Friday, March 13, 2009


Post-Civ! A brief philosophical and political introduction to the concept of post-civilization is an interesting read.
Post-civilized thought is based on three simple premises:

1 – This civilization is, from its foundation, unsustainable. It probably cannot be salvaged, and, what’s more, it would be undesirable to do so.
2 – It is neither possible, nor desirable, to return to a pre-civilized state of being.
3 – It is therefore desirable to imagine and enact a post-civilized culture.

I certainly don't agree with the whole thing but I do like its spirit: "We are for an ecologically-focused green anarchism and we are for mutual aid, free association, and self-determination."

Download it here (small PDF file), or try Post-Civ!, a deeper exploration for more detail.


Anonymous said...

Basically they're saying that the end of modern 'North' 'Western' civilization (e.g. nation-state bureaucracies) would be the end of civilization in general, right?

I think that message is like saying that the end of capitalism would be the end of economics --
or like saying that the end of the state would be the end of politics.

People often approach the prevailing form of something as the only form:
- all "politics" is government-centred politics (or depoliticization)
- "the economy" is capitalism
- "the media" is mainstream media

Likewise, "civilization" is a form of civilization that was led from Europe before the U.S. took the lead. (Europe may be moving back to the fore now though.)

Of course, there actually have been different civilizations, and there still can be different civilizations. (In an academic context I could refer to Harold Innis -- if only in a footnote -- to back up such a claim, but I think that the point is obvious enough.)

A message about the end of 'civilization' is somewhat of a condemnation of technology in general, literacy in general, democracy in general, etc -- even if the people behind the anti-'civilization' language don't intend to imply such messages. I think that much is obvious. The word "civilization" happens to have certain connotations that can't just be immediately swept aside through individual or group will.

(By the way - I don't see those remarks as criticisms of you or your post; I'm just typing out some thoughts that have been in my mind in a more foggy or disjointed form.)

Red Jenny said...

I actually agree with you, and what bothered me most was the unproblematic nomenclature: civilization/primitive

However, they weren't knocking literacy, technology etc. but mainly the western model of "civilization". Here they are actually arguing against the so-called primitivists, a branch of green anarchism which does aim to go back to a "pre-civilized" hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

I definitely disagree on some things. For instance, I quite like cities and believe that properly organized cities can be very sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

"Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

These are figures of "Ecocide".
These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

Destroy the system that has killed all ecosystems.

Destroy the society that plunders, exploits and kills earth 365 days of the year and then celebrates Earth Day.

Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.

To read the complete article please follow any of these links.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Delhi, India