Articles that are relevant to the issue of technology.

Comment by HealthWrithts

This article suggests that "Currently our machines, our industry, and our technology are not only eclipsing our souls, they are killing nature. Because we are not machines, because we are of the earth, and because we are also nature, our machine-based way of life is also killing us." Perhaps it is time to pull back and take a radically different perspective on what is happening to us both individually and collectively. I am not entirely clear on what, with regard to political action, the perspective presented in this article might lead to. But if we don't understand our disease we are unlikely to find a cure. That much seems clear. So read the article, and if you think the author has a point, take a look at his book.

The article


book cover for Eros of LogosBook CoverThe following is an excerpt from Eros Over Logos: A Revolt of the Instinctual Mind Amidst the Madness of Modern Life.

We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it's all about. —Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

As human beings living in the modern world, we must ask ourselves, “How does our beingcoexist with all our going?” It‘s an important question because every day we are constantly and simultaneously moving in multiple directions so rapidly that we rarely have the opportunity to connect with the beingof our human nature. Beingis not the same as doing, and we live in a culture of non-stop acceleration, of continual, frenzied, anxiety and competition-driven, on the goaction.

Even our foremost pastimes, the movies, television shows, and sporting events we view—things we do to recover from all our work and busyness—exemplify this glorification of non-stop, nerve-riveting action, of violence, crime, sexual exploits, and destruction.

In this world, there is very little time for rest and relaxation, and when there is time we virtually recoil from it in horror, somehow believing that the moment we cease to act, we also cease to exist. Thus, our most revered and apparent sense of self is identified with anxiety and accomplishment. Many of us tend to resolve this predicament, albeit temporarily, by sedating ourselves with drugs and/or alcohol. When the work day is done the only way many people can change gearsor get relaxed is to crack open the bottle or load up the pipe. Our use of mind-altering substances also displays our need to return to the beingof our human nature; so why does our normal modern mode of living have to operate in antithesis to it?

By losing regular contact with our underlying non-anxiety driven, non-neurotic, but intrinsically stable, calm, and reflective inner nature, we have ceased to function as, or find fulfillment in, the inherent human beingthat we are. Indeed, we are becoming increasingly like the programmed devices with which our technological society inundates us, giving the outer impression of vast and dynamic possibilities, but moreover removed from the human heart. Because we lack a true connection with our inner being,we are terrified of being alone or of being at rest; and, paradoxically, through our compulsive obsessions with the frenetic, technology-driven pace of life: we have alienated ourselves from ourselves.

The more we aspire to be in touchwith each other via technological devices such as the cell phone, internet, and webcam, the further we stray from the simple human capacity to share space: to talk in person face to face, to be silent, to listen, to breath the same air, to break bread, to live closely together, and to feel the true embodied companionship of those we love, of family, friends, and even strangers. Having quantifiably more contactsin our cell phone, MySpace, or Facebook account is not the same as having more quality relationships that incorporate depth and richness. Sometimes “less is more,” but that‘s something our capitalistic, money-driven society does not easily grasp.

In the modern Western world, powerful personalities are not usually measured as such by their magnitude of loving-kindness or their propensity to inspire the imagination and the human spirit—although figures such as John Lennon and Martin Luther King, Jr. certainly were—but moreover by their capacity to control others, to manipulate the markets and accumulate wealth. In the world of capitalism, the way powerful people relate to things, such as time, or even other people, is not in any way contemplative, reflective or appreciative; it is almost completely manipulative, aimed at molding things to fit in with their goals of how they want the world to be—for them, “time is money.”

Many of us, especially powerful people, actually value our manipulations of machines over our human relationships, and over activities or engagements that do not involve machines, like reading a book, taking a walk, or watching a sunset. The living spirit inside us was not made by a machine, neither was the sun, nor the sky, nor the earth. But the way we live denotes that machines are more significant than any of these things, and such a way of life neglects our opportunities for truly beinghuman.

Why, in our modern world, is goingvalued so utterly and completely over being? Why, indeed, is beingso profoundly devalued, held in high suspicion, and looked upon as idleness and laziness? Perhaps because if one is simply being, simply enjoying beingalive, beinghuman, beingin time and space, beinga human being; then one is not contributing to the slavish wheel of commerce, one is not feeding the grand capitalist system with one's time and energy, with one's blood, sweat, and tears, or with one's very life.

In the state of being, we cannot be accounted for by the measuring sticks of materialism.

Goingmakes money, beinghas no need for it. Goingneeds to be fueled by saleable items like gasoline and coffee, doughnuts and cell phones, CDs and computers; beingneeds no fuel, its fuel is the acceptance and appreciation of whatever exists in this moment. Goinghas many goals and agendas that require much effort and activity to accomplish. Beinghas only one goal: to be. In a state of being, just beingis enough.

“What the hell are you talking about!?!” you exclaim, jumping out of your seat. “What is this beingof which you speak?!?” In the modern world, there is an unacknowledged social consensus that we should always be preoccupied with some form of outside stimulation, that we are forever in need of something we don't have—we've become chronic “channel-surfers" of life. That's why we're always going. We can't relax. Most of us can't just sit with ourselves for five seconds.

In a state of being, however, we have the opportunity to notice what we are experiencing without reactively and automatically pursing our attachments, cravings, or desires. In a state of being, we are able to notice what our minds are thinking, and what our bodies are feeling. We are able to notice, or sense internally, the sensations inside our own skin and our perceptions of the world around us, as well as how it feels to simply bein the world. Attunement to your beingis the same thing as becoming aware of your presence:the spirit, force, energy, or whatever you would call the essenceof who and what you are as a living, sentient human being.

