The Sea

  • Posted on: 27 October 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>By John Zerzan

Last remaining lair of unparalleled wildness. Too big to fail?

The whole world is being objectified, but Melville reminds us of all that remains. “There you stand, lost in the infinite series of the sea.”i What could be more tangible, more of a contrast with being lost in the digital world, where we feel we can never properly come to grips with anything.

Oceans are about time more than space, “as if there were a correlation between going deep and going back.”ii The Deep is solemn; linking, in some way, all that has come before. Last things and first things. “Heaven,” by comparison, is thin and faintly unserious. </td><td><img title="I'll give you thin" src=""></td></tr>...
“Over All the Face of Earth Main Ocean Flowed,” announced the poem by John Milton.iii Given its 71 percent predominance on this planet, why is our world called Earth instead of Sea? Much of the land, in fact, could be defined as littoral areas where land and sea meet.iv The sea is a textured place, infinite in its moods, forms, energies—and not so easily de-textured. But we see what happens when culture is privileged over place. The sea, where all life began just this side of four billion years ago, must still sustain us. Not only are its waters the original source of life, it also shapes the climate, weather, and temperature of the planet, and therefore the status of terrestrial species.

Kant saw truth as akin to an island surrounded by a stormy sea; water might “run wildly” and drown reason.v Chaos, disorder were always to be feared and brought under control. In Milton’s paradise, the ocean is chafing under restraint,vi suggesting that it can yield truth when freed. The power of nature is to be respected, not domesticated.

We come to life in water, in the amniotic fluid. Blood—and tears—are salty like the sea, menstrual cycles like the tides of the maternal sea, our mother. The sea is mountains rolling, sometimes calm and tempered. For Swinburne, “the storm sounds only/More notes of more delight….”vii So many qualities; even phosphorescent at times, as I have seen on the Sea of Cortez. The seascape shows a magnificent array of fluctuating aspects and energies. John Ruskin found therein “to all human minds the best emblem of unwearied unconquerable power, the wild, various, fantastic, tameless unity of the sea.”viii

If the earth is alive, the oceans are its most living parts. The sea whispers, croons, bellows in its unnumbered moods, always the “ground note of the planet’s undersong,” as George Sterling put it.ix The very pulse of the sea, not only its perpetual motion, has us imagining that it is drawing breath. Inspirations and exhalations of a living, if unimaginably vast animal; many have written of the sea as a fellow creature. Malcolm Lowry recorded this meditation: “Each drop into the sea is like a life, I thought, each producing a circle in the ocean, or the medium of life itself, and widening into infinity.”x

In the deep there is beauty and music, the sweeping surge of it is a matchless strength, a tireless spirit of freedom. Writing in his journal in 1952, Thomas Merton noted that every wave of the sea is free.xi We might seek a heart like the sea: ever open and at liberty.

Loren Eiseley decided that “if there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”xii Why does running water, even a fountain or an aquarium, soothe or even heal? Far more potent, incomparable, is the spell of the ocean. “I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else,” Joshua Slocum revealed in his late 19th century account, Sailing Alone Around the World.xiii For many, the sea demands a deep loyalty, prompted by sheer wonder and the promise of peak experiences. A sense of being fully animal and fully alive. Ocean-hearted? The sea’s staggering presence, its pure openness, brings on very powerful sensations. Rimbaud perhaps went furthest in trying to capture it in words:

I have recovered it.

What? Eternity.

It is the sea

Matched with the sun.xiv

As the young Joyce evoked the sea: “The clouds were drifting above him silently and silently the seatangle was drifting below him: and the grey warm air was still: and a wild new life was singing in his veins…. On and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him.”xv

The sea, our deepest origin, calls to us. Sea-born, we are drawn seaward. Alain Corbin, discussing the work of Adolphe de Custine, recounts the latter’s orientation toward that which “instinctively relates to our origins….” Namely, that the “sight of the open sea…contributes to the discovery of the deep inner self.”xvi There is an exalting and revelatory experience possible in such a confrontation with the elements. We are humbled at the shore, on the waves, our presence a question. “The completeness and certainty of nature makes life bearable, less anguished,” as Richard Nelson has written.xvii

When I was a small child at mid-century, our family sometimes drove west about sixty miles to visit my Dad’s brother Ed on the central Oregon coast. My brother and I competed to be the first to see the ocean and cry “I see it!” It was a thrill to catch that first glimpse, every time. About thirty years later I came back to Oregon from California and worked in Newport at a shrimp cannery, near places called Boiler Bay and Devil’s Punchbowl.

I don’t think it’s surprising that one can feel giddy at the massive sight. The Pacific encompasses fully one-third of the globe, 64 million square miles. Twice the size of the Atlantic. The absolute, (anti-)monumental There of it.

Is it not true that we are all somehow called to the sea by its lure, persuasion, gravity? Until he was forty John Ruskin was drawn to have “merely stared all day long at the tumbling and creaming strength of the sea.”xviii A century later, Robert Frost wrote: “The people along the sand/All turn and look one way./They turn their back on the land./ They look at the sea all day.”xix Where every wave is different, and the heart and soul expand.

Loren Eiseley felt the Gulf of Mexico pulling him southward as he lazed in the Platte River. And more than that: “I was water….”xx In 1826 Heinrich Heine had expressed a similar union: “I love the sea as my soul. Often, it even seems to me that the sea really is my soul.”xxi Swimming in the ocean involves an “intimate immensity,” to borrow a term from Gaston Bachelard. It connects with vastness and is inward, yet also a vigorous and robust experience. There can be challenges and perils, of course. Robert Louis Stevenson described a Hawai’ian woman who swam for nine hours “in a high sea,” carrying the body of her husband home.xxii Albert Camus confided, “I have always felt I lived on the high seas, threatened, at the heart of a royal happiness.”xxiii

According to an article in the American Historical Review (2006), the maritime dimension has become a subject in its own right. “No longer outside time, the sea is being given a history, even as the history of the world is being retold from the perspective of the sea.”xxiv Unfortunately, its arrival on the stage has occurred on the heels and in the context of another inauguration, heralded by Gottfried Benn: “Now the series of great insoluble disasters itself is beginning.”xxv

The fate of the once freshening sea is now that of crashing fish numbers, accelerated loss of marine and coastal habitats on a global scale, garbage gyres hundreds of miles across, dying coral reefs, growing dead zones (e.g. hypoxic zones in the northern Gulf of Mexico), to cite a few disastrous developments long in the making.

