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Romanticizing Hunter Gatherers?
#11
Thanks for your thoughtful reply Alexander.

Article
I agree, there's a lot wrong with the article. i.e. cherry picked stats, false equivalencies, false apples and oranges comparisons, and homogenizing all H-Gs (and by the same token, perhaps homogenizing all civilization).

Voluntary return to H-G.
Global dimming or global warming are ultimately irrelevant to whether or not humans voluntary choose to return to H-G living. Whichever kind of catastrophic climate change occurs, at least some humans will survive. I seriously doubt humans will become completely extinct due to climate change. We are too good at surviving now, and have built up a lot of survival knowledge to be completely wiped out. In fact, hunting and gathering (or some mix of H-G and food production) might be the only way remaining humans could survive after a climate catastrophe.  The point I was making when asked by Zhachev was that the kind of hunting and gathering we could return to would not be the same kind of hunting and gathering that we've known ethnographically. The conditions under which we could hunt and gather will have changed too much.   

Reproduction of daily life
I don't believe my previous comment regarding collective effort and the example of Spain relies on a No True Anarchist fallacy. The Spanish anarchists were actually crushed by Franco, that's an historical fact. I wasn't claiming that revolutionary Spain wasn't true anarchism. Indeed, I would say it was true anarchism in many respects. But it was crushed. The failure of the Spanish anarchists wasn't a failure of anarchism per se. The idea of anarchy wasn't crushed. Unless you are saying there is something inherently flawed with the very idea of anarchism that makes it fatally vulnerable to being crushed by armed forces? Does this pertain to all kinds of anarchism? Or just anarcho-syndicalism?

Perhaps you meant I was using a No True Collectivism fallacy. Again, I wasn't implying that it wasn't an example of true collectivism either. It actually was such an example, only that the collectivist effort was crushed. It often happens. There's no guarantee collective efforts will prevail. My point was that collective efforts are the only possible way of changing anything because doing something on your own as an isolated individual is ineffective for widespread social change. It simply has never worked. Which is exactly why people in authority want you to believe it does.

Krishnamurti
Okay, so I've changed myself....now what? All else being the same, I still have to pay rent, work, shop, obey laws, and breathe polluted air. This is my problem with Krishnamurti, and with new age individualism in general. It requires that everyone change who they are first, and then social change automatically follows.

I think this rests on a dubious premise: namely, that there is something already inherently wrong or flawed with us as people, perhaps related to the concept of original sin. Or something psychological, or maybe genetic? It completely sidesteps the whole social / cultural aspect of life and reduces everything to the individual psychological level, much like capitalism does, in which everything is 'your own fault'. If you can't find a job, or are poor, it's not because of the economic system (i.e. the world/environment), it's because there's something wrong with you as a person. One could just as easily use K's logic to say there's nothing wrong with civilization, it's just YOU. After all, "you are the world".

I find this too simplistic, and frankly insulting. First, there is nothing 'wrong' with me as a person, nor you. We are both living in this world as best we can, like any other animal. There is no flaw, defect, or wrongness here. If there is, what is it? Unless I am  some kind of deranged violent criminal, I don't see any wrongness, and therefore, don't see any need to change who I am. Nor should you.

Second, equating myself with 'the world' seems odd. Is this an ontological claim? In that case, I am not the world, if the world consists of institutions, governments, armies, corporations, etc. I am not those things. I am not a cop, a politician, a banker, or a CEO.  I am not 'the world', any more than I am civilization', I merely live in it.

Besides, what is it we are supposed to change into? What is the nature of this individual personal change? Is it spiritual? Psychological? Are we supposed to all (all 7 billion of us) become 'enlightened' first---before we can actually do anything? Do H-Gs need to change themselves personally too? Are we supposed to change ourselves according to some ideal model human that we should emulate?

