Oak Journal - Rejecting the World Society Paradigm


Welcome to Oak Audiozine, in this episode we hear primarily from a conversation with Bellamy Fitzpatrick and John Zerzan. The conversation covers a lot of ground, from resistance to possibility and veganism to eco-extremism. We want to thank Bellamy and John for taking part in the conversation.

In addition to the interview this episode features “Western Blot” by Ren Hlao and the first part of a reading of the essay "Feral Magick" by Jason Rodgers, listen to the rest of the essay in our next episode. You can hear a brief preview of our next episode at the end.

Oak print journal will be available early spring. Early pre-orders help immensely. Look for another episode in February. A huge thanks to all our contributors this episode, Bellamy Fitzpatrick, John Zerzan, Ren Hlao, and Jason Rodgers.

There are 38 Comments

Nice to see the two bury the hatchet. Though at the end it seemed to almost start to erupt again. JZ has held pretty tightly to his core beliefs forever now. It’s nice to hear him and Bellamy process things in a way that feels somewhat new.

agreed, if anything feels new in this conversation was Bellamy discussing his conversion to an immanent spiritualism from a more relativist past, which gives John the feel-goods that agreement unsurprisingly does. John annoyingly continues to propagate the (years long now) meme, doubling down on his conflation of actual ITS = atassa = lbc, willfully obfuscating the degrees of difference. I guess having personal beef w/ aragorn makes that easy to do, no matter who else gets thrown under the bus through guilt by association.

very enjoyable show.
interesting conversation with jz and bellamy. so much hope and purpose.
excellent production quality. beautiful poem.

I for one love this new weird Bellamy

She went after JZ’s love Paul Shepard, and exposes just how illogical Bellamy’s brain can be. They both have blind spots that Ria makes easy to see. That section of the podcast is about 3/4 in, but she lays out each of their points in what looks like her blog linked above. So, some reunion for them, getting their butts whipped together. Turns out ex-vegans know nothing about veganism, and anarcho-primitivists know nothing about anarcho-primitivism. Ria’s response should turn their worlds upside down, but their stubbornness exceeds their intelligence.

What is the point of having one point of view (and even disagreeing with another (eg: Layla AbdelRahim) when that person has not been invited on the programme? Why not have Layla, Ria, John And Bellamy discuss and debate instead of this disjointed approach?

John cannot prove that fire wasn't the 'downfall' although he likes to promote it use! Before fire, there was no homo sapiens. Before fire, there was no hunting of any significance because eating raw flesh is very dangerous unless it is fresh and then only a little of it. Also, Before fire, time was taken up grazing. With fire, calories could be consumed quickly enabling more free time. Plants could be ground and cooked too. Wrangham, Scott and Eisenstein go in to this in more detail.

JZ likes to believe because it took time for the impacts of fire to be felt, that he totally discounts domestication of fire! Doesn't make him right though.

As Bellamy saying that without fire, humans would be restricted to the warmer climates...yes, that's the whole point: to stay within a niche. Looks like Bellamy is for humans everywhere and with fire, what could possibly go wrong?

Having said all that, we are where we are? Maybe the genie is out of the bottle and we will just have to face whatever comes! A human: a homo sapien only exists due to the domestication of fire. Without fire and with only tools, we were habilis/erectus NOT sapien sapien.

Can there be a future with fire and tools/technology? I doubt it. Every light switch is evidence of our need for fire...combustion. People really do need to read Wrangham's book just to acknowledge the fundamental impact of our domestication of fire. But, I can't force people to acknowledge such consequences. JZ has put his life into his beliefs and he won't let those beliefs go lightly and I can understand that.

It is interesting how Bellamy has gone all out attacking vegans and not fire. Possibly because the time lag for its impact to be felt is too long for Bellamy to comprehend?

You know how people unite against a common enemy? They went after Layla and Ria in such a low way. And their arguments make no sense. And it seems like they are agreeing together on their nonsense arguments, like that's what they did to cement their friendship back together. I'm no psychologist, but they deserved to have their butts kicked on this. They made themselves a huge target. Layla may lay down for it, but Ria seems to be a fighter. Shepard might say, they offered themselves to Ria the hunter, easy game, how could she not take the shot?

...that our usual sausage party of self-aggrandizing rock stars of the publication milieus are apparently still not taking female *authors* on their shows to take part in the conversation, debate their ideas, and so on.

But then you got the same old pattern of the (often) female groupies standing by their favored man, paying them free lip service... infatuating those big mouths... never, ever questioning what they say... why am I still seeing "patriarchy" in bold letters here?

There were female speakers on Abang, tho it seems that the Brilliant and similar podcasts are reserved to the "major" activity of epistemology, that is to be fronted by males.