Water is “the most mythological of the elements,” wrote Charles Kerenyi,xxvi and the literature of the sea arguably began with Homer in the early Iron Age, 8th century B.P. He wrote of its lonely austerity, “the sterile sea,”xxvii a perspective that is certainly already that of civilization, poised against the natural world. The sea was by now merely a means, a passageway to increased domination, new conquests; large war fleets were well-established. Aphrodite, goddess of love, arose from sea foam, but somehow failed to carry the day.

Seafaring is far older than history; it predates domestication/civilization by hundreds of thousands of years. Humans were navigating the oceans vastly earlier than we were riding horses, for instance. Homo erectus, about 800,000 years ago, crossed scores of miles of ocean to inhabit the island of Flores in the Indonesian archipelago.xxviii

And even today, long voyages on the open sea are made by people with no use for metals. David Lewis marveled at a Pacific native who found his way “by means of a slight swell that probably had its origins thousands of miles away…. He had made a perfect landfall in the half-mile gap [between two islands], having navigated for between 45 and 48 miles without a single glimpse of the sky.”xxix Thor Heyerdahl of The Kon-Tiki Expedition fame made use of the “Incas’ simple and ingenious way of steering a raft” on his impressive South Pacific Interestingly, while the Incas revered the sea, the Mayas made scant mention of it––possibly because the Mayas had a written language and the Incas did not.

Joshua Slocum’s account of his solo sail around the globe notes how the South Pacific islanders “take what nature has provided for them,” and “have great reason to love their country and fear the white man’s yoke, for once harnessed to the plow their life would no longer be a poem.”xxxi And his further South Pacific observation: “As I sailed further from the center of civilization I heard less and less of what would and what would not pay.”xxxii

Meanwhile, cannon-armed sailing ships had “heralded a fundamental advance in Europe’s place in the world” in terms of control of oceanic trade routes.xxxiii In the late 1400s Portugal and Spain, the first global naval powers, competed for vast stretches of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. The world-wide commons of the seas was rather rapidly disenchanted and instrumentalized as the era of modern history dawned. Its relative solitude, silence, spiritual wealth and intimacy gave way to the onslaught of globalization, and then industrial globalization.

The quiet gracefulness of sailing ships, and the seamanship skills of their crews, were ushered out in the 19th century in favor of graceless vessels, noisy and forced, like moving factories. How much globalized industrial existence is possible under simple sail? Voyages with time enough to know oceans and heavens, taking what wind and wave have to offer. Adventures, not timetables and technological disasters.

A sentiment opposed to the Machine was the sea as archetype and key source of the sublime in the Romantic era. The powerful sea paintings of Winslow Homer and J.M.W. Turner certainly come to mind. But celebrated or not, the oceans were being targeted for domestication. In Childe Harold, Byron wrote: “Man marks the earth with ruin—his control/Stops with the shore.”xxxiv Later in the century his words no longer rang true. Joseph Conrad dated the end of the old sea from 1869, when the Suez Canal was completed.xxxv In 1912 an iceberg quickly dispatched the largest moving object on the planet. Titanic’s demise was a blow to confidence in the complete mastery of nature, as well as the opening act of chronic contemporary disasters.

Peter Matthiessen’s novel Far Tortugaxxxvi is a troubled meditation on the sea, with its background of a Caribbean region stripped of sea turtles, fish, timber, etc. by the 1970s. In fact, John Steinbeck described Japanese fishing dredges at work off the coast of Mexico in 1941, “literally scraping the bottom clean”xxxvii with a ravening, wasteful industrial process. The assault on the sea and its inhabitants is nothing new, but is always being intensified by advancing technology. An IBM SmartCloud ad of 2012 boasts of “smarter” computing systems that enable fishermen “to auction their catch while still at sea,”xxxviii to speed up the decimation of the oceans.

Long ago we had few things, on the water especially. Now we take our profusion of possessions with us. Mass society comes along on the voyage of industrial tourism. “Voyage” comes from via: away. But there is no more away. It is no coincidence that the survival struggles of indigenous peoples and aquatic life have reached a generally similar level of extremity.

“All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full,” But Ecclesiastes 1:7 is no longer accurate. Rising sea levels, perceptible since 1930, are an alarming fact. “Other sea-cities have faltered,/ and striven with the tide,/ other sea-cities have struggled/ and died,” observed H.D.xxxix Trillions of tons of water are now a steady flow of polar ice cap melting.

Many studies and new books recount what is starkly clear. Rising temperatures, acidification levels and pollution; the North Sea has warmed to the point of tropical fish and birds in the fjords of Norway. The thermohaline circulation (vertical current movement) in the North Atlantic is weakening markedly.

