Title: With Friends Like These...
Subtitle: Ultimo Reducto vs. The Friends of Ludd
Author: Último Reducto
Date: 2009
Notes: This is a simple automatic translation for referencing, see the original Spanish version here. Contact for the author: ultimo.reducto@hotmail.com



By Ultimo Reducto.

Open Letter to Primitivists.

By The Friends of Ludd.

Criticism of “Open Letter to the Primitivists”.

By Ultimo Reducto.

— Fragment of “Does Anti-industrial Criticism Make It Way?”.

By The Friends of Ludd.

Criticism of “Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Making Way?”.

By Ultimo Reducto.

Public “Reply” from The Friends of Ludd.

By The Friends of Ludd.

Comment from Último Reducto about the public “response” of The Friends of Ludd.

By Ultimo Reducto.

Private epistle from JRH to Último Reducto.


Comments on some of JRH’s criticisms

By Ultimo Reducto.


Around the year 2004, the Friends of Ludd published the article “Open Letter to the Primitivists” in the n°7 of their newsletter, inviting the debate. Último Reducto accepted the challenge and sent a reply article to The Friends of Ludd (“Open Letter to The Friends of Ludd and Similars’, dated 4-22-05). Shortly before sending them this reply, the editor of Último Reducto received a copy of No. 8 of the bulletin The Friends of Ludd in which, at the end of the their article “Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Opening the Way?”, publicly lashed out at Último Reducto (and two other groups of which the editor of Último Reducto had been a member) and invited responses. Último Reducto once again sent another reply article (“Debate and Criticism Yes, But With Foundation”, dated 6-23-05). Neither of these replies was publicly published or answered by Los Amigos de Ludd, who, in number 9 of their bulletin, limited themselves to pointing out that they were too long and invited Último Reducto to make them public on its own.

It was fortunate that they did not, since these articles were indeed too long and, furthermore, in them Último Reducto’s criticisms, arguments and ideas were expressed in a way that was too hasty, crude and visceral.

In the time interval between then and the present, Último Reducto has perfected and clarified his ideas and, in particular, has ratified the pertinence of his criticisms of Los Amigos de Ludd. Likewise, Último Reducto considers that it has also polished the form of expression, rewriting both answering articles.

This work also includes a private letter (published here in its entirety) addressed to Último Reducto on 11-17-05 by JRH, material author of the article, Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Opening its Way?’, in response to the article sent by Último Reducto in its day to The Friends of Ludd: "Debate and Criticism Yes, But With Foundation", as well as the corresponding public response of Último Reducto.

This work is aimed at the public interested in criticizing techno-industrial society and its main purpose is for readers to appreciate the deep and notorious ideological, psychological and moral differences existing between at least two of the currents that are self-considered contrary to techno-industrial society: that of which Los Amigos de Ludd is a clear exponent and the one exemplified in this case by Último Reducto.

Último Reducto regrets that this “debate”, and with it its responses, are clouded by animosity and that they are not limited to the mere exchange and rational discussion of theoretical points of view. But, in the case of many of the things said by The Friends of Ludd and JRH, limiting oneself to answering the content of their statements as if they were only mere errors or innocent criticism would be excessively naive.

And the same could be argued about the fact that part of the issues discussed in this work are certainly of little or no importance for the development of a truly effective fight against the techno-industrial society. Despite being inconsequential matters for said purpose, decency and honor to the truth mean that some of the things that Los

Friends of Ludd and JRH have said those issues cannot simply be ignored.

Even so, despite these drawbacks, Último Reducto considers that this work can be useful for the development of an ideology and a movement that is really contrary to techno-industrial society, healthy, honest, truly effective and completely alien to leftism and progressivism. And that’s why he publishes it.

Último Reducto wishes to show its gratitude to all those people who have kindly provided their help in different ways in the preparation of this work.

Lastly, thanks are also due to Los Amigos de Ludd and JRH for their criticisms, despite their tone and attitude (and those of Último Reducto’s responses). Politeness, does not remove the brave.

