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What's the deal with...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JackNegativity, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Caps

    CapsExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    You can be normatively primitivist without living as a primitive. People could no doubt lay accusations of people not being 'proper anarchists' because they have certains jobs/relationships. If primitivists want to create post-civilisation (or pre-civilisation) they have to destroy contemporary order with its own tools - its not merely a lifestyle choice.

    Anyway, I am not a primitivist but I definitely have sypmpathy with parts of its ideology - along the same lines as what has already been said. Industrialisation has gone too far and certain technological advancements clearly need to be dismantled. War technology for example and, I'd argue, nuclear technology as well. Also, a sustainable economic will probably create the restrictions that Jamesxjames was alluding to. Furthermore, the emphasis on connections to nature and a greater emphasis on play are things I have sympathy with that stems from primitivism.

    Ultimately, though, primitivists go too far in my opinion. Rather than highlighting how language can obfuscate and discussing how our language needs to evolve, primitivists argue for the destruction of language. Rather than warning against the potential authoritarian rigidity of time, they want time-keeping elimated entirely. Rather than pointing out our excessive, near-paranoid attitude to hygiene, they expect us to go around with shit on our hands (apparently :D ). These examples seem typical of pretty much all their positions - social order, art, population, agriculturalism etc etc.
     
  2. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    I don't think you have to be a Primitivist to view certain techonologies and industrial practises as stoopid and unsustainable, nor would I argue that one would need to be either sympathetic or influenced by Primitivism in order to oppose such industries...

    Moreover, it's worth highlighting that Primitivism advocates the destruction of all advanced technologies. It therefore follows, from my interpretation anywayz, that Primitvism lumps all technology, from nuclear warheads to tractors, condoms and vaccinations, into the category of 'oppressive' (as opposed to a club and loincloth). Therefore, no exploration into the positive/negative social function of certain techonologies is avaiable to us. Instead, we must purge ruthlessly lest we undermine our hunter gatherer purity.
     
  3. Caps

    CapsExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Fair points all. Like I said, the main problem with primitivism is it's extreme conclusions. And this includes its rejection of all technology. However, I think that, to some extent, a lot of the criticisms Primitivism has for contemporary, Capitalist society are valid. For example, it was reading Zerzan that made me question the worth of a lot of unions. I still believe in a need for unions for workers under Capitalism but I had never really scrutinised them previously.
     
  4. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    you get union bashing across the anarchist spectrum. ;)
    and btw, wasn't implying you were a Primmo or something, just commenting...
     
  5. Hex

    HexExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    *sigh*

    ok i guess i'll take up the primitivism argument as it's getting awfully one sided, and full of stereotypes up in this piece. ALL primitivists are not X Y and Z. just like ALL anti-capitalists are not X Y Z. and ALL anarchists are not X Y Z. you see my point i hope. i am sorry if some of you have run up against people who can not properly articulate their ideas, or don't even really know what their ideas are, but the world is filled with foolz on both sides. a lot of humans talk out of their asses cause they like the sound of farts.

    and yes i am using a computer. (check the link below for more info on that tired old one liner) and yes, i identify as someone who strongly agrees with the assertions of the primitivist critiques of technology, agriculture and civilization.
    BUT i haven't been able to see fault with language or time or art as of yet. maybe some day that will change too.

    i was not born a primitivist. in the past, i have had my mind changed about a great many things in the face of convincing evidence and i am open to having it changed again. i just haven't run up against a sound argument against primitivism. and believe me, i have LOOOOOOOOKED! and continue to look.

    so here is the open ended challenge. go read the following links (so i don't have to repeat the same answers over and over and over) and get a proper perspective on primitivism and i will gladly discuss anyone's concerns, objections and respectful debates about it.

    so without further ado i give you this:

    5 Common Objections to Primitivism and Why They Are Wrong - J Godesky
    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Jas ... Wrong.html

    30 Theses -J Godesky
    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Jas ... heses.html

    a bit of a foundation in ecology is also good place to start as far as understanding things like overshoot, carrying capacity, and population crashes.

    and please try to keep in mind that you might have a problem recognizing your own " ETHNOCENTRISM ". if you look at our first world culture as if it is THE CORRECT ONE, the HIGHEST ONE, the MOST ADVANCED and WORTHY of CONSIDERATION one, that is in fact, ethnocentrism and the entire planet is suffering because of it. humans, non-humans and the biosphere itself are all dying because of it. Ethnocentrism is a bias. Ethnocentrism can come out as being very bigoted and racist. there are still uncontacted tribes of gatherer/hunter tribes living on this planet. if we are to have a discussion on this topic, lets try to be respectful of their ways of life and not verbally shit all over them because we are of the unfounded assumption that WE 1st WorlderrZ HAZ SO MUCH BETTERer, SMARTERer, more EVOLVE-ated WAY OF LIFE, etc!

    thanks and i hope to have at least added something to this thread and possibly to a bit of understanding in the whirlwind of unsubstantiated claims floating about the interwebz on the topic.
     
