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Primitivism in Relation to the Revolutionary Struggle
Many traditional anarchists reject the critique of civilization, many even deny that primitivism has anything to do with anarchism, while some, such as Wolfi Landstreicher, endorse the critique but do not consider themselves anarcho-primitivists. Anarcho-primitivists are often distinguished by their focus on the praxis of achieving a feral state of being through "rewilding".
Primitivism can also refer to any philosophy which seeks to return to the roots of a larger movement, such as Muslims and Christians who seek to return to the first few centuries of Islam or Christianity.
Primitivism believes that industrial society inevitably produces oppressive structures through specialiation of tasks or division of labor, and that technology has similar negative implications. Some forms of primitivism question civilization itself.
Many primitivists believe that civilization has forced humans to use an excessive amount of symbolism in their daily lives. People observe the world around them and express themselves very much through written and spoken language, live much of their lives through ritual and schedule, and think mostly in terms of language and common symbolism. Primitivists believe that this tendency toward excessive symbolism reduces more direct, unfiltered, sensual experience, and directly limits our thoughts and feelings to those expressable in their language.
The primitivist movement has connections to radical environmentalism.
Primitivism has been notably advocated by John Zerzan, and to some extent by Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber) and Derrick Jensen.
During the 1990s the UK magazine Green Anarchist aligned itself with the primitivist movement, although there are many who would describe themselves as 'green anarchists' who would not see themselves as subscribing to this philosophy.
The magazine Green Anarchy was started by one of the founders of Green Anarchist. Green Anarchy is published in Eugene, Oregon. One of the editors is John Zerzan.
Domestication, according to primitivists, is the process that civilization uses to induct and control life according to its strictly ordered logic. Essentially, domestication is the tendency of civilization, as an orderly, predictable system, to attempt to assimilate the entire rest of the universe into itself, to make the whole world into one colossal orderly, predictable system. The mechanisms of domestication are said to include: taming, breeding, genetically modifying, schooling, caging, intimidating, coercing, extorting from, promising, contracting, governing, enslaving, terrorizing, raping, murdering, etc. Domestication is a pathological power-process begun by some groups of early humans who wished to reduce the uncertainties and dangers of life, attempting to manufacture a completely safe and organized existence. It is ultimately this force that primitivists (especially anarcho-primitivists) array themselves against.
Primitivists also describe it (more specifically) as the process by which previously nomadic human populations shifted towards a sedentary or settled existence through agriculture and animal husbandry. They claim that this kind of domestication demands a totalitarian relationship with both the land and the plants and animals being domesticated - ultimately, it even requires a totalitarian relationship with humanity. They say that whereas, in a state of wildness, all life shares and competes for resources, domestication destroys this balance. The domesticated landscape (e.g. pastoral lands/agricultural fields and, to a lesser degree, horticulture and gardening) is seen to necessitate the end of open sharing of the resources that formerly existed; where once "this was everyone's," it is now "mine." Anarcho-primitivists argue that this notion of ownership laid the foundation for social hierarchy as property and power emerged. It inevitably entailed the cultivation and exploitation of the surrounding environs and the creation of a simultaneous monopoly and monopsony by humans, and for humans - generating over time the value-based social structures we now know in which every conceivable physical thing from food to earth to genes to ideas are viewed as quantifiable assets, which are someone's private property. It also involved the destruction, enslavement, or assimilation of other groups of early people who did not attempt to make such a transition, or who were not as far along in the transition as the destroying, enslaving, and assimilating groups.
To primitivists, domestication not only changes the ecology from a free to a totalitarian order, it enslaves the species that are domesticated, as well as the domesticators themselves. According to primitivism, then, humans are nearing the beginning of the last phase of the domestication process as we are now experimenting with direct genetic engineering, and are making dramatic and frightening advances in the fields of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. This thereby allows us to quantify and objectify ourselves, until we too become commodities and property of no greater or lesser fundamental import than any other asset.
John Zerzan, defines domestication as "the will to dominate animals and plants", and says that domestication is "civilization's defining basis"
 See also
- Radical anthropology
- Green anarchy
- An Anarchist FAQ - What is anarcho-primitivism?
 External links
- A critique of primitivism, anarcho-primitivism and anti-civilisationism - social anarchist criticism of primitivism
- "5 Common Objections to Primitivism, and Why They're Wrong" - a primitivist response to critics
- Primitivism text archive (libcom.org)
- Collection of Primitivism-related texts (theanarchistlibrary.org)
- yabanil.net (Turkish)
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