The Principles Of Uncivilisation

From the writers and activists network Dark Mountain Project, the manifesto of Uncivilisation, a response to the alleged coming unraveling of modern society:

We reject the faith which holds that the converging crises of our times can be reduced to a set of ‘problems’ in need of technological or political ‘solutions’.

We believe that the roots of these crises lie in the stories we have been telling ourselves. We intend to challenge the stories which underpin our civilisation: the myth of progress, the myth of human centrality, and the myth of our separation from ‘nature’. These myths are more dangerous for the fact that we have forgotten they are myths.

We will reassert the role of storytelling as more than mere entertainment. It is through stories that we weave reality.

Humans are not the point and purpose of the planet. Our art will begin with the attempt to step outside the human bubble. By careful attention, we will reengage with the non-human world.

We will celebrate writing and art which is grounded in a sense of place and of time. Our literature has been dominated for too long by those who inhabit the cosmopolitan citadels.

We will not lose ourselves in the elaboration of theories or ideologies. Our words will be elemental. We write with dirt under our fingernails.

The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop. Together, we will find the hope beyond hope, the paths which lead to the unknown world ahead of us.

40 Comments on "The Principles Of Uncivilisation"

  1. Related, Alan Watts material (to help drive the point home):

    The Real Secret Of Life
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hAsfEhegNA

    How Do You Define Yourself?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0T9icPl3rw

    What did you forget?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5ultqz1Pdk

    It all goes together (my favorite clip of the bunch)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qml1-xzPpxY

    Our Image of the World (full lecture)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INVjMaoA-yg

    Man in Nature (full lecture)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFnYw5i29Ko

    • I play Alan Watts’ lectures on meditation for my 10-year-old daugher and she gets them no problem. Very easy concepts that come to those that can silence the inner chatter for a while

      • drokhole | Feb 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

        That’s awesome! Someone wrote on here recently, “Real genius is found in the person who can state the obvious in such a way that it’s finally obvious to almost everyone.” That’s how I feel about Watts. He has an incredible ability to make what he’s talking about relatable and shatteringly clear.

  2. uptil I looked at the bank draft 4 $8464, I didnt believe …that…my brother actualy taking home money in there spare time on there computar.. there mums best friend started doing this 4 less than sixteen months and recently paid for the morgage on there villa and bought themselves a Ariel Atom. we looked here, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  3. Hadrian999 | Feb 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

    i want to see how committed they are to uncivilization they are as soon as they require medical attention

    • Jin The Ninja | Feb 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm |

      lol!
      i think the point is to reject the institutions and ( our inherently consumerist/capitalist) cultural practices of our (global) civilization, not necessarily all of the accumulated knowledge.

    • Jin The Ninja | Feb 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm |

      lol!
      i think the point is to reject the institutions and ( our inherently consumerist/capitalist) cultural practices of our (global) civilization, not necessarily all of the accumulated knowledge.

      • Hadrian999 | Feb 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

        but how do you sepperate the knowledge or benefits from the culture or society that brought it into being, it reminds me of people who preach anti colonialism/militarism while personally indulging in the benefits that colonialism has brought them

        • I see. So my use of a computer with a chip that uses tantalum mined in the DRC completely negates all of my attempts to bring attention to that horrible conflict by telling others about it online and writing papers about it.

          Btw, your computer chips and cell phone chips (if you have a cell) utilize an ore called coltan mined in the DRC in the larger context of a conflict that has killed over 5 million people since 1997–the single largest conflict since WWII. Try reading the Human Rights Watch or Medicin Sans Frontier reports on it sometime–absolutely chilling. Incidentally, a UN panel of experts back in 2000-2001 brought international attention to the complicitly of numerous companies within the OECD zone. The reaction of the governments of the countries where those corporations are based was paltry to say the least.

          Have I earned back my karma points now? May I continue using my computer with a clear conscience?

        • Jin The Ninja | Feb 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

          you deconstruct / understand the epistemological origins of said knowledge and you don’t let the capitalist/eurocentric bullshit embedded in it bite you in the ass.

          • Hadrian999 | Feb 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm |

            without carrot and stick how do continue accumulating knowledge? how do you create the professional classes required for the growth of knowledge in an anarchist arrangement?

          • Ceausescu | Feb 5, 2013 at 1:27 am |

            Your logic is fallacious. Can you realize it ?

