of new technologies. Right. So so we have what what are the most recent major technologies have been disruptive to society? So I guess you could look at. You could talk. About AI stuff, right? Our virtual intelligence. Applications you could talk about the Internet. You could talk about social media. You could look at cell phones e-mail kind of those things which are relatively recent. Those are in the last 25 years or so, right. And that's kind of what I've argued I. Say. Well, look, take these most recent. Products and realise or make the case that these are in fact destructive things. They're not lending anything to the quality of life. In fact, they're in. They're accelerating the destruction of the quality of. They're accelerating the destruction of the planet, and they're promoting such things as. Yeah, growing economies, growing populations and so forth. So. So the idea is to. Kind of back. Off sort of, with the newest technologies first. Again working your way backwards, starting starting as soon as feasible. There's no really waiting. It's a question of. How soon you could you? Could begin the process. Maybe it's an individual level. Maybe it starts with an individual level, then it's. A group level. Then it's a kind of a you. Know a grassroots. Kind of thing, maybe ultimately ideally. At some point it becomes. A. governmental action. The question is of course, I think for now there'll be the individuals who think they can. They can back themselves out of these technologies and I think we can do that we have relative. Relative autonomy in some sense, I think it's still in, in our personal lives, probably less so in our work lives. Some of you're right, depending on everybody's individual situation. But but still I mean it's a process that has to start now. I think large scale action like I say probably will not happen until we see another two or three or whatever major technological catastrophes, right. COVID was just like a shot over the bow. That was really even though it seems like a big crisis, it was relatively minor in terms of death. Cold and all that kind of stuff. I really had relatively minor effect when you look. At the whole. Planet and I think what's going to take probably something far more impactful even than COVID, probably even if it's just the next pandemic which could be could be a 10 times as deadly as as COVID was. I mean without without much difficulty. And not to mention, we're facing things like you know. Potential nuclear war here with Russia and. who knows what's coming up with China? And we've got. drone attacks are seem to be growing by the. Day so I. Mean all these kind of scenarios could happen where it will be apparent, I think, to large increasingly large numbers of people that. this, this is. This is a dead end move and we need to back my, my image is backing. Away from the Cliff. Right, you're staring over the precipice. And you need to you need to. You need to sort of. back yourself off this Cliff. And so we need to say, hey, look. These most recent technologies have been. Highly damaging the documentation. The evidence is building how damaging these things are. Start backing your way out of these things. If you have any pretence to being a rational society, you. Know if we don't. And I guess. I'm I'm on the fence whether we even are or not. I mean, I. Write as an. Academic like we are rational people, that's. That's the presumption about any any academic writing, as you're dealing with rational individuals. But if collectively, if we're not rational, then there's then there may be nothing that we can do, we just have to wait for catastrophe to hit or try. To accelerate the catastrophe. But I'm working on. Yeah, I'm working on the presumption that people are rational. I'm trying. To lay out a rational plan that was what that was my goal.
Marshall: And that’s kind of where I was going to start because maybe this would be the easiest one to get out of the way and we might just have to say, well, neither of us really know is that I'm, I'm not convinced either that that there's a, there's enough of a degree of rationality in our society or in in the human population in general. for your plan to be feasible, I think. It's a it's a noble view. what I mean? It it's a it's a noble idea, but are we, are we noble or are we ignoble? As as a whole. are we 51% ignoble and 49% noble? If that's the case, then. Rational or irrational if that's the. Case then we might be screwed. and that's, that would be one of my peaks of your argument is that. your plan involves a whole lot of cooperation among a whole lot of people. UM. That's not feasible. It doesn't seem feasible from multiple ways of looking at it, such as the time constraints involved. Just the possibility of cooperation in general and not. Only that, but it be way. More visible to the system itself, which means the system would consider more of a threat and therefore fight back. Harder and uh, you know. Probably more, more efficiently because it would be able to. even though the ends both ends of both ideas are are revolutionary, the end, the end being the overthrow of the technological system, end of the technological system. the means, your means are are formed and that. That that there could be some of those uh, the means to those because it's slow and gradual and so the means to that end could be affected by some of the problems with reformism that that Kaczynski brings up.
