2

Primitivists aren't anarchists

Submitted by _deleted____ in Anarchism

Primitivists are not anarchists in exactly the same sense capitalists are not anarchists. Primitivists oppose the state as part of their overall program against civilization, but this alone does not make them anarchists, much like capitalist opposition to the state does not make capitalists anarchists.

Primitvists do not support the creation of an anarchist society, but rather, the creation of primitvism, wherein morality would be defined as "what's good for the planet" and thought, technology, etc., would be systemically eliminated.

This is not an anarchist society, wherein people are free and equal, but just one without a state.

Comments

You must log in or register to comment.

7

theblackcat wrote

I'm a green anarchist in that that the living earth is my priority, not the industrial system or any set of human technologies. You're saying that this morality I have where I care about the entire planet means I'm not an anarchist?

-4

_deleted____ wrote

This is an eloquent phrasing of why non-primitivist green anarchism is impossible.

Primitivism is the meme that the planet humans currently live on is "alive." This is false. Planets are merely big rocks floating in space.

If you examine all environmentalism, including green anarchism, it eventually reduces to this: a utility-value of "nature" that is positive, and a utility-value of "humans" that is negative. All environmentalism is ideologically anti-human (it accidentally is instrumentally pro-human in some cases, but not in most).

As such, it's impossible to be a "green" anything and not be primitivist at the core of your ideology.

Even if you accept that, say, "clean" nuclear power is an acceptable compromise, the fact that you would even personify a rock as an agent that needs to be included in any utility evaluation is primitivism and thus not anarchism.

People matter more than big floating rocks. Anarchism is a pro-worker (people) movement. Primitivists aren't anarchists.

7

ArbitraryHuman wrote

If you examine all environmentalism, including green anarchism, it eventually reduces to this: a utility-value of "nature" that is positive, and a utility-value of "humans" that is negative. All environmentalism is ideologically anti-human (it accidentally is instrumentally pro-human in some cases, but not in most).

You do realize that most environmentalism attempts to prolong the lifespan of the earth so that we may live for as long as we can on it before things go sideways, yes?

People matter more than big floating rocks. Anarchism is a pro-worker (people) movement. Primitivists aren't anarchists.

The "big floating rock" is our home planet. If you kill the Earth (which, if you didn't notice, is an analogy for making it a barren wasteland of a planet that cannot support life), we'll have to jump to another planet, and will have basically killed off every species on Earth before we leave it. Does that not strike any negative chord with you?

-4

_deleted____ wrote

No. The rock isn't meant to last forever, just long enough for us to grow up and spread across the universe.

7

ArbitraryHuman wrote (edited )

The rock was not engineered solely for the purpose of nurturing humankind. It's a rock, remember--you're beginning to sound a little religious yourself.

Plus, spreading across the universe (assuming we would make "colonies" everywhere we landed) sounds very very close to imperialism. But, of course, if there are no other humans on the planet, it can't be morally wrong to take it over, amirite?

-2

_deleted____ wrote

We would of course would not 'take over' other planets with advanced life on them, but anarchists don't believe in borders. There's no reason we can't co-exist with other advanced lifeforms.

The rock was not engineered solely for the purpose of nurturing humankind.

We're the only intelligent lifeform that evolved on it and thus, the only lifeform of consequence.

7

ArbitraryHuman wrote

We would of course would not 'take over' other planets with advanced life on them, but anarchists don't believe in borders. There's no reason we can't co-exist with other advanced lifeforms.

As you may note on a rereading of my post, I did not mention advanced life on other planets.

We're the only intelligent lifeform that evolved on it and thus, the only lifeform of consequence.

Yet it took evolution millions of years to create all of the myriads of species on this planet--and you would do away with those millions of years for 99% of them because you simply don't give a damn?

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Time is meaningless. Just because a fungus has existed for a million years unchanged, it doesn't need to exist for another million. Only humanity needs to survive, everything else on the rock failed to evolve to our level and only exists to sustain us until we leave.

6

ArbitraryHuman wrote (edited )

Time is certainly not meaningless. It would take time to get every human off the planet if it is to die, more time than we have now. It is time that defines the human species--our ancestors of many thousand years ago you may not have called "the most advanced life-forms on the planet."

Stating that everything on the planet is a failure because it hasn't evolved to our level is like saying that anarchism doesn't work because no anarchist territory has ever lasted for more than a few years. You once again fail to take into consideration the dimensions of time and evolution--both natural and of the artificial kind--and their great effect on our entire existance.