The texts of The Friends of Ludd that appear in this work have been reproduced verbatim, including the illustrations.

Ultimo Reducto, Northern Iberia,
The spring of 2009.

Open Letter to The Primitivists

By The Friends of Ludd. [Published in the bulletin n°7 The Friends of Ludd, June 2004, pages 8-19]:


Primitivism as "anarcho-primitivism" is a relatively recent phenomenon, and not everyone we address under this name will accept it without question. In other words, when we talk about primitivists we will also refer, without naming them, to tendencies, currents, groups or individuals that manifest traits and central aspects associated, whether they like it or not, with anarcho-primitivism. When we speak of primitivism, then, we are actually encompassing all those who, starting from clearly anarchist positions, have come to place themselves in the orbit of criticism of Western, modern and industrial civilization, and who therefore reject culture and the way of life engendered by said civilization, at the same time that they base their search for freedom and autonomy on a more direct relationship with nature understood as the wild state. It is evident, then, that primitivism finds its sources of inspiration in anarchonaturism as well as in anarcho-communalism, in certain utopian or romantic socialism as in figures like Thoreau[1] or Armand[2], in the English Luddites as well as in the American counterculture of the sixties of the last century, in the « deep ecology” as well as in indigenous cultures, but at the same time, in certain aspects of the search for the “sacred”, in millenarianism and in various communities and sects of the past{1}.

Thus, it is clear that we can speak of "primitivism" as a new form of anarchism linked to the rejection of industrial civilization, not only as industrial but as "civilization." We will see what implications this may have.

The most extreme primitivist positions have their birthplace, not coincidentally, in the United States. When the countercultural currents that had been posing since the fifties and sixties of the last century converge with the tendencies of radical ecology and anarchism, the coordinates for the influx of anarcho-primitivism were given. The commotion caused by the imprisonment of the well-known American saboteur Ted Kaczinsky[3] [sic], the controversies that appeared in magazines such as Anarchy, Reality Now, Fifth Estate, Green Anarchy, among others, the appearance of a neo-Luddism, and the primitivist writings of John Zerzan[4], are the echoes that reached us in the nineties of the last century, and that helped to form the new consciousness. Seattle, at the end of 1999, was the event that somewhat brought all these elements together, and united them with the desire for violent direct action against the system, as manifested by the anarchist group Black Block.

Primitivism then expresses the explicit rejection of a generation of anarchists not only before the old forms of political and economic domination, but also towards the ways of life of technological civilization, their distance from nature and their artificialization in all senses.

The problems posed by primitivism

But very soon primitivism had to find the limits of its discourse and its action in the uncriticized and unvalued fields of its own language. It could be said that in order to write this text we have had to overestimate the primitivist discourse itself, granting it a unity and a continuity that, in reality, is very difficult to trace in its literature.

At first, it is easy to understand what is meant by the rejection of "civilization", "domestication" or the search for a more "wild" and "authentic" life. The most banal literature and cinema of the entire 20th century have taught us about this. For many, primitivism is simply the return of the old American counterculture, in a more sectarian and violent form. A Marcusianism[5] for rebellious infants.

For us, primitivism has confused the categories and analyzes that could give it any credibility. From this perspective, primitivism is condemned to the same apathy that industrial society promotes: it shows itself incapable of overcoming the language of provocation and propaganda, to make its project intelligible to others. The very term "primitivist" is just one more part of that aesthetic game and of a complacent opposition between the "civilized" and the "primitive."

When primitivists oppose civilization, what exactly do they mean? To contemporary Western civilization? To the urban way of life, technified and endowed with a hierarchical state political organization, of which other historical civilizations give an example? Or, even more, to the so-called «civilization process»? But, also, a certain primitivism identifies "civilization" with culture, without fully characterizing the latter.