Damaged, clearly, but not domesticated yet. A couple of lines from two anonymous poets: indicating the ocean, “Give me fields that no man plows/ The farm that pays no fee,” and “The ocean’s fields are fair and free,/ There are no rent days on the sea!”xl To watch a fine surf for hours, to recall direct sensory experience—and ponder its severe diminution. Many have called the sea the finest university of life, free from the never-satisfied network of speech and the symbolic. Paul Valéry felt that “the quickening sea/ Gives back my soul…O salty potency!/ I’ll run to the wave and from it be reborn!”xli

There is a kind of purification motif that many writers have touched on vis-à-vis the sea. Rimbaud, for example, referred to the sea “which I loved as though it should cleanse me of a stain.”xlii Jack Kerouac’s first novel mentions “the way this Protean ocean extended its cleansing forces up, down, and in a cyclorama to all directions.”xliii The once-scrubbed seas, soaking up the crime of civilization. John Steinbeck saw that “a breakwater is usually a dirty place, as though tampering with the shoreline is obscene and impractical to the cleansing action of the sea.”xliv For Heyerdahl, the Pacific “had washed and cleansed both body and soul,”xlv echoing Euripedes’ words: “The sea washes away and cleanses every human stain.”xlvi

Its own denizens show us so very much. The porpoises, that always prefer sailboats; the singing humpback whales; dolphins, with their extraordinary brain size and intelligence. Did not whales and dolphins return to the oceans, having found land life unsatisfactory? There is some kind of open telepathic connection among all dolphins in the sea, according to Wade Doak.xlvii

“I will go back to the great sweet mother,/ Mother and love of men, the sea,” wrote Swinburne.xlviii The sea has many voices. “Deep calleth unto deep,” to quote Psalms 52:7. All of life is connected, and the “oceanic feeling” aptly expresses a sense of deep bonds, a oneness. Not accidentally is “oceanic” the term employed to denote a profound connectedness. Robinson Jeffers told us that “mere use,” meaning the technological, the fabricated world, “won’t cover up the glory.”xlix The glory of the sea, the glory of the non-fabricated world. He celebrated the wholeness of life and the universe, counseling “Love that, not man/ Apart from that.”l Also remember, from the “French May” of 1968, “Sous les pavés, la plage.”

On his Inca-inspired raft, Thor Heyerdahl discovered a deep truth. “Whether it was 1947 B.C. or A.D. suddenly became of no significance. We lived, and that we felt with alert intensity. We realized that life had been full for men before the technical age also––indeed, fuller and richer in many ways than the life of modern man.”

And we still have the sea, just possibly too big to fail. “Cease not your moaning you fierce old mother,” wrote Walt Whitmanlii, whose truest poetry so often evoked the sea. Let’s join with Byron: “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll!”liii


1 Herman Melville, Moby Dick, or The Whale (New York: Random House, 1930), p. 223.

2 James Hamilton Patterson, The Great Deep: The Sea and Its Thresholds (New York, Random House, 1992), p. 92.

3 John Milton, “Over all the Face of Earth Main Ocean Flowed,” in The Eternal Sea: An Anthology of Sea Poetry, W.M. Williamson, ed. (New York: Coward McCann, 1946), p. 187.

4 Paul Rainbird, The Archaeology of Islands (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 48.

5 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 665.

6 “Under yon boiling ocean, wrapped in chains,” for instance. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Second Edition, ed. Scott Elledge (New York: W.W. Norton, 1993), Book II, p. 38.

7 Algernon Charles Swinburne, “To a Seamew,” in Williamson, op.cit., p. 276-277.

8 John Ruskin, The Works of John Ruskin, vol. 3 (London: George Allen, 1903), p. 494.

9 George Sterling, “Sonnets on the Sea’s Voice,” in Williamson, op.cit., p. 510-511.

10 Malcolm Lowry, The Voyage That Never Ends: fictions, poems, fragments, letters, Michael Hofmann, ed. (New York: New York Review of Books, 2007), p. 239.

11 Thomas Merton, Entering the Silence (San Francisco: Harper, 1996), pp 474-475.

12 Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey (New York: Vintage Books, 1959), p. 15.

13 Joshua Slocum, Sailing Alone Around the World (New York: Sheridan House, 1954), p. 4.

14 Arthur Rimbaud, “Eternity,” translated by Francis Golffing, in The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry From Nerval to Valéry in English Translation, ed. Angel Flores (New York: Anchor Books, 2000), p. 120.

15 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 144.

16 Adolphe de Custine, cited in Alain Corbin, The Lure of the Sea: The Discovery of the Seaside in the Western World, translated by Jocelyn Phelps (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 1994), p. 170.

17 Richard K. Nelson, The Island Within (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1989), p. 129.

18 John Ruskin, Praeterita (Boston: Dana Estes & Co., 1885), p. 68.

19 Robert Frost, “Neither Out Far Nor in Deep,” Complete Poems of Robert Frost (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964), p. 394.

20 Eiseley, op.cit., p. 19.

21 Heinrich Heine, cited in Corbin, op.cit., p. 168.

22 Robert Louis Stevenson, Island Landfalls: Selections from the South Seas (Edinburgh: Cannongate, 1987), p. 69.

23 Albert Camus, “The Sea Close By,” Lyrical and Critical Essays, ed. Philip Thody, translated by Ellen Conroy Kennedy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), p. 181.

24 Karen Wigen, “Oceans of History,” American Historical Review 111:3 (June 2006), p. 717.

25 Gottfried Benn, cited in Ulrich Beck, World Global Society (Malden, MA: Polity Press, 1999), p. 108.

26 Charles Kerenyi, cited in Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Reverie, translated by Daniel Russell (New York: Orion Press, 1969), p. 177.

27 Homer, cited in Jules Michelet, La Mer, translation by Alice Parman (Paris: Gallimard, 1983), pp 269-270.

28 Morwood et al., 1999, cited in Rainbird, op.cit., p. 65.

29 David Lewis, The Voyaging Stars: Secrets of the Pacific Island Navigators (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978), p. 14.

30 Thor Heyerdahl, The Kon-Tiki Expedition (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1950), p. 84.

31 Slocum, op.cit., p. 158.

32 Ibid., p. 157.

33 Jeremy Rifkin, Biosphere Politics (New York: Crown Publishers, 1991), p. 103.

34 George Gordon, Lord Byron, cited in W.H. Auden, The Enchafèd Flood, or The Romantic Iconography of the Sea (New York: Random House, 1950), p. 16.

35 Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page, 1923), beginning of Chapter 2.

36 Peter Mattheissen, Far Tortuga (New York: Random House, 1975).

37 John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (New York: Penguin Books, 1995), p. 204.

38 “Smarter business for a Smarter Planet: The cloud that’s transforming an industry, one fish at a time.” IBM, 2012.