It seems to me thinking that there is something wrong with us, and that we need to change ourselves, is precisely what is creating a lot of our problems in the first place. It's what's driving consumer capitalism and advertising, for example. This new age individual approach dovetails so nicely with the current system. Blame individuals, blame people, blame humanity itself, blame everyone...except the system. Ah, but you will say 'we as individuals created the system'. No, we didn't, not all of us. At least I didn't. And neither I suspect did you. We were born into it, and we cope with it. We do however, unfortunately, contribute to it in our own individual way. But for most of us this is a survival strategy, not a function of who we are as people.

What needs changing (or got rid of) are the rules, laws, policies, institutions, and practices that keep civilization going, not me or you as individuals.

K's remark about communism is both naive and self-contradictory. If it's really true in some ontological sense that 'you are the world', then it wouldn't matter if you tried to change the 'world' or yourself first, since presumably changing one would change the other. In any case, K's view retains this very distinction, not the unification, between the individual and the world/environment. Whether 'changing the environment' was actually at the heart of what communist countries like the Soviet Union or China were trying to do, I don't know. But we've known for a long time that changing people's environment (or growing up in different ones) does have an effect on them, sometimes a profound effect. This is basic developmental psychology.

I think there is a crucial distinction between me and the world, even though I am also aware that I am interwoven with it.
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#12
A lot as been said in this thread and im not going now back and answer to everything.
Having said that, i think hunter gatherer is past, we have evolved to much to throw it away now, we don't have to hunt or gather anything anymore even in a new completely fair and redesign society, i mean, hunt other species for example is just a lost of energy and resources, not to mention cruel and etc.
Also of course you alone can do some change in the world but no one can change the world if not capable of changing itself first.
Social revolution first please.
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#13
(Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:57:38 +0000, 07:57 AM)Odin Wrote: Voluntary return to H-G.
Global dimming or global warming are ultimately irrelevant to whether or not humans voluntary choose to return to H-G living. Whichever kind of catastrophic climate change occurs, at least some humans will survive. I seriously doubt humans will become completely extinct due to climate change. We are too good at surviving now, and have built up a lot of survival knowledge to be completely wiped out. In fact, hunting and gathering (or some mix of H-G and food production) might be the only way remaining humans could survive after a climate catastrophe.  The point I was making when asked by Zhachev was that the kind of hunting and gathering we could return to would not be the same kind of hunting and gathering that we've known ethnographically. The conditions under which we could hunt and gather will have changed too much.   

I am not going to assert that humans (any humans) are going to survive, but I'm willing to entertain the possibility. If you mean a voluntarily post-collapse return (which sounds an awful lot like a non-voluntary return to me), I find that undesirable too, for the simple reason that there's no saying that a complete return to h-g society will also mean taking up the same old trajectory. A mix, as you say, would probably be necessary.

However, I agree with you in that it would certainly not like the h-g of the past.

(Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:57:38 +0000, 07:57 AM)Odin Wrote: Reproduction of daily life
The Spanish anarchists were actually crushed by Franco, that's an historical fact. I wasn't claiming that revolutionary Spain wasn't true anarchism. Indeed, I would say it was true anarchism in many respects. But it was crushed. The failure of the Spanish anarchists wasn't a failure of anarchism per se. The idea of anarchy wasn't crushed. Unless you are saying there is something inherently flawed with the very idea of anarchism that makes it fatally vulnerable to being crushed by armed forces? Does this pertain to all kinds of anarchism? Or just anarcho-syndicalism?

I would certainly say that the vulnerability (and empirical evidence of said vulnerability) makes anti-authoritarian leftism is an inherent flaw so big so as to make it seem wholly unserious to support it.

(Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:57:38 +0000, 07:57 AM)Odin Wrote: There's no guarantee collective efforts will prevail. My point was that collective efforts are the only possible way of changing anything because doing something on your own as an isolated individual is ineffective for widespread social change. It simply has never worked. Which is exactly why people in authority want you to believe it does.

It is impossible to do something on your own as an isolated individual, because such an individual doesn't exist.

(Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:57:38 +0000, 07:57 AM)Odin Wrote: Krishnamurti
Okay, so I've changed myself....now what? All else being the same, I still have to pay rent, work, shop, obey laws, and breathe polluted air. This is my problem with Krishnamurti, and with new age individualism in general. It requires that everyone change who they are first, and then social change automatically follows.

This is a crude misrepresentation of K, who never said that social change automatically follows. In fact, a mere week ago I watched a video of K stressing the importance of being beacons to each other, of being a seed for social change.

(Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:57:38 +0000, 07:57 AM)Odin Wrote: I think this rests on a dubious premise: namely, that there is something already inherently wrong or flawed with us as people, perhaps related to the concept of original sin. Or something psychological, or maybe genetic? It completely sidesteps the whole social / cultural aspect of life and reduces everything to the individual psychological level, much like capitalism does, in which everything is 'your own fault'. If you can't find a job, or are poor, it's not because of the economic system (i.e. the world/environment), it's because there's something wrong with you as a person. One could just as easily use K's logic to say there's nothing wrong with civilization, it's just YOU. After all, "you are the world".

I find this too simplistic, and frankly insulting. First, there is nothing 'wrong' with me as a person, nor you. We are both living in this world as best we can, like any other animal. There is no flaw, defect, or wrongness here. If there is, what is it? Unless I am  some kind of deranged violent criminal, I don't see any wrongness, and therefore, don't see any need to change who I am. Nor should you.

Second, equating myself with 'the world' seems odd. Is this an ontological claim? In that case, I am not the world, if the world consists of institutions, governments, armies, corporations, etc. I am not those things. I am not a cop, a politician, a banker, or a CEO.  I am not 'the world', any more than I am civilization', I merely live in it.

Besides, what is it we are supposed to change into? What is the nature of this individual personal change? Is it spiritual? Psychological? Are we supposed to all (all 7 billion of us) become 'enlightened' first---before we can actually do anything? Do H-Gs need to change themselves personally too? Are we supposed to change ourselves according to some ideal model human that we should emulate?

It seems to me thinking that there is something wrong with us, and that we need to change ourselves, is precisely what is creating a lot of our problems in the first place. It's what's driving consumer capitalism and advertising, for example. This new age individual approach dovetails so nicely with the current system. Blame individuals, blame people, blame humanity itself, blame everyone...except the system. Ah, but you will say 'we as individuals created the system'. No, we didn't, not all of us. At least I didn't. And neither I suspect did you. We were born into it, and we cope with it. We do however, unfortunately, contribute to it in our own individual way. But for most of us this is a survival strategy, not a function of who we are as people.

What needs changing (or got rid of) are the rules, laws, policies, institutions, and practices that keep civilization going, not me or you as individuals.

K's remark about communism is both naive and self-contradictory. If it's really true in some ontological sense that 'you are the world', then it wouldn't matter if you tried to change the 'world' or yourself first, since presumably changing one would change the other. In any case, K's view retains this very distinction, not the unification, between the individual and the world/environment. Whether 'changing the environment' was actually at the heart of what communist countries like the Soviet Union or China were trying to do, I don't know. But we've known for a long time that changing people's environment (or growing up in different ones) does have an effect on them, sometimes a profound effect. This is basic developmental psychology.

I think there is a crucial distinction between me and the world, even though I am also aware that I am interwoven with it.

I think your further musings rests partially on the result of what I consider a misrepresentation, and also that when you reduce it into "there's nothing wrong with civilization, it's just YOU," you are missing the realisation that civilisation is an activity. And all of these Spuks that govern us, are all enslaving us primarily voluntarily—viz. it is a self-imposed slavery. Étienne de La Boétie (and others, like e.g. David Hume) wrote about a paradox which explanation he deemed elusive: why on earth do people accept governments? Today, the M.I.C. makes this a lot more complicated than it was 500 years ago, but the communist and anarchist revolutions all failed, and the core point remains.