9

23i wrote

Stating that everything on the planet is a failure because it hasn't evolved to our level is like saying that anarchism doesn't work because no anarchist territory has ever lasted for more than a few years.

it also sounds like what I would call the "whig theory of evolution", as it assumes that humans and a human-like state are an inevitable pinnacle that all evolution leads towards, just like the whig theory of history thinks about liberal democracy.

5

Emeryael wrote

Stating that everything on the planet is a failure because it hasn't evolved to our level is like saying that anarchism doesn't work because no anarchist territory has ever lasted for more than a few years. You once again fail to take into consideration the dimensions of time and evolution--both natural and of the artificial kind--and their great effect on our entire existance.

Also, it ignores the reality that in nature, there's strength in diversity. If the planet was made up entirely of humans, nothing would work.

Also, can you really call all other life on this planet unintelligent, given that unlike us, they are aware of their place in the ecosystem and have managed to live without irrevocably poisoning their home for millions of years?

Maybe humans should be regarded as unintelligent, given that a good chunk believe that they are separate from nature, that they can poison and pillage the ecosystem and they won't have to deal with the consequences. Also, a good chunk continue to believe in constant expansion/production, because they cannot grasp the basic idea that if you keep constantly consuming, eventually there will be nothing left.

It's a simple idea: gobble down every piece of chocolate cake within arms' reach and you'll eventually run out of chocolate cake. Yet we keep having to repeatedly explain this over and over to some idiot who magically believes some new advance will fix all the problems caused by all the previous advances and will not, in itself, create or aggravate already existing problems.

The prims also understand that humans had managed to live sustainably and in harmony with one another and nature for thousands of years, until the advent of a One-Size-Fits-All Industrial Civilization, which, like I said before, operates under the meme that constant expansion and production can occur and won't have any consequences.

As I've said in other threads, Industrial Civilization has managed to stay afloat for so long because until recently, there were always new places to expand to and exploit. Now, we've reached the limit of said places and Industrial Civilization is basically cannibalizing itself to keep the game going a little longer. But there are obvious flaws in that strategy.

-4

_deleted____ wrote

Animals aren't even aware that they exist in an ecosystem. They're not intelligent.

4

Emeryael wrote

How are they unaware? They have all five senses. I'm certain they can see and hear, taste, smell, and eat, the same as humans. They know the land where they live and they know the creatures they share the land with. Many humans cannot say the same.

0

zorblax wrote

They have all five senses.

Most don't, actually.

I'm certain they can see and hear, taste, smell, and eat, the same as humans.

Even if they measure the same things, doesn't mean they see the same things. They might see in different spectra, they might have taste and smell adapted to different chemicals, and above all the qualia produced by those sensory organs might be completely different.

They know the land where they live and they know the creatures they share the land with.

No reason to believe this is true, except for predatory animals that need to know the land to hunt and territorial animals that need to know the land so they can know what part they own.

3

Emeryael wrote

Even if they measure the same things, doesn't mean they see the same things. They might see in different spectra, they might have taste and smell adapted to different chemicals, and above all the qualia produced by those sensory organs might be completely different.

So if anything or anyone thinks or perceives things different from you, you see them as slaves who exist solely for you and if you can't see any perceived benefit, they deserve to die? Good to know.

No reason to believe this is true, except for predatory animals that need to know the land to hunt and territorial animals that need to know the land so they can know what part they own.

So prey or herbivores don't need to know where to find water or where to find the plants they like to eat or need to eat to survive. They don't need to know the best place/materials to build a den. They also don't need to know how to spot a predator and how to outwit a predator and stay alive. So how exactly has any of them managed to stay alive? You'll probably say something idiotic like "Strength in numbers," but strength in numbers doesn't help you much if not a single member of your species has any basic level of intelligence whatsoever.

So it's safe to say that in your vision of the world, all prey animals are dead, which begs the question: so what are the predators eating? I suppose they could feast on each other, but there's an obvious flaw in that strategy.

0

zorblax wrote (edited )

So if anything or anyone thinks or perceives things different from you, you see them as slaves who exist solely for you and if you can't see any perceived benefit, they deserve to die?

Nope. I was just correcting some factual inaccuracies.

don't need to know where to find water or where to find the plants they like to eat or need to eat to survive. They don't need to know the best place/materials to build a den.