39 H.D., “Other Sea-Cities,” H.D.: Collected Poems 1912-1941, ed. Louis L. Martz (New York: New Directions, 1983), p. 359.

40 Anon., “We’ll Go to Sea No More” and “The Fisher’s Life,” in Williamson, op.cit., pp 309, 310.

41 Paul Valéry, “The Cemetery by the Sea,” in Flores, op.cit., p. 276.

42 Arthur Rimbaud, “The Alchemy of Words,” in Flores, op.cit., pp 127-128.

43 Jack Kerouac, The Sea is my Brother (Boston: Da Capo Press, 2011), p. 206.

44 Steinbeck, op.cit., p. 17.

45 Heyerdahl, op.cit., p. 97.

46 Corbin, op.cit., p. 67.

47 Wade Doak, Dolphin Dolphin (New York: Sheridan House, 1981).

48 Algernon Charles Swinburne, “The Return,” in Williamson, op.cit., p. 18.

49 Robinson Jeffers, “Fierce Music,” The Beginning and the End and Other Poems (New York: Random House, 1963), p. 57.

50 Robinson Jeffers, “The Answer,” The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers (New York: Random House, 1938), pp 57, 594.

51 Heyerdahl, op.cit., p. 132.

52 Walt Whitman, “Sea-Drift,” Leaves of Grass (New York: Modern Library, 1921), p. 205.

53 George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” Canto Fourth, The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1905), p. 179.


I am very disappointed the footnotes were not included.

You can find it in better shape at the anarchist library:

You forgot this one John. Just because it uses electricity doesn't mean it's not a force of nature. So YOUR world has exclusions based on methodology and not content?

Just for once I'd like someone to post a youtube video on anarchist news that has SOMETHING to do with ANYTHING.

be the change you want to see in the world

Hey, I've photographed that tree before. It's in a lake on Vancouver island, BC.

Is that like a bonsai tree one foot high, or is the log its growing on huge and the tree is something around 4 foot high? When I saw the photo there was no perspective to give it proportion?! It's an amazinly beautiful example of organic resilience I must say.

PS. Jeezus I hope that they put a fence around it before some fuckwit on a skijet wipes it off showing off his testesterones to some lay on your back and give it all you got for a wage employee who equates pleasure to monetary excess as their aesthetic heaven?!?!


Maybe I would be doing the tree a favour by getting a chainsaw and removing it from certain extinction and taking it back home and preserving it in a pot in the yard? Or would that be considered imprisonment and I would become a turnkey for the State's prison system? Just asking.

Heading out to Vancouver next week with a chainsaw. Gonna do my bit for green activists, preserve a remnant of the pre-colonial majesty before it's swallowed by statist national park exhibitionism.

no don't

Yes, before the testesterone moron on a jet ski obliterates this natural wonder, I SHALL PRESERVE IT!!! I will chop it off beyond its delicate root structure and gently lay it in a bed of moist peat moss and slowly row back to shore, with classical music playing to comfort it on its long perilous journey and to make up for the 6,000 rpm 2 stroke chainsaw onslaught it had previously endured. Don't worry, it shall be preserved, not like the last Yangszte dolphin which died to supply the west with its gross consumeristic desires. NO! It shall prosper in the glass aquarium along with the rare tree frogs of the Amazon which excude toxic poisons from their skin which I coat the tips of my anti-personnel blow-pipe darts with. Do not approach me, I am considered dangerous when holding a blow pipe!

It's about three feet high. Fairy Lake, BC.

Thanks! Heading out there next weekend to save it with a chainsaw ;)

isn't upvoting comments against anarchism?

smh... old man and the sea...

but seriously, stfu zerzan

I know ! Fuck Zerzan, I'm a Chris Hedges/Bill McKibben type of anarchist.

yea cause those are the only kinds...

Why can't i be anti-civ and think zerzan is some corny old man?

-the above poster

alas, you can

-the anon team

People use "anti-civ" in the most unusual ways...
Are you an anti-civ who is also working towards communization ? I've met too many of those people...Marxist anti-civ, quite funny.

I get ya. Now the anti-civ debate between zerzan types and wolfi landstreicher types is a good debate, but shit gets silly when people try to combine anti-civ with giorgio Agamben. Freddy Perlman be spinning in his grave.

perlman didn't identify as primitivist. he is of interest to those into primitivism tho.

why would Perlman spin in his grave over people using things Agamben has said in an Anti-Civ perspective?

I don't think it's silly, I think reading Agamben as anticiv is almost unavoidable

Zerzan and Wolfi Landstreicher are actually very different. Check the anti-primitivist texts by Wolfi Landstreicher. So Wolfi has said:

"The actual societies that we call “primitive” were and, where they still exist, are living relationships between real, living, breathing human beings, individuals developing their interactions with the world around them. The capacity to conceive of them as a model for comparison already involves a reification of these lived relationships, transforming them into an abstract thing — the “primitive” — an idealized image of “primitiveness”. Thus, the use of this method of critiquing civilization dehumanizes and deindividualizes the real people who live or have lived these relationships...If, instead of hoping for a paradise, we grasp life, joy and wonder now, we will be living a truly anarchic critique of civilization that has nothing to do with any image of the “primitive”, but rather with our immediate need to no longer be domesticated, with our need to be unique, not tamed, controlled, defined identities. Then, we will find ways to grasp all that we can make our own and to destroy all that seeks to conquer us. "

Wolfi Landstreicher. "A Critique, Not a Program: For a Non-Primitivist Anti-Civilization Critique"

And also Feral Faun wrote the following:

"“Earth First!,” the slogan is a simple, two word proclamation of biocentrism. Biocentrism is an ideology, an attempt to claim that we can act from a basis other than our own needs, desires and experiences. We cannot put earth first. When we claim to do so, we are only putting our concept of the earth first. Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary have both claimed to have connected with the consciousness of the universe and have used this claim to justify their vision of paradise as a horrendous, sterile techno-topia, saying that is the “natural course of evolution.” I share a vision similar to many EF!ers, but their claim to know the earth’s will is false consciousness, ideology, and all ideology is a threat to wildness...We need to go beyond the false consciousness of the idea, Earth First! and recognize that only by setting our own wild instincts and desires free can wilderness be saved. Ours is a revolution of desire, a feral revolution. We do not do it for anything supposedly greater than ourselves; we do it for ourselves. So, come on, anarchic adventurers, let’s go wild!"