It is evident that the primitivists are more or less opposed to all the categories of civilization that we have enunciated, confusing them all without embarrassment. Let’s say your definition of civilization is mostly negative: civilization is defined by what it is not. Civilization is not wild, it is not authentic, it is not ecological, it is not free, and it is not ... the primitive. The playful treatment given to the word "primitive" rather expresses the desire for complicity with those who feel that techno-scientific civilization is the essence of civilization in general, as opposed to an indigenous world that lived adapted to nature, without hierarchies, in egalitarian clans and covering their needs, and their organs, in an extremely simple way.

In other words, under the pretext of rejecting "civilization" the primitivists arrive at the rejection of what is universally known as "history." Primitivism could be, among other things, a “prehistoricism”{2}.

From this arise at least two problems. One is purely empirical. If the primitivists try to base their utopia on the basis of the so-called «primitive» or «prehistoric» cultures -in terms of their anti-hierarchical, simple, naturalized ways of life, etc.- they will find themselves with the problem of accurately documenting the traits of these cultures, which is extremely difficult. If the primitivists want, with all rigor, to have primitive cultures as a reference, they will have to offer us as true a picture as possible of the life of those cultures, or countercultures{3}.

Now, we know that primitivists are not so much concerned with this question as they are using the term "primitivist" loosely, to which they oppose both "culture" and "civilization", which they point to as the origin of our ills. And here comes the second problem. If primitivists have failed to show that prehistoric life was fundamentally good and libertarian, they have also failed to make any serious argument for showing that under historic cultures and what is commonly understood as civilization, all life was bad and authoritative.

Primitivists have fallen victim to the crude use of terms such as "history," "nature," "culture," and "civilization."

If we understand civilization as a very broad historical movement linked to the appearance of great empires, totalitarian or conquering, great commercial and maritime cultures, great religious communities, immense territorial demarcations occupied by peoples united by power and language, etc., we will indeed see a map of political and social oppression, we will see discrimination, exploitation and even genocide. We will see that, as Hegel[6] said, «history is not the place of happiness».

If, as Walter Benjamin[7] wrote, "every document of culture is likewise a document of barbarism" we can consider that there has been no historical culture that has not been built on some kind of domination and violence. Thus, all mythology liberates and represses, all art is a document of joy and horror, all adaptation opens a door and at the same time restricts, and the same symbolic thought, with its dangerous power of abstraction, opens reality in a sense of renouncing the concrete experience of sensations and their profound diversity. The process of civilization contains periods of construction and historical destruction of the world, of the rise and fall of different structures of Power, of transformations of the physical geography, sometimes in a fatal direction. But it also contains the intellectual, moral, philosophical and aesthetic construction of human consciousness. This construction, as is known, is widely documented.

The question we would have to ask primitivists would be: to what extent are they willing to reject their own cultural coordinates? What exactly do they think of the constructions, knowledge, values inherited after thousands of years of "civilization"?

To synthesize these issues we should start from some basic formulations.

In the first place, the primitivist definition of civilization has no content, since to civilization, primitivists oppose, quite simply, a confused notion of wild, countercultural or prehistoric life.

On the other hand, the primitivist definitions of "freedom" and "nature" are totally abstract; freedom is simply thought of as anti-authoritarianism, anti-patriarchy and anti-hierarchy - traits supposedly associated with primitive cultures; nature is the physical whole to which humanity must adapt in an animal form, so as not to be distinguished from it, inhabiting nature as Bataille[8] said animals inhabit, like “water in water”.

Finally, all cultural issues are ignored. Symbolic thought, myth, empirical science, aesthetics, moral philosophy, etc., are simply not rigorously addressed.

Of course, since primitivism in its extreme form is unworkable, even as a theory, it can only manifest itself as a certain playful and provocative folklore, an anarchism flavored with counterculture.

A historical picture

According to primitivists, since the human species had emerged from the Paleolithic golden age[9]{4}, it was unable to adapt to the successive changes in the environment, so it decided, in its growing alienation, to adapt the environment to its needs , artificialize it. The unleashed continuation of artificialization would emerge from a patent maladjustment. At first glance, for an undemanding spirit, this idea may seem seductive. But this would allow us to understand that Paleolithic man adapted to all the changes in the environment without ever intervening in it, that adaptation was a purely passive phenomenon, that the human species had a relationship of fusion and spontaneity with nature. However, it is known that something like this never existed, in any known species. Each species must modify its environment to create its survival habitat.

