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Slave City and the Green Border Wall
Alex Steffen, 9 Jun 06

Some mornings, no matter how strange you think the world is, it's hard to keep up. Two new dystopian green visions:

Slave City is a dark architectural vision of perfect efficiency, and sustainability-as-principle-of-oppression:

Slave City is an up-to-date concentration camp made out of the latest technology and with the newest management insights. The highly profitable Slave City (7 billion euro net profit per year) is provided with all necessary facilities to make sure that the inhabitants (called "participants") are as efficient as possible. Values, ethics, esthetics, morals, food, energy, economics, organization, management and market are turned upside-down, reformulated and designed into a town of 200.000 inhabitants.
They all work 7 hours a day on tele-services such as customers service, ICT, telemarketing, computer programming etc. After that, they work 7 hours on the fields or workshop and the rest of their time is used for education, sleep and other necessities. This Slave City is a self sufficient Žgreen townŽ that does not use or waste the worlds resources and does not produce any waste material because of efficient recycling.

Mexico is planning a 600 mile long, 30 foot wide nature preserve along the U.S. border both to protect the environment and discourage illegal border crossings:

“When you have a roadless area, you make it more difficult for these activities to happen" ... The strip protects a much longer stretch of riverbank, from just downstream of the Texas border town of Presidio to the outskirts of Laredo, Texas, raising the possibility of still larger reserves that will serve as biological corridors, encouraging four-footed traffic but making it exceedingly difficult for humans to pass. In other border areas where U.S. reserves aren’t fully matched in Mexico — such as Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument — primitive roads and ramshackle hamlets have sprung up on the Mexican side to provide supplies and staging areas to illegal border crossers.
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The Slave city is so poignant in that it exists in virtual / logical / partial form today around the globe with breadwinners having a second and third job to make ends meet and fully embracing the three "R"s. I think you miss the crucial point of ""profitability" when you say "sustainability-as-principal-of-opression".

If at a future date and miraculously, assume that stringent sustainability laws are indeed passed. In the name of being law abiding, it is a simple matter for corporations and the "owners" of US (the top 20% or so) to promote loosly associated slave city model.

Is there a conspiracy and central command and control? Absolutely not. The top 20% use the swarming pinciple, as explained in Jeremy's essay, to flood (pollute in my opinion) society with low intensity laws and bylaws, each being descreet, minor and good-to-maintain-order, that are advantageous to themselves at local and federal levels. The bottom 80% is too busy and intellectually lazy to even realize their lot and are inexorably slipping into the slave city conditions.

The blame is squarely on the majority of the 80% (myself along with most of worldchanging-like folks are the minority :) ). I always believed that education and democracy are necessary and sufficient conditions for the well being of a society. Reflecting on the state of affairs in the US today, it is clear that we need more in the form of Deep Democracy with active participation of many. The maturing digital age and communities like worldchanging are the beacons of hope.

About the Mexican border swath, why take a "narrow" view and limit the width to 30 feet? Why not a 1000 ft? Notwithstanding the parochial arguments of costs and practicalities, such a large swath of pristine area will provide benefits beyond calculations when viewed with a 500 years horizon or longer. Who knows, but by that time the notion of nation-states may dissolve and the original reason for the 600 miles swath will become moot, yet we will be left with preserved biodiversity. Ok I am ranting now and should stop.

Posted by: Subbarao Seethamsetty on 10 Jun 06

well... a nature preserve on the Mexico side of the border is better than a highly regulated and militarized zone thick with racists... an interesting combination of things adjacent to each other, eh?

Posted by: matt on 12 Jun 06



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