Skrbina: Except I don't do it as reformist because it's replacing the system. The end goal is to replace the system. It's just over a gradual process over a / a scale of time versus a relatively rapid uncontrolled. Unplanned event because. That's really what we're talking about if. We really do a real collapse. Kind of scenario which could happen anyway. No matter what we do, we could. Be facing a scenario, so that's always. A possibility that we have to keep in mind. But if we if we aim for that and. If we try to accelerate that, that's a. Completely chaotic and uncontrolled. Process right? I mean to me it's like it's back to the rotting building structure, this idea, right? If you got a rotting building and you gotta bring it down, you can blow it up at the base and just watch it. crumble and pieces fly everywhere, or you go up with a crane and you kind of start taking it apart, floor by floor, you see what I'm saying? Either way, you're getting rid of the build. Right. You're right. You see what I'm saying? Either you kind. Of do it. Slowly and carefully piece by. Piece or you just. Go. You blow it up and you watch the whole. Thing collapse and then. You just, tear apart the. Rubble. And you see what's you. Know you go from there. So I guess I mean there's arguments kind of both ways and like I said, I’ve it's not, it's not. Obvious if there's anything wrong with, just going up with a crane and kind of pulling the thing down piece by piece, floor by floor and working your way down until the system is gone, right? it’s not patching the thing up, that's. Not what I've argued for. It's getting rid. Of the system to a very low level. Technological infrastructure, which basically is completely replacing the current industrial advanced industrial technological system. So under any view that I've argued that’s going to be gone the, the process is how do you how do you go about doing it and the. Most intelligent way, and that's to me, that's kind of maybe one of the. One of the points. of debate. Here, right. And I realise that there are. competing views on that.
Marshall: Yeah. And so, I wasn't. I wasn't like accusing you of that. Your idea was reformist in general, just that the methodology, it’s that there's got to be slow incremental change in order to deconstruct this thing. most most reformist movements are constructive rather than destructive. Example of maybe a destructive performance movement would have been like the prohibition movement, you know. So. So, so there, that was a reformist movement that, they ended up deconstructing, the legality of alcoholic beverages in the United States. And. And, the 1930s, but. And as you see that deconstructive reforms, methodology. Did succeed for a while, but it but it ultimately it did fail and so I was. I wasn't, like, like saying that, the end. That that the end your. Ends was was uh, raw or like a try to patch up but but that the methodology poses problems and the system would problems too. Your methodology. This is kind of what I mean.
Skrbina: There, there's a there's another advantage to my approach. If I could, and I've argued with Ted, even in writing our letters years ago, were talking about this, you know. Like what? What's the goal? What's the end state that? You want, right? And Ted was very explicit in his writings to me. He wants to get back to basically a very primitive. Nomadic hunter gatherer kind of society, right? So he really wants to drive it down to really. The base level of human existence. And I think that's what happened. If there was a massive large scale collapse of industrial technology, every everything just, crashes relatively fast. I mean, could be, like, almost literally overnight. and then you're really back to immediately back to a really chaotic situation, right? I mean, we can imagine just say it. Happened in in. Maybe not over say it takes a month or whatever to, the power goes down. Distribution systems stop working. You have no no way to get any fuel. You have no way to get food. you're living wherever you're living. And in about, 2-2 days you're getting real hungry, and you gotta eat and you’re working through your food supplies and in a couple. Of weeks you got no more food supplies in the stores. Empty. And now you’re going down out to the woods. There to. Find something to. Eat. I mean, it’s like we're. Talking like really fast where you're thrust. All of us are thrust into a hunter gatherer existence, right? and. Yeah, needless to. Say that's going. To be pretty chaotic, pretty catastrophic, and a lot of people are not going to make it. They won't survive that. a month or, six months or a year there'll be. There'll be a lot of people gone if that happens. I guess the advantage of what I'm saying is if you want to disassemble the system piece by piece, floor by floor, you give people time to adjust, you're making progress in the right direction. And furthermore, unlike when you blow up the building and it just comes all crashing down into a cloud of dust, if you're slowly disassembling the system, you have the. Option to stop the process at some point, so this is what I've argued I said. Well, look, let's deconstruct the system back to say the level of the year 1300. OK, we've got relatively, relatively simple technologies, but you can do lots of great things. I mean just you can think about all the accomplishments of the Renaissance just for comparison using relatively simple technologies, non powered technologies, no fossil fuels, none of those. Kind of nasty things. So you can you can still. You can in a sense you can. Stop the process. at a level of, say culture or social existence that you could not do under the kind of the rapid destructive kind of, real catastrophic collapse scenario. So to me that's an advantage. On my side on my case. I made. I don't know if you see that as advantage or maybe that's a disadvantage. I don't. I don't know what? What your what? Your view is Ted. Ted wants to bring it all the way down and. maybe maybe that's. Just the right view to take. I don't know. So it's kind of really interesting question.
Marshall: Well, I think that. In certain areas of the world, very small pockets of the world, really, that very chaos that you describe would happen. And I want I was. I'm going to. Get into the. Ethics ethical debate. Very briefly, a little. Bit after what I say. But there would be. The at the same time, pretty, pretty significant pockets of people who. Who would be prepared? For this scenario, and who would be able to grow their own food and live a relatively high, you know? High level of existence.
Skrbina: But even to even today, farmer, what farmers, they're not prepared to operate with no powered sources at all. We're talking manual and animals, right? I mean, that's well, which farmers today are actually prepared to do that? I don't know any farmers, but I don't think it's very many that are prepared to do that.