Primitivists, when confronting primitive man with wild nature, seem to have an excessively static vision of the dialectic of their relationship. For them there would have been a wild nature whose stability or immutable character would not have been disturbed by its relationship with some other element (primitive man) who, in this way, did not exist by himself since he merged into that nature. At best, everything evolved in watertight compartments, according to a strangely almost inert biological existence!

However, everything opposes this osmotic vision of nature. It cannot be denied that there are not examples of a remarkable ecological balance or of what a Kropotkinian[10] could call the mutual support between the species, but apart from the fact that this type of mutualism does not escape a certain dialectical complexity of relationships -which cannot then be reduced so easily to terms of harmony- we also find examples of animal species that undertake an artificialization of the environment in order to increase their ecological expectations, even going so far as to domesticate other species. If one can speak of mutualism - since often the exploited species ensures its development thanks to the exploiting class - it would in any case be a dissymmetrical mutualism.

As for the domestication carried out by man, it is evident that this has caused, in the long term, biological changes in animals and plants - that is, a modification of their wild character. Therefore, "domestication is a process of biological transformation, which proceeds almost automatically from protoculture and protobreeding activities, when these are applied to certain wild species, and which is explained by perfectly understandable genetic mechanisms."{5 } Otherwise, was this wild character static before? And did not this primitive man, himself savage, have to undertake, in order to survive, like other species, the conditioning of his habitat, that is to say, the remodeling of a part of nature that formed his direct environment?

When Jared Diamond[11]{6} tries to see how the two negative behaviors of the human species (its tendency to kill other human groups, and its tendency to destroy its environment) lead directly to ecological suicide, he not only finds precursors of these two traits in animals, but also offers examples of primitive peoples who have plundered their biotope and numerous species. Without going so far as to affirm that primitive peoples do not have an interest in preserving nature, Diamond shows that the Roussean image[12] of a primitive golden age is a myth.

Primitivists can hardly deny the inevitable relationship between man and his environment. They only have to explain this relationship in terms of harmony or domination, and resort to an ad hoc theory to explain the transition from the first to the second term. That is where domestication comes into play. But since these people are only interested in abstractions or [sic] vulgarizations on the matter, we need, in order to see a little more clearly, to expose what are the latest hypotheses to date on the question of the famous passage from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic[13].

In this respect it is known that the identification of the Neolithic with an agricultural revolution is misleading. And that numerous anthropologists, archaeologists and paleontologists today look for the origins of said revolution in a period of proto-agriculture that goes back at least to 40,000 before our era, or further, according to the chosen criteria (particularly that of consciousness). But first of all, what do you understand by proto-agriculture? One thing, in short, quite simple and obvious. A hunter-gatherer whose diet depended on gathering wild berries, he was keenly interested in protecting the berries from other predators; «the protection of the harvest emphasizes the protection of the territory»{7}, and is therefore a first step towards agriculture. The precautions given to plants that were beneficial to them have outlined the gestures and knowledge prior to a further development of agriculture at the same time that they have gradually modified the genetic capital of plants (and animals). One could mention the example of the Australian aborigines who, if they do not practice agriculture, do not stop directing a management of fauna based on "bush burning". By methodically burning the vegetation, they regenerate it, thus increasing the population of herbivorous animals that they can hunt. The frequentation of plants and animals not only allowed hunter-gatherers to develop what could be called their agricultural techniques but also allowed them to acquire an extra in their survival conditions.

With regard to this little extra that proto-agriculture would have provided to the hominid peoples who engaged in it, Colin Tudge[14] has put forward the following hypothesis: this practice, even if it was minimal in relation to other practices (hunting, gathering), it would explain many things:

1) the ecological success of the human species, 2) its geographical extension, 3) the slaughter of the Pleistocene[15], 4) the disappearance of the Neanderthals, 5) the diffusion of agriculture in the different regions of the world.