Although beingis shared by all humans of all cultures and all eras, and by all living creatures, in truth, beingas an aspect of our human condition and potential is not a reinforced or celebrated capacity in modern Western culture. Because we focus so exclusively on goingand on becoming, you could say that beingis not an innately modern Western phenomenon or faculty. Therefore, it is somewhat strange for us to consider. In fact, beingis more well known to pre-Western, indigenous, and Eastern cultural paradigms in which humans co-existed more directly with the planet and with one another. Beingimplies a sense of profound interconnection and interrelationship with the social and natural world, involving not only one's mental processes but also one's body awareness, sensations, energies, instincts, and intuitions.


According to historical accounts, it is reported that when European colonialists came to the American continent, they tended to view the Native Americans as lazy and lacking in ambition. In his recent book, Tree Of Rivers: The Story Of The Amazon, John Hemming quotes the French scientist La Condamine, from 1743, as having described Amazonian natives as “Enemies of work, indifferent to all motives of glory, honour or gratitude; solely concerned with the immediate object … with no care for the future; and incapable of foresight or reflection.”

Obviously, time enlarges perspective, and we know today that during the brutal conquest of the Americas, the European mind-set differed so radically from the Native American‘s that gross misjudgments and racial prejudices were made. Commenting on this situation from the other side of the looking glass, the Native American medicine man Lame Deer states in his autobiography:

Because we refuse to step out of our reality into this frog-skin illusion, [his term for capitalism] we are called dumb, lazy, improvident, immature, other-worldly. It makes me happy to be called 'other-worldly,' and it should make you so. It's a good thing our reality is different from theirs.

Both these accounts, the first discriminatory and the second revelatory, imply another way of relating to time within the Native American culture in which—unlike our modern Western model which is bound to the clock—it appears that beingis as equally valued as going. Denoting this other kind of time, the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez wrote, “More time is not more eternity.” Thus, from the poet‘s perspective time is a subjective experience, closely related to one's particular state of being.

Similarly, from The Labyrinth of Solitude,the Mexican poet Octavio Paz states, “the conception of time as a fixed present and as pure actuality is more ancient than that of chronometric time, which is not an immediate apprehension of the flow of reality but is instead a rationalization of its passing.” He goes on to describe “original time” which “coincides with our inner, subjective time,” in which one's “subjective life becomes identical with exterior time, because this has ceased to be a spacial measurement and has changed into a source, a spring, in the absolute present, endlessly recreating itself.”

These descriptions of time are certainly different from the ways in which we are conditioned to conceptualize, and thus experience, time in modern Western society. Time as “pure actuality,” and as “a source…in the absolute present” connotes time as beingand as presence, as the flowing of life, and as the flow through which we encounter existence. Experiencing time in this manner relates to the context and process of our lives, as well as the contents. In this mode of reality, by virtue of containing and underlying our experience, time becomes the ocean and ground of our being, and—through having been returned to its a priori or transcendent function—loses exclusive identification with going.

One way to illustrate the experience of being,not in chronological or linear time, but in this other, magical or eternal time, is to recall a time when you were in love. For love has always been an experience that somehow takes us out of the ordinary mode of mundane time as experienced by mortals, and into the realm of angels who live in mythological time. At such a time, and in such a state of being, the love you shared with the other person felt like the truest, most profound fulfillment of your life, of your entire being. What you did or where you were goingdidn't matter, because you were in love, and in that state of beingall your pressing concerns with the world faded away … for awhile.

It could be that something other than being in lovetakes you to a state of being,wherein you are completely absorbed and fulfilled without having to goanywhere else or accomplish anything. Simple everyday rituals like having a cup of coffee and gazing out the window at a beautiful landscape can induce our appreciation for being. There are also a variety of awareness disciplines, such as meditation, that provide practical techniques for developing one‘s reflective awareness and appreciation of being. Being as a quality of experience can be cultivated in many activities, even washing the dishes.

Creative activities—like painting, dancing, playing music, or writing—induce states of being in actionthat, once engaged, seem to take us over, to transport us effortlessly into another state of beingin which our capacity to experience and express our human identity and potential is profoundly intensified, expanded, and illuminated. Though we may end up with some kind of a finished product, such as a book, poem, song, or performance piece, the essential aspect of the activity involves a creative, or otherwise unnamable, transformation in the interior quality of our state of being, which then becomes manifest as an external accomplishment.


The point here is not that modern technology and its advancements are implicitly wrong or bad for us—though that may ultimately prove to be true—but that becoming entranced with them to the exclusion of our true human nature, our inherent humanness, is a problem. It is both ignorant and dangerous to focus only on the outer world we have created and not the inner worlds that compose who we are. And yet how can we remain connected to the inner world of our essential selves when our very civilization is based on the domination and manipulation of human beings, as well as nature itself.

Our current thrust of technology and perpetual states of rapid social activity—in the name of progress—has a two-fold effect: the first is the internal eclipsing of our capacity for being, the second is the external eradication of nature—the native environment in which we are most truly human. Through social engineering—gradually eliminating both our internal and external reference points for who we instinctually are as human beings—society remakes us into creatures who think, feel, and behave in the ways they want us to.

How do we address such insidious problems that are so deeply embedded in the function, structure, and foundations of our society that they compose the basis and overall effect of how we live? For most of us, it is nearly impossible to conceive of another perspective or way of living that does not entail the continual subjugation of nature, alongside the never-ending build-up and harnessing of technological forms of human preoccupation that guide us away from our inner selves. How can we live simultaneously in a machine-based world and on a nature-based planet? Isn't such a way of life an inherent contradiction forecasting an imminent demise?

Currently our machines, our industry, and our technology are not only eclipsing our souls, they are killing nature. Because we are not machines, because we are of the earth, and because we are also nature, our machine-based way of life is also killing us.

If we are to find solutions other than an unconscious global suicide and apocalypse, we will find them not through a crescendo of our current maniacal mode of reactive action, but through a more reflective attuning of our human beingto the being of the world. Perhaps in tending to the world—through our own conscious beingsas opposed to our unconscious goings—we can effect a healing in which we will discover the reality of the anima mundi, the soul of the world that, like us, is also alive. Through this deeper connection based on spiritual recognition, we can initiate more sensitive, aware, and unifying interactions within ourselves, with one another, and with the planet whose beingis also essentially part of ours.



