Can we do better than Mother Nature?
Once, the left was the realm of humanism, the inheritor of the ideals of the Renaissance and the French Revolution: a world without religion, where science and rational thought would be used to transform the world into a mechanical and technological wonderland. If you read the books of the old anarchists, they are all die-hard materialists and militant atheists. Increasingly, however, I have found my leftist and anarchist colleagues to be Zerzanian luddites, tribal-pierced neo-pagans, or wide-eyed chemtrail/HAARP/reptilian crackpots. The idea that we can do better than the stochastically-assembled mix-and-match hodge-podge of Mother Nature has become an increasingly right-wing phenomenon, with our industrial civilization being championed by the same flock of Bible-thumpers and authoritarian autocrats who were howling for the factories to be burned down two centuries ago.
My question, then, is two-fold. First, do you believe that we can, through conscious acts of Will and rational planning, design a nicer, safer, more fulfilling, and less savage world than “nature red in tooth and claw” has been capable of slapping together through the random collision of organic chemicals? And secondly, why do you suppose the left and right have switched sides on the struggle to control our environment?
(For those who are interested, ”Men Like Gods” by H.G. Wells is a good example of the Utopian, ultra-materialist future envisioned by socialists a century ago. You can read the full text of it online.)
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.