Monday, June 01, 2009


There is a political alternative usually being kept off the table when the future of mankind is being discussed. It’s called Primitivism, and is about seeking our lost or rather displaced past, our long neglected contact with nature, with the very life we have denied during the prolonged disaster called civilization.

A brief disaster and horrible condition so far, though, compared to the time humanity has wandered the Earth.

Civilization is seen as everything that is good in humanity’s existence, but it’s rather the opposite. It’s enhancing all our worst sides, encouraging everything about us so widespread today, like destruction of nature, the ruining of all life on the planet and all the horrible stuff human beings are confronted with on a daily basis. It’s destroying everything making life worth living. Some people claim there is more than one civilization, that here are several ways of organizing civilization, but that is a very misunderstood and counterproductive attitude, in my opinion.

There is only one, and it’s Death, both the spiritual, ruining us, reducing us to machines, to tiny wheels in a vast, oiled machinery, and the physical death, the end of mankind and all life on this little pinprick of eternity.

To embrace primitivism is to seek our origin, what worked for us for millions of years, to re-establish ourselves as nomadic tribes. We are natural nomads. It’s a life that’s right for us, where we are alive and thriving. Hunters and gatherers in the wilderness, where we can Live and not merely exist. To seek this state, this fire inside is to bid farewell to civilization and everything about it. Civilization and wilderness can never coexist, because civilization, by its very existence is feeding off all wilderness, all life. Civilization is monotony and regimentation personified, wilderness is variety incarnated.

So, civilization, that is totally unsustainable and both will be collapsing under its own weight, and buried by us, in a storm of joy will fade from this Earth, like the nightmare it is, and we will teach ourselves to survive and thrive in the wilderness. We will learn to move in stealth, to hunt and to recognize and acknowledge the rhythms of life awakening in us from our long sleep.

This won’t be a perfect society or in any way a paradise. There is no such thing and there never will be, fortunately not. It’s yet another work in progress, like all others, but one where children are encouraged to think and act freely and independently, instead of being crushed to pieces and dust, to nothing, like they are today. One where they grow up as free human beings, as creative and truly thriving individuals, without the constant presence of dogma and force destroying them from the cradle and to old life, without any limitation, except those put there by nature itself.

Every single individual and/or group will be able to survive on its own merit, without having to trust what’s happening far away, beyond any form for control. No one will claim they own the Earth or even a piece of it anymore, because the very thought will reduce the chance of survival. True common sense will once again take «a front seat». We won’t shit in our own nest anymore. No one is doing that, no one with what with any stretch of the imagination can be called common sense.

Many of today’s walking dead will point at everything we will lose when civilization is crashing into the bottomless, stinking pit it belongs, but that’s just more civilized bullshit, propaganda. We won’t be losing anything significant, anything not present in a considerable improved version in nature. Our «life» today is merely a pale version of what we are born to live.

Point by point the wilderness is a superior way of life. We will be in better health, dramatically better. Medicine will cure, not poison, like it does today. We will thrive, instead of dying bit by bit. We will live in a diverse society, where the very word hierarchy will be alien to us, will be seen as the insanity it is. Between two or three hours on average a day will be used to survive. The rest may be used to think, consider, create and live. Every new day, every new horizon will be an experience. This isn’t wishful thinking, but thoroughly considered realities that millions of people have tried on and long to experience in full, without the constant presence of a society praising death and suffering like a malignant tumor in our life. The world will be big again, will be endless again, and a lot more will be right in the world.

Humanity is, roughly speaking facing two options today, two paths, one breaking us down physically and mentally, with Earth ending up as a burned-out, lifeless rock in Space, or one where we won’t merely survive, but also live and thrive.

Continued civilization isn’t very likely, as it will always carry the seed of its own destruction, but if humanity’s destructive tendencies should manage to strangle the planet, to force it under our heel, and thereby continue the current society of death at the cost of our last remaining humanity then the lifeless rock is the likely and inevitable end product.

Or civilization will simply collapse by itself. The human-created Global Warming, the ever worsened social relations, and the upcoming pandemic will occur pretty much simultaneously and hasten the inevitable collapse.

But the best alternative is certainly that we choose to leave this living death, this tombstone, this monument to destruction and poison, and all its insane ways of thinking as soon as possible, not just because we have to, but because it’s the right thing to do, and return to the life we so obviously are born to live.

Other related articles at Midnight Fire:

Tailspin, suicide run

The technological glorification of technology

Not fit to sustain life

Wild man's church

We meet in the forest

Destroyers (I)


Keith Farnish said...

Wonderful piece; chimes so much with what I think and feel.

It seems like you have read my book, A Matter Of Scale, but in a way it would be better if you had not yet read it, because it means that more than just more people than I realise are thinking the same way. Something is definitely happening, and it's good.


sandykrolick, ph.d., editor FIBP said...

Anarchism seems exciting to people now because they no longer want to follow hierarchical authority, whose sovereignty is based upon power and privilege and the use of force, whether it be through taxation, military might or other means of control. The fact is there has never been a society - primal, ancient or modern - that has not had some form of guidance by an authority figure. But, hierarchical authority really emerged with the birth of the nation-state and civilization.

Freedom from authority has never existed in any human social grouping. Yet the model of primal social groupings demonstrates a type of non-hierarchical leadership model, providing us with the best example of a functioning anarchic social relationship... insofar as the 'authorities' are not some impersonal kings, magistrates and legislators, but tribal elders related to the clan members by extended bonds of kinship, who naturally provide guidance based upon personal relations, wisdom and experience.

If one calls oneself an anarchist, then one must seek to understand the roots of this straightjacket of political power from which we wish to escape, as well as the world and consciousness that was forsaken when we first put it on. To do this, one must understand the foundation of human freedom, and that foundation is in our 'primitive' pre-civilized past. So in that sense you may call me a primitivist.

Political systems must be understood in their origins if we are to find a way of successfully overcoming them. And we must understand the conditions of social life that existed prior to the birth of political and social hierarchies if we are to find an adequate model to replace the 'systems' and 'institutions' we now have in place. None of us want a revolution just to replace one system of control with another, a capitalist with a socialist, for example. But what can the habits and traditions of early, pre-civilized man tell us about how to live?

It is clear that the tame and domesticated contours of modern civilized existence have effectively eclipsed any sense of the feral in everyday life - that irrepressible, elemental quality of human embodiment. Abandoning this primeval condition, we lost our primary gift of freedom - the foundational power of just being-there, outside the chains of time and the terror of history. Forsaking primal self-sufficiency, the groundwork was laid for our entrapment, and the beginning of our enslavement.

Amos Keppler said...

That was indeed when it began, when we stopped holding our own fate in our hands.

Keith: No, I haven't read your book. I think you are right. Many people come to the same or similar conclusions independently of each other.

Keith Farnish said...

I really must check my grammar next time. I meant to say: "it means that more people than I realise..."

Anyway, I've passed on the link to a few others - you might get a few new friends out of it. Nice blog.


Amos Keppler said...

Thanks. New friends are always great.

I thought you wrote what you thought you wrote and responded to that, so everything is ok. :)

I am slightly dyslectic and didn't spot the mistakes, and "translated" what you wrote into what you meant.