Monsanto's Roundup Ravaging Butterfly Populations

monarchAnother Monsanto CasualtyFriday 9 March 2012

Note by Politics of Health Staff:

Technology, understood as the replacement of the natural ecological order with a humanly engineered one, is the central dream of Western Civilization. It is the vision that inspires us, the project that organizes our energies, and the god that gives us hope. Like our political goal of multi-spectrum dominance, it is a dream of conquering and controlling. This dream has led to the defacement of the earth's beauty and to the poisoning of our environment. We do not know how much damage the delicate and complex fabric of life can tolerate before it totally unravels. The unraveling will very likely mean the end of the human species. Certainly it will mean the end of a life the is free and beautiful. The dream has become a nightmare.

Another model of technology is open to us -- one based on accommodation, symbiosis, and mutuality. This model would respect the integrity of other life forms -- other cultures, other creatures, and other ecological networks. It would seek the enhancement of our relationship with the rest of creation, not our dominion over it. But we do not yet seem ready to give serious consideration to this model.  

We know that the ecological sphere is unraveling. We have seen it in the deformed amphibians that now so sparsely inhabit our lakes, in the decay of the coral reefs, in the list of endangered species, and in the loss of the rain forests. Not long ago we began hearing about the demise of the bees.
Monsanto is both a way of thinking, and a way of crushing all living systems that stand it its way. It is the embodiment of the full-spectrum dominance ideology in the ecological sphere. It is a disaster in the making.

And now it's the butterflies.

How many canaries must we see die before we understand that it's not healthy in this mine shaft that we have dug for ourselves.  When will it be too late?

The Article by Mike Barrett:

(Source of article -- Truth Out)

Monsanto’s Roundup, containing the active ingredient glyphosate, has been tied to more health and environmental problems than you could imagine. Similar to how pesticides have been contributing to the bee decline, Monsanto’s Roundup has been tied to the decrease in the population of monarch butterflies by killing the very plants that the butterflies rely on for habitat and food. What’s been shown to be an even greater threat to the population, though, is Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn and soybeans.

Roundup Ready Crops and Glyphosate Leading to Downfall of Insect Populations

A 2011 study published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity found that increasing acreage of genetically modified Roundup Ready corn and soybeans is heavily contributing to the decline in monarch butterfly populations within North America. Milkweed, a plant butterflies rely on for habitat and food, is being destroyed by the heavy use of glyphosate-based pesticides and Roundup Ready crops. Over the past 17 years, the monarch butterfly population in central Mexico has declined, reaching an all-time low in 2009-2010.

“This milkweed has disappeared from at least 100 million acres of these row crops,” said Dr. Taylor, an insect ecologist at the University of Kansas and director of the research and conservation program Monarch Watch. “Your milkweed is virtually gone…this [glyphosate use on RR crops] is the one main factor that has happened…you look at parts of the Midwest where there is a tremendous use of these crops and you see monarch populations dropping. It’s hard to deny the conclusion.”

According to the Department of Agriculture, in 2011 94 percent of soybeans and 72 percent of corn grown in the United States were herbicide-tolerant. Due to this increase, the amount of Roundup used on crops in 2007 was 5 times higher than in 1997, only one year after Roundup Ready crops were available.

Another study published int he journal Crop Protection and conducted by Robert G Hartzler, an agronomist at Iowa State, found that milkweed on farms in Iowa declined 90 percent from 1999 to 2009. Additionally, his study found milkweed only on 8 percent of corn and soybean fields surveyed in 2009, which is 51 percent lower than in 1999.

Although the butterfly population may be suffering, humans are taking heat from Monsanto’s creations as well. Past research has shown that Monsanto’s Roundup ready crops are leading to mental illness and obesity, primarily by destroying the amount of good bacteria found in the gut. The corporation’s Roundup, containing glyphosate, has also been shown to cause infertility and birth defects.

Glyphosate is so present today that it has been found to be polluting the world’s drinking water through the widespread contamination of aquifers, wells, and springs. What may be most shocking is that very high concentrations of glyphosate have been found in 100 percent of urine samples tested in a recent study.

A Primitivist Primer

Note by HealthWrights staff

Perhaps the most important point that this article makes is that sustaining a high level of technology in a society seems to require hierarchical power relationships and a fairly radical limit on individual freedoms. It is less than clear what we should conclude from this, but the questions that need to be addressed are asked here. For a sympathetic and informative summary of "green anarchism" this article in Wikipedia is very useful.

The Ariticle

(this essay originally appeared in Green Anarchist, BCM 1715, London)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is not a definitive statement, merely a personal account, and seeks in general terms to explain what is meant by anarcho-primitivism. It does not wish to limit or exclude, but provide a general introduction to the topic. Apologies for inaccuracies, misinterpretations, or (inevitable) overgeneralizations.

What is anarcho-primitivism?

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.

So why is the term anarcho-primitivist used to characterise this current?

In 1986, the circle around the Detroit paper Fifth Estate indicated that they were engaged in developing a 'critical analysis of the technological structure of western civilization[,] combined with a reappraisal of the indigenous world and the character of primitive and original communities. In this sense we are primitivists ...' The Fifth Estate group sought to complement a critique of civilization as a project of control with a reappraisal of the primitive, which they regarded as a source of renewal and anti-authoritarian inspiration. This reappraisal of the primitive takes place from an anarchist perspective, a perspective concerned with eliminating power relations. Pointing to 'an emerging synthesis of post-modern anarchy and the primitive (in the sense of original), Earth-based ecstatic vision,' the Fifth Estate circle indicated:

We are not anarchists per se, but pro-anarchy, which is for us a living, integral experience, incommensurate with Power and refusing all ideology ... Our work on the FE as a project explores possibilities for our own participation in this movement, but also works to rediscover the primitive roots of anarchy as well as to document its present expression. Simultaneously, we examine the evolution of Power in our midst in order to suggest new terrains for contestations and critique in order to undermine the present tyranny of the modern totalitarian discourse - that hyper-reality that destroys human meaning, and hence solidarity, by simulating it with technology. Underlying all struggles for freedom is this central necessity: to regain a truly human discourse grounded in autonomous, intersubjective mutuality and closely associated with the natural world.