Marshall: They they exist in the rural areas that because they they might use tools, but if they if they realise that Oh well our tools were gone, they'll still know how to tend to their garden. what I mean? They'll just. They'll just use hand tools, you know? They'll, they'll, they'll adapt and adjust. But getting into that, ethical situation, that that's really kind of thing. What you're kind of pointing to. yours is a Kaczynski's is more of a, pure utilitarian. the system is causing so much suffering. and if we're allowed to go. On it's going to. Cause you even more crazy amounts of suffering. Let's just get it all over with one insane amount of suffering. In one moment and then. There will there will be less from from there on out. After things stabilise, and. I guess I'm defending Kaczynski. You right? So. So you're just more of a combination of, like, the ontological Conti and utilitarian. because. it, it is, you point out that. It is kind. Of horrifying to think of, that kind of sudden collapse of society and all the suffering that were involved. But I guess, my point with that would be that you know. It would take so long to enact what you're proposing. The only way I could defend Kaczynski is is to say that it would take so long to enact what you're proposing. Like let's say it takes 100 years to even prepare what you're proposing. The amount of suffering and degradation of human dignity and freedom and extinction of species and whatnot, and that 100 years of preparation before your plan is enacted. 50 years or whatever. Could possibly overwhelm that. That one big collapse within, let's say 5 or 10 years and you know.
Griffin: But I think we're running that toward the end of this little session. I don't know if you want to, if you guys want to take each five minutes and have like a final closing reply or summarization of your review, maybe something like that, I guess, Marshall, since you were wrapping up there, David, do you want to go first and? You have a 5 minutes.
Skrbina: Yeah. I won't even take 5. Minutes. I'll just I'll. Just kind of say, yeah, I. Mean. I understand, right? There are there are virtues to kind of both approaches. It's the situation is definitely urgent. colon, rapid collapse is obviously faster than any any alternative. So it has the virtue of. Of you know. At least for protecting nature, that's the best approach, right? The. All nature wants. Is to get rid of the system. Get rid of these eight. Billion people and get get them off their off its back. Right, that's what. Nature wants and the sooner that happens if that can happen. Tomorrow, then. That's great for nature. So from from the standpoint of the environment. Yeah, there's no doubt being rapid collapse sooner. Absolutely. The sooner, the more catastrophic, the better. So. So that’s one thing to. Be said, and I acknowledge that point right. And it's simpler, I mean. Rapid collapse. So you. Know it’s always easier to kind of. Destroy something than to. plan a, a strategy that takes, decades or a century to play out. So it certainly has the virtue of kind of simplicity of, hey, there’s only one one mode of focus and that's just, you know. just collapsing the system by. Any means necessary and. and then we'll. We'll then we'll just deal with what comes. So yeah, I acknowledge that, right. I guess to me that's it's just that there's room in the debate still to look at other possible alternatives at least to lay out the possibility. I mean none of us are in a. Position to make any decisions on these things. Apart from what we do as India. Visuals, but at least to. to layout the space of alternatives, and that's kind of if nothing else, I think that’s kind of what I've tried to do is say, look, there are a range of possibilities under the heading of getting rid of industrial society. It's not all crazy chaos, you know. Bombs blowing up and planes crashing and everybody's, you know. Slashing each other's throat trying to. Survive, right? I. Mean it doesn't have to be that way, and there are alternatives. and that's what I was trying to lay out. There's a range of possibilities under the heading of getting rid of the system. and I think Ted did not appreciate that sufficiently and that's what I tried. To flesh out in in. My book and in the in. The chapter that I've talked about. But yeah, I mean obviously it's not, it's not an open and shut case and there's arguments to be be said for. Both sides, so I fully acknowledge that.
Griffin: Cool. And then Marshall, I'll give you 5 minutes to have a closing statement.
Marshall: Yes, I suppose. I you know. I just wanted. To say that you know. the ends to the end goal to both of these theories is is that you know. The technology technology, modern technology needs to go, I mean that that's the only way for. For really all life on Earth to survive, probably. in the. Long run, at least in, in a dignified way, without preventing, or, and it would prevent, at least monoculture, if not saving all life on Earth. Getting rid of the. So I guess what I wanted to note is that, through further engagements such as these and further writings by individuals, people working diligently to develop it, you know. An anti tech. Ideology, something approaching, a strong combination. Of these two theories is possible. I don't. I don't think they're completely irreconcilable, but I don't want to say that. I just I think a lot of this needs to be fleshed out. I think this was a good a good place to flush some. Of this out and you know. I hope that this gives people some things. To think about. But but uh, ultimately what we what we face is that something there needs to be some. Kind of. Urgency sense of urgency in in what we're doing. Because this it’s all fun to, talk and debate and write and uh, this is, enjoyable. For a lot of people. But but we got also got to keep in mind just how serious this is. I'm not saying anyone here isn't taking it seriously. I'm. I'm just saying, you know. UM. That there's you can kind of get disconnected in your head of always worrying about the different theories. And I think about, OK, well, what can I what? It like am I, am I living this way, am I, am I, trying to actually do something about it. And I guess that's what I want to close with is that it's got to be diligent commit commitment and focus. and I think. Probably most people. Here are are. Uh, doing, doing what they can. But uh, it's it. It remains to be seen how all this will play out, but but the conversations need to keep being had and the organisation needs to have. So I guess that’s all. I wanted to share.