      • Separating bad ideas and practices from the things that happen to come from those bad ideas and practices is a philosophical jump too big for many minds to make.

        • Jin The Ninja | Feb 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm |

          i tend to think of ‘civilisation’ as a dynamic, evolutionary process and i think (even more so) inherently an ‘anarchist’ future ‘uncivilisation’ would be similar. we forge/t, renew, re/discover, re/invent, re/define, deconstruct ideas all the time.

          my opinion re: western medicine, aside from my almost unanimously negative feelings towards much of it, is that it too can evolve, absord, converge with other paradigms of health and the body. i think that could be nothing, but a good thing. and i would never argue that we should abandon it in totality.

          • I agree. I’ve always thought that reductionist paradigm of science was a necessary evil up to the point where holist perspectives on reality just naturally take over. Getting over the reductionist epistemological phase is a developmental matter. Species mature as much as individuals do.

            Have you read Kropotkin’s Conquest of Bread. It’s a classic, but my god, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such prescience in any intellectual work I’ve come across. Are you familiar with his concept of ‘Expropriation’–the point in ‘history’ where the people spontaneously stand up and ‘take back’ the means of production. This isn’t the Marxist proletariat Revolution, but more resembles some point of criticality where people, regardless of class or status of oppression, just shift. Kropotkin was writing from a complexity theory perspective before complexity theory was a twinkle in anyone’s eye; and, I don’t think I’m retrospectively forcing this into his writing, either. He was clearly referring to the human species as a complex system that will eventually approach self-organized criticality, and the system just morphs into something entirely different than before.

            From my meager skimming of the social science literature, it seems any of the so-called ‘revolutionary’ theorists, inspired by marxism or something else, have been groping around in the dark of the future looking for that strange attractor that sends our human system into a different level of organization. I think this goes without saying, but with all of these mounting crises (or perceptions of crises, perhaps more accurately), the strange attractor seems to be getting so much closer than it was in Kropotkin’s day. But he recognized it, and described the effects of it in as precise enough terms as anyone could describe what happens in a social event horizon. As it stands right now, my bet is on the failure of fiat currency as the strange attractor of our criticality. What do you think?

          • Most complex systems eventually spawn an emergent property that can’t be
            explained by a reductionist approach. Life is one such emergent
            property. Reductionism has ferreted out almost all the parts of
            living systems but have not revealed how the parts produce the whole.
            The same is true of intelligence or ecosystems.
            I believe the Internet and smart phones, U tube and social media bring us closer to
            a social emergent phenomenon that will have a life of its own. There
            is, however, no way to predict what that will be, whether it will be
            beneficial to the human condition or a destroying angel.

          • I agree with your statement, except for the part where you mention the social emergent phenomenon. In my own research, I’ve been militating against biological reductionism and all of the nasty accounts of ‘human nature’ that go along with the ‘selfish gene’/sociobiology arguments. I think they are solely political in nature and need to be thoroughly rebuked. To me (and I pull this thinking from the greatest intellectual influence in my life–Peter Kropotkin), the category of species in nature constitute the basic element of existence in the biological world. This view impies that species came before individual organisms–this is something that mainstream biology seems to not accept right now. Further to this, what we take for granted as sociality is an essential part of the biological realm. Sociality is like a meta-scaled version of quantum entanglement. Individual organisms within a species are always intimately interlinked without being directly conscious of such a species-wide linkage. Therefore, to call social phenomenon as emergent elides this very basic point of sociability being primary in organic nature. The social world is not something that we engage in or not–it’s something that draws us in whether we like it or not. The emergent property here is, as individual organisms, our reflexive capacity to observe and reject (also appeal to others to reject) certain types of sociality that are harmful to fellow individual organisms.

            The interwebs and other communication technologies that have cropped up over the recent years facilitate this honing of the emergent property of each individual to observe and reject (or promote) certain social forms over others. So, the emergent phenomenon here is our individual minds. We, as individuals, are becoming increasingly more conscious of the variety of social forms in the world outside of the day-to-day ones that we perceive. Our exposure to variety through increased social interaction is what is promoting our individual development. From that individual development, we will begin to see an increase of autonomous actions by like-minded peoples seeking to break free of cultural homogeneity. This homogeneity is the true impediment to emergent complexity phenomena, and the social control device of money (as a mediator of social interchange involving the transfer of needed resources) is the primary homogeneizing tool right now, imo. So….death to fiat currency, and life to diversity!

