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Friday, December 19 2014 @ 06:13 AM CST

The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology

Anarchist Movement

“Whenever I think of [inventor of the computer] Alan Turing I think about the Apple logo,” began John Zerzan. “The logo is an apple with a bite out of it. Of course, Turing supposedly smeared cyanide on an apple and bit into it after being persecuted by the government for being gay. A bite from an apple is also associated with our expulsion from the Garden of Eden. I don’t think that’s quite the message they’re trying to convey, but there it is.”

The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology

By Roc Morin
Vice
Jun 25 2014

“Whenever I think of [inventor of the computer] Alan Turing I think about the Apple logo,” began John Zerzan. “The logo is an apple with a bite out of it. Of course, Turing supposedly smeared cyanide on an apple and bit into it after being persecuted by the government for being gay. A bite from an apple is also associated with our expulsion from the Garden of Eden. I don’t think that’s quite the message they’re trying to convey, but there it is.”

I had arranged an interview with arguably the world’s most prominent anti-technology philosopher via email. The interview was to be conducted via Skype. At the appointed time, Zerzan’s voice leapt across the continent—from Eugene, Oregon, to New York City in the fraction of a second. He was smiling when his face flashed onto the monitor. I smiled back and looked into his eyes—before catching myself. The irony of Skype, of course, is that in order to actually make eye contact with someone, you have to ignore their eyes and look into the camera instead.

VICE: You advocate for all of civilization to abandon technology and return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. How do you feel about the Skype call that we’re having right now?

John Zerzan: I was on the Art Bell show years ago and he kept saying that to be consistent with my philosophy, I should live in a cave. I said, “Yeah, you’re right, but then this conversation wouldn’t be possible.” You have to try to connect with people. You have to be part of the conversation in society or else you’re not serious.

So, is that the only reason that you don’t go live in the wilderness?

Well, I guess so, although I would have to say that, like most people, I’m pretty damned domesticated. I enjoy when I’m out there, but I’m not as equipped as some people.

Have you had periods where you have lived off the grid?

Not really, though I’ve gone to the mountains for a few days at a time.

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The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology
Authored by: Makhno on Friday, June 27 2014 @ 02:55 PM CDT

The contradiction inherent in Zerzan's anarcho-primitivist philosophy - critiquing and opposing our techno-industrial civilization using its own tools, and to a large extent dependent on that system for survival - is the same type of contradiction faced by any anti-capitalist, who must participate in the capitalist system despite their most deeply-held beliefs.

The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology
Authored by: Admin on Friday, June 27 2014 @ 10:42 PM CDT

It's like critics of anarchism who claim that anarchists are hypocritical because we all participate in capitalism.

The best response to this argument is to point out that you can't escape capitalism on this planet. It is everywhere. There is no opting out.

But we fight for something different, while we put up with capitalism.

The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology
Authored by: ISHI on Monday, June 30 2014 @ 04:59 AM CDT

 I totally agree with this----we want a different system (or non-system) but we are forced to live in this one due to the contingencies of history. One can remember the abolition of slavery---it takes a bit of time.  But, one can 'use the master's tools to dismantle the house'.   I know this personally---(although because i am not exactly of the working class variety i had to have the fire department, police, and burglars break my door for me (i probably could have gotten from the neighbors but they just shot through their own door and my wall and got arrested too---though i did take my door off one time using a rock when i lost my keys at a show).    I was an abolitionist, one of the originals---the illegitimate son of Jefferson and Hemings.  But you realize you may need to live on a plantation and own slaves so that you can proselytize, and then maybe a nat turner can make use of the master's tools to make a get away.   I am also, like Bakunin and Kropotkin that other russian christian anarchist, a strong anti-capitalist , but i still need my family estate and inheritance.  As Talib kwalili put it in 'rap music' 'just to get by '  (himself the product of ivy league type parents),.  I am also, like Proudhon, against the state, but like him, an elected politician---and he also founded a bank (though i think citigroup may have outcompeted him) .

I'm also a strong animal rights person, and vegan, and have zero tolerance for those who kill aminals, especially the noble savages except for Dreck Jensen (since he had celiac decease).   But, its eat or be eaten, so i don't mind when i'm going to a shac or peta protest in my suv if i hit a few deer on the way  and stop to get a steak at whole foods.  Its like vivisectionsociallty and intersectionality, a PhD vs the 3rd degree (temperature of the universe as a whole, in harmony)..

 

i see zerzan has been traveling to india, europe, and on and on, repeating his plagiarisms of rousseau combined with some fairly ancient mysanthropic european philosophy (spengler was better than that even) .  Maybe we could buy him a personal jet to help spread the word, sionce he already has a cell phone.  I'd like to fly him to speak at my plantation about business opportunities---frederick engels is coming.      As Eazy E put it 'only if u want it'  (so give me shoes back).

 

The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology
Authored by: DeepGreenPhilly on Sunday, July 06 2014 @ 02:26 AM CDT

in my opinion, the most valuable part of Zerzan's critique is his focus on domestication. People don't like to think of themselves as domesticated along the lines of farm/companion animals, yet here we are, most of us trained to be dependant on this system and its rulers for our very survival. 

Edited on Sunday, July 06 2014 @ 02:28 AM CDT by DeepGreenPhilly
The Anarcho-Primitivist Who Wants Us All to Give Up Technology
Authored by: ISHI on Thursday, July 10 2014 @ 10:35 PM CDT

 zerzan i do think is an expert on domestication, as a couch potato pimitivist who probably channel surfs to see wild kingdom videos. i know he hates music, since he couldnt play air guitar---so he just said its bad like math and language and also technology except his radio show,plane travel, and web sites.   i think he even has pictures of noble savages on his walls. it takes one 2 no one.  

 

i noted your article on gentrification in philly..  i agree.  i looked at your one on reperations now even promoted in extreme anarchist direct action drivel called the atlantic by coates.  sorry but i think i know more about kenya than you and i know some kenyans and i think that is not a good example if you know how divided kenya is .   

 

despite derreck jensen and dgr being like so pc on everything except some things, he is an idiot. but thats why he is popular, like rush limbaugh hitler christ and zerzan.

 

i did see there is a new stalinist society of n america which had a conference in amherst mass.  maybe zerzan and jensen could fly in to speak about domestication at their next conference. i thinks thats a match made in heaven unless zerzan got off his rocks at the christian conferences he also speaks at.  'no god or masters, live wild or die n-- die'., bang bang   (notorious BIG with nancy sinatra)