Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

ziq OP wrote

best part is when they said civilization isn't a clearly defined concept because (a bunch of 19th century communists) didn't talk about it


CaptainACAB wrote

I'm always seeing that talking point and if there's a refutation that involves defining civilization, I invariably see something about the definition being poor or some other argument that amounts to defining civilization as some force of good or a neutral thing co-opted by evil forces (the latter I see from communists trying to refocus on Capitalism. The cowards.).

Is there some sort of standard definition for civilization that exists that I'm supposed to point to every time I want disparage civilization on a forum populated primarily by anti-civ types? Because I don't wanna have to fucking do that, the pro-civs should start following the practices, and therefor the definitions, of the majority when they come here; it's what their precious civilization's been making "the out-group" do since its existence.

Anyone from, like, the civilizations of the Aztec empire or ancient Egypt is more than welcome to come here and inform us of the benefits and longevity of civilization, but the fanatics of the current era of Western Civilization can fuck off since we all currently have to live under the yoke of the consequences of the Enlightenment.


lettuceLeafer wrote

Is there a clear definition of civilization in anti civ theory? My understanding is that civ is more of a loosely defined concept being critiqued rather than a strict definition. I think the most defined definition of civ I've come across is basically having communities with such large populations that the food can't be grown locally or having everyone make some of their food.

I don't read a ton of anti civ theory but I never thought that civ is well defined and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.


ziq OP wrote (edited )

The definition of civilization is no different in anticiv theory than it is anywhere.

Civilization Wikipedia: “a society defined as a complex society characterized by the practice of agriculture and settlement in cities ... Compared with less complex structures, members of a civilization are organized into a diverse division of labor and an intricate social hierarchy.”

City "People living more or less permanently in one place in densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and other necessities of life.”

That's it. There's nothing complicated about it.

I don't read a ton of anti civ theory

Just read the Primitivist Primer, anticiv theory isn't dense at all. That one essay is all you need to understand it


lettuceLeafer wrote

Primitivist Primer,

I've allready read it. It not that I'm unfamiliar with anti civ theory. It just I came away from it with the idea that the definition of civ was kinda fluid and not rigid. Which honestly I would prefer over the standard definition. Because there are some flaws with such a definition imo.

But my main point was that I who has been on raddle for a long time and have read a couple anti civ books and some anti civ articles and podcasts if I come away with the idea that civ isn't precisely defined it seems a bit odd to be so critical of people who have no real understanding of anti civ to think civ isn't well defined.

For me I like civ being more of a concept like freedom. One which can't quite be difined but everyone kinda gets the gist of what you mean.

Though overall I don't think my point is really important. It was just interesting for me as I never really viewed civ as a rigid concept from reading said theory while you did which is kinda interesting. But not anymore important than just kinda interesting tidbit.


ziq OP wrote

civilization has an exact definition in anthropology, history and politics. there's no reason anarchists would want to change the definition, and if they did, we'd just end up with more entryist bullshit along the lines of anarchy = legitimate government / people's government / communism / real democracy / real capitalism.

it's important to maintain strong definitions of our terms and never give an inch to the people who try to change the meanings of them. those people are always looking to appropriate, water-down and obfuscate anarchy so they can sell it


lettuceLeafer wrote

civilization has an exact definition in anthropology, history and politics

Like it doesn't tho. I've encountered the use of civilization in literal academia multiple times of different but similar definitions of civilization. Tho I think this point is irrelevant to my argument so I'll give it to you.

What is the point of trying to cater the definitions to explain anti civ theory to appeal to pro covers to radicalize them. I think trying to change how anarchy is talked about to radicalize people more effectively is a waste of time.

In this case I would say a more queer definition of civ is superior to a rigid definition tho both can work depending on the case.