John Zerzan on Transhumanism

kenneth ayres most likely finds him amusing because many of the things posited by Anarcho-primitivism are irrational and suicidal on a species scale. What it proposes is the complete abandonment of even the most basic aspects of our lives. Without the birth of civilization neither of us would have this most vital communication medium — the written word. One should also say goodbye to all the vast accumulated knowledge that is too large for a single mind to hold (e.g. every book, written record, scientific discovery, medical discovery, and history in general). If I am to assume your job does not solely cover gathering tiny portions of food/hunting, killing predators, sharpening rocks, constructing highly crude ad hoc tent like temporary structures, or just reproduction and child rearing say goodbye to your life-path (and the ability to spare a good deal of time to think about abstract things such as this), motivations, and all the past achievements that make you who you are today. Additionally, I — and no doubt a truly vast number of people — would be exceedingly dead today without the advances in medicine/surgery. Furthermore, Anarcho-primitivists would draw an imaginary line where one does not truly exist. As humans are nothing more than animals and our technology is merely a by-product of how we adapt, there is then no real delusional division between us/it and the rest of nature. Nature is also not just life but the universe at large (which is utterly indifferent toward us as it has no innate will or lines ‘that shouldn’t be grossed’). One must also remember that technology is not simply the most advanced system but simply any tool/process we create using our knowledge and hands/other tools. Even the hunter gather’s spears, sharpened rocks, sharpened sticks, etc. are technology. Furthermore, tool use both predates homo-sapiens and can be found — to a significantly limited decree — among other species. This is not to say I’m advocating not even humoring the notion. By all means, I highly encourage people so swayed to try it. They should literally abandon all of their assets, break all connections with the modern world, and go into the wilderness with nothing – not even their clothing. By the ‘wilderness,’ I specifically mean the remaining places on this planet where all animals therein have had absolutely no contact with our species. They are to not use any knowledge produced by civilization (e.g. the scientific knowledge that would have otherwise significantly improved their chances of survival) and only survive by trial and error. They are thus only permitted to figure out how to constrict primitive technology from what’s around them (e.g. branches, sticks, stones, and the remains of other animals) – once again being forbidden from using any knowledge of how to do so left behind by our ancestors in external memory storage (e.g. the written word). They should then live this way for ten years. Assuming they don’t horribly die due to infection, parasites, starvation, dehydration, various diseases, accidents, poisons, being eaten alive by other animals, each other, suicide, and/or environmental extremes (e.g. the dead of winter, a summer’s drought, very bad weather, etc.) then they can judge whether or not they want to embrace this idea. Such an easily lethal trial by fire beautifully synchronizes with the concept of going back to the Paleolithic lifestyle. For, after all, similar things are used by people following this lifestyle as a right of adulthood. ; ) Naturally, I’m very certain actually doing the above would eliminate a good portion of those who following this ideology. Those who actually follow it and can thus survive that way, however, are free do to so—so long that they don’t use violent means to make others join them or insist that all of us who don’t want to join them convert to their ways. The Amish are a good example of how Anarcho-primitivist should go about their goals; simply forming their own independent enclaves that can simultaneously co-exists and are more-or-less separate from the rest of us. Assuming advances like “radical human enhancement” through genetic engineering, tissue engineering, realistic cybernetics, targeted medicines/enhancing “smart” drugs, and other things that actually have a reasonable chance of occur on the basis of today’s scientific knowledge (e.g. not the fantastical “technological singularity” concepts and most conceptions involving whole brain emulation) occur I think transhumanist should then do the same. Forming enclaves in that way would certainly help minimize some of the potential short term downsides and hopefully prevent long term issues (such as evolutionary dead ends). Ironically, if human germ-line genetic engineering was possible at that scale it might enable distant future transhumanistic generations to make some aspects of Anarcho-primitivism a reality. Imagine a world where everyone is both genetically engineered to best maximize their survival as a hunter gather & minimize the inherent flaws most anarchists see in human organization, and where the only technology like today’s modern technology is extremely minimalistic as almost everything else consists of specially modified organisms (I see this vision as just fantastical as the idea that seven billion people somehow reverting back to the way things were 200,000 years ago).

mark thom 6 months ago
+Xander Powell “People in industrialized countries too often forget the real cost, human or otherwise, attending their so-called ‘advances.’ ”
True, but irrelevant.
“To call it even a ‘zero-sum outcome’ would be too generous.”
According to who? which rules? how could we count the ‘sum’? The thing is, dead people can’t count. If humanity perishes, we won’t be able to even argue about sums.
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
If we don’t fight the monster (Universe), we will surely perish. What we become in the meantime is of less importance. At least i think so. One can try to do otherwise. But as i said before, it’s like expecting the pieces of a glass to rearrange themselves.
“Transhumanism: an infinitude of empty promises and beyond.”
The sun will stop shining one day. Is there any alternative other than technological development that can save life on earth from certain death in two billion years from now? No wishful dreams please, something that can work, a second order cybernetics solution.


Xander Powell 6 months ago
There’s practically no point in engaging transhumanists in debate; people worry about what might happen to ‘the soul’ if the transhumanist dream were to come to fruition, but by and large, transhumanists have already forfeited that part of themselves. Enjoy a life of servitude to your masters, friend.
xjoseywales 9 months ago
@15:20 is why Zerzan just sounds like a cranky old man. No ideas, just complaints.
zombiesingularity 1 year ago
I am very surprised that this guy is seriously claiming that things have gotten worse. He should bother reading a book.

W5AWG 1 year ago
Why Read a Book? Why not YOU visit San Francisco or Los Angeles, see the Millions of NAFTA Victims. Homeless, Filthy, Sleeping on the Sidewalks, Eating from Garbage Cans? Unless you are +62 Years of age, you may noy know, Homelessness was Unknown until Reagan took office, There were Cheap-skid row Hotels All Over! Flop Houses, a Day Labourer earning $10 a day at ManPower in 1975, in Omaha Nebraska, could Live inside, Eat 3 Square Meals, and get Drunk on weekends! I Was That Working Stiff. I paid &10.00 a Week for a Room on Walworth near 18th. off Dodge, at the Fridays I Collected Extra cash “Held Back” and Paid rent.
Furthermore, when my Mexican Wife & I were first Married, we lived in a 2 Room hotel room, Cook Stove, Refrigerator, for $30.00 a Month, in Arkansas, I was a Dishwasher at Mollies Kosher Cafe, (The Were no Racists, I am a White Looking Jewish married to a Browned Skinned Mexican- a Crime in Arkansas in 1969!) And WE WERE ARRESTED and JAILED for Race Mixing! However, We Lived Inside!
Things are WORSE because HUMANS are THOUGHT OF as CATTLE!

About homelessholocaust

I actually do not write most of these articles, I collect them here, for my personal useage, I find Some Other's enjoy them as well, which is a side effect of my Senility. As I am a Theosophist, and also study Vedanta Society of Northern California, so Your Visitation from the Akashic records to approve my feebile works gives me Great Hope! I am 68, years old, I will Come To You in another 30 or so years. You Reinforces my Belief that in my Sleep I visit The Akashic Records when I remember my dream's. I keep notes about 'Over There." the Colour of Daylight is Darker, but the Life is Brighter, property has no meaning, and it is homish. are the energetic records of all souls about their past lives, the present lives, and possible future lives. Each soul has its Akashic Records, like a series of books with each book representing one lifetime. The Hall (or Library) of the Akashic Records is where all souls’ Akashic Records are stored energetically. In other words, the information is stored in the Akashic field (also called zero point field). The Akashic Records, however, are not a dry compilation of events. They also contain our collective wisdom.
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