That last paragraph is to some degree about open manufacturing, in the sense
of being about the "quiet" non-violent revolution currently ongoing where
people are changing from being workers and consumers to being people who
design and make their own stuff for their own needs (either by themselves or
in loose collaborations). This is ongoing in many areas, from gardening, to
cooking, to informing via the web via blogs etc., or to manufacturing, as we
see a renewal of interest in making things for yourself, your family, your
community, and for the world.
Sad that I did not think to go visit Murray Bookchin in the late 1980s when
I first saw his book on "Post-Scarcity Anarchism" -- even if I now think
that Manuel de Landa makes an essential point on all real systems being some
interaction of meshworks and hierarchies, which is an idea that goes beyond
what people normally think of as "anarchism". From de Landa:
"Indeed, one must resist the temptation to make hierarchies into villains
and meshworks into heroes, not only because, as I said, they are constantly
turning into one another, but because in real life we find only mixtures and
hybrids, and the properties of these cannot be established through theory
alone but demand concrete experimentation."
A couple points in Bookchin's 1971 analysis may be a bit out of date.
Despite what he wrote back then, there has been an increasing economic
crisis in the USA with decades of wage stagnation and now the Great
Recession. He did not predict the growing rich-poor divide, as he seems to
have assumed then that the policies of the 1940s-1960s towards sharing the
ever increasing wealth produced by industry with the workers would continue
(Marxian economist Richard Wolff explains how that stopped happening around
1980: http://www.capitalismhitsthefan.com/ ). The political state has indeed
also grown in many ways. It's interesting how meshworks can grow even as
hierarchies also grow. So, these are two issues he, understandably for the
time, dismissed back then, but otherwise I don't think weakens his overall
point that much, that we need better forward looking paradigms to deal with
abundance. It's still an excellent analysis of some key issues that open
manufacturing and abundance thinking connects with in contrast to ideology
built around scarcity thinking, especially the key point of having some
alternative theoretical framework related to abundance to present to those
otherwise flirting with Marxism etc..
One such alternative analysis by me: :-)
"Beyond a Jobless Recovery: A heterodox perspective on 21st century economics"
Another, also by me: :-)
But there are others out there too. Or on this list. :-)
For something written in 1971, Bookchin's essay is really amazing stuff,
like Hogan's 1979 novel Voyage from Yesteryear was also amazing for its time
(or even now). The 1970s were underrated. :-)
As a personal anecdote about the 1970s, in his anthology "Before the Golden Age"
Isaac Asimov wrote in his introduction that every age when we first start
reading sci-fi is a "Golden Age" to us, and that he hoped he never lived
long enough to hear some rotten kid tell him about the "Golden Age of the
1970s". (Presumably he thought that most of the sci-fi written then not so
good?). When I read that (in the 1970s), I knew I would have to tell him
about something about the "Golden Age of the Seventies" if I ever met him
afterwards. :-) I bided my time for years. :-) I finally got my chance in
1980, at a robotics expo I was presenting at, and said to him as he was
leaving after giving a talk, "Oh, Dr. Asimov, I wanted to tell you about the
Golden Age of the Seventies." He was confused at first, until I told him
that I was disappointed that he had not risen from his wheelchair and hit me
with his cane, as promised. That was when he remembered what he had written,
and said with a smile, "Get out of here, you rotten kid." :-) But then I
added after that it was because of all the great sci-fi he had written then. :-)
Amazing what influence big and little different authors have on us.
The biggest challenge of the 21st century is the irony of technologies of
abundance in the hands of those thinking in terms of scarcity.
Oops, that should be "Hogan's 1979 novel The Two Faces of Tomorrow" which
has a lot of stuff about robotics and manufacturing and space habitats.
"The Two Faces of Tomorrow"
Voyage from Yesteryear was published in 1982, which would put it in the
"Golden Age" of the 1980s. :-)
Alongside, say, the better parts of Star Trek: TNG. :-)
Like the episode "The Neutral Zone"; excerpts here, with someone's comments:
"Examples of Communism in Star Trek"
Ok, we got a couple clips here from the star trek TNG episode "The Neutral Zone"
the first one is simple meant to illustrate where America is in all of
this, nuff said
some background for these clips, the Enterprise found a derelict space craft
carrying 3 cryogenically frozen people from the 21st century(our time) The
clips show their reaction to the TNG era federation and its politics.
The Replicator scene: this is why communism works for them
and if you notice in the future people are very different.
I think Jean Luc Picard Summarizes the situation quite well, but he is
speaking to the people from the 21st century and explaining the situation
when one of them inquires about his business investments and where all his