Posted by voidmanufacturing on January 4, 2010
Sunday, December 20, 2009 1:00 IST
John Zerzan first shot into celebrity philosopher status in 1995 after the New York Times featured him in 1995 as a supporter of the Unabomber’s anti-technology doctrine. He has since become a leading light of the primitivist movement in the US. In an exclusive interview with DNA, he explains why modern civilization is fundamentally anti-human, ‘green’ technology is ‘psycho’ and Stone Age is the way to go.
American philosopher John Zerzan’s thesis is simple: civilization is pathological, and needs to be dismantled. Zerzan’s radical critique of civilization, laid out in books such as Elements Of Refusal (1988), Future Primitive (1994), and Running On Emptiness (2002) draws on anthropological research to argue that domestication of nature and domestication of humans go hand in hand. And this is accomplished primarily through technology. According to him, the dystopia of the Wachowski Brothers’ Matrix trilogy is already here: the technological-industrial ‘machine’ is already running the world, a world where individual humans are but insignificant little cogs with barely any autonomy. No single human being – neither the most powerful politician, nor the most powerful businessman – has the power to rein in the system. They necessarily have to follow the inexorable logic of what has been unleashed. He believes that the climate change summit in Copenhagen is a joke, and environmentalists are too superficial in their critiques to make a difference. In an exclusive interview, the California-based Zerzan, who was in Mumbai recently for a lecture tour, talks about why going back to the primitivism of the Stone Age is the only meaningful ‘green’ alternative.
Your work has been described as ‘anti-civilisational’. Are you seriously against civilisation? Of course. Anti-civilisational thought draws attention to the nightmare that’s unfolding right now. It asks some basic questions that haven’t been asked. It tries to change the subject away from the manoeuvring on the surface of dominant systems, in favour of going to the roots of it, and posing alternative directions, alternative projects, on a very basic level. I mean, here we are, as a species, and we can’t breathe the air. What more do you have to say? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Anarchy, Animals, Dystopia, Ecology, The End | Leave a Comment »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on December 21, 2009
Judgment Days in Copenhagen By Rebecca Solnit
For Isaac Francisco Solnit, born December 17, 2009
It’s clear now that, from her immoveable titanium bangs to her chaotic approximation of human speech, Sarah Palin is a Terminator cyborg sent from the future to destroy something — but what? It could be the Republican Party she’ll ravage by herding the fundamentalists and extremists into a place where sane fiscal conservatives and swing voters can’t follow. Or maybe she was sent to destroy civilization at this crucial moment by preaching the gospel of climate-change denial, abetted by tools like the Washington Post, which ran a factually outrageous editorial by her on the subject earlier this month. No one (even her, undoubtedly) knows, but we do know that this month we all hover on the brink.
I’ve had the great Hollywood epic Terminator 2: Judgment Day on my mind ever since I watched it in a hotel room in New Orleans a few weeks ago with the Superdome visible out the window. In 1991, at the time of its release, T2 was supposedly about a terrible future; now, it seems situated in an oddly comfortable past. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Animals, Dystopia, Ecology, The Americans | Leave a Comment »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on December 17, 2009
AMY GOODMAN: This is Climate Countdown. It’s Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting from inside the Bella Center.
It’s just one day before the COP15 UN climate summit comes to a close. The summit has been described as the biggest gathering on climate change in history. And now, ten days after it started, are the talks on the brink of collapse?
The dispute between rich and poor countries, between the Global North and Global South, on key issues, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate debt, remain unresolved. World leaders from more than 110 countries have begun arriving at the summit and are delivering their addresses to the main plenary as we speak. As for civil society, the only thing worse than the endless lines of thousands of people trying to get into the Bella Center are no lines, because civil society has largely been locked out.
Well, just before we went to air today, I interviewed Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president. He was re-elected in a landslide victory earlier this month.
On Wednesday, Evo Morales called on world leaders to hold temperature increases over the next century to just one degree Celsius, the most ambitious proposal so far by any head of state. Morales also called on the United States and other wealthy nations to pay an ecological debt to Bolivia and other developing nations.
AMY GOODMAN: President Morales, welcome to Democracy Now!
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Thank you very much for the invitation.
AMY GOODMAN: You spoke yesterday here at the Bella Center and said we cannot end global warming without ending capitalism. What did you mean?
PRESIDENT EVO MORALES: [translated] Capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity. Capitalism—and I’m speaking about irrational development—policies of unlimited industrialization are what destroys the environment. And that irrational industrialization is capitalism. So as long as we don’t review or revise those policies, it’s impossible to attend to humanity and life. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Animals, Ecology, Hell | Leave a Comment »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 8, 2008
The beautiful Baiji, now extinct.
October 6, 2008
Half the world’s mammals are declining in population and more than a third probably face extinction, said an update Monday of the “Red List,” the most respected inventory of biodiversity.
