Tag Archives: Abe Cabrera

Ángeles de luz

Traducción del texto “Angels of light” de Abe Cabrera.

Traducción a cargo de Zúpay.

¡Ánimo a los traductores, difusores, y propagandistas eco-extremistas!


La gente podría confundirse al pensar que soy un adolescente furioso en busca de atención. Pero esto se trata prácticamente de lo contrario. Si “odio” a la sociedad, al menos en mi caso, no es personal. Estoy entrando en mi cuarta década, y ustedes ya saben que tengo hijos. Mi vida es “feliz”, e incluso cómoda. Supongo que de lo que realmente se trata esto no es enojo, o venganza, o de ser un “psicópata” (de la cual la gente suele acusarme a menudo). Se trata de consistencia. Aquellos que saben de este proyecto, aquellos que lo ven como una especie de amenaza, o tienen la insaciable necesidad de hacer comentarios al respecto, generalmente están persuadidos por el izquierdismo (aunque lo nieguen). En su universo, hay gente buena y gente mala, y ellos son siempre los buenos. “Aquellos que están destruyendo la tierra tienen nombre y apellido”. Claro, nunca son SUS nombre y apellidos. Como en la obra de Rene Girard, lo que ellos buscan es un chivo expiatorio. El mundo es horrible y no cumple sus expectativas de no ser dominados o lo que sea, y los culpables son fáciles de descifrar: policías, altos mandos de empresas, policías, nazis, gente rica, policías, votantes conservadores, fascistas, policías, el estado, policías… ¿y ya mencionamos a los policías? Ah sí, policías… Como he declarado en el pasado, esa gente tiende a auto-seleccionar su entorno, e incluso el área geográfica donde viven. Ellos tienden a alojarse en áreas urbanas, cerca de gente con ideas parecidas (gente de inclinación izquierdista). Quizás incluso han huido de “lugares horribles”, donde no hay anarquistas, ni okupas, ni restaurantes veganos…

¡Qué barbaridad! Ellos están escapando de algo, creen que poniendo una distancia entre ellos y el enemigo lo arreglara todo. El problema es que a quienes ellos desprecian, también pueden ser “personas agradables”. Quizás su universo no puede conciliar a la increíblemente agradable viejita que tiene pegado un sticker de “Dios bendiga a la policía” en su auto, pero que está curando niños enfermos sin cargo porque es lo que su fe en dios le indica que haga. O quizás ellos no hablen con oficiales militares o sus familias regularmente. Yo si lo hago. Esa es mi realidad, en la confortable América suburbana. El hecho de que dedique tiempo en eso es, bueno, hipocresía. ¿Y?

Ven, aquí está la diferencia entre el anarquista revoltoso, que piensa que ser incontratable es de alguna forma un duro golpe para la civilización o lo que sea, y yo; la moralidad no salva a nadie. Determina quien morirá o será arrojado a la cárcel, pero eso no significa que no se volverá en tu contra, incluso si le pones un punto a cada “i”, y una línea a cada “t”.

En cuanto a nosotros, gente domesticada, somos como indefensas gallinas en una granja-factoría. No podemos escapar realmente, e incluso aunque pudiéramos, seguimos siendo gallinas. No tiene sentido pretender lo contrario. La gente que pudiera cazar y recolectar su comida prácticamente DESDE EL NACIMIENTO, es diez veces más fuerte que cualquiera de nosotros, los que sucumbimos a la civilización; podría nombrar al menos una docena, de los primeros que se me vienen a la cabeza. Eso no es un problema intelectual, o de falta de voluntad. Estamos en medio de una guerra de desgaste, y la civilización gana frente a cualquier oponente, exceptuando la entropía. Y el juego continúa hasta que alguno salga victorioso. Tener “buenos pensamientos”, “buen comportamiento”, odiar a la gente adecuada y amar a aquellos que piensan como tú no te salvará, ni a tu precioso movimiento o ideas.

De hecho, lo que mantiene unida a la civilización últimamente, es el amor y la comunidad. Podrá ser un amor distorsionado, pero es amor para los híper-civilizados. Si quieres saber porque el mundo está hecho un desastre, no se trata de que las personas sean malas entre ellas. Se trata de que son buenas. Debido a que el militar tiene hijos y una esposa que lo ama, es que se recorre medio mundo para asesinar a alguien, quien resulta que también tiene una esposa e hijos que le aman. Debido a que la mujer es respetuosa y reza por la policía, es que tiene una sonrisa en su rostro, y la amabilidad para hacerse cargo del niño. No puedes separar ambas cosas.

Los izquierdistas/progresistas creen que pueden: solo cambiar una autoridad por la otra, un sistema organizado de violencia por otro, pero el contenido no cambia. Nunca han tenido éxito, pero “aún es posible”. El problema con que te agraden algunas parte de la sociedad, pero odies las otras, es que se trata de un solo cuerpo. Es como decir que uno ama los dedos pero odia la mano: no tiene sentido.

Cualquiera se da cuenta de eso: Por eso ponen stickers en sus autos apoyando a la policía. Por eso juran lealtad, llaman a la policía para que atrape a los criminales, y aspiran a que sus hijos sean “ciudadanos productivos”.

Últimamente, esa es la razón por la cual los izquierdistas animan a la gente a seguirle el juego a los burgueses “menos malos”, los anarquistas se limitan a acciones puramente simbólicas o reformistas, e incluso aquellos que se reivindican en contra de la civilización, perpetuán su modus operandi moral. Y esa es la razón por la que la gente odia a los eco-extremistas. Ellos son los únicos que admiten que quizás nuestras nítidas categorías de culpable e inocente, maldad y bondad, son meras ficciones cuando llegas al fondo del asunto.

Por supuesto, aquí el lector “cuerdo” pondrá el grito en el cielo y dirá:

“¿Entonces que, deberíamos simplemente volar a todos en pedazos? Si es la conclusión lógica de lo que estas exponiendo, es absurdo y de hecho falso”. Quizás. Pero cualquier otro argumento moral flaquea y se cae de cara también. El policía al que quieres ahorcar tiene esposa e hijos. Tu abuela no lo quiere ahorcado. ¿Está equivocada? ¿Porque? El empresario que envenena los ríos o lo que sea también tiene hijos. Quizás se ofrezca de voluntario para entrenador en las pequeñas ligas en el fin de semana. Los niños a los que entrena y probablemente muchos de sus trabajadores no quieren que pongas una bala en su cabeza. ¿Están equivocados? ¿Porque? ¿Deshacerse de esta gente te llevara a tu utopía? ¿Su sangre vale la pena? ¿Quién lo dice?

Dejaría a esta gente con su casuística, y buscaría gente que al menos sea consistente, quienes no sientan la necesidad de quedarse como abogados canónicos y padres confesos, justificando su deseo de violencia y venganza. Es cierto, yo no participaré de estos actos: quizás soy demasiado híper-civilizado para ir por ese camino. Seguiré parloteando con la esposa del militar, y tratando con respeto a los ancianos amantes de la policía. De eso se trata una doble vida, y no me molesta en lo absoluto.

Su bondad es lo que está destruyendo todo aquello que amo y valoro. De todas maneras seguiré intentando abordar el mundo tan inocente como una paloma, pero tan sabio como una serpiente, sabiendo muy bien que: “No te asombres; que el adversario mismo se disfraza como ángel de luz.”

Corintios II. 11:14

(en) Response to John Zerzan

Video respuesta del jefe de la revista Atassa, a el anciano hippie Zerzan y su cría, Kevin Tucker.

Al parecer, los eco-extremistas en Estados Unidos han tocado fibras sensibles para los anarco-primitivistas, tanto así que estos han escrito columnas y columnas de supuestas críticas, y han emitido varios comentarios directos e indirectos en sus radios “autogestivas”.

