Tag Archives: society

World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

8 Jan

by Chris Knight / Times Higher Education

9780670024810_custom-b3591917da92ff0caa7cd6a26012bdf93091465b-s6-c10The world has been waiting for this book. Others have attempted to persuade us that tribal people can teach us how to live. Most, however, have failed to convince, presenting us with yet another version of the Noble Savage myth. Jared Diamond is no romantic. He writes with conviction and erudition. It is probably no exaggeration to describe him as the most authoritative polymath of our age – the man who, in his 1997 book Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, explained the true reasons for the West’s ultimate dominance over the globe and in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), warned that this same civilisation may now be digging its own grave. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond turns his massive erudition to an equally necessary project. The fact that Western civilisation conquered all does not necessarily make it sustainable or prove that we have superior ideas about bringing up children, keeping healthy or living well. Continue reading

The Luddites And The Politics Of 21st Century Technology

8 Jan

by Ned Ludd

lyodNovember 2011 to January 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings: a great opportunity to celebrate their struggle and to redress the wrongs done to them and their name. But why would a group of Earth First! activists, concerned primarily with protecting wilderness, be interested in a 200-year-old uprising based on a labor dispute involving textile workers in England? The conventional answer is that Luddism is an anti-technology, primitivist philosophy and that it has a tendency towards direct action, but the truth about its significance is both different and deeper.

smash_the_machineThe Luddites were not primitivists, and the opposition between capitalist, technocratic progressivism and a supposedly primitivist Luddism is a sterile argument, framed in terms which suit the techno-progressivists. The portrayal of the Luddites as people opposed to all technology and progress is a history written by the victors. It is ironic that while the ideology of progress through technology has hardened into a rigid dogma, which must condemn the slightest criticism as “anti-science,” in fact, the Luddites opposed only technology “hurtful to Commonality” (i.e. to the common good). They were involved in a struggle for workers’ rights that focused on particular machines that were destroying their trades and livelihoods, and they destroyed those machines whilst leaving others alone. The crucial significance of Luddism is that, almost uniquely amongst radical movements, it addresses both the technological and social aspects of domination, and it is vital that we hold both of these together. Continue reading

The Earth First! Death Cult? It does have a nice ring to it!

26 Sep

Did you ever stop to consider that the wild and hairy anarchists of the Earth First! Movement are really just a bunch of death cult Illuminati in cahoots with big government, Time magazine, the Shriners and um, aliens and lizard people and shit? Yeah, we didn’t either.

But now, after watching this video “Earth First! Death Cult” from Infowars.com, an Alex Jones right wing news source, those of us at the Earth First! Journal are starting to look at each other a little bit differently. Is Pana really working for the Chinese government ? Why did Nettle say “I’ll be right back” after we asked her about her connections to the Obama/Cheney Brotherhood? Where is Molly, why isn’t she here, and is that even their real name? Is Russ really just the love child of Vlad Putin and Nancy Reagan? And is that a pro-Syrian government scarf Sasha is wearing?

Things are getting weird, and while it might be fun to make up a lot of really crazy shit and blabber about it, Earth First!ers don’t want to turn people into sheep. We want people to get fucking awesome and take back their wild natures. In fact, we’d like to see people more armed and more dangerous and more autonomous, and we’d like governments, power stations, and chain stores to crumble.

But seriously, Anchor guy who kills ants with boric acid, we are coming for your children!

For the Wild,

The Earth First! Journal Collective

(P.S. If you thought that was even a little funny, please make a donation to the Earth First! Death Cu…uh…Journal… Seriously, if the Journal were to die, we’d be left with this guy explaining our movement to the world.)