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Published by: sui pacha on Aug 18, 2009
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PDF generated using the open source mwlib toolkit. See http://code.pediapress.com/ for more information.PDF generated at: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 10:12:35 UTC
for the collapse of civilization
Ideas and Issues
is an anarchist critique of the origins and progress of civilization. According to anarcho-primitivism, the shift from → hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, and alienation. Anarcho-primitivistsadvocate a return to non-"civilized" ways of life through deindustrialisation, abolition of division of labour or specialization, and abandonment of large-scale organizationtechnologies. There are other non-anarchist forms of primitivism, and not all primitivistspoint to the same phenomenon as the source of modern, civilized problems.Many traditional anarchists reject the critique of civilization, many even denying thatanarcho-primitivism has anything to do with anarchism, while some, such as → WolfiLandstreicher, endorse the critique but do not consider themselves anarcho-primitivists. Anarcho-primitivists are often distinguished by their focus on the praxis of achieving a feralstate of being through "rewilding".
Early influences within anarchism
 Anarchism started to have an ecological view mainly in the writings of americanindividualist anarchist and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. In his book 
headvocates → simple living and self-sufficiency among natural surroundings in resistance tothe advancement of industrial civilization
. An ecologist current within anarchism was anarcho-naturism which mainly had relevancewithin european individualist anarchism.
 Anarcho-primitivists argue that prior to the advent of agriculture, humans lived in small, nomadic bands which were socially, politically, and economically egalitarian. Being withouthierarchy, these bands are sometimes viewed as embodying a form of anarchism. → JohnMoore writes that anarcho-primitivism seeks "to expose, challenge and abolish all themultiple forms of power that structure the individual, social relations, and interrelationswith the natural world."
Primitivists hold that,following the emergence of agriculture, the growing massesof  humanity subtly became evermore beholden to technological processes and abstract powerstructures arising from the division of labour and hierarchy. Primitivists disagree over whatdegree of horticulture might be present in an anarchist society, with some arguing thatpermaculture could have a role but others advocating a strictly → hunter-gatherersubsistence.Primitivism has drawn heavily upon cultural anthropology and archaeology. Within the lasthalf-century, societies once viewed as barbaric have been largely reevaluated byacademics, some of whom now hold that early humans lived in relative peace andprosperity. Frank Hole, an early-agriculture specialist, and Kent Flannery, a specialist in
 Anarcho-primitivism3Mesoamerican civilization, have noted that, "No group on earth has more leisure time thanhunters and gatherers, who spend it primarily on games, conversation and relaxing."
Scholars such as Karl Polanyi and → Marshall Sahlins characterized primitive societies asgift economies with "goods valued for their utility or beauty rather than cost; commoditiesexchanged more on the basis of need than of exchange value; distribution to the society atlarge without regard to labor that members have invested; labor performed without theidea of a wage in return or individual benefit, indeed largely without the notion of 'work ' atall."
Other scholars and thinkers such as → Paul Shepard, influenced by anthropologistClaude Lévi-Strauss, have written of the "Evolutionary Principle" which roughly states thatwhen a species is removed from its natural habitat its behaviors will become pathological.Shepard has written at length on ways in which the human species' natural "ontogeny",which developed through millions of years of evolution in a foraging mode of existence, hasbeen disrupted due to a sedentary lifestyle caused by agriculture.
 Anarcho-primitivists view civilization as the logic, institutions, and physical apparatus of domestication, control, and domination. They focus primarily on the question of origins.Civilization is seen as the underlying problem or root of oppression, and must therefore bedismantled or destroyed. Anarcho-primitivists describe the rise of civilization as the shift over the past 10,000 yearsfrom an existence within and deeply connected to the web of life, to onepsychologicallyseparated from and attempting to control of the rest of life. They argue that prior tocivilization there generally existed ample leisure time, considerable gender equality andsocial equality, a non-destructive approach to the natural world, the absence of organized violence, no mediating orformal institutions, and strong health and robustness. Anarcho-primitivists state that civilization inaugurated mass warfare, the subjugation of women, population growth, busy work, concepts of property, entrenched hierarchies, aswell as encouraging the spread of diseases. They claim that civilization begins with andrelies on an enforced renunciation of instinctual freedom and that it is impossible to reformaway such a renunciation.
The domestication of life
Domestication, according to primitivists, is the process that civilization uses to induct andcontrol life according to its strictly ordered logic. Essentially, domesticationis the tendencyof civilization, as an orderly, predictable system, to attempt to assimilate the entire rest of the universe into itself, to make the whole world into one colossal orderly, predictablesystem. The mechanisms of domestication are said to include: taming, breeding, geneticallymodifying, schooling, caging, intimidating, coercing, extorting from, promising, contracting,governing, enslaving, terrorizing, raping, murdering, etc. Domestication is a pathological(read: "
borne out of fear 
") power-process begun by some groups of early humans whowished to reduce the uncertainties and dangers of life, attempting to manufacture acompletely safe and organized existence. It is ultimately this force that primitivists(especially anarcho-primitivists) array themselves against.Primitivists also describe it (more specifically) as the process by which previously nomadichuman populations shift towards a sedentary or settled existence through agriculture andanimal husbandry. They claim that this kind of domestication demands a totalitarian

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