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Bookchin, M. (1971). Towards a Liberatory Technology.

In Post-Scarcity

Anarchism (2nd ed., pp. 105-161). Montreal, Canada: Black Rose Books.

Bookchin frames the question around the role of order and hierarchy in

utopia by first defining utopia as a communist society in the spirit of Marx, but

with extensive reliance on machines to automate work so that scarcity of resources

is essentially eliminated, circumventing many of the problems socialism faced in the

1800s-1900s. In this technologically enabled post-scarcity society, social hierarchy

becomes unnecessary since the poor no longer need the rich to obtain anything.

Frase, P. (2016). Four Futures: Life After Capitalism. Brooklyn, NY: Verso Books.

Frase similarly argues that technological advances suggest the possibility of a

returning to a less centralized structure, though this may take many forms, some

more hierarchical than others. The kind of post-scarcity envisioned in Star Trek, for

example could lead to a rentist society, where any object can be cloned through

use of 3D replicators and the rich then enforce hierarchies by copyrighting use of

such technology. Alternatively, exterminism is possible if the rich decide technology

makes the poor economically superfluous and attempt genocide. While both

possibilities seem dystopian, the second seems less so, as it leads to a perfect society

the way Bookchin describes, although with morally apprehensible means.


Mcm_cmc. (2015, June 14). Fully automated luxury communism: A utopian

critique. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from https://libcom.org/blog/fully-

automated-luxury-communism-utopian-critique-14062015

This anonymous author, in the same vein as Fraser, argues that

technologically-enabled post-scarcity is a necessary but insufficient condition for

utopia. Because unlimited resources are impossible, humans must instead have

access to virtually unlimited resources. Furthermore, overemphasis on the

production of goods risks overlooking forms of labour that have no easy

technological fix, e.g. care work in raising children, nurturing the disabled and the

elderly that requires human presence. A decentralized society would be unable to

guarantee this form of care, so there may need to be an authority to enforce

utopian healthcare. Alternatively, this critique could be evaded by assuming a

utopian society to be one where people do not age, get sick, or die. 1

White, D. (2008). Bookchin: A Critical Appraisal. Pluto Books. Retrieved from

http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt183q5f3

White affirms Bookchin in saying that a radically decentralized society as a

result of technologically enabled post-scarcity is not only possible, but highly

1#sourcequality: I attempted to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the possible


shortcomings of a source by including a conventionally inappropriate source an essay by an
anonymous blogger on a libertarian communist website. However I included this source on
grounds of high relevance and purpose. Since the arguments were purely theoretical, there was
no need to consider the author.
probable. However, hierarchy will still be present, since hierarchy is self-

perpetuating in that it fosters a propensity to regard everything in terms of

domination/submission. This attitude comes from viewing mans dominion of

nature as an objective good, and attempting to replicate it in structuring society.

Thus a post-scarcity society must be one where there is a symbiotic, ecological

relationship instead of a parasitic one.