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Anarchism Vs. Primitivism - a pamphlet

Discussion in 'Anarchism and radical activism' started by punkmar77, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    [​IMG]
    This important pamphlet looks closely at the fundamental conflicts between anarchism and primitivism.

    1. The demonology of primitivism
    2. An ignoble savage
    3. What is the primitivist ideal?
    4. Realities of tribal lifeways
    5. Primitivist attacks on anarchism
    6. The bloody side of primitivism
    7. Appendix on decoding primitivist babble



    It traces primitivism's basic precepts back to their authoritarian roots, reveals primitivist misconceptions about anarchism, capitalism and technology, shows how the corporate media have used primitivism to discredit anarchism, and also shows how ideology-driven primitivists, much like fundamentalist Christians opposed to evolution, have picked through anthropological evidence to support their predetermined conclusions, while ignoring data that contradict those conclusions.

    Sheppard also considers the many primitivist straw-man attacks upon anarchism, and asks: What kind of an anarchist movement do we want - one that looks often ugly, authoritarian social reality in the eye, with the aim of transforming it into something that will lead to freer, happier lives for all of us on planet Earth, or one that wastes its time fantasizing about a non-existent Golden Age, and that would result in the deaths of billions if its precepts were followed?

    This pamphlet was originally published by See Sharp Press, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 2003. It has been digitized by libcom.org with full permission of the publisher. Any errors in formatting or spelling are solely our own.
     

  2. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    you can also download this here piece from the anarchist library....

    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/ ... rimitivism

    i gotta take a look at this... :ecouteurs:

    i've been thinking a lot lately about Mao and the important things he said....

    HAHA just kidding about Mao HAHA :p
     
  3. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Interesting.

    As one who is currently clearing land, who has built their own home and whose life depends on the extraction of the basic resources of nature for survival through my own labour I can honestly say that primitivism is the most ridiculous idea imaginable. I like having a shovel, an axe, a fork and so does my back and stomach.

    Anyone spouting Zerzan or interested in realistic social ecological structures should really read Murray Bookchin instead. A rational ecologist, a practical anarchist and his ideas of libertarian municipalism are very simple and realistically achievable.

    But don't get me wrong, urbanisation is the bane of human existence, it is the centralisation of humanity and should be fought. Contemporary North American cities exist for only one purpose the concentration of wealth and power through centralisation of humanity, the exploitation of rural populations and nature. What were once bastions of industry are now mere shells of the global financial system. Ask yourself this, what exactly does the city you live in produce and what would it's relevance be after an anarchist re/volution?
     
  4. Kobac

    KobacExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    You are right about usefulness of cities in society, they are nothing more than tombstones that are above our heads.Foundation of every civilization is a farmer who produces your food and basic necessities.
    in my opinion primitives were native americans/indians, from them we can learn about nature and living with nature.
    Nice reading you found there punkmar.i will read it definitely.
     
  5. THEBLACKNOVA

    THEBLACKNOVAExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    So i started reading this piece and ill finish it, but so far it sounds like some "Red Anarchist" annoyed a bit because some "Green Anarchists" were getting American Media Attention, a couple years after the The Battle In Seattle in 1999 haha...

    he even mentions this classic clip...

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i_4xEBCdys[/video]

    haha...

    the author docent like Kaczynski's acts, but seems to forget Berkman's act on old man Frick HAHA it seems they both were just following some theory on Direct Action to the same conclusion...one was murderous while the other is not mention so far...HHHHMMMM HA

    Anyway ill continue reading...
     
  6. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    The use of the word "primitive" in this context is inappropriate but I understand your point.

    Native American societies were far from primitive and were only classified as such by Europeans. The majority of pre-European Native American culture that I am aware of describes egalitarian matriarchal social structures, horticultural agricultural system with a food forest concept we are only beginning to understand through permaculture and rich spiritual understanding of themselves and their place in the world. Celtic Britain, Ireland and France had similar traits as did many other cultures prior to Romanization. I blame the Romans \m/ and those that cling to their imperialism for much of what has occurred to the world since. It makes an interesting comparison with Roman/ Britain/ American Imperialist systems based on inequality on one hand and Celtic/ Native American/ Third World countries on the other.
     
  7. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Yeah you should read more....
     