Feral Faun. "Beyond Earth First! Toward a Feral Revolution of Desire"

I think Wolfi is writing from a clear individualist anarchist perspective which will end up opposing a vague concept such as nature which i will have to subordinate to or be swallowed inside it. If he uses words like "feral" and "wild" he clearly does from a point of view opposing "domestication". But ¿does rejecting domestication necessarely means rejecting available knowledge and technology? I don´t think so. This doesn´t mean i am thinking technology is neutral. It just means i will be "wild" in a different technologico-social context. Wolfi is an anarchist and as such the question of technology is secondary. The main issue for anarchism is hierarchy and alienation.

Nice quote! Wolfi is the man, oops (sexist), the person, oops (anthropocentric), the being, oops, (speceist), an individual entity (finally)!

where is he sexist in this quote? where is he antropocentric. these are just insults without any arguments behind them.

explain the difference between communization and anticiv. be sure to use words.

i can't figure out any way to do it besides using symbolic thought, therefore I'm just going to grunt and gather acorns out of my ma's front yard.

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Review is so kewl

Explain to me how communization is not just Marxism. Communization from what I understand of it, according to the hip and cool Tiqqun and The Coming Insurrection literature, is the immediacy of communism in contrast to communism being a higher stage process that develops over time.

How communization with its apparent disregard for the technological and complex world systems can be attached to anti-civ theory is what bewilders me.

Also, then again, Derrick Jensen is anti-civ with his whole Directly Democratic United States of America and Lierre Keith is anti-civ with her essentialist civilized second-wave white woman feminism.

How is Giorgio Agamben connected to anti-civ discourse ?

have you actually read any agamben?

read "what is an apparatus?" its short and hella against agriculture.

I feel as though the way you're speaking is a stupid affectation and also I feel that "against agriculture" is not a good summary of what is an apparatus at all.

I would have enjoyed your comment a lot more if you had just said "read 'what is an apparatus'"

Communization would have artisans doing their thing, complexity is relevant proportionally to the collective social consciousness's perception of values and the intensity of its purpose.

tiqqun doesn't say anything at all about communization, and what they do say about communism and communes is pretty different than the sort of thing that people who actually use the word communization talk about, like endnotes, theorie communiste and gilles dauve. i'm thinking maybe you're confused because a few years back a lot of the same people in the insurrectionist milieu were fascinated with some or all of this stuff.

I am a humanist communizator. I embrace and join Jacques Cammate "human strike" againts capital. Now as far as "anti-civ" i will have to see whether these "anti-civ" are pro-human or anti-human in the sense of whether it defends non-agressive human potentials from social alienations or whether it thinks it represents the interests of nature by embracing misantropy.

Sun Tsu ? Go up to a cop with a sward and you'll got shot.

Can you teach me how to use a sward as a threatening object? Is it like tossing dirt clods?

Heaven lent you a soul Earth will lend a grave. - Chinese proverb

If you mean a sword, then not necessarily.

You obviously didn't read Sun Tsu. And cops only need pretend swords as an excuse to shoot you, now. Yesterday it was "zombies", now swordsmen... I suppose the next big baloney will be "he had a paint bucket... I had to shoot!" or something.

Actually you only have to sneer at a cop and you could find yourself taking bullets.

it's okay though to give them titty twisters

And our souls are part of the greater sea. As much as we are bio-electrical beings, resonating to the Moon and Solar cycles, channeling the Earth's vibrations, we are interconnected together through the waves of the universe, like through the waves of the ocean.

Why do the walls of the prison cells cannot divide us in the spirit? Because, as real science suggests, our natural brain waves are much lower than the frequency at which concrete and steel resonates, which means that, at molecular level, our souls travel through all known matter just like through thin air. ELFs from 0 to about 25 hz will travel through all solid matter, even across the planet.

This is why they've probably set up a worldwide EM grid rated at 50/60 hz... in an attempt at controlling our spirits by radiations continuously shot at our brains, and more specifically the pineal gland. But although it is repressing, directly torturing our mind at its very center, it's no enough to knock us down. They'll have to put brain chips into us.... and IBM is currently developing such tech.

Do some web searches on it... 60 hz radiations have been already found by numerous studies to be dangerous to animals, including humans. They are basically an invisible, mostly inaudible source of neural oppression.

And watch out the screen refresh rate of the PC/laptop/tablet/smart phone you're using... anything below 75 hz can mess up you neurons badly on the long run. Turns out the 60 hz screens are becoming very wide-spread on the market, so be careful. If you're unlucky, limit your exposure to 2-3 hours, not every day, and especially during day time (for some strange reason those radiations seem to have a bigger effect during evening time when it gets dark).

Zerzan's totally on-the-spot about technology, especially telecoms, isolating us in real life, no matter how it pretends to be "facilitating" our communications. It is atomizing. That critique should not be taken lightly by anyone, especially anarchists. Technological progress, as a system of control, is the most violent, aggressive, oppression system of control ever enforced upon humans.

I suggest Becker & Selden's "The Body Electric" as additional reference.

Listen dude/ette, you sound almost religious, sooo damn anthropocentric I think you don't even realise your own subliminal judeo-christian conditioning. The fucking sun makes nuclear bombs look like mouse farts, I'd be more concerned about UV fucking radiation, but I suppose you and John spend most of your time indoors as most acedemics do?

No, dude(ette). UVs are far less lethal than long-term exposure to ELFs. Not because it isn't obvious and mediatized that it isn't a concern.

OK, I'll do some research about ELFS. But I suggest you get down on your knees and pray that the ozone layer remains intact so that UVs remain "far less lethal"! You heard about gamma radiation? IT TURNS YOU FUCKING GREEN!!!