You're mistaking knowledge of how to survive in an area with knowledge of an area. When I go someplace unfamiliar, sure I can find food and water and shelter, but I could still be utterly lost.

Or another example: suppose you move to a new city, and being a skittish type of person you only do what's necessary, not really bothering to explore or learn the streets or meet people. You've got your apartment, which you know well, and maybe the immediate area around. You know where a grocery store is, and the location of a few other sources of daily necessities. Would you say you know the area? I sure would not. I think that sort of basic knowledge of how to survive, rather than the actual intimate knowledge of their environment, is how most animals live. But, we can't really know, since the mind of an animal would be completely alien to a human, except well-domesticated ones like dogs.

Oh, and when I say "most animals" I'm including reptiles and insects and spiders and birds. Limiting the playing field to just large mammals is a little narrow-minded.

They also don't need to know how to spot a predator and how to outwit a predator and stay alive.

'outwit' is a strong word for the way most animals avoid being eaten.

You'll probably say something idiotic like "Strength in numbers," but strength in numbers doesn't help you much if not a single member of your species has any basic level of intelligence whatsoever.

It does though! Swarming insects are a prime example of that exact principle at work.

3

Emeryael wrote (edited )

Ugh...I could point out that monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico every year for the winter and are able to reach their destination, even though it's their first trip, proving that they aren't rock-stupid. Whereas I, a human, still struggle to navigate Tulsa, OK without a GPS, no matter how many times I've been there. So by that logic, the monarch butterflies are smarter than me.

I suppose I could keep up the argument--point out that you likely don't have much intimate knowledge of your environment, cannot name any of the plants, birds, trees, or animals living there--but it feels like a futile effort. No point in arguing if you're going to just keep moving the goalposts.

It feels reminiscent of the kind of logic seen in a Supreme Court decision made by Chief Justice John Marshall in 1823 where he said that the Cherokees had certain rights to their land by dint of occupancy, but the Europeans had greater rights owing to their discovery of the land. And of course, Marshall never bothered to explain how the Indians could occupy their land without discovering it.

No matter how many examples I point out, attesting to the intelligence of living beings, you'll change the rules and explain how that's not really intelligent, because you believe that human beings are the only ones who have any kind of interior life at all. I could talk about how many different animals like corvids, have demonstrated the ability to use tools, and Elephants have been shown burying their dead, but again, you'll find some way of weaseling out of it. Though "weaseling" is probably the wrong word; even weasels have some limits, just like most predators.

It is true that life isn't like a Disney cartoon where all the animals hold hands and sing, but at the same time, even the biggest, fiercest predator has its natural limits. If a tiger has recently eaten, you could parade the most succulent and juicy game right in front of him/her and the tiger will just ignore it. Like many predators, tigers may kill each other in territorial and mating battles, but they don't prowl around trying to kill every tiger in existence.

But unfortunately, a good chunk of humanity doesn't understand the basic idea that they are a part of the ecosystem and that anything that affects one part of the ecosystem, will eventually affect them. We are not outside the natural world and its creatures; we are emeshed in the great cycle of life and death with them. To believe otherwise, leads to a toxic mess that endangers everyone, human, plant, and animal life alike.

1

zorblax wrote (edited )

I could point out that monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico every year for the winter and are able to reach their destination, even though it's their first trip, proving that they aren't rock-stupid.

Proving they have built-in instincts that tell them how to get there, yes.

point out that you likely don't have much intimate knowledge of your environment, cannot name any of the plants, birds, trees, or animals living there

Actually I know my local environment pretty well. It's an object of great interest for me and I try to spend a lot of time outdoors.

because you believe that human beings are the only ones who have any kind of interior life at all

Wrong. I think that humans are obviously more intelligent than any other earthly life, and I think that the thought processes and conscious experiences of one animal(assuming it has a nervous system complex enough to support consciousness) would be alien to another dissimilar animal, to the point where ideas such as morality or desire or even basic facts about reality do not easily map from one to the other. But I don't think that no animals have conscious experience.

If a tiger has recently eaten, you could parade the most succulent and juicy game right in front of him/her and the tiger will just ignore it.

Yes, but on the other hand, many animals kill for straight fun, such as orcas or honey badgers.

I agree with your point. I just disagree with some of your evidence.

