Anarcho-primitivism is an anarchist critique of the origins and progress of civilization. According to anarcho-primitivism, the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, alienation, and overpopulation. Anarcho-primitivists advocate a return of non-"civilized" ways of life through deindustrialization, abolition of the division of labor or specialization, and abandonment of large-scale organization technologies.

Anarcho-primitivism advocates for a society roughly based on hunter-gatherer way of life and which analyzes:

  1. The dominance of symbolic culture (language, writing, time, math, art, ritual) over unmediated and sensual experience.

  2. Human dominion over nature in the forms of domestication, agriculture, urbanization, industrialism.

  3. The social practices of permanent settlement, labor specialization, mass society, spectacle society.

  4. The colonization of traditional indigenous cultures.

  5. Dogma, objective morality, and the ideologies of historical progress, scientism, and technophilia.

  6. Forced and bribed labor, and the practice of separating labor from life.

John Moore:

Anarcho-primitivism (a.k.a. radical primitivism, anti-authoritarian primitivism, the anti-civilization movement, or just, primitivism) is a shorthand term for a radical current that critiques the totality of civilization from an anarchist perspective, and seeks to initiate a comprehensive transformation of human life. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as anarcho-primitivism or anarcho-primitivists. Fredy Perlman, a major voice in this current, once said, "The only -ist name I respond to is "cellist".' Individuals associated with this current do not wish to be adherents of an ideology, merely people who seek to become free individuals in free communities in harmony with one another and with the biosphere, and may therefore refuse to be limited by the term 'anarcho-primitivist' or any other ideological tagging. At best, then, anarcho-primitivism is a convenient label used to characterise diverse individuals with a common project: the abolition of all power relations - e.g., structures of control, coercion, domination, and exploitation - and the creation of a form of community that excludes all such relations.