A finger of the pulse of modern life April 1, 2011Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Primitivism, Technology.
I just attended a panel discussion on primitivism and Christianity by Ched Myers, Layla AbdelRahim, and John Zerzan. As much as their idealization of nature frustrates me, the critique of civilization as inherently hierarchical and the cause of immeasurable damage to the human psyche resonates powerfully. The transition from a nomadic hunter-gather lifestyle to agriculture-supported cities goes a long way toward explaining the omnipresent oppression we find ourselves in today.
I particularly liked AbdelRahim’s comments on the domestication of sexuality: ey characterized it as a shift from open enjoyment of bodies and pleasures to a stifling focus on heterosexual pairing and reproduction. Primitivists tell a charming story of material sustenance, communal cooperation, individual freedom, leisure, and uninhibited bonobo-esque orgies. To this extent I share their goals. I acknowledge the anthropological and archeological evidence suggests hunter-gatherers lived happier – though shorter – lives than we do inside the industrial machine. While I look to social struggle and innovation to realize a similar dream without abandoning the material advantages the species has recently achieved, at this point the indictment of the culture of domination appears most important.