Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home – Stanley Diamond
What started as a bunch of messages on Twitter I decided to write up here in a blogpost instead. So over the months and last year or so I have gotten some actual serious questions in regards of the ”anti-civ movement”. First of I would like to say that it might not be so much of an actual movement as it is a set of ideals and concepts and understandings that civilizations–and this is especially true for industrial civilization–are fundamentally unsustainable and can never become sustainable. This understanding is taken up by a number of groups and organizations in an vast area of society from environmentalists to economists, scientists and even politicians and so on.
But to better try and explain it shortly and then for those who are interested in learning more I will end by adding a few book tips that I find to be extremely well written stuff for those who want to dig more into the whole idea of ”anti-civilization”.
One of the major understandings of this idea of thoughts is that civilizations are fundamentally unsustainable as civilizations are characterized by the growth of cities. Environmental Philosopher Derrick Jensen I find sums it up best when he argues that a city is humans living in numbers large enough that they routinely needs the importation of resources which then leads to the fact that trade can then never be sufficiently reliable because if you require the importation of resources and you one day find it that others will not trade with you, you will use force to take it (or try and take it) because your life depends on it. This is at the essence of civilizations in my opinion. This underlying violence will always be hoovering in the shadows.
I can go on and on about this but as I see it much of this is at the essence of understanding why civilization is problematic and why for a truly sustainable and healthy world and human society civilization needs to be dismantled. If this has caught your interest I will now list a few books I think are very good in better explaining a wide array of things that I would say fit under the ”anti-civ” idea.
First off is a really good book called My Name is Chellis and I am in recovery from Western Civilization. I would say this book is a really good introduction to a number of other books that might deal more heavy and in depth on certain things mentioned in this book. She is a fantastic writer.
Next up I would go to recommend one of my favorite writers of the modern era, Derrick Jensen, he has written a number of really interesting books but if I would pick one book that I find fits this blog entry I would say it is his book A Language Older Than Words This book takes a deep look on the violence that permeates so much of our lives and touches not only us but basically all life on this planet.
My third recommendation would be Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism which takes a deep and good look at the phenomena at the underlying psyche among so many of us humans that can give rise to social arrangements such as civilizations. A very interesting book indeed that gives you a lot of think about what it means to be human in the modern age for sure.
There I think I will leave it at that. There are of course much, much more to read out there but I can’t possibly list them all and these three I think will help give a good insight in what the entire idea of ”anti-civ” actually roots itself in. So hope this will answer all your wonders out there.