Primitivism and history - Miguel Amorós

The noble savage

An index of key quotations from the utopian and philosophical predecessors of today's primitivism, from Diogenes to Battaille, via the bagaudae, the Diggers, Bakunin and Morris, featuring passages from Henri Zisly’s Voyage to the Beautiful Country of Naturia (1900) and Pierre Quirole’s The American Anarchist City (1914), with commentary by the author, who concludes that “[t]he hunter-gatherer of the primitivists is nothing but an idealized reflection of the atomized and déclassé individual of mass society produced by late capitalism” and that only social revolution (“the highest form of potlatch”) can make “the reconciliation of man and the world” possible.

Engels was Right: Early Human Kinship was Matrilineal

Mother and baby, Hadza tribe, Tanzania

The earliest human institution was not the nuclear family. The latest research now indicates that it was the communistic, female-centred clan.

Engels argued this in 1884. After a century of establishment denial, including complicity by 'Marxists', it now turns out that he was right after all.

Hunter-gatherers and the mythology of the market - John Gowdy

Marx claimed that "the vitality of primitive communities was incomparably greater than that of ... modern capitalist societies." This claim has since been vindicated by numerous studies which are neatly summarised in this entry from the prestigious Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. As the Encyclopedia says: "Hunting and gathering was humanity's first and most successful adaptation, occupying at least 90 percent of human history. Until 12,000 years ago, all humans live this way."

The origins of hunter-gatherer egalitarianism - Christopher Boehm

Christopher Boehm's theory on how rebellions against alpha-male despotism created hunter-gatherer egalitarianism (primitive communism) which humans maintained for 100,000 years.

"Once a prehistoric hunting band institutionalized a successful and decisive rebellion, and did away with the alpha-male role permanently ... it is easy to see how this institution would have spread."

Christopher Boehm is Director of the Jane Goodall Research Institute.

Revolution and primitivism - Miguel Amoros

Transcript of a talk on primitivism given by Miguel Amorós in 2003 in which he distinguishes “between those who want to understand archaic societies in order to acquire conceptual weapons for confronting and transforming the world, and those who seek innocence and beatitude, lost in the passage of time, in primitive lifestyles” and compares the ideology of the latter—“vulgar” and “philistine” primitivists—to the bourgeois “idealization of nature” of the Enlightenment era.

Psychoanalysis, Freud, Civilization and Capitalism

Is Freud right when he claimed that psychoanalysis is concerned with ‘social phenomenon’ including politics?

Refusing the syndicalist v. primitivist debate

Ex-Black Panther and ex-political prisoner Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin on being a Black Autonomist, and uninterested in the syndicalist v. primitivist debate.

From El Viejo Topo: interview on "curtailing economic growth" - Anselm Jappe

An interview with Anselm Jappe about "curtailing economic growth" ("decrecimiento" in Spanish), a tendency that is becoming increasingly popular in certain circles in Europe, which he characterizes as "a reformism that wants to be authentically radical" but which is doomed to failure unless it challenges the logic of commodity production.

A discussion about primitivism and the future society

A letter exchange about primitivism between Green Anarchist and Steve from Hastings in response to an article in Subversion issue 22 (currently unavailable online) from 1997.