Title: Into the 1990's with Green Anarchist
Author: Steve Booth
Date: 1996
Notes: Requires a lot more error correcting.
Publisher: Green Anarchist Books

    Publisher Details


    WHAT is green anarchism ?






      (3) LAND










      The Luddites





    History of Green Anarchist

      The 1970’s



      Richard Hunt


      Victims of THEIR OWN SUCCESS

    INTO THE 1990’s...



      Travellers and Ravers



      Animal liberation


      Recuperators Unlimited





      1980’s PRIMITIVISTS



      The Abolition of Work





    Where to next for GA?




      City Death Zine Preview

    Back Cover

Publisher Details

First published October 1995

by Green Anarchist Books,

PO Box, Camberley GU15 3FL

@ Anti-copyright, 1995

Copies of reproductions requested.

Printed by Green Anarchist Books

ISBN 0-9521226-4-2



The Ecology Movement
The Natural Society (1978)
Culture of Resistance


Jun Hus and the Taborltes
The Diggers
The Luddites
William Morris
Uwls Mumford
Wilhelm Reicli
Jaques Ellul


The 1970's Hoots
The 1900's Protest Culture
Richard Hunt
A Lie Too Far
Criminal (In)Justice Act
Animal Liberation
Green Anarchist and the Media
Recuperators Unlimited


Jacques Camatte
Fredy Perlman
George Bradford
The Abolition of Work
John Zerzan
Fifth Estate
John Moore



WHAT is green anarchism ?

Green Anarchist has a strong emphasis on revolutionary action over theory which is why when you open a copy of GA you get the results pages first and then the theoretical articles later. This is not, as some have falsely claimed so that GA is in some way claiming what happens as 'Green Anarchist’ actions, but rather that people can see what is happening, and how things are moving forwards. People can relate events to the theories and analysis put forward in the rest of the magazine.

Near the back of every copy of GA, there is a theoretical statement ‘This Is Green Anarchism which sets out some ideas about civilization, small communities, Revolution on the Periphery and ‘Communities of Resistance’. This theoretical statement is as good a place as any to start looking at the Green Anarchist analysis of the problem.

Here I have to issue a disclaimer; that I don’t speak on behalf of any ‘Green Anarchist organization’ - there is no such organization. My comments here are my own, drawn from my own interpretation.


At the heart of almost everything to do with Green Anarchist, there is a massive and deep sense of anger against this idea of civilization. Whereas before we used to have Bookchin’s slogan ‘For a Free Society in Harmony With Nature’ underneath our masthead, we now have ‘For the Destruction of Civilization’ because the times have got more desperate, more urgent, and this is a more emphatic expression of our thinking.

I can remember when I was 10 or so looking round and seeing how all the people I knew were trapped and caged in this thing. The system. They had to pay mortgages and taxes, and were told what to do by policemen. I didn’t want to be involved in all that, I just wanted to go far away and not have to be bothered-with it. How to escape? Well, I had ii worked out, you would have to live in a wooden hut somewhere out on the moors between Lancashire and Yorkshire - this was my idea of the wilderness, I suppose. I also had some idea there were remote islands like the Hebrides where you could do the same thing, the picture I had of these was similar to Knott End, a remote place on the Lancashire coast. I hadn’t heard of Thoreau then, and Walden Pond, but that was the idea all right.

Later I found other expressions of this; books and TV programmes..There was a book called ‘Fatu Hiva’ by Thor Heyerdahl, about how he and his wife went to live on a Pacific island. I looked at the picture of their house woven out of grass matting, and I thought this sort of simplicity was out of reach.

There was a book 'The Moon & Sixpence’ by Somerset Maugham, based on the life of Gaugin the painter, which expressed something of the same.

This seeking out of the primitive, even in this vague dreamlike way, must have affected a lot of people during the 1970’s. There was a sit com called 'The Good Life’ about a suburban couple, who tried to be self sufficient, which tapped into this feeling. Better still, there was another science fiction thing called ‘The Survivors’ about the people left over after some global plague, having to fend for themselves. This was more realistic, I felt. It seemed gritty and harsh but at least the survivors could shape their own lives in a way we could not.

Civilization as disease - this was nearer the mark.

Even today we have this perception about civilization, with the scares about the Ebola plague, necrotising fascitis, and BSE. You can tell a lot about a culture by the myths and stories it tells about itself. Something is not healthy about all these people crowded together into one place.

I don’t know how many people can sense it isn’t working, its falling apart in so many ways; socially, economically, politically, culturally; its difficult to know where to start. This perception is by no means new, even in the Twentieth Century there have been critics like Aldous Huxley, Lewis Mumford and Jacques Ellul. Disquiet is growing.

One of the principal factors driving this perception that civilization is on its way out is the environment. There is a growing understanding that human activity is messing up the climate of the planet. Pollution, consumption of resources, contamination of food and water supplies with chemicals - these are real problems but largely they are ignored and people carry on “Business as Usual”. The ozone scare of the 1970’s has translated itself into satellite pictures of the ozone layer being eaten away, and rising skin cancer figures. This idea of buying better sun tan lotion isn’t the answer though, is it ?

If we think about Global Warming we have pictures of icebergs as big as Norfolk breaking away from the South Pole. We could think about the dust bowl in the American Mid-West, we could think of the water crisis in Yorkshire, and hundreds of tankers taking water from Kielder to Huddersfield. Somehow, I don’t think a hose pipe ban is the answer to this, either.

Driven partly by necessity, the environment is moving up the agenda, but people are still complacent. Many of them want to deny there even is a problem.

‘Maybe the effects of Global Warming will be beneficial...’

If we look at ecological issues in a shallow way, this leads to tinkering on the margins of the problem with reformist campaigns. Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. These at least try to do something to bring the problem to public attention.

Greenpeace have suffered set backs and humiliations like the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985, but when we think about the Brent Spar we have to acknowledge they’ve had some successes too. Something of the same reformist approach can bee seen in Green business ventures like the Body Shop, or campaigns to get car makers to fit better catalytic converters.

Green Anarchist goes much further than this in that it considers the whole of civilization to be the problem. Therefore we need to get ourselves some other, sustainable way of living. We see Global Warming, the ozone layer problem, car exhaust smog, the cutting down of the rain forest, Chernobyl - all of these are intrinsic to the process of civilization. We see it as inevitable that civilization pollutes the planet, damages the eco-systems, plunders the seas, cuts down the rain forest and all the rest of it.

Where does civilization lead the human race? Can life itself survive? Are we going to go the same way as the dinosaurs? There is this war going on between people and the environment, but people are so alienated from their surroundings they forget that they too are part of that natural world and depend on it to survive. Civilization threatens our existence.


Technology, a product of civilization, seems out of control. Not everyone can understand the inner workings of a microprocessor, or genetic engineering. Technology is implicitly hierarchical - it reinforces elites. This problem gets worse because each specialization becomes more compartmentalized. Thirty years ago C P Snow talked about ‘The Two Cultures’. How many different cultures are there now? Each band of specialists is locked inside its train- spotterish clique, unable to communicate with the outside.

With civilization, there is this terrible alienation between people. The gap widens all the time, and individuals are made worthless within it. Here, I differ from Marx, tor example and those who follow his thinking. In 1848 Marx wrote in his Communist Manifesto:

Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other • bourgeois and proletariat.

Sw u/^theMonk1.6,WOllf in'° °PPressed and oppressor breaks down those Ikaea fiitpTw i - made w-ort^ess within the system. As if getting any of t/r/i. The CCTy^m/ Windows 95 can compensate for

V cameras overlook honest citizens as well as the shop-

lifters. As time goes on, this radical worthlessness of people deepens. People are pushed aside, marginalized, and have nothing to lose by smashing it up. So, we get the guns and drugs culture, 14 year old kids setting fire to schools.

This situation is intensified by the mutual dependency which results from specialization, and the division of labour. Individuals are made to feel powerless and trapped by technology. Before, simple machines were understandable but now we are all at the mercy of distant experts and narrow but aloof elites - silicon chips manufactured in California, Swiss drug laboratories, genetic engineering from Maryland; with the sense that it is all a runaway express train going nowhere.

As Lewis Mumford pointed out {Myth of the Machine) and John Zerzan makes the same point, tools are one thing, but technology is much more than just a collection of tools, it is an interlocking system, an ideology. I talk about The Machine', Mumford talked about 'Technics', Ellul about 'Technique'. Call it what you will, the totalitarian aspects of this become clearer each day and this sense of crisis intensifies.

Faced with the knowledge of this mounting social collapse, the system itself must become more authoritarian, but already, in taking that step, it has lost it. They put up cameras everywhere, computers, identity cards, police helicopters, increased levels of surveillance and control.

If you want a picture of today, think of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon writ large, through all layers of society. Bentham perhaps exemplifies the type of thinking which has built that global prison, but Michel Foucault is the person who brought this to our attention in recent times with his Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, (1975) where society is seen as an extended prison in which discipline is an end in itself and conformity the only principle.

Society demands all or nothing, and Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon now looks down on our lives through every high street CCTV and every mile of motorway. The prison has become external. While the cameras go up, what I call The Machine becomes more visible, its form clearer. It is all, or nothing. As it is impossible to go along with any this, more and more people are pushed outside the stockade. This isn’t something to be demoralized about, it is a revolutionary challenge. The potential to really change things has never been greater.


I suppose my own ideas about the city grow from an existential and ethical critique of society. Other people come from other directions. The early Green Anarchist itself was clearly centred in the ecological movement. In the pamphlet Green Anarchism - Its Origins and Influences we are given a short potted history of environmental movements from Rachel Carson’s Silent Suring onwards, through the 1960’s and 1970’s. The pamphlet mentions the JrT ctudv The Limits to Growth, Edward Goldsmith's Blueprint For Survival, Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful.

yVe could trace this unease at what civilization is doing to the natural environment back beyond this. We could think about Rousseau and his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754):

The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying 'This is mine' and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling in the ditch, and crying to his fellows:

"Beware of listening to this imposter; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody. "

We could follow this thread through people like William Blake, Thoreau, William Morris, Tolstoy, Kropotkin, the hippies of the 1960’s and beyond. We might see the whole ecological movement as the successor to the Romantic Movement of the late Eighteenth Century. I think the ecology movement shares some sort of affinity with the Romantics, most notably with their concern over landscape, their stress upon immediacy and the intuitive, and their hostility to the rationalism and utilitarianism behind Nineteenth Century industrialism. The poetic mysticism of the Deep Ecology writer Arne Naess could be seen as a Twentieth Century follow on from people like Holderlin.

The industrialists saw nature as something other than themselves. We might think of the pre-Romantics, Hamann the Magus of the North, a contemporary of Kant and the pre-cursor to Kierkegaard, or Rousseau with his fascination with the State of Nature. The Seventeenth Century paying attention to the idea of the Noble Savage. As people were cutting themselves off from their own roots they were looking round, trying to find some sense of rootedness.

It is significant that during this period the word 'aesthetic' shifted it meaning from being to do with feelings, after 1750-58 following Baumgarten becoming associated with things to do with beauty and the arts. It would be interesting, and a book in its own right to trace this intellectual current through Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Ruskin, up to the present. Perhaps the clearest way to draw this link would simply be to refer to the popular prototype of all anti technology nightmares, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein..

Some people think that ecological damage is limited to the last two centuries or so, but this is not true. So long as people used basic hand tools, or simple machines worked by hand or foot power, or the plough drawn by a horse or an ox the amount of damage they could do to the environment was relatively lirnited, such people argue.

Ecological damage is not simply confined to the period of the Industrial Revolution and beyond. What about the Norfolk Broads, supposedly the result of iron age digging 4,000 years ago. another example, the clearing out of Englands forests for smelting and ship building after the Middle Ages. Even from the start, where people used agriculture, there has been a trend towards the objectification of the natural.

This idea of nature as something to be used, as a resource to be exploited, this way of thought sets humanity against its environment. We build up an ideology of exploitation which allows us to build battery farms for hens and battery tower blocks for human beings. However, The Machine has not had it all its own way. Since 1962 and the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, awareness of ecology has grown. The question is, is it too late, or will humanity stop its ecocidal actions?


In line with other Green thinkers of the 1970’s like Goldsmith and John Papworth, Richard Hunt’s first pamphlet, The Natural Society, set out a body of ideas which later became identified by some as Green Anarchism. Richard Hunt drew on the work of anthropologists like Marshall Sahlins to argue that industrial civilization should be replaced by an informal federation of 500 strong, self-sufficient, self-regulating communities.

Marshall Sahlins looked at primal societies, the original affluent societies, and saw how they spent but a small proportion of their time getting food. 'The Kung bushmen obtain a better than subsistence diet on an average work week of 12-19 hours ... The pygmies in the Ituri Forest work still less.' {Natural Society page 4) Primal societies saw no point in producing surpluses. By contrast, modern people worked 40 hours per week, many of their tasks being unproductive, most of the workers not producing food at all.

Hunt went on to describe the process by which, when the communities grew larger than 500, anonymity and alienation were offset using religion. Forced surpluses were taken away by priests. Markets enforced monopolies, which concentrated trade and brought settlements into being, then cities, the whole depending for its existence on enforced labour and taxation.

One obvious point of criticism of The Natural Society is .that it does not put Awards a practical plan to break down industrial civilization into smaller •tc It calls on people to drop out, and calls for devolution-

Devolution is inevitable, but the process could be traumatic or it could be painless. If devolution is urged forwards with all deliberate speed, the crash might be avoided; but there is not too much time.

At a minimum vote for any candidate who offers more devolution, who is against the Common Market, for instance, whatever his other idiot policies.


In section 1 I discussed civilization. Mentioning The Natural Society and Richard Hunt's idea of self sufficient communities of less than 500 people brings me to the second section.

Civilization is just too big, Marxists talk about alienation, existentialists talk about angst, others, following Durkheim, talk about anomie', but these are just different ways of looking at the sense of radical worthlessness we get from the city or the system. We can see how this worthlessness is expressed through apparantly pointless acts of vandalism, irrational outbreaks of violence, rioting, events like the Thomas Hamilton shootings in Dunblane, or the James Bulger murder.

I term this sense of worthlessness projected by the city, and the attitudes which give rise to these events ‘Moral Entropy’. The city is as filled with moral entropy as it is filled with smog on a hot summer day.

We can set the idea of small self sufficient communities against the idea of civilization and cities. People like Schumacher, Papworth and Richard Hunt expressed this idea back in the J 970’s. In the village where I live, there is a Parish Council. One day a few years ago somebody announced they intended to vote through a scheme to build a youth centre on the village green. Immediately, almost all the people who lived near the green were against the scheme, and the village hall was packed with angry residents when the next parish council meeting took place. Sensing the atmosphere of this lynch mob, the PCC backed down, announcing they never had any intention of building a youth centre on the village green. It was quite amusing to see them back pedalling like this. The parish councillors knew that all the people in the room knew who they were and where they lived.

Contrast this story with the decisions made by Big Business or Big Government. Here, the people pulling the strings might not be in the same

or even the same continent. The bureaucrats are faceless, without country, identity. There is no way they could be subject to some kind of persona sanction, because they are not part of a community in any c°nl%gful sense of the word. They are a law unto themselves. Even the town, h^county or the city councillors are relatively anonymous, Westminster liticians more so (those gates on the end of Downing Street) and Eurocrats an infinite distance away. You can see the problem. The larger the scale, the less regard for the individual.

Similar considerations arise with regard to crime. Cities afford anonymity, people can commit a crime in one part of town, and then go home to another. It would be different if society was built up out of smaller units where each person was recognized and had a significant part to play in the whole. In civilization, instead of real human relationships we have materialism - people are judged by their property, the things they own, the clothes they wear. We are judged by brand names and car badges and coffee jar labels. It gets worse though. The virtual reality world of the internet nerds is perhaps the latest manifestation of this tendency towards superficiality - it’s not even material now, but something more ephemeral than even that.

With civilization, the individual is nothing.

Government or crime (we can readily draw a link between the two), are both possible because of this alienation between people. The individual has no stake in the other person, no real relationship with them. Things like terrorist bombings or the sarin subway attack by the Japanese Aum cult are an inevitable product of civilization.

Some political movements aim to deal with this alienation by recruiting as many members as possible to try to build up some kind of revolutionary movement controlled by the top. We can see the problem with this - it merely reproduces the power-relations and alienation of civilization itself. You can’t fight mass with mass.

There is a similar problem with industry and the economy, where the objects civilization makes come out of factories. There is a tendency for less and less human involvement, with things being built by robots. The problem for capitalism thus becomes ‘If nobody has a job, how can we sell them our products?’ (The basic contradiction behind the recession). Even so, somehow the world still fills up with mountains of rubbish and naff instantly obsolescent trinkets.

Against all of this, self-sufficent communities offer us a simplification of our lives, both in terms of our environment and social or political relationships.

With civilization, the interconnectedness of things and interdependence drags people down with the sheer weight of obligations between them. Life is too

x and too fast for the personal, so all relationships and all values are c°,nP j joWn to money. To manufacture an object like a motor car or a rcdUCact disc requires technologies from all over the world. To enforce such a C°twork of consumption, civilization has to assume an infinite level of control Hyer peoples’ lives. The city is implicitly totalitarian.

rre.ti am nn c,

Self sufficient communities offer us a way out of the city. Think about the things a city produces - the land-fill site at the edge of town.

The city is a rubbish tip, full of plastic bags, those polystyrene trays from McDonalds, discarded yoghurt cartons, rusting baked bean tins, broken fridges and washing machines. Think about the piles of worn tyres. What, about car factories? All those cars coming off the production lines ( More is not necessarily better ) and ending up unsold on the runways at some disused airfield in Lincolnshire, which is bad enough, or even worse, part of some scrapyard, contaminating the water supply with oil and chemicals, or worse still, cars being driven, clogging up a motorway flyover, a mass of stationary vehicles, engines running.

A self sufficient community wouldn’t make things it doesn’t need. In such a world, trade and barter would be minimal (for depending on trade from outside cuts against the whole self-sufficiency ethos). “Production for use and not for profit” may be an old Socialist slogan, but it has a common sense validity to it. With self-sufficient communities, we would eliminate waste and cut down energy use and this fact alone would halt a lot of the ecological damage civilization is doing to this world.

Self-sufficient communities bring closer ties between people. Where people are together in one place, working together on basic projects such as feeding or clothing themselves, their relationships will be better. They will depend on each other, as against the money relationship, which only brings apathy, hatred and disdain. All of this seems obvious, but other people don’t seem too ready to accept it.

(3) LAND

Why are people forced to live in cities? Why can’t they develop self-sufficent communities themselves? Perhaps they have thought of the alternative but can’t see their way out of the city. Perhaps they don’t think it is possible. A lot of people have been bought off by the trinkets. Ikaea fitted wardrobes, BMW’s, and all that. Most people are too busy stuck on this treadmill of work, pay the mortgage, work. If we go back beyond the present, to before the industrial age, people used to live in the countryside, but moved into the cities and towns with the enclosures. We can also think about the Highland earances, t e colonization of the New World as expressions of that same phase of civilization. r

Ever since then, force of habit and inability to see the alternatives keeps j "eople locked inside that civilization way of thinking. More than this though,

what about the vast range of goods provided by industrial-technological civilization. More trinkets. We also have to think about this interdependence imposed by The Machine. People do not have, or think they do not have the range of skills necessary to survive outside. So they keep on the treadmill, they keep stuck inside that global prison, and this literally is killing them.

The city needs to take resources from the surrounding countryside - especially food and water. In Europe with the EEC since 1950 or so, we have seen an j intensification of agricultural methods; new breeds of wheat to give higher

yields per acre. Similarly with farm animals, trying to get higher yields of milk from cows. Intensive farming has brought us this BSE crisis, for j example, or the earlier crisis with salmonella in eggs. Our treatment of land

u and animals reduces these to material resources to be exploited in just the

1- same way that cities reduce people to commodities. It is all part of the same

* arrogant attitude and so it comes as no surprise when we see this parallel.


Land, therefore, is a key issue. There’s plenty of spare land out there, but it is owned by somebody and society would rather let it go to waste and be overgrown with long grass, nettles and cow parsley than let it be cultivated by free people. Three years ago there was a lot of fuss made about the so-called New Age Travellers. The state didn’t need to go on hitting them on the head like it did - it could have found some way to help these people settle down in some out of the way spot or other and cultivate the land for themselves, as explained by one of the residents of the Tinker’s Bubble settlement near Yeovil:

/ think it would be a solution for some of them to buy a piece of land and work it, because that's what a lot of people would like to do. But it costs a lot of money to buy land and go through the planning process. People should be allowed to live how they want. If they don't want to live in houses, they shouldn't have to. 1 don't see this as going backwards, although some people would see it as such. 1 see it as going forwards.

Louise Chant

Tinker’s Bubble resident New Statesman, 1st March 1996

Not all of the travellers would agree with that - many of them would prefer to stick to the nomadic life-style. But even then they will still need safe places to stop - a problem which the 1994 Criminal Justice Act has done nothing whatsoever to solve.

The land issue is one of the most important problems we have to face up to if we ever are to move towards creating a green anarchist society in the future. If people could go onto the land, the chain of dependency would break. In a way, we are still stuck in 1649, when Winstanley and the others went to dig up St George’s Hill. (I discuss the Diggers below). At the time, the question was refused, and so we are still faced with it. The fact that some people are moving onto the land shows that it is quite possible, and this can encourage others. People could leave the cities, which would then drift apart. If people could take up the land the coercive political relationships would be undermined.


Civilization has to import raw materials from the third world, and export goods people don’t need, like guns, landmines and cigarettes to keep people locked into this world trading system.

In the last 15 years or so, there has been a tendency to shift labour to the Pacific rim and set up new factories using new technologies there, build up new financial centres like Singapore.

I think that the original idea of ‘periphery’ in The Natural Society and early GA thinking was mainly geographical. It was pitched in much the same 1970’s framework as the Brandt Report, looking at the gap between the so- called developed and the Third World. Richard Hunt was calling for people in the Third World to take control of the resources and so deny them to the world trading system. The developed world would thus fall apart. This was obviously influenced by the 1973 OPEC countries’ embargo on oil after the October Yom Kippur War. It needn’t be oil though, some other key resource like copper or rubber would also cause grave problems for the developed world if it could be denied. The more resources blocked, the quicker the collapse.

Fred Pearce, who often writes in the New Scientist has suggested the next struggle could hinge around water resources, but water doesn’t really fit into this pattern of global trading in commodities for industrial and manufacturing purposes. This said, I think Pearce’s theory looks increasingly likely.


This shifting of manufacturing processes out to the Far East has helped to widen social gaps in Europe and America, creating mass unemployment and a permanent urban underclass. When Hunt left Green Anarchist, we took the opportunity to re-examine this idea of ‘Revolution on the Periphery and concluded that the original, geographical sense of ‘periphery could be broadened to include the social periphery in the west. The existence of people like the road protesters, animal rights militants, the travellers and other similar lized groups all form the Culture of Resistance, which is GA’s natural anywny'

The ori

cinal geographical idea of ‘Revolution on the Periphery’ urges people Third World to make the solution to their problem by their own hands, •n, nt the same time, with our limited resources, there is little that we can do here to help them in that.

However, with (he social periphery here, as the marginalized groups multiply, the influence of the state in the centre hardens, but on the periphery becomes weaker. Already order is collapsing in the cities, and we know that this trend will continue.

If there aren’t already, there soon will be de facto no go areas like Toxteth in Liverpool, Moss Side in Manchester, and Chapeltown in Leeds. We want to create similar situations where power is excluded in the countryside. An event like Castlemoreton in 1992 showed the possibilities. Imagine a permanent Castlemoreton. We might not be able to directly help people in the Third World, but we can create our own revolution on the periphery here.



