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Civilisation, Primitivism and anarchism

Civilisation, Primitivism and anarchism

http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1451

This is an interesting article.

Comments

syphilis_jane
Oct. 13th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
If "things" (I'm sure you must mean animals) are contaminating water by expelling bodily fluids, how could any of them survive? How did humans survive until the development of water "purification"? There must have been sanitary water, and it must have been known where to find it

By "things", I actually meant animals, fungi, bacteria, etc. They and we survive largely through adaptation--including developing antibodies to fight some things ingested, moving away from over-contaminated supplies, or purifying the water--but you still have limits to how much bad stuff you can take in. It's like arsenic in the water-supply, some won't hurt you, but you still want as little arsenic as possible.

criticizing some primitivists for conflating anti-civilization with all these other things is not an effective critique of anti-civilization itself, which this article attempted to accomplish
"For the purposes of this article I'm taking as a starting point that the form of future society that primitivists argue for would be broadly similar in technological terms to that which existed around 12,000 years ago on earth, at the dawn of the agricultural revolution."

I took this to mean that the article is specifically concerned with this interpretation of primitivism rather than general anti-civilization beliefs.
teapolitik
Oct. 13th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC)
By "things", I actually meant animals, fungi, bacteria, etc. They and we survive largely through adaptation--including developing antibodies to fight some things ingested, moving away from over-contaminated supplies, or purifying the water--but you still have limits to how much bad stuff you can take in. It's like arsenic in the water-supply, some won't hurt you, but you still want as little arsenic as possible.
Which brings us, full-circle, back to my point that, short of dumping massive amounts of human waste into water sources, natural filtration would be sufficient to "purify" water. The problem with drinking water from a spring is not that "things" excrete bodily fluids in it, if that were the case, every living thing would die. The problem is that we are contaminating the water sources by putting more waste in than they can handle. Part of this is an obvious side-effect of overpopulation, but otherwise it can be dealt with pretty simply by not dumping waste into water sources.

I took this to mean that the article is specifically concerned with this interpretation of primitivism rather than general anti-civilization beliefs.
The article is not specifically concerned with one particular tendency in primitvism, as evidenced by the fact that it opens by stating that "a generalized critique of civilization has been made by a number of authors", and that "there[sic] overall argument is that 'civilisation' itself is the problem that results in our failure to live rewarding lives." The article is specifically concerned with anti-civilization, and immediately goes on to conflate that with a whole arsenal of other critiques which can, but don't necessarily, go together.

I responded particularly because I wanted to draw that distinction, because whatever the intentions of the author, it's clear that the distinction needs to be drawn. It's counter-productive for me to explain that I am not anti-agriculture nor entirely anti-technology each time I share a critique of civilization.

Nonetheless, you seem to have focused on one of the least compelling points in my response. What do you think of the rest?
syphilis_jane
Oct. 13th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see your point that it's meant to critique anti-civ in general, I was wrong about that.

you seem to have focused on one of the least compelling points in my response. What do you think of the rest?

That was mostly just nit-pickiness. I thought you made good points and I agreed with a lot of them.