  8. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    While I agree with the authors anti-primitivist stance this quote was truly arrogant. He seems to have a cultural issu :thumbsup: e more than a practical one, who cares if they are vegetarian? naturalist? nudist? or otherwise each being a personal choice and an expression of personal freedom. Even though I am not a vegetarian I do not believe that they "sidetrack true anarchist goals" and who the fuck was he to define for others what "true anarchist" goals are. Sounds more like the typical industrial attitude towards an agrarian community, we all backwards, come urbanite and tell us how to be like you. I do use a tractor but I completely agree with the "one resident" who refuses to enslave an animal into a beast of burden. I know several farms that operate and produce quite successfully with only a broad fork. And what is wrong with going barefoot? The quote was misplaced to say the least.

    You know, the more I consider the article, the more I realise how much of it is attacking non-industrial anarchism and using primitivism as a cover. Back to nature anarchism or Agrarian Anarchism is not the same as primitivist anarchists. It is about restructuring society from an agrarian basis rather than an urban industrial one. Many Anarchists think in terms of the large cultural revolutions; Russia, Spain, France, China, etc. Sam Dolgoff, one of those anarchists, sounds like a Stalinist in anarchist clothing and would possibly have viewed the Makhnovist soviet's in rural Ukraine the same way, applauding the Bolsheviks when they asserted control over the upstart agrarian community. Indeed the first victim of the majority of all revolutions has been the rural communities. Control the country side, control the farmer and you control the food and nothing can happen without food.
     
  9. sheep6665

    sheep6665Active Member Forum Member


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    Seriously guys you're shitposting right now.
    Both agriculture and industry are important for us.
    However we can produce a lot(what a lot means? enough) of food with relatively small expense of human power, while the industry goods require a lot of them because of specialisation and quantity of different industrial goods. That's why modern world is so urban-centred.
     
  10. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Neither an industrial process nor agriculture require the large populations in the mega-cities. Capitalism requires the large populations as a means of wage control and during the industrial revolution actually carried out depopulation of rural areas to ensure that the labour pool would be available. I ask again what is the purpose of the city you may live in? A city like Vancouver, produces nothing and is essentially a financial capital that governs the distribution of wealth from production of resource based industries in the rural areas of BC (oil, forestry, agriculture, hydro power, water, etc) then exchanges that product to fatten their pockets. Detriot is a great example of an industrial city that did not 'make the cut" to become a financial city after the emergence of 'free trade' agreements eroded the US manufacturing sector.

    The fact is rural populations in third world countries are declining not due to the 'need' for the concentration of labour for industrial processes but the coercive power of industrial economies to drain rural economies of any financial stability forcing rural population into urban areas to survive. The underground immigration to the US is due to very similar circumstances. The capitalist industrial system requires this, not the technological or the industrial process itself. The draining of the rural populations also concentrates the "ownership" of agricultural lands into fewer and fewer hands necessitating the industrial agricultural system that causes mass destruction of the natural environment and inevitably leads to further reliance on chemicals and invention of things like GMO crops.

    This is not shit posting.
     
  11. sheep6665

    sheep6665Active Member Forum Member


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    Nope, you seem to don't understand how is this working.
    Let's say we have a big deposits of iron somewhere, so we're going to have mines.
    There are miners in mines(yeah... O RLY?), they want to live nearby to not waste whole day on getting to and off work.
    They also require some services, like shops, barbers, pubs etc. Which increases the number of residents in said mining town.
    They are mining raw minerals, but it's a waste to not smelt them in the same place, so we're going to have foundry built here.
    There are more workers in foundry which have more needs that exceed the supply. So there will be more shops, pubs etc.
    The circle continues, you're going to have various factories on the same place, which employ workers who have their needs that someone is going to fulfil(and this ones also have their needs). Even though its a capitalist process I don't see anything wrong here apart from obvious things like central-capitalist management of said factories.
    So we have miners, workers, engineers and service-employees in the area around our factor(y/ies).
    The everyday "clash" of masses coming from various places with one unifying thing - the fact they're living in one city - makes cities more likely to be a centre of art which is attractive for mid-to-higher classes. So the city grows and grows absorbing capital and people. That's how industrial cities grow.
    Of course the industry do not require big cities, but they're much more practical when it comes to it, on the other hand agriculture needs big open areas so large population density isn't really good for it.
    Note that I didn't even mentioned officials, teachers etc. which are next "financially independent" groups(like miners or workers. if we wouldn't count taxes.