The aim is to develop a synthesis of primal and contemporary anarchy, a synthesis of the ecologically-focussed, non-statist, anti-authoritarian aspects of primitive lifeways with the most advanced forms of anarchist analysis of power relations. The aim is not to replicate or return to the primitive, merely to see the primitive as a source of inspiration, as exemplifying forms of anarchy.

For anarcho-primitivists, civilization is the overarching context within which the multiplicity of power relations develop. Some basic power relations are present in primitive societies - and this is one reason why anarcho-primitivists do not seek to replicate these societies - but it is in civilization that power relations become pervasive and entrenched in practically all aspects of human life and human relations with the biosphere. Civilization - also referred to as the megamachine or Leviathan - becomes a huge machine which gains its own momentum and becomes beyond the control of even its supposed rulers. Powered by the routines of daily life which are defined and managed by internalized patterns of obedience, people become slaves to the machine, the system of civilization itself. Only widespread refusal of this system and its various forms of control, revolt against power itself, can abolish civilization, and pose a radical alternative. Ideologies such as Marxism, classical anarchism and feminism oppose aspects of civilization; only anarcho-primitivism opposes civilization, the context within which the various forms of oppression proliferate and become pervasive - and, indeed, possible. Anarcho-primitivism incorporates elements from various oppositional currents - ecological consciousness, anarchist anti-authoritarianism, feminist critiques, Situationist ideas, zero-work theories, technological criticism - but goes beyond opposition to single forms of power to refuse them all and pose a radical alternative.

How does anarcho-primitivism differ from anarchism, or other radical ideologies?

From the perspective of anarcho-primitivism, all other forms of radicalism appear as reformist, whether or not they regard themselves as revolutionary. Marxism and classical anarchism, for example, want to take over civilization, rework its structures to some degree, and remove its worst abuses and oppressions. However, 99% of life in civilization remains unchanged in their future scenarios, precisely because the aspects of civilization they question are minimal. Although both want to abolish capitalism, and classical anarchism would abolish the State too, overall life patterns wouldn't change too much. Although there might be some changes in socioeconomic relations, such as worker control of industry and neighbourhood councils in place of the State, and even an ecological focus, basic patterns would remain unchanged. The Western model of progress would merely be amended and would still act as an ideal. Mass society would essentially continue, with most people working, living in artificial, technologised environments, and subject to forms of coercion and control.

Radical ideologies on the Left seek to capture power, not abolish it. Hence, they develop various kinds of exclusive groups - cadres, political parties, consciousness-raising groups - in order to win converts and plan strategies for gaining control. Organizations, for anarcho-primitivists, are just rackets, gangs for putting a particular ideology in power. Politics, 'the art and science of government,' is not part of the primitivist project; only a politics of desire, pleasure, mutuality and radical freedom.

Where, according to anarcho-primitivism, does power originate?

Again, a source of some debate among anarcho-primitivists. Perlman sees the creation of impersonal institutions or abstract power relations as the defining moment at which primitive anarchy begins to be dismantled by civilized social relations. In contrast, John Zerzan locates the development of symbolic mediation - in its various forms of number, language, time, art and later, agriculture - as the means of transition from human freedom to a state of domestication. The focus on origin is important in anarcho-primitivism because primitivism seeks, in exponential fashion, to expose, challenge and abolish all the multiple forms of power that structure the individual, social relations, and interrelations with the natural world. Locating origins is a way of identifying what can be safely salvaged from the wreck of civilization, and what it is essential to eradicate if power relations are not to recommence after civilization's collapse.

What kind of future is envisaged by anarcho-primitivists?

Anarcho-primitivist journal "Anarchy; A Journal of Desire Armed" envisions a future that is 'radically cooperative & communitarian, ecological and feminist, spontaneous and wild,' and this might be the closest you'll get to a description! There's no blueprint, no proscriptive pattern, although it's important to stress that the envisioned future is not 'primitive' in any stereotypical sense. As the Fifth Estate said in 1979: 'Let us anticipate the critics who would accuse us of wanting to go "back to the caves" or of mere posturing on our part - i.e., enjoying the comforts of civilization all the while being its hardiest critics. We are not posing the Stone Age as a model for our Utopia[,] nor are we suggesting a return to gathering and hunting as a means for our livelihood.' As a corrective to this common misconception, it's important to stress that that the future envisioned by anarcho-primitivism is sui generis - it is without precedent. Although primitive cultures provide intimations of the future, and that future may well incorporate elements derived from those cultures, an anarcho-primitivist world would likely be quite different from previous forms of anarchy.

How does anarcho-primitivism view technology?

John Zerzan defines technology as 'the ensemble of division of labor/production/industrialism and its impact on us and on nature. Technology is the sum of mediations between us and the natural world and the sum of those separations mediating us from each other. It is all the drudgery and toxicity required to produce and reproduce the stage of hyper-alienation we languish in. It is the texture and the form of domination at any given stage of hierarchy and domination.' Opposition to technology thus plays an important role in anarcho-primitivist practice. However, Fredy Perlman says that 'technology is nothing but the Leviathan's armory,' its 'claws and fangs.' Anarcho-primitivists are thus opposed to technology, but there is some debate over how central technology is to domination in civilization.