¡Por el derrumbe de las viejas ideiologizaciones, el presente está plagado de horrores, solo los más valientes se atreven a entrar en él y asumir consecuencias!

(en) Atassa update

Informativo número 2 de la revista Atassa, en donde Abe Cabrera da algunas actualizaciones y noticias entorno a la revista eco-extremista en inglés.

El jefe editor de Atassa, habla sobre su reciente trabajo titulado “What the Internet Looks Like”, publicado en Hunter/Gatherer, en el cual crítica las implicaciones híper-civilizadas del uso de la tecnología en esta era moderna. También expone su postura anti-política respecto a los sucesos acontecidos en Estados Unidos recientemente.

¡Apoyando las iniciativas de difusión eco-extremista!


What the Internet Looks Like

Ingrid Burrington’s book, Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure, is probably the opposite of what an eco-radical would want to read, but it shouldn’t be. For one thing, I have never been a fan of nature field guides, whether these aim to teach which plants are edible, which birds can be seen at what time of year, and other facts related to outdoor activities. I would argue (perhaps flippantly) that those field guides affirm a cultural lie, namely that “Wild Nature” exists as a separate geographic space that can be returned to at one’s leisure. Or rather, nature can be compartmentalized and preserved as a sanctuary in the midst of a hyper-technical world. I am guilty of doing this, of course; of “Googling” what a random berry was while on a hike and other reluctant uses of technology.

Burrington’s book aims at the opposite: to illustrate what our world is really like in the place that is most “our world” than any other: New York City. I am not the most well-travelled person in the world by any means, but I have seen my share of cities. None can compare with the overwhelming mass of concrete, glass, and asphalt that one faces when entering the island of Manhattan. Burrington’s own tour aimed to “find the Internet” in the midst of the largest city of the wealthiest country in history. Complete with drawings and illustrations, it is a field guide in every sense. The book shows you what a particular manhole cover means, where to find important Internet exchanges, as well as the politics of the myriad of video cameras and other detection devices that are used to fight terrorism and crime. Burrington illustrates the physicality of the Internet, which in the end is the key to its ineffable transcendence:

One of the hardest parts of trying to see the Internet, of trying to even answer the question of how you see the Internet, is scale. The writer Quinn Norton has written of the difficulty of telling stories today in “a world where falling in love, going to war, and filling out tax forms looks the same; it looks like typing.” There is an unexpected intimacy to living with screens, but that intimacy does not typically extend to the cable and conduits the screens rely upon. As the ‘division’ between real life” and “online life” is increasingly understood to be fiction (i.e. what people say and do online has real-world consequences, retweets are not endorsements, your boss can find your Tinder profile), the Internet’s landscapes continue to appear at a remove from those physical landscapes where we fall in love, go to war, and fill out tax forms. Ironically, the reason we can ever have those weirdly personal moments with machines is because the landscapes of the Internet are folded into the landscapes of everyday life. We basically live inside a really big computer.

What Burrington does in the following pages is describe what that “really big computer” looks like. This is often difficult since part of the illusion is that the computer is invisible, that we continue to see “the computer” as something we write with at a desk or that we carry in our pocket. There are symbols on the ground for the thousands and thousands of miles of fiber optic and other wires that power and transmit information between machines. All of these symbols have a history and a special meaning. There are class considerations as well: companies like Verizon place modern and faster wire infrastructure under wealthy and gentrifying neighborhoods, even when political measures have been made to keep the Internet “democratic.” The movement of the economy itself, reduced to the logic of the roulette wheel and the Blackjack table, often hinges on the fractions of a second advantage that a certain fiber optic cable has over another:

The pursuit of a microsecond advantage led to a lot of demand on Wall Street for low-latency networks, a term used to describe the length of delay in data transmissions. Lower latency means less delay and faster trades. After apparently reaching the limits of mathematics for increasing speed, traders turned to physical proximity for lower latency. Data centers that housed stock exchanges offered expensive colocation services that placed a trading firm’s servers closer to the exchange servers to improve latency (since the cable connecting the servers was shorter, data traveled a shorter distance and got to the server faster). New companies emerged, promoting ultra-low-latency networks by leasing private fiber lines. One company, Spread Networks, built an entirely new fiber optic network from Chicago to New York to be able to achieve – and charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for – a three-millisecond advantage.

Even here, in spite of the Internet being an ethereal entity in the everyday imagination, its physicality is a pressing concern at the highest institutional level.

On the ground, the Internet is visible in junction boxes and under manhole covers, with large exchanges of wires transmitting and governing billions of activities. LinkNYC is a system of free Wi-Fi kiosks that aimed to replace the obsolete network of payphones during the middle of the last decade. While the free Internet access is appreciated by some when wandering the city, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have raised concerns regarding the tremendous amount of data collection that these kiosks carry out in the effort to “better serve” users. It is not clear what happens to the data, or if it is shared with other government agencies, especially law enforcement. As Burrington writes:

To paraphrase George Orwell, if you want a vision of the future of public Wi-Fi, imagine a corporation doing exactly the kind of vaguely slimy things corporations do by design – forever.

In another place in the book, Burrington makes the accurate analogy of one’s personal Smartphone constantly “barking” one’s presence to Wi-Fi hotspots, thus making anyone easily locatable at least in theory.

The Internet may not be in one place, but it does have important centers which, in a city like New York, are often major buildings that were important during past eras of the communications industry. These are the “carrier hotels” where different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and network companies “check in” and cross one another. These buildings, such as the ones at 60 Hudson Street and 32 Avenue of the Americas, aren’t exactly a secret, but neither are they open to the public in many instances. Burrington comments half-jokingly that these major pieces of infrastructure have not quite reached tourist-stop status as in the case of Hoover Dam or other impressive public works.

The last part of Burrington’s book concerns infrastructure that is tied into the Internet but that consists of things that we don’t usually think of as the Internet. These include cell phone towers, Read Radio Frequency Identification devices embedded in E-ZPass devices (for toll collection), ShotSpotter which detects gunshots in urban environment to assist law enforcement, and surveillance cameras in subways and street corners. If the world is now a computer, these devices are its eyes and ears. Many of these systems communicate with each other wirelessly. The cameras of the New York Police Department are a particularly mysterious web of machines that dot the urban landscape. As Burrington writes:

When I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the exact number and location of these cameras, I was denied on the grounds that it would reveal “non-routine techniques and procedures”; furthermore disclosure “would enable the planning of criminal activity so as to reduce the possibility of being caught on video.”

Overall, Burrington’s book gives both a physical and incorporeal portrait of the Internet in a hyper-urbanized environment. It describes the Internet as infrastructure composed of metal, plastic, mortar, and other elements. On the other hand, its astounding complexity, its mind-boggling reach, and its penetration deep into the human psyche make it an almost spiritual phenomenon: the assembling of people and technology into a hive-mind of astounding proportions. One wonders if it is impossible to attack the Internet since human beings themselves, domesticated and hyper-civilized humanity, have become the Internet. Or to invert the characterization of Nature by the early Karl Marx, perhaps the goal of civilization is for man to become the organic body of the Machine. And as Burrington cites in her book, how this occurs looks a lot like typing.

(pt) RUMO À SELVAGERIA: Desenvolvimentos Recentes no pensamento Eco-Extremista no México

Traducción al portugués del texto “Tendiendo a lo salvaje: Recientes desarrollos en el pensamiento Eco-extremista en México. Publicado en inglés por Ritual Magazine.