While I don’t agree with either of them for the most part I’m glad there are women putting out anti civ theory. I think it would be reductionist though to make this all about men vs women though. All involved people have their respective adherents. I find it’s more worthwhile to argue about then on the realm of their ideas than their genders. Idpol away if you must though.

werent both Ria and Layla on the Brilliant, and Layla interviewed in Backwoods 2, which she apparently chose not to engage with in a debate on veganism?

to bond with JZ. A device of civilization, divide and conquer pays dividends. And they both proclaim to want to expand the fold. Are they not aware how they came across as immature bullies? Come on people, you can do better. Ria and Layla both have much to offer, if you’d only shut up and listen.

This is written in such a hilariously poor format. Compassion in the animal world does not equal veganism. Even carnivorous animals can exhibit compassion. This weird binary thinking of good and bad is wild. Veganism is a human created diet. Sure there are herbivores but it’s not the same thing.

She jumps around the globe mentioning various nuts and tubers to try to show there’s an abundance of protein sources for people’s. Yet all of these places are spread throughout the world and it’s not like there is that much of an abundance of any of these things. If you’ve ever tried to harvest acorns you’ll also note how many of them get eaten by other animals before you even get to them.

Not only that she claims that evidence is being hidden about historical people’s living vegan diets. Then she lists examples of people living with varying diets largely based around place. Which doesn’t really prove anything beyond diets being largely subject to the resources around you. Which Bellamy was getting at when he talked about protein sources in North America being lacking.

She rambles on about nutritious weeds growing in industrial areas but doesn’t recognize the bioaccumulation of hazardous materials. We are living in a world polluted by industrial development.

I am not a meat eater and have spent most of my life probably being vegan. I’ve foraged wild edibles in various parts of North America to eat. From my experience it’d be incredibly hard for every person on this earth to live an anprim vegan lifestyle. Especially in the wake of mass industrial society. Not only that I think it’s delusional to base your veganism on a myth of it being the natural way for humans to live. The reality is a varied diet makes the most sense. I believe people need to find compassionate ways to live with non humans forms of life regardless of diet.

This is the title of the book Ria will be publishing this month. I've read the manuscript. It includes anthropology on the diet of human origins, and how human compassion became intensified.

Maybe her intention in mentioning wild plant foods worldwide was to show the scope of their availability. Maybe they aren't as abundant because of human development. That's an overpopulation problem, and as she said in her response, why single out vegans for the effects of that?

The polluted world says as much about eating plants as it does about eating meat. Hunted animals are exponentially more toxic because they are contaminated with many more toxic plants than if you ate the plants directly, from urban to wild areas.

It'd be very hard for every person on this earth to live anprim lifestyle, vegan or not. Our species is overpopulated and dependent on domesticated food right now. Once again, why single out vegans? If compassion doesn't mean anything in nature, and you think we should have a varied diet, then bring on cannibalism.

"Which Bellamy was getting at when he talked about protein sources in North America being lacking."

They aren't. Useless meat-eaters like you can totally be shot and BBQ'ed, instead of thrown over a cliff at gunpoint which would be a waste of good meat... for the rats, cats and dogs.

But beyond that, it is true that there's lots of protein-rich plants you know nothing about and these surprisingly grow on dry acidic lands. It's a no-brainer for anyone who's into plants to not consume the ones that grow on contaminated soil. But as for non-contaminated meat, it is equally as hard to find in the US for how the damn industrially-produced meat is contaminated with salmonella, hormones and cattle antibiotics; and that is also the point you missed in why people refuse to eat this garbage, Dr Monsanto.

Not a meat eater but nice puffery!

You say it’s a no brainer to not eat plants growing in polluted industrialized zones yet here Ria is encouraging it as a valid diet move! Cool you know about plants because I do too. A lot of nutritious plants grow in sites of disturbance human or otherwise. You should use critical thinking though before encouraging everyone to eat them.

You are so civbrained if you can’t imagine meat coming from a non industrialized source. I wasn’t suggesting people buy from some slaughterhouse. I’m not really interested in industrial agriculture. I’ve actively tried to break myself as much as possible from it. This includes doing some foraging. Dr. Monsanto is a really funny insult though bud. You seems to have painted a helpful image of me for yourself to feel righteous about.

What are your other sources of meat, then?

Again to clarify not a meat eater. I do personally know hunters who live in very rural communities largely outside the industrial metropolis. They eat a variety of meat but primarily deer which are extremely abundant here. It is not only the most economical way for them to eat because the closet market is way out there. They also are consciously making the choice to not eat farmed meat.

Did you miss this part?:
Soil at some survey sites had elevated concentrations of lead and cadmium, but tissue tests suggest the weeds don’t take up much of these or other heavy metals.
After being rinsed, they tested at less than the dosages considered safe by the EPA, the researchers said.
Pesticides, glyphosate, and PCBs were undetectable.

I’m interested in how she quantifies human compassion and what that data actually looks like. It sounds nice in theory though! Also what does this say about every other animal that eats another? Perhaps they just haven’t developed their compassion fully. Sounds anthropocentric to me but okay.