A distinction should be drawn between tools (or implements) and technology. Perlman shows that primitive peoples develop all kinds of tools and implements, but not technologies: 'The material objects, the canes and canoes, the digging sticks and walls, were things a single individual could make, or they were things, like a wall, that required the cooperation of many on a single occasion .... Most of the implements are ancient, and the [material] surpluses [these implements supposedly made possible] have been ripe since the first dawn, but they did not give rise to impersonal institutions. People, living beings, give rise to both.' Tools are creations on a localised, small-scale, the products of either individuals or small groups on specific occasions. As such, they do not give rise to systems of control and coercion.

Technology, on the other hand, is the product of large-scale interlocking systems of extraction, production, distribution and consumption, and such systems gain their own momentum and dynamic. As such, they demand structures of control and obedience on a mass scale - what Perlman calls impersonal institutions. As the Fifth Estate pointed out in 1981: 'Technology is not a simple tool which can be used in any way we like. It is a form of social organization, a set of social relations. It has its own laws. If we are to engage in its use, we must accept its authority. The enormous size, complex interconnections and stratification of tasks which make up modern technological systems make authoritarian command necessary and independent, individual decision-making impossible.'

Anarcho-primitivism is an anti-systemic current: it opposes all systems, institutions, abstractions, the artificial, the synthetic, and the machine, because they embody power relations. Anarcho-primitivists thus oppose technology or the technological system, but not the use of tools and implements in the senses indicated here. As to whether any technological forms will be appropriate in an anarcho-primitivist world, there is debate over this issue. The Fifth Estate remarked in 1979 that: 'Reduced to its most basic elements, discussions about the future sensibly should be predicated on what we desire socially and from that determine what technology is possible. All of us desire central heating, flush toilets, and electric lighting, but not at the expense of our humanity. Maybe they are all possible together, but maybe not.'

What about medicine?

Ultimately, anarcho-primitivism is all about healing - healing the rifts that have opened up within individuals, between people, and between people and nature, the rifts that have opened up through civilization, through power, including the State, Capital, and technology. The German philosopher Nietzsche said that pain, and the way it is dealt with, should be at the heart of any free society, and in this respect, he is right. Individuals, communities and the Earth itself have been maimed to one degree or another by the power relations characteristic of civilization. People have been psychologically maimed but also physically assaulted by illness and disease. This isn't to suggest that anarcho-primitivism can abolish pain, illness and disease! However, research has revealed that many diseases are the results of civilized living conditions, and if these conditions were abolished, then certain types of pain, illness and disease could disappear.

As for the remainder, a world which places pain at its centre would be vigorous in its pursuit of assuaging it by finding ways of curing illness and disease. In this sense, anarcho-primitivism is very concerned with medicine. However, the alienating high-tech, pharmaceutical-centred form of medicine practised in the West is not the only form of medicine possible. The question of what medicine might consist of in an anarcho-primitivist future depends, as in the Fifth Estate comment on technology above, on what is possible and what people desire, without compromising the lifeways of free individuals in ecologically-centred free communities. As on all other questions, there is no dogmatic answer to this issue.

What about population?

A controversial issue, largely because there isn't a consensus among anarcho-primitivists on this topic. Some people argue that population reduction wouldn't be necessary; others argue that it would on ecological grounds and/or to sustain the kind of lifeways envisaged by anarcho-primitivists. George Bradford, in How Deep is Deep Ecology?, argues that women's control over reproduction would lead to a fall in population rate. The personal view of the present writer is that population would need to be reduced, but this would occur through natural wastage - i.e., when people died, not all of them would be replaced, and thus the overall population rate would fall and eventually stabilise. Anarchists have long argued that in a free world, social, economic and psychological pressures toward excessive reproduction would be removed. There would just be too many other interesting things going on to engage people's time! Feminists have argued that women, freed of gender constraints and the family structure, would not be defined by their reproductive capacities as in patriarchal societies, and this would result in lower population levels too. So population would be likely to fall, willy-nilly. After all, as Perlman makes plain, population growth is purely a product of civilization: 'a steady increase in human numbers [is] as persistent as the Leviathan itself. This phenomenon seems to exist only among Leviathanized human beings. Animals as well as human communities in the state of nature do not proliferate their own kind to the point of pushing all others off the field.' So there's really no reason to suppose that human population shouldn't stabilise once Leviathanic social relations are abolished and communitarian harmony is restored.

Ignore the weird fantasies spread by some commentators hostile to anarcho-primitivism who suggest that the population levels envisaged by anarcho-primitivists would have to be achieved by mass die-offs or nazi-style death camps. These are just smear tactics. The commitment of anarcho-primitivists to the abolition of all power relations, including the State with all its administrative and military apparatus, and any kind of party or organization, means that such orchestrated slaughter remains an impossibility as well as just plain horrendous.

How might an anarcho-primitivist future be brought about?

The sixty-four thousand dollar question! (to use a thoroughly suspect metaphor!) There are no hard-and-fast rules here, no blueprint. The glib answer - seen by some as a cop-out - is that forms of struggle emerge in the course of insurgency. This is true, but not necessarily very helpful! The fact is that anarcho-primitivism is not a power-seeking ideology. It doesn't seek to capture the State, take over factories, win converts, create political organizations, or order people about. Instead, it wants people to become free individuals living in free communities which are interdependent with one another and with the biosphere they inhabit. It wants, then, a total transformation, a transformation of identity, ways of life, ways of being, and ways of communicating. This means that the tried and tested means of power-seeking ideologies just aren't relevant to the anarcho-primitivist project, which seeks to abolish all forms of power. So new forms of action and being, forms appropriate to and commensurate with the anarcho-primitivist project, need to be developed. This is an ongoing process and so there's no easy answer to the question: What is to be done?

