Friday, February 3, 2012

Primitivism: An infantile notion

There has been a Primitivist troll infesting the comments section lately at the Strike-the-Root anarcho-libertarian website. This "White Indian" person was kind of amusing, at first, but s/he has become quite obnoxious and nasty when the other commenters don't care much for W.I.'s opinions and say so. I don't expect W.I. to see this post but in researching his/her belief system I hit upon this tidbit from English political activist Stephen Booth that kinda sums up my opinion the primitivist movement.

"Primitivism", says Booth, "is a political theory for the alienated First World. Would you get the same absolute hostility to, and rejection of technology in the Third World? Stuff your clean drinking water, stuff your drugs to prevent river blindness, stuff your appendix operations, stuff your safe childbirth and reduction in infant mortality. It is true that some (perhaps many) technology products are harmful or not wanted in the Third World — the Narmada Dam project eg, Bhopal, the burning of the rain forest, but again we have to watch the unwarranted shift from some to all. Essentially the same problems apply to these as we find in the west. It is deeply patronising [sic] and elitist to try to deny Third World people the choice, by condemning technology as a whole. Primitivism could only be the product of spoiled Western college kids sitting in the middle of a sea of plenty, and cursing it. Primitivism is a developed-world counsel of despair." [emphasis mine]

If this is what the "White Indian" wants for himself then he or she is totally able to move into a DIY plywood shack, cave, or lean-to out in the wilderness somewhere and have at it. Some people have done so already and more might do so in future, and good for them, too! Truly. To me there is no better sign of sterling moral character than to honestly try to blend your chosen theory and praxis together in the real world as it exists, but with the caveat to be wary  that you don't become a fanatic that oppresses and infringes on other people's choices that are different from yours.

How I see it anyhow.