6

23i wrote

you: "So not any individualistic, selfish or anti-human ideologies."

also you: ALL LIFE EXISTS TO SERVE HUMANITY

6

[deleted] wrote (edited )

-2

_deleted____ wrote

I didn't say anything about races.

4

[deleted] wrote (edited )

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Last I checked, anprims hunt lesser species and kill them.

2

[deleted] wrote (edited )

4

fuyuki wrote

all other things exist to serve man

You are starting to sound like you're the nonanarchist here.

6

ziq_postcivver wrote

So basically, anarchism is whatever Chomskyist (lol) says it is?

Seems pretty anarchist, carry on.

-5

_deleted____ wrote

No, anarchism has a very specific definition that leaves no room for reactionary pursuits such as capitalism, primitivism and egoism.

2

[deleted] wrote (edited )

-5

_deleted____ wrote

Anarchism is the belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.

So not any individualistic, selfish or anti-human ideologies.

7

23i wrote

wow, this "ANY TENDENCY OTHER THAN MINE ISN'T ANARCHIST" crusade is widening.

4

tnstaec wrote

Here's how critique works: You learn the basics of an idea and then systematically refute those points.

Here's what you're doing: Randomly collecting some vaguely similar ideas kinda-sorta-not-really related to an idea and wildly hurling rhetorical darts at them, hoping they'll stick

2

Naokotani wrote

We need the earth and its ecosystems. The earth and its ecosystems don't need us.

6

ziq_postcivver wrote

You're right. But anarcho-primitivists are.

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Primitivism is not a strain of anarchism; it is impossible to have anarcho-primitivism.

Primitivists are a cancer in the anarchist milieu that can only be excised entirely, leaving no memory of its existence.

If I find someone I previously thought was a comrade is a primitivist, I never work with them again, and consider everything I shared with them compromised.

3

23i wrote

Transhumanism is not a strain of anarchism; it is impossible to have anarcho-transhumanism.

Transhumanists are a cancer in the anarchist milieu that can only be excised entirely, leaving no memory of its existence.

If I find someone I previously thought was a comrade is a transhumanist, I never work with them again, and consider everything I shared with them compromised.

0

_deleted____ wrote

"No, you" isn't a valid retort.

Anarcho-transhumanism is about saving humanity and taking us to the next level in consciousness. Primitivism is about saving a stupid rock by removing or greatly minimizing humanity from it.

7

ziq_postcivver wrote

You of course realize that if you kill the 'stupid rock', we all die, right?

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Space colonization...

6

23i wrote

a transhumanist Noah's Ark will be about as viable as the mythological one...i.e not at all.

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Except that we're already sending people to Mars to colonize that rock.

7

23i wrote

except for the fact that that's

a. very close to a pie-in-the-sky possibility
b. is probably never going to scale well enough to allow a large portion of the planet's ecosystem to travel, or even most of the world's population + livestock to travel, so there's a lot of people and things it won't help save.

8

Emeryael wrote

And of course, the "Find another planet" solution ignores the fact that if we don't learn how to properly live, stop with this whole idea of constant expansion/production, we'll eventually use up whatever new planets we discover and have to move on again. Do I need to explain how damn inefficient that short-term solution is?

And as always in all these scenarios, it will be the rich who will be able to buy their way out, while the poor are left behind to clean up the mess.

-2

_deleted____ wrote (edited )

Why would we bring livestock? We can grow proteins in a lab. And we won't even need to consume food once we've evolved further.

2

23i wrote

Why would we bring livestock? We can grow proteins in a lab.

Given the fact that the way livestock is raised, diet, etc, can affect the taste of the meat, and replicating that with lab-grown meat might be rather laborious, perhaps taste? perhaps by-products like wool? perhaps to preserve the ecosystem to some extent? religious response to the existence of lab-grown meat? setting up large scale protein-growing labs being impractical on planets? considering the pie-in-the-sky nature of this entire scenario, there's so many hypothetical reasons you can dream up.

And we won't even need to consume food once we've evolved further.

how do you know that? and what about eating for pleasure?

-4

_deleted____ wrote

None of your arguments for keeping food animals around are logical. We can already make it taste better than the real thing using simple flavoring.

Transhumanists wish to transcend their natural state and limitations through the use of technology. We wish to do away with the parts of us that are inefficient - requiring food to survive is a big limitation that will easily be overcome with science. As will our limited lifespans.