Griffin: Great. Thank you both for uh, participating in this and hashing out some of these ideas. I think we all found it very interesting and lots to think about and I'm sure lots of people have things they wanna say. So we'll move into our Q&A section.
Alex: ... and still seeing species loss because of other countries that haven't adopted it. So can you explain how we can argue for creative reconstruction if those problems are there in the application of it?
Skrbina: Yeah, I guess maybe the short answer is we already suffer from those problems today right? Because every country is at a different stage of technological development. Every country is at a different stage of military armament. If you want to talk about military readiness to defend your borders and every country has different treaty arrangements that help protect its integrity. So we have all those problems today. It's not clear that by starting to move backwards in this process, it's not clear that you suddenly inviting, massive invasion from all of your bordering countries are going. Jump all over because you started phasing. Out the Internet use and cell. Phones and social media. Which is what these kind. Of the early things, I don't know. if you want to get you want to say we're not, you're not. Gonna get rid of nuclear weapons, right? Remember, this is a phased process and. When did, when did we introduced nuclear? Weapons. Well, that was after World War Two. In 1945. So we got. A lot of things to kind of. Peel back before we get back to. really. Being able to kind of defend yourself militarily. So you know. Like I said I guess. I guess the short answer is. we have those risks today. We deal with them. Through whatever whatever, international means and agreements and treaties and the. UN and all. Those little things. Play their part and obviously some people abide by those and some don't. But but somehow we get by with those things today, and and yeah, of course ideally the the goal is to get some kind of global enlightenment, and that's kind of to me that's the nice thing about. COVID right COVID we're. The we're the attacked a lot of people all. At the same time, and didn't really care. You were, capitalist or communist or socialist or whatever. Right, you, you, you had a lot of problems to deal with. So I mean to, to me it's kind. Of it's kind. Of interesting to see these these equitable technological disasters hit everybody collectively. And then you know. Maybe those kind of things could get some kind of global agreement it. Doesn't have to be unanimous. It doesn't have to be. The whole planet, literally. Every country, but it's got to be, you know. Obviously, the more the more major players, the better that would. Agree that this. Is the directly the right way to go? Individually, countries can start in this process by slowly backing out of things. I think we're doing that now. We're phasing out fossil fuels, right? I mean, a lot of European countries are in the process of phasing out fossil fuels and you're phasing out, fossil fuel. Like internal combustion. Engines and so forth. Right. I mean you you. Were already kind of phasing these things out and. Some sense, so there's precedent for doing that. It's not obvious that it's going to be going to bring a catastrophe. Of the of the militarism. Or whatever we're afraid of. And again, the alternative is what? What's the alternative? You continue on the present path. And you and. And you're facing almost certain catastrophes. So I. Think really we really need to. Look at the whole the whole picture. Take the whole the whole picture into account.
Alex: Yeah, I think the the phasing out of of certain things is only to advantage the system though it's not. Whereas the goal we're promoting is contrary. It's totally in contradiction to what the systems. Advantages and where its direction is and that's why it's doing or allowing things to be done. Whereas what we're talking about is different. And when you ask, like, what's the alternative, what the alternative is to take it all down at once against it's. Against its will, against what it wants.
Skrbina: Yeah, I know, I know. I know. What You mean I Mean. Yeah, you're right. You're right. And some some things are limited because the system actually prefers that. They be eliminated. I know what you're saying and and that's certainly true, but but. Not everything is. Like that, I mean we. Would there'd be a lot of systemic resistance to getting rid of information technologies and this is. Where I've argued that you start. You start with things like Internet, social media, cell phones. those kind of things and. There's a lot of systemic resistance to doing that. Yeah, I mean, that's obviously. Huge practical problems, but again, we've got to. We've got to look. At all the options and and some. Are more palatable, certainly. Than others. Yeah, there's no doubt.
Alex: I won't keep going on, but I do realise that there is an overlap one way, but not the other in the. Sense that if. If you have a group that is for creative reconstruction and they want to maintain a certain level and reduce only by a certain level, so they're kind of like easing down a transition, that group would be opposed to the to the chaos and the destructive. Like the complete destructive action of a revolutionary insurgency in, major nations around the world to bring everything down in in a sudden collapse, whereas in the inverse there's only advantage. So if you're part of the group that wants to bring down everything with a sudden collapse through an insurgency, then people advocating for creative. Construction or not necessarily trying to take things in a different direction, they're just the software approach. So so you have more, more force or more people on your side or whatnot if you're in the more radical position because. The people that want something less are still moving in your direction. They're just not moving as quickly I think. Whereas if you're in only for creative reconstruction then. you're not as advantage by people who want to take it further, and that's all I got to say. Thanks.