  6. JesusCrust

    JesusCrustExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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  7. JackNegativity

    JackNegativityExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Ok dude, not one person on here has "verbally shit all over" any legitimately hunter/gatherer tribes anywhere. So why don't YOU try to be respectful and not twist people's words and/or outright LIE to try to make your own weak case. We're not ranting on these tribes, we're ranting on idiots who give us shit for using computers and deoderant. It's not the same fucking thing, no matter what twisted "facts" you say on the subject. And seeing as the "first world primitivists" I have a problem with come from multiple ethnicities/cultures, I'd appreciate if you'd stop throwing around words like "ethnocentrism".

    Argue all you want, you can't justify people using computers to berate other people on the internet for using computers. The excuse that Jason Godesky gave about using technology while it exists to denounce it is bullshit. That's like being against, let's say theoretically, slavery...but buying/using slaves until they revolt or slavery becomes illegal. It's bombing for peace. It's just fucking stupid.

    Reduce some of the more destructive forms of technology--sure, nobody is arguing against that but deconstructing civilization is limiting peoples' freedom and potential. Not very anarchist.

    As for the claim that it's only agricultural societies that suffer starvation and famine, I'll admit I don't know how every single tribal group/society in the world eats/lives, but somehow I feel that claim may not be accurate.

    So I'll say again, If you or anyone else wants to live as a primitivist--fine. Go do it. Shit or get off the pot.
     
  8. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Yes, the accusations of ethnocentrism are a bit daft, it amounts to inferring that anyone who does not identify as a primitivist is essentially eurocentric, a pretty poor and baseless argument. Secondly, your claims get even more daft when you consider that the theoretical heavyweights behind anarcho-primitivism are white, male americans; and that primitivism is, in my opinion, closer to Orientalism than many anarchists are to ethnocentrism.
     
  9. Hex

    HexExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    "Ok dude, not one person on here has "verbally shit all over" any legitimately hunter/gatherer tribes anywhere. So why don't YOU try to be respectful and not twist people's words and/or outright LIE to try to make your own weak case." -JackN

    ooof, where to start ?!

    first off - unimportant, but fact non the less - I'm not a DUDE. ;)

    second, I never meant for anyone to think I was implying you or anyone else here WAS shitting all over G/Hs, I was making a plea for respectful dialogue that would not (and hopefully not) include our own ethnocentric biases in favor of this culture. not twisting anyone's words here or lying! just hoping that if we are to engage in a talk about the subject (and it follows that a talk about primitivism would include discussion about humans who are currently living primitively) that we would be respectful of their ways of life. that was it. no accusations, honest.

    there was at least two replies regarding that portion of my post, so obviously I was not as clear with my words as I had hoped to be, and for that I am sorry. hopefully you can now see what I was trying to convey.

    'We're not ranting on these tribes, we're ranting on idiots who give us shit for using computers and deodorant.'
    -JackN

    I am aware that you are not ranting on these tribes (as addressed above) I understand that other humans have given you shit about using computers and/or deodorant (which, i think we both can agree, is pretty dumb and doesn't really make any kind of sense for them to do while discussing primitivism). but that is not my intentions in this thread or where my concerns are. so if you would like to discuss Primitivism/anti-civ, with some one who can pretty much do it without out resorting to those kinds of obvious nonsensical blame shifting tactics, I'm your girl!


    "you can't justify people using computers to berate other people on the internet for using computers"
    -JackN


    I was not trying to justify anyone being berated. not anything of the sort. save to say that perhaps there are some who are ill informed about primitivism and tend to go off the deep end while trying to discuss it with others.

    it's kind of like how there are vegans who are all "if you eatz the aminals - you r a murderer no matter the circomstance" and then there are vegans who are not like that, who can enter into a dialogue and articulate their reasons for veganism with out resorting to being accusatory nut bags.

    are 'all anarchist r bomb throwing loonitciz and wut do you do with all the prizonerz when there are no cops?'? see my point?

    if we have to get hung up on the fact that, yes, i am convinced that the use of computers/internetz is damaging to our abilities to properly relate to one another, is alienating, and damaging to the environment - but yet i still am locked within a world (not of my choosing) that has left me with very little option for obtaining the information i seek to understand and communicate. then yup, guilty as charged. this is not a purity issue. no more an issue then an anti-capitalist who works a day job within a capitalistic society. or an anarchist who doesn't live in some anarchist commune 24/7. i have absolutely no ethical or moral dilemmas with "using the masters tools" against the master's house.

    actually I am only trying to do some 'damage control' re: primitivism and offer to discuss the OFTEN misunderstood theories defining primitivism that are tossed up in these kinds of conversations. I just want to provide a rational, thorough, and hopefully non accusatory dialogue (or Q & A if you'd rather) about primitivism.