~ much for the basic ideas behind Green Anarchism. In this next section, I vvant to look at historical movements which I think help set out the Green Anarchist idea and show how it might have been possible to develop a society along these lines in the past together with a few influential thinkers. I’m not trying to claim these as green anarchists - that would be anachronistic - just that they offer pointers.


John Wyclif was a medieval theologian who anticipated some of the ideas of the Reformation by 150 years. Some think he taught at Balliol College Oxford and others connect him to Merton College. As a lawyer, Wyclif advised King Edward III between 1365 - 1375. This was a period when emerging nation states were in conflict with the Papacy. After the Council of Pisa (1376) there were two Popes, one in Rome and the other in Avignon. The Church as a universal authority suffered a loss of prestige and credibilty. At the same time, English society was still in a period of turmoil after the Black Death (1347) and again with more plague during Edward Ill’s reign in 1361 and 1369.

From his studies of scriptures and history, Wyclif became critical of ecclesiastical power. Towards the end of Edward’s reign, (the years 1377 - 1378) Wyclif’s own influence at court diminished due to the reconciliation between Crown and Papacy. In De Dominio Divino (1376) Wyclif argued that all authority is founded on grace, and so wicked kings, popes and priests should have no power. Radical stuff. After the reconciliation between Gregory XI and the king, Wyclif had 18 ‘erroneous’ opinions condemend in a Papal Bull, and was banished to Lutterworth. He preached his ideas to peasants there, and according to folk legend sent out poor preachers. Either Wyclif himself or his followers started to translate the Bible into English.

The people who followed Wyclif were called Lollards after the Dutch word for mutterer. They wandered round England preaching this primitive kind of communism. At the time of the Peasants’ Revolt (1381) their thinking must have struck a chord with many. We get a taste of their ideas in the sermon of John Ball the Hedge Priest, recorded by the French chronicler, Jean Froissart:

Things cannot go well in England, nor ever shall, fill everything be made in common, and there are neither villeins nor , gentlemen, hut we,shall be united together, and the lords shall be no greater masters than ourselves. What have we deserved that we should be kept thus enslaved? We are all descended jrom one father and mother, Adam and Eve. What reason can they give to show that they are greater lords than we, save by making us toil and labour, 'so that they can spend?


r of the teachings of Wyclif were taken up by Jan Hus (1369 - 1415). One Sfthe reasons for this was that in January 1382, Richard II married Anne of nnhemia Partly it was to do with Medieval Scholasticism. Bohemian intellectuals were drawn to Wyclif because he was a strong critic of Nominalism, and they shared this philosophy. Strong links between Bohemia and Oxford were formed. Bohemian students went to Oxford and no doubt heard Wyclif s teachings there and taken back by people like Jerome of Prague.

Nobody knows why Wyclif was not suppressed during his life time. After his death, his remains were disinterred and thrown into the River Swift at Lutterworth ( a tributary of the River Avon), by the Bishop of Lincoln, himself a former follower of Wyclif, and this gave rise to a little rhyme:

The Avon to the Severn runs

The Severn to the sea

And Wycliffe’s dust shall spread abroad Wide as the waters be.

Bohemia had similar problems between the state and the church as Britain did. Ecclesiastical authorities treated it as a colony to be exploited. The Archbishopric of Prague absorbed a third of the peasants’ income through land tax. Anger intensified. In 1412, the collection coffers were smeared with excrement. After the execution of Hus (6th July 1415) people rose against the church and smashed symbols of ecclesiastical authority.

Jan Hus has given his name to the general revolt (the Hussites), but these were the moderates, the revolutionaries are better referred to as Taborites. These were millenarians, named after the biblical mountain of transfiguration (Matthew 28.16-20).

Some of the more extreme strands of this revolt were given other names; the Adamites, who rejected clothing and went around naked in the woods and who were suppressed in 1421; or the Pikharts, who were believers in the Free Spint, and most probably came from Picardy, fleeing because of persecution. u,idpF nn ?enCfS ueie lhe B°g°nii,s’ Albigensians and the Waldensians. Thus, libertarianism* 'eVOlt Were int0 primitive communism and sexual acknowledging h^sourr- teach,nfis 01 wyclif. without necessarily s. Aspects of both their teachings anticipate the

• « T.he Four Articles of Prapnn.

The Hussites’ declaration, ^ormation. Martin Luther^

simile t0

S' 0 e

?SS^°p^ 0

1433. n . Mtnset up a religious community,^

and in 1419 tried to f. Power was seen as Anti.

a"d no human

n0 private property

ChrisL c hut everything in the

Nothing mine and nothing w„g shlluld always he


ho does he sins mortally. w

r. i r Arte 7 44-45 where the Part of their inspiration was taken °° Their centre was also given

earliest Christians shared their, good* ‘n c.of Prague, riddled with

~-F Su S organised a Crusade against them, condemning them in the Bui plasmatoris domini.’ (1419)

At the outset, the Taborites tried to organize food production on a communal basis, but this failed. They had an uncompromising view of authority; ‘All lords, nobles and knights shall be cut down and exterminated in the forest like outlaws.’ or John Capek put the same thought in slightly different words ‘All people in high ranks are to be brought down, chopped down like pieces of wood.’ Many of them looked to the Second Coming of Christ as a Brigand.

Faced with the threat of the Crusade against them, with troops from Germany, Austria and Hungary, the chiliastic emphasis changed to a concern with the practicalities of fighting, but this was no war fought to gentlemens’ rules - captured Tabontes were sent to extermination camps. The Taborites used War fac/d8w7th'Ze?nHia “rV’ and, also used gunP<>wder. L^d by John Zizka, totalitarianism As FrM° p e.viat^an aSa’nst them, they gradually lapsed into a * “7 <P 'During

ground oX'^dwadM but lXtemi"ated *ere <>>e Adamites. The war mihtanly defeated when the moderated S6J Eventually, they were

• changed sides after the Council of


Basel. Social currents represented by Wyclif, Hus and the Taborites lingered on, and were seen again in the Reformation and afterwards. The influence of the pacifist part of the movement led by Peter Chelsicky, lasted centuries. Chelsicky withdrew from the violence and founded a sect which later became the Moravian Brethren.


The'second group 1 would like to look at are the Diggers or True Levellers. In the Seventeenth Century, al the lime of the English Civil War and afterwards, groups of dispossessed people tried to take over the commons and cultivate them, talking about the earth as “a common treasury for all.” The Digger ideas could have liberated people and prevented a lot of suffering later on but they were sidelined and then suppressed.

The most famous Digger settlement started in April 1649 at St George’s Hill near Walton on Thames. St Georges’ Hill came into the news last year when a group led by George Monbiot ‘The Land is Ours’ held a protest at the same spot, now part of a golf course. There were similar Digger settlements at 27 or 29 or maybe more locations across England, places like Cox Hall in Kent, Iver Buckinghamshire, Barnet, Wellingborough, Boswell, Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, Dunstable, Coinbrook, Fenstanton, and Oliver Cromwell’s own territory, Warboys in Huntingdonshire.

True religion and undefiled is to let everyone quietly have earth to manure.


Gerrard Winstanley set out the thinking behind the Digger communities in books or pamphlets such as the True Leveller's Standard Advanced and The New Law of Righteousness. Like the Lollards before him, Winstanley used religious concepts to support ideas of justice. Compare this with the sermon of John Ball mentioned earlier:

Lei all men say what they will, so long as such are Rulers as call the land theirs, unholding this particular propriety of Mine and Thine; the common people shall never have their liberty, nor the land ever be freed from troubles, oppressions and complainings; by reason wherof the Creator of all things is continually provoked.

The Diggers were seen as subversives by Cromwell, and suppressed by General Fairfax. Their crops of beans, wheat, rye, parsnips and carrots were trampled by soldiers, their seedlings were pulled up by the local tree-holders, and hired thugs attacked the settlers. Much the same sort of stuff the state used

viinee Fields peace camp at Molesworth 335 years later, sit'1CRainrag°jr'sll° DOnB3STwyf°rd D°Wn 'n l"2‘

Jrfor tlial 111 niggers with the Taborites, we can see how the Taborites cOmPare lhe fight off the state, but not to grow their own food, and so "'dW^m the surrounding countryside by force. The Diggers, on the l,a{|. produce fr°n. grown their own food, but failed to develop any ability hand could

If a revolutionary self-sufficient movement is to have any ^'f^Tbasfobeoblefodobolh.

chance ofsu


jean Jacques Rousseau, the Eighteenth Century social and political thinker is important because he is cnhcal of evil-society. He is the originator™ many chemes which are taken up and used in the present day. Some of his concerns prefigure those of contemporary anarcho-primitivism. With his seeking outTf the natural and spontaneous, he represents a departure point between he coldly rational and the scientific world-view which was then startng m coalesce; but also the irrational and imaginative emohasic of Ra™ , 8 which only grew and fluorished after his S Pa ™ of Rousseau’X"^ are embedded in both of these, and this tendency

can also be seen in his life - his attractions towards civil society (The Paris salons and his description of himself as ‘A Citizen of Geneva’ hk iv i work, 7-J.e Social Comrac,) and his rejection of society ’ P01“'Cal

Rousseau’s reluctance to belong can be seen in Reveries of the Solitary Walker (1776-78), for example in the fifth walk. Here, at the end of his life, Rousseau remembered two months (September to October 1765) where he stayed on the lie Saint Pierre in the Lake of Bienne, in Switzerland, east of Neuchatel. The island had only one house on it, and Rousseau was able to indulge in his solitary pursuits. He would examine the plants found on the island, studying the greenery, flowers and birds. The few other people on the island were acceptable company to him, but he was impatient to get away:

Leaving them al table, I would make my escape and install myself all alone in a boat, which I would row out into the middle of the lake when it was calm, and there, stretching out full length in the boat and turning my eyes skywards, I let myself float and drift wherever the water took me, often for several hours on end, plunged in a host of vague yet delightful reveries, which though they had no distinct or permanent subject, were still in my eyes infinitely to he preferred to all that I found most sweet in the so-called pleasures oj life. Often reminded by the declining sun that it was time to return home, I found myself so far from the island that 1 was forced to row

■ with all my might in order to arrive before nightfall.

• nkn notable because it has the first use , nu’s Fifth Reveries is > •0 In his use of the term, ROu° lhe

Rousseau apphed to . > w00ds on the shore of Lake Ri ls

word XwHdncss Of Geneva and the lake there. It*>

companug developed set g1 Rousseau was getting not

bawsft*-’**-, tns.,c j hoih his political work, The Social Contract t„i762 Rousseau had published o books botb met with an

‘Jhis educational treatise, £«'<«• " ught refuge in the village of

SSftS-•*’■ Rousseau’s house.

_ u- Aithpr moving about or indeed on the Rousseau spent a large part of his. I «t^ imaginary slight. For

run • sometimes from real P“s“““° • that he should seek tranquility all this restlessness, perhaps it is no rp . for a

on the lake. In his Fifth Walk hesense of flux, of and lasting state of mind, to ■ 8 solitude continues into a limitless

might continue ‘Would that this moment could last forever. -_but naturai y enough, he must soon move on, this time being evicted from the He St Pierre, he finds himself being swept towards England.

One reason for his persecution concerns Book IV of Emile, where we find the Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Priest. This is a confession of rational religion which rejects the idea of miracles and doubts revelation. Instead of seeking after the man-made spires and cathedrals, the Savoyard would rather be among the mountains and forests.

This part of Emile also knocked the idea of Original Sin, therefore the Savoyard has no need of the Atonement. Christ is seen as a moral teacher Perhaps following his contemporary, David Hume, Rousseau takes a hostile view of testimony - the way organized Christianity depends on second hand accounts of things in the scriptures, whereas the Savoyard would X m direct to his God without intermediaries. Such 'irreligious’ vi™< ? ! ° g°

the authorities of the time- the Archhkhnn d • A.°Vs Vlews antagonised issued a pastoral letter, and the secular powers issued Beaurnonh

arrest and the burning of his books in hnth d • , arrants for Rousseau’s

also displeased some tf Ro ' seau’smtioS h^"8 Geneva' The Aveyard after all (bis, it did not go “uT hl" ' C°"!emPoraries' because even retained. E 'ar enough - the possibility of religious faith wa"

-mi found inspirauv.. ...

/i0" finds a counterpart m his anthropol00„

“is °nly when intro<iuced to sociLMankind >n a « ' v ,S*e individual ts corrupted. '«>. with its Iaof ^w

tn his Discourse of the Origin of Ineau,,!:^ lgations,

dess about this natural state of innocent o’ (l75<*). Rou< /own ideas of this sort, but he is often cJa- Rousseau Jn“ eau sets 0Ut v .Sion of the 'Noble Savage’. Prior to R^'led *■«. bel "ot first to ?

Homer. Horace and Virgil idealised then^'Classfc5e Origi"ator Of ft' time, Dryden expressed somethinp nr 1 pnrnitive Cln< ‘"’les writer Ji?e

(1672). Aphra Behn and lUaX'?* ideaa * c? Ro^ ’ this theme. S™herne are also Xfe °/Gr^

Wlth treatment of

Writers turn to ideas of the primitive out of diseuct wift ,u • . Explorers like Francis Correal and Bougainville brnuaht k i the Clvillzed- far away peoples and their lack of inhibition. Rousseau <106^7°UC tales of ,he facts about primitive conditions, but instead movides a?'° speculative reconstruction. The savages were mnr» La a lma8lnabve, for two reasons; because of the necessitv of evndi 8 e ^an modern Pe°ple that they did not have machine toTe p hem C* and *e fa«

degeneracy and disease. In the wild, peopkwe^solZ Rou^ X"8'"8 only coming together to mate and then senaratinn rhiw™ sea“ belleves. become independent and leave the mother. P ' 8 hlldren would quickly

Progress came by accident; People covered themselves with animal skins to protect themselves from the cold climate. They banded together and discovered fire and agriculture. Society must have developed, along with language, but prior to this, people living in the state of nature could have no moral relations nor determinate obligations between them. Rousseau believed that without civil society people were neither good nor bad. This view cut against the biblical view of Adam and Eve after The Fall, but it also is distinct from the view of Thomas Hobbes, who regarded the state of nature as being characterized by conflict.

Rousseau saw primitive humanity as being guided by compassion. The natural man had a sense of empathy, towards other members of his species. In the state of nature, we were self-sufficient, but banding together, we began to develop society, cooking, relationships between people. From this, humanity moved along to inventing rules, jealousy, possessions, servitude. By hunting in packs, people became dependent on each other and natural compassion was eventually displaced by civic institutions. Because of conflicts around possessions, and hierarchy, people set up leaders to arbitrate between disputants. Rousseau tells us how through inventing the state All ran headlong to their chains in hopes of securing their liberty.’

I^ing ‘7 Ilie. It’s c,v,c &uvc,,,,,,v,,v >•' U1'- 'I'giiuuure, Decause


/(I* ,n ,ir(i fheir fellow creatures by thousands, without so iftn rT’“Slowing why, arid committed more murders in a single much <lS and more violent outrages in the sack of a single (My's '‘f ^'ere committed in the state of nature during whole '^^'ver the whole earth.

of criticism of civilization seems even more trenchant more than This wries on in the shadow of Hiroshima and Auschwitz. To Rousseau, two <*neuns are slaves, ‘numbered like cattle’. The man in the state of nature the Vd reject and fight against civilization with all of his being, in just the

e way that an unbroken horse refuses the bridle. There is a great gulf Sween the natural man and the artificial. In exposing the arbitrary and ^fjcial basis of government, we can see just why Rousseau was credited with inspiring the French Revolution:

It is plainly contrary to the law of nature, however defined, that children should command old men, fools wise men and that the privileged few should gorge themselves with superfluities, while the starving multitude are in want of the hare necessities of life.

‘Let them eat cake’.’ Emile, Rousseau’s book about education, shares a similar doctrine about the natural man. Civilization is defined as slavery, people are imprisoned in institutions. The towns are seen as unhealthy places. ‘Man is not made to live in such ant hills but in sparsely populated places. The closer people are packed together, the more they become corrupt. The breath of man is deadly to his fellows’. Rousseau compares the conventional, constricting form of education with the way nurses wrap up their charges in swaddling bands - these ‘check the circulation of blood and humours’ and eventually weaken and deform the child.

You cannot have both a man and a citizen, Rousseau tells us. This kind of public education faces two ways at once, so Rousseau has the pupil, Emile, sequestered away from the influences of society. The only book Emile is allowed to read is Robinson Crusoe - again we return to the island theme.

The island theme is also to be found in Rousseau’s Seventh Walk, which is a kind of protest against the encroachment of science. Rousseau studies plants as a hobby, but the only use most people have for plants is for medical purposes. Their sole aim seems to be to pound them up in a mortar. Rousseau takes a dim view of this - ‘It is no good seeking garlands for shepherdesses among the ingredients of an enema.’

N„,ure b« become equated with material profit. Rousseau atlack, , Nnl',r , „rc hll. ro himself, nature represents escape from other D *n"y oflh'^e idea of studying animals on the dissecting tabic Mu£P' H' rel ‘L. bv cutting themselves off from the light and from wno<t , " s“n ns perA’r--n

Xcted because the stars ore too far away. All he has are the woods anrf mountains with their trees and plants.

When I reach places where there is no trace of men I breathe freely, as if I were in a refuge where their hate could no longer pursue me.

Alone in the woods, Rousseau discovered a secret spot, a hangover from the primeval forest perhaps, and feeling like the explorer who discovered a deserr island, he thought himself the first person ever to visit the place. Resting, he then heard a repetitive clicking noise, and in a hollow not 20 yards away, saw a stocking mill. This caused him some distress, and then laughter at the realization of this punishment for his own vanity. We are left with the impression that civilization is even at that moment lapping at the shores of Ins island of solitude

Rousseau, then, offers many insights into civilization, just at the point where civilization is becoming highly ordered and coherent, with industrial possibilities opening up. He stands on the edge of the modern world yet looks over his shoulder towards the primitive, trying to seek out what we have lost. Using the perceptions thereby found, Rousseau offers hints which point towards Romanticism and also the present day primitivists. For all his many faults, Rousseau is an influential figure on today.


and manipulated by various parliamentary factions but (his Or)e hand The crowd went on to smash the houses of ministers, jgd J^f bishops, courts, prisons, public houses the home of Lord Mansfield8 C S Justice of the Kings Bench, and on the 6th June burned Newgate PriSOn So7 commentators believe the picture 'Glad Day symbolizes this episode. '

The French Revolution is the point where Blake’s hopes were broken, and he turned inwards. Blake intended to write a history of the revolution, and the first volume of this was set in print, but not published. Blake’s French Revolution told the story in plain langauge. The printer, Joseph Johnson, also published Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin and Thomas Paine, but Blake’s book about the revolution had to be suppressed because the climate of tolerance changed. Faced with the threat posed by the Jacobins - the fear that the revolution might be imported, the authorities clamped down. In May 1792 a proclamation against ‘Divers Wicked and Seditious Writings’ was issued.

Blake’s book about the French Revolution was sympathetic to the original revolution, but its direct language was too much for Joseph Johnson. The small part of Blake’s account which has survived does not go so far as the storming of the Bastile. The suppression of the book deprived Blake of a wider audience, and so he returned to his engravings.

Blake’s symbolic books are a commentary on the political events of the time, but they are also influenced by religious, philosophical and scientific ideas and undercurrents. The treatment is odd, being influenced by the Theosophist, Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg remains obscure, the only other person of significance in the same period to take notice of him was Kant, who wrote an attack. Swedenborg’s influence is acknowledged in Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Kant’s rationality and Blake’s mystical and convoluted world would seem to be poles apart. Blake is also linked with Priestley and the Unitarians, the Dissenters were outcasts too, and had to set up their own Academies, but uncluttered by tradition these became forcing houses for new sciences and the arts.

As the Revolution progressed, Blake wrote and engraved the Sones of (.789) and the „f Experience (,793). This shift f ora

cave' KXnlS “3 & RIX su: rn,;

Xanmm^ivilSn.'116"1, the parentS ^"'h^lonely delf

Blake s meaning is clearer. he children suffer because of ... he races, and a plea for M »«sis ° n between black and while. "And I arn Black, but 0! my Soul is rccoi10'1'1!110 of !hc poems arc about chimney sweep boys: White’

Because I was happy upon the heath

And smiled amon^ the winters snow:

They clothed me in the clothes of death And taught me to sin[>the notes of woe.

■ nKe of society blighting the rural can also be seen when we compare ?1Sooein The Ecchoin^ Green with its counterpart, The Garden of Love. In । Ecchoing Green, the children play on the green, watched by the old theQ Ie in the Garden of Love, the green has been replaced with a chapel which has ‘Thou Shall Not’ written over the door. The flowers are replaced by graves:

And Priests in black ^owns were walking their rounds, And binding with briars my joys and desires.

The contrast between Innocence and Experience is also obvious when we compare the two poems ‘The Divine Image’. In the first, we see the essential unity of mankind, a call for brotherhood:

For Mercy has a human heart

Pity a Human face:

And love the human form divine, And peace the human dress.

Contrast this optimism with the bitterness of the second poem:

Cruelty has a Human Heart

And Jealousy a Human Face

Terror the Human Form Divine And Secrecy the Human Dress.

In 1796 the Bishop of Llandaff wrote a pamphlet agamst Thorpas p .

\ .fR awn The Bishop recanted his own liberal past and French Revohui°n> in much the same way as Burke. Blake £iateA bZp to he '»state trickster’. This was born out by the fact Wakefield who published a reply to L andaff, was impnsoned in )7g' Xon the printer, was imprisoned for selling Wakefield’s /fe^’.Nh mt’s spies. Blake thought Paine ’a better Christian than the Bishop’ £,°ne of the climate of fear and repression Blake lived in, background such ? Was shows why he had to write bis ideas in an oblique way, and why he |ater ,his tlrat 'to defend the Bible in the year 1798 would cost a man his life. ■ Wr°<e Linked with the hope of revolution, Blake was one who understood the th of industrialization. We can think of those sweep boys being taken away f the heath - and put into their urban coffins. One of Blake’s best known ph ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ for many people, sums up the whole of the indust revolution in three words. The enclosures of the commons forced the i/ i poor out of the villages and into the cities: ra

I wander thro' each charter’d street, Near where the charter 'd Thames does flow And mark in every face 1 meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe.



,n our

. a mills-’ (Jerusalem, 1804) Combinations of min « ru^iued. M combinations of workers were not Ws ,nt0 car,els vvas Pen

^nkes William Blake stand out is that there i« ,n

*work One point which is often overlooked is how S"?1 f°TO behin(i ,uS“.I0 anticipate that of Hegel and Marx. 'Without mX’ ""Wsics

Attraction and Repulsion. Reason and p’™ tKK « no prCessary to Human existence.' (MaX " a"d Hate,

Mirandact °n each otller and s0 are changed bu/nA,™1’” n Helr>The aspect of his work makes him seem ahead of his time. cance,,ed out. This

BJake does not advocate standing still. Things have to chon™ t . move on - ‘The man who never alters his opinion is like shnH ’ ° deVeIop’ breeds reptiles of the mind,’ Blake also dislikes the svstem n/w Water and Locke, closed-off, complete, explained, with everythin/in " and

for the Lion and Ox is Oppression.’ The name of one of his anti Urizen, is thought to stand for ‘Your reason’’’ - the chai! 8 flgUres’ every statement by a rationalistic opponent Another nn<2h made against

The Luddites

The third historical movement I want to talk about is the Luddites. Perhaps we can understand these better than the other two because the context is modem, right at the beginning of the machine age. If the Luddites had won, the world today would be quite different and we would not now have some, of the problems we are having to face up to.

