Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections by John Zerzan

By John Zerzan

“Read it and you'll by no means examine civilization within the similar approach again.”—Kirkpatrick Sale

This anthology approximately "the pathology of civilization" deals perception into how development and expertise have resulted in vacancy and alienation.

"A provocative anthologypresenting the likes of Freud, Friedrich Schiller, William Morris, and the Unabomber, besides vibrant modern thinkersthat increases the query of even if our elaborately based, technology-driven society creates extra difficulties than it alleviates." -- Jay Walljasper; Utne Reader, March/April 1999

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It goes back to the time Adam Smith was writing, and maybe to a time before anyone was writing. But anthropology, especially evolutionary anthropology, found it congenial, even necessary theoretically, to adopt the same tone of reproach. Archeologists and ethnologists had become Neolithic revolutionaries, and in their enthusiasm for the revolution found serious shortcomings in the Old (Stone Age) Regime. Scholars extolled a Neolithic Great Leap Forward. , domestication. ) But evolutionary theory is not entirely to blame.

137) makes this very clear for the Murngin— portability is a main value in the economic scheme of things. A similar case of affluence without abundance can be made for the subsistence sector. McCarthy and McArthur’s time-motion study in Arnhem Land (1960) indicates the food quest is episodic -36- MARSHALL SAHLINS: “THE ORIGINAL AFFLUENT SOCIETY” and discontinuous, and per capita commitment to it averages less than four hours a day. The amount of daytime sleep and rest is unconscionable: clearly, the aborigines fail to “build culture” not from lack of time but from idle hands.

After several days searching Bantu agricultural villages looking for the largest and fattest ox in the region, he acquired what appeared to be a perfect specimen. But his friends took him aside and assured him that he had been duped into buying an absolutely worthless animal. ” But when Lee’s ox was slaughtered, it turned out to be covered with a thick layer of fat. Later, his friends explained why they had said his gift was valueless, even though they knew better than he what lay under the animal’s skin: -47- SECTION I.

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