    'deconstructing civilization is limiting peoples' freedom and potential. Not very anarchist. -JackN'


    ok, we can start to talk about that if you wish. I propose (as do many others) that deconstructing civ will actually increase humans' freedom - not to mention increasing the freedom of all other beings on the planet as well - and that it is indeed, a very anarchistic way of life. all assertions based on evidence (anthropological data) comparing gather/hunter's lives and that of civilized societies.
    if you would like to discuss the evidence for this conclusion, we can.


    "As for the claim that it's only agricultural societies that suffer starvation and famine, I'll admit I don't know how every single tribal group/society in the world eats/lives, but somehow I feel that claim may not be accurate." -JackN


    Jason Godesky is trained as an anthropologist. most of the assertions of primitivist/anti-civ theory come directly from anthropology/ecology and the studies of very well researched conclusions. I can get you more information, with citations on this topic if you feel it to not be accurate or as complete as you are looking for you to form an opinion.

    "If you or anyone else wants to live as a primitivist--fine. Go do it. Shit or get off the pot." - JackN

    I am doing my best, and dedicate a heck ton of my life to reaching that goal. but as the first Godesky link I provided addressed (more succinctly then I can), I was born into and raised within civilization. I have some, but practically few applicable skills to "go do it" and 'live primitively' because I have not been taught or raised as a primitive. i have to do this all on my own, it takes a fuck ton of time and even more work then i could properly address here.

    again, since i am starting to feel like i might not be conveying my thoughts understandably enough, I DO often use the internet to research the topic, attend skills classes and meets and discuss these matters with others so that, some day, I will hopefully be able to live as primitively as possible. I have 34 years of civilized conditioning to undue, that's a lot of hard work. and that is only one of many reasons why it is so rare for currently civilized humans to be able to 'go do it'.
    Godesky makes a brilliant point on this matter when he sates "...you wouldn’t tell a !Kung man with dreams of brokering stock to just go to Wall Street already, but to learn a thing or two about the stock market first, so we are learning the skills we will need before hanging our lives on such skills."

    the primitivist critique of civilization is pretty sound, as i have said, i really have not found any convincing arguments for the continuation of civilization's 'progress'. please ask me about anything you are confused on or on anything i might have left out. really, i'm open to discussing ideas, i'm not looking for a fight. i don't get my jollies on the interwebz flame sessions. they are pretty worthless. so lets work on not doing that to each other and see where it gets us.
     
  10. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    @Hex,
    The assertion in Godesky's article that:
    raises the question:
    If 'primitive communist' societies (in Marxianese) were so abundant, why did they ever start farming?
    Now, I'm well aware we're engaging in pure speculation here (as is Godesky, even with their bonus 'validity' of a degree; bourgeois, ethnocentric validity, no less), but I would posit that maybe such a move had something to do with scarcity; in other words, that the abundance of food available to the hunter/gatherer was less stable than primitivists make out.

    Secondly, my main concern with the accusations of ethnocentrism are that such forms of argument are often employed to deflect criticism, and avoid answering the question posed. A good example comes, again, from the first Godesky link you posted:
     
  11. DirtyRottenThrashPunk

    DirtyRottenThrashPunkExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    One of my biggest issues with primitivism is that people with certain medical issues, such as myself with type 1 diabetes, would be left to die. You say "oh maybe there are natural medicines" or whatever; well fucking find me a plant that can keep me alive the way insulin does. Seriously, if there is one I want to know about it. I have no problem with all you primitivists running off to live in the wild or whatever in a post-revolutionary society, but I would fucking hate it if everyone had to.
     
  12. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    but dude, insulin is authoritarian and infantilising!

    sauce
     
  13. Protspecd

    ProtspecdExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Hey let's revert back to a world with no technology. Hey look the sun is turning into a red giant. Hey look, human race is gone. Nah that will never happen, the human race could just throw rocks at the sun to reverse it dying. In some aspects technology has gone too far, in others it has not gone far enough.

    Btw, everyone that is having a go at them for using internet and computers to communicate to you... Is that any different from you guys buying products from stores, paying taxes or working fora business? Not trying to insult you are anything or throwing blind accusations for the hell of it... Just food for thought.
     
  14. DirtyRottenThrashPunk

    DirtyRottenThrashPunkExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Hmm, now that I think of it, dying slowly over a couple months does sound a lot more like freedom :lmao:
     
  15. JackNegativity

    JackNegativityExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    Ugh. I had a long response to this but my internet connection decided I didn't need it. Someone may be trying to tell me something ;) Maybe I'll try again to tomorrow, but for now I'm going to crawl in my nice warm bed.

