December 18, 2006

Electricity is all around us. But ...

"Back in the spring, Dr. Tesla was able to achieve readings on his transformer of up to a milion volts. It does not take a prophet to see where this is headed. He is already talking in private about something he calls a 'World-System,' for producing huge amounts of electrical power that wnyone can tap in to for free, anywhere in the world, because it uses the planet as an element in a gigantic resonant circuit. He is naïve enough enough to think he can get financing for this, from Pierpont, or me, or one or two others. It has escaped his might intellect that no once can make any money off an invention like that. To put up money for research into a system of free power would be to throw it awa, and violate -- hell, betray -- the essence of everything modern history is supposed to be. ... If such a thing is ever produced," Scarsdale Vibe was saying, "it will mean the end of the world, not just 'as we know it' but as anyone knows it. It is a weapon, Professor, surely you see that -- the most terrible weapon the world has seen, designed to destroy not armies or matériel, but the very nature of exchange, our Economy's long struggle to evolve up out of the fish-market anarchy of all battling all to the rational systems of control whose blessings we enjoy at present."

--Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

anarchism, anarchosyndicalism