zerzan john against civilization readings and reflections enlarged edition

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.\.`CCIVILIZATION AGAINST \111Z.1\`READINGS AND REFLECTIONS ENLARGED EDITION EDITED BY JOHN ZERZAN ILLUSTR.HTONS BY R.L. TUBBESTNG FERAL HOUSE Selections by the following authors, anti-copyright @ 2005, 1999, may be freely pirated and quoted: Anri-AlI(horitarians Anonymous, Lynne Clive, Des Refractaires, Feral Faun, T Fulano, Derrick Jensen, John Landau, Glenn Panon, Fredy Perlman, Alon Raab, Unabomber (AKA "EC."), David Watson, Kevin Tucker, Disorderly Conduct, John Zerzan, and the anonymous authors of "Don't Eat Your Revolution! Make It!" Selections by all other authors in this volume have been reprinted by permission of their respective publishers.Major thanks to Alice Parman for assistance and advice concerning every aspect of this book and to Kevin Tucker whose invaluable help made the second edition a realiC. A Feral House Book ISBN: 0-922915-98-9 Feral House PO Box 39910 Los Angelesj C 90039 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ww .feralhouse.com info@feralhouse.com Illustrations R.L. Tubbesing Designed by Hedi EI Kholri ~IN~Contemporary records indicate that, more than once, both rich and poor wished that the barbarians woul deliver them fom the [Roman} Empire. While some of the civilian population resisted the barbarians {with varying degrees of earnestness}, and many more were simply inert in the presence of the invaders, some activel fught for the barbarians. In 378, fr example, Balkan miners went over en masse to the Visigoths. In Gaul the invaders were sometimes welcomed as liberators fom the Imperial burden, and were even invited to occupy territory. -Joseph Tainter T combat cultural genocide one needs a critique of civilization itsel -Gary Snyder VSUALIZE INDUSTRIAL COLLAPSE -Earth First! CONTENTS Foreword: Chellis Glendinning Introduction: John Zerzan Preface: Kevin Tucker, Vllil/teudcd COllseque1lces SECTION I. OUTSIDE ClVIUZATION R!y Walker, Tie Go/dm Feast Hoxie Neale Fairchild, The Noble Savage' A Sldy ROlI/lIIllle l'lllTurfislIJean-Jacques Romsc31, Dircolrse tbe Origills oj III'qualit Henry DaVid Thoreau, "Excursions" Fredy Perlman, Agaillst His-story, Agaillst f.roia/ball! Arnold DeVries, Primifive Mall alld His rood Marshall Sahlim, "The Original Afucnt Society" L}nn Clive, "Birds Combat Civilization" John Landau, "Wildfowers: A Bouquet of Theses" Thcodor Adorno, Millill/f Morlif: Relectiolls frm Dallaged Lif .Marvin Harris, allr Killd Ramona Wilson, Spokalle iHlIscmll SECTION II. THE COMING OF CIVILIZATION George P. Marsh, The F.arth WJ Modifed by HIII(1 Actioll Frederick Turer, leolid Geogmphy: The Westtm Spirit Agaillst the Wtdemess Jafcs Ax[cll, Tbe Ilivas/Oll lithlJl: Tbe Comest of Cultures IJI ColoJ//nl Nonb Alllenca John "Zerzan, ElelJlClts of Refusal Paul Shepard, Nflure alld Madl/ess Mark Nafhan Cohen, Hmltb flld tbe Rise of Civili;(liol/ Robin Fox, Tbe Smrch fr Societ Chellis Glendinning, tHy Nmlle is Cbdlis alld I'm ill Recov frm lVesten Civ/J:.atiOIl Pierre Clasfres, Soelet Agtlllst (be S(te. ,\ladhusree Mukerjee, Tbe I.alld of tbe Naked People Robert Wolff, ReadiJig IJld IritiJig ~NI1PAGE 4 8 II 15 19 ' 27 3 I 35 39 41 4 46 49 50 53 58 65 68 74 81 90 91 95 97 99 SECTION Ill. THE NATURE OF CIVILIZATION Frildrich Schiller 01 tbe Autietic Edllct/tioll of M'II Charles Fourier, Tbeory of FOllr MOJ,elle1lts alld Gel/eml Oestillies .Sigmund Frcud, Civifiulioll flld its Diseollets John Landau, "Civilization :lnd the Primitive" ,\lax llorkheimer, hlipse of HI'aSOII Max Horkheimer, DfwlI alld Declille Richard Heinberg, "\as Civilization a Mistake?" Barbara Mor, Here: a sll/allJtory o/a IIlI lIg tOW/I J tbe all/meall sOilrb-'esr: wa"eII/l,is/ee Ivan lllich, Toward His/or of Needs Zygmunt Bauman, lHodemit fllid tbe Holocallst T. Fulano, "Ci\'ilil:tion Is Like a Jetliner" . Unabomber ("i . " "FC"), "Industrial Society and Its Fumre" T:lm:lr:lck Song, Tbe Ol Way alld ClViliwflOI Ursula K. LeGuin, WOllle1l/Wildemess SECTION IV. THE PATHOLOGY OF CIVILIZATION Max Nordnu, COllt'elltiOllfl Lies, or Ollr Civili:atioll \illi am II. Kocrke, Tbe Filial Empire: Tbe Col/apse of Civili:lioll (Ild Tbe Seed of tbe Fltllf Joseph A. Tainter, Tbe Col/apse of Complex Socidies Theodore Roszak, Wbere tbe Wastelalld Ellds: Poliflcs alld TmIlJCel/dt'lC Postmdllstnai SocIety Andrcw Bard Schmooklcr, Tbe Plrble of /be Tribu: Tbe Prblnll of POWlr ill Soci,t 11IOIIi/ioll Petcr Sloterdijk, Critiqlle of Cyllict/I Reasoll Fredric J:lmeson, 'J'e Seeds of Tillie labor of ludd, "The Medium Is the Medium" Des Refracraires, "How Nice to Be Civilized!" David W:tson, "Ci\ilil:tion in Bulk" Richard Heinbcrg, Memories fllld Visiolls 0/ Pamdise Chr}tos, "T heyre Aways Telling Me I'm Too Angry" Oswald Spcngler, Mall (Il d Tecb7i: A Colllriblltioll to a Pbilosopby of Life John Mohawk, in Seyeb of Noble Allces/ors "N11"102 105 107 108 110 112 115 116 124 129 131 136 139 141 147 150 153 155 162 167 172 176 179 182 184 187 196 19H 204 206 SECTION V. THE RESISTANCE TO CIVILIZATION 212 Rudolf Bahro, A!diHg Social mid Ecological Diflsfe The Polifiu of /ord T rmSfon/afioll 215 John Ze17an, Futlre Primitive. 