It is in this sense that it can be said that the Neolithic period does not mark the birth of agriculture -its invention- but rather its generalization "with the help of sufficiently intensive techniques to cause visible transformations"{8} on plants and animals. Colin Tudge claims that man would have dedicated himself to agriculture proper (that is, corresponding to the Neolithic period) because of: 1) a vicious circle mechanism according to which the more cultivated land, the more the population increases, and therefore more The need to farm is produced, 2) by the rising waters in the Near East that deprived the peoples of their hunting grounds, but which were able in any case to ensure the transition thanks to the existence of favorable soils and cereals such as wheat and barley.

It can be regretted that in this book the argued development of the hypothesis is limited to the Near East, and that the cultural factor is not mentioned in the explanation of the birth of agriculture. On this last point, it is necessary for us to return to the hypotheses of Lewis Mumford[16] which must, it is true, also be subjected to a critical analysis but which remain an unprecedented source of inspiration.

In The Myth of the Machine, Mumford also draws attention to a previous period of proto-agriculture to explain Neolithic development. If already then Paleolithic collectors acquired knowledge about plants, it is in the Mesolithic[17] where the new sedentarization, with the first durable constructions, would have allowed "the exhaustive observation of the behavior of plants." This is what makes Mumford say that a large part of agricultural tools and knowledge useful for the development of domestication existed before the Neolithic, and that it is therefore necessary to look for the originality of this period in a religious transformation. The Neolithic phase would reflect an interior transformation of primitive man, it is "the awareness of sexuality as a central manifestation of life as such, and of the particular role of women both in the realization and symbolization of sexual pleasure, as in the organic fecundity" that would be according to Mumford the "dominant driving force" of the domestication process. But if, in the course of the Neolithic, the ritual managed to be carried out at work -with its new industrious character- and thus gave it a vital and daily depth that it had never had before, this should give rise, in the dialectic of civilization, to two opposing forms of social, political, and technical organization: the village institution, on the one hand, and the Megamachine, on the other (which Mumford points out "could only flourish in a few regions that were very prosperous in agriculture, which favored urban civilization and the concentration of innumerable individuals who could be forced to work"). We will not present here the reasons that Mumford gives to explain the stagnation, the sclerosis and finally the defeat of the village institution. We will only stay, for pleasure, but not without warning against a certain idealism on his part, with a kind of description that he gave of said institution: «Where the seasons are marked by festivals and ceremonies; where the periods of life are marked by family and community rituals; where food, drink and sexual games are the core of existence; where work, even painful, is rarely separated from rhythm, song, human companionship and aesthetic pleasure: where vital activity is as gratifying as its product; where neither power nor profit come before life, where family, neighbor and friend all form a visible, tangible, face-to-face community; there where each one can perform as a man or woman any task that any other is qualified to do - there subsists the Neolithic civilization in its essential characters; even using iron tools or if a van takes the products to market.»

