Our Synthetic Environment

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1962

People

(1921 - 2006) ~ Father of Social Ecology and Anarcho-Communalism : Growing up in the era of traditional proletarian socialism, with its working-class insurrections and struggles against classical fascism, as an adult he helped start the ecology movement, embraced the feminist movement as antihierarchical, and developed his own democratic, communalist politics. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "Broader movements and issues are now on the horizon of modern society that, while they must necessarily involve workers, require a perspective that is larger than the factory, trade union, and a proletarian orientation." (From : "The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Murray Book....)
• "...a market economy based on dog-eat-dog as a law of survival and 'progress' has penetrated every aspect of society..." (From : "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement," by Murray Bo....)
• "Or will ecology groups and the Greens turn the entire ecology movement into a starry-eyed religion decorated by gods, goddesses, woodsprites, and organized around sedating rituals that reduce militant activist groups to self-indulgent encounter groups?" (From : "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement," by Murray Bo....)

Sections

This document contains 9 sections, with 79,825 words or 507,168 characters.

(8,056 Words / 51,536 Characters)
Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM Our Changed Environment Life in the United States has changed so radically over the past one hundred years that the most wearisome historians tend to become rhapsodic when they describe the new advances that have been made in technology, science, and medicine. We are usually told that early in the last century most Americans lived heroic but narrow lives, eking out a material existence that was insecure and controlled by seasonal changes, drought, and the natural fertility of the soil. Daily work chores were extremely arduous; knowledge, beleaguered by superstition, was relatively crude. Historians with an interest in science often point out that medical remedies were primitive, if not useless; they may have sufficed to relieve the symptoms of common diseases, but they seldom effected a cure. Life was hard and precarious, afflicted by many tragedies that can easily be... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin Chapter 2 - Agriculture and Health Soil and Agriculture Problems of soil and agriculture seldom arouse the interest of urban dwellers. Town and country have become so sharply polarized that the city man and the farmer live in widely separated, contrasting, and often socially antagonistic worlds. The average resident of an American metropolis knows as little about the problems of growing food as the average farmer knows about the problems of mass transportation. The city man, to be sure, does not need to be reminded that good soil is important for successful farming. He recognizes the necessity for conservation and careful management of the land. But his knowledge of food cultivation - its techniques, problems, and prospects - is limited. He leaves the land in trust to the farmer in the belief that modern agricultural methods cannot fail to produce attractive and nourishing food. I... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER THREE: URBAN LIFE AND HEALTH The Changing Urban Scene Man's environment attains a high degree of simplification in the modern metropolis. At first this may seem surprising: We normally associate metropolitan life with a diversity of individual types and with variety and subtlety in human relations. But diversity among men and complexity in human relations are social and cultural phenomena. From a biological point of view, the drab, severe metropolitan world of mortar, steel, and machines constitutes a relatively simple environment, and the sharp division of labor developed by the modern urban economy imposes extremely limited, monotonous occupational activities on many of the individuals who make their livelihood in a large city. These have not always been the characteristics of urban life. The metropolitan milieu represents a sharp departure from the forms and styles of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER FOUR:The Problem of Chemicals in Food The Consumer and Commercial Foods With the rise of an urbanized society, the production of food becomes a complex industrial operation. In contrast with earlier times, when very few changes were made in the appearance or the constituents of food, much of the food consumed in the United States is highly processed. Allen B. Paul, of the Brookings Institution, and Lorenzo B. Mann, of the Farmer Cooperative Service, have summed up the change as follows: "Our grandparents used for baking about four-fifths of the flour milled in this country. They churned almost all the butter Americans ate. They killed and prepared much of the meat eaten. They made their own soups, sausage, salad dressing, clothing and countless other items. Such tasks, which a generation ago were part of farm and home life, have been taken over by commercial factories, 85,000 of th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER FIVE: ENVIRONMENT AND CANCER The Importance of Environment One of the most challenging problems in public health involves the influence of man's environment on the incidence of cancer. Differences of opinion concerning the extent of this influence are likely to have important practical consequences. If a specialist believes that cancer is caused primarily by genetic factors or by the aging process, his hopes for controlling the disease will focus on advances in surgery, radiology, and chemical therapy. He will tend to regard the occurrence of the disease as inevitable. On the other hand, if he strongly suspects that environmental factors play a major role, he is likely to attach a great deal of importance to cancer prevention. He will regard environmental change as a serious problem requiring careful investigation. Nothing can be done to arrest the aging process or alter the indivi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER SIX: RADIATION AND HUMAN HEALTH The Effects of Radiation It is hardly necessary to emphasize that since the explosion of a nuclear weapon at Alamogordo, New Mexico, in July 1945 ionizing radiation has become the most serious threat to man's survival. If nuclear weapons are further developed or increased in number, it is quite conceivable that a future war will virtually extinguish human life. Grave as this danger may be, ionizing radiation is associated with a number of subtle hazards that warrant equal public concern. "Today... sources of ionizing radiation are rapidly becoming more and more widely used," observes a team of radiation specialists for the U. S. Public Health Service. "Each atomic reactor produces the radioactive equivalent of hundreds of pounds of radium. Radioactive substances are used in increasing numbers of hospitals, industries, and research establishments. X-ra... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER SEVEN: HUMAN ECOLOGY Survival and Health Despite mounting problems and difficulties, most official statements on environmental change tend to be reassuring and optimistic. We are told repeatedly, for example, that the amount of strontium-90 in a quart of milk or the quantity of DDT in a fruit is "trivial"; that in order to ingest harmful doses of a radioactive element or a pesticide residue, an individual would have to consume enormous quantities of a contaminated food at a single sitting. These piecemeal explanations are little more than subterfuges. Many toxicants appear in all the fruits and vegetables we consume; in fact, strontium-90 and DDT are in almost every food in the modern diet. We ingest these substances daily with nearly every glass and spoon we raise to our lips. They appear in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Since the 1940's, strontium-90 and DDT have bec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER EIGHT: HEALTH AND SOCIETY Individual and Social Aspects of Health A new approach is likely to gain easier acceptance if it involves individual rather than social action. The majority of people tend to look for immediate, practical solutions that they can adopt without having to face major social and environmental problems. They search for personal recipes and formulas for physical well-being. This attitude is understandable. Health and illness are intimate problems, involving the ability to survive and enjoy full lives. Health is enjoyed by the individual, not by such abstractions as "man" and "the community." Any discussion of health usually evokes the query: "What can I do right now to remove hazards to my health and assure my physical well-being?" This question has been answered, to a great extent, by authorities cited in the previous chapters - implicitly if not al... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin APPENDIX A: CHANGING CONCEPTS OF ILLNESS -An Excerpt from "The Healthy Environment" by John D. Porterfield, Deputy Surgeon General of the United States Our dazzling technological progress since World War II has yielded a random harvest of mixed blessings, and a bumper crop of new health challenges. These challenges differ from our traditional health concerns in a number of significant ways. For one thing, the nature of the assault on the human organism is very different. The public health professions are familiar with the infectious disease pattern-exposure, followed at a predictable interval by recognizable symptoms, generally followed by recovery and some degree of residual immunity. The time-span between exposure and onset is short. The effect is comparatively easy to trace to its cause. By contrast, the chronic diseases may have multiple causes, some intrinsic b... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Chronology

1962 :
Our Synthetic Environment -- Publication.

February 01, 2017 ; 7:03:31 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

March 23, 2019 ; 12:07:19 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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