El dicho texto, Abe Cabrera resalta la importancia del discurso eco-extremista empezado desde el grupo, Individualistas tendiendo a lo salvaje (Its) en 2011, pasando a llamarse Reacción Salvaje (RS) en 2014, y ahora consolidándose como Individualistas Tendiendo a lo Salvaje (ITS) en 2016.

Traducción a cargo de Ctenomys.

¡Teoría y práctica en el Eco-extremismo, un arma de doble filo!


its22

Introdução

“Isso foi chamado de Guerra Chichimeca e começou perto do momento da morte de Hernan Cortes (1547), simbolicamente fechando a “primeira” conquista do México. A nova guerra, travada na vasta área selvagem que se estende para o norte das terras da vitória de Cortes, ensanguentou quatro décadas, 1550-1590, a mais longa guerra indígena na história norte-americana. Foi a primeira competição plena e constante entre civilização e selvageria do continente.”

Philip Wayne Powell, Soldiers, Indians, & Silver: North America’s First Frontier War, vii

Em 2011, um grupo que se autodenomina “Individualidades Tendendo ao Selvagem” (Individualidades Tendiendo A Lo Salvaje – ITS) iniciou uma série de ataques eco-terroristas no México. Estes ataques variavam de cartas-bombas enviadas para diversas instituições de pesquisa em todo o país até o assassinato de um pesquisador em biotecnologia em Cuernavaca, Morelos. Para cada tentativa de atentado à bomba ou ação, o ITS publicava comunicados explicando os motivos por trás dos ataques, e usavam os ataques como “propaganda pelo ato” para propagar suas idéias. Em 2014, após uma série de polêmicas e auto-críticas, suas forças supostamente se juntaram com outros grupos aliados no México e mudaram seu nome para “Reação Selvagem” (Reacción Salvaje – RS). Este último grupo caracteriza-se como um grupo de “sabotadores niilistas, nômades incendiários, delinquentes individualistas, anarco-terroristas e críticos política e moralmente incorretos” [1], entre outros. Desde sua re-nomeação, o RS assumiu a responsabilidade pelo bombardeio de um Teleton, bem como pela recente agitação durante manifestações contra o governo na Cidade do México.

Não há nenhuma maneira de saber o número ou o tamanho de ITS/RS, as suas origens para o observador externo parecem obscuras e suas influências parecem indefinidas. Em seus comunicados há muitas citações de Theodore Kaczynski (conhecido como “Unabomber” ou “Clube da Liberdade” [Freedom Club]), bem como referências passageiras a Max Stirner e vários pensadores anarco-primitivistas. Seu método de ação e preferência por comunicados também sugerem óbvia influência de Kaczynski. Ao longo de seus escritos, no entanto, os indivíduos do ITS/RS insistem que não representam ninguém além de si mesmos, ética e ideologicamente. Conforme expresso no primeiro comunicado do ITS: Continue reading (pt) RUMO À SELVAGERIA: Desenvolvimentos Recentes no pensamento Eco-Extremista no México

(en) Ephemera

Interesante reflexión de parte del jefe editorial de la revista Atassa, Abe Cabrera.

¡Con lo Desconocido de nuestro lado!


So I am doing a little update concerning this project, tied into a bunch of personal reflections, whatever. In no particular order:

My post, “Nihilist Parenting Tips” was mentioned elsewhere on the Internet. While the post is not portrayed in a negative light, the author did say this:

I might be guilty of wishing them to – in my own aforementioned desires to have children – as Cabrera puts it “sacrifice themselves for an ideal they have no stake in”. But as I see myself and other living beings (and as I argue in Feral Consciousness), my selfhood is perpetually an extension of Being, which is part of a ecological community that spans bioregion of this planet. So in an entirely non-idealised and egoist sense, I have an immediate stake in this stuff and they would also. So that part of Cabrera’s argument is one I do not share.

This might open a whole can of worms, so I’ll just say, I feel I have an “immediate stake.” I am just under no illusions that I can do anything about it. I feel that the one thing people simply DO NOT GET about Atassa or eco-extremism or whatever is that this ISN’T ABOUT HUMANS! Indeed, I just got done translating the 22nd Communique and it’s pretty blatant about that. I don’t see humanity as anything else other than a pawn to be sacrificed in the great scheme of things. True, I am not the one playing, but when the rook takes pawn, or queen takes pawn, it’s not big deal in the end.

“But won’t somebody think of the children!” I think about my children, of course. I spend more time with my kids than the average Western father does. I don’t parent radically different from the average Western parent. I am not training my kids for collapse, or to be especially militant. I love my children. I like to be with my children. Long ago, someone said to me that a father who is there is the best father of all, even if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I have made a special effort to be there at least.

The cited passage then is not about “giving up” on my kids or not caring about the destruction of the Earth, or anything of that sort. It’s more about realizing that the game is rigged and the more one “fights” in the conventional sense, the more stuck in the mire of complexity one becomes (think of the Chinese finger puzzle). I oppose the concept of “humanity”. Heck, I oppose the concept of the “biosphere”. Coyotes, alligators, finches, etc. don’t think globally, they don’t think about saving a “world” they know nothing about, so why should I get worked up over it? The fact that we conceive of it as a system is part of the problem. The fact that we distinguish the “whole” from the “part” is what sinks us. That is why I like the eco-extremist term “Wild Nature” (Naturaleza Salvaje) and how the eco-extremists talk of “el desconocido”: literally, “the Unknown” but I tend to translate it as “Ineffable” (“traduttore, traditore” so sue me!)  It’s an admission that I don’t know shit about what I am thinking or talking about (and that I shouldn’t). I know it gets me angry, I know I would rather techno-industrial civilization not be there. I know I should believe in something higher than myself that I cannot access, but I don’t, and I can’t. And I certainly won’t imbue belief in such a false civilized idol into my kids. That’s what the phrase “sacrifice themselves for an ideal they have no stake in”  meant. Sorry, I hate doing a midrash of my own occasional writings, but there it is.

As for having kids, my heart goes out to that author if he really wanted them. Mine were sort of accidental, but o felix culpa. Having kids made me more nihilistic, to be honest. I was still a devout (sort of) Catholic when I had my first child, and my last prayer to God when I was holding her during Mass was something like, “How can I guide this little one if I am so lost myself?” After that, “God” went silent. So I am used to being lost but loved now. I know that the love that we sacks of flesh and bones have for each other is fleeting, fragile, and mutable. That has made me appreciate it all the more. It has not made me try to codify it into morality, or societal obligation, or try to demand a meaning from the universe. It just is what it is. I look at the change and decay ever present in the cosmos and see in it the condition of all the beauty and love that I cherish in it: the opposite of what most others do, I suppose. They refuse to go gentle into that good night. I realized long ago that I am already in it.

I found it curious as well to find an anonymous note over at La Manta Mojada blog by a person getting angry while walking through a forest and citing ITS communiques. Yes, I too know this feeling. I don’t know how even some of the most anti-civ people advocate “forest bathing” as some sort of healing exercise, as if it feeds our “hunger” for wildness. Poppycock, I say. And there is forest in the Southeast that is pretty darn secluded: still you hear in the distance the gunshots of hunters and the muffled conversations of campers. These forests and swamps are products of civilization: parts of the wilderness that civilization has spared. It’s like saying a house servant is free but the field hand isn’t: they’re both slaves, I don’t know how you can lie to yourself otherwise. If your entire anti-civ praxis is dependent on the United States Department of the Interior, I don’t think it is very “anti-civ” at all. And you aren’t escaping anything.