On the contrary, the Neolithic is generally among primitivists the great Evil, the root of civilized rot. They unscrupulously associate: Neolithic with domestication, agriculture with class society. One finds here again in that lamentable schematism everything that [sic] false consciousness is capable of proceeding to an extreme spatialization{9} of time and causal relations. As Jaime Semprún[18] [sic] says in an article about the ghostly content of certain manifestations of radical theory: «The degradation of the dialectical perception of reality has a retroactive effect in some way, on historical intelligence itself, in its way of crushing the course of history in a purely logical chain from which not only the contingent part is eliminated, but above all the conflicts that, in each era, opened up several possible futures. This strict determinism, which makes causal relations rigid on the model of mechanics (to such a cause, such an effect), is itself a form of spatialization of time: it in effect lends it the characteristics of a spatial sequence to be traversed. intellectually as one walks through a house when going from one room to the other; but it is a museum room, where the very different and delimited periods (the Renaissance, the Enlightenment) are juxtaposed without containing any longer the contradictory processes and the crucial moments that would constitute its wealth» (underlining is our){10}. It is in this sense that it can be said that anarcho-primitivism does not have any historical vision of humanity. For him, everything is reduced to an abrupt step from primitive man to civilized man, everything is immediate perversion, sudden decadence. No dialectical nuance, no recognition of the cohabitation of diverse historical forms have value in their eyes. It is a story explained to children -an anthropology drawn with a thick line closely related to the dominant progressive vision where a crude opposition between two models is carried out. This virtual radicalism (seeking the root of Evil and wanting to start everything from scratch) is a pure product of modern impotence. Primitivists, with their nostalgic vision of feral happiness (to use classical categories, work integrated into life and rest and recreation time superior to work time in primitive societies), understand nothing of tragedy that inhabits the human being. Wild life, or primitive, for primitivists, is that of permanent non-contradiction. Has it never occurred to you that happiness was perhaps not what man was looking for?

And when, in their childish and painless arrogance, they claim to want to experience the conflict that represents the life of an active and thinking being, and to reject a harmonious peace, it is then to affirm at the same time a bestial hedonism that is difficult to distinguish from an unconscious justification. of the world as it is. This youthful outburst can be understood, but the unrealistic coarseness of his arguments, confronted with reality, can only disappoint his supporters in the long run, and reinforce the ambient despair a little more.

This highly praised carpe diem, this search for the joy of the present, and this hatred of the human brain’s ability to project itself into the future are the trademarks of the modern mentality that wants to get rid of all obligations to to begin with, to think that it could, even if it were not much, require him to introduce himself to the world, affirm himself, gradually build up, between laughter and tears, a sensitive character with some consistency. The virtuality of his "theory" -this corpus of children’s slogans in the rich vaneigem sauce[19] does not depend only on his ideological reading of prehistory but also on an inability to think about the present. By standing outside of reality, he saves himself the effort of having to explain how this return to the wild will come about.

Well, it cannot be affirmed that the current conditions make possible a return to laziness or to the activity of hunter-gatherers, firstly because the ecological conditions do not lend themselves to it, and secondly because the history of agriculture is also that of the forms of noble lives whose flame we must try to rekindle, and that the improbable but necessary answer to the question of survival, which is presented so acutely in our days, first passes through there.

And this is where we should address another issue, that of artificialization.

"A social organization, whatever it may be, is above all a form of appropriation of nature, and that is where our commodity society has failed miserably."{11} The primitivists attribute this failure to the first steps of humanity, when it is necessary to attribute it to industrial society (this does not mean, of course, that there could have been other forms of previous failure, but in no way comparable to the dimension reached by the industrial system). For primitivists, failure is equivalent to the intention to appropriate nature. They do not see that there have been historical forms of this appropriation, essential for human survival, and that today, it is a specific historical form (the industrial form) that must be destroyed. If it can be said that artificialization is a disastrous way, historically constituted, of appropriating nature, and whose final desire today is to replace nature with a technosphere, it is so in that sense. The primitivists, who in a certain way recognize well this modern process of artificialization, then apply it, with a typical reductionism of the time, to the whole process of humanization. Their rejection leads them to condemn the very relationship of man with nature, his vital need to appropriate it. It is not the forms of appropriation that are condemned, but the appropriation itself, which is the constitutive terrain of man. It can then be verified that primitivism is carried away by its dislike of contemporary man, and falls squarely into anti-humanism. We will never oppose this perspective too much. We fully agree with Jaime Semprun, who, when specifying the critical task of the present, affirms: «This judgment [of the set of technical means developed] certainly leads us back to a conception of life that one wishes to lead, but this conception is not at all abstract or arbitrary: it rests on a lucidly historical awareness of the contradictory process of civilization, of the partial humanization that it has allowed to be carried out, and that reaches its limit with the ongoing anthropological rupture. It is not a question of “going back”, but of reappropriating the vital forces of humanity by destroying the machinery that paralyzes them»{12}.

