There is an element to American culture that never ceases to amuse me. Even when grappling with the idea of economic disintegration, Americans attempt to cast it in terms of technological or economic progress: eco-villages, sustainable development, energy efficiency and so on. Under the circumstances, such compulsive techno-optimism seems maladaptive. I love the new advances in organic farming, which I find fascinating and very useful, but why do people seem incapable of doing the simplest things without making them into projects, preferably ones that involve some element of new technology? Thousands of years of happy composting using heaps and pits are behind us: now we need bins – and plastic, oil-based ones at that!
–Dmitry Orlov, Our Village
Just linking to another interesting article by recent Soviet historian and socioeconomic theorist Dmitry Orlov. Also re-linking to an old post of mine that touhces on the same ideas about village life, and to the dormant but still interesting collection of speculative fiction, Upstate 2050.