At present, many agree that communities of resistance are an important element in the anarcho-primitivist project. The word 'community' is bandied about these days in all kinds of absurd ways (e.g., the business community), precisely because most genuine communities have been destroyed by Capital and the State. Some think that if traditional communities, frequently sources of resistance to power, have been destroyed, then the creation of communities of resistance - communities formed by individuals with resistance as their common focus - are a way to recreate bases for action. An old anarchist idea is that the new world must be created within the shell of the old. This means that when civilization collapses - through its own volition, through our efforts, or a combination of the two - there will be an alternative waiting to take its place. This is really necessary as, in the absence of positive alternatives, the social disruption caused by collapse could easily create the psychological insecurity and social vacuum in which fascism and other totalitarian dictatorships could flourish. For the present writer, this means that anarcho-primitivists need to develop communities of resistance - microcosms (as much as they can be) of the future to come - both in cities and outside. These need to act as bases for action (particularly direct action), but also as sites for the creation of new ways of thinking, behaving, communicating, being, and so on, as well as new sets of ethics - in short, a whole new liberatory culture. They need to become places where people can discover their true desires and pleasures, and through the good old anarchist idea of the exemplary deed, show others by example that alternative ways of life are possible.

However, there are many other possibilities that need exploring. The kind of world envisaged by anarcho-primitivism is one unprecedented in human experience in terms of the degree and types of freedom anticipated ... so there can't be any limits on the forms of resistance and insurgency that might develop. The kind of vast transformations envisaged will need all kinds of innovative thought and activity.

How can I find out more about anarcho-primitivism?

The Primitivist Network (PO Box 252, Ampthill, Beds MK45 2QZ) can provide you with a reading list. Check out copies of the British paper Green Anarchist and the US zines Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed and Fifth Estate. Read Fredy Perlman's Against His-story, Against Leviathan! (Detroit: Black & Red, 1983), the most important anarcho-primitivist text, and John Zerzan's Elements of Refusal (Seattle: Left Bank, 1988) and Future Primitive (New York: Autonomedia, 1994).

How do I get involved in anarcho-primitivism?

One way is to contact the Primitivist Network. If you send two 1st class postage stamps, you will receive a copy of the PN contact list and be entered on it yourself. This will put you in contact with other anarcho-primitivists. Some people involved in Earth First! also see themselves as anarcho-primitivists, and they are worth seeking out too.

Fukushima Reactors Catastrophe: Radiation Exposure, Lies and Cover-up

Note by HealthWrights staff:

Our world is complex, yet as we observe the ecological, social and political unraveling of the earth, one simple fact becomes increasingly clear: the capitalist system as it presently exists is creating an environment that is profoundly toxic – an environment that may ultimately prove to be uninhabitable for the human species. In a  OpEdNews editorial, "An Astroid of Oil", this fact was made clear with regard to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Here, in the melt down of Japan's nuclear reactors, we see another “asteroid” in which we can observe a now familiar pattern: big international corporations putting profit before the welfare of the people, with governments and the mass media facilitating the process with the repression and misrepresentation of the facts. The problem we face in these situations is not simply human error; nor is it “human nature; it is not just that we have too many Republicans in Congress; it is not something that will be set right by improved technology. The fundamental problem is that the world is ruled by an economic system that puts the profits of the extremely wealthy before the needs of the rest of the people. If we are to have any hope of real health for humanity – of even for its survival – we must dismantle the current system and create one in which all people participate in decision making and share the resources of the planet in an equitable manner.


fukushima-reactorFukushima Reactor #4

Fukushima Reactor #4

The Main Article


URL of this article:

 Global Research, March 26, 2011

Should the public discover the true health cost(s) of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death.” Dr. Rosalie Bertell. “No Immediate Danger,” xiii.

I write this article not just as a long-time environmental writer and author, but also as a survivor of the horrific 2003 1-million-acre Southern California FIRESTORM that took many lives (both human and millions of animals) during the three-and-a-half-weeks of out-of-control blazes and 400-foot-high walls of flames throughout San Diego and Orange counties. This nightmare blanketed a vast area from over the border into Tijuana up to just south of Los Angeles. Many “back county” areas and national and state parks were also destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of us could not evacuate because planes were grounded and the flames crossed over many freeways. Death and destruction continued for many years after. Many of my friends have died since then, due to fire-related illnesses, as the entire area was blanketed with a spew of toxins. As with the tragedy of September 11th, when Christy Todd Whitman said New York’s air was okay, our local “public” officials refused to monitor the air. Finally, unable to breathe, even with a high-tech respirator, I called the county with warnings. San Diego air “quality” samples were posted for only three days and then conveniently disappeared. Toxins were off the scale.

We had just 15 minutes to evacuate, when the helicopter flew overhead at 7 a.m. My entire neighborhood of 2,000 was destroyed, as well as 90 percent of all the wildlife! It was deliberately torched, and people and animals died. When we were finally allowed “home,” all that was left was burn, ash, skeletons of trees, and hot soil. I know what it means, day-to-day, to just barely survive a countywide catastrophe. I know what deep trauma is all about. I know how everyone in charge lies and deceives those of us in extremis. I know that when a place in the US is declared a “Federal Disaster” area, this quite literally means: “tough, you are on your own. There will be no help.” My heart aches for the people in Japan who are directly in harm’s way, while their government continues to make nuclear corporate profits the priority over the safety of millions of Japanese. It is criminal; and it happens all over.

During and for years after the FIRESTORM, public officials lied and deceived us. Insurance companies refused to honor thousands of policies, and many of us had to take them to court...but even the “justice” system is rigged. From the mayor and fire officials to the governor and a so-called “Blue Ribbon Commission,” the 14 arson fires and their causes were all covered-up. No one was held accountable. No one told us the truth. Further, we barely had any real help in clean-up or recovery –even if we had insurance. Knee-deep in warm ash, I shoveled it myself over seven-and-a-half months, with only 5 days of help. Thousands of us had to do it ourselves...even to getting our own Relief Center set up –again, because officials gave us the run-around.