Primitivism as an ideology. Domination and domestication.

The most serious question about primitivism is that, in its most explicit bias, it is the other face of the technological and ultra-progressive discourse of the present. Both obey the same anti-historical approaches. Hyper-industrial civilization breeds both technophile enthusiasm and the pursuit of primitive savagery. The two utopias, dramatically opposed, meet at the poles of a society that wants to prevent critical thinking from escaping from the tomb of commonplace banalities at all costs.

It is evident that primitivism, by designing a fictitious and radical utopia where everything that is eminently historical is rejected, ensures that it will not have to lift a finger to do anything for the next fifty years.

Of course, primitivist dogma is soon set aside, and the primitivist does things. Attempts to practice associationism, communalism, direct action, boycott, activism, and propaganda (where appropriate , sabotage). OK. But precisely by entering the reality of these practices, with all their organizing and mediating aspects, the primitivist moves further away from primitivist orthodoxy. Preparing a communal meal or writing a primitivist publication are eminently civilized tasks, even if this says nothing about the quality of either.

What leads primitivism to a blind alley is that the limitation of its objectives and achievements is linked to its theoretical confusion and its laziness to make the notions it handles intelligible. By taking as fundamental dogmas what are only secondary issues, the primitivist movement - if it can be called that - is reduced to an extravagance typical of the student age. The valid rejection that it could have regarding the industrial capitalist world is reduced to an ultra-radical fashion that, because it is anti-historical, is just the opposite of a truly radical critique.

Certain anti-civilization primitivist literature has fostered a debate around the question of domination as domestication, seeking in the wild the severed roots of our freedom. But once the question is put at that extreme, the disappearance of everything that makes the human comprehensible is then announced: the journey towards the wild state has no end, it sinks in the unicellular dawn of the species. Once the prehistoric periods have been condemned by the primitivists as excessively technical, culturalizing, domesticating or civilizing, that is, inharmonious with Nature, why not return to the night of primordial life? This primitivism is reduced to a militant biologism: conscience, individual or collective, is the enemy.

The culminating point of primitivist contradictions occurs when one wants to blindly follow Nature, without interfering with it, and at the same time this task is considered from a moral conviction, which is external to Nature. But where will the desire of certain primitivists not to interfere with natural, wild life find a limit? Some will say that it is better to give up hunting, others will say that they accept hunting, but not domestication, some others will reject the culinary art and even proto-agriculture, the most radical will dream of finally merging with the nocturnal noises of the jungle. Well, once the dogma of an ecosystem intact from any technical modification is established, the limits between human and non-human nature are diluted: human consciousness was gestated from technical, aesthetic and moral transformations, all of them linked to each other, in a certain way. inseparable.

The domestication of other species is, of course, a technique that separates humanity and the species thus domesticated from the wild routines of survival. We have seen it in the case of agriculture.

"The use of a bridle on horses, such as the one visible in the La Marche engraving, implies that people either rode them or used them for traction. “None of these possibilities strike me as particularly startling at this period, around 14,000 or 15,000 years ago,” says Paul Bahn[20]. “Upper Paleolithic people possessed exactly the same intelligence as we do. Presumably they realized that they could do more with horses than just throw a spear at them when they were hungry.” We can speculate about how the people of the ice age made use of the herded horses. The picture of them galloping across the frozen prairies of Europe may clash with archaeologists’ preconceived ideas about life during this period, but it may well be correct."{13}

The domestication of other animal species dates back to the earliest ages of mankind. It is not, then, a sequel to civilization, it is an archaic technique like stone tools and harvesting. If the domestication of animals is a sign of domination, then all historical human life is based on some form of domination, which we cannot accept as a valid assumption. If, unfortunately, the trend of domination has prevailed in the historical life of the peoples, its origins will have to be sought in a real defeat of the communities in order to learn to self-organize in a lasting way in harmony with their environment, and in the contempt of all power. But against the primitivist prejudice that denies the legitimacy of the domestication of other species, little can be opposed, since we find there another unintelligible superstition of modern consciousness. The desire to leave non-human nature intact stems from a very human desperation that must be overcome.


