K.S.: Civilization, yes. That's the great problem. Civilization.
R.K.: Now talk about that.
K.S.: Well, civilization is the system that we have created so as to defend the culture and politics and economics of domination and of domination by empires and eventually by nation-states until the whole world is divided into nation-states that are exerting their power over nature. And with the kind of technology we have, we are able to do that greater and faster, and of course, worse than any preceding society of civilization ever was.
Which is why I wrote a book against technology called, Rebels Against the Future, about the Luddites because they tried to resist the imposition of technology on their lives that would destroy their living and destroy their way of living and change it into a factory system that was completely antithetical to all of the values that they had had as cottagers and millers and weavers before that. So we have perfected, in the industrial revolution of a mere two hundred years now... the last of the Luddite uprisings in the middle of England was in 1814- two hundred years ago.
That's the path of industrialism. I just wrote a piece about how the Luddites were the last gasp of the attempt to have control over technology and attempt to say to people, look, technology is having an effect on your lives. It's not just machinery that is in a factory somewhere. This is going to change your lives, your daily lives and it's going to change it forever.
And as one of the people said to the Luddites- your enemy is not the manufacturers, your enemy is progress. And that's why I called my book, Rebels Against the Future, because that was a future that was dominated by progress and they didn't want to see that.
R.K.: Of course progress is in very much need of definition there.
K.S.: Well, it is the idea that you can make things get better and better and that any form of making things better and bigger and faster is progress.
R.K.: You think so?
K.S.: I don't think so, but people who believe in progress think so and they work very hard to achieve it, don't they?
R.K.: Yes. So what do you think about, what's progress?
K.S.: Progress is the lifeblood of civilization and I despise both of them. I made a bet in the 1990's that civilization would come to an end. I was hard-pressed to say when. I said, okay, 2020, because I knew that if anything was going to save some small portion of this world it would be the end of civilization and therefore some chance for people to survive, for animals and ecosystems to survive, escaped from the grip of the dominators and we're coming fairly close to 2020 as it is.
Now, I'm not sure that I'm going to win that bet in 2020, although the signs of our running headlong into environmental disaster are clear. The signs of increasing diseases are clear. The signs of increasing civil disruptions around the globe are clear. And I would argue that the signs of economic collapse, collapse of the dollar, collapse of the Euro, are here and that that's a possibility very real by 2020. I am not guaranteeing that that will happen at that date, but we're headed in that direction. That's all I'm saying. And it would not be impossible to happen in a rush.
R.K.: We need to wrap up. This has been a really fascinating, informative, fun conversation. Anything you would like to finish with?
K.S.: Yeah, I would like to thank you very much, Mr. Kall, for giving me a chance to talk about the important things in my life and important things I think for everybody's life, if we would but recognize it, in the hopes that some people can start thinking, start thinking the way we think and that we can pass this idea on to generations and hope that they will act before it's too late.