          • If you want to read a paper I wrote on this topic–it’s a thumb nail sketch of my PhD research–feel free to check it out here: http://www.academia.edu/726561/Evolution_and_Anarchism_in_International_Relations_The_Challenge_of_Kropotkins_Biological_Ontology

            I probably won’t finish my degree, however. I have the strong feeling that I’m targeting the wrong audience with this research, and I’m up to my eye balls in debt. 🙁

          • If you want to read a paper I wrote on this topic–it’s a thumb nail sketch of my PhD research–feel free to check it out here: http://www.academia.edu/726561/Evolution_and_Anarchism_in_International_Relations_The_Challenge_of_Kropotkins_Biological_Ontology

            I probably won’t finish my degree, however. I have the strong feeling that I’m targeting the wrong audience with this research, and I’m up to my eye balls in debt. 🙁

    • Matt Staggs | Feb 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

      Or when someone shows up with a hatchet and a hankerin’ for whatever they’ve got in their wilderness hope chest.

    • Matt Staggs | Feb 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

      Or when someone shows up with a hatchet and a hankerin’ for whatever they’ve got in their wilderness hope chest.

      • Rewilder | Feb 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

        Everybody’s fallen for the false dichotomy, the Either Or argument. You can have wilderness and medical attention and defense from invading armies. You can have 1 foot in both camps. Spend half your time in the wilderness, spend half being a wage earner on the concrete scab. This way you can participate in civilisation’s decline, while practicing re-thriving in and re-habilitating the wilderness as back up.

    • Sonnenritter | Feb 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm |

      “There are no atheists in foxholes”

      • Jin The Ninja | Feb 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

        instead on soap boxes, calling for the destruction of islam and islamic nations.
        >insert eye roll here<

      • Jin The Ninja | Feb 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

        instead on soap boxes, calling for the destruction of islam and islamic nations.
        >insert eye roll here<

    • BuzzCoastin | Feb 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

      yeah, like modern medicine isn’t barbarism at it’s finest
      when in fact, moving away from modern medicine can only make one healthier
      a doctor and a hospital is the last thing I want to see if I’m seriously ill

      • Hadrian999 | Feb 5, 2013 at 12:16 am |

        show me a herb or folk remedy that can fix severe heat trauma, swap out a failing organ or reattach a severed limb and i’ll be a believer

        • BuzzCoastin | Feb 5, 2013 at 12:29 am |

          an MI, a transplant or a reattached limb
          has <3% chance of full recovery with modern medicine
          and ~3% horrible failures
          and 94% failure rate

          which why most docs have a no code order for themselves
          and wouldn't subject themselves to modern medical intervention

        • BuzzCoastin | Feb 5, 2013 at 12:36 am |

          recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer
          she had no symptoms, but the tests she said had cancer
          she took their treatments:
          a knife wound, piece of flesh removed and then poisoned
          now she has symptoms
          that is what modern medicine can do

  4. The thing is you can be wild inside without destroying Civilization without. That is the essence of barbarism basically. Be like a cat. Lay on the window sill in the sun when the mood strikes you and then stalk the woods when you need to reconnect with the wild.

  5. The thing is you can be wild inside without destroying Civilization without. That is the essence of barbarism basically. Be like a cat. Lay on the window sill in the sun when the mood strikes you and then stalk the woods when you need to reconnect with the wild.

  6. In my lifetime, up to the year 2008; the Western world had (perhaps steadily) continued on a trajectory of growing: violence, lewdness, avarice and irreverence.

    E.g. Columbine massacre, World’s largest gangbang, Bernie Madoff scam, South Park cartoon.

    Then we reached a brink of unprecedented nihilistic, barbarism; of which virtually everyone’s in profound denial.

    Whatever evidence of this I confront people with; they: ignore, dismiss, deny or give forward/Devil’s Advocate answers to.

    It’s literally like I’m permanently trapped in an Outer Limits episode.

    • Maybe its because the only realistic alternative to denial is despair. Or embracing the ‘nihilistic barbarism’ I suppose, but we’re not that good at truth as a species. After all, its not like we can do anything about it. So, given the options, why is denial worse than the others? What virtue could the truth possibly have?

  7. BuzzCoastin | Feb 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

    > It is through stories that we weave reality.

    this simple statement is the key to change
    but getting control of thoughts and stories
    is easier said than done

Comments are closed.