The last time I was in such a forest I was struck with great melancholy. The children had been whisked away by relatives, so I was by myself, which is seldom the case these days. I entered the forest and I prayed. Now mind you, if you read my controversial Apophatic Animism post, you would know that I am not very rigorous or even firm in my beliefs. Who or what I was praying to, I don’t know. I don’t try to usurp any traditions that aren’t mine: I am just not comfortable with that (not judging anyone else, though). But I prayed, for my children, for myself, for strength. It was the first time in a long time, but I felt that agony of the Earth most of all, or perhaps that agony within. I suppose my own definition of maturity, spiritual or otherwise, is that if I am comfortable, more than likely I am being deceived. It is discomfort, the active life that leads one back to the Earth from the clouds, the tales without the happy endings, the tragedies without pleasant resolutions, that provide me now with the most “peace”. If someone tells you something that consoles you or makes you comfortable, they are lying to you (even if they care for you). That one line from Pascal haunts me, I suppose: Jésus sera en agonie jusqu’à la fin du monde. Il ne faut pas dormir pendant ce temps-là.

The projects keep coming, but “normal life” gets in the way. Stay tuned…

(en) The Brilliant podcast on Atassa

Interesante conversación en inglés sobre el contenido de la revista estadounidense “Atassa: Lecturas sobre Eco-extremismo”.

¡Adelante con la propaganda eco-extremista!

ESCUCHALA o DESCARGALA

This episode of the Brilliant is an active discussion between Bellamy, Aragorn!, and Wil about the new LBC journal project Atassa. It is worth checking out as an introduction to the journal and an exercise about how to think about revolutionary (or not) practice in a world where terrorism no longer has any meaning. Eco-extremism isn’t a solution that would work in the US but it does raise challenging questions about violence, the planet, and the spirit that inspires all of our actions.

Tick Tock

Introductions to Wil and Bellamy
1:34 Atassa introduction
2:00 Wil: Attitude. ITS.
6:00 Market anarchism & Technophilia
7:30 Strong introduction. Defines terms. Bel: This is something you have to deal with (Why?)
9:45 Origin story of eco-extremism. Revolution. Kacynski. Ancestral Beliefs.
13:20 Shocking bits wrt Mafia style violence, appearance, adopt an accent, espouse a strong moral character. sXe. Necheav.
15:30 Return of the warrior. Clastres. What is the relationship between violence and the State? Monopoly of violence has unforseen consequence. Becoming.
29:00 More origin of EE. Solid piece from Jacobi. Notes on wildism vs EE vs AP.
34:30 Creek War. Market economy as invasion. Old ways. Brutal.
39:00 Indiscriminate anarchists. Today there is reaction by @ against indiscriminate attacks. There is a history here. This is another way to talk about social vs anti-social @.
41:40 Is this an anarchist journal? No! But @ should be engaged with it anyway.
45:30 Are you a pacifist? Kudos for your consistency. Otherwise you have to (internally) confront the questions of Atassa.

(en) Notes on anarcho-primitivism

Interesante texto de crítica hacia el anarco-primitivismo, escrito por el jefe editorial de “Atassa”.


I would be lying if I said I don’t like to pick fights. But I would also be lying if I didn’t say that I think that they are no good for me most of the time. The realm of “anti-civilization” ideas is small, and those who oppose civilization totally is even smaller, those who have certain ideas about it even smaller, etc. I believe it was Henry Kissinger who said that university campus politics were so nasty because the stakes are so small. That goes the same for our milieu. I don’t even know anyone “in real life” who holds anything resembling these ideas. So picking someone off in a rhetorical strike is petty at best and foolish at worst. In a lot of ways, you are in the same boat no matter how many distinctions you make. If you’re “sane”, you would bury the hatchet and like everyone.

Of course, man does not live on sanity alone. (Here comes the big “but…”) Once you have a certain “epiphany”, you realize that you aren’t even on the same page with those who any outsider would determine you should have an affinity with. I came out of anarcho-primitivism, at least in theory, though I was never comfortable with it. The anthropocentrism, the optimism, the idea that there is some primordial state that fits the human psyche like a glove… none of these aspects ever sat well with me. As a Marxist, I had always envisioned “nature” as an act of human intellect and will, or something that is acted upon by human intellect and will. That is, human life isn’t just something that is “produced” by our nature manifesting itself in a particular circumstance. It is an active pulsating thing that is the result of man testing his strength against entropy and chaos. I think it is evident that our situation is out of balance: that all human projects are ultimately unsustainable, and often how human society forms is the product of millions of disparate wills firing at once, to produce both harmony and disorder, the rising and falling away of artifice and hierarchy, a return to a base that can become unsettled in a cycle that reaches into the far recesses of the past…

For some time, I thought that this understanding was one that was in play in other schools of anti-civ thought. I was never on board the “selling” aspect of it: you’d be happier and healthier without civilization, your community would be more stable, your life will be more fulfilling, etc. For me, life has always been about struggle, it has not been about happiness but about meaning; not about freedom but about what you do with it. Perhaps I am too “pre-modern” in that sense in my thinking: egalitarianism has never been a concern, individuals remain pawns in a great cosmic play, only our part now is to tear down without hope of building again. It is to realize that man is the compendium, not the end, of the cosmos, and if he fails as the embodied steward of the physical world, the only honorable thing to do is bow out and let the world return to what it was before us. That’s not something you can sell to the idealistic youngster looking to make the world a “better place,” but it’s the only thing I’m interested in.

I have been reading the newest issue of Black and Green Review, and while I don’t want to slam it or critique it in any systematic way (mainly because who cares? and what’s the use?) it has made me realize that we (the creators of that magazine and I) are in this for entirely different reasons. One essay is a thorough description of how one author named Four-Legged Human goes about training to be a immediate returns nomadic hunter gatherer. While it is problematic in many ways, it is refreshing in its honesty. For example, it represents a turning point in anti-civ discourse insofar as he pulls a “bait and switch” stating that, while hunter-gatherers historically may have only worked a few hours a day, those who have the vocation to become hunter-gatherers now will have to work hard, and very hard, for hours and hours a day, with the prospect of failure and starvation always hovering near. There goes that selling point, I suppose. After many generations perhaps people will return to a nomadic lifestyle of general leisure. Then again, I have very little control over my own kids, I am not sure how much I can determine the mentality of progeny I will never meet.

To back up a bit, all of this is predicated on the Master Plan of Anarcho-Primitivism, which goes as follows:

Plan A. Civilization collapses all by itself (more or less).

Plan B. There is no Plan B

Which leads to hunter-gatherer nomadic paradise eventually, which won’t be easy but is something that we are inherently equipped for, so they say. Not to violate Godwin’s Law, but I think there is no better analogy here than the Stalinist Communist Party of Germany proclaiming: “After Hitler, us”. The point of Four-Legged Human’s article cited above is to make the race of “supermen” (we all have these superpowers potentially) who will win out over civilization by attrition. It’s like wu wei or something like that…

The obsession of anarcho-primitivism of the Black and Green Review school is thus to prepare people for that future. Thus, the “primitive” societies that one chooses to emulate will be from marginal environments such as the Inuits or the Selk’nam (Ona) of Tierra del Fuego. i.e. Places where most human beings wouldn’t want to inhabit in the first place. From that foco of sub-Arctic dwellers will come the new hope of mankind, and everyone else can just die off, because they’re hopeless, full stop.

(How this isn’t nihilism, that is, embracing a system where me and mine survive but the rest can just slowly starve to death or kill each other off in resource wars, I have no idea. I guess it’s totally kosher to commit sins of omission and just let 99.99% of humanity die but if you do anything to bring it about that would bring impurity or is a waste of time at least. I am sure humanists the world over will appreciate that distinction in misanthropy.)

