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Hive Mind
Saturday, January 29, 2005
 

Excellent Critique of Primitivism, fom an Anarchist Perspective


I wish that I had written this myself. Here's a nice little tidbit fom the article:
At this point some primitivist writers like John Moore cry foul, dismissing the suggestion "that the population levels envisaged by anarcho-primitivists would have to be achieved by mass die-offs or nazi-style death camps. These are just smear tactics. The commitment of anarcho-primitivists to the abolition of all power relations, including the State with all its administrative and military apparatus, and any kind of party or organization, means that such orchestrated slaughter remains an impossibility as well as just plain horrendous."(12)

The problem for John is that these 'smear tactics' are based not only on the logical requirements of a primitivist world but are also explicitly acknowledged by other primitivists. Miss Ann Thropy's 50 million has already been quoted. Another primitivist FAQ claims "Drastic population reductions are going to happen whether we do it voluntarily or not. It would be better, for obvious reasons to do all this gradually and voluntarily, but if we don't the human population is going to be cut anyway."(13)

The Coalition Against Civilization write "We need to be realistic about what would happen were we to enter a post-civilized world. One basic write-off is that a lot of people would die upon civil collapse. While being a hard thing to argue to a moralistic person, we shouldn't pretend this wouldn't be the case"(14)

More recently Derrick Jensen in an interview from Issue #6 of The 'A' Word Magazine[15] said civilization "needs to be actively fought against, but I don't think that we can bring it down. What we can do is assist the natural world to bring it down..... I want civilization brought down and I want it brought down now." We have seen above what the consequences of 'bringing down' civilization are.

In short there is no shortage of primitivists who recognize that the primitive world they desire would require "mass die-offs". I've not come across any who advocate "nazi-style death camps" but perhaps John just threw this in to muddy the water. Primitivists like John Moore can therefore refuse to confront this question of die off by upping the emotional ante and by accusing those who point the need for die-off out as carrying out 'smear tactics'. It's up to him to either explain how 6 billion can be fed or to admit that primitivism is no more then an intellectual mind game.

My expectation is that just about everyone when confronted with this requirement of mass death will conclude that 'primitivism' offers nothing to fight for. A very few, like the survivalists confronted by the threat of nuclear war in the 1980's, might conclude that all this is inevitable and start planning how their loved ones will survive when others die. But this later group has moved far, far beyond any understanding of anarchism as I understand it. So the 'anarcho' prefix such primitivists try to claim has to be rejected.

Read More or Download the PDF for distribution!

(Via Infoshop News)
 
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