Griffin: Thanks. Nayla, you're up next. You may ask your question.
Nayla: Yeah. OK. So basically my question to doctor Skrbina. So if we were to apply the creative reconstruction method, what guarantees that we will not fall back into old habits, i.e the revitalization of modern technology over time, given the fact that we didn't eradicate the technology as a whole, which runs the risk of possibly reigniting the beast once more?
Skrbina: That's right. Well, that's a popular concern, people say. Look, even if you could start to get down that path or get rid of it. What's? What's to keep it from? Coming back. And I I think I think the answer to that is is fossil fuels, right? So, so the industrial Revolution really was key in the industrial revolution only happened because of easy. Access to coal and oil. And and the coal was right at the surface, the oil was bubbling up on the ground. You just scooped it up and you could. Start processing and using. It and and driving your your blast furnaces you. Know in your. Industrial processes and all of that is gone. Right. So if we ever could could. Yet for by any method back to pre industrial mode of existence, because it takes a lot of. Energy to now. Extract that energy. There's an interesting whole, whole kind of this. Idea of, energy return. On investment and so forth, right. It takes tremendous amounts of energy to go to. The bottom of the ocean to extract. Oil and go, 5 miles. Keep and to do mountaintop. Removals to get to coal deposits. If you lose the ability, the energy to get to the energy sources, you'll never get those back. There's no more coal at the surface, there's no more oil bubbling up. Those things are not coming back, so if we can get back to A to even close to a preindustrial state, we we don't have to about that coming back. Back in, you know. Millennial, I don't. I can't even conceive of. One that would would come back at that point.
Nayla: OK. Thank you.
Griffin: Yukimaru, you're next. Can I ask your question?
Yuukimaru: I have several questions for the for Skrbina, so the first one is:
Do you have any other goals that you would prioritize over survival of the human species and nature?
Skrbina: Other goals? Well, that's. The primary goal is to get to a sustainable state I. Guess I I'm I'm. Not to the point where I'm willing to obliterate. The human race. So I I think it's probably possible to have a sustainable level of human population, which is probably well under 1 billion, and I think it's also possible to have those well. 1 billion people living at a moderately relatively high level of cultural existence. So I I I put some. Value on those. Things I think that's possible, and I think that's the. Available and I think that's. Compatible with the large scale survival of of large parts of nature. That was the other thing that we didn't. Really talk about when I argued for creative reconstruction. And I said in parallel. To that process, there has to be a a step down of the global population and there has to be a global expansion of wilderness. Areas of of of wild. Wild places wild lands to allow nature to recover, so I'm putting I'm putting as much value on those aspects. As to just. Unwinding the technological process, but I think it's. Able to have some hundreds of millions of people on the planet surviving at a relatively high level of culture. And I guess, yeah, I would put some value on that.
Yuukimaru: But the question is not whether you value other things. The question is, are you willing to sacrifice survival of the human species and wild nature to achieve other things?
Skrbina: So would I risk failure to have a level of sustainable population then culture is that is that? Is that the right? Way to say.
Yuukimaru: Yeah that that's a fine way to phrase it.
Skrbina: Yeah. OK. So that's that's I think that's an interesting question, right. If there was, if there was. A risk of embarking. On this path and saying, well, look, this could fail and if it fails. We lose everything. Then, then, then, then. Then yeah, then you have to reassess. Your your strategy at that point, I guess. I guess I. Offhand, I don't see that as being the case. I don't. I don't see that, a kind of a gradual deconstruction of the system, risks that because it's moving in the right direction, I think directionally speaking. Albeit not very fast. But yeah, I guess if it if it looks like at. Any point in the process, I mean we. That's the one. Other advantage of our kind of creative reconstructive approach. I mean, you could always bail out if you're starting to deconstruct the systems and you're bringing down your level of technology and it's just not working and things are getting worse faster and it looks like you might. Fail. Then you can still always. Fall back on me while we need to bring down the system now kind of approach, right you can. Always jump back into the the the radical collapse mode if you have to. But it seems like it's at least plausible to give to. Give the more rational approach a try. At least to try to embark on that process. If you if you make no ground after ten 20-30 years, it's like, hey, we're facing the singularity and. A is about. To take over all aspects of human existence. Well, then, yeah, you go back to. Boom and you? Blow it up and you and you. When you take, take your. Chances for sure.