A week-and-a-half into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, this is what is happening:

1. There are 4 reactors in various stages of collapse, releasing untold amount of dangerous radiation. Two more reactors may also be at risk.
2. The public generally has not been told that, in addition, there are 40 years of spent fuel rods on this already contaminated site. See:
3. Other fuel rods are fully exposed (meaning, unknown amounts of release of radiation) because they are no longer covered with the necessary 45-feet of water.
4. Last week the US refused to post online whatever radiation levels they were monitoring as radiation hits the West Coast and comes East. Then there were several reports that their monitors [all of them?] went off line, or crashed. It is doubtful that any official will report the truth. See:

The lies, criminality, and cover-up continue. This is how a totally broken system “works.” See:


Here is some additional excellent information about reactors and the extreme dangers of nuclear power:

1. Keith Harmon Snow’s “Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan. Lifting the Veil of Nuclear Catastrophe and cover-up”:
2. A report from the New York Academy of Science has been published on “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment”:
3. List of US nuclear plants:

Realistically, the Japanese catastrophe could last months or years, given the half-life of many radioactive particles. We don’t know, because no official or agency is reporting the truth, while we all are in danger of radiation exposure. How much? For how long? What kind (cesium, iodine, plutonium, strontium, uranium, all radioactive and each with different half life)? I think this catastrophe will turn out to be far worse than Chernobyl because again profits taken precedence over safety. See:


I URGE EVERYONE who has access to a good Geiger counter or other monitoring technology to monitor radiation levels –most especially on the West Coast; and all other US states, as it comes East on the Jet Stream. Some radiation has already been reported in Washington state. One website is already monitoring the situation in real time in Santa Monica (near Los Angeles), CA:

But we need much more collecting and reporting of radiation data. This is extremely urgent! Remember, for the past 12-15 years, our weather and air have been altered and deliberately manipulated. All along the Pacific Coast, from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, we need real-time radiation figures. This goes for Canada, too. We can post these results on this website and others, so we can have an accurate collective picture of the on-going radiation dangers we may be facing throughout North America. This is a highly dangerous, yet invisible and real threat to our safety and wellbeing –most especially for children who are most vulnerable! [I also remind readers that the ENTIRE Gulf of Mexico, and its nearby southern states, continues to be poisoned daily in an unmitigated crisis!]

From the very beginning, nuclear energy has been totally unsafe. Even early on in the 1950s, when there were nuclear tests in Nevada, citizens were never warned about the extreme toxicity and dangers to which they were exposed. For our entire lives, the nuclear industry has done decades-long media campaigns to give us misinformation and lies. It’s all about greed, but never about our safety or well-being. The US government has indemnified these companies, just as they have done with the pharmaceutical companies and their dangerous drugs. We are all expendable, except as uninformed consumers to buy their toxic products, and then for the next generation to repeat this insanity. With each new generation that is less well educated (dumbed-down, and often on prescription drugs from an early age), there is less information, no accountability, but millions more people who now are far more ill from an environment rife with thousands of poisons that surround our every move.

Some of the Nuclear Dangers include:

1. The reactors have design flaws, as does Fukushima’s Mark 1, built by GE. There are many of these same-designed reactors here in the US. On March 16, the NY Times reported some of these flaws. But, it is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:
2. For radioactive nuclear waste, there is no safe or secure storage anywhere on this planet. There are 1,623 hazardous Superfund sites all over the US (such as Hanford Nuclear Reservation, built in 1942, near Richland, WA, and the now highly polluted Columbia River) leaking radioactive poisons on a daily basis for decades. There is another working nuclear facility, San Onofre, located between San Diego and Los Angeles along the beach right on the Pacific Ocean. This facility was built on the San Andreas fault, an active earthquake zone. The nuclear contamination is enormous and, every day, this puts us all at risk. Dr. Rosalie Bertell, one of the world’s leading authorities who has written extensively about the spectacular flaws and true costs of nuclear energy, notes: “The problem of secure storage of nuclear waste...remains dangerous for millennia.” [See also her quote at the beginning of this article.]
3. The half-life of many radioactive elements is thousands of years. There is no safe level of exposure! It’s all Orwellian media hype and corporate lies. The plutonium fuel used at Fukushima Unit 3 reactor uses MOX [mixed oxide], a plutonium-uranium fuel mixture. A single milligram of MOX is 2-million times more deadly that enriched uranium. NOTE: Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years; and Uranium-235 has a half-life of 700-million years.
4. Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic bomb survivors are still being monitored. Birth defects, cancers, and miscarriages are high, just as these continue to be so at Chernobyl. This April 25, it will be 25 years since Chernobyl’s nuclear catastrophe. Sterility figures (for human and all other life) continue to increase. Nothing is healed. Nothing is fixed for millions of people. The children are most vulnerable, and suffer enormously.
5. The horrific on-going crisis in Iraq [an ancient culture was illegally invaded and destroyed!] is also greatly exacerbated due to US bombings of Depleted (Radioactive) Uranium, poisoning the entire population. Now, illness and birth defects are common throughout the entire Iraqi population. It is all for control of their oil. Afghanis were also illegally bombed with DU. Is Libya next with yet another illegal invasion and DU bombings? None of the real and tragic stories are ever reported by the mainstream corporate-controlled media. This is in violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions. This is heinous! However, it all is irrelevant how much harm is perpetrated on innocent civilian populations when criminals are in charge. War is big business, while the rest of our economy is in a state of deliberately orchestrated collapse.

Connecting the Dots of Harm

The new report (#53) from GEAB [Global Europe Assessment Bulletin] published on March 17 from Brussels also is important news not generally reported. GEAB has been quite accurate in their evaluations, as the US economy (everything but military expenditures) continues to be intentionally destroyed:

Last week world-renowned author Dr. Helen Caldicott, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, gave a lecture in Montreal on the dangers of the nuclear age. Dr. Caldicott has spent almost 40 years educating the public about the serious medical dangers surrounding this topic and the now very urgently needed changes in human behavior to stop the extensive environmental devastation. Although the lecture has not been posted online, here is a recent interview (March 12):

Finally, there are other enormous concerns regarding our safety and well-being, because there is absolutely NO PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE in place. That is the elite insider’s plan: grave harm! We MUST address these vital issues on a grassroots level, because those in charge are the ones causing us such extreme injury. We will need the help of independent scientists and health-care providers.  It is a given that we no longer have any real air “quality.” What we are breathing with every single breath is a hazardous, now plasma-state, spew.(1) This impacts our immune system at the celluar DNA level. How will the thousands of tons of aerosolized poisons in Chemtrails, sprayed around the world, interact with radioactive materials (especially those with a long half life)? What might be the detrimental synergistic interaction(s) among the nano-Morgellons-fibers (that Clifford Carnicom has been researching microscopically for a decade(2), found in human, animals, and environmental samples), the nano-particles of fiber-coated aluminum, and now-unknown quantities of various radioactive particles?