220 William Morris, Ns frm Nowhere 222 Feral Faun, "FeIUl Revolution" 227 Anonym1us Don't Eat Your Revolution! "'ke h!" 231 Glenn Parton, "The Machine in Gur 1I ads" 232 Alon K. Ibab, "Revolt of the Bats" 243 Kirkpatrick Sale, Rebel! Ago/IIJttie FUlllre: LeJJolfJ frm the Lllddiw 247 Dcrnck JClcn, "Action Spcak Loudcr Than Words" 252 Anti-Authoritaf1an Anonymous, "\Vc Havc To Dismantle All This" 256 John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes, Tflkillg to the Owl flld Blltferiu 258 Group of Anarcho-Fururists, Allfrcho-filfuriit Mfllifsto Ui3 Susan Griffin, WOlllfll flld Nfltlre: Tbe Roarlllg Jllside Her Ui5 COTllmunique #23 from DISordey COlldllct #6, "Why Ci\ilization?" & 266 Sources 273 ~IFOREWORD he thing I admire about Chicano village life in New Mexico is that beneath the sleek overlay of trucks and telephones lies the stillvital infrastructure of an ancient and, until recently, undisturbed way of life. Men hunt elk and turkey. Women know plants. Curandera-healers with their potent prophetic powers live among u. Everyone knows how to build a mud house, dig the irrigation ditch, grow corn, ride a horse, and navigate through the forest 01 a moon-lit night. And despite the raging poverty that universally Aattens land-based communities when they are conquered, colonized, and consumed, there is more happiness here than in any place I have known. Ir's a simple happiness, nothing fancy, a here-and-now contentment: a story wid at the gas pump, an invitarion (Q go fshing, a rwist of language thar illuminates rhe irony ofhiS(Qry. Living here, I have leared not (Q comemplate a rrip to rhe dump or rhe village S(Qre withom carrying with me an extra twemy minmes, or an hour, (Q give and receive. Such experiences reinforce what, afrer decades of research and dozens of social-change movemems, I have long suspected. That it is not just col1lemporary industrial society that is dysfunctional; it is civilization itself. That we humans are born (Q be creatures of the land and the sea and the srars; thar we are relations (Q the animals, cohorts (Q the plants. And that our well-being. and the well-being of the very planet, depend on our pursuance of our given place within the namral world. It is against these musings rhat I ceiebrare the coming of John Zerzan's accomplishment of an anthology harboring the best of civilized people's critiques of civilization. Herein the reader will discover the questions thar need to be asked and the insighrs thar beg to be nurtured if humankind and the natural world as we know it are to thrive into the future. This book is that important. ~Y1~-Chellis Glendinning Chimay6. New Mexico 26 July 1998 INTRODUCTION )OlIN ZERZAN ince (he frst edition of Against Civiliztion [ 1 999] the general perspective referred (0 by its tide has begun (0 make sense to a growing number of people. An overall crisis-personal, social, environmental-is rapidly deepening, making such an indictment feasible, if not unavoidable. This collection is, among other things, a reminder that critiques of civilization itself are anything but new. And the past fve years have provided an opportunity to add voices to the chorus of doubters, those with enough vision to think outside civilizational confnes. The 1 5 additional selections include correctives to a serious defciency of the original book: the paucity of women and indigenous contributors [not exclusive categories, of course]. The currem edition makes some advance in these vital areas, I believe. Discontent with civilization has been with us all along, bur is coming on now with a new freshness and insistence, as if it were a new thing. To assail civilization itself would be scandalous, blH for the conclusion, occurring to more and more people, that it may be civilization that is the fundamental scandal. I won't dwell here on the fact of the accelerating destruction of the biosphere. And perhaps equally obvious is the mutilation of human nature," along with outer nature. Freud decided that the fullness of civilization would bring, concomitantly, the zenith of universal neurosis. In this he was evidently a bit sanguine, too mild in his prognosis. It is impossible to scan a newspaper and miss the