Yuukimaru: Alright, I agree with you that we should first try to do this solution of technology without. Causing a lot of people to die earlier than they would just from existence of the techno industrial system, and I think it's it's. Uh stance that all of us should take like, regardless of? Of course I'm. I believe that fast destruction of techno industrial system will be necessary, but I agree that we should take at least as a public position. The let's try to establish. A government, a world government that will slowly be industrialised with the not many people buying just because a lot of people like if we said right away to the public if. We said hey or. A lot of people will have to die it. Will have to be. Instant destruction of technological system like a. Lot of people. Would say OK then I'm just going to play video games and I'm not going to do anything at all. So if we want people to become radicals, if we want people to take extreme measures. Then we need. To give them full. Hope but first. That things can be done in a in a way that does not require any big costs to be paid like it's going to be easy. It's going to be fine. just get. Get going in. Our movement, but the the, the OK, like we agree on that. The next part where I'm not sure where do we agree or not is what do you believe are the conditions that are necessary for the fulfilment of our goal, like for example, if I want to build a House and conditions I need. 300 breaks five people in 30 days. that that kind of like a list of things that we need. Like what? What would you say are? The things that. We need to fulfil your version of the goal.
Skrbina: Well, that would be kind of. The next stage? Of the process I've just. Outlined what? It might be, not necessarily. What are the? Means to to get to that process. But you're right.
Skrbina: You would you would you would you would have. To you. Know build some if it's a if it's. A social action. You got to build some consensus. Kind of, get some some buy in from different aspects of society, whether it's, the grassroots or or, corporate, individuals or governmental leaders or whatever it might be. I mean, these pretty these people are quite pathetic. At least in the US today, so. You don't hold on. Lot of hope there but. maybe maybe at some mass level you can get some mass awareness that that something like this is necessary and then maybe that has some further implications in terms of political systems or economic systems. Or social systems. So yeah, I I guess I. Don't have a lot to add. About what exactly is required to make that happen? I'm trying to just articulate the. View and then doing doing what I can to help promote that view as. One of many. Options, as I said, as one option along with spectrum ideas that would get rid of industrial technology. OK, you did not give.
Yuukimaru: A list of things that are necessary for the gradual destruction of technology, and I have it. So I'm going to give it, and if you disagree with anything, then you can point it out. So the first thing that will be necessary for the gradual the industrial. Station is bio conservative world government. So right now in power we have people who do want to wipe out humans. They want to replace us with machines and the first thing that we will need is the bio conservative world cover. So we need the to control the entire world and we need to purge the. The people who want to replace human beings are either to send them to gulag or to me. Then really poor or digest the the the nasty way. So the second thing that we would need for the gradual industrialization is the cohesiveness of the ruling group. So if there are multiple factions. Then the group then. They are going to compete. With each other for power and if it. Happens then the. The group as a whole cannot make rational decisions. It cannot behave in a way that is appropriate for achieving their goals. They'll have to make actions which are not targeted at achieving their goal, which is being the THEORIZATION, but they'll have to take actions which are. I think at gaining power over other factions within the. Group so the. Ruling group The the Bio Conservative government is gonna have to be a very cohesive organisation that has it's united under one leader. There's no other factions. There's only one faction and. No, there's no. There's no strong competition. No one is forcing them to behave efficiently. They have free hands to act in efficiently, in a ideological way to achieve their goals. So this is the second thing. The third thing they will need is a great succession system. So when Leo dies usually what happens is that. People just fight for power, so there have to be like a super clear succession system the the the next leader will. Will be school. They will have to go through years of education to be the perfect leader. And the longer this the industrialization is then more chances there will be to fail succession. More chances there will be that the next leader is not established and that the. In the bio Conservative party that's ruling the world, factions emerge and factions are fighting each other. And of course, then they cannot focus on being industrialising because if you're more industrialised. And the other section, then you ring the. Bell for power. So that's the. The the the third thing we will need and. The fourth thing we will need. We will need to buy Conservative government the back of the world government. To keep itself. In in, in. The state of having technology for itself. Until the process is over, because if we deindustrialized all the nation, then they're and the world government too, then the world government does not have the technology. Energy to keep the industrialising the rest of the world. And what happens if not all? If the world is not the industrialised first before the world government is, is that the nations or whatever groups remain will compete with each other for power, and it will be in their interest to industrialise. Themselves to to the degree possible, at least to. Keep technology that already exists. To not be in their best interest to deindustrialized themselves, it has to be done by an external force so that the world government will have to keep enough technology. It doesn't need to keep technology for genetic modification of humans. But it has to keep. Rapid communication and transportation technology in order to be capable. Slowly, the industrialised the world. OK. So those are the four things that I. Believe will be. Necessary. We disagree with them again.
Skrbina: OK. Yeah. Listen,
Marshall: Can I have a go at answering that question?
Skrbina: Yeah, go ahead, Marshall.
Marshall: So you can. Yeah, sure. Let's, let's say in a hypothetical world, you're you're the leader of of this world government and the bio conservative world government has complete control of the world. Complete control and and you've already, began the the industrialization of all all these other, all the former countries that you that now control. So what what is your one goal at this point?