Zooming around and naming a bunch of different plants says nothing about a person diet rooted in one place. Sure humans travel and do so widely. This doesn’t mean where you live is without limits. Especially if you’re living a primitive lifestyle. Sure maybe a part of it is overpopulation but again this is the world we live in right now. Even with a swift decline in humans we’d still be living in different terrain. Again when there were more abundant food sources there are examples of primitive people still eating a very varied diet.

No doubt the animals are also polluted. I don’t think people should be hunting animals in an urban setting. Unlike Ria who seems to think that plants growing in industrial waste is a great idea for people to transition from animal sources. I am fortunate to live in a place where there is for the most part lots of unindustrialized forested land. The people who have the deepest connection to nature I met who are the least sucked into the dominant industrial food system are the local hunters. For some the supermarket is too far away and the deer are abundant. I’ve also met many of these hunters who eat foraged plants, nuts and roots. Sure some of them suck but I have a ton of respect for what they’re doing.

I’m not singling out vegans but I’m not proclaiming any one diet is the way. If it seems impossible for every human what is your game plan? I also never said compassion doesn’t mean anything. I want to live my life causing a minimal amount of suffering. I recognize that I will fail if I hold myself to some pure ideal though. Being not vegan isn’t a slippery slope to cannibalism. You can look at the vast majority of people’s everywhere.

Yep, its not like those folk living in the upper Arctic circle before Anglo-Saxon colonization had much of a choice other than seal meat, tern eggs and various crestacea and fish species. Moss was a rare luxury, as was compassion, it was all about survival, not much room for little girl sentimentality.

The cosmos has no influence upon me, I stand aloof in the vegan cafeteria smoking my e-cigarette and pondering, whilst all the gaunt vegetarians around me squabble and moralize about what they are eating.

Hey I think I met you at the green scare anarchist bookfair. I think we kissed at the book burning where we were both roasting vegan marshmallows over the fire. Anon meet me at this years fair I’ll be the oogle with a novatore quote on my face.

I thought those were round tofu balls we were roasting. I guess my taste buds got burnt out from your vitriolic kisses?
I remain aloof, throwing vegan recipe books into the bonfire.

this is kinda hot, but ya'll are weird
i'm missing out, stop giving us fomo

If you bring the tent I’ll bring the pepperspray. We can keep it spicy.

anarchist spaces because of all the vitriol. She has said she has been on the end of very personal vicious comments. Maybe, Layla thought she was being set up by Bellamy and cut off communication? Layla could clarify why she (if she did?) cut communication with Bellamy? Perhaps Bellamy and Ria might set up a podcast-type discussion going over the issues of fire, hunting, human niche etc etc and why knowing such stuff is relevant today... or not? Looking forward to Ria's book. However, I don't have an Amazon account so is there other ways to get it... such as a digital PDF?


hopefully that still works. A troll-stalker had messed up my riseup, so I have all my mail from there forwarded.

now the whole world can mess up my riseup

heard word riseup got a subpoena anyway, not sure if it's true, but watch out there kids

ya know, to go after Layla because she didn't jump through a hoop as expected is a little much. everyone has an off moment now & then.

Or are you just her guard dog? Just joking. You make a good pair. How would you contrast your thinking to hers? To me, she seems more into social justice, which doesn’t seem very anti-civ, but more grounded within civilization. And you seem to want humans to climb back up in the trees. But the anti-hunting predation part of your theories seems almost identical, from what I can tell. Thanks for engaging with this forum, it can scare many people off. We need a better online way to communicate without all the nonsense.

controlled fire and the othering of non-humans is finally coming into consciousness. I would appreciate a detailed account from Bellamy regarding his thoughts on the impact of controlled fire aka combustion aka controlled manufacture and use of energy fire from wood, coal, oil, gas providing electricity etc? For example, does Bellamy homo-sapiens would still exist without the use of controlled fire? Agriculture would not have been possible without fire to clear and cook and warm via campfire enabling human colonisation of every corner of the earth? Has Bellamy read and watched Wrangham's work on human's relationship with fire? There's little point addressing these questions to JZ as he is firmly entrenched in his views. Would Bellamy consider eating a raw steak on youtube to demonstrate that hunting has no relationship to cooked food?

He's been attached to him for many years, recommends his books. It'd be hard for him to backtrack. That much change may be too hard to make. It'd be like breaking an addiction. But if he did realize this mistake, getting more glaring as time passes, that'd say much about his humanity. Did Marti Kheel confront him when he was still alive? If so, what was his response? I think I remember reading him disparaging feminists. When it comes down to it, we're all just human. No Gods. No Masters. No Idols.

That's basically what Ria and Layla's views come down to. It all depends on where you want to arbitrate your values. I myself am fine with humans before civilization and very much like proto-civilized excess. When done in proper balance it can play a role in tending the wild and actually reduce suffering therein on marginal levels.

At this point though Ria and Layla might as well wish they had a red button to make it go away like David Benatar would. Value and compassion are themselves sapian traits that come from culture.

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