Calling people "judeo-christians" just because they talk about the soul, yet not knowing himself a shit about how the damn atmosphere works? Ever heard about the magnetosphere... and the ionosphere? The ozone layer is a product of the atmosphere's interaction with the thick layer of charged particles of the ionosphere, without which all that toxic gas would not be allowed to exist into the vacuum of space. Sun's radiations and solar winds are also vastly blocked by the natural EM field around the Earth, and there are irregularities like holes and gaps happening in some areas. The zone of low-protection (hole) between Africa and South America is most possibly a result of the ongoing polar shift, that's been discovered just a few years ago, and much later than the time when the ozone hole was found.

Yeah, I'd probably pray for life to remain intact if I'd really believe in any god, to stop the geoengineering that's already polluting us all in the name of "carbon reduction", while forests and ecosystems are still being destroyed, therefore steadily increasing the amount of unprocessed carbon dioxide.

Cancun and Rio 2.0 didn't addressed those issues too much, both being set in the midst of destructive tourist developments and sea pollution they probably also didn't even addressed. But these elitist fucks were sooo gong ho with "taxing the air".

So since I'm a pragmatic and a rationalist, I can only look for ways to fight all this. Kaczinsky was dead on... the whole source of the problem -even above capitalism- is the techno-industrial system.

'OMG!'! Is this judeo-christian enough? Are you the 60Hz fanatic, sort of like saying gasoline is dangerous to lifeforms?! Wow, primmies never fail to astound me with their tautological lack of perspective. Magnetosphere, yeah, did that shit along with applied physics and pure maths. Wait! you're pragmatic and a rationalist, thus -

'Yeah, I'd probably pray for life to remain intact if I'd really believe in any god, to stop the geoengineering that's already polluting us all in the name of "carbon reduction", while forests and ecosystems are still being destroyed, therefore steadily increasing the amount of unprocessed carbon dioxide.'

So you are falling into the same hole that Kaczinsky stumbled into, the one that fails to realise that western society is a judeo-christian cliché, a means of distributing social power based upon ones repentance, as if recuperation or blowing things up balances the social ledger and we go home holding hands and singing michael rowed the boat ashore hallelujah.

No, that was the Weather Underground. They did exactly that.
Even saved a major promoter of pharmaceutical narcotics out of jail. That fucking Leary... so nice that this tough Black Panther bro really gave him a hard time in jail.

Kaczinsky didn't give a shit about society (that's why he went on living in a cabin and eating stuff from the forest), although his analysis of how social power works wasn't all complete and perfect. He mostly avoided a critique of capitalism, as an instance.

But he wasn't as much a tuff and fearsome armchair anarchist as you are. He was just public enemy #1 for a while, maimed or killed a few enforcers and enablers of the system of oppression, most probably not the best targets, but he was mostly a pioneer upon which others could improve upon.

You're so judeo-christian btw... making such lame straw men attacks on legit comments (if it was really you). The Salem witches, anyone?

And gamma rays do not turn you green. They immediately deep-fry you to death, at molecular level.

Frankly, I don't know what's more threatening between UV rays, 60 hz EM fields and microwaves. All that shit is really nasty.

has jz finally just lost it? gone off the deep end (sorry for the water reference)? hit a wall? come face to face with an overwhelming ennui and surrender? what the fuck is this bullshit? it makes no sense, has no thesis (other than 'water is awesome'), and goes nowhere. is there actually a conclusion to this essay other than that modern life is insignificant in relation to 70% of what exists on this planet? i just don't get it.

I know screw this hippie bullshit. Let's the get the factories self-organized into syndicalist fashion. Noam Chomsky, Giorgio Agamben, The Invisible Committee, Alfredo Bonanno, and similar writers have said way more important things about the natural world and its destruction.

that is a completely ridiculous list, what connection are you trying to imply?

I think the point being made is that Noam Chomsky, Giorgio Agamben, The Invisible Committee, Alfredo Bonanno, and similar writers don't mention ecological destruction and unless they're provoked into talking about the topic.

oh I guess I was being dense and that is kind of a good point, except I think those writers have different reasons for being silent about that, and people who read them probably also read other things?

Hopefully, people will read other literature than those writers. Its as if some radicals and/or Anarchists think Climate Change is just another "thing" on the list of ills of Capitalism. Its a core thing to understand.

Autonomous/Anarchist types drinking gallons of booze and reading Agamben and Bonanno over and over again is such a stereotype to me that it seems like that is what everyone does...I hope not though.

Lierre Keith has got NUTHING to do with Zerzan, brosis.

Zerzan has brought up Lierre Keith on Anarchy radio as a good example of authoritarianism.

The Deep Green Resistance book tried to discredit Anarchist ideas and tried to combine ELF/ALF style tactics with Irish Republican Army strategy.

Also, on Anarchy radio, people have learned more about Lierre Keith's past issues with trans people. I think that's why that link to Deep Green Resistance's Women Caucus with all the comments making fun of trans people seems to show that there's a strong connection between what Lierre Keith thinks and what Deep Green Resistance followers think.


wheres my pirates at?

no seriously, why theres no more anarcho-piracy ;-;

Pirates tend to induce in me a strange visceral reaction, sort of an uncomfortable urgency to manipulate or have someone (maybe the aforementioned pirate) manipulate my reproductive areas and induce coitus. Pirates are more than just pretty faces, oh so so much more. Pirates represent a rejection of cultural standards and an honest return to our truest selves, selves of flesh, secretions and passion. It is a return to the massive, ginormous expanse of ocean, and to bury ourselves there, fully in the sea, from head to toe.

But the Ocean is also scary. It is dark, uncertain, and land loving city folk like myself fear its temper, its power, so massive it could swallow us whole, its depth, how deep? Deeper than Atlantis...


I was a pirate once, really! It's scary.

You took that from Blackbeard, you coiter!

Cite your references... or on the plank you go!

If Zerzan is concerned about ‘objectification’, why did he do this analytical hatchet job that split off the sea from the world?