Yuukimaru: Well, first goal is to deindustrialized all the other nations and will establish a successor. What is the final? What is the final goal goal through the industrialised of the world? So the Balkans, what the world government has to deindustrialized everyone else first and then to the industrialise itself as the final step after it's done? It's the highest level of what's the growth survival of human species in our nature.
Skrbina: The follow that.
Marshall: So. So what's the highest? Now your technique. What's the highest level of technology like this? But last movie.
Yuukimaru: For other nations, anything that is industrial has to go like we can do it gradually and we can keep the, let's say, food factories longer than the weapon factories, for example. But all of the industrial technology has to go.
Marshall: Yeah, I I mean, like uh, once, once it's finally, you've totally deindustrialized what's the highest? That you would allow technology.
Yuukimaru: No, no, the bio conservative world government has to remove its own technology in the last step. So it's going to be controlled anymore.
Marshall: I know, I know that swimming. Where once all that is done, what is the highest level?
Yuukimaru: Once, once all day is done, there will be no by Conservative government. World government will dissolve itself by destroying its technology, because without the rapid communication and transportation, it will not be able to bother.
Marshall: OK. So. So the final successor of of the the movement of the of the world government would have, they would be the final one to say, OK, we're we're cutting it all off. And the governments are.
Yuukimaru: Yeah. And just to be clear, I'm. Not saying that. This is the route that you will take. I'm saying this is the route that you. Will have to uh. Promote for the time being and that as we go along into the future that it will become more obvious to everyone that. And which will have to be destroyed rapidly.
Marshall: That's all I got. Thank you.
Skrbina: So I think there's some interesting points there, but probably that needs to be... that's too much for like a little question and answer session, it probably needs to be written up in a nice little essay so.
Griffin: Well, I think...
Skrbina: If you want to, send us something we probably would be happy to post that on our. Website Because we're happy to encourage. Those kind of discussions.
Yuukimaru: Yeah, I will. I will. I'm writing for a website called the Resistance protocols and I can send a text to publish them. So I think because you're the one who are advocating for the gradual de-industrialization of the world, that you are the one who should have a list of what are the necessary things in order to start and to finish the process.
Skrbina: Yeah, well, you're right. I mean, in principle, you're right. I should have a well-drawn out plan of how that's going to work. I'm pressing ahead on multiple fronts. So... But you're right. So that that clearly needs more work. I will definitely keep that in mind for my future work. Because I would agree we need we need to understand those steps how to move forward.
Yuukimaru: All right, that's all.
Griffin: Thank you. I haven't seen anyone else raise hands. I don't know if there's. I don't think there's any questions in the chat that I missed. I saw some comments but I I didn't take those to be questions directly. Oh, Darrell, you have a question, go ahead.
Darrell: Yeah, sorry I just raised. It so I guess this is going to be more for Sabina. this this. Quarterly for the newsletter we've been writing. About right wing stuff and. For that I read TK's. Article on Eco fascists and. I'm not accusing you of. Being an eco fascist, it's just more of a I'm interested. To hear how you would. Compare and contrast. Creative reconstruction to Ecofascism fascism. Obviously you don't have the right wing like, the racial policies and all that ********. But this like. status. Reduction of technology for the safe environment like that component of it does seem to have some. Similarity to that and it's an old question cause it wouldn't really matter as long as it works. I wouldn't care one way or another, but. Yeah, just just what do you have any thoughts on that? Well, yeah.
Skrbina: You're right. I mean this is. This is taking a strong hand in in outlawing or, prohibiting things that that normally a free, open, liberal economy would allow, market decisions or whatever it might be. And now we're dictating these things. Things about what's allowed and what's not. Allowed, right. So so I. Mean it's. Yeah, it's. Misleading to. Call that fascist. I guess you could say any any. Any opponent of. Government action, is going to throw. Out those kind of insults. But you know. I don't know. That we need to worry about those too much. I don't, I don't know the details of Ted's. He said you're referring to. I don't remember reading that one, but I can find it real quick, but yeah. It's it's pretty sure.
Skrbina: Yeah, but, but yeah, I mean, obviously. the as the as the. Situation becomes more, more desperate. It's coming. It's going to. Entail governments are going to be taking more, stronger action, more assertive action. And then there's going to be pushback, because people going to be saying, what? Are these governments doing and? These guys are taking a heavy hand and. They're, still stifling. Initiative and whatever else. So yeah, I mean it's, we've we put ourselves in a really bad situation and we're really backed into a corner and all the all the nice easy outlets are gone. And so it's going to be facing a number of bad alternatives and and we're just going to have to get used to that idea and and start to deal with those bad. Alternatives as as they present themselves.
Darrell: Alrighty, thanks.
Griffin: I guess Yuukimaru did you have another question?