How might all of this also interact with possibly thousands of tons of deadly Corexit 9500 dispersant sprayed (on land and over water for many months) and the unconscionable release of “Synthia,” a genetically modified synthetic genome bacteria now replicating exponentially throughout the Gulf of Mexico.(3) Tragically, the Gulf is now a biological and chemical war zone. However, it is all happening on an invisible level. This hazardous Gulf spew is in addition to what is heading our way from Japan to North America and thence to Europe and Asia.  We must wake up. There is much we can do! Will YOU help?


1. Clifford Carnicom discusses the plasma state and other vital environmental issues in a recent web interview:

2. “The Biggest Crime of All Time.” March 1, 2011:

3. “Synthia”:;

“Permanent Biological Contamination of the Gulf”:

and Michael Edwards. “It’s not wise to fool other Nature.” This is part 1 of 4:

Essential reading:

Dr. Rosalie Bertell. “No Immediate Danger” and “ Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War.”

Theo Colburn et al. “Our Stolen Future.”

Pierpaolo Mittica et al. “Chernobyl. The Hidden Legacy.” London: Trolley, Ltd., 2007. There is a section in this book written by Dr. Bertell.

Educator and environmental writer Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Uterine Crisis.” London’s “The Ecologist” calls this book “an inspiration.” She is an Associate of the Carnicom Institute.

Paneroticism: The Dance of Life

Beneath These Shoes and Socks

These grown up clothes we fill
Have buttons that are locks
That keep us in a box.
They are against my will.

Beneath these shoes and socks
My feet are naked still
And capable to thrill
From touching grass and rocks

Jay Edson
Note by HealthWrights staff
Perhaps primitive anarchism can best be understood as an alternative vision of what health might mean. It is a vision of a more immediate relationship between us and our environment -- both human and natural. It is a relationship that is denied to us by civilization, and specifically by technology. In so far as primitive anarchism would offer any "technique" for achieving this state of health, it would simply be to remove the artificial shoes we are forced to wear by society and put our feet in the cool water of reality. Probably this is not a vision that one affirms or denies on the basis of argument -- but a fundamental sense of reality that one either does or does not find compelling. For those of us who do find something compelling in this vision, the question still remains: can we conceive of a civilization and a technology that would not alienate us from ourselves, from each other and from our surroundings, or is the alienating force inherent in technology as such? If the later, it is difficult to see how primitive anarchy can avoid being a vision of helpless frustration and despair given the realities of the modern world. In any case the anarchist vision of health is well presented in this article by Feral Faun.

The Article

As posted on Insurgent Desire

Self Portrait as a Faun, by Lorien Johfra

Chaos is a dance, a flowing dance of life, and this dance is erotic. Civilization hates chaos and, therefore, also hates Eros. Even in supposedly sexually free times, civilization represses the erotic. It teaches that orgasms are events that happen only in a few small parts of our bodies and only through the correct manipulation of those parts. It squeezes Eros into the armor of Mars, making sex into a competitive, achievement-centered job rather than joyful, innocent play.

Yet even in the midst of such repression, Eros refuses to accept this mold. His joyful, dancing form breaks through Mars' armor here and there. As blinded as we are by our civilized existence, the dance of life keeps seeping into our awareness in little ways. We look at a sunset, stand in the midst of the forest, climb on a mountain, hear a bird song, walk barefoot on a beach, and we start to feel a certain elation, a sense of awe and joy. It is the beginning of an orgasm of the entire body, one not limited to civilization's so-called "erogenous zones", but civilization never lets the feeling fulfill itself. Otherwise, we'd realize that everything that is not a product of civilization is alive and joyfully erotic.

But a few of us are slowly awakening from the anesthesia of civilization. We are becoming aware that every stone, every tree, every river, every animal, every being in the universe is not only just as alive, but at present is more alive than we who are civilized beings. This awareness is not just intellectual. It can't be or civilization will just turn into another academic theory. We are feeling it. We have heard the love-songs of rivers and mountains and have seen the dances of trees. We no longer want to use them as dead things, since they are very much alive. We want to be their lovers, to join in their beautiful, erotic dance. It scares us. The death-dance of civilization freezes every cell, every muscle within us. We know we will be clumsy dancers and clumsy lovers. We will be fools. But our freedom lies in our foolishness. If we can be fools, we have begun to break civilizations chains, we have begun to lose our need to achieve. With no need to achieve, we have time to learn the dance of life; we have time to become lovers of trees and rocks and rivers. Or, more accurately, time cease to exist for us; the dance becomes our lives as we learn to love all that lives. And unless we learn to dance the dance of life, all our resistance to civilization will be useless. Since it will still govern within us, we will just re-create it.

So let's dance the dance of life. Let's dance clumsily without shame, for which of us civilized people isn't clumsy? Let's make love to rivers, to trees, to mountains with our eyes, our toes, our hands, our ears. Let every part of our bodies awaken to the erotic ecstasy of life's dance. We'll fly. We'll dance. We'll heal. We'll find that our imaginations are strong , that they are part of the erotic dance that can create the world we desire.

From the pamphlet, "Rants, Essays and Polemics of Feral Faun" (Chaotic Endeavors, 1987)reprinted in Green Anarchy #10 (Fall 2002)

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