We're going pretty deep into K-specific nomenclature, &c., which was not my intention—I just thought K & Tolstoy illustrated what I was talking about. So perhaps it's easiest to cut back that part of the discussion. If you want to press on with some of your points (which I invite you to do), please disentangle K from them, if you can.


(Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:14:49 +0000, 09:14 PM)|0|__|0| Wrote: A lot as been said in this thread and im not going now back and answer to everything.
Having said that, i think hunter gatherer is past, we have evolved to much to throw it away now, we don't have to hunt or gather anything anymore even in a new completely fair and redesign society, i mean, hunt other species for example is just a lost of energy and resources, not to mention cruel and etc.
Also of course you alone can do some change in the world but no one can change the world if not capable of changing itself first.
Social revolution first please.
Throw away what, precisely? What's left keeping? I see very little that's worth preserving. You could plan out your utopian civilisation if you'd like, but societies aren't designed or planned—they're evolved. And this is what we've involved into. We do hunt other species. You can sit down and draw up the blueprints from some imagined society where we don't, but that's not going to fix anything.

And saying that the world needs to be "capable of changing itself" makes no sense to me. What do you mean by "the world"? Do you mean the people in it? In which case, that would mean that you do need to change yourself first, and be, like I mentioned above that K said, a beacon to others—the seed of change.
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#14
Alexander,

Spain:
I am not advocating leftism, and the anarchists in rural Spain were mostly not leftists.

I'll just say this re: K,
I now regret using the word 'automatically'. But the idea that you have to change yourself first before you can change society is deeply flawed on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. Yet this is exactly what K taught. "Be a beacon of light to others" is just another phrase for it. K started his schools in India back in the 1950s, and after 60 odd years of churning out students who were supposed to be a beacon of light to others, nobody yet has turned out to become an enlightened teacher lighting the way.

General remarks:
Waiting for everyone to change themselves on a personal level first is a recipe for stasis. It has never happened that way, and it's never going to happen. The change from H-G society to civilization in the Near East did not occur this way, as we know from the early Sumerian uprisings. It was a long, slow, bloody process of revolution and counter revolution as social forces fought back and forth until it settled into a hierarchical equilibrium. The same for the industrial revolution in 19th century England. Ordinary people did not change themselves into capitalists first, they were subjugated and inculcated into it over time by a minority of wealthy land and factory owners and the government. Now, 200 years later, nearly everyone believes in capitalism. Proving that if you change the conditions and environment first, you can change people on a personal level. It worked for civilization and for capitalism, it can work the other way too.

There is very little that is 'voluntary' about civilization. Not sure where you are getting this idea from.
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#15
(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:22:05 +0000, 12:22 AM)Zhachev Wrote: What was happening in the countryside, far from the frontlines, was the only commendable aspect of the Revolution. Even their feminism was miscalibrated. And Stalin did just as much as Franco in many ways.

Not sure what you're referring to.

(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:22:05 +0000, 12:22 AM)Zhachev Wrote: Is anyone here actually reading his texts or are we just regurgitating shit we gleaned from Wikipedia about the details of his life? He's Indian, he has a thick accent and he gives large public talks -- must be a nutjob, right?

Again, no idea what you're implying. You seem angry.

(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:22:05 +0000, 12:22 AM)Zhachev Wrote: Last time I checked McDonalds workers weren't shackled to the fry station.

Last time I checked the people who work at McDonalds need to use money to survive, like everyone else. Using money isn't optional or voluntary in this society (or even in most other societies). The way most people get money is by working for others on a command basis. That is a forced situation, not a voluntary one. I'm pretty sure the people who work at McDonalds (and most other jobs) would rather be doing something else.

(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:22:05 +0000, 12:22 AM)Zhachev Wrote: Nobody here thst I can tell is saying "change yourself first". Nobody is callling for petty bourgeois individual lifestylism. The basis of any social system is the reproduction of daily life. We are on the precipice of proposing that in order to change this order we have to change our daily life activity, individually & together.