Before the industrial revolution, manufacturing was carried out in the home, the ‘domestic system’, or with a few people working together in a small workshop, or a place like a Blacksmiths shop or Wheelwrights. Each trade followed traditional practices, passed on from generation to generation. Between about 1750 - 1850, increased mechanisation meant production shifted into mills. One machine could do the work of twenty men, and unskilled ‘colts’ (unqualified junior apprentices) were employed to mind them. Before this time, working at home, craftsmen set their own pace of work. In factories, the workforce had to be regimented, regulated. Technology was supplanting skill. More goods meant lower prices, while at the same time goods could not be exported and food prices rose because of the Napoleonic War. i

In Nottingham, then in Yorkshire and Lancashire between 1811 and 1816, people rioted over rising food prices. Then they formed into gangs to smash machines. How were they named? One version says the Luddites were called after Nedd Ludd or Ludlam, a lad of weak intellect who lived in Leicestershire and in 1779 broke a stocking frame in a fit of frustration at his inability to work the machine. (John Blackner, History of Nottingham 1815).

Another theory about the Luddite name is that it derives from folklore about 'King Ludd', a mythical figure, a god of the ancient Britons who was mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100 - 1154) King Ludd was supposedly the builder of the walls around London, more to keep the Romans in than the Britons out.

If this is true the name takes on more overtly anti-civilization aspects. Evidence for the King Ludd/London connection Y ant,'civil>zation</em> (he name of Ludgnte, one of the main gates of th"e suPP«sedly pnv^y ne ‘King Lud' theory about the naming of the Luddites tie, ,h • popular festivals of disorder, turning the world over in J? Wltil to rights. It will be remembered that Gerrard Winstanley wm,f?p' world is the man that will turn the world upside down therpfo^ ror freedom enemies.” (A Watch Word to the City of London, 1649) Manv he hath and protests had a fancy dress figure at their head, sometimes f°°d riots dressed as women, calling themselves ‘General Ludd’s wives Were men

The Luddites made pseudonymous threats tn th* signed 'General Ludd’ - in this there is an obvious parallel between LuaT*’ S‘g"ed agricultural incendiarism of ‘Captain Swing’in the south^f t,le or so years later. Unfortunately much of theLuddie folk Cu^£ e‘8h,ee" stories, never got written down and so is lost Fmnk p„, ' songs and their songs: ’ ^ee preserved one of their songs:

Oh the Cropper Lads for me

The gallant lads for me

Who with lusty stroke

The shear frames broke

Luddites took hammers to stocking frames in Nottinghamshire, killed mill owners and carried out a massed attack on Heathcote and Boden’s Mill in Loughborough (28th June 1816). In Yorkshire, Luddites attacked the cloth industry, burning Oatlands Mill, Woodhouse Carr (14th January 1812) A crowd of 600 Luddites attacked Horbury Mill, Wakefield. The Yorkshire Luddites suffered a defeat when they tried to attack Rawfolds Mill in the Spen valley, After this they assassinated William Horsfall, a mill owner.

In Lancashire, there were riots. Burton’s Mill, Middleton, was attacked. Burton’s house was burned down. Westhoughton Mill was attacked (April

Sma^ acls mac^'ne breaking were carried out. A force of ’ 00 troops had to be sent in to suppress them, more soldiers than

to Portugal in 1808, six

Middle class paranom and fear of revolution

Tales were told of mythical figures goinp L°nJhe Fren<* model swearing disaffected people into tie L .m rd Lancashire and rife administered, pay outs of large sums of monev le Lgan^ with serr^kshire- oney-^hteenshilIings7;« oaths

, peopje feared the machine smashings were being orchestrated by Well to o^ous revolutionary high command, according to some devious some mys jan> possibly controlled by the French. Stock piles of arms were Prf'PreP^ hidden in the woods. Whole regiments of armed revolutionaries said to be moorland. Reformers such as Cobbett, Cartwright or Sir drilled p”rcJet( were mooted as possible secret leaders. Even the late Thomas Francis bJanie(j as the sinister ideologue behind all the Luddite’s purposes. Paine was$ prance cast thejr long shadow in an England still at war

with Napoleon.

Despue the 12,000 soldmrs, the special constables. General Maitland magistrates, police sp.es and agents provocateurs, surprisingly few Luddkes were ever caught. One textbook lists 44 deaths, either from mill raids “r hangings. Comndermg the size of the attacks and the number carried out ov« Nottingham, Derbysh.re Le.cestersh.re, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire th,s must have been only a small proportion .of the total number of people mvolved. For the most part, the authorities were unable to break through ±e wall of silence surrounding the Luddites, who were held together by thek common trades, historical ties of fanship and deeply held sense of common


From Nottingham to Bullwell, from Bullwell to Banford, from Banford to Mansfield! And when at length detachments arrived at their destination in all the 'pride pomp and circumstance of glorious war' they came just in time to witness what had been done, and ascertain the escape of the perpetrators, to collect t e fragments of broken frames, and return to their quarters amidst the derision of old women and the hootings of children.

Lord Byron’s speech to the House of Lords

Half a century later, by the time Frank Peel wrote his book, people saw the point, but by then it was too late, the old ‘domestic system’ had been swept away and the rampant industrialization of William Blake s Dark Satanic Mills’ had been imposed. There were other waves of unrest, for examp e e Lancashire power loom breakings in 1826 - 1830 in Blackburn, Darwen, Bacup, Bury, Rawtenstall and Haslingden, but the initial battle had been ost.

The Luddite struggle had some effect on the consciousness classes too. Take for example, the alienation between the Rev.?' Bronte and his parishioners, for one. In 1812 Bronte lived in nZ?d Dewsbury, just one and a half miles from Rawfolds Mill, and „ where Horsfall was shot. The dramatic events of 1812 feature in h,‘ 7 Charlotte's book Shirley (1849). Some members of the middle ,6h"* doubtless saw the justice of the Luddite’s case. Lord Byron, for examnl Sses spoke in their favour in his maiden speech in the House of Lords. p ’

Remembering what I said about Romanticism earlier, can we be surprised th the most prominent English poet linked with the Romantic movement wT also defending the Luddites? But even Byron’s eloquence had little effect on the Lords and ‘he left the gilded chamber in disgust, never to return to it.’ The Luddite revolt was too localised, even despite the decadence of Regency Britain it failed to broaden out into a general overturning of the social order, it failed to turn back this process of industrialization.

1 think the Luddites were more than simply the militant, angry end of what eventually became the Trade Union movement. Nor were the Luddites like the proto-Socialist ideas of Robert Owen, who began new schools, built model towns, started co-operatives, organized unions. Neither were the Luddites like the later Chartists, who sought constitutional reforms. The Luddites went out and smashed the machines. Perhaps they themselves did not understand or articulate their problem in words, but they intuitively saw the industrialization prior to 1811 as a massive wrong turn.

We, with the benefit of hindsight can see where industrialization leads. Later reformers or revolutionaries, people like Owen or Karl Marx do not question the machines’ existence as such but want to take them over and harness them towards social purposes. Perhaps the worlds described in Huxley’s Brave New World or George Orwell’s 1984 represent the logical end point of that series. If the Luddites had won our lives, would have been based on a smaller scale, decentralized model, with more local trade, with individual craftsmanship and a closer sense of community. We would probably not have had this ethic of consumption, with all the ecological implications that brings with it Industrial mass society exists as a consequence of the Luddites’ failure...


“cond “

total cost, given in an itemised list, came to $28.12c. ‘e”e

, »,nods because I wished to live delihe / went to the tiaifacts of life, and see if I could front only the ss when t came l() dle>dir

ra,''x, ~ nnt I'a?


.caU ?£ uP 1 cio^d

tne v.


what it had tv eac .

I had not lived.

■ not consider himself strongly connected to other n Thoreau did n , life of his Out ,n the woods, to find Fn°plp-


wished, through |”e'xisten(:e. At one point in 1845, returning solid 8r^"^nogcs repaired, Thoreau was arrested and imprisoned for forftmngropay poll tax.

From his experience of this he wrote 'On the Duty of Civil Disobedient , this he considers the state to be organized injustice, because of the suv ln question. The only proper place for the honest man is inside prison, so iOn^ the injustice continues.

to ■ fror raiA ale b tr V t

After his own fashion, Thoreau 'quietly declared war' on the state. He adopted Jefferson's maxim That government is best which governs least' and changed it to 'That government is best which governs not at all. This is seen as an ideal but the larger part of humanity does not seem ready for it. Thoreau demands change in the present, rather than waiting. 'Unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.' In the present way of things, Thoreau finds the government to be so disreputable that a man cannot without disgiace be associated with it'.

Thoreau is critical of the passive, upright citizens all around him, who may disgaree with state injustice but do nothing to stop it. They still pay the taxes and vote. Still the injustice goes on. They keep their hands in their pockets. Along with this, as can be seen from his minimal 'Back to Nature' life, he has a distrust of private property. We should not be weighed down with our belongings, particularly our houses. 'The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich.' Morality belongs to the individual, while voting is seen as disreputable:

All voting is a sort of gaming, like chequers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions. *.

Thoreau was respected by Tolstoy and also influenced Gandhi with his philosophy of civil disobedience. His influence continues in the present. During the 1990 poll tax prosecutions, for example, he was read out in court:

Unjust laws exist, shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavour to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once ?

... As for adopting the ways which ,

remedying ,l,e evil I tn„ fa,

time and a man s life will he gone. x Th*y take too much icreau calls on people to act as a frictional og up its workings by their whole weight t0 the marh;

)Od neighbour, as such, he is happy t0 pfv is not agajJ^5 and ,d schools but unwilling to P»y fees for J’M?.useful thing* life'"8 ’ mring his brief imprisonment, he came tn 2 u X,can *ar Orford ds

The thick wails of thejai,

vfter being freed, he walked two miles out nf

he highest hill thereabouts. From his huckleh.Jnd climbe<i to the tnn , and the state was nowhere to be seen' eberry fie,d he looked all ir P °f

• around

Thoreau has a poetic intensity to him a sen«. nf

to Yeats, Robert Frost or Edward Thomas' and 1116 natural simih front the machines, seen for example S"®"'tas a of X"™

railway which went past one end of Walden Pon? abo111 ttle Htchbura along its causeway, and am, as it were S n 4 ' go to the vin 8 his reader in that offbeat, disinterested Jay of Iink'

track as he walks along, being waved at, and wav n, b c8 P°ssessio" of the He sees the timber bemg taken out of the Z ™ ?8„back aI railwaymen

to be made mto chairs. 'All the IndianW 1 ’’backed “’W cJs cranberry meadows are raked up int0 lh "5“■< are striPPe«. ollTe and books but goes down the wifthat wrfesXn? bnn*s "P eocenes


William Morris is now mostly known for his wallpaper and furniture designs. In his own lifetime he was also known as a poet. In 1959 he helped found Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, known as 'The Firm', to produce chairs, tapestries, stained glass windows. Other artists, Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, Burne-Jones, Philip Webb and Walter Crane, had their designs produced by Morris & Co. He also founded a society, nicknamed 'Anti Scrape' to campaign against the Victorian prettification of ancient churches.

Originally Morris himself had been intended for the church. He described himself as a Puseyite (A Rather Long-winded Sketch of My Very Uneventful Life), but was 'corrected by the books of John Ruskin, which were at the time a sort of revelation to me.' Morris later became active in political matters from 1876 onwards, and from the early 1880's described himself as a Socialist.

Morris read Marx, but 'suffered agonies of confusion of the brain.' He learned from his anarchist friends that 'anarchism was impossible.' He was a member of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) but in December 1884, the SDF

fiftf! H M Hyndman. a Marxist tried to impose h,,-

Pennor Marx-Avehng, and Belfort Rist founded th<» $ w’" ovCr ((

M'vtj* edited ’Hen journal. Ommonwe*?/ c’«li$t , M.1r

His vtnpiim book, News from hfmvhere, (I S0|) h .

most influence on my thinking Veu-c From Nowhere deT V,1Prp Mnr future world where capitalism has been overturned by revoh "*** 3 '1r,*an1 been abolished, the Houses of Parliament been turned into n T'°n' rr'nnp. 'V'' prvernment abolished. 11 nR ;

To Morris, the Nineteenth Century is a ’sordid, aimless and uP|v

* y Confusinn

Hr- own work, from the Red House at Bexley Heath, his poetry, tapestries Kelnwcott Chaucer, the wallpaper and fabric designs, all of these outw\’ h? vhnu his revolt against the aesthetic of the machine age

But look, suppose people lived in little communities among gardens and greenfields, so that you could be in the country m five minutes walk, and had few wants, almost no furniture, for instance, and no servants, and studied the (difficult) arts of enjoying life and finding out what they really wanted: then I think one might hope civilization had really begun.

Letter to Mrs Alfred Baldwin

Monis's vision is utopian, one based on beauty. In reaction to the ugliness of the Nineteenth Century he said ’If civilization is to go no further than this, it had better not have gone so far.’ As a Socialist, he was critical, but not a Luddite 'll is not this or that tangible steel and brass machine which we want to get nd of, but the great intangible machine of commercial tyranny, which oppresses the lives of all of us.‘

In News From Nowhere. Morris’s ideal of his future society is inspirational, in some sense sharing the same vision as Thoreau. Water, for example is close to boUi of them. Munis with the River Thames, Thoreau with Walden pond. We cun think of the long journey up river from 'dingy Hammersmith’ to Eeiiiiscuii We cun share his sense of shock and delight at the disappearance of die Smoke vomiting chimneys' and the Hammersmith lead works.

borgel six counties overhung with smoke but gel the snorting steam and piston stroke, horgd ihe spreading of the hideous town; Ihmk father a] the pack horse on the down. And dream of London, .small, and white, and clean.

I he clear I homes bordered by il.s gardens green.

KROPOTKIN nn.of the most interesting of the Nineteen,u, Peter Wtk'ntem!1 Morris described himself as a Socialist, wdSiu, Pcl'hi,.s Whereas Mor0 nment man’, Kropotkin explicit,

XS PerlT' °f hhis

SseH as aoanarchist. and ((he cause of anarch.™,

absolve impossibility/° machinery.’ This sets him apart from sOci' by means of the sought to use the ‘administrative machinery *


, .., ,,o8R1 Kropotkin set himself against one such In his book Mutual Aid 0» »> £ . The Struggle for Existence i„

reformer, T H XXinsistic principles about the struggle fOt Human Society, which appter) on)y was tnlggfc fw

life to society as a whole, nuxiey b Mlions stnved for

mastery survival within society, buralso “ contradictory, because if there is no X"Xlcbl 'evel, there will be no basis for cohes.on a. nK macro-social.

increase, and restore the struggle for existence through competition for food.

An industrial nation, Huxley warned, walks a tightrope between rece;™™’ unemployment, ignorance, misery and poverty on the one hand, (as with the 1870’s Cotton Famine); and excessive social welfare leading to lack ot economic competitiveness on the other. Huxley seems to embrace this sense of struggle, to him commerce is warfare by another means, and his response is to increase Britain’s competitive advantage through technical education.

Huxley’s message angered Kropotkin enough to write Mutual Aid, an attempt to show that ‘in the ethical progress of man, mutual support, not mutual struggle - has had the leading part.’ Kropotkin took examples from Natural History, ants, bees, birds, working his way up the evolutionary chain to primitive societies, tribes and then through to the Medieval cities and guilds. Kropotkin’s method was to show by these examples how mutual aid heloed the development of the group. H

lhe ‘dea °f deve'°Pmenl a&a'mst that of competition. Strife nnd conflict are concomitant with retrogressive development’ The nncn ■ ki species are doomed to decay. " ' ne unsociable

„,i Workihops 1'888-1890) Kropotkin a„

, ,i.. Factories “nu . . slr wi production. A key theme in k

to FiC ro toin^teS scale; cottage or village


MMC"'sV ■ „n. day industries and saw how the teMt

. M at hi* Pte “Xation (Britain.fot ewmpte'w41 wj, ymnototo 'oc^j regional specif « competition. New development, overt^c’he0'i’

To some extent, Kropotkin shares Huxley’s idea of the present competition model as a Darwinian struggle, but to him this is a bad thing, whereas Huxley’s attitude is ‘it can’t be helped, this is the way it is, so let s roll our sleeves up and get on with it.’ To Kropotkin, global trade is ‘A mere nightmare’ of competition and middle-men, over-priced goods and impoverished workers. Kropotkin sees that the race for colonies (= captive markets) will not help, for when the colonies develop their own industries they will not need to buy from Europe.

Kropotkin looks around himself and sees the massive productive capacity of industry, yet the people starve. Citing examples of countless small industries surviving alongside the larger; eg the Sheffield cutlers who made knives in small workshops, he shows how nothing is inevitable about centralization. This kind of growth is for control and profit, not for efficiency. Kropotkin sees that Huxley’s idea of the struggle for survival must be replaced with decentralization and simplification, communalization of production for need and not for profit. Imports and exports must be eliminated so that each region town or village produces only for itself.

Kropotkin develops similar themes in his discussion of agriculture. Some advances have been made, but these do not go anywhere near far enough. He looks around and sees the effects of rural decline. Farm workers have been taken off the fields to work in the towns and cities. Land has been given over to grazing. Kropotkin sees the possibilities of small scale mitrket gradening, as practiced in the suburbs of Paris, in the Channel Islands, Potton in Bedfordshire and other places. These are seen as pointers forwards.

Agricultural intensification might be brought about by techniques - greenhouses, seed-selection, walls to trap the sun, soil irrigation, heating, manure. Kropotkin praises simple machines to reduce the amount of labour, and declares the amount of work needed to feed a family of five is less than a fortnight each year. We might have our food at a fraction of the present cost, if

we cut out the profiteers and middle-men. In America, 300 men working for one day provide the yearly food for 250 people. Danish butter co-operatives are praised, where facilities and know-how are pooled among producers. These point the way forwards, food production should be communal, with factory workers released from the towns and cities in the summer months to help with the harvest, as with Londoners going to Kent to help with the hoppicking.

This idea that we have nowhere near tapped the full potential of agriculture is Kropotkin’s way of refuting Malthus. By applying current ideas to improve and simplify food production, 600 people could live on one square mile. As with manufacturing, imports and exports should be eliminated. Each town and village should be rendered self-sufficient by this radical decentralization of production.

A century on, Kropotkin remains an inspirational figure. His vision of a radically decentralized society of self sufficient garden towns and villages remains valid. ‘Have the factory and workshop at the gates of your fields and gardens, and work in them.’


If Thoreau, Morris and Kropotkin represent the Nineteenth Century, the American Lewis Mumford and the Frenchman Jacques Ellul must stand for the Twentieth, at least as far as this section goes. Mumford’s earlier book, Technics and Civilization (1934) shares some of the features of his later work,

The Pentagon of Power (1967) but the latter is more unrestrained in its criticism of technology, the tone takes on a new urgency, as the sense of existential crisis gathers pace.

Mumford draws a link between Ancient Egypt, with Pharoah, bureaucracies, priesthood, armies; and modern techno-civilization. The Pharoahs had the pyramids, built by armies of slaves. Ditto today with rocket projects, skyscrapers, and most tellingly, nuclear weapons. The Megamachine conducts its nuclear research in secret, with groups of research scientists forbidden to know how their own discoveries are being used as part of the whole. All of this crystalizes in The Pentagon, the US military HQ in Washington, as a symbol of impotence and alienation.

The Pharoahs of the ancient wjorld worshipped the sun god. Interest in the sun as a symbol of centrality was revived by Copernicus and Galileo. Galileo’s real ‘crime’ was to reduce valid human knowledge to the ‘objective’ - mathematical, geometrical, the mediated; and so to cut humanity off from the totality of its experience. Mankind was driven out of the total world of experience into this ‘Cosmic desert’. The error was then compounded by people like Descartes, Hobbes and Newton.


f «rronomy opened the way t0 nav*gation, the cr,i

The science of “ • as The figure of the Pharoah was revived ?"?«'>» . plunder of the Arne modern expression lhro h by $

^R0iS01S a'lin H "er and Mao. The parallel is most str£ like Lenin. StaM. pharoahi was embalmed. 8 whe„

consider how Lenin, i

.. n, nf the mechanization of everything, including DPn , Mumford is cnUC Lqtion written by Buckminster-Fuller reduced^ f e'A description or specif Hux|ey.s Brave New World being to a “^'"oducdon line, with physical characteristics selected t0 Iffihei"^" ordered, nrechamsttc world.

,, f„rd looks he sees this same standardization. Huxley. Everywhere Mumfor o * Kakoiopia) does not seem so far 00t

vision (in Mumford s te n g?r and imented as never before

Society is being standardizedL int0 something artificial and of this moves away num v


i i machine work: machine work into paper ^“paperwork into electronic simulation of work. divorced Z rSv from any organic.functions or human purposes, except those that further the power system.

The Pentagon of Power page 165

The idea of progress is seen as an emptiness ‘Forward to Nowhere In Aldous Huxley’s fictional world, the existence of the people becomes meaningless and boring. They are reduced to sex and circusses, infantilism and drug induced euphoria. This kind of empty hedonism is compared to those B F Skinner type experiments where electrodes stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain in a series of self-induced shocks which eventually come to dominate the supposed ‘existence’ of the creature to the exclusion of all else, inculding food. People are being reduced to that sort of automaton.

Lewis Mumford examines the totalitarianism of the Pentagon of Power. It can only be held together with secrecy, propaganda, the sense of an artifically ll,rear (T5e Cold War)-The I0,alitaria" Mmiques of control eSX 's mcS'nnw Th' 0plnl0n P°"s. sPy'"8 devices; but already the ™noCmh&c^"g-The SyS,em beC°meS immobik a"d unresponsive -

-he hnd f empd"eSS Of

Witness the psychotic discZ ,ion oK a ' h“ a dark side °f violence.

NiMism *on!

Bazarov in Turgenev indicate the trend

- all of these are glorified as part Of th thr°ugh to th

arov m

nf of c

in Uada ?e

Despite this lengthy exposition of h much of a programme to rid Us of th » pr°blem M ’ °r

from it, but what they then create 7 Me8amachin Urnf°rd dem- spontaneous. ne transforms wi„r‘,le'nse|v^en peop|e t„ of akin to a religious conversion On? ! start in th« to h lo withdr r more, we need action, we need crin minb' °'ganic

describing the disease, but not 'o ',ear ^Jeci^ of thh d' win

only have to push on the rusty do’e* °" ,f»e cure' « MlJrr>ford 'ba‘ w’ he£ ■ is seems overly optimisli° ?of ‘he Mega ' see^° ’’ stron"

diflieult than this.

it. Th's

6 Say i€ Will b°ef

niuci* •—

wilhelM RE|CH

„ im Reich was an Austrian psychoanalyst who studied under Freud in W1 hC and who practiced in Germany. His books were banned by the Nazis V hm: went into exile, first in Scandinavia, and later in the USA. In the late fSlo’s he came under investigation by the US state, and in 1955 was nrisoned for selling medical equipment prohibited by the US food and drug iZ- He died in prison two years later.

Reich believed that fascism is implicit inside civilization, as a result of sexual repression. Perhaps prefiguring contemporary US primitivists, Reich talks about ‘domestication’ of the workers. Central to Reich’s idea is what he calls ‘orgone energy’. This is explicitly sexual, a life force. It seems similar to Freud’s libido, or Nietzsche’s Will to Power, except that Reich believes that the orgone is a bio-physical force. This orgone life force has also been compared to the elan vital of the French philosopher, Henri Bergson.

In The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1942), Reich analyzes fascism. This book suffers from the fact that it is written backwards, ie; the theory is imposed on the facts, rather than the theory being allowed to emerge from the facts This is not to say that it is without insight, just that the imposition of this theoretical overlay weakens it. Reich’s constant harping on about ‘sexeconomy’ makes the book seem quaintly faddish.

Reich’s framework seems to be an attempt to join Freud with Marx, but scheme no doubt antagonized both systems ot rigid orthodoxy, o w thought-police were so quickly on the case.

