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  1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to be an anarcho-primitivist. Debate the concept.

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Hubardo, May 13, 2014.

    I say that I used to be not because I philosophically disagree with anarchism or primitivism anymore, but because I find that holding onto those positions makes daily life so much harder to live.

    One of the most seminal and recent works of anarcho-primitivism would be Deep Green Resistance, by Eric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen. To get an idea of what these folks (who have tens of thousands of followers) are talking about, check out their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/deepgreenresistance

    For a pretty extensive description of anarcho-primitivism check Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-primitivism
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Rejecting science and technology? Not cool.
     
  3. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why?
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I could never live without modern technology, so that's where I have a problem. Of course, this is just a personal preference, but I think most anarcho-primitivists like modern technology as well (how else are they going to make themselves heard?). So it's a very hard ideology to live out.

    I also think we'd all be worse off if we followed anarcho-primitivism. The standard of life way back in the day was pretty bad.
     
  5. A.M.P.
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    It's an interesting concept but I don't think I could ever abandon toothpaste and clean water pumping systems...
    Personal hygiene is kinda a big thing.

    I don't like the lack of land property though. The idea seems ludicrous.
    Every roaming band/group/people would cut a piece of the world for themselves that they travel back and forth over and over, it'll become their traditional lands, and soon there'd be fighting to defend if it other groups start localizing themselves on it.

    I'd rather live in a world of art and technology where I can be at peace to enjoy such things,
    rather than being dirty and traveling with no place to call home and that my immediate wants and needs are all there really is :S (Not saying an anarcho-primitivist couldn't have long-term goals but they'd be purely social for the most part)
     
  6. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think they're just saying that lack of social hierarchy and living a hunter gatherer lifestyle are the most equitable and sustainable, not that it's possible to go from how we're living to that overnight (or even at all).

    As for quality of life, I'm not sure how you're measuring it. There is a body of evidence out there (you can look for it if you like) that suggests that hunter gatherers were much healthier and suffered much less disease. Plus because of the small populations there was no slavery, divisions of labor, colonialism, empires, etc.

    Some folks I know don't think we could ever revert back to this kind of lifestyle, but instead that stopping the machine of industrial global capitalism would be the ethical thing to do in order to preserve the indigenous cultures still surviving that don't depend on our destructive way of life. This would result in the deaths of most people on earth, as we're all dependent on food grown elsewhere that depletes the soil and relies on artificial nitrogen fertilizer, fossil fuels to ship and package and store the food, etc etc etc.

    I think the premise is probably correct that industrial civilization is in and of itself unsustainable and is killing the planet and slowly killing all of us (climate change, ocean acidification, deforestation, industrial development in place of wild places, water contamination etc). I've just come to a place of paralysis and would rather not think that the only solution is sabotoge of industrialist infrastructure (as DGR suggests) is the only option. I have chosen denial consciously for a better daily quality of life.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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  7. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure if what you're saying about land property adds up to how it actually used to work. There are examples of communally owned property (ie, Mexico before US invasion/influence) where people collectively decided what to do with the land. People were cooperative and egalitarian, so I've heard (probably not all the time). As for people trying to fight for lands, that already happens but on an enormous scale. Wars for land kill millions of people (think of any war of the last 100 years), not to mention the bombs used destroy the land base.

    So what do you guys think about the idea of living in a city, where you get all your food from somewhere else. You have no control over the materials that help you survive, and you assume they exist in an unlimited fashion. You know know that we're in a "peak soil" scenario (nutrients are being depleted from topsoils because of industrial ag) and that even precious metals are soon to peak (ie, iron). Do you actually think that living the way we are is sustainable? And is it "good" because it feels good?
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I would disagree with them.

    What about life expectancy? What about access to clean water, food, shelter? What if my group needs something vital but no one knows how to make it?

    I agree that these things are problems, but anarcho-primitivism isn't the answer.
     
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  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the latest version of luddites?
     
  10. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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  11. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess a longer life translates into a more quality experience. I guess. I'm pretty sure that for the thousands of years that humans were hunter gatherers they were capable of coming upon food and water, and building shelter for themselves. The Hadza, in Africa, are still hunter gatherers and I suspect their quality of life - by their own standards - are probably just fine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadza_people
     
  12. A.M.P.
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    Luddites were violent with their shoe throwing :p

    @lewislewis
    Why is it wrong to get materials from somewhere else than where I currently reside?
    A material is a material, same value no matter where it comes. Heck, elsewhere materials can be better than those of the locale.
    And I can control the materials I use and where they come from, the difference is there room to build with them.

    Oh, fighting for territory will always occur and, regardless of the number of death, it is a terrible thing.
    Just because a small group of 100 kill each other now and then for land is no worse than a million vs. a million.
    Bomb usage, however, is just the cream on top of the worse parfait. Destruction of land and wildlife for war-purposes has always disgusted me.