Alexander invoked Krishnamurti to argue that changing the environment or social structure doesn't work in making people's lives better because that is what the communists tried and failed. The implication is that the alternative is to change yourself on a personal level first so you can"be a beacon of light to others". So, yes it does seem like someone is saying 'change yourself first'.

I'm not sure what you mean by  'changing our daily life activity', or how that is different from petty bourgeois individual lifestylism.



(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:22:05 +0000, 12:22 AM)Zhachev Wrote: I just wanted to also add in response to Odin that we are in a unique historical position where the development of individual consciousness seems more necessary than ever. We need a conscious change, not the long, slow, bloody process they alude to.

What does "the development of individual consciousness" mean? Development into what?
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#16
(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 12:40:18 +0000, 12:40 PM)Zhachev Wrote: The miscalculated feminism thing is about them banning and stigmatizing sex work, continuing to grant "revolutionary" marriage licenses and fetishizing the woman with rifle. Plenty to read about this, too. Nothing controversial that I've said about this, especially among anarchists.

Not sure what feminism has to do what we were talking about. You're saying the Spanish women anarchists weren't anti-authoritarianly pure enough?

(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 12:40:18 +0000, 12:40 PM)Zhachev Wrote: Takes a lot more to pull me out my element.

Judging from your previous remark, apparently not.

(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 12:40:18 +0000, 12:40 PM)Zhachev Wrote: Using money is completely optional. Close to half the world's population are still subsistence gardeners, even greater by some stats.

Hahahaahaahahahahaahahaahahaahahahahaahahahahaahahahaahahaahaha !!!

Thanks for the laugh. I assume you don't use money then? Besides, it's more like 25% of the world's population. And all those subsistence gardeners still use money to buy items like sugar, iron roofing sheets, bicycles, used clothing, etc.


(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 12:40:18 +0000, 12:40 PM)Zhachev Wrote: I mean stop selling yourself to capitalists.

And do what...? Become homeless and die on the street? Sounds like a plan, thanks!



(Mon, 05 Feb 2018 12:40:18 +0000, 12:40 PM)Zhachev Wrote: "As production passes therapeutically into an induced coma, the second phase must then be commenced - this will be undertaken 'consciously' on a 'species' scale (perhaps the only moment in all of history where consciousness, or its absence, will prove decisive one way or the other). The 'species' revolt will be directed against the possibility of a return to production as life-world. The first phase of revolt is conditioned environmentally by productive relations and realises the ideal form of production. The second phase is 'over-conditioned' by multiple crisis forms and thereby wins at least the possibility of selecting its environmental conditions - that is to say, it wins the chance to become its environment."

https://nihcom.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/wh...-that.html

More nihilist gobbledygook. Lol..
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#17
(Sun, 24 Dec 2017 22:10:52 +0000, 10:10 PM)Odin Wrote: The problem is nobody can stop doing what they do everyday to reproduce capital, on an individual level. Only collective action can do that. As for conflict, we cannot avoid it, that's impossible. There will always be conflict, as that is the nature of living organisms.

I have to agree with Odin wholeheartedly on this. We can think that what we are doing to struggle against capital are individual acts but they are simply moments in the class struggle as a whole.

Zachev Wrote:take your meds today, pal?

This is not only cowardly but it is taking the part of capital (specifically psychiatric oppression). These are words of an ignorant mind.
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#18
Odin, Zhachev,

Now this is the kind of productive dialogue I'm used to from anarchist! ;)

I would say that you need to change yourself first—and I do think K would agree, even if I was trying to rescue the conversation from ending up with "what does K really mean", rather than the actual issue. In fact, I think anything else would be plainly absurd. In epistemology it is generally agreed that you cannot know something without believing in it. E.g. I cannot both know that it's the year 2018, and also not believe that it is the year 2018. There is a similar absurdity at work here. If you want to change the world, say you want a Communist revolution (an example I use simply because it has been brought into the conversation previously—I am not attributing Communism to either of you)—why? Well, because you think that there is a flaw with what is, and desire to bring about what should be, according to you. It would be absurd to desire to bring about Communism if you have not already reached the "insight" that Communism must be brought about. I hope we can agree on this much. The same may be applied to resistance. Society Against the State doesn't mean that some great abstraction, "society", is arbitrarily resisting the state—it means that we are, actually, resisting the state, because we have the realisation that we must do so.