Reich’s analysis of fascism attempts to explain its or'8’ns’ ac -od of in tension with Marxism. He asks how it was, that u g

. in Germany, the masse* ought to have moved toward* _pPm* ’nttead they cho<e. ro follow Hitler and his reactionary fascist rfvPh»t^n’ "fhe n,ne of 17 million voters in January 1913 There u a gap ^vemet1' r<V } ecOnomic fact* on the one hand (The Great Depression) and ^wee”^ the other This gap is termed the clenvnge hy Reich Fhr Ecology 0 fl) 0 ]oS(; to explain this - they take refuge in meaninglessness M0fX!^ ^nty slogans The masses are 'befogged' or the duped victims ?f a shouting f -phe main fault of the Marxists is that they have 'oncentnted H',|pr nistic economic factors and excluded the ideological, the psychic

Freud with his id, ego, and super-ego, Reich has a tripartite doctrine of ' mind but the difference is that Reich thinks of this as three layers, one on ,he of the other, somewhat like an onion On the outside, we have the outwards character, the surface. Inside is an intermediate layer, loaded with unconscious and repressed drives, and then in the centre is die deep core For an impulse to pass from the centre to the surface, it must be acted on and transformed or twisted by the secondary layer.

Hitler is seen as an exemplar of the repressed little man, who appeals to the squashed-down lower middle-classes - low ranking civil servants, petit- bourgeoisie shop keepers - people most threatened by the Depression. No surprise that Hitler's own father was a customs official, that Hitler himself was an army corporal.

The middle-class person is repressed. The basic conflict is sexual - a choice between sex or repression. This takes several forms; mysticism, religion, respectability, duty, honour. All of these forms were appropriated by the Nazis. The middle class internalize the values of the state because it offers them status and self-respect as compensation for their repressed sexuality (those corporal's stripes again!) In so doing, they are cut off from their potential revolutionary role - repression is implicitly reactionary. This sexual energy, the orgone, ought to be channelled into improving social conditions.

In his discussion of (he ‘domestication' of the masses, Reich shows how fascism made an appeal to the working class by boosting up their self-esteem - drawing them into, and encouraging (hem io internalise middle class values. Make (hem believe (hey are upwardly mobile. Margaret Thatcher did something of the same during (he 1980’s when she sold the council houses off to the tenants. When even the little that (hey have is threatened by (hose outside', the poor readily enough back authoritarianism. This domestication, Reich tells us, was nothing but superficial - bedroom suites and smart clothes, the light dance steps. How easily people are bought off.

Hiller as (he fuhrer appeals io the follower because he can see himself strutting on tiat podium. I heir identities merge, the victim shares (hat thrill. Hie nazi n. nnd oropaganda manipulate the emotions but the renr^ SlJ-classes joined in the orgy. no. an orgy of sex but of brutal^S sadistic perversity.

■ u ■x.n,tries the family as the source of authoritarianism. The family is a toch ' m of h«ate. Patriarchy leads to the fuhrer-principle. The C, XTse a teaching function on the children, repressing their sexuality and. raSndoctrinating them into blind, unquesttomng obedience as citizens of he wMe repressive society. Reich discusses the nazi emphasis on the peasant armen with the inheritance of the farm through many generattons, and how he e form the basis for nazi racist doctrines, and blood and sod mysticism. At the same time, the nazis promoted big business and big agriculture, thus showing their radical inconsistency and irrationalism. Say one thing and do the opposite.

Motherhood was idolized as a means of sexually repressing women. (The mother is not a free sexual being but tied down to the family). Motherhood was also necessary to breed sons as future cannon fodder in imperialist wars. The nazi state is an extension of the family outwards, invoking ties of loyalty and race, the elevation of ‘your own’ people and devaluation of those outside.

Reich also prefigures another theme of US primitivism with his discussion of symbolism; in this case, the swastika. The swastika is a sexual symbol depicting intercourse. It was originally used as a fertility symbol, and so, through this linkage with the agricultural, by extension, became a symbol of lhi* mysticism was appropriated and used to manipulate communist hopes and'se^hnents The ,'.inking W'th socialist or

swastika the ‘arvan’ nr mnini n!‘S’ The whlte symb°hzed nationalism, and (he masses identified with thhs symbol programme- Ver> Quickly, the everybody. The more abstract aLments ofX® " .P,romised everything to never carry the same decree of nerC..A ■' ° ,e soc,allsts and Marxists could symbol. eglee of persuasion as the emotional appeal of the nazi

Inside everybody there k ' T 'ese kinds of remark? ' declares that ‘of LS?'., primitivism deponure poi„,. Ib ,^'h«i,o„. though obvious? ‘ r. SeI 0UL These are

P 'ons have moved on. C developed and brouahr °"ly 'epresetn a The main Dm,, 8 Up t0 date, our his material is usemi Cunous,> htni.ej


Jacques Ellul was a member of the French Resistance and a religious thinker. He published The Technological Society in 1954. His ideas are broadly.in line with people like Aldous Huxley or Lewis Mumford. Ellul writes of 'Technique' which term I think is intended to embrace the whole network of processes and ideology we find with alienated modern society. To Ellul, the world is advancing towards a "a universal concentration camp."

Ellul uses terms like -mass man’. He is talking about large groups of people - sociological generalizations, as he himself admits. What happens at the individual level is not so certain. To this extent he may seem deterministic. If somebody like Teilhard de Chardin was optimistic, regarding mankind as advancing relentlessly towards some ‘Omega Point’, Ellul is the opposite side of this coin.

Technique is regarded as ‘a virus’. Ellul sees that the problem affects all of us. Therefore, so must the solution. He has this image of the state taking hold of a single thread of this network of techniques, and so drawing all of them into itself. Technique is seen as totalitarian. The police are the essence of the state.

A section towards the end of his book predicts the world of the year 2000, a world wholly under the sway of a totalitarian 'dictatorship of test tubes rather than hob nailed boots.' Some of his predictions are out, but his comments on genetic engineering are fairly close.

Ellul's Christian faith informs his view. He is critical of the top scientists' remarks on religion. Albert Einstein is described as 'banal'. Oppenheimer 'Symptomatic of arrested development or of a mental block.' These household deities are seen to have religious feet of clay.

History of Green Anarchist

tn discuss the history of Green Anarchist magazine itself wOuld llketwo periods: 1984- 1991 and 1991 to the present.

The 1970’s

1 hist started in 1984, an important year for the history of dissent in Green A^. jnt we had two key struggles going on - the miner’s strike, pritain-A.uc|ear protest movement. The key to understanding the 1980’s and die anu- be found in tfce 1970’s, and here I want to look at two

protest hfore discussing the 1970’s green movement itself. Most obviously. 3SpeCh social situation angle, the 1970’s brought a long history of industrial from the^ minepS) power workers, the motor industry, the firefighters and strlfe ck to name just a few. Second; there was a growing sense of alienation ^^TXspair at the emptiness and materialism of society - this was seen h ugh the extreme example of the Angry Brigade at the start of the 1970’s, and also shown in the Punk Rock movement from 1976 onwards.

The May 1968 student protests and the anti-Vietnam war disturbances in front of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square were followed by an increase in militancy, seen in the actions of the Angry Brigade. Something of the mood of militancy was seen on TV in 1970 when the TV presenter, Bob Hope’s scripted sexist remarks at the Miss World contest were interrupted..Feminists stormed in and smoke bombed the stage. The women shouted ‘We’re not beautiful, we’re not ugly, we’re angry...' . .

Such a disruption of the Spectacle expressed the mood of the time, but the Angry Brigade itself went much further than simple smoke bombs. Between 1967 and 1972 state targets were attacked with bombs, incendiaries and machine guns. Most of the actions were not reported by the press, (does 'this sound familiar?) Conservative Association Offices, Barclays Banks, airport terminals, railway stations were all bombed. Senior Establishment figures like the Attorney General, Sir Peter Rawlinson’s home in Chelsea was bombed (September 8th and October 8th 1970). In all, a police expert testified that between March 1968 and August 1971 there had been 123 known attacks.

After many of these, communiques were issued. On May 1st 1971 for example, Biba’s Boutique in Kensington High Street, a trendy Lon on s ore and flagship of ‘Swinging London' was bombed. Communique 0 was issue

If you're not busy being born you 're busy buying.

All the sales girls in the flash boutiques are madetodre^fj same and have the same make-up, representing t e

. everything else. capitalism can only fashion, ^^^n^where <o go ' '<

rheTutnre is ours- is nothing to do except spend all „Ur Ufe iSsontbh^,eS‘ ^t^reyour real desires?

wag‘Lrs and sisters, wha ? empty, bored, drinking some

BrOt the drugstore, lookTJ^BLOW IT UP OR BURN IT Slt '"less coffee? Or pe P do wilh modern slave-houses.

DOWN! The only "'‘n^ECK THEM. You can 7 reform profit inhumanity. Just kick it till tt breaks.

Brigade actions includethe bomNng of Robert c.. ?an eir2th°1971, the Tory House was bombed. On October 30th. the

SpCO^c?t1:OcX bombed.

postO s to have been anti-authority, and

The main motive behind these s Spectacle. As a product of their time influenced by Situationism. to disrup h ecologjca| concerns. Some of the

they do not seem to have been mot | Jatjon of Tory government

attacks related to the oppressive: ant of®he attacks tied in wjth strikes at

°ffice at Gant’s Hi"’Il,ford being bombed on March 18th 1971.

Perhaos most importantly, these attacks related to this deepening sense of urbanPalienation a?nd existential negation. Some of the communiques refer to the complacent and conformist society. ‘Brothers and sisters, what are your real desires?’ For all this, the AB were isolated - not representative ot the masses’ and isolated from other revolutionary movements, most of whom, as would be expected, repudiated their actions.

The Angry Brigade represents the best, the furthest development of the individualist tendency. Today, this issuing of explanatory communiques seems quaint. Shortly afterwards, in the 1973-1974 power strikes real mass = Ba"'e °f UsTrTm brin^ down^he 'Heath Birmingham. The phe o/coke inVsa/hey depot ^ar

The power workers and • Was sa,d to have blood on it.

,o" °Ptimisni| which

debilitated the unions by blunting the strike weapon through its use for merely limited, localised gains. The readiness to strike made the ‘Winter of Discontent’ of 1978 - 79 possible, clearing the ground for the government of Margaret Thatcher and the 1980’s.

The sentimental mythology surrounding the Battle for Saltley Gates led to union over-confidence. Ten years on from Saltley, in the 1984-85 miners strike, Arthur Scargill was trying to refight the same battle at Orgreave, but his ‘class enemies’ had learned from their mistake and this time Thatcher was ready for him. Whatever force was necessary was used to crush the NUM. Revenge was completed twenty years on from Saltley, with the decimation of the mining industry.


The context of Green Anarchist’s founding year of 1984 is to be found in the 1970's. During this period the west’s economic crisis deepened when the OPEC countries raised the price of oil. PEOPLE, the first manifestation of what we now call the Green Party, was set up in response to the sense of crisis of that time:

The first wave, beginning with the formation of PEOPLE, was strongly influenced by conservationism and a general mood of pessimism. Many were so convinced of the imminence of global collapse that they advocated a political strategy based on post cataclysmic reconstruction.

David Taylor in

Weaving a Bower Against Endless Night By Derek Wall

As well as a growing environmental movement we had the late 1970’s Punk Rock revolt against the blandness of mainstream pop. Some parts of the punk movement tried to develop a political consciousness, particularly through the band Crass, and Rock Rgainst Racism.

This sense of crisis and social conflict continued, and indeed intensified in the 1980’s, with the Thatcher state taking on the unions. At the same time, Reagan and Thatcher “The Iron Lady” - intensified the Cold War against the Soviet Union, uprating the nuclear arsenal of the west with Pershing and Cruise missiles.

The 1983 General Election was fought around (he Cold War, Iron Maggie plus her Falklands Factor pitched against Michael Foot and his Remembrance Sunday donkey jacket, or what about Mr “CND life time member” Kinnock? After this, Thatcher declared war on the unions, the 1984 Miners’ Strike being

. key bottle in this phase of our k*

roasts of that defeat ever since S°ry' We “'I have t0 >• hyg with ft.

1984 was the year when things really tllrn„. '

part of that same process of intensifir,,; d nasIY and me

■Stop ne City, often wrongly aWbZ"’ We had a sene,^ cam' off As were originally organized by London c^°e Class War, but

About 2,000 people attended the En t

of the

According to the booklet Green Anarchism; Its Origins and Influences’ Green Anarchist magazine was thought up by Alan Albon, and Marcus Christo in a pub after this Easter 1984 STC demo, (most of my information about the early GA comes from this booklet.) The new magazine intended to draw together elements from different countercultural elements - the cover of the first issue showed hippies and punks together.

Marcus Christo was a herbalist, and prominent in Green CND Alan Albon was a veteran pacifist and writer for Freedom's Land Notes column. In terms of content, the earliest GA’s were similar to Peace News. However, even at the start there was an emphasis on action and energy, which related to the anger around at that time. Take, GA 2 on the Leeds Stop The City of August 9 th;

Altogether 70 odd people were arrested over the day. However ‘Stop The City' calling cards (Bricks, paint, glue) were left at a number of financial and other relevant institutions.

So far, so like Class War, but GA rose out of a slightly dtfferentconstmjency, the hippies and punks, CND and radical ferrumst^ In Atumn 984 < violence of the state against protesters and people who^d not fit head when the Peace Convoy and a pop festiva at Notell Pnory ne Wakefield were trashed by cops. This brutality . teach h

over from the miner’s strike. Ute Yorkshire pol.ee were gomg to teacn Convoy a lesson...

The general line of the magazine remained pacifist. 6 Response to the the protest movement continued to rise. For ex p . 3 qqq troops

eviction of the Molesworth peace camp (6th reoru y ted ‘Stuff up plus Michael Heseltine in his combat jacket u 5 w) Molesworth’s Arse’ by blocking up the drainage. (•

pd the Stonehenge festival, through attacks on the convoy at me st>PPren in the 'Battle of the Beanfield’, where cops trashed buses and f|iestaCross an° Yet another example of the mailed fist. Events like these StOj massarre‘ hv exposing the futility of pacifism.


1110 to the suppression of Stonehenge Festival at the Beanfield as a resp°nraanized an attempt to trash the Henley Regatta. (July 6th 1985)’ Class orgme when even the intense violence of the mass pickets at This waS a d other places had little effect on the Thatcher government. With Orgreave. d we can see how the CND protests were even more marginal. Too this in I?inwar) the miners switched away from the massive but unproductive late in 01 sty]e confrontations against the police towards a flexible guerilla OrgreaVn (the so-called hit squads) For example, Goole police station was Catncked by a mob. A police dog transporter convoy was suddenly attacked and turned over.

Th miner's tactics matched the intensity of the situation but they were not ^ulated by the peace movement. By this time, (1985) as a result of the loss ^credibility caused by the Heseltine eviction of the Rainbow Village Fields ° Molesworth, the early 1980’s peace movement was running out of steam.

Mass demonstrations seemed exercises in futility, besides they could no longer gather the numbers. At Greenham, the missiles were in place.

CND tactics changed towards the tokenistic ‘Snowball’ civil disobedience of single strand fence cuttings and the better tactics developed by the Cruisewatch people. In GA, the post eviction demonstration at Molesworth was realistically billed as ‘Non Event at Molesworth, What do mass demonstrations achieve? (Issue 6, page 8)

GA offered trenchant criticism of the increasing tokenism of the anti nuclear campaigners. Large numbers were again briefly mobilised in 1986 after the US bombing of Libya, but these protests had been passed by actions in other areas of concern. Animal Liberation Leagues, described as the cuttingI edge of militancy" were involved in daylight inspections of labs, just as smaller groups of peace protesters had earlier been involved in base invasions; lite that at RAF Chilwell near Nottingham in 1984. Thatcher trespass restrictions around nuclear bases. 5!' . _ncwj offareas,

effective means of taking the protest outside ani y rec„j Io public exposing the whole raison d'etre of cruise (mobility, secrecy; p ridicule.

Oddly enough, although I wasn’t politically act‘$eWar) who were present at 1985 demo was the first time I ever heard o • • secretary, Joan Ruddock, much to the chagrin of The Guardian, who described CW as ‘Scum’…


The experience in Europe seems to have been parallel to that in Britain, but with some important differences. Due to an electoral system of proportional representation, the German Green Party enjoyed an early success, building up from 3.2% of the vote in March 1979 to 5.6% in 1983. Die Grunen were the result of a pragmatic alliance of ex-liberal politicians, grass-roots citizens’ groups, followers of Rudolf Steiner, and former Marxists.

The greens had a particular appeal to the former 1968 students, who were Skins after a political structure more open and responsive to the r Lirations. The Greens were non-violent, but many of them understood rhe despair and sense of a',enat'°n which had driven some of their college contemporaries into the Baader-Meinhof gangs. 0,tege

The German Greens were inspired by similar sources to the British Green Party - Schumacher, for example, The Limits to Growth Callenbach\ Ecotopta. and Herbert Gruhl’s A Plana is Plundered (1978) Gruhl is die one who invented the slogan 'Neither left nor right but forward; but who then wandered off to join the extreme right, thereby negating it.

The hardening of the Cold War in the early 1980’s, with the Thatcher/Reagan axis, brought cruise missiles into Europe. A wave of anti-nuclear sentiment, similar to that experienced at Greenham Common and Molesworth, was also felt in Germany. Germany, divided between East and' West by the Iron Curtain, was effectively the front-line for WW3, and so the anger and fear was perhaps more intense than in Britain. This came to a head in spectacular fashion at Wackersdorf (1985-86), a nuclear power station site in Bavaria close to the German-Austrian border. A stockade was built to protect the protest camp, which went on for three years. Wackersdorf marked a high water mark of European eco-militancy.

In German cities like Hamburg, there are groups of Autonomen, anarchist and punk squatters, who are often involved in protests. Similar groups exist in Holland. In one notable example, Autonomen occupied a civil defence control centre in Amsterdam, locking on to equipment and preventing a spring NATO exercise. Holland has a strong history of opposition to militarism, and the 1960’s Kabouters (elves), for example, represent a pinacle of radicalism. The Autonomen and such groups are the legacy of this.

In April 1987, Autonomen blockaded Borsle nuke power station in’ for three days. During this same period of time, RaRa, a militant anti racist group, carried out sabotage against AMRO bank cash tills, as well as Shell petrol stations, as a protest against their involvement in South Africa.

RaRa also attacked racist MP's, even bombing one of them. In Southern Belgium, at around the same time, FCC, (Fighting Communist Cells) blew up NATO arms dumps. In France, between 1979 and 1987 called Action Directe carried out attacks, nssnssinatin? ,h Renault, George Besse, in 1986. In 1987, the French security fa ^'rfC(or ", four actinsu. Jean Marc Rouillan, Natalie Menignon, Joel/ a Georges Cipriani. These anesLs seem to have stopped Action Di^cJ l,f)r°n '^d

In the early 1990's ‘Eco-Commandos’ attacked Shell ner , Southern France, also a group called 'Brothers of the Wnir Sf,1ti°ns ln hunting facilities and equipment. Protest groups, similar to ^n protested against cars and roads. By 1990 a groun mil SC Seen in thS large plasdc pipes to block autobahns ° gr0UP c^d ‘Global 2000’ used large plastic pipes to block autobahns.

Richard Hunt

One of the people involved with the early Green Anarchist was Richard Hunt.

Hunt had been a member of the 1970’s Ecological Party (which later became the Green Party), and had written a pamphlet, The Natural Society, in 1978, (discussed above.)

Richard Hunt resigned fam then“ X S"“Xl“nc“rof decentralization. Hunt had ako ™‘'e” a pamphlet ‘Who’s Starving Them?' as a response to the Brandt Report, as part of his work on the Ecology Party’s Third World Working Group.

Between 1982 and 1984, Richard Hunt had been involved in GreenLine, a magazine founded by John Carpenter in Oxford. Hunt got into conflict with Carpenter, and so left GreenLine for GA in 1984. His irascible style brought him into conflict with the other editors as he tried to impose his economic analysis over the magazine. In 1986/1987, Hunt wrested control of GA from to others by transferring funds into a separate account, and then asking Alan Albon and the rest to either support his editorial line or resign. *


After Hunt took control, GA went into decline Ha ni;

readers, perhaps the most’ graphic examokof rhk\± many of to Biggest Bastard in theUniverse' whiih w^s an attaS d L" 3 P°Ster ‘God Quaker peacenik types. (GA issue 9, Winter 1986) k °" the beliefs of the The most damaging attack though, was initiate u a .

0,'8'”al Pie“! °f eikonal. who wrote

c on the print

ri •6- H-

„ ,t that time engaged in a long running and vicj workers, 'v.e Jch m Fortress Wappmg. This editorial has with Rupert GA „nd lhe Class Struggle Anarchists, sectarian gu'fbelw

to this day- .

■ne floundered on, increasingly isolated, thr„ Under (I’mXs time. Stonehenge was seen as a countercu|tUr^ ‘h, late d'ctose inks ^ththe hcn«c feS“V ?'Chard Hunt hi™'lfS point. GA had elose h pofee wshrng, havtng joined the COI)VS


inrteBe± and soup, but by his own admission be.ng first throng riot cops moved in.

^cdvnl trashings of 1985/86 led to the formation of the Fr The Stonehenge Fes % peop]e get to the stones, informing the£ .. road blocks etc from London Oxford, Bristol, Bath and GJastonbur5 rtfo^ GA had considerable input to this, providing sophistical E gwhfch made sure that Stonehenge 1987 took p ace, but this Was bXra festival happened at the stones. The next year the pofrce provoked a riot and after that the 1986 Public Order Act exclusion zones were imposed on the area and countercultural politics moved on to other things.

jf'tnrini arouD tocether with Paul Whymark. This Hunt tried to set up a new edit gr^P^ Qxford anarchis[s were also had around half a dozen m ,'p T-„er Q^er members included involved in had Jin^ with DAM. Some Oxford students

M militant squatters / travellers involved in the 1987 Stonehenge cantpatgn.

The new editorial group collapsed due to personality clashes, having produced only one issue (No 15). Hunt formed a second editoral group in 1988, together with Chris Laughton and Paul Rogers. Laughton considered himself a Libertarian and strongly identified with EFIUSA’s Formanite faction. After Laughton left, Kevin Lano, a sexual liberationist, joined the editorial group. A period of rebuilding began, which included forging links with militant animal rights groups and former peace activists who supported direct action.

a'?'”™6 period,Ihe CND hierarchs at Peuc‘ News were busy slagging off Autonomous Peace Action for their attacks on the Upper Hayford US afr force the CNilerl'^ood

In spring 1988 (issue 18) GA took another interesting turn who • maps and details of two US spy bases, Croughton and BarfordSt' ff’1”' Banbury in Oxfordshire The article gave the low down on who SV'" were used for. ‘It is likely that such information was crucial in targets in Tripoli and Benghazi during last year's US bombing of Libya^Th! article also suggested people occupy aerials or radomes in attempts o pre™ them from being used. The detai m this article marks a turning poinNnX quality of its investigative journalism, and a quantum leap in the magarines' seriousness.

Solidarity with animal liberation militants bore fruit when Jeff Sh^nh^ animal liberalionist who firebombed Luton Arndale Centre dunng thi ia“ 1980’s fur war, described himself as a Green Anarchist. On TV, GA spoke in favour of the assassination attempt against vivisectionists Margaret Baskerville and Max Headley by anonymous animal rights extremists Baskerville was a Porton Down vet who patched up target animals so they could be repeatedly used m ballistics experiments. (GA 24, Summer 1990)

This solidarity brought divisions in the editorial group between Rogers and Lano on the one hand, and Hunt on the other. The situation worsened when a UAB was issued in support of the Doddlesden 8, Hunt Sabs who rioted and attacked Alan SummersgiB’s house following the death of Hunt Sab Mike Hill.