What is saddest about this is how anarcho-primitivism on a narrative level essentially takes up the scientific / colonial world view of the societies it attempts to emulate: taking what they like and leaving what they don’t like, as if one could just cherry pick from ways of life where how one viewed nature and how one treated it were often intimately intertwined. Therefore, one gets to the “essence” or “substance” of what it means to be a hunter-gatherer nomad, while “irrelevant” and “false” details like cosmology, mythology, ritual, etc. are all left aside as unimportant. As if the Ona were just some people who could be wrung dry of all of the badass physical endurance and perseverance, but the great rituals of the Hain, and the deities of the hoowin, had nothing to do with any of it. You can abstract and bleed a primitive society for your own purposes and use what you want to save your own skin, whereas no right-minded hunter-gatherer probably thought of the world and what he or she did on a daily basis on those terms. (See for example the article “The Seris, the Eco-extremists, and Nahualism” in Atassa 1 for an alternative vision of how to treat these sorts of societies.)

Just as in leftism, I see anarcho-primitivism as something devised in the mind of the accountant and human resource manager but taken to the Stone Age level. For me, it seems that concerns such as “How do I survive and how can I not be coerced?” seem all-too-modern and all-too-domesticated. Sure, we all want to survive, but under what circumstances? Always on the run? Waiting for Godot in the form of catastrophe to slay all of our enemies for us? Cede the best lands and go to a place where whether we survive or not is no better than a crapshoot? At least Four-Legged Human at the end of his essay admitted into the club of Super-Elite Paleo Warriors those who wanted to go into the urban park after work to weave baskets and flint knapp: way to give your readers hope. As for me, any remaining interest in anarcho-primitivism and what they think and do increasingly diminishes by the day. This happened with Marxism for me as well, even though I have not considered myself a Marxist for years but was still remotely interested in it. With anarcho-primitivism specifically, I am getting tired of the “civilization is unhealthy and is killing us” intersperse with “re-wilding is almost impossible for most people and has the good risk of killing you”. That’s alright, they can work on their projects, and I’ll work on mine.

(ro) Primitivism fara castastrofa

Texto “Primitivismo sin catástrofe”, traducido al rumano desde su original en inglés.

Traducción a cargo de “Adrian BC”.


Orice idee buna trebuie sa fie vandabila. Ideea vandabila a atot-cuprinzatoarei ideologii care se prezinta sub numele de ‘’anarho-primitivism’’ sau  ‘’gandire anti-civilizatie’’, este aceea cum ca civilizatia tehno-industriala distruge rasa umana si daca vrem sa oprim aceasta distrugere noi trebuie sa distrugem civilizatia. Este vorba despre propia conservare. Trebuie sa renuntam la tehnologie, stiinta, medicina moderna, etc. Pentru a ne salva. Cum de stim toate astea? Pai stiinta, tehnologia, medicina moderna, etc. ne indica lucrul asta. Cu siguranta nu sunt primul care a observat inconsistenta acestei perspective dar probabil ca sunt unul dintre primii care vor spune ceva despre ea.

‘’Gandirea anti-civilizatie’’(pentru ca alt termen nu am gasit) are o ‘’problema de cunoastere.’’ Care ar putea fi rezumata cam asa: tinde sa critice totalitarismul din punctual de vedere construit de el. Cauta sa distruga instrumentele care au construit tot ce uraste folosind aceleasi instrumente. Asta rezulta in idei ‘’castastrofice’’: colapsul catarhic al inamicilor sai si o sansa de a restaura o ordine justa. Pentru cineva cu un ciocan in mana orice pare a fi un cui, si pentru cineva care foloseste o narativa apocaliptica, total duce spre un sfarsit al lumii. Intr-adevar, unii ar putea spune ca o catastrofa inseamna pentru un primitivist acelasi lucru pe care Invierea lui Iisus a insemnat pentru apostolul Paul: conditia necesara fara de care mesajul un ar putea exista. Daca umanitatea nu este condamnata de tehnologie, daca toata viata de pe Terra nu este in pericol din cauza maimutei egoiste din Africa, atunci ce avem noi de facut aici? Putem la fel de bine sa mergem acasa si sa ne bucuram de televizorul nostru cu ecrat plat si de aer conditionat.

Bineinteles ca lucrurile nu sunt atat de simple. Dar prima intrebare ar trebui sa fie: ‘’Suntem condamnati?” Cateva carti care incearca sa raspunda la aceasta intrebare intr-o maniera negativa au fost tiparite de curand. Una dintre ele este cartea scrisa de Ronald Bailey-The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty first Centruy, si este una dintre cele mai puternice contributii la genul eco-modernist. Chiar daca nu avem timp sa ii facem o recenzie totala, putem cel putin sa redam cel mai puternic si interesant punct de vedere (cel putin in perspectiva mea): analiza ideei ecologice care spune ca ‘’nefacand nimic’’ este mai bine decat ‘’sa faci ceva’’.

Acest concept este fara dubiu ceva bine stabilit in discursul ecologic. Natura a facut orice lucru pe care la dorit timp de milioane de ani, asadar, Natura stie mai bine. Bailey numeste asta ‘’principiul precautiunii’’, cel mai bine exprimat in fraza cu care si-a denumit al treilea capitol din carte ‘’Niciodata sa un incerci ceva pentru prima data’’. Orice lucru nou este vinovat pana cand i se dovedeste nevinovatia, greutatea noilor lucruri vine de abia atunci cand ele trebuie sa dovedeasca fara dubii ca nu vor crea mai multe problema decat incearca sa rezolve. Devine clar faptul ca cei care tin la principiul precatiunii  sunt opriti in a actiona in vreun fel pentru ca nu au nici o dovada certa ca noile inovatii tehnologice se vor comporta in maniera dorita.(Ganditi-va la mancarea modificata genetica si la discutiile din jurul ei.)  Cei ce sufera cand vine vorba de aceste ezitari, ne spune Bailey, sunt cei care nu isi permit luxul neincrederii: au nevoie de medicamentele pentru combaterea cancerului, mancare ieftina si alte beneficii pe care avansul tehnologic il poate produce. In cuvintele lui Bailey:

”Din pacate, principiul precautiei suna negativ mulor oameni, in special celor care traiesc in societate deja cu o abundenta tehnologica. Acesti oameni au case cu incalzire centrala in paduri; deja sunt liberi de dorinta de a avea, de boli, si de ignoranta, libertate  pe care tehnologia o poate produce. Ei pot sa se gandeasca ca isi pot permite luxul precautiei finale. Dar sunt miliarde de oameni care isi doresc sa aibe o viata transformata radical. Pentru ei, principiul precautiei este o garantei a unei saracii garantate, nu o plasa de siguranta. (93-94)”

Aici avem o problema care este intoarsa pe toate partile. Ganditorul neo-ludit anti-civilizatie, a studiat mult despre societatea tehno-industriala pentru a sti ca este o cauza pierduta. Stie asta prin folosirea uneltelor pe care societatea tehno industriala i le-a oferit.Stie ca nu exista nici o imbunatatire tehnologica care sa fie aplicata pentru eradicarea mizeriei pe care societatea moderna a creat-o. Dar eco-modernisti ca Bailey vin si intorc lucrurile pe dos si ne arata ca acest mod pesimist de gandire este bazat pe o gandire optimista asupra gandirii umane sustinute de o infrastrucura tehnologica care ii faciliteaza studiul si reflectia. Daca nu stim cu adevarat, si stim sigur ca nu stim cu adevarat, un avem obligatia de a incerca? Nu este aceasta ignoranta o oportunitate si nu un blocaj? Nu despre asta a fost vorba in Epoca Luminilor  si in Revolutia Stiintifica?