Being "a beacon of light" is something that can be interpreted in many ways. I made an anti-work booklet that I'm distributing at the local uni's career day[0]. I make food at Food Not Bombs and give away to people. I engage people in conversation—primarily offline, but also online here. I do all sorts of other things too, but I trust that I have made my point. You may ask—"does it work?", and I would be forced to concede that although it works, it remains of little impact all things considered. But what then is the alternative? Some would suggest shooting everyone who disagrees with some vague utopian blueprint, and have a Communist revolution, whereupon everything gets even worse. Others suggest we wait for the collapse. Others still suggest something confusing about computers and artificial intelligence. It seems to me that my suggestion is preferable at least to these alternatives.

One thing that impresses me greatly about K's work—although it appears to frustrate Odin almost as greatly as it impresses me—is the utter rejection of blueprints. K lights the torch and illuminates where we are, but he does not point the finger and tell us where to go. His view is that "truth is a pathless land", and I confess this observation is mine as well.

[0] <https://anti-civ.net/showthread.php?tid=257>


P.S.
I will add this postscript because I think it important. Although it is easy for alienated means of communication to end up in what seems like vicious bickering, for want of the human touch and the face-to-face, I do not take any personal offence from anything either of you say, nor do I intend any personal slight against you. I firmly believe that if we were living in close proximity, and meeting face to face, we would lay down in green grass and rejoice. As K repeatedly observed: there must be relationship. The only way out of this mess is thinking together. Life is relationship.
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#19
Quote:All communist or anarchist revolutions fail at this -- they simply keep Capital flowing.

Has there been an anarchist/communist revolution? Personally I think this is a misconception about the nature of proletarian revolution, which in my view has been ongoing from the dawn of civilisation. Men and women have continually rebelled against the constraints of civilisation, and yes, civilisation has continued to grow and flow (destroy).

Alexander Wrote:Well, because you think that there is a flaw with what is, and desire to bring about what should be, according to you... I hope we can agree on this much.

Your hope is not fulfilled at least as far as it applies to myself. I am communist, not in the sense which you refer to –  as something that is to be brought about –  but as something that is already existing.

How then can we reconcile these two apparently contradictory statements? A certain Robin Goodfellow tried to achieve it with his conception of Co-existentialism; Negri and Hardt attempted to do so in their book Empire. I see the reconciliation appearing in the struggle of humanity (proletariat) against machine (capital).
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#20
(Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:46:05 +0000, 11:46 AM)Zhachev Wrote: The point is to highlight how far from glorious the Spanish rev was, because you keep going back to it, and a few of us here see it differently.

Who's saying the Spanish revolution was "glorious"? Citation needed. I brought up the anarchists in Spain as an example of collective action that worked for several months until it was crushed. YOU brought up feminism...


(Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:46:05 +0000, 11:46 AM)Zhachev Wrote: You're a an-prim?

Do you live in the woods and eat squirrels?

Huh?  You're the one claiming money is optional. That's why I asked you the questions. Now you're asking me if I live in the woods?  If you can't answer a simple question, just say so.

(Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:46:05 +0000, 11:46 AM)Zhachev Wrote: Breathing is not optional. Using money is. You could steal shit, for example. Aren't you Mr. Anarchist norse god badass anyway, homie?

I already steal shit. Sorry if I can't steal absolutely everything I need to stay alive. Since you're the one who thinks money is optional, why don't you tell us all how to live without money then. Go on.

I'll wait...
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