If 1984 was a pivotal year for dissent in Britain, 1990 will be considered almost as important. 1990 was the year of the Poll Tax. We had protests in many towns, we had riots and somewhere round about 11 Million people not paying the hated tax.

1990 broke new ground in that it showed revolt was possible, even following the long period of defeats during the 1980’s. The poll tax changed the face of British politics for good.

With the poll tax struggle, the delusional belief in the passivist party/ pressure group way of political (in)action was fundamentally undermined. Labour opposed non-payment, and so became irrelevant to dissent; whereas in,the 1983 General Election it at least engaged with dissent over the anti nuclear issue. With the poll tax, Labour sidelined itself - everybody can remember Neil Kinnock’s speech about “Toy Town Revolutionaries".

With the Poll Tax, extra-Parliamentary activity ^CQhf not just the preserve of a few activists. ™ousa? S’ 1Iapse of Communism in were involved. People were encouraged by t p . somethjng of the Eastern Europe in November 1989. Many of us hoped that sometm g same-thing would happen here.


v|CTlMb ur

against the How, the movement away from representation, against the RllIl'1,ng ards action, the Green Party was still racked with the delusion about slide tow ‘ es> partly, the cause of this was the success of the Green Party voting an*|ecljons gven after polling 2,292,695 votes in June 1989, 14.9% in t,ie hut winning no seats, the Green Party continued to squander its °Xy in eiec,°.ali-n

vkvavik, many ex CNDers threw themselves into the Green Party, as post Key 7 ^me cnd Member' sold out on Labour's commitment to Ki.nn0C J disarmament. The new recruits were politically naive and easy ballot f dder for the glossy green consumerist's postal proxy block votes.

v t'ms of their own ‘success’, the Greens went against their original sophy of decentralization in the push for electoralism, with the emphasis

phl ooing the media, and control of the party by the Green 2000 eco-yuppie °r We controlled by Jonathan Porritt and Sara Parkin. We can characterize this as the battle between grass roots reality and the plastic facade.

ioon was a pivotal year for Green Anarchist, because with this surge of fidence brought by the collapse of Communism and all the activity around

c, p0u Tax campaign, more people got involved. One of the new editors of CA Kevin Lano, was present at the sit down protest outside Downing Street that’precipitated the Trafalgar Square Poll Tax riot. With new editors and writers the magazines’ centre of political gravity shifted leftwards. Richard Hunt became increasingly isolated.

People from GA were involved in the anti-Gulf War protests. People trashed recruitment centres, GA spoke at the NVDAN Blockade of Parliament. ‘What’s the point of sitting down in front of an empty building? We should be at the bases trashing the bombers!’ As well this, GA’s were arrested for fence cutting and causing considerable mayhem at USAF Fairford, the B52 base.

GA went to the Green Party conferences in Bridlington and Wolverhampton during 1991, trying to protest against the Green 2000 take over In,makinS protest we were not trying to save the Green Party from itse u pus g forwards the direct action alternative and calling for radical ecentra iza

The cover of the issue sold at Bridlington, GA27, had a Picture' °^a

Green Party member, together with the caption 'Gornto GreenThis proved too much for the eco-yuppies and GA wa soun(j.

conference, lest we contaminate the back-drop to their g esfs we bytes by holding the offensive yellow covers up. In ma ing port and

made' links with other disgruntled greens and ottereo pp

i rn n group trying to start up a more moderate Bri.. ,

community basedjrect^ ha/^ «^ti„g

^’excluded in the previous eco-bore conspiracy in 1982. What goes comes around.

Tn GA 28 Richard Hunt wrote a piece supporting ‘our boys' in the 1991 Gu|f to whiih was published alongside another article, written by Paul Rogers aiTkevin Lano, attacking the idea of Patriotism. This was bizarre given that Green Anarchists had been arrested for protesting against the war. This became the dispute which led to Hunt leaving GA to set up his own magazine

Alternative Green.

Hunt had argued in the past that kinship was central to primitive society. He extrapolated beyond this from kin loyalty to nation state. Alternative Green pushed nationalist ideas 'Cry God for Harry, England and St George', along with such notions as 'peck order' (Hierarchy) and 'ethnic suicide'. We quickly found out that Alternative Green was sexist and speciesist, as well as racist, wholly at odds with Richard Hunt's previous work, and in 1992, we initiated a boycott of his magazine which Richard Hunt acknowledged 'has done me great harm'. Finding few takers since that time, Hunt moved further right and Iona Coliectiv*1* Trans’Europa'a Vnlkish nationalist group, successor to the

issue n we went over diversifying, spreading prod involved in order to break up had been characteristic of the 1

After he left, the GA editorial declared we were “now free to promote a more pro-situ, primitivist perspective”. The magazine became more emphatic in style, reporting ALF actions. At first we changed the colour of the cover to dark green inan attempt to distance ourselves from Alternative Green.. Then to newsprint format, while at the same time iction and distribution through all the people the concentration of power in one place which lunt years.

INTO THE 1990’s...

nd the second phase of the history of Green Anarchist, the post To undefSla necessary to understand the growth of radical environmental Hunt yearS’ inents during this period. The 1990’s have seen a massive protest n10 :ronrnental militancy, and GA has reflected this tendency, increase m env

f m GA 25 (autumn 1990) the 'War on Developers' issue, GA At least tro ^litant direct action, and was considerably in advance of this advocated of movemen( v/e published a leaflet inside the

tendency in w $tOp DeveiOpers - Sabotage the Ultimate Veto'. This magazine outsjde’the Wolverhampton Green Party Conference that year, Issue was s politics of electoral sell out going on inside. In 1990,

in stark co Village was saved from developers by the threat of

the green GA claimed the first tree spikings in the UK. This

prefigures the arrival of Earth First! in Britain.

the growth of environmentalism has been a reaction to the way the In paFt ovement was ignored and marginalized during the 1970’s and 1980’s. n^Tbv higher temperatures, smog and the water shortages, during the Tooifrs we have seen a greater sense of urgency, a wider public understanding f h crisis At the same time, traditional left wing groups and unions have h seen as impotent, even collaborationist (The legacy of Kinnock’s "Toy Twn Revolutionaries” speech,) and have gone through a period of decline. p° le who before might have joined the Labour Party or unions as a road to dissent have joined the direct action based environmental groups instead.

The Thatcher years brought a crisis of legitimacy which has spread through all levels of the state and led to a massive demoralization and loss of confidence in official institutions. Public enquiries are now widely understood to be farcical. After the many privatizations, corruption of institutions is seen to be endemic.

We can see this crisis of legitimacy too, in the way the state uses violence or coercion as a first resort and very rarely tries persuasion. There is not that same common set of assumptions or shared set of values. The Conservative Party has been mounting a kind of scorched earth policy which can only serve to deepen the degree of social collapse.

Between 1992 - 1996, the main area of political dissent and resistance to the status quo has not been the struggle in the workplace - indeed there has been j virtually no struggle there at all beyond tokenistic one day stoppages, and many people do not even have a workplace. The main areas of dissent has ; een in. the anti-roads movement, and in animal rights. During this period the pace has been speeding up all the time - in early 1995, a surge of protests

• ,»live exports of animals at Shoreham, at Brhhtiinn^

5Coventry airport took all of us by sorprist, pe^^'“


It ffiiul be non-violent. Two reasons I can see for direct action are to publicise an example of environmental abuse to e"t boycotts and other actions going; and less importantly to eet people off their backs and publicize deep-ecology... We must use the media, it’s important to stage publicity stunts

Interview with Jake. GA26 Spring 1991 page 15

In late 1991 a group called Earth First’ was im™,, 4 • America. Earth First! had a slogan “No Compromise in nj?° BrK?in from Earth!” and had a spanner and stone mallet crossed nvpr • °f Mother original US movement hammered metal spikX X?m cutter’s saws. The US movement had split into two f^- damage c,ear Formanistas emphasizing clandestinity, ecotage and sin^°nS ln ^90; the saving; with the Judi Bari Redwood Summer Xpaig^X’ ™ *'lde™«s based coalition aimed at social transformation. P S ng ° bui d a broad

Bari renounced tree spiking to try to win the cnnnnrt i bosses. The FBI responded to this by bombing Bari and D^fGf""“

It was not clear back in 1992 whether the British trnncni™, same path of eco-militancy or become just another W°U d f° ow dle mounting media stunts on the Greenpeace or Friend^ gr°Up

Many people who might have joined the Green Partyhad been^’ the Porrit/Parkm/Green 2000 mediagenic facade EF< also took n"nT people from the Non Violent Direct Action Network (NVDAN) after hoS a joint demonstration at Dungeness in late 1991. 'HVLWN' after holding

The tendency towards specialization was seen early on with the tm„^t ^b'ockade of the MV Singer Willstream on X

r 2, °1n^SU,K,! h.ad COldu fee‘ about the raore ™litanI forms of direct of X ™d r 8e- ln,part Ihls was a ,e8acY °f,he CND days and a product wi h Ti „t J'"volvPd-Jalte Burbridge and Jason Totrance were aligned CND 'SnJ„whBn"fUS EF! faCti°"- George Marshal1 and An«ie ZoUw<of

'• • fence CU“'"gs) also steere<i EF(UK)! towards tokenistic

mcaiagemc actions.

iX?"- Were *n con^,ct ' NVDA protesters against the ALF 1992 F,e e,coteurs- lines quickly became apparant. On 8th April ison s peat cutting machinery was damaged on Hatfield and Thorne

r. .ndcr Almost al once, in panic, EF(UK)! rn^ ,

Moors. «* ^2 „ setting the pattern for the future and lurJ'r' di,, iae,ffrZric oflhe original slogan: In Compromise No Defen^d $ empty r,ieiul '

tendency worried about their 'respectable - ne eco-b»reai>c 1 wt0 condemn the Thorne Mord^bp.

iobbyist ^^e sf„K time (April 1992) EPI held a me« At ro' jUL shouldn't be critical of each other and that Efa

ag[eed the two> g ^keywraKhing was 'neither condemned nor conT'”11'1



ne ELF called ‘Earth Nights'- set date* where .sabotage would be carri ™As mentioned in Larry O'Hara * book Turning Up The Hear (page $ ELF called for ‘a broad alliance of environmental, animal liberation, worker anti-fascist and revolutionary groups.

The eco-bureaucrats monopolised Earth First's communication media suppressing information about direct action in its own magazine Wild. The original Earth First Action Update (EFAU) was still-born, thanks to the eco- crats, but later refloated, and has proved to be well worthwhile as a voice of eco-protest. A more militant EF! journal, Do Or Die, originally pictured an elf coming out of an explosion, holding a molotov on its cover, but this somewhat explicit revolutionary image was replaced with softer American pictures mo the letter 1 of ELF was shrunk, when Do Or Die was taken over bv th bureaucrat tendency. ' ine

oftHe Tnized i

use of tokemsuc protests to focus attention awav from thfinf P,I8erist buses on the other ide of the pianet. (Rainforest and trodoN

st cmber cf.mpaisn

Tirana to formulae ‘nr W‘h Joh" Ssed's feinfot,' ? g‘ Marsha,‘ be Liverpool blockade

t1’ -

. tactics away f<o™ ships aM , ,c. <witcheli a in the yards was more <»«„„ ' . v 1991 6F’1.TW'"°°1V blocked. Un'*® ships, tim^,, .



A follow up protest against Timbmet Northern in Rochdale oo flop. Thus, the early success of Tilbury, Liverpool and Timh Jui* w not be sustained. EF! would call a blockade or occupation h ccT publicity for the company would do their work for them ’ ?Opin8 that b campaigning, this depended on the media and so was doomed t/- meihod of tired themselves out and wasted limited finances rushing from ° ta'lure- Ef'er the next (‘It’s Monday, it must be Rochdale!’) and cops quick? bIocka^to cope with the blockades, telling the companies to close down fakIearned to yards would then be sealed off with hundreds of cops, and the c day'

the rest by throwing black propaganda against Earth First । i n°^P^ies dld injunctions against identifiable protesters. ' a fakjng 0(J(

n,e blockades became boring for the protesters involved, besides which the could see this and in any case newspaper proprietors were unlikely inv nublicitv favourable or otherwise, thus undermining EFI's Ke rationahzStion behind their campaign, A post-Rochdale Thorne Moors protest attracted a mere six demonstrators and the sequence of protests died.

The eco-bureaucrats under George Marshall set up an office in Oxford, which brought the activists to refer to the group as ‘Office First!’ but even when they got their office the eco-crats did not know what to do with it. Meanwhile at Twyford Down, various acts of sabotage were carried out, including the flooding of the River Itchen Water Meadow on 22nd May (13 arrests). Such direct action put the antics of the OF! faction and their mediagenic tropical hardwood protests in the shade.

An information sheet, Partizan, circulated, giving details of directors’ addresses. Partizan called for an ELF/ALF link-up, and backed sabotage. The existence of Partizan so worried Tarmac and Group 4 that Cjhe directors were put under guard. This seened a far shout from the puny Office First! attempts to get themselves on TV.

The rot of the internal Office First! politics continued. They sought to marginalize the young, enthusiastic activist strand within the main group, expelling Davey Garland as a scapegoat for their own failure to mobilize the Earth First! movement to protest against the Liverpool Tall Ships Race and

Quincentennial Celebrations of Cdutnbus' discovery of America of Genocide.

_.pr of 1992 and onwards, the Office First! tencU During within the Earth First movement. Two key

under attack from * credibijity were the Thorne Moors peat cutter?ere which damaged ur ■. Northem occupation. An article 'The Reali * d the Published in "

,/ Sunnression was written by Green Anarchists in re-w Realization a PP^ structure of OF!. The credibility of Office First?n to the «ntralizeb .' d by (his, and the failure of the T.mbmet protests to L? Stl'yatX »t Rochdale, for example, gaining a mere io of hosdle airtime on Granada Reports.


On the 9th December 1992, the Dongas Tribe at Twyford Down were cleared out in a large scale operation reminiscent of the Molesworth eviction. Poiice and security wore yellow fluorescent jackets and so the eviction came to be named ‘Yellow Wednesday’. Early in 1993, a GA pamphlet ‘A New Strategy For Twyford’ suggested a switch from the failed passive static campaign towards a more flexible guerilla war against the road.

A New Strategy ... declared orthodox lobbying techniques bankrupt. The emphasis had to shift towards physically stopping the road. It suggested setting up a telephone tree with a central public number and PO Box based in


The PO Box and central phone number would act as a clearing house for information and to offer legal assistance to arrested protesters. Behind this, a Home Counties network of activists would gather information on subcontractors during regular visits to the site. Outside Twyford, a national campaign of obstruction against secondary targets, eg Whatley Quarry was called for.

ELF sabotage attacks would run as a separate arm of the anti-Twyford campaign. Legal research and fund raising support groups were also mooted. Not everything in A New Strategy ... has happened, but many of the suggestions made in this booklet were taken up and developed. It “laid the groundwork for all subsequent anti-road campaigns."

During 1993 A New Strategy... was debated and criticised in the anti-roads movement. Attempts were made to apply it to the MU campaign with 'Operation Roadblock' but undermined by the media orientated campaigners led by the London Freedom Network. A New Strategy... sought to shift the

A A- .

, wav from lobbying and attempting to influent ,u

^“ds mconveniencing lhe deve,0Pets- ,he decisioi)

Eco-militancy was taken in an explicitly violent direction wi(h th

F bY-now legendary Terra-lst. This jumped a long the Pub

EP towards the European model. The Terra-fa was S the So* Pressed by the police, a fact which doubtless contrihF apocryphal status. Some of the ideas in A New Strategy^.

published as 'Wanstonia Falling tn the Terra-ht and later popp'd. w die Brighton Autonomist's magazine Aujheben. y lar‘ze<| er,

Travellers and Ravers

During this same period, travellers and ravers received a lot r attention, the most noteworthy incident being the massive °f med'a Castlemoreton Common near Malvern, in the summer of 1992 at began to turn its attention on the travellers, moving toward h state legislation. Police forces across Britain pooled information under S<( the CM Snapshot’ and councils operated a similar scheme to reoo rUperati°n movements, while tame Tory Tabloids demonised ravers and travellers'1^

AtTwyford Down, the Dongas Tribe were evicted on Yellow Wedn^ a protests continued well after that point. Group 4 Security and Brave r> but

of Southampton were called in against protesters, in mLh the ^De'ectives

“P >0. at Twyford " k As an link

of Protester/^ ' lh the help of loml ' “ e 0(the tand of work h„ '

“ who were then injuncted nlPJ°llce’the detective, „? ays got ®^sownedito JUnCtei®rdJuly |993) tect,v« produced lists

nlitY *,UV' ’

(X Battle of the Haney unuge.

^.tedly Charge the bridge armed with where prote ,

~rs had tn

fln.bn.et 2 demonstrated OFI, lack of Understa„

,'ard was occup.ed, the eco-crats triedI ln« of the situam

Argument hinged on who would put h-Jr ne80tiate with “ Af,«'he demonstrators to block access to tire yard wh??aho8’ny PI-mvA’?"''"’ flmbmet office workers were still takino^" e ,hese Wks wX. h,fted by further inflamed the situation. 8 down telephone orde's^'d* h"'

la entering into negotiations OF! had demon,,.,,.. •

character. Out tn the yard, workers blamed d. d “s fundamental reformplanks and making work for them. A omE demo"strators for movi ?' prevent the negotiations led to intervention' bXT ‘°StOnn the »«i« Md Rather than have violence, a step which would u Workers and nearfl™ publicity at Timbmet’s expense, and in all problbm? brought the “»-d hardwood campaign, OF! pressed demonstram™ ? y saved lheir tropical sheds. Moderates, among them proto-fluffy DonXs'd^ ?e planks ‘® the other protesters refused. EF! compromisers have bJ ’ nUt man^ of the Carriers ever since. ve °een called 'Mahogany

As mentioned above, OF! had already been damaged hv n D Suppression of the ELF, which had been debated^ EFfUKf" '”’.10" and Melton Mowbray meeting. OFl's rationale had ->!<,. k s ear '993 distancing itself, cutting off the careerists' route to (selfipromof^ n F°E

4. Hampshire Cop, .ho

Agency - these now (1996) form the vanguard of the state's attack on theXn movement. slccn

Perhaps the Twyford court cases mark a legal milestone, with excessive costs (Millions of pounds) being awarded against the named protesters. Even this was a sideshow when compared to the militancy of the protesters. Sabotage and direct action being taken against the road, eg on the 23rd May 1993, a CAT 245 was destroyed in an arson attack - £333,000 damage.

nr w °F W^S tbe ,sPfjngk°ard to other actions. Since then we’ve had the Ml 1 rh a°d ^y^ostone. We’ve had Pollok up in Glasgow, we’ve had had S 1 ifrotest? at Cuercten, Earcroft and Stanworth, near Blackburn. We’ve th °Jbury Hi”- The protests are turning round the road problem. Many of

e road schemes have been cancelled. The Royal Commission on Pollution port last year was critical of the road building programme.


Green Anarchist has reported on nnii road protests b„,, in the para-political field. In April 1993 we helped publish a“,been ac,ive which was a booklet exposing an attempt by (he state m COINTELPRO style attack on the anarchist movement. ™ke a

ta lore 1992, a self-confessed Searchlight agent, Tim Hpnni» ..

dummy lists of'fascists to GA. Aepple; had earlier infiltrated the BNP and got hold of their address lists on behalf of Searchlight. The intention was that GA would publish these under our own name as an attempt to incite anti-fa,cfcte l0 attack the few genuine names on the list. GA wasn't that stupid.

At the same time as this, it was being claimed that Nazis were publishing lists of left wingers in magazines called 'Redwatch' and "Target* Among those being listed and attacked, so it was claimed, were Class War and Tim Scargill. We didn't find out until much later that this information came three months before the second issue of Target listing CW and Red Action was published So how did Tim Hepple know that?

The intention of all this was to kick off a street war between left and right, and then use the public perception of the violence to later justify' repressive legislation. Fascists did attack the. left, for example Key Books in Birmingham Bull Ring, Mushroom Books in Nottingham, the Morning Star newspaper and even Freedom.

The plan backfired though, because of Larry O'Hara. GA had originally been vulnerable to attack by Searchlight because of <Richard Hunt's shift towards the right.-In attempting to redress this inbalance, we published Ray Hill's 'Creating a Community' in GA issue 29, but paradoxically, it was this article that alerted O'Hara to what was happening.

The situation was blown wide open with the publication of ALTF, and then later Larry O’Hara wrote the follow up At War With The Truth. These profoundly affected the anti-fascist movement in Britain, by making open association with state assets like Searchlight unacceptable to many - By 1995 Red Action openly attacked Searchlight and by March 1996, Searchlight was forced to drop address listings of anti-fascist groups.

Since A Lie Too Far, GA has published articles on the Leeds affair. Here, a part time fascist market trader, Tony White, is believed to have got hold of a list of left wing activists from Leeds Other Paper, Northern Star, and passed them to the fascists. We can see from this how the Leeds affair is similar to Hepplegate. From GA37 onwards, GA focussed attention on the person who is alleged to have worked with White, a Searchlight agent named as Paul Bowman in GA40/41 'A Bosnia of Consequence'.

Anions our other successes in this field o.

an attack on David Icke following, the in,~) w<^re <1mon , We disrupted Icke meetings and caused f exposwe of him if'™,0 Publish result of the exposure ofTrtmsEurona's p of "’em to be^ Davt Blaok nfthe Green & Brown Anarchist smZ of^

I hope dial A Lie Too Far and the parnnhi ' P Fo,ded- played an important and valuable nT and artic^ that fmt movement with itself, and with its own . n'nL COnfr°n(ine thp°Wed h^e this time we've had the rise of CO,labor^on withth! anth^ debacle, but we've also had and fZsue? ,he ofc

and the Welling Riot. Accesses with the Battik ftelectlon

tne of Waterloo,

As with the 1980 s, where Thatcher cut the ground from underneath the National Front, history repeats itself and the Tory party is again taking on board the same xenophobic rhetoric with the Asylum Act. The anti-fascist movement is so concerned with politically marginalized fascists that it ignores and even collaborates with the state, the most fascist and totalitarian system imaginable. When the anti fascist movement aligns itself with the state in this way, it stays within the state-controlled zero-sum game fascism/anti-fascism.

GA together with Larry O'Hara have presented anti-fascism with the alternative of building up a genuinely independent anti-fascist movement. AFA's only response so far seems to have been to treat this as a threat to their vested interests in keeping things the same, and have 'put their unity before their integrity', telling GA and O’Hara to ‘Shut up’ rather than deal with the matters raised.

I hope that these articles manage to go beneath the surface and expose something of what is really going on out there. GA has played an important part in this, as with ALTF, Larry O’Hara expanded on this with his book Turning Up the The Heat, MIS After the Cold War (1994). When we succeed with these, something positive is achieved. I want to strike a note of caution here. In my view, the danger is that people can develop an unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories, and start to see spooks everywhere. In the end this could lead to radical paralysis. (As an antidote to this, see Larry O’Hara’s Frontline #3 article on the measures to take). Returning to my comments on the anti-fascists' failure to develop an independent movement, we have to go beyond this, develop and then pul into effect our own agenda.


During the summer of 1994, some of the most militant protes s Home took place in Britain. The cause of this wave aclivi7,W. 'pqmeiawjn Secretary, Michael Howard's Criminal Justice Bill (CJB) whic

November 1994,

The 1994 CJA replaced provisions in the 19rr r • 1986 Public Order Act. Specific parts of the 1994 rnirial Just; travellers, hunt sabs, ramblers, and ravers A Wn™ Were ainC Act. established, and the 'right to silence' fundamental attack on civil liberties and rabidly am lfius the «aba, ’s, aspects of the counter-culture. Ute CJB was support^ tT"?''0 X*’s!