In restul cartii Bailey ne arata necontenit in o multime de probleme, tinand de la populatie, peak oil pana la presupusa raspandirea de cancer produsa de folosirea produselor industriale, ca aceste Casandre moderne sunt gresite, si extrem de gresite pana in acest moment.  Bailey conclude din acestea ca homo sapiensul este un animal indemnatic, care reuseste sa smulga victoria mai mereu, chiar si atunci cand pare invins.  Bailey este de parere ca vom continua sa fim asa, chiar daca acorda anumita importante schimbarilor climatice, pe care o recunoaste ca fiind o problema reala pe care umanitatea o intampina.

In mod ironic, acceptand premizele lui Bailey , aceasta ar putea fi cea mai ‘’primitivista’’ pozitionare. Daca chiar suntem animale care nu sunt in stare sa ne scapam pe noi insine decat prin renuntarea la instrumentele care ne dau noua o asa zisa putere absoluta, cum ar fi ca noi sa disparem din cauza noastra? Altfel spus, daca suntem prea prosti sa ne salvam, am putea fi prea prosti pentru a ne sinucide. Exista bineinteles principiul entropiei, si a idei ca este mai usor sa spargi ceva decat sa il repari. Dar acea analogie nu tine aici pentru ca discutam despre miliarde de animale umane raspandite pe tot globul care au dovedit ca pot fi atat de resiliente incat sa faca sa dispara total in jurul lor.

Si ce inseamna asta pana la urma? Suntem salvati sau suntem condamnati? Este catastrofa o realitate din care nu poti scapa sau o dorinta masochista? Raspunsul lung sau scurt este: nu stim. Si cei care pretind ca stiu isi pun speranta intr-o certitudine a condamnarii sau a optimismului unde lebedele negre descrise de Nassim Nicholas Taleb nu se vor intampla. Viitorul nu poate fi total dezolant, nici un putem sta fiind siguri ca nici un dezastru nu se va intampla doar din cauza ca un sa intamplat pana acum. Tot ce avem este prezentul.

Si ne intoarcem la titlu: Poate fi un primitivism fara vreo catastrofa? Daca aceasta societate isi poate rezolva problemele?  Plecam cu totii acasa in acel moment? Dam acestui sistem tehno-industrial capitalist o nota de trecere, si recunoastem ca, daca nu putem trai intr-o societate pe care o dorim ar trebui sa iubim societatea in care suntem? Dupa toate astea suntem cu totii oameni, cu totii avem suflete si trupuri, acelasi intelect si sentimente. Putem de asemenea sa muncim si sa ii salvam pe toti, si pe cine intereseaza cum o facem? Visul de a ne reintoarce la o societate idealista de vanatori culegatori devine din ce in ce mai putin tentant pe zi ce trece.

Acestui impas adaugam gandurile exprimate de membrii unei grupari eco extremiste mexicane:

‘Diferenta principala dintre ceea ce Kaczynski si acolitii sai propun si propia noastra pozitie este una simpla: noi nu asteptam ‘’Marea criza globala’’ pentru a ataca structura fizica si morala a sistemului tehno-industrial. Atacam acum pentru ca viitorul este nesigur. Nu putem crea o strategie bazata pe presupuneri, gandind ca total va merge dupa cum am planuit si ca victoria este asigurata. Ne-am oprit din a crede in asa ceva odata ce ne-am dat seama de enormitatea sistemului, de componenta sa si de influenta sa pe aceasta planeta si in afara ei. Daca colapsul civilizatiei va avea loc maine sau peste 30-50 de ani, noi vom sti ca am pornit la un razboi necesar din motive individuale…

Nn stim daca va avea loc vreun colaps global al sistemului, vreodata. Expertii spun ca va fi dar noi un putem sti cu siguranta. Ar putea fi si natura se va ridica din ruine. Dar s-ar putea ca sistemul  sa fie cu un pas in fata tuturor lucrurilor si sa se repare cu usurinta. Dupa cum am spus, noi un cunoastem viitorul. Am vrea sa il cunoastem dar realitatea este cu total alta.’

Cu ideile eco-extremistilor ne putem afla scaparea din idea gresita de a avea ‘’un viitor mai bun prin a ne intoarce la trecut.’’ Am putea spune in acest moment ca viitorul ne este inamic. Toate caile de scapare, incepand cu ideile libertariene propuse de Bailey pana la scheme tehno-progresiste propuse de stanga, sunt ceva pe care refuzam sa le acceptam de la inceput. Noi un vrem sa cooperam, refuzam sa salvam lumea. Refuzam sa ne oferim vietile sau vietile altora pentru un ‘’maine’’ mai bun. Acel maine mai bun este mereu promis dar niciodata atins. Si aici, problema cunoasterii intervine: niciodata acel Maine nu ajunge, pentru ca nu exista nimeni care il poate indeplini. Lucrurile ‘’devin din ce in ce mai bune tot timpul’’ pentru ca ne-am domesticit atat de tare incat vedem morcovul ca fiind scopul si ca suntem din ce in ce mai aproape si batul nu este cu adevarat acolo, chiar si atunci cand el ne loveste in nas. Aceasta este esenta civilizatiei, trecutul mitologic invaluit in mister si viitorul care nu ajunge niciodata sa fie indeplinit.

Catastrofa este momentul catarhic care incheie ciclul suferintei. Dar la fel ca si versiunea sa budista, este evaziv si nu se intampla niciodata in aceasta viata. Intr-adevar,, adevarata problema cu ‘’gandirea impotriva civilizatiei’’, in special in forma sa anarho-primitivista este ca nu stie ce vrea, pentru ca este modelata de ceea ce uraste. Nu stie nici macar ce inseamna natura, pentru ca refuza sa recunoasca ca oamenii nu pot sti cu siguranta si de aceea ei construiesc natura ca fiind un idol constituit din toate dorintele lor ambivalente. Ideea de aparare a naturii ne face constienti de faptul ca vederea noastra asupra naturii, in special ideea nord-americana de ‘’natura neatinsa de om’’ este prost formata. David George Haskell descrie drama vegetatiei din padure in urma recentei reaparitii a populatiei de caprioare in cartea sa, The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature:

Oamenii au eliminat cativa pradatorii dar recent au adaugat alti pradatori pentru caprioare: cainii domestici, coioti imigranti care vin din vest si garduri pentru automobile. Primii doi sunt pradatori buni pentru pui, ultimul este cel mai mare criminal suburban al adultilor. Suntem in fata unei situatii imposibile. Prima la mana, avem pierderea a sute de specii de ierbivore; a doua: am schimbat un pradator pentru altul. Ce nivel de pascut este normal, acceptabil sau natural in paduri? Acestea sunt intrebari greu de raspuns dar ce este sigur este ca vegetatia care a crescut in secolul 20 a fost in mod neasteptat, nemancata.

O padure fara ierbivore mari este ca o orchestra fara vioare. Ne-am obisnuit sa acceptam simfoniile incomplete, si comentam cand acordurile viorilor se reintorc si dau la o parte instrumentele cu care suntem familiarizati. Aceasta revolta impotriva reintoarcerii ierbivorilor nu are o fundatie istorica pozitiva. Ar trebui sa privim mai adanc, sa ascultam intreaga simfonie si sa celebram parteneriatul dintre animal si microb care a fost construit in milioane de ani. La revedere verdeata; salutari paduchilor. Bine ati revenit in Pleistocen. (33-34)

Deci ar trebui sa acceptam faptul ca nu va fi nici o ‘’catastrofa’’ si daca va fi, nu va avea efectul purificant pe care il asteptam. Definitia capitalismului modern este criza, iar omul de afaceri de succes transforma criza intr-un succes. Asta inseamna ca nu luptam? Ca lasam armele jos invinsi de tacere si agnosticism? Nu neaparat, mai bine spus, trebuie sa definim mai bine de ce suntem noi impotriva anumitor lucruri din societatea prezenta; chiar si in cazul in care exista potentialul ca ea sa continue pentru un milion de ani, si chiar daca ar reusi sa ne ‘’faca vietile mai bune’’ intre timp. Sau cel putin trebuie sa definim lucrul caruia noi ne impotrivim, si de ce nu consideram ca nu va duce la indeplinirea a nici unei promisiuni de a scapa omenirea de mizerie.