“Last remaining lair of unparalleled wildness. Too big to fail? The whole world is being objectified, but Melville reminds us of all that remains.”

Nature does not divide the world up into parts, people do. but it is all one dynamic unity, not only in the Gaian views of Lovelock and Margulis but in the views of modern physics. we have our favourite ‘places’ of course, whether we are talking about the human body or the earth, but to move from ‘one part’ to ‘another part’ is just another way of saying that we are resituating ourselves within the relational spatial-plenum we are included in.

The lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere are simultaneously mutually conditioning one another. And, as with ice, water and vapour all in communion with one another, it makes no sense to deny their shared destiny or to predict a different future for one from the other. just because we came up with different wordname-labels and definitions for each of them does not mean that the God of language bestows on them each a life of their own and/or powers of their own.

but zerzan goes even farther and starts giving the elements a life of their own and powers of their own; i.e;

“The sea, where all life began just this side of four billion years ago, must still sustain us. Not only are its waters the original source of life, it also shapes the climate, weather, and temperature of the planet, and therefore the status of terrestrial species.”

what if some land from the lithosphere got mixed in with the waters, like some sodium chloride which most marine creatures cannot live without, and what if some gases from the atmosphere got mixed in with the waters, like some oxygen for sea creatures to breathe and some carbon dioxide that provides protective shells for creatures bodies and precipitates carbonate reefs to give them places to live and diversified 'terrain' for ecosystem development? it would seem as if the rocks of the lithosphere are also shaping the status of the marine species. the triple junctions where where lithosphere and hydrosphere and atmosphere meet are littorally teeming with creatures that live just there.

the dynamic equilibrium between lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere is continually sustained, but humans give imputed ‘being’ [thing-in-itselfhood] to the things that we like to define and name-label so we can play language games and say things like; ‘the sea is the last best hope on earth’, just like barack and romney both agree on one 'truth' that ‘the U.S. is the last best hope on earth’, as if these things were ‘things-in-themselves’ with a life of their own and powers of their own. meanwhile, the physically real dynamic of transformation of the relational space that includes them all trumps their preposterous claims of 'independent being' based on nothing more than linguistic abstraction.

as if things weren't already screwed up enough, zerzan continues to feed our analytical self-deception.

Agreed, Zerzan introduces a land/ocean binary, whereas holistically space and its elements are inconsequential to any aesthetic values. The elemental molecular composition of domains has little to do with the consciousnesses of the beings which inhabit it.

Binary?? It is a simple datum, the fact of the oceans.
To avoid specifics/grounding facilitates ideology formation
(e.g. emile's fetishism of Mach).
Is it not obvious the need to look at realities, while not forgetting the inter-relatedness.

No! Reality itself is a fetish of personal moral proportions. Ideologies are spooks whilst fetishes are grounding reference points within a chaotic world.

oh please- a "land-ocean binary"?. perhaps you did not pause to consider the tidal waves.

No don't go there please, that's not in my equation!

Ideologies are spooks...

You pedantic fool.

Some of us prefer to read Stirner, Nietzsche and Foucault rather than Marvel superman comics whilst killing time! You do know the difference between Clark Kent and Ubermensch don't you, you illiterate fool?!

No he doesn't. The whole object of this text is to demonstrate how we are but an extension of the sea. That the sea is infinite, with only divisions that have to do with the composing particles of the environment and their dynamics.

Why the hell are you doing this?

How incredibly coincidental, NY and Jersey immersed in the sea. Are you an anarcho-prophet? ;)

The possibility of domesticating the sea seems to be a different sort of thing than the actuality of domesticating the earth (to a useful degree); surely you grant the intuitive plausibility of such a rhetorical distinction. The sea is just a short reference for wilderness, a place where one can be fully undermined vis-a-vis ones' ongoing civilizing patriarchy. However this must be called into question on other grounds: scallops have been domesticated for fishing industries, for instance. Perhaps then it is possible to suppose that the world, sea included, could be fully domesticated; but then surely you would have to grant a difference in degree here. If Z is talking about degrees, your whole point is shot. That seems like a pretty risky wager... Isn't it intuitive to see the sea as producing a form of resistance somewhat different than the earth/animal/plant peoples? Or perhaps, the end result of domestication (desertification) just is its form of resistance, its tipping point. Still, the starting of fully domesticating the sea is open; it may even be impossible. And that is a gesture of hope. The upshot is that wildness heals us, and the easiest way of getting a handle on that, is by pointing to wild places, like the sea, like the desert.

you say that “The possibility of domesticating the sea seems to be a different sort of thing than the actuality of domesticating the earth (to a useful degree); surely you grant the intuitive plausibility of such a rhetorical distinction.”

it is ‘rhetorical distinction’ between such things as ‘good’-‘evil’ and ‘civilized’-‘wild’ and ‘habitat’-‘inhabitant’, not to mention ‘earth’-‘sea’, that is key to our social dysfunction.

space is only given once. the distinguishing between ‘sea’ and ‘earth’ is necessarily rhetorical; i.e. these are different features of the one transforming space we are included in. there is no ‘actuality of domesticating the earth’ in the sense that the earth is a ‘something separate’ from the sea, and that; ‘after man finishes domesticating the earth, he is going to domesticate the sea’. natural space is like gravitational space and acoustic space, it is ‘everywhere at the same time’

wherever man screws something up, it is screwing up the living space. if man screws up/domesticates the land, since the sea is interdependent with the land [it is man's sense perceptions and language that divide the two, not nature], he is screwing up/domesticating the sea.

people talk about ‘preserving pacific northwest rainforest’ by not sawing down a few square miles of it. that is no longer rainforest, it is a tree museum. the salmon runs are part of the rainforest ecosystem and so is the atmosphere. the rainforest is not something that suddenly begins when one gets to the end of a limitless expanse of clearcut and enters the uncut patch.

granted, when a person leaves the clearcut and goes a few miles into the ‘tree museum’ with the grizzlies and eagles, he feels different and it is good and he is out of the civilized shell and he remembers how it is possible and pleasurable to relate to nature. the change is not that he has moved from one space to a different space, it is that his mind starts to move out of its civilized conditioning so that a pre-civilized awareness begins to return.

but the notion that the sea is still managing to hang on to its undomesticated wildness is crazy. it would suggest that we could put a plate glass barrier between land and sea so that we could continue with ‘our domesticating of the land’ [rhetorically not actually since its all one space] and ‘leave the sea alone’. in the process we turn the sea into an aquarium in our living room. this is what 'domesticating the land' is currently doing even if we don't lay a hand on the sea. All those people who go down to the beach and look out to sea will soon have to be equipped with cans of fish-food and oxygenating pellets to throw into the sea to feed and care for those cute and entertaining dolphins and whales we have been making pets of, to keep them from ending up stinking on the beach.

