There are approximately five billion different branches of anarchism. I can find some kind of common ground with most of them but one branch that I do not understand is anarcho-primitivism. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, anarcho-primitivism advocates the abandonment of all technology. In other words they want a massive amount of starvation and disease. In fact it’s such a shitty philosophy that its own proponents don’t live by it:
VICE: You advocate for all of civilization to abandon technology and return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. How do you feel about the Skype call that we’re having right now?
John Zerzan: I was on the Art Bell show years ago and he kept saying that to be consistent with my philosophy, I should live in a cave. I said, “Yeah, you’re right, but then this conversation wouldn’t be possible.” You have to try to connect with people. You have to be part of the conversation in society or else you’re not serious.
So, is that the only reason that you don’t go live in the wilderness?
Well, I guess so, although I would have to say that, like most people, I’m pretty damned domesticated. I enjoy when I’m out there, but I’m not as equipped as some people.
Have you had periods where you have lived off the grid?
Not really, though I’ve gone to the mountains for a few days at a time.
That last answer really gets me. Mr. Zerzan believes that we should all abandon technology and live off of the grid. But he admittedly has never done any such thing. If you’re going to advocate for something you should probably try to abide by it. The irony of most self-proclaimed anarcho-primitivists is that they spend a lot of time online instead of hunting and gathering food and sleeping in a cave.