    Ain't technology grand?
    :ecouteurs:
     
  16. punkmar77

    punkmar77Experienced Member Uploader Experienced member


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    I think you guys need to quit being so close minded and listen to a fellow forum member that has differing views, but is no less an anarchist than we are. So we don't agree with methodology, so what? We aren't talking about a view that does not fit into anarchism, just different methods to achieve the ideal of utopia and what that utopia actually is. I understand that radical primitivists are a bit out there for my comfort, but Hex has been a member of this community for a long time and although I had no idea until today that she was a female, she has been an asset in varied topics and had many very lucid posts that I agreed with and appreciated in the past. So we don't necessarily agree on all things with primitivists, when it comes to defense of the Earth I admire their courage and resolve and feel a strong kinship as an anarchist.
     
  17. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    I hardly see how debating with someone over their politics is anything other than behaving respectfully...
     
  18. antihuman

    antihumanActive Member Forum Member


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    I will admit that I used to be primitivist. I still agree with much of their criticism of civilization, but I no longer hold the view that technology or even all forms of agriculture are inherently self-destructive. Contrary to the common primitivist argument against agriculture, agriculture was not invented during the neolithic revolution. Many tribal cultures practiced limited forms of agriculture prior to this. The simple act of putting seeds in the ground and watering them is not in itself destructive. What neolithic revolutionaries did to create civilization was the following things:
    -They put all food under lock and key. Even in other cultures that practiced agriculture, prior to this innovation, anyone could eat without being coerced to obey the tribe because food is everywhere. The concept of owning food gave those who owned the food power, and made everyone else subservient.
    -They became convinced that pure agriculture was "the one right way to live," and any other, less pure, lifestyle was subhuman and evil.
    -As a result of this belief, they either conquered surrounding tribes or coerced them into practicing their form of totalitarian agriculture.
    -Instead of controlling their population, as other tribes practicing agriculture had to do, they allowed their population to grow nonstop to help fill up all the land they conquered.

    Most started practicing "totalitarian" agriculture as a result of pressure from neolithic culture. Some converted willingly, others were forced into submission, like the american plains indians. The "scarcity" argument can be shot down from several different angles. For one thing, agriculture as a response to scarce food supply is like building a boat while you're drowning. It takes far too long to grow food to help a starving people. Agriculture requires an amount of work that can only be supplied by people who have enough food as it is. There are other aspects of the relationship between agriculture and scarcity, but I won't get into them now.

    As for the criticism that primitivists are living civilized lives and using technology, as soon as every anarcho-communist you know quits their job and joins a commune, then that argument will make sense.

    Again, I want to reiterate that I am no longer a primitivist. While many of the problems of civilization are self-destructive, I now believe a more traditionally anarchist revolution would be as effective at solving many of those problems as a return to tribal living. Some extremely good books that relate to this discussion are "Ishmael," "The Story of B," and "My Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn.
     
  19. butcher

    butcherExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member Forum Member


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    so, like, why did some convert willingly then?
    and lol at 'totalitarian agriculture', who knew growing food was so evil? Surely the wholesale slaughter, subjugation and exploitation of entire peoples may be the reason for the horrors of, say, colonialisation rather than a fucking tractor. In other words social relationships, not agricultural technology. Yr arguments are, in effect, apologists for the bourgeoisie.

    Besides, yr analogy is a bit weird:
    I'm not sure how many floods take 6 or so months to develop; like, say, harvesting and accumulating food for winter...
     
  20. antihuman

    antihumanActive Member Forum Member


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    "Willing" conversion in this case essentially means they decided to become pure agriculturalists rather than fight to preserve their culture. I can't say exactly why every people that chose this course of action did so.

    When i refer to "totalitarian" agriculture, it is not a reference to the agriculture itself, but rather the attitudes and practices of the agriculturalists. It is a doctrine that says that absolutely only agriculture is the only way people should find food. Also, I fail to see how my arguments apologized in any way for the bourgeoisie. Nothing I said in any way implies that I think what happened as a result of colonization is in any way "OK," it was an explanation of how/why it came about. Colonization itself is a result of the exponential population growth created by our current agricultural system, as well as of the aforementioned doctrine.

    My analogy was saying that when you're in a crisis, you don't have time to wait for the plants to grow, you have to spend all your time and energy looking for food that is immediately available. Therefore, starving people farming is as effective at ending their starvation as a person who is drowning trying to build a boat before he drowns. In this analogy, "swimming" would be equivalent to finding food that already exists, for example by hunting/gathering. obviously, i was referencing unexpected famine, rather than predictable ones like winter. many tribes solved the problem of winter by simply moving somewhere with more food and a better climate.
     
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