Primitivists’ concerns about animal liberation, permaculture, raw food, veganism, etc., fall for the same reason into the same sphere of poorly interpreted phenomena. It is normal that for simple moral hygiene we practice as far as possible the boycott of industrial products. It is normal that we reject the consumption of meat in the horrible conditions in which animals are raised today. It is normal that we practice a fundamentally vegetable diet, given the plunder that meat production entails for small peasant economies around the world -and the soils and aquifers. "Common decency" as Orwell would say[21] calls us to show our most frontal rejection of the cruelties to which animals are subjected in today’s world, as well as the brutal looting to which all life in the world is subjected. of industrial capitalism. The concern for consumption habits is [sic] a first step today to activate the awareness of struggle{14}. Having said this, we insist again that beyond these simple truths begins a field of conjectures and vagueness that has made anarcho-primitivism a caricatural current.

It is in this sense that we speak of primitivism as an ideology made of confused certainties and semi-truths, which today constitutes a major obstacle for its own participants to clarify the causes they defend.

The errors of primitivism are also fattening with the worst consequences of contemporary nihilism, which sometimes presents primitivism as another ideology of impotence. We are referring to his hedonistic or allegedly subversive proposals (hence sometimes the vaneigemist vindication of pleasure or the ultra-leftist rejection of work) that incorporate him into the most radical conformism.

Primitivist propaganda links the search for freedom to the rejection of a civilization that would have domesticated the human animal, imposing all kinds of restrictions on it. How long [sic] are we going to have to keep listening to these silliness? The joy of living with others, the direct relationship with natural things -including our own human nature- the effort to create something, to build in common and in free critical dialogue, the search for a certain empirical knowledge, the resistance to Power. .., all this grew and developed in the human soul, individual and collective, through centuries and centuries of construction and historical struggle. It makes no sense to go looking for these values, in their pure state, in an unsuspected prehistoric age.

We reject that curil aspect of anarcho-primitivism that preaches a certain idea of sexuality, pleasure and leisure. We already know how this era of rapid ejaculating consumption wants to turn us into insatiable seekers of pleasures and leisure, lazy people incapable of weaving a bit of wool, walking ten or twelve kilometers, chopping wood or reading a book, waiting for the machines to solve everything. and the computers. If anarcho-primitivism wants to simplify our lives to the point that we become scattered herds who spend their time roaming their territory and eating wild fruits, freed from all burdens, then their utopia is nowhere near our utopia.

This freedom without content that the primitivists propose to us can only seduce those who, out of comfort, refuse to take action to build solid, cooperative projects, which would essentially pose a problem to Power. The culture of Power has been imposed precisely through the destruction of all the ways of a material autonomy that were still close to the life of the people in the past. Material autonomy was reproduced, socially, in self-organization, in association and in mutual support. It is known how extensive forms of communalism existed during some periods of history in some areas of the peninsula. These forms of community should not be models, strictu sensu, for us, but they do offer us clues as to how social projects could be devised in the future. In fact, some anarchist currents took into account the experience of these communities{15}.

But in any case, for these proposals to have any effectiveness, primitivists should get rid of a reductionist idea of nature as a wild, pure state, an environment through which human beings must pass without leaving any trace. In line with this question, we must remember the insistence of the biologist Richard Lewontin on the myth of a separate and independent environment from the organisms that inhabit it, when the reality is rather that of a total, integral entity, the result of a mutual and constant of both, without this, of course, serving to give reasons to the industrialists, who to hide the excesses already carried out by industrial capitalism refuse to distinguish nature from human action. Faced with them, we will say that we are interested in discerning that if the natural environment that surrounds human settlements is a human product, this will not make us forget the effect on the environment caused by industrial excess, which has brutally supplanted all nature and all social life. . Against everything that can be thought, the Friends of Ludd believe that anarcho-primitivism is a