I understand your point. Of course viewing nature with the explicit purpose of using it for happiness, or whatever, is to rupture the simplicity that is Being; Of course heading out into a wild-space is to introduce oneself as a cut in its continuity. But re-Wilding is not necessarily a matter of going somewhere else. It may be a starting point; like taking a cold Stoic tonic to alleviate oneself of poor-philosophical errors.

I wonder if you are making JZ's point about language here: we symbolize the sea as Wild. But then I wonder if there isn't a practical solution to that skeptical problem... So what? Maybe JZ is being ironic...

in the post by squee, leguin's word 'earthsea' [haven't read her] is a unifying one suggestive of non-dualism, the sort of feeling we get when we let the sea contemplate us. it accepts us without judgement, all of us.

Only when we split things into parts can we get to the notion of ‘blame’. In restorative justice, there can be NO splitting apart of ‘offender’ and ‘the rest of the community’. ‘Conflict’ is seen as something that develops within the community, as when the wave crests rises up and casts its powerful shadow on the lowly trough. In other words, conflict is when ‘the community is bent out of shape’.

The aim of opposites in nature is always ‘balance’; e.g. Heraclitus:

“All things come into being by conflict of opposites, and the sum of things (τὰ ὅλα ta hola, "the whole") flows like a stream. ... In the bow metaphor Heraclitus compares the resultant to a strung bow held in shape by an equilibrium of the string tension and spring action of the bow: ...There is a harmony in the bending back (παλίντροπος palintropos) as in the case of the bow and the lyre.”

JZ’s views are based on a ‘real split’, as with his treatment of ‘civilized’ [land] and ‘wild’ [sea].

JZ supported Kaczynski’s judgement of ‘the responsibles’; i.e. the locally arising source of causal development [JZ simply didn’t accept the tactic of violent disposal of them]. In other words, JZ embraces the Western concept of justice which assumes that our problems can be traced back to local ‘causal agency’;

“The concept of justice should not be overlooked in considering the Unabomber phenomenon. In fact, except for his targets, when have the many little Eichmanns who are preparing the Brave New World ever been called to account?... Is it unethical to try to stop those whose contributions are bringing an unprecedented assault on life? ---John Zerzan

JZ’s affinity for Kaczynski was in pointing out that “individuals are inherently responsible for the things that are happening” and JZ suggests that;

“it’s time to pick which side we’re on.” -JZ, ‘He Means It --- Do You?’ (1997)

Once we identify ‘the responsibles’, we identify ourselves as ‘the authorities’ and we thus split the community apart into ‘real opposing factions’ rather than understanding conflict as a mutual pulling apart, as with the crest and the trough of a wave.

The sense of ‘re-wilding’ could be to restore within us the understanding of ‘mitakuye oyasin’---we are all related--- as in an interdependent web, in which case our conflict cannot be understood as arising between a ‘right-behaving’ faction [pro-domestication] and a ‘wrong-behaving’ faction [anti-domestication].

JZ believes we hit a ‘tipping point’ where we flipped from our ‘indigenous mode’ [one-with-nature] to our ‘domesticating mode’ [dominating of nature]. But who is ‘we’? Could we graph the move to the tipping point and it would show the percentage of people in the world shifting into ‘domestication mode’ until the tipping point was reached, there remained 30% who had not yet shifted? Or is it more like we are in domestication mode when we are at work and keeping the factory systems running, so that as human beings, we still have some indigenous mode persona within us, though it is in decline?

JZ says that we must change the institutions as they are primary. But WE ARE the institutions so does this not mean we must change ourselves? ... e.g. change our values as Nietzsche suggests, and move beyond good-and-evil moral judgement, which means subsuming Western justice based on moral law [‘good-vs-evil’] with indigenous ‘restorative justice’ base on cultivating and sustaining balance and harmony?

“The concept of justice should not be overlooked in considering the Unabomber phenomenon. In fact, except for his targets, when have the many little Eichmanns who are preparing the Brave New World ever been called to account?... Is it unethical to try to stop those whose contributions are bringing an unprecedented assault on life? ---John Zerzan

Separating the ‘domesticators’ from the ‘primitives’ is akin to separating the land from the sea, since we live in a common relational space wherein; “The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants” [Mach’s principle].

In other words, we all have a ‘little Eichmann’ in us so that we need 'transformation' rather than 'purification' [selective elimination of 'responsibles' by 'authorities'].

I'm late!

“Old ocean, you are the symbol of identity: always equal to yourself. You never vary essentially and, if somewhere your waves are raging, further away, in some other zone, they are perfectly calm. You are not like man who stops in the street to watch two bulldogs snarling and biting one another’s necks, but who does not stop to watch when a funeral passes; who is approachable in the morning, in a black mood in the evening; who laughs today and cries tomorrow…I hail you, old ocean!” - The Comte de Lautréamont

"Earthsea is a fictional realm originally created by Ursula K. Le Guin for her short story "The Word of Unbinding", published in 1964. Earthsea became the setting for a further six books, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea, first published in 1968, and continuing with The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea and The Other Wind. All are set in the world of Earthsea, as are seven short stories by Le Guin, two of which are not collected in any of these books."

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