Prima, sa incepem cu omenirea. Nu ne putem opune catastrofei ca si concept fara nuanta tocmai din cauza faptului ca natura este catastrofa, pe termen lung. Asta pentru ca natura este schimbare, este schimbarea care minimizeaza experienta umana chiar si in cele mai abstracte si stiintifice moduri. Oamenii moderni au ideea ca ideile lor sunt din aceeasi subtanta ca realitatea, chiar si in momentele cand nu au motive de a avea aceasta idee. Sunt maestri in chestii incomprensibile ca timpul, spatiul, lumina, etc., chestii abstracte, si sunt de parere ca nu exista nimic altceva pentru ei, chiar daca ei nu s-au ridicat niciodata din scaunul lor confortabil sau un sau miscat din fata tablei. Natura este catastrofala pentru ca natura distruge, darama, distruge total si naste total: de la cele mai distante stele pana la celulele care ne formeaza. Aderentii gandirii anti-civilizatie acepta cu greu idea asta, chiar daca pot comenta platitudini despre ideile de mai sus in mod abstract. La asta un pot sa raspund decat cu , ‘’ θεράπευσον σεαυτόν’’!

Ce este natura in relatie cu noi atunci? Cum ne descurcam cu ideea adesea repetata de critici, cum ca multi primitivisti prezinta natura ca un fapt dat, nu ca ceva abstract. Aici voi oferi o explicatie figurativa, cripto-hegeliana. Multi ‘’primitivisti’’(din nou, pentru ca nu am gasit un alt termen care sa se potriveasca) se gandesc la natura ca fiind ceva care se gaseste in afara noastra, si care ne ofera propia existenta ca un dar, si ca reala problema este ca am uitat aspectul acestui dar (aduc in discutie conceptul crestin al gratiei divine). La fel cum omul nu isi poate castiga salvarea de la Dumnezeul lui Calvin, omul este in imposibilitatea de a-si crea motivatia pentru viata fara ajutorul naturii. Bineinteles ca asta este o formulare absurda. Natura, sau daca vrem sa folosim termenul lui Lovelock, Gaia, este produsul a milioane de fiinte vii care muncesc impreuna si se sustin impreuna: este actiunea fiintelor vii. Ele sunt formate de si o formeaza, incepand de la cele mai mici microorganisme la ecosisteme complexe pana la insasi biosfera. Trebuie sa retinem asta oricand privind ‘’natura salbatica.’’ Cum Haskell spune in alta parte a cartii citate mai devreme, natura nu este o camera pentru meditatie, si nu este nici Edenul unde fructele sunt culese fara grija. Exista lupta si durere la fel cum exista si cooperare si mila. Faptul ca a rezistat atata timp este o garantie a acestor lucruri.

Pacatul omului domesticit nu este rezistenta in fata naturii umane pasive asa cum cativa primitivisti presupun. Este gandirea ca el este independent de natura, ca el poate fara ea, ca el o poate descoperi si folosi si sa nu lase nimic nedescifrat. Acesta este omul domestic modern, rupt, dur si absorbit de sine. Nu este ceea ce face ci ceea ce face foarte bine, sau cel putin asa gandeste, asta este problema. De asta nu exista ‘’nici o solutie’’. Nu exista nici o abstractiune creata de om care sa absoarba problemele si sa le faca digestibile. Lumea in care exista solutii la problema este o lume care nu ar trebui sa existe, sau altfel spus, este lumea care creeaza problema. Catastrofa asa cum este inteleasa ea de omul modern (finala, devastatoare, purificatoare) este mitul necesar care atarna deasupra Utopiei la fel ca sabia lui Damocle. Unii dintre noi prefera sabii care sfasie acestui paradis imaginar.

Solutia eco-extremista este brutala si pesimista. Nu exista nici un viitor, nu exista nici o comunitate noua. Nu exista ‘’speranta’’. Spunem asta nu cu un suflet incarcat ci cu usurare, ca si cum ne-am ridicat povara de pe umeri. Fiinta umana este facuta sa greseasca, suntem facuti sa gresim mai des decat sa reusim. Dar facand asta, facem parte dintr-un intreg, lasam pe altii dupa noi sa castige sau sa piarda, si sa lupte intr-o alta zi. Ambitia noastra un are final pentru ca niciodata nu castiga. Si cand ne uitam la societatile disparute din trecut care si-au acceptat limitarile (sau cel putin asa ne gandim ca, nu putem sti cu adevarat) cu admiratie; o admiratie care stie ca nu au fost perfecte, si asta datorita faptului ca este ceva gresit cu asteptarile noastre domesticite si nimic rau cu ei. Tot ce putem spera este sa luptam si sa ardem in aceasta existenta unde o parte pretinde ca poate inghiti total.

Si asta arata intr-adevar un primitivism fara catastrofe, fara o narativa falsa, fara un ‘’happy ending’’: bucuria ochiului si a tuturor simturilor in fata a ceea ce stim ca este natura, chiar si atunci cand nu o intelegem, chiar daca pare de neinteles si mutilata uneori. Nu este ceva ce facem (chiar daca avem partea noastra in ea) si nici un este ceva ce controlam (putem incerca). Dar in inima si in mintea omului exista ceva miraculos: vastul cer cu ale lui stele, cantecul pasarilor, o noua zi, decadere, moarte, viata… si ca sa termin cu vocea poética a lui Robinson Jeffers:

To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
and their tyrants come, many times before.
When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
To keep one’s own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
and not wish for evil; and not be duped
By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will
not be fulfilled.
To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars
and his history… for contemplation or in fact…
Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,
the greatest beauty is
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty
of the universe. Love that, not man
Apart from that, or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,
or drown in despair when his days darken

(en-es) Proposed Table of Contents REVISED

Con gran emoción publicamos la tabla de contenidos en inglés y en español, del nuevo proyecto editorial, “ATASSA: Readings in Eco-extremism”, próxima revista en ser publicada en idioma inglés.

Con esto se evidencia que la tendencia del eco-extremismo sigue propagándose.

¡Adelante con los proyectos de difusión!


-Presentation

-The flower growing out of the underworld: An introduction to eco-extremism – Abe Cabrera

-Apostles and Heretics – John Jacobi

-Sighs – Lunas de abril

-The return of the warrior – Ramon Elani

-The Seris, the eco-extremists, and Nahualism – Hast Hax

-Atassa: Lessons from the Creek War (1813-1814) – Abe Cabrera

-(Roma Infernetto-“Shit World”) To profane and devour – A member of the Memento Mori Nihilist Sect

-Surviving civilization: lessons from the double lives of eco-extremists – Regresión Magazine

-Theodore Kaczynski’s Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, A Critical Assessment – S.

-The singing river: A final word to the reluctant


-Presentación

-La flor del inframundo que creció en esta era: Una introducción al eco-extremismo – Abe Cabrera

-Apóstoles y Herejes – John Jacobi

-Suspiros – Lunas de abril

-El regreso del guerrero – Ramon Elani

-Los seris, los eco-extremistas y el Nahualismo – Hast Hax

-Atassa: Lecciones de la Guerra de los Creek (1813-1814) – Abe Cabrera

-Interludio: (Roma Infernetto-“Mierda Mundo”) Profanar y devorar – De un miembro de la Secta del Nihilistico Memento Mori

-Sobreviviendo a la civilización: Experiencias de la doble vida eco-extremista – Revista Regresión

-La Revolución Anti-Tec: Como y Cuando de Ted Kaczynski. Evaluación Crítica – S.