Green Anarchist opposed the CJA, calling on people t Z

making it unworkable. If it look cops a fortnight to evict°a the , houses on the route of the Mil in Leytonstone, (eg Clare' about five or six days but also cost the pigs £4M and

3 street of ct ‘[veT"‘ Ro^<l confidence of protest movements.), then the problems of enfoi"-^ would wreck it, were that level of militant opposition to it to beT"8 act GA suggested using telephone trees (GA34 page 4) to help build Upalized making sure the police were confronted with 50+ mobs of protesteTs^5’ time they tried an eviction. ’ ever>

This militant approach was not shared in the rest of the anti-CJA movement still stuck in the futile and ineffective 'lobbying' mode carried over from Twyford and Solsbury Hill. The so-called ‘officers’ of the No Ml 1 campaign were Twyford veterans or local squatters / evictees, many of the fluffy London Freedom Network associated with the Mil protests were based at the Rainbow Centre, a squatted church in North London and these were typical of this approach. .

To Protest is to be confrontational,..

' 1

No Ml 1 had a ridiculous non-confrontational position, denying ecotage - even swearing was ‘outlawed’ by these self-appointed ‘protest police’. Well, all this fluffy bullshit did nothing to halt the mass arrests for trivial stuff like Breach of the Peace. j

J “Fluffyism’ seems to have originated with the Solsbury Hill anti-road (1

campaign, although the mental attitude behind it goes back a long way into the ,

1980’s CND campaigns and beyond. The term ‘fluffy’ originated with pacifist calls to ‘Keep It Fluffy!’ meaning to keep the protests non-violent. As such the “ fluffy plays into the hand of the violent police who know no matter how hard « the fluffy protesters are hit, they will not hit back. '< I

‘Fluffyism’ relates to the period around 1994, and so it is anachronistic to \

consider earlier protests, eg the NVDAN Dungeness blockade etc etc as j

‘fluffy’. Neither fluffies nor Gandhian NVDA wank-offs regard self-defence as legitimate - but the latter welcomes violence,against protesters as proof of their own moral superiority. The call to ‘keep it fluffy’ is essentially one of cowardice, but it is also a confession of radical failure.

according w mythology, Solsbury Hill nr„, m ^-confrontation when they wen ,

Boston late nt night, and stoncd .a^ed whik w„ik ^)opled methods as used earlier against Wi„UU,SUa' oontracto^ back torn Women (remember Dierdre SainsburS LS Dl8gers in Ln 1 v'ttie Dongas Tribe at Twyford. Instead ofh.' ^°ksw°"h Pron?' Greenham physically protect themselves, the So sburv S '°geth" and tonr

To return to the CJA. Symptomatic of the same fluffy mediagenic pattern was the squat at Artillery Mansions, 411 flats found at 75 Victoria Street, London SW1, which had been empty for 18 years. The Artillery Mansions squat got heavy media attention after it was used in a Green Party election broadcast, but after the broadcast, interest in it waned. The dossers re-housed by the Green Party took over the place, making it impossible for anyone else to live there. Eventually most of the people left it, and then after the usual legal hearings the squatters were evicted, with no Ml 1 obstruction style tactics to reinforce them.

Other big London squats went the same way. The Rainbow Church operated soup kitchens but post CJA dossers took them over and things became too heavy. Cool Tan Arts in Brixton was set up by political people and artists, but was later taken over by ‘E’ dealers with their mobile phones, who took full advantage of the regular ground floor rave scene. When the threat of eviction eventually came, the art faction booted out the politicos. The art faction then learned the lesson of solidarity when their turn for eviction came a few months later.

The worst aspect of the fluffies came during the summer 1994 anti-CJA protests. The fluffies did not quite manage to wreck the anti-CJA protests but they had a damned good try. The first phase of their contamination came to notice when they urged people not to oppose the police when violently attacked. A leaflet 'Keep It Fluffy!' was handed out at a protest on July 24th 1994. This offered several tips on how to deal with cop violence. In the words of one person present:

The third lip was the most shocking as it advised forming a DOORMAT (this was actualy printed in heavy type to emphasize it!) 1 couldn't believe it, in the face of oppression someone expects us to UE DOWN AND BE WALKED OVER!

Pie Face

GA36 page 15

|CSt when things wmv.------------------------------------ j

^XOl"“" i3SC i«s'erS *"

rhc same protest, fluffies threatened to sprav ''tronhi.m .

dyC “"d tned 10 PU" the masks off Prote«er?inefr”nTof seerio^y

Brians such as these radically undermined fluffy credihili.,,. . t

een as little more than part of the state itself and inn J 7 "1 came'» £ anger against the CJB intensified through the summer?y Sldeli"«i as push itscal1 for mllltant direcl acti<>n: 'Under the act ?h» a°A c?ntinued to £k are over? (GA36 page 21). GA called for civi ± °f Gandhia" rhe CJA, not just civil disobedience, with the ultimateZZ- T response to free zones. Hedonists unwilling to fight tn^on of creating cop

tokenistic fluffies - all were attacked. ’ P ‘ ‘ ,St middIe c,as« martyrs,

As a direcl challenge to the back door secrecy aspect of the CJA., GA37 published a list of MP's names and addresses. It has to be said that the anger present in GA was no mere rhetoric, but turned into action in the first week of August in Oxford. On Monday August 1st, a disused nursing home and derelict cinema (Renamed Section 6 Cinema) were occupied. People were first evicted from the cinema, and then six sqautters were dragged out of the nursing home, and beaten up by cops. A woman was smashed against a lamppost for daring to photograph the cop actions. The same evening, fifty people occupied the lobby of St Aldates cop shop:

On 1st August, riot cops brutally and illegally shut two squats Oxford Freedom Network opened against the CJB - did we whinge and whine or call on the unions for a General Strike? Did we fuck - we surrounded the local cop shop and a riot ensued. For some of the pigs, it was their worst nightmare come true - for the rest, they know not to fuck with us now over the



Page 21

The level of anger continued into the autumn. On the 9th October, there was a major protest in London, with Class War handing out leaflets urging people to 'Keep it Spikey!' This ended in a riot in Hyde Park. Here the fluffies were able to put their doormat philosophy into practice, and were caught up between rioters and police, being trampled by both sides. If any of them were still left in the area after this, they would have then found themselves being fumigate with CS gas.

. „ escorted into Parliament for up's had t0 , shields. On the 4th NoveR1b5r S mher. th COP r'°. ant and the 19th saw a pr' the I9’1’ underne’ f of Parl'“^wi;h hundreds of people

On th6 f the b'1 of the byntpne.wl


nn and SO the final effect of this on Drn

anti-TraveM S

p nf the CJA,anHpn District C,?Ur\f travellers. The council had fai|e(J S01?* n against Weald forest ? Childrens Act. The

deC,S'°o evict the Cr^ ^jfers' circumstance j SUSpect we have

Jo account the trave legal mus er the certitude Qf

* S CJA has y? to * justice pr^h GA

has played in

opposing the C

radical history-

Animal liberation

Parallel to the anti road protests, a similar rise in militancy has been felt jn other areas too. In anti-Fascism, we had the Battle of Waterloo, and the Welling Riot. We have had some good anti CJA protests, with imaginative use of tactics such as climbing onto the the roof of parliament. The environmental movement had a major success with the Brent Spar by combining Greenpeace media stunts with garage forecourt protests and a consumer boycott.

Comparable in size and importance to the roads protests, the animal rights movement has grown in strength and maturity, and grown in its capacity to hit the system. In 1993 the Grand National was wrecked by a handful of protesters, reportedly costing the bookies £63M and making the establishment a laughing stock.

The 1995 wave of live export protests came as the culmination of a long process. The success of the ALF's fur war in the late 1980’s (one estimate put damage at £29M with events like the Dingles fur store blaze in Plymouth) meant that they had to move on to the meat industry, moving up from low level attacks on high street butchers’ shops towards attacking infrastructure - slaughterhouses, and meat trucks. In 1994 Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) organized a boycott of ferries carrying live animals. Commercial

- Stenna were carrying passengers and animals for slaughter

i « hoNCoU could hurt the ferrv


ie «as W,^

u route ' uc to the te ’ rA oettinR out of the hve

five e*Por\ \ettefboVV^ ced d'eV companies and unset i'lanartrt^ SCpprrieS a^^nr Open 10 °?eebatties of Coventry, Shore^S


>^*tsc ^’an

The live export protest surge thus had a big ALF input from th of those Justice Department letter bombs. The pictures of th ° becau

cows and sheep motivated many people, particularly after th6 trUcks fu|I f veal calves was exposed. The legal channel to changing lCrue|ty to tJ blocked by Europe, and the level of violence <t the ports 6 P°licy was moderate groups like CIWF. The live exports protests ate un"1?031*^ financial reserves, due to Home Secretary, Michael Howard sXP°,Ce force caps. Ing pending

The live export protests at Shoreham forced their way into everybodie ’ attention with that graphic image of the truck windscreen being repeated)8 smashed. During the 1990’s three animal rights activists have been killed- (n Mike Hill, 9th February 1991 by the Cheshire Beaglers; (2) Tom Whorby 3J April 1993 by Cambridgeshire Hunt; and (3) Jill Phipps, 1st February 1’995 protesting against live exports at Coventry Airport.

Just as Emily Wilding Davidson concentrated public attention on the Suffragettes in the early years of the Twentieth Century, events like these force people to take animal rights seriously. The commitment and energy of both the roads protesters and the animal rights people has now attracted the attention of the state. This leads me to consideration of our critique of the media.


When faced with a potent protest movement, such as the anti roads movement or animal rights, the state's media lies and lies again. In OA: Its Origins and Influences (page 17) an account was given about how, between 1988 and 1990, GA tried to develop links with the media to raise our profile. In the words of the pamphlet 'This strategy met with small success'. By 1992, our attitude in GA had changed, and we, along with others, had developed a body of theory rejecting and downright hostile towards the mass media. This repudiation of the mass media was born out of our own practical experience.

The live export route was closed in An Department sent letter bombs to the ferry aft \

and Britanny Ferries announced they 7 °mpardes 7^ the business. This left the door open to other ~'"'ng °utd^ /»> operators to step into the breech, and the Brightlingsea and Dover were the result ofthl. ? of Cod."’1 “i* truck smashing at Shoreham, a riot took pla^m' types, and many other scenes of violence tookpla^ Pym°”th, ^IkS

The live export protest surge thus had a big ALFinput fro of those Justice Department letter bombs. The pictures ofh6^ be cows and sheep motivated many people, particularly after th ^cks veal calves was exposed. The legal channel to changing th Cruelty to t7 blocked by Europe, and the level of violence nt the no the polity * moderate groups like CIWF. The live exports protests^teZ^^lS financial reserves, due to Home Secretary, Michael Howard 77 P ,Ce force caps. setting spendjng

The live export protests at Shoreham forced their way into everybodi • attention with that graphic image of the truck windscreen being repeated? smashed. During the 1990’s three animal rights activists have been killed- tn Mike Hill, 9th February 1991 by the Cheshire Beaglers; (2) Tom Whorby '3rd April 1993 by Cambridgeshire Hunt; and (3) Jill Phipps, 1st February 1993 protesting against live exports at Coventry Airport.

Just as Emily Wilding Davidson concentrated public attention on the Suffragettes in the early years of the Twentieth Century, events like these force people to take animal rights seriously. The commitment and energy of both the roads protesters and the animal rights people has now attracted the attention of the state. This leads me to consideration of our critique of the media

Recuperators Unlimited

Recuperation is the process whereby the system absorbs acts of revolt W into itself. The state, the media or multi-national companies appropra images of revolutionaries, and uses them to deflect anger and resentment into useless channels. One example of this is the fashion industry turning the Dongas Tribe appearance into a style. Another example is the Ikaea ad using a 1970’s style feminist singer to urge women to chuck out your chintz.’ Needless to say, Green anarchist is opposed to such acts.

One thing that makes all of us angry is the way themes and ideas from Green Anarchist are ripped-off, unacknowledged, by the mainstream. Below I give some examples of this type of process in operation.

A group called ‘The Land Is Ours’ (TLIO) was set up by Oxford don and media celebrity, George Monbiot, with the intention of pushing the land issue. (A theme present in GA since its start.) TLIO got off to an inauspicious start with its April 23rd 1995 ‘occupation’ of St Georges’ Hill, site of the original Diggers Settlement. Enthusiastic protesters gathered together, but unfortunately failed to set up any kind of land occupation there (now a golf course), instead opting for the safer and less confrontational option of occupying some waste scrubland at Wisley, a disused airfield several miles away. This climb-down lost TLIO a lot of credibility.

,he “t US

P'PpI' claiming aiic!orf'm^^ Sace Pain,e</ minutes o.|-vidory'. y‘ nly t0 he Kerded off after 10

hul the rich lh*y don't'care about

varied taking it fucking hack. We 1 and ils ^ve ive

GA 38 page 15, Summer 1995

I LIO also organised summer 1995 land-squats, but these were poorly attended due to the loss of impetus. One of these, against the Earl of

field’s estate in Eastern Oxfordshiie, brought around f Ma«s er ouV George Monbiot suffered a s.milar problem to Cla P pr „ to aopeal to the moderates - old grann.es fighting for their 2' >» ^Xaffe more extreme acttvtsts.

afield suffered the occupation because he had refused Ramblers, t MacclesfielId . stick-armed boy scouts to. keep a 1993 ramble , 8hl

of access an h dfronIationa| tactics alienated even the Country UndowJ^' Se ason. The Ramblers themselves described TLIO occupiers as ‘harmless XX’ because they were unconfrontattonal, invisible even - whe Macclesfield sent his staff out to evtet them. they couldn t even flnd thc campsite- All this seemed a far cry from the 1930 s mass trespass on Kinder Scout.

TLIO then went on to occupy a former brewery site in Wandsworth. (May 1996) By accident rather than by intention, this was more successful. The ‘Pure Genius' land squat took advantage of the fact that a lot of quatters were hanging around in London post-M 11. The Wandsworth occupation intended to demonstrate the availability of inner city wasteland for residential puiposes. Guinness threatened eviction and took out injunctions but unfortunately lor TLIO failed to carry them through, and so the planned media event ol Claremont Road style towers, lock-ons and safety nets did not materialise and TLIO were stuck. Instead of focussing on the squatters, the media flocked to Monbiot as he went round the nearby flats trying to apologise for the occupation to locals.

mediaTtuntshum'd118 Ii°U^ t0 recuPerat,on 1S not by cynically exploiting Undercurrents and Smalf*W a.nd SeP vic^eos as commodities.

?ould benefit'radical movements ?'S‘ I” many Ways SUch an idea

As with my criticism of the merlin nt. °S U'Ied t0 lnform and inspire people. Pmiesu. live export pro, ^ete«couHe;,'he dan«er is that videos of r°ad radtcal action. ete couId a" too easily become a substitute for

persona'hiesmpdan of !utio" is eas>ly diverted^aw*1’?1' indiv*dnals become media is set up ns an aop reason for this is stnicrii**^ frOm ** *ssues towards writers are toy of the state. Pa^™1' '">Plicitin the way the

s X'°pe?s°nidSe ^,enUoaal ’ -e.dia dy l>e“Ple in those UXd'o n > V 10 MplX™"8 Ihe camera a‘ fhe problem .h ®’ ‘fihting with nolir dUS‘ w^lal all those

a" a" exo-'fC" 8els worse bee, . P Ce and contractors


lent is wider

than what is represented by just a few familar talking heads o„Tv

1U IS —J , CriBci

,h\X cX in with the ego-bureaucrats. Wh/n

‘I S a figureheads, hierarchy is getting back in. and righ XX opposes this tendency. >•

This setting up of celebrities is also one way in which the system Th*® 1 Iments 'The movement becomes equated with the figureheta s XT gSead is knocked down'. This process migftft Xrgillization'. where the FTr 7 i -their pa> «

S Jh nns the mine closures, the death of whole communities; to Arthur Scargill’s bungalow mortgage and Colonel Ghadaffi s fictional hidden gold. Fmm the Zinoviev letter and onwards back into history, the media are tnPSIers at this sort of trick. Fortunately the green movement is not dependent on Dubbc perceptions in this shallow way, it is too Averse, too diffuse a thing to suffer from this. Right at the start we know we are going to be ignored or slandered by the mass media. So what's new?

Another concern about the recuperation of revolt via TV images is the question of exploitation. It is one thing to sell people copies of videos, and reasonably, people who do this are entitled to recover their costs. It is not a very long step from there to cynical exploitation. Worse than this is the accusation, made in an anonymous pamphlet handed out at the October 1995 Anarchist Bookfair, and reprinted in ‘Underground’ magazine as the work of ‘Peter Raven’ that the videomakers were selling these images to the state media, partly for money, but also for kudos. The leaflet also accused the videomakers of allowing their material to be used by police to identify protesters.

Whether or not the second accusation was true was a matter of dispute, but it rT?hele!s iJ1,uslrates the danger - the existence of photographs of riots etc considered°fripnHid?eTvWOr^ No cameras on demonstrations ought to be re-itXd the medin Th’,?°"'tmade a‘ lhe ,ime of the 1990 poll tax riot is when we ro“he ta hhaeaemi“„of.revolution. This fact is quite clear Guardian, are (aken from heMndX“ ?'au,.es of Protests etc printed in The cameras on? e P°l,ce lines. Who’s side are the media’s

After considering The 1 w u rv

the?oXn°ed‘N °Ulid Uke t0 Wri(e about"Ls'the Yo^?jakerS’ another area of the old Mandwd^f-S’’ Th®Se did not ^UD^th VerSHy based £r0Up’ nolhing whatsoever to n° pseudo’«-adical recupe?at?nheir °ame in that they techn°logy. they repUdi^dv^ the Ori8ina’ Luddite5 V J,?31 they bad violence and at bottom wh -' hey d,d not eschew

° °m we e merely a parr ofThe

The so-called New Luddites had nothing Of lhe . . . Machine itself- 1he su ne Or'Sm.-,i

Luddites’ militancy-

.. imrisine. a number of them were hung at York

In the original Luddite up^ The ,996 York-based so-called is

York'S COnmo?YOrepeat the hangings, they are essentially one with the Luddites simp*/ r t>

they supposedly oppose.

for anti-tech what TLIO has done for land Plf>rmis hardly encouraging. Better to do for anti-tech wha,

R!e 34

a tenth of that. The wora luo 1995 S( Geo . HjIJ TUQ

ocXatioPnr?heOsno-ca<llTd New Luddites wanted to ’reclaim democratic control of sconce and technology’. This aim is incoherent in that n assumes that science and technology still exist. The so-called New Luddites have failed to understand the source of the problem. To assume control of something is io become as corrupt and as empty as it. *

Citing the BSE scare as an example, the so-called New Luddites believed that had democratic control been present, the disaster would never have happened. Dream on suckers! This ignores the part advertising and mass-manipulation play in controlling public perceptions - Or perhaps the New Luddites wish for democratic control of the propaganda machine too? - And then the financial system? - And then the smoke filled backrooms? - And then ... Where does this infinite regress of lust for ‘democratic’ control end?

shallo^n^ss^o^tWs^p^^adis.ayowed ‘lifestyle posturing’. The exposed for all to read in n e,r w^ole sat,rical pastiche of radicalism was April 17th 1996. pagers) when'm!^per ar‘icle- (TAeGuardian, Wednesday

no “^dhNew■Luddites■

.rf' ° " PUbhCHy h’°m lhe Londoa FWfy Network’dMz

he so-called New i ,

' The,,- |„ck of me Unabomber '•‘oncaJ sensibility

. „.„n in the fact that when it came down to it, their move™ W°Smon features with the original Luddites, (save for the 2"‘ Son) but it was also seen in the way these tried to link thPe the’ ? Xrs in With their cause, tn order to try to boost up th


In this it played on the historical ignorance and gul L ,radic’l yrecruits. Fortunately for the future, such a blatant ff ra ion could have little appeal to genuine radicals. Such a we& o-called New Luddites would only find support among people 2 welded inside the system, and could only operate as a salve to their (alr*> putrified) consciences.

Not surprisingly the New Luddite group was heavily criticised at the Earth First! Snowdonia gathering (June 12th 1996) to the extent that they agreed to disband. Their story probably will not end there, however. I expect the system will find other routes to try to revive this stagnant mill lodge of recuperation.

In the USA, summer 1996, a ‘Neo-Luddite’ conference was called by Scott Savage, and sponsored by Plain magazine. Held in Ohio, the meeting (according to publicity, eg 4WR 77/78 page 11) was attended by 350 people from 29 states. The statement issued afterwards was so non-confrontational and fluffy as to be laughable, a pastiche of what the original Luddites stood for: For example, it called on people to bake their own bread and to observe the sabbath, io cover over their TV sets with knitted shawls! The religious cast of some of these statements demonstrated the ‘Neo-luddites’ lack of sense of history - how Puritanism and Quakerism were used to recuperate anger after the English Civil War, and how Nonconformism recuperated anger after the Luddites.

Worse than this, the US Neo-Luddites decided that violence was ‘illegitimate and counter-productive, not to mention immoral.’ In the statement issued they sai although we respect the concerns of the original Luddites we reject their WOrds these so'ca,led Neo Luddites repudiate the do these so-called n°L ekCe was ^ole point. So what continuity fluffy pseudo-radical annrn n?s have w’th the originals? They are just another °f imqge’ at best P-bing NVDA bul

Horsfall and burn<S downwhe" thV shot William radical groups on both sides of th^Atiamic appearance ofsuch pseudo- Unabomber manifesto is self-evidentlv an ^°°n the Pub,ication of the mihtancy into image, and has to be opposed Pt l° 'ecuperate that type of


. as Test Card F was being written, the med' Pven at the same tin through black propaganda linking u. > &g <»e green memeM gf secondly s

wW> es' mmer of Hare’ article tn the Sunr/tty Tim*


, nutumn an anti-Green TV documentary based on the Harlow Later, that same autumn, oA responded by setting up Journo-Watch piece was shown on Chann

Mitch was a straightforwards declaration of war against The idea of re than an extension of the state. Part of the Journo-

the media as nothing re reports videos of radloZrv pieces (Q

Sthem in detail to'systematically catalogue their bias and inaccuracies.

.. . iz hpinn keot and tabulated, to find out their Next, logs of journalist s wor work °ut their sources and information particular blind spots, to ry collected we intend to publish all

networks. When enough m enal to ton COH of

sats l-> ow.—*.

expose their links with the state.

We've had less success in developing the second part of the Journo-Watch idea, which is to actively fuck them up by feeding them disinformation, ( with the ALF Grand National hang gliders story) not to damage then credibility with the public (they have none) but to discredit them internally within their own hierarchies and bureaucratic systems.


At the end of 1994, Jason Bennetto of the Independent recycled the Johr Harlow Summer of Hate' material, but this time specifically claimed Greer Anarchist is a terrorist organization building Vietnam style booby traps or GA*waTresDont hf6 rled thi’S ^Ong with the otfier’ eclua^y stupid report tha

• FebruarW) The K”6 f” Grand W“‘‘ <”> {0 ™11,6 Grand NM,onal stofy was written by Chester Stern, th.

we said about the links between the media and?h Bennfetl0’ everything subsequent events. Wherever journalistic >d lh®state has been vindicated by cannot be far behind. 1995 became the year 0^°^’ SeCret state repression jvui ui me ruicis

the only group to suffer, Greenpeace was raided by thP m LAMB, Lloyds and Midland Boycott, a Manchester based n M°D P°>'ce disrupts bank agm’s was also raided. Part of this was intiZest gr°uP w ? but mostly it was an attempt to build up a data base on activiSr',On’no doubt it was announced on 6th March 1995 that a police intelligence^ e?peciaHy as being set up against animal rights and roads protesters. ask force Was

In London, post CJA, the 'Forward Intelligence Team’ - a gr0(JD spies was set up to try to infiltrate road protests and other movements hP°lice effectiveness of this may have been compromised by making its remit''he broad, including football gangs under its jurisdiction. t0°

After the Westway Reclaim the Streets (RTS) protest, 14th July 1996, Rts was raided at the beginning of August. Computers and other records were taken in a similar databasing operation to the Greenpeace raid. Such repression falls into a broader European pattern, where similar moves have been made against Autonomen in Hamburg, for example.