3

23i wrote

None of your arguments for keeping food animals around are logical.

humans aren't entirely rational beings?

2

23i wrote

We can already make it taste better than the real thing using simple flavoring.

that is subjective, and there might be people who prefer real meat for the authenticity of it.

-1

_deleted____ wrote

What they prefer is unimportant when we're discussing the survival of humanity by colonizing space and upgrading ourselves to overcome our biological limitations (like needing to eat cow carcasses).

0

[deleted] wrote (edited )

0

_deleted____ wrote

We can already build artificial organs and limbs...

0

[deleted] wrote (edited )

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Upload our brains to the cloud so they don't depend on a fragile mound of flesh to exist.

-1

[deleted] wrote (edited )

-2

_deleted____ wrote

Overcoming our physical limitations is evolution. We must leave the rock as well as our physical forms to take our rightful place on a higher plane of consciousness. We can still take physical form when we want to, inside artificial bodies.

6

23i wrote

and why is "humanity" worth saving and a "rock" not?

-3

_deleted____ wrote

This rock only exists to nurture humanity until we've evolved enough to get off it.

6

23i wrote

and if there isn't any inherent purpose to this rock and the existence of the human species on it?

5

tnstaec wrote

Says primmies aren't anarchist.

Username is based on that academic celebrity who has consistently betrayed the anti-state cause for 20 years.

Riiiiiiight.

4

[deleted] wrote (edited )

-4

_deleted____ wrote (edited )

The root of all primitivist thought is a literal worship of the planet humans evolved on -- a sort of Gaianistic theology that assigns original sin to sentient thought and locates perfection in the evolutionary past before this sin came about.

This is at odds with reality in a large number of ways (the least of which being that non-human animals are very capable of sentient thought, and the assertion that they are not indicates the same sort of Christian hierarchical dualism that primitivists claim to oppose).

As such, supporting primitivism means supporting this world-view. This world-view sometimes makes the same terminal statements as a sane worldview, but for entirely different reasons.

For example, both myself and a primitivist might say "Pollution is bad," but while I would say that because it kills people (humans and non-humans), a primitivist would say that because it kills plants or, more poignantly, destabilizes a "natural order" that they want to preserve.

Nothing in primitivism has ever convinced me that the primitivist utopia is not an entirely empty planet, such as Mars (which is now sullied by the human infection, but consider Mars circa 1800). On Mars, the balance of life and nature is perfect. No cities have ever been built, no mass-extinctions have ever taken place.

There are some key questions that we can ask primitivists to expose this worldview;

  • If a life-form originating in an environment relatively untouched by humans (the Mariana trench, or the deep Antarctic, or some other environment) was discovered to be multiplying rapidly and converting the planet's atmosphere to something toxic to all existing life, would it be ethical to try to eradicate this life-form to protect all existing life?

I suspect that primitivists will always answer no to this question, since:

  • using technology is associated with the original sin of intelligence, and

  • since such a world-ending lifeform is "organic", it's thus part of the natural (or divine) plan and it's right for everyone to die.

5

mms4wyfu wrote

The root of all primitivist thought is a literal worship of the planet humans evolved on -- a sort of Gaianistic theology that assigns original sin to sentient thought and locates perfection in the evolutionary past before this sin came about.

That's the catch with aggressive boundary-drawing--you've defined primitivism so narrowly that it sounds like you're fine with the vast majority of people whose anarchist views are informed by primitivism.

4

[deleted] wrote (edited )

4

Emeryael wrote

Oh look, a close-to-accurate statement. We aren't so anthropocentric as to claim that pollution only kills humans, it kills humans and plants.

To go with this, the prims are also smart enough to know that if you poison an ecosystem, wiping out all plant and animal life, it will kill humans as well, because it turns out we're part of said ecosystem and to pretend like we're not, act like somehow we're separate from the world and as such, can poison it and face no consequences, is an incredibly dumb, toxic idea.

2

surreal wrote

You are being downvoted mainly because your statement is wrong. Anarcho-primitivism is a thing either you like it or not, it makes me sad too but i take it seriously. There are some good points in it's concepts and we should not dismiss them from our train of thought. But I can see how sad some other points can be especially if a dogmatic Anarcho-primitivist is surfing the web with their shiny tech.

1

Naokotani wrote

The vast majority of primitive societies are anarchist. Many if not most strongly reject the idea that any person should have more power in the society than any other.