-El canto del rio: Últimas palabras para los reacios

Primitivism without Catastrophe

Every good idea needs a selling point. The selling point of the all-encompassing ideology that can go by any name from “anarcho-primitivism” to “anti-civilization thinking” is that modern techno-industrial civilization is destroying the human race, and if we want to stop this destruction, we have to destroy civilization. It’s a matter of self-preservation. We must renounce technology, science, modern medicine, etc. in order to save ourselves. How do we know this? Well, technology, science, modern medicine, etc. tell us so. I am likely not the first one who has noticed the inconsistency in this perspective, but perhaps I am one of the first to say something about it.

“Anti-civilization thought” (for lack of a better term) has a “knowledge problem.” That is, it seeks to criticize the totality from the view of the totality. It seeks to dismantle the tools that have built everything that it despises using the same tools. This culminates in the idea of “catastrophe”: the cathartic collapse of its enemy and a chance for the restoration of a just order. For someone with a hammer, everything appears to be a nail, and for someone with an apocalyptic narrative, everything leads to the end of the world. Indeed, some could say that catastrophe is to the primitivist what the Resurrection of Jesus was to St. Paul: the sine qua non outside of which the message cannot not exist. If humanity is not damned via technology, if all life on earth is not endangered by the upstart selfish ape from Africa, then what are we doing here? We might as well just go home and enjoy the flat screen TVs and air conditioning.

Things of course aren’t really that simple. But the first question should be, “Are we doomed?” A few books have come out recently that seek to answer the question in the negative, even though they take the Cassandra-like science of climate change and resource depletion very seriously. Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century is one of the stronger contributions to this eco-modernist genre. Though we will not have the time to review it all here, we can at least go over the strongest point in his book (at least from my perspective): the analysis of the ecological idea that “doing nothing” is better than “doing something.”

This concept is undoubtedly a trope in environmentalist discourse. Nature has been doing any given thing for millions of years, and thus, so the story goes, nature knows best. Bailey calls this, “the precautionary principle,” best formulated by the phrase after which he names his third chapter, “Never Try Anything the First Time.” Anything new is guilty until proven innocent, the burden of proof lies with the novel thing to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that it won’t create more problems than it is trying to solve. It becomes evident that those who cling to the precautionary principle are paralyzed from performing any action because they don’t have complete metaphysical certainty concerning how a technological development will pan out. (Think here, for example, of genetically modified foods and the fierce debate around them.) Those who suffer because of this hesitation, Bailey argues, do not have the luxury of doubt: they need the cancer drug, cheap food, and other benefits that technological advancement can provide. As Bailey states:

Unfortunately, the precautionary principle sounds sensible to many people, especially those who live in societies already replete with technology. These people have their centrally heated house in the woods; they already enjoy the freedom from want, disease, and ignorance that technology can provide. They may think they can afford the luxury of ultimate precaution. But there are billions of people who still yearn to have their lives transformed. For them, the precautionary principle is a warrant for continued poverty, not safety. (93-94)

So here a knowledge problem is turned around and then turned around again. The anti-civilization neo-Luddite thinker has studied enough concerning techno-industrial society to know that it is a lost cause. He knows this through use of the tools that techno-industrial society has given him. He knows that there are no technological fixes for the quagmire that modern society has created. Yet, the eco-modernist like Bailey then turns the tables around and shows how this pessimism is based on an optimistic view of human knowledge supported by a technological infrastructure that enables study and reflection. If we don’t really know, and know that we don’t really know, aren’t we under obligation to try? Isn’t such ignorance an opportunity and not a roadblock? Is this not what the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution were all about?

In much of the rest of the book, Bailey shows time and again, on issues ranging from population to peak oil, to the supposed spread of cancer due to use of industrial products, that the Cassandras have been wrong, and very wrong, up to this point. Bailey concludes from this that homo sapiens is a crafty and cunning animal, able to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat time and again. Bailey has little doubt we will continue to do so, even if he concedes that some things, such as climate change, do appear to be real problems facing the entire human race

Ironically, accepting Bailey’s premises might be the most “primitivist” position of all. If we are ultimately animals who are helpless to save ourselves unless we get rid of the instruments of our own seemingly absolute power, how is it that we can totally damn ourselves to non-existence? Or rather, if we are too dumb to save ourselves, we may be too dumb to kill ourselves off. There is of course the principle of entropy, and the intuition that it is easier to break something than it is to fix it. But that analogy doesn’t really hold here, as we are talking about billions of individual animals all over the globe who have proven themselves to be resilient to the point of crowding everything else out.

So which one is it then? Are we saved or are we damned? Is catastrophe an inescapable reality or a masochistic wish? The long and the short of it is: we don’t know. And those who pretend to know are perhaps clinging to an odd bulwark of certainty in damnation or optimism wherein Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s black swans never occur. The future cannot be totally bleak, nor can we rest assured that disaster won’t happen just because it hasn’t happened yet. All that we have is the present.

So we return to the title: Can there be a primitivism without catastrophe? What if this society can work things out just fine? Do we all get to go home then? Do we give this techno-industrial capitalist order a pass, and at least acknowledge that, if we can’t be in the society that we want, we should love the society that we are in? After all, we’re all humans, we all share the same souls and bodies, the same intellect and feelings. We might as well work to save everyone, and who cares how we do it? Dreams of going back to an idealized hunter-gatherer simpler life become less appealing by the day.

Into this impasse, we add the thoughts from a recent interview with members of the Mexican eco-extremist tendency:

The main difference between what Kaczynski and his acolytes propose and our own position is rather simple: we don’t wait for a “Great World Crisis” to start attacking the physical and moral structures of the techno-industrial system. We attack now because the future is uncertain. You can’t create a strategy based on assumptions, thinking that all will go according to plan and with assured victory. We stopped believing in that once we grasped the enormity of the system itself, its components and its vast reach on this planet and even outside of it. If civilization collapses tomorrow, or within 30 to 50 years, we’ll know that we waged a necessary war against it from our own individuality…

We don’t know if there will be a global collapse of the system one day. The experts say that there will be, but we cannot know for certain. It could be the case and nature will rise from the ruins. But it could be that the system is always one step ahead of things, and could become self-sufficient and repair itself with ease. As we said, we don’t know the future. We would like to, but the reality is otherwise.

With the eco-extremists, then, we can find our way out of the flawed position of “a better future by returning to the past.” Here, we would say that the future is our enemy. Every single proposed way out, whether it be from Bailey’s libertarian assurances or leftist techno-progressive schemes, is something that we refuse right out of the gate. We don’t want to cooperate, we reject saving the world. We refuse to offer up our lives or the lives of others for a better tomorrow. This is always promised, but it never arrives. And here, the knowledge problem enters again: it never arrives because no one can possibly deliver it. Things only “get better all of the time” because we have domesticated ourselves into thinking that the carrot is the goal and that we are getting closer, and the stick isn’t really there even when it strikes us right on the nose. Such is the essence of civilization, the foggy mythical past, and the constantly-deferred future.

Catastrophe is the catharsis that ends the cycle of suffering. But like the Buddhist version, it is also elusive and never happens in this life. Indeed, the real problem with “anti-civilization thought,” especially in its anarcho-primitivist form, is that it does not know what it wants, because what it wants is shaped by what it hates…

Abe Cabrera