Overall, it is unlikely that such repression will have much effect on the green movement, The ‘organizations’ being raided are not the driving force behind protests. Such attempts assume a leaders / led organizational paradigm, a mirror image of the hierarchical structure of the police state itself. Under this interpretation, the police assume that by hitting the visible groups the green movements will be undermined. This is a false perception - the driving factor behind the protest movements has been the policies of the state itself. The visible organizations are like lightning conductors - take these away and the lightning will simply follow a fresh path.

The police raids and oppression are part of the rising authoritarian tide - they are quite in line with high street CCTV’s and on motorways, and the JSA repression against the unemployed. ID cards, genetic bar coding, and all the many other horrors of the state. More oppression will bring more militancy and new way? of resistance and protest.

^Guin bS)ues Ellul and Marsha" SahIinS' . . . .

Leuum,juvh Qr>mp Primitivist

To give a (brief) overview of some internal and external, or

analysis sets up an opp ’°s,.tiona"'f'“"between ourselves and outsiders. It is between the natural and the cultural, or betwe .return to nature’ or some important to note that the Prim,dtv.su do not a«ssma.^tdL,ret them as saying such backwards looking doctrine as thei . , are The primitive is to

but seek a synthesis in the present with what we truly are. i i.c H be affirmed in the here and now.

Part of Primitivism takes on board a critique of linear time, a key theme of Situationism, but also a throw back to earlier thinkers, perhaps Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, then perhaps beyond these to eastern concepts. As with Zerzan, other Primitivists are also is critical of linear time, because this leads to the notion of progress, and racist, imperialistic value judgements about primitive cultures which are being adversely compared with modern systems.

Primitivism shows how material possession enslave people, shackle them and so declares that this iron gpp needs to be fractured. The US Primitivists make much of the phrase Gone to Croatan’ where some early settlers in the New Th°r ldleft the colony of Roanoke and went off to join the natives at Croatan by R SakolskynaandJ Ko^hnTne rejecung civilization for the primitive is thouThToPas^hX'con^' °‘' rejeCti°" °f civilization and primiiiri!mn«a!;dsoi"eand 'he division of bb^wV-0 Cr'tiCal °f sexism- a" American persnecr"’1'1?' 8'Ound to Green Anarchic. k' trom th that Thoreau. 1 see thc p has grown out of



The context of Camntte's writing was the aftermath of m Camatte influenced Frady Perlman ■ Perlman translated and 968 work through Black & Red. Camatte also influenced the ‘Eat who later moved the Detroit based Fifth Estate towards primiti^^'

Camatte grew out of the Italian Communist Left. In the wake of th student I worker uprisings he began to cast a critical eye over trad''^ Marxist concepts like the proletariat and the party. Camatte was no?"31 an obstacle, but in the context of the time we can see how he is straini break free of this theoretical straight-jacket. lng t0

In ‘On Organization’, Camatte regared existing parties and political groups as ‘rackets’. These are seen as illusory communities set against the massive and total alienation found in capitalism. The racket is a gang which pedals its ideology and analysis in ‘obscene’ competition with all the other gangs. The racket seduces other people into it, but it is a ‘community’ based on the exclusion of outsiders, conferring its bogus prestige on its members, who think of themselves as believers who have seen the true light, while the racket manipulates all the members through psychological blackmail and the threat of exclusion. The rackets destroy whatever tendency towards creativity the victims might have had prior to joining.

In 'The Wandering of Humanity’ Camatte develops his critique of Marxism. Ever since the foundation of the Athenian polis, humanity has wandered away from its true potential. Here, 1844 is seen as a crucial point, 1844 is significant because it was the year when Karl Marx wrote the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (EPM). This 'Wandering' is the deviation whereby the proletariat fails to turn over capitalism - similar to that noted by Reich (the 'cleavage') But whereas Marxists of a more orthodox bent merely wish the proletariat would take over the means of production, Camatte has seen the futility of such an aim, and would rather seek the abolition of the master / .slave relationship.

Camatte also writes about domestication - a theme oftenjeturned to in the writings of the anarcho-primitivists. The proletariat have internalised the aims and methods of capitalism so completely that they identify themselves with it. Instead of seeking to overturn and destroy it, they seek amelioristic demands inside the system - wage increases, reductions in the working week, better conditions for women and children, etc.

Taking a term from cybernetics, Camatte says capitalism has ‘run-away’ - it is out of control and cannot stop, like a train with no brakes or the broom

, ;n the 'Sorcerer's Apprentice’. Marxism no u carrying the bucK cons|jtudng a threat to capitalism as a r'ts the facts becau working class are absorbed into it (domestic^'11"- weight to overturn , me wi(h j(s t,ca

4” «3

the Marxist road to nowhere, what does Camatte suggest? Ever since 1945, the ™XSry movements have been fragmentary mostly definmg themselves hretoion to something opposed. Camatte calls for a humamzauon of revolt. \ thinoc he calls for a change in our attitude towards nature, and

ta°som1I nse of the effects of pollution. He stresses the importance of the counter-cultures as the bases for revolt. Anticipating the later pnmmvists, Carnaltetells us 'it is insane to ground the hope.of iberauon on science (page 88). Such a pronuncement must spell the end for Marx, the archetypal social and economic scientist. Here Camatte represents the start of a clearing out process, and for this reason is important to our understanding ot the later primitivists.



Fredy Perlman was one of the first of the 1980’s anarcho-Primitivists to publish. Originally a Marxist, Perlman had been involved in the May 1968 happenings in France. On his return to the US he settled in Detroit and helped start up a print shop to print and circulate radical literature. In the summer of 1971 Perlman went on holiday to Alaska and saw the crass way the oil workers at Fairbanks treated their environment:

^edys view of the iMemmum vus ever beniKnhKan aSk>ng whe,her hum“n

Lorraine Perlman

^Uide, Being Much

Of ta time. anTthoug'h'he helped^ubhsh? °f M°rXisl a"d Maoist groups X°»e5 ?r lhe Of he rejected the

Rich' group Of prantaers 8r0Und "eWSpaPer was taken ove^ hyX^Eai The

Al! through the 1970’s and into the early 1980’s, per]m critique of industrial civilization, influenced by Cammatte and rVeI°Pecl E critique was given impetus by the nuclear disaster at Three Mile r?nbee and Perlman’s response to this, ‘Progress and Nuclear Power’ ndW Fifth Estate (April 18th 1979). Perlman, published Against His Q,appeared in Leviathan, first as a serial and then as a book in 1982 -1983. Ory' AWnst

Against Leviathan was an inversion ol the usual histories of civil* treating the revolts and movements from the peoples' rather than leader?1'0"’ of view. As such it broke new ground. Against His-Story was originally aP°'nt off from Perlman's earlier work, The Strait. Later he published The Mach'" Against the Garden and died on July 26th 1985.


Along with Perlman, George Bradford is also associated with Fifth Estate. Bradford is perhaps best known for his attack on Deep Ecology; How Deep is Deep Ecology? Deep Ecology, was founded by the Norwegian philosopher? Arne Naess, and seems to be an eclectic mixture of Eastern mysticism, animism and trendy US West Coast pseudo-psychology. In the US it was expressed in various books and given practical form through the Earth First! movement, which called for a shift from anthropocentric thought patterns and behaviour towards bio-centrism. Earth First! sought to protect the wilderness from developers.

George Bradford of Fifth Estate attacked Deep Ecology for its facile disregard of capitalism as a social and economic force sponsoring and sustaining environmental destruction. The main thrust of his attack was on Deep Ecology's neo-Malthusianism, particularly as expressed in the work of William Catton and Dave Foreman.

Foreman, one of the leaders of the US Earth First! movement, embraced Malthusianism, through 'Malthus was Right!' bumper stickers, and by making comments about Ethiopia: 'The best thing would be to just let nature seek its own balance, to let the people there just starve.' Foreman also made calls to close the US border against Mexican illegal immigrants.


Bradford pointed out that Foreman and Catton's assumptions were wrong. Malthusianism was criticised as an outworking of Adam Smith's economics. Food resources are sufficient, the problem being distribution, with capitalism dumping the food it can't sell to maintain prices, rather than giving it away to the needy Third World countries are forced to produce cash crops for western goods, IMF loans and weapons, rather than food for subsistence needs. Bradford cited the example of Chad, where during a food crisis, production of cotton went up. It people were starving, it was not for lack of cotton.'

ailed for an agrarian revolution where people took back control of Bradf°rd to feed themselves. He also called for women's liberation. In ^eir0Vte devastating rejection, Deep Ecology was described by Bradford as thisqlJn spirited ideology with fascist implications.' Some of these same 'A mea bou( population and food production, were covered in the early years ^^century in Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread.

The Abolition of Work

1969 Bob Black first published ‘The Abolition of Work’, its most obvious ■pfluence being Marcuse who argued for a society free from work. The ■Abolition of Work' was re-published in 1986, at the same time that Primitivism started to take off in the USA. Black noted Paul Goodman who pointed out that only 5% of the work done in modern society is necessary to meet subsistence needs. The other 95% is seen as a form of social 'control. Black advocated a ‘ludic revolution’ - one centred on play. Many tribal societies make no distinction between work and play. Black called for the abolition of service and manufacturing sectors, and a reduction of agricultural activity.

Both Perlman and Black expressed a disatisfaction with the orthodox US left, and other groups. This brought a retaliation against Black, for example, who received a letter bomb from the Church of the SubGenius as a reprisal for a hostile review. His writings must have struck a nerve somewhere.


Perhaps the most important among the US Primitivist writers is John Zerzan, a former union organizer. Zerzan published Questioning Technology and Elements of Refusal in 1988, and Future Primitive in 1994.

With Elements of Refusal (1988) - The first part of this book consists of a discussion of key elements of civilization - time, language, number, art and architecture. Zerzan draws on the work of anthropologists, cultural historians and other commentators to show how these themes have developed through the ages. Zerzan builds up the picture, showing how time, symbolism and agriculture have become more total in their domination.

With rime, for example, we are told that the Hopi indians have no conception of the past, present and future, but live in a continuous present. With Judaism and Christianity comes the sense of linear time. Then with the monasteries in Feudal Europe, we get the invention of the clock. Zerzan shows how these developments were opposed, quoting Suso of Cologne (1330) for example, who tells how the Free Spirit of ‘Nameless Wildness’ declined to look before or after. ’

With the development of capitalism and industrialism, the tyranny Of the cl . becomes more pronounced, regimenting industrial activity. This is se! ; °ck function of repression. Zerzan quotes Loren Eisely: ‘To know time is to fear? and to know civilized time is to be terror stricken.

Zerzan is critical of representation. Primitive art, for example, is |inked to rituals and the hierarchical power of (he Shaman. The instinctive, wholistic world of the primitive is fenced around, constrained and then colonized suppressed by representation. This process continues eating up the immediacy of raw experience with representation. To Zerzan, Modern Art is dead, the sphere of art ‘pitiable’. Zerzan refuses art in favour of the real.

A key concept Zerzan uses is ‘domestication.’ The original hunter-gatherer people were first drawn into the power structure of religion and then took up agriculture, Zerzan traces the various revolts against mechanization and the developing factory system at the dawn of the industrial age. The years of the Eighteenth Century were characterized by riots, revolts, sabotage and the ‘liberation’ of raw materials or even finished goods. The workers were a law unto themselves. Artisans enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and self- reliance, determining their own work patterns.

From the point of view of industrialists like Richard Arkwright, this anarchy was just too much. The unruly workers had to be broken, like wild animals are broken (DOMESTICATION), but the workers did not go into the mills willingly.

These themes are developed in Zerzan’s later book Future Primitive (1994). In the title essay, he uses the anthropological material to knock down the myth of Hobbes nightmare. Archaelogical studies show that even from the first, uman intelligence was present; as seen in the poise and balance of the Acheulian hand axe.

svmboHzatinn^h^ cu!ture d‘v’de only comes later, much later, with diminished the authpnt.roducesubjugate women. Ritual and art domestication, with agriculture camZ V'8’™’ lived exPerience- With deficiencies. Tribes like the Snn me al,enat,on. disease and nutritional without violence and hierarchy valuing indi”^!K,Ung of the Kalahari lived world, with symbolization, specialization ?'Vldual aut°nomx. 7116 developed as a massive wrong turn. ' P n> domestication and authority is seen

Zerzan is deeply critical of modern so-called ‘life’ m

psycho.^, obvious.y more of a prob.en, VnXh™

„ rites the example of the 1960’s Black Mililias herein BritainJ"health serviceS as noth.ng more than 'refined pol£ saw the netst ment for the ghettos.

pacification and surw

, Joniino with the cause head on; civilization; psychotheranv t Rather than de g victim. Qne of the strong poin(s ^Py reats

the symptoms a short shrjft jndeed t0 1 of

x-x --sr “« fc. an<j evade tne do.revoiutlonary waffle. Hence Zerzan's ow„

Eity w people like Murray Bookchin. Therapy, Zerzan points out, inev ably reproduces the alienation implicit in society The therapist/victim wSin is one of power, defined not through friendship but with money Md Zus lt is likened to prostitution. The pointless 'cure' of psychotherapy itself is a collapsing, fragmenting domain full of quack cures, Pnmal Scream Therapy, EST, Moonies, Scientology, TM and all sorts of Newwidge.

John Zerzan’s hostility to Murray Bookchin is perhaps the best known aspect of his work over here, but Zerzan's thought is much more far ranging than this merely negative polemic. Personally, I never thought Bookchin was any good, and have never understood what other people saw in his writing. Others connected with GA have been more sympathetic to Bookchin, saying my own dismissal of him was unfair, but now this opinion is being revised. At one point Bookchin was being described as a ‘green anarchist’ - a misleading title, although obviously GA doesn’t have a monopoly on the words ‘green’ or ‘anarchist’ and there must be more than one way of combining these two ideas.

Zerzan's attack on Bookchin concentrates on his idea of ‘Libertarian Municipalism’. This seems to involve ideas about ‘citizen’s councils’ modelled on an idealized view of the New England town meetings. This idea is seen as reformist at best, and outright collaborationist at worst.

To ignore the content of modern domination while advancing . the cause of involvement in city politics is to give a faltering system precisely what it needs the most: participation of the disaffected.

Bookchin’s advocacy of this last ditch attempt to prop up thte collapsing order of the city is to Zerzan a non-starter. Bookchin, Zerzan tells us, is ‘terminally pathetic’.

The attack on Bookchin is small potatoes compared to Zerzan’s anger against other evasive purveyors of pointless panaceas. This comes to some sort of crisis or turning point with his critique of Postmodernism. In the aptly named

Catastrophe of Postmodernism, Zerzan flails into them, knocking them over one by one; their pointless and contradictory doctrines, the false household gods - Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard and (he rest.

postmodernism is emblematic of the fact (hat human culture is reaching its end. What is Postmodernism? Zerzan asks. A trendy, surface superfluity, signifying nothing and going nowhere. After Louis Aragon’s ‘Nothing^ nothing, nothing’ (here was nowhere else to go but downhill. At least with Dada, Zerzan saw (here was hope. Postmodernism, on the other hand, is ‘Modernism minus (he hope and dreams’ (page 106)

One of the key themes of Postmodernism is the primacy of language over all else, but (his only leads (o (he incestuous self-referentiality of the text. The individual, the subject, is ignored and denigrated. The Postmodern emphasis on language clearly goes against Zerzan’s hostility to symbol, because Postmodernism stupidly reduces the whole of what exists to text, a web of symbols, taking no account of the readers of that text. If symbolization leads to tyranny, Postmodernism must be the ultimate acceptance of that slavery, a surrender to indifference. No surprise at all there, then, that Zerzan should react against this.

Zerzan is quite correct in saying that Postmodernism leads to a kind of scepticism, cynicism, indifference and paralysis. Witness Michel Foucault’s attempts to draw together cops, psychologists, prison authorities and criminologists in a conference on prison reform. Zerzan exposes this as siding with the pigs. Postmodernism does not lead to any kind of revolutionary understanding. It is as sold out as May 1968. Foucault’s conference was the zenith of his political engagement, but to Zerzan such Postmodernism is a ‘celebration of impotence’.

One point which could be pushed further is the refutation of postmodernism’s attack on the notion of the self. Zerzan quotes Burroughs’ “Your I is a completely illusory concept." Traditional philosophical attributes like reason, logic, coherence - all of these are repudiated by Postmodernism. Zerzan doesn’t really push the obvious point about the self, though - who is Burroughs addressing with that first word of his statement? Who indeed is speaking?

One line of attack against Postmodernism I would pursue is that lack of recognition of the self, of (he individual, is (he first stage of (he journey to Auschwitz. To his credit, Zerzan adopts something of this approach with his analysis of Jacques Derrida, one of the key Postmodernist sages. Derrida’s ‘concept’ (must we dignify it with that description?) of ‘differance’ leads to an unwillingness to make distinctions. This seems a common fault with

postmodernism - it is incapable of, or unwilling to make judgements between variant readings of a text. It is incapable of making value judgements. This can perhaps be seen in the case of Derrida’s own craven defence of the late Yale professor, Paul de Man, who in his youth wrote anti-Semitic articles in Nazi occupied Belgium. ‘How can we judge?’ Derrida whiningly fudged. ‘Who has a right to say?’ I can add at this point that there is a similar lack of concern found in Postmodernism’s indulgent attitude towards another of its founding fathers, the Nazi philosopher, Martin Heidegger.

Deconstruction or decomposition? Postmodernism has a stink of rottenness about it. Zerzan goes on to slate Barthes, Foucault, Lyotard, finishing off with Baudrillard. Postmodernism embraces the city, technology, the ecocidal annihilation of nature. After reading Zerzan’s account, one is left with the thought that Postmodernism is the intellectual factory equivalent of toxic waste produced by the chemical industry.

Postmodernism embraces alienation - Baudrillard’s Hyper-Reality seems much the same as Virtual Reality. Nerds with helmets on, fucking each other on the internet. Zerzan’s rejection of all this seems timely and deserving of more attention. We know he will make little mark on the armour plated, poisonous ivy tower, but might well put off some of their potential recruits and acolytes. Zerzan deserves to be welcomed into the anarchist canon.


Post Perlman, for a time George Bradford’s Fifth Estate became the focal point for US Primitivism. John Zerzan's 'Origins' tipped Fifth Estate over into support for Primitivism. A key departure point came when they published an article, ‘Renew This Earthly Paradise’ in issue 322 (1986). This expressed similar discontent with technological civilization as that being made in GA at roughly the same time. Though the US Primitivists seem to have grown out of US leftist thought, they share a similar theme with GA in that they also gave vent to a sense of impatience and disatisfaction with the limitations of radical dissent up to that time. They are in tension with it, looking for something more, something that will go further.

An obvious influence on the Primitivists at this point was Situationism. Fifth Estate looked at modern ‘Hyper Reality’ and saw it as “a totalitarian discourse which destroys human meaning.” In part, Fifth Estate s remarks can be seen as a reaction to what they called the ‘Reagan era consensus. Combined wit this, there is a critique of technology, Fifth Estate set themselves ini ra ica opposition to what Bradford termed the ‘Mega Machine . Following er and others, they opposed technology, which not onl)'bores(Pe°P e 0 ,

makes them go mad, but also produces disasters like Bhopal and Chernoby .

Bradford's group was strict about adhering n • •

for (he future, (deluding support for shamanism'‘m,,,ve socie‘y as their model

In the debate which followed this Fifth Estat

by Anarchy: A Journal of Desin to have b *

Bey and Feral Faun, along with John Zerzan and others "* With Hakim


John Moore is perhaps the leading British Primitive in

quite different in tone from other primitivist wri er. V"7 °pi"l°"'Moore is teller than a theorist, in that he studies nm. ' he 'S more of a story work is similar to anthropologists like Chnrie I CU 'ires ancl mythologies. His intention. Moore draws'^ on ewmolonv td r k,"8^’8’ but is differeM speculative. etymology and fable, but is imaginative and


rririmiP nf Home' page 8) Moore seeks a synthesis of a

q of modern civilization together with a re-appraisal of the primitive, this is not a throwback to the past, emphatically not a 'return to the caves'. In

ik a1110 e CGA40/41 p 18) he expresses disatisfaction with the Primitivist label because of these negative associations being seized on by its detractors. Instead, John Moore refers to 'Anarcho-Futurism' as a positive label. Like Zerzan, Moore is hostile to the notion of linear time, which lies behind the criticism of Primitivism as 'backwards looking:'

In Anarchy and Ecstasy: Visions of Halcyon Days (1988) we see how John Moore pitches his ideas within a mythological framework. This is perhaps clearest seen in his essay 'Bewilderness' but is also present in the others, A key myth to keep before the mind is that of the Garden of Eden, not as the Fall of humanity as in Genesis, but with the myth reworked, the garden as a place to return to. Moore contrasts the 'ordered' places of civilization, crossed with paths, with wilderness. Using etymologies he deconstructs the idea of wilderness as 'self-willed-land and calls toi an ecstatic surrender to the wilderness.

In the essay titled Eversion Mysteries (Eversion - the action of overthrowing

several places and traditionsunto

the earlier essay, Towards A Cultural Ecology of . f ermanenl Zen as a method of finding our way towards a social

revelry and jubilee' (page 14).

fohn Moore is critical of Murray Bookchin's Social Ecoloev Rnnv k < npishbourhood assemblies are described as 'jejune fantasies' Th^ Bookch,ns ■b/and and unappetizing' (p34) Such schemes may simply reflecuhew militants 'are only interested in recreating humanity in their own atrophied image.'

In the last essay, Culture and Anarchy, Moore seeks to invert Matthew Arnold's value judgement against anarchy. Using the work of Henry Bailey Stevens, Moore works up his own etiological fable, an Eden of another sort where matriarchal based humanity cultivated sacred groves, ate fruit apd lived ethically, in reverence towards nature. Then, with the ice age, people were forced to shift towards a nomadic lifestyle, which brought with it blood sacrifices, weapons and patriarchy, together with disease. The ice age brought these drastic social changes, yet these persist today with the military /industrial complex, ‘perverting and vitiating any attempt towards total liberation'. (p37)

Has John Moore's mythopoetic method sufficient interest to carry? The attention paid to mystical practices such as Zen, tantric rites and Starhawk's 'Wordless chants' may antagonise the more rationalistic reader. I think that, as with Nietzsche (The Genealogy of Morals eg) Moore's intention is not to explain origins as such, or to tell evolutionary stories as history, but to build up a layer of contemporary mythology, to use this to shed some existential light on our present situation. What he says is true, contemporary culture has ignored the spiritual dimension.

The existential use of the mythological material in the present to address contemporary concerns effectively shelves all the methodological questions about the practical difficulties of our understanding primitive cultures, and the dangers of imposing our own categories, or of imposing our own culture and values on it. ‘The aim is not to replicate or return to the primitive, merely to see the primitive as a source of inspiration, (Primitivist Primer).


Moore returns to the themes of Anarchy and Ecstasy with Lovebite (I99Q). Here his focus is more specific - he examines two myths; Little Red Riding Hood, and a Shawnee fable called The Cannibal Monster, told by Tenskwatawa in 1823. These are both analyzed in relation to the civilized mind-set and used to show how we have been cut off from the intuiuve and imaginative.