    The financial centres are abomination though and it seems that most of 1st world cities are going to be them so yeah - you're right at this part.

    Well, maybe you are right but:
    This is shitposting, the only purpose of whole sentence is to troll "Red Anarchists".
     
  12. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    This was my original point.

    I do understand the nature of distance and accumulation of population based on industry, I have worked several heavy industrial jobs including forestry, oil exploration and coal mining; all of which I find environmentally disgusting but I work in one of those "support" trades. If people really felt the way you expressed then they would remain and bring their families to those areas. They do NOT. Most travel on a set weekly schedule and would not CHOOSE to live next to said mine, smelter, forestry etc. Even places like the Alberta tar sands where thousands of people (mostly single men) work, they do not bring their families rather, fly in or live a detached reality in a prefabricated "camp". Though an exception is made for some primary processing of raw material, such as saw mills where the atmosphere is not as toxic of industrial around the mill.

    Secondary manufacturing is typically located close to a port or national airport where products of manufacturing can be transported efficiently to the destination of consumption. Transportation of raw materials is kept to a minimum and done through truck or railway. Nobody chooses to live in an industrial wasteland. Do we need these mega industrial areas? Would a decentralized industrial system not serve society, not encourage more innovation and move people from the cog in the machine type specialization necessary for Fordian type industry and into a more evolved appreciation of what they are producing? I mean consider a needs based economy, would it be necessary to build a billion cars? or trillions of disposable plastic goods? or would we really stand for the destructive mechanized agricultural processes? If all that is not necessary they why have massive urban developments, why have mega cities?

    The mega city, supports a capitalist consumption economy, not a practical needs based one. I would suspect that a needs based society would require centers of processing, industry, arts and culture but I do not accept that they would be similar to the centralized concentrations of humanity that we have today. I have not said that I am against community or centers of community; I quite enjoy the towns around where I live, I have said that I am against urban centers particularly those that only exist to service the needs of the financial sector.

    All that said, we live in a post industrial world therefore the modes of understanding society and structures of society are evolving. I do believe we are undergoing a psychological transformation of human consciousness and only time/ history will tell what the results will be.

    And I can believe you called Black Nova a troll :lmao:
     
  13. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    I missed this point, actually an efficient diversified small farm operation requires about 10 acres and that would include grain, veg, nuts, fruit and livestock (if your into meat or dairy). That size of operation can be supported by one family and can produce enough to feed an additional 10 families. I could do the math but I am a little lazy for that. I will hypothesize that there is enough land for such operations to feed all of the needs of humanity, not to mention the shanty towns of underpaid and unsupported migrant workers that exist in the US, Central and South America, Africa, India, southeast Asia etc.

    This I know as after my many years working in some of the most hostile environments and under the worst conditions I am now a small lot farmer and very involved in community food security.
     
  14. Rebellious twit

    Rebellious twitExperienced Member Experienced member


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    if the whole idea around anarchism is supposed to be about progress why are they calling themselves anarchists? o_O
     
  15. sheep6665

    sheep6665Active Member Forum Member


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    10 acres ~ 0,04 km^2(am I right?), for one family, let's say in 2+2 model.
    That gives ~25 such families per square km, so around 100ppl/km^2.
    This, given the fact you need to feed 10bln(I know there are 6 or 7bln, but it's a near future) of people create a need for around 1bln of farmers, and you'll need 40mln square km for them. I don't want to dig but you'll probably find even more land which would be possible to cultivate.
    If we'd count efficiency in mind it's quite bad - developed countries like Japan can generate surplus even though farmers are less than 5% of total population, while your proposition gives around 9%(considering the fact, that children are helping with work, it's quite common).

    You have 91% of population to live "somewhere" anyway(overproduction is a waste), I hope you won't put them in small apathetic towns(because it's much better than dem big cithiez), it's a crime :lmao:
     
  16. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Okay let's look at Japan, it does not create anything close to an agricultural surplus, in fact it imports over 60% of it's food and that isn't taking into account the Fukushima and land lost due to radioactivity. Australia actually leads the world in agricultural surplus at 173% of its need, Canada second at around 168% followed by the US at 124%; China is probably in there as well but I couldn't find the numbers.

    http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/future-of-food-in-japan/

    Also interesting is the average age of farmer in Japan being around 65 which is comparable to most developed nations, I believe that here in Canada that age has now gone up to 68. With few people to replace the farmer, land is being bought up by multinational agricultural corporations.