    Also, we could never enter an age where we reduce ourselves to an anarcho-primitivist state. There's too many humans even if everyone joins in (Which is impossible).
    There'd have to be a beautiful mass-genocide with lots of fine work to get to that state.
    If even a single group decides to not join in, they get to keep the fancy and powerful technology and everyone else would be unable to defend themselves.

    The entire desire is moot as it can't possibly happen in a consenting manner.
     
  13. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    The issue is that once you're living in a city, you require things to be taken from SOMEONE ELSE'S LAND in order for you to survive. Nobody gives up their land or the resources there willingly.

    Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endgame_(Derrick_Jensen_books)#Premises
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    “Luddites and anti-intellectuals do not master the differential equations of thermodynamics or the biochemical cures of illness ... they stay in thatched huts and die young.” - Edward Wilson, On Human Nature
     
  15. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    When people already have everything they need, it's easy to for them to boast about being offended by the processes that everything came from.
     
  16. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you think that the indigenous peoples that Europeans came across were and are inferior?

    To state that "our way is better because we like it more" doesn't make it better, especially when our way includes invading other peoples' homes and eradicating and/or enslaving them in order to build our better way of lives over what they used to do.

    What's better: a society that cures cancer after depending on the labor of millions of people who never consented to that labor, that destroys the soils, waters and climates of their own landbase, or a society that depends on its own consentual labor while living within the means of its landbase?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  17. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Said the slavemasters to the abolishonists.
     
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  18. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Said the thirteen year old girl to you also. Also, you misspelled abolitionists.
     
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  19. ChickenFreak
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    This assumes that primitive societies naturally tend toward consensual labor. I see no evidence of that.

    Edited to add: Also, it's too late for a hunter-gatherer society. We have too many people; we are dependent on agriculture. If ninety-odd percent of the population of the earth died, and we were in a committee to decide how to start over, we could discuss it. If we were colonizing a new planet or even a new continent, we could discuss it. But we're not in either position.
     
  20. Okon
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    @Simpson17866 is a thirteen year old girl?:D /Kidding


    Humans have always been looking to the stars. If civilization collapses because of it, well, we had one heck of a ride. And we did try towards the end, too. You could almost say humanity is a really good story protagonist: no shortage of mistakes and conflict, yet unrelentlessly pursuing what it thinks is the right thing to do.

    If I get stabbed by raiders after the grid goes down or crushed by a hover car when it runs out of power, I won't die being mad at humans-- I'll die with pride of how far we came:agreed:.
     
  21. Simpson17866
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    … Fair enough.
     
  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    By inferior do you mean technologically inferior? If yes, then I would say yes.

    There's no objective way to measure "better." All I can say is that I think we're better off because I like our society compared to the society from thousands of years ago. I'm sure most people would agree with me.

    You don't think there's going to be exploitation and destruction in a hunter-gatherer society? You're a romantic, my friend.
     
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  23. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess the idea is to think up a society that is entirely environmentally sustainable and lacks forms of human exploitation. Anarcho primitivism seems to offer that *in theory* but obviously isn't realistic. I don't know if sustainability or social equity is possible in the framework of a global industrial capitalist system, and I don't know what the optimal alternative looks like or how we can get from here to there. But that all leads into a conversation away from anarcho-primitivism (which I'd be interested in if people wanna go there.)
     
  24. mammamaia
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    thirdwind...
    in defense of the indigenous peoples among many of whom i've lived and traveled, i must disagree with your 'yes'...

    'inferior' does not really apply in any logical way to those whose 'technology' is not up to modern standards... not having the use of fancy stuff that their conquerors, the usurpers of their lands used to drive them to extinction [or close to it] does not make the people themselves 'inferior' in any way... a more apt term might be 'lacking in technology'... but 'technologically inferior' doesn't make sense to me as a quality of the people themselves, as its most common meaning is 'substandard' and 'not as good' rather than simply 'lacking'...
     
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  25. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think in general, we who enjoy the technological advancements of the last century or so, do think that our lives are better and that compared to those without such technologies, we are better people. We think of progress as a linear process based on human evolution. "We" once lived in the caves and roamed the lands, then "we" became smarter, and here "we" are now, talking to each other on the internet (most of us rather miserable, lacking exercise, feeling isolated and disconnected from each other and from the natural systems that sustain us). Those poor, primitive people who were too stupid to figure out how to build cars and skyscrapers, who never learned how to destroy all the rainforests, to acidify the oceans and make the coral reefs go extinct, to melt the ice caps and make sea levels rise 10 feet over the next century - what kinds of lives do they live? More importantly, what did Justin Beiber have for breakfast?

    (Therefore, we have little to no problem when somebody "buys property" somewhere where "they" live, in order to turn their natural habitat into commodities for us to buy cheaply, while "giving them jobs" and helping them become "civilized" because it's better for them to live like us because we're better than them.)
     
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