Anarcho-Primitivism: The Green Scare in Green Political Theory
16 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 13 Jun 2014
Date Written: April 1, 2010
A deep philosophical divide concerning the very foundations and purposes of civilization splits mainstream and radical environmentalists. This paper focuses on Paul Taylor's "Respect for Nature," arguing that his biocentrism is actually a disguised "civilization" or "civ-centrism." Taylor defines "nature" as pristine ecosystems; humans, given their capacity for autonomous agency and planning are unique in creation. Arguing in this fashion, green political theorists like Taylor choke off a tension between civilization and primitive cultures, a tension which has been central to the development of western social theory. In doing so they help lay the philosophical groundwork for technological totality. By contrast, anarcho-primitivists highlight the civ-prim tension arguing for radical resistance to bedrock notions and institutions of civilization. The further removed the primitive, either in consciousness or in actual fact of the destruction of primitive cultures and their land-base, the greater the liberatory impulse to destroy civilization becomes.
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