    I was also not speaking of efficiency in terms of production rather in what is comfortable to a farmer. On average my partner and I work 12 hours per day six days per week and earn 300 per week. I enjoy what I do, I'm not complaining. Using the 10 to 1 ration, I would be at around 6 hours per day, 6 days per week which would be fair to the farmer. I also believe that whether you choose to grow your own food or not, global oil will price imported food beyond what the average person can afford. Given the number of people I have met and know they would choose my lifestyle if not for the long hours and little pay and those who were farming but gave it up for second jobs they had to work to support their farms; the actual number of people who would choose to farm under a fair system is probably far higher than 10 to 1.

    I did like your math, far more than I was willing to calculate. :beer:
     
  17. sheep6665

    sheep6665Active Member Forum Member


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    Maybe you're right, but you still didn't answered what would you do with those 91% of population(fuck this, let's say it's 75 or 60, because we don't need to reach maximum efficiency for single farm - especially if it means that we have to extensively use artificial fertilizers).
    Also as far as I know China don't produce surplus(but I fucked the thing with Japan, so what do I know), they were still receiving some international help not that long ago(2005?), I guess that it's better now, as they stopped demographic boom, but getting statistical info from China is quite complicated, especially when it is about standard of living.
    Well, maybe I'm not looking at the right side of problem - I think that we should find ways of producing needed amount of goods with minimal workforce, while some needs are basically fake(I won't even tell how much I laughed when some company tried to convince me that I NEED new phone for valentines, because I can play "romantic songs" on it, like my 5 years old one can't...except the fact it can), but who the hell could tell which is real?
     
  18. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    K, sheep I understand your perspective. What is done with the 75% of society? From an agrarian anarchist standpoint everything begins with farming, feeding ourselves and everyone else. In order to do that farmers need things, hand tools, power tools, tractors (big and small depending on the operation), Implements, occasionally back hoes, stuff like that; now we have need for mechanics, engineers, machinists, fuel processing, metal processing (we could actually do away with a LOT of personal vehicles and recycle rather than mine new materials) what about getting the food to the settlements of non-farmers; we need trucks, drivers, warehouses, distribution, storage, refrigeration, another who list of service, trades and other workers; I like my food cooked (as most probably do) what about power generation, electricians, engineers, scientists... we need greenhouses, seed development, raw and milled lumber, pumps, potable water. The list goes on and on. As a farmer communication with populations centers, access to community entertainment, musicians, artists, philosophers are all important.

    Agrarian Anarchism is not about everyone being farmers, it's about basing our society from an agrarian or simply put the basic need to eat then building up.

    I liked the phone thing :lmao: I do not own a cell, my partner does, but it is only used as an emergency number for our children and we were given it by her brother-in-law who is an upgrade junkie. I do not understand the need for a cell, tablet, PDA or anything else like that. I don't hold it against anyone, I just don't understand. I wouldn't even have a house phone if I could. The internet at home, mp3 player those are my few extravagances.
     
  19. Annie

    AnnieExperienced Member Experienced member


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    after your romantic illusions about the european celts, the americas natives and Murray Bookchins "anarchism" (maybe you missed out some things between the 7th century BC and 1999?) a couple of posts ago, this is really today's most absurd statement - so I want to ask:
    what came first: your need for a nice personal heaven or "agrarian anarchism"?
    but I guess an answer is obsolete, because all the while the braindrain takes the rural youth away to join us poor dystrophia-dwellers to be controlled by the virtual financial capital - hu!
    and because the urban fertility on ideas and change (remember Bookchin?) we are about to find out that everything begins with the people & their opportunity/ability to combine the hammer and the sickle, gain knowledge and skills instead a professional tunnel view decorated with petty illusions.

    and by the way, this thread is about
     
  20. Danarchy

    DanarchyExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Wow, Annie did you become a member to launch that diatribe?

    You really have offered nothing but hurtling abuse. Such directed personal attack I must have hit a nerve or offended or maybe you just don't like farmers, oh well, you have yet to offer any discussion that would make me value your opinion.

    And as for what the thread is about sheep and I were have a discussion, only a little off topic, but offered as an alternative to the simplistic and apocalyptic vision of primitivists.
     
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