By John Zerzan
From Hesiod on via to the "primitivists" of this present day, in terms of Rousseau, William Morris, and Fourier, between others51 decisions in all. Here's a reader that throws gentle at the internal common sense of civilization and its devouring direction. In those instances of desolation for person, society, and biosphere alike, this sort of assortment (including commentaries through Zerzan) is urgently wanted. Why does each tradition have its eager for a misplaced Golden Age? How have heritage and development introduced us such gigantic separation and vacancy, any such feel of no destiny? Is it civilization itself that has introduced us right here? Schiller, Paul Shepard, Kirkpatrick Sale, Fourier, Perlman, Sahlins, Bahro, Zerzan, the Unabomber, and so on. etc.visionaries and theorists exposing the principles of today's challenge.
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Additional resources for Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections
But it is not so. Instead, their stories have come down to us, loaded, true enough, with all the weight that can be assigned scapegoats, but they have survived, and this is significant. Never as popular because never as useful (even as cautionary tales) as the orthodox captivity narratives, their persistence tells us of other visions of New World contact that haunted the whites even in the very midst of their victories. The stories begin with what was for us the beginning of the Americas, with Columbus.
Only negatively can they do so, guiding us in their obsessive loathing of those who did succumb. And only this situation can adequately explain the strange persistence and perpetuation through the centuries of the tradition of the willing captive: one who, being captured, refused redemption or ran away after being redeemed, slipping off from the settlements to return to the tribes and the wilderness. They were variously called renegades, white Indians, squawmen, or simply degenerates, and we might imagine that their shadowy careers would have been consigned to a silence beyond obloquy.
One thinks of the mid-American prairies where settlers had to yoke six oxen to plow in order to cut through the soil for the first time. Or a scene from the 1870s in The Octopus by Frank Norris, in which gang-plows were driven like “a great column of field artillery” across the San Joaquin Valley, cutting 175 furrows at once. Today the organic, what is left of it, is fully mechanized under the aegis of a few petrochemical corporations. Their artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and near-monopoly of the world’s seed stock define a total environment that integrates food production from planting to consumption.
Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections by John Zerzan