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)