John Zerzan: Civilized, All Too Civilized

A local anarchist calls for a return to primitive living to avoid catastrophe

Eugene Weekly, June 23, 2022

We want to be seen as “civilized,” not looked down upon as “primitive.” But what if we have this the wrong way round? 

For 99 percent of our time as a human species, from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens, we were primitive, living in face-to-face band societies without war, patriarchy, the ruin of the natural world, hierarchy and domestication. We took the wrong path.

But of course, people argue, there’s no going back. In a talk to a University of Oregon audience a few months ago, Potawatomi elder and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer refuted the “can’t go back” mantra. We can and must go back, along ancestral paths, she declared.

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