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Download Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections by John Zerzan PDF

By John Zerzan


“Read it and you may by no means give some thought to civilization within the similar method again.”—Kirkpatrick Sale

This anthology approximately "the pathology of civilization" bargains perception into how development and know-how have ended in vacancy and alienation.

"A provocative anthologypresenting the likes of Freud, Friedrich Schiller, William Morris, and the Unabomber, besides vibrant modern thinkersthat increases the query of no matter if our elaborately dependent, technology-driven society creates extra difficulties than it alleviates." -- Jay Walljasper; Utne Reader, March/April 1999

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Extra resources for Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections

Example text

Considering the poverty in which hunter and gatherers live in theory, it comes as a surprise that Bushmen who live in the Kalahari enjoy “a kind of material plenty” (Marshall, 1961, p. 243). Marshall is speaking of non-subsistence production; in this context her explication seems applicable beyond the Bushmen. She draws attention to the technical simplicity of the non-subsistence sector: the simple and readily available raw materials, skills, and tools. But most important, wants are restricted: a few people are happy to consider few things their good fortune.

Yet for 30,000 years after takeoff, life went on without kings, queens, prime ministers, presidents, parliaments, congresses, cabinets, governors, mayors, police officers, sheriffs, marshals, generals, lawyers, bailiffs, judges, district attorneys, court clerks, patrol cars, paddy wagons, jails, and penitentiaries. How did our ancestors manage to leave home without them? Small populations provide part of the answer. With 50 people per band or 150 per village, everybody knew everybody else intimately, so that the bonding of reciprocal exchange could hold people together.

The founders of political science did not think so. “I put for a general inclination of mankind, a perpetual and restless desire for power after power, that ceaseth only in death,” declared Thomas Hobbes. ” Was Hobbes right? Do humans have an unquenchable desire for power that, in the absence of a strong ruler, inevitably leads to a war of all against all? To judge from surviving examples of bands and villages, for the greater part of prehistory our kind got along quite well without so much as a paramount chief, let alone the all-powerful English leviathan King and Mortal God, whom Hobbes believed was needed for maintaining law and order among his fractious countrymen.

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