Lovebite covers a similar area to Freud’s Totem and Taboo or Bettelheim, in that Moore deals with basic myths and fairy st°rl?s difference being that Moore seeks to explain the authentic inner i e in of the feminine. The masculine is seen as the origin of the civi iz

tormentors. After bringing these hearts into close proximity with the bodies of his oppressors, he destroys them with a skewer. The survivors and the dead are then reborn and renewed.

We can see from this that the treatment found in Lovebite is not that far removed from that found in Anarchy and Ecstasy, although by concentrating on these two fables, the analysis is more focussed. Perhaps we can see the difficulty with this method more clearly in this second book. The cultural framework we find ourselves in today is radically different from that of the Shawnee tribesmen or the Indo-European? originators of Little Red Riding Hood. Moore makes this very point towards the end of his book. We are so cut off - so alienated from this primitive consciousness that people who can understand it are few and far between, (page 22). Moore does not share my pessimism that this state of consciousness might be difficult or impossible to create, to Moore it is simply a source of inspiration.

Why is it necessary to try to bring about a primitive state of mind? Why must we do this? Can it be useful? John Moore provides part of the answer to this question in A Primitivist Primer (1996) ‘Locating origins is a way of identifying what can be safely salvaged from the wreck of civilization, and what is essential to eradicate if power relations are not to recommence after civilization’s collapse.’

Let us begin then by laying all facts aside, as they do not affect the question. The investigations we may enter into in treating this subject, must not he considered historical truths, but only as mere conditional and hypothetical reasonings, rather calculated to explain the nature of things, than to ascertain their actual origin.


Discourse on the Origin of Inequality 1754

A critical review of Lovebile signed Debby Highmountain, was printed in Fifth Estate (Summer 1991). Mostly this complained about questions of detail - were the Caribs cannibals? Did primitive peoples eat meat? These responses miss the point, in my view. In his answer to the review, Moore declared that he does ‘not believe that one can unproblematically engage with primal cultures and lifeways through (anthropological or any other) discourse.’

One is left feeling rather impatient with the reviewer for misunderstanding the' nature of his project. She fails to reach down to the heart of it. Moore calls her attention to his literary form, his language and style; citing Barthes, Derrida and Kristeva in his defence. Here, his stated project functions inside

‘intertextuality’. It has to be said that here, Moore’s postmode defence is not particularly convincing. Even the reviewer has spotted SkUnding trying to tell us ‘myths about myths’ but believes that this is a „ that heis point of criticism, rather than a project to be embraced, welcomed, affi^’a Rather than carp over the details, a possible criticim of John Moore’s an which would go further would be to doubt the usefulness of studying nrjOacfl cultures as a means of shedding any existential light at all on our p^lVe situation. This objection is similar to that made by people objecting to G^nt Anarchist by saying ‘You cannot disinvent... the wheel, - capitalism, - nuclei weapons...’ or whatever. This type of objector is so cut off from the idea of the primitive that he / she cannot even begin to see the relevance of John Moore’s approach.

The way to answer such a criticism would be to show the relevance of primitivism,through concentrating on the existential authenticity of primitive lifeways. The next stage, building up from this foundation, would be to further develop Moore’s Leviathan-free culture, thereby demonstrating the possibilities. In effect, Moore seems to be moving along this path, as seen in his Primitivist Primer where he calls for us to put a positive alternative culture in place. ‘This means that when civilization collapses - through its own volition, through our efforts, or a combination of the two - there will be an alternative waiting to take its place’.

There seems to be an implicit religious cast in John Moore’s work. What shape does this religion have? There is a basic, animistic belief in the worldsoul, in the great chain of being - the essential unity of animals and humanity - of our brotherhood or sisterhood with what we call nature. Moore also sees the numinousness of nature. The intention of this is clearly to address the alienation people feel between themselves and the natural - to address the control complex doctrine of the natural as something inanimate, of the natural as a physical commodity and therefore open to exploitation. This Earth religion also appears to embrace the cyclic view of history - the succession of the seasons, the idea of re-incarnation.

I see this religious cast as a problem for John Moore, because it could impede the acceptance of primitivism. This kind of belief system is just not a live option for many people. However, that Moore sides with pbetry as against prose, intuition over reasoning, is certainly a plus. As St Exupery wrote: ‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’

The objection to the religious aspect of John Moore’s work neglects the fact that belief in civilization is itself a form of religion - albeit spiritless and without hope. We can see how vacuuous and false belief in civilization is in

now thankfully defunct Maixist religion and also, but more of a threat to 1 ,C future, the empty chauvinistic technological faith expressed in Star Trek Aoiinst this. Moore aims to build up something different, something new this hopeful and ought to be encouraged.

John Moore has reportedly been described as a postmodernist by critics in the USA. This accusation has been denied by Moore himself. When we consider postmodernism as the ultimate 'cultural' development of the technological society, we can plainly see how such an accusation could not possibly ring true. To accuse Moore of postmodernism is to identify him with the thing he opposes, civilization itself. This is a cruel misreading and needs to be refuted.

When we read John Moore, and contrast his work with postmodernism, we can see how he attempts to move away from the alienation imposed by civilization. Postmodernism itself is the most emphatic outworking of that alienation yet developed. So Moore and postmodernism face in opposite directions. In so tar as he is held in the clutches of the modern world (as we all are) and fails to transcend its limitations, this is not the fault of Moore himself, but a testimony to the power and gravitational pull of Leviathan.

How can we break free of that black hole? It is necessary that we concentrate on Moore’s intention, because this gives the lie to the accusation of postmodernism. In focussing on intention we implicitly undermine the whole elitist presumption of the postmodernist assault on the self. This said, it is quite easy to see why the accusation of postmodernism against Moore got underway:

Due to the self-reflexive nature of discourse, it remains impossible to engage directly with referents (‘the world out there'), all we do is allow our texts to engage in an inter-textual dialogue with one another. Meaning always remains deferred. The referent always remains radically other.

John Moore in Fifth Estate

This would seem to be a straightforwards declaration of postmodernist orthodoxy. It may well be that John Moore has changed his view in the half decade or so since that was written.

This earlier emphasis on the text does not seem t° be ^^jsten^ Moore’s later work, which certainly accepts, even as. .(he wor]d out

to do something about the problem of civilization - there’.

Aaanho-prirnUivisis need n, develop

. These need to aa as bases for act,on (parncularly d,rec<

action) but also as sites for the er •

/hinking. h™’,on »f new Ways of

APrimitivist Primer (I996)

From this we can plain enough see there Im h„

fr0m the despairing, sceptical abstraction fou shift of emphasis away which espouse the prtmacy of the text over all el poslmoder"ist doctrines engagement. It is not at all difficult to see whv h .1 towards direc' political have all been affected by events the cold r has bee" such a shift We there’ (so disdained by the postmoder ( We in' wZ * complacent tn their «■„/,). Reality has a nasty\nacU?£ingCO^fOrtab,e and

We all live in the present - we are all affected by events around us, but also we tend to frame our words in ways which are compatible with, and even influenced by other writers and other people working in the same field. At base, the postmodernist accusation against Moore seems to be one of style rather than content. This, essentially, is a plea for a reconsideration of John Moore's work, not from that unproductive stylistic point of view, but from analysis of intention and content.


As an example of the potency of US Primitivism and the dynamic nature of these ideas, we can see how the Unabomber has generated a massive level of attention. How representative is the Unabomber of the agony and anger felt in the US environmental movement?

The Unabomber carried out a 17 year letter bombing campaign against scientists and airlines, forestry companies and such, injuring 23 and killing three people. After this, the Unabomber blackmailed the Washington Post and New York Times into publishing a long manifesto. According to Bob Black:

The Unabomber expressed the best and the predominant thinking in contemporary North American anarchism, which has mostly gotten over the workerism andproductivism which it too often used to share with Marxism.

Anne Eisenberg of Brooklyn University said ‘scratch most people and you’ll get a Luddite..’ Despite the widespread support for Unabomber, many of the old tired left so-called radicals in the US cravenly repudiated him/her/them, as did (predictably enough) the mainstream press. In an article published in GA, a US Primitivist group, Anti Authoritarians Anonymous invoked the concept of justice. ‘When have the many little Eichmanns who are preparing the Brave New World ever been called to account?’

Where to next for GA?

W'e want io develop our owr Gw -Var.-lmi .,fe„ while -he ^.m.nvt.t. Offer u« mainly a US rheoretrcal fra-ewart hvtww >n,f wrton, ,r- videmna, a* seen ot Bnghilingtea and Newtery, so much co (hat i wlict Super dW' anv animal right* and road proe<! intelligence unit ha* been tec ip GA hm been attacked os pan of thi* increase r repression, four alleged editors >f *A are being charged with incitement These games ire largely .1 <ide ihow Suppressing GA magazine will mafce little or no difference to (he ten*ril trend - there arc plenty of other magazines, and GA is nor the prime motivating force behind rhe protests If your lungs arc choked with ar and (he only option the system offers is to vote for Tony Blair. (his is .1 strung motivation to do something about it yourself

I predict we will have a widening out of the protests The question of global warming is being pushed up the agenda with the pole inciting and the water shortages in Yorkshire Ilie road problems worsen, with an AA report showing how motorway journeys take an hour longer in 1996 than they did in 1995, and even a government report forecasting gridlock by 2,002. Already we have seen one of the angriest demonstrations going, when hundreds at activists attacked Whatley Quarry in Somerset last December, doing i lot >t damage there in broad daylight According to Construction News al die time, tins has “sent a shiver through the construction industry." I don't know if Whatley was a one off but I suspect it was a taste of things to conic

1 also think there are going to be many more protests agamsi genetic engineering. People are starling to wake up to what is going on in this area; we can already sec things like pigs with genetically engineered human hearts, transgenic sheep and genetically engineered vegetable produce, like the Calgene Flavr Savr tomato. Genetics will be (he next big area ut protest.

People connected with GA made history in November 1994 when they protested against genetically enginceied scorpion venom insecticide at Wythairr Field Station outside Oxford. Over all areas, animal rights, thu environment, roads, (he anti-JSA protests, we ate going to sec an incicase m militancy, why? - Because the ossified political structures aic w o y

unresponsive to peoples’ needs and aspirations. The unabomber, the ALF Justice Department and ARM. the Oklahoma bombers and the Japanese Aun? cult all show the direction it is going in. Outside of Middle-Eastern terrorism, events like the Oklahoma bomb would have been unthinkable 15 years ago.’ Such developments are inspirational and open up wide ranges of new possibilities.

As far as I know, Britain has yet to develop some equivalent of the armed US militia groups, but given the moronic totalitarianism of British politics, this can only be a matter of time.

The events of the last 17 years have demonstrated the futility of NVDA protests and the eco-masochist fluffy mentality. At one time I had great hopes for the Class War movement, but this seems to have gone into decline, . perhaps because being locked into its out-moded class based analysis it failed to deliver on its early promise. We can expect more protests like Shoreham and Brightlingsea, what we won’t have and what we don’t want, is any single monolithic ‘revolutionary’ movement. If such a thing appears, it will certainly be a piece of state deception.

At base, any improvement in our lives will only be achieved through armed struggle. We have mostly failed to develop this. The large set piece protests where massed ranks of police storm troopers protect some objectionable part of the system, while snatch squads baton charge massed groups of assembled eco-masochists are ineffective. As the miners found out in 1984-85, quick moving hit-squads were needed to strike at the facilities behind the police lines. The large-scale protest like Orgreave may have a useful part to play as an initial rallying call, but the hit and run squads are the cutting edge. What a pity that with the end of the strike they were disbanded.

Do we need a reason to fight it? Economic and physical sabotage, as presently carried out in a very weak way by the ALF and ELF are a start. More powerful actions may serve to demoralize the state, but should also concentrate on physically destroying state institutions and every aspect of its mechanisms of control. Most existing protest movements are aimed at making futile attempts at negotiation with The Machine. You cannot negotiate with a machine - as the Luddites knew too well, the only thing you can do is to break it. Mistaking the character of the system, existing protest movements addres^themselves to the irrelevant parliamentary epiphenomenon or the non-existent, mythical notion of ‘public opinion’. Instead, they should be attacking the primary mechanism of the process itself. This is why current movements fail but this situation is changing.

Revolutionaries have paid no attention to what the system is, and how the

•bureaucratic, hierarchical organizations should be liquidated. Albert Dryden

understood what it takes, but failed to develop his idea all the way. The media the world of finance, social (in)security systems, and tax gathering networks, if these could directly be knocked down, then the system would be finished. What we need is not a class war as such, but a war against bureaucrats.

I also believe that there will be increased hostility towards the Euro-Reich. Already the system is trying to marshall this resentment into the idea of regional assemblies and Scottish / Welsh devolution. Even a small state is still a state. Another form of recuperation misdirects this anger into nationalistic hatred eg for the Spanish trawlermen, instead of against the bureaucrats in Britain who oil the wheels of the Euro-State Machine.

We will see the growth of people outside the system, ‘Refusers’ - people who refuse to participate. The Travellers will become a force to be reckoned with, as more and more people are displaced from the system and manage’without it. What will happen when the 14 yr old kids who burn down schools become adults? Authority will become even more untenable, society even more fractured and civilization will crumble.

These latter day ‘Adamites’, the ‘Refusers’ will break it. We are now moving towards the new Sack of Rome, as the ring of steel in the City of London testifies. Already the sheen on the 1980’s built business parks has gone. The sun has bleached their cerise plastic trims. Thistles grow up through their once neat landscaped gardens. ‘To Let’ signs fade in their windows. All of this has got to change - and it is not a question of if? but when?

Whatever else happens, my hope is that as long as it lasts and is useful, Green Anarchist will be somewhere close to the centre of things, pushing protestforwards, moving things along in its characteristic way....

Steve Booth


Anon Renew This Earthly Paradise’ Fifth Estate, issue 322, 1986
Anon Green Anarchist: Its Origins and Influences
Anon A New Strategy For Twyford Pamphlet early 1993. Oxford, GA pamphlet, April 1993.
Blake, William Complete Writings ed Geoffrey Keynes OUP 1966
Bronte, Charlotte Shirlev 1849
Booth, Stephen Booth, S Bronowski, J Camatte, J Camatte, J Carson, Rachel Cranston, M Cronin, H. S. City-Death Green Anarchist, 1992
Politics And The Ethical Void, GA 1996
Blake and the Age of Revolution 1944
On Organization 1969
The Wandering of Humanity. Black & Red 1973
Silent Spring Hamish Hamilton 1963
The Noble Savage .Allen Lane 1991
‘The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards’
English Historical Review, Vol xxii, 1907.
Day, D Ellul, Jacques The Eco Wars Paladin 1991
The Technological Society
Paris, 1954 tr Knopf NY 1964 ,
Erdman, D.V Foreman, D and Blake: Prophet Against Empire . Princeton 1954 Hayward B, eds'
Ecodefense, A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching
Foxe, J Tucson, Nedd Ludd Books 1987
Acts and Monuments vol iv, v
ed J Pratt 1877 Goldsmith, Edward
Harris, Richard Blueprint For Survival Penguin 1972 ‘Green Anarchism’
in Raven 17 Freedom Press, 1992 pp 82 - 84
Heymann, F G Hill, Christopher John Zizka and the Hussite Revolution\955 The World Turned Upside Down
London, Temple Smith, 1972
Hunt, Richard ICIDI Kaminsky, R The Natural Society Pamphlet 1976 North-South; A Programme For Survival Pan 1980
A History of the Hussite Revoltion
California U.P, 1967
Kevin ‘News From the Mushroom’
Loserth; Johann McFarlane, K.B. Freedom 6th March 1993, page 7
Hus and Wycliff (1884) tr M J Evans
John Wycliff and the Beginnings of English Non-Conformity
English UP 1952
Macek, J The Hussite Movement in Bohemia 195g
Marshall, Peter Demanding the Impossible
HarperCollins, London 1992
Meadows, Done!la H
The Limits To Growth New York 1972
Moore, John Anarchy and Ecstasy London, 1988
Moore, John Moore, John Morris, William Mumford, Lewis
Mumford, Lewis
O’Hara, Larry
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Peel, Frank
Perlman, Fredy Lovebite. 1990
A Primitivist Primer. 1996
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Technics and Civilization
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The Pentagon of Power
NY, London, Seeker & W, 1964, 1970 A Lie Too Far
Whitby, Mina Publications, 1993
At War With The Truth 1993
Turning Up The Heat
London, Phoenix, Oct 1994
The Risings of the Luddites
London, Frank Cass & Co 1968
Against His-Story, Against Leviathan
Detroit, 1983
Perlman, Lorraine
Reich, W Rousseau, Jean J Having Little, Being Much
Detroit, 1986
The Mass Psychology of Fascism Penguin 1946
‘Discourse on the Origin of Inequality’ 1754 G D S Cole ed Social Contract and Other Writings London, J M Dent 1973
Rousseau Emile 1762 tr Barbara Foxley. Everyman.
Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. 1754
Rousseau Reveries of the Solitary Walker tr Peter France 1979
Schumacher, E F Small is Beautiful: a study of Economics As If People Mattered. 1973
Thoreau, Henry David Walden, or Life in the Woods I $54
Unabomber Industrial Society and Its Future
Published as GA Pamphlet, 1995
Wall, Derek Weaving A Bower Against Endless Night
Green Party, 1994
Wilson, Mona Life of William Blake 1971
Winstanley, Gerrard Works ed G H Sabine
Ithaca, Cornell UP 1941 The Law of Freedom and Other Writings ed Christopher Hill
Workman, H.B Cambridge UP 1983
John Wyclifffl Vols)
Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1926
Zerzan, John Elements of Refusal
Left Bank Books, 1988
Zerzan, John Future Primitive (1994)


June 1st 1985
February 9th 1991
June 1991
September 1991
Battle of the Beanfield.
Mike Hill killed, Cheshire Hunt Sab.
Albert Dryden bungalow shooting of planning officer.
Riots in Birmingham, etc. Newcastle Meadoweli Estate.
April 8th April
May 11th
May 22nd May/June
June 22nd
September 12th Sept 16th
November 27 th December 9th
Hatfield and Thorne Moors, peat cutting machinery trashed Brighton Earth First meeting. EF! ELF split.
lichen Water Meadow, Twyford, flooded. 13 arrests
24,000 travellers on Castlemoreton Common, Malvern
TIMBMET, Rochdale
Battle of Waterloo. Anti fascists attack fascists, London.
Derek Beackon, BNP councillor elected, London.
Four tons of chalk blocked Hyde Park Corner Yellow Wednesday, Twyford Eviction.
Winter 1992 - 1993 PIT CLOSURES
1993 April April 3rd
April Spring/summer May 22nd - 23rd July 4th July 23rd October November 6th December 2nd
Ash Wed Late Feb onwds Summer June 29th Summer- July 24th
Grand National stopped
Tom Whorby, Hunt sab, killed, Cambridgeshire. Media slander campaign launched against sabs. A Lie Too Far (ALTF) published.
Operation Snapshot anti traveller data base used.
Battle of the Bailey Bridge. Twyford Down SUNDAY TIMES John Harlow Summer of Hate Injunctions against Twyford activists.
Welling riot against BNP HQ.
M11 Wanstead
Cambridge Park, Wanstead evictions
Solsbury Hill. . ts, Ml 1
Criminal Justice Act, (CJA)prote
McDonalds case starts
Cuerden M65 protests, P*6^0" s et- where Buffies Anti CJA “Storming of Downing tried to hold back protesters.
October 9th October Nov 23rd Nov 28th late December
Hyde Park, anti CJA riot
10 Days that Shook The World anarchist festival History made, Oxford. Genetics demo against scorpion Claremont Road Ml I eviction
GA are terrorists Jason Bennetto Independent article
1996 Early
January 16th Jan 29th 4th April May 5th May 23rd June 14th July 30th July


January 7th Pollok
Jan Shoreham, truck windscreen smashed, live exports
February 1st Jill Phipps killed, Coventry live exports protest.
February 22nd Earcroft M65 eviction, Darwen.
March 6th Existence of Super Arni cop database against greens
March onwds Hampshire Special Branch raids on GA.
May 1st Stanworth Valley, M65 Blackbum eviction.
May 23rd Greenpeace evicted from Brent Spar
June 7th Tug occupied, Brent Spar
June 18th Shell petrol stations picketed over Brent Spar
Nov 17th Anti Shell protests over Ken Saro Wiwa execution.
Late 1995 Newbury
December Whatley Quarry trashed Newbury
Green Anarchist raids and prosecutions.
Warton Hawk jets smashed by Ploughshares
Ted Kaczinski, man accused of Unabombings arrested
Scargill Labour Party launched
TLIO Land Occupation, Wandsworth
Greenpeace sand eel fishing confrontation, Scotland
Reclaim the Streets, Westway, London Ploughshares get off, Liverpool Crown Court.



pounded in 1984, the Green Anarchist Network produces a range of challenging publications, many originally published, including Green Anarchist itself, UK’s quarterly primitivist paper, 28 A3 pages, 75p. This serves as a forum for an international network of Earth Firstl, anti-fascist, animal and sexual liberatiomst. and other autonomous groups dedicated to fighting for the destruction of Civilisation.

When writing to GA, use a pseudonym and drop address in the interests of your own security. you want to get involved, see GA for details of how to contact your regional co-ordinator - we’ll make you a UAB if you can;’t be a full-time contact.


The Primitivist Network promotes networking among anarcho-primitivists and anticivilisation registers. The Network is not an organisation and has no fixed ideological line. It is designed to act merely as a means of fostering contact between like-minded people with the aim of generating anarcho-primitivist projects.

Its objective is the development of anarcho-primitivist analysis and action, Its goal is the creation of a world free of all forms of coercion, governance and domination.

Send two postage stamps (or an IRC) to be entered on and receive a copy of the current network list. Abbreviated listings available.

City Death Zine Preview

Stephen BOOTH

Uncompromising in its rejection of technology, civilization, City-Death glories in the collapse and points towards the future - a world of self-sufficient village communities.

Bleak yet ultimately hopeful...

X carnival of destruction, free and open to all..


‘City-Death is a furious novel... a fantasy of mortal justice for a negligent and greedy world ... In Booth’s imploding world, holocaust and regeneration are one and the same.’

New Scientist, 4th June 1994

Back Cover

INTO THE 1990'jj WITH GHIXN ANAKCHISI blundcKij as (eiiorists in (Iio I, mid .’aibgv led t< multiple raids by the cops, wind oxticlly arc die coiitrovcr.iia and provocative ideas o! the Green Aiiiirchlst group currently being persecuted by the British Slate? Why arc they sc dangerous that they have to be suppressed? What is the history of GreenkAnarchist, "Britain's most notorious and sedition!] radical newspaper."?

Part one oi this booklet outlines key Green Anarchist ideas and themes - our critique of civilization, our calls to take back the land, calls for self-sufficient communities and our rallying cry of 'Revolution on the Periphery',

The historical section outlines past movements who pointed the i way towards Green Anarchism; the Lollards, Diggers and j Luddites, together with thinkers like Thoreau, William Morris/- and Kropotkin.

The last section gives a history of GA since 1984, from it: origins in the 1980's protest culture through to 1996. GA ife. fitted into the context of the 1990's militant environment. protest movements, events like Twyford Down, 'Shoreham Coventry, Brightlingsea; Earth First!, the animal right.y movement and the anti 1994 Criminal Justice Act protests. Aj short account is given of how GA evaded a state-sponsorec COINTELPRO style infiltration operation,

Under 'Operation Washington' - the Stasi state'launched a lon series of raids against individual anarchists, animal right, people, radical groups and bookshops in an attempt to put dowr 'The most radical underground newspaper on the animal right| and road protest fringe' (OBSERVER)

Into the 1990's Wifh Green Anarchist... is a short introduction re GA. If you want to know what we are a,bout, if you want tc understand the ideas THEY obviously don't want you to iea(. Get this...

£4.00 from Green Anarchist Mall Order,

PO Box 407, Camberley GU15 3FL'