Yuukimaru: I want to say a few things about fascists. So if they want the. Of course, it's not united idolatry. There's no one cohesive ecofascist movement. It's there to describe the many different people. But As for the people? Who want to? Have a white ethnostate. It's we can give them that the bio conservative, the government can give them that. Promise them that at least as long as they are fine with not having high level of technology. If their goal is not contradicting our goal, then the coalition with them only makes sense.
Griffin: Thank you, did. Anyone else have any questions? I haven't. I don't see anything. This is your chance if not. I guess we can start. Wrapping up.
Marshall: Hello good. Oh yeah. I'm currently kind of trying to wrap up the newsletter server under what everyone knows that I'm going to have that first draught. The ATC members hopefully early early this week and we've just finished up with like a combined response about the rightest stuff and and so I just want to let everyone know to keep keep an eye out for that, we'll be circulating it once we have the final draught so that I. Just wanted to plug that.
Griffin: Yeah. And if you aren't already. Subscribed to the newsletter. You can do so at the bottom of. The homepage of our website. Also, Darrell, thank you. Just posted the form if you haven't already filled out the survey for these types of meetings, stay up to date on the things. Please do that. Oh, I guess. We have one, one other question in. The chat if you guys. And the. Answer this one. Any thoughts on the emergence of? GPT A I don't know if you guys know the GPT. AI is, I don't.
Marshall: It's bad.
Griffin: Oh, Chat GPT.
Skrbina: The chat a GPT session I've been having some discussions with the with the. Guy that I've known for a while. On that one. As it is. And yeah, I mean this is a manifestation of artificial intelligence and it seems to be getting better in terms of natural language. having intelligent discussions or writing papers, doing certain kinds of creative artwork, I think those are all under this. Realm of chat. GPT, as far as I can tell, so it's. It's a relatively innocuous thing, so at least. My impression so. Far it's it's probably, you know. The the, the, the, the. The tip of the iceberg, so we can expect a lot more.
Skrbina: Effects that come from this process or just kind of we always kind. Of see the. Funny and interesting. sort. Of cute. See little advances of these of these things like, advanced AI. And there's a lot more that's going on behind. The scenes and. Below the surface, that's that's not so cute. So you're not so funny so I can see this is portending some. Some major, major issues down the road and again we're on this upward acceleration, zooming up towards the singularity or something approximating that. And we're going to see these kind. Of things showing up on a regular basis and. It will always. Look fun and interesting and benign at first, and then it's going. To not be so. Fun pretty quickly.
Griffin: You want to ask your question?
Alex: Yeah. I just wanted to follow up on it seems that there's not going to be any real effective creative reconstruction if it's piece by piece. If it's this place and then maybe another place and maybe a big lapse or another place comes soon after. So it would require some kind of global agreement. And if that causes any kind of. Reduction in the amenities and the luxuries and comforts of people within civilization. They're going to be upset, so it wouldn't. An elected government wouldn't last doing that kind of thing because their opponents, the people who want to take power in the next election would say, hey, we'll put an end to all this. We'll withdraw from that agreement and we'll restore all your luxuries and all your technologies, and so they'd be out. So it would have to be an authoritarian. System that wouldn't be responsive to the popular position. The popular desire, and so that might actually spur some kind of. Tumult and insurgency about for people who want to depose the governments or the World Agency that was rolling back technology which would then provide. The kind of instability for people who want to really, thoroughly bring it down rapidly to seize upon potentially. Yeah, I mean, is there another way around it without having like an authoritarian state impose it across the world that, that it could happen? I'm not sure that there is, but, but if if that is undertaken. if that's advocated for people, get behind that it could lead to a kind of position where. Anti tech insurgents would would be able to seize momentum or an opportunity.
Griffin: Thank you, Jorge. Well, we're going to wrap things up here because our speakers have to go, but I want to thank everyone again for joining us here today and and participating in this discussion. We will be doing this every month moving forward around probably around the same time, but we will post on the upcoming events page as things develop. And if you have any ideas for a topic you'd like us to address and talk about or debate about, please feel free to send that to US survey. Join our element group chat if you want to participate in more day-to-day discussion. And yeah, thank you again everyone and we'll ohh yeah.
Skrbina: Let me just add. That, we are looking for. Written contributions. So I mean we get some people out there who are knowledgeable and you guys have experience. Everybody's got some different levels of of knowledge. And the background. So we're definitely looking to hear from people as well. So if you got something you want to say, it doesn't have to be a long piece. It can be relatively short piece, but we're looking for. the intelligent critical thinking in terms of writing and we would love to have those contributions from you guys. As well out there.
Griffin: Yes, we're always looking for more new writings to promote. As we all know, a lot of this stuff is in the, in the, in the budding stages. As far as the ideology so everybody's perspective, I think is valuable. Yeah. So if I haven't forgotten anything else, I thank you all again for coming and we'll see you next month. So long. Bye guys. Thank you.