A comprehensive survey of mammals included in the annual report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which covers more than 44,000 animal and plant species, shows that a quarter of the planet’s 5,487 known mammals are clearly at risk of disappearing forever. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Animals, Buzzkill, Death, Dystopia, Ecology, Evil, Hell, Insanity, The End | Leave a Comment »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on October 1, 2008
Building Dwelling Thinking by Martin Heidegger
Building Dwelling Thinking by Martin Heidegger
In what follows we shall try to think about dwelling and building. This thinking about building does not presume to discover architectural ideas, let alone to give rules for building. This venture in thought does not view building as an art or as a technique of construction; rather it traces building back into that domain to which everything that is belongs. We ask:
1. What is it to dwell?
2. How does building belong to dwelling? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Brain, Ecology, Poverty, The City | 2 Comments »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on August 27, 2008
“Resisting, Subverting and Destroying the Apparatus of Surveillance and Control”: An Interview with Mike Davis
Mike Davis is professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of, amongst others, “City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles” (1990), “Dead Cities, And Other Tales” (2003) and most recently, “Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb” (2007). Following is a short excerpt from the interview he kindly gave to Voices on the 23d of February in London.
You often draw lines of comparison between different tendencies of urban control across the globe. Could you compare the situation in Los Angeles, the repression and surveillance happening there when you were writing City of Quartz with the situation in London today?
There is nothing comparable at all in the U.S. to the apparatus of surveillance that exists in London. Even CCTV cameras are only recently becoming an issue in the U.S. Total surveillance of down town areas of American cities is something I wrote about in the early nineties but only applied to tiny areas, a few acres in down town Los Angeles for example. If Giuliani does become president we will get closer to the idea of having total surveillance and control in the city centre but London is at least one if not two generations ahead of the United States. Having said that, the foundations in the U.S. exist: the freeways now have surveillance systems that monitor gridlock. But I find London really shocking in many ways. I had no idea for instance until I came here about the fact that subway passes are used to monitor and accumulate data. In the United States things have gone in a different direction. Obviously, in every economic transaction you have and particularly on the internet, data is being transferred or sold for marketing purposes. I think the American political system might be the most advanced in the world in this sense – using marketing data to target people and pass political messages across to them. Also, there is a much larger budget and much bigger research effort going on in the U.S. To give you an example of how this works: The Bush Administration wants guest programmes to satisfy the labour needs of crucial industries like agribusiness. Alas it has been blindsided by a revolt in the republican grassroots against democrats. One of the things they are calling for is building a wall the entire length of the Mexican border and the Congress has actually authorised part of that, although people who actually work on border control and surveillance laugh at it since these walls would be totally ineffective: 12-foot high sheets of metal that anyone could climb. They are working on something completely different: a virtual border, more like the virtual control that now exists around the city of London. They had to feed red meat to the conservatives in the suburbs who wanted a Berlin-like physical wall since only that gives them the reassurance of border control. Real control over people’s movement however does not so much require these walls as it requires the technology. This is the one sphere where I think the U.S. is more advanced in creating a society of total surveillance. Perry, the Governor of Texas, has authorised putting cameras up on areas of the border that people commonly cross and plugged them in to the internet. So it has created virtual vigilantes. Anybody who wants can waste their time looking at a desert, and if you see a Mexican coming across it you can call a number to some department of the Texas state which will alert the border control.
So the internet gets to threaten freedom because of the way in which we can all surveil, oppress and jail each other: we are all prison guards now, watching each others’ movements. This is a frightening idea and the right-wing loves it, having some role to play in the policing of immigration and society. Everyone wants to wear a badge in some sense. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Anarchy, Cops Suck, Ecology, The City | 2 Comments »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on August 24, 2008
First printed in the HUMANE REVIEW, January, 1901.
Reprinted as pamphlet several times, most recently by CGH Services, c.1992 and Jura Media, 1996
MEN of such high standing in hygiene and biology having made a profound study of questions relating to normal food, I shall take good care not to display my incompetence by expressing an opinion as to animal and vegetable nourishment. Let the cobbler stick to his last. As I am neither chemist nor doctor, I shall not mention either azote or albumen, nor reproduce the formulas of analysts, but shall content myself simply with giving my own personal impressions, which, at all events, coincide with those of many vegetarians. I shall move within the circle of my own experiences, stopping here and there to set down some observation suggested by the petty incidents of life. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Anarchy, Animals, Death, Ecology, Evil, Hell, Nightmare | 1 Comment »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on July 20, 2008
by John Zerzan
Tech-nol-o-gy n. According to Webster’s: industrial or applied science. In reality: 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 live in. It is the texture and the form of domination at any given stage of hierarchy and commodification. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Anarchy, Ecology, Insanity, Poetry | Leave a Comment »
Posted by voidmanufacturing on July 8, 2008
Posted in Anarchy, Ecology, Nightmare, Poetry, Punk Rock | 1 Comment »