I was reading today John Zerzan’s latest article titled, “The Left? No Thanks!” in the latest edition of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (#67, p.65) and it greatly reminded me of my last blog post here which was about someone who was pro-classical anarchism. The Zerzan article has a lot of really good explanations about the situations at hand.
The Left now exists mainly as a fading vehicle of protest in, say, the electoral circuses that fewer and fewer believe in anyway. It hasn’t been a source of inspiration in many decades. It is dying out. .... [And] Traditional or classical anarchism is as outmoded as the rest of the Left. ....
Anarchism, until now, has not left the orbit of capital and technology. Anarchism has accepted such institutions as division of labor and domestication, prime movers of mass society––which it has also accepted.
[But] What is pre-eminently coming on goes by many names: anarcho-primitivism, neo-primitivism, green anarchy, civilization critique, among others. For short, let’s just say we are primitivists.
In my last blog entry, I used the term, “green anarchy” and called it “true anarchism,” for that is what it is. Ze says in the article, “it isn’t anarchism that is moving forward, but anarchy. Not a closed Eurocentric ideology, but an open, no-holds-barred questioning and resisting.” This is what has come.
And it certainly has many names, “anarcho-primitivism, neo-primitivism, green anarchy, civilization critique, among others. For short, let’s just say we are primitivists.” And that is what so many are -- including myself. And that is the way that society is evolving right now because it is the only truly sustainable path to take for our world to not destroy all life on this planet.
Ze goes on in the article to talk about hir travels around the world, speaking about primitivism, and how so “Many [have] told me that the primitivist orientation [is] the topic of conversation and that the old anarchism [is] visibly expiring.” I could not agree more. Everywhere one goes, whoever one talks to, whether they are in the left, the right, or a straight up anarchist, primitivism is in the thoughts and on the tongues of so many people I know. People everywhere are wanting to grow their own food, and they’re doing it. People everywhere are realizing that not owning a car is a better, more sustainable life. They are realizing that growing their own herbs to treat their illnesses is more sustainable than buying pharmaceuticals. They are realizing that ending all forms of alienation from each other, is the only way to live together in peace as a human beings.
I would go so far as to say that the political Right is dying too! In their context they are increasingly wielding words such as independence, freedom, personal sovereignty, and though some may be stockpiling food and guns, they are realizing too that such a life of survivalist hording will not last them forever. And so they are growing gardens, they are returning to learning basic skills of making sox, shoes, and other clothing at home, and from local materials. Many of them are becoming increasingly discontent with government and its associated abuses of power. They are questioning it more than ever, and establish themselves independent from it.
And the validity of the words, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it” (Declaration of Independence) echo in their dialogues.
And so the crossroads is coming. I can only imagine that soon we may simply reach a tipping point at which, people realize that they must needs step away from their old conceptions and that the new is here now. It’s not going to be a thunderstorm when it comes, or an uprising. People will simply step away from power and violence in all its forms. In our conversations we will see together the forms of alienation crumble before us in our minds, we will realize together how stupid and crazy we were ever thinking and interacting in such ways that make us so foreign to each other. We will find ourselves holding each others hands, talking so closely with neighbors and friends as if there is no more family or gender or even profession, we all merely live together now without boundaries and without controls.
That’s the new world that’s coming now. Everyone senses it consciously or unconsciously. And they know that the present world is headed toward collapse too, which is even more frightening, which leads them to primitivist thinking, too. Many are trying to ignore it, but it’s on everyone’s minds, so it’s difficult. What’s especially difficult is trying to find a way out. But we’re all doing things and talking, and soon, soon, we will reach out, and we’ll know, we’ll all know it’s over — and that our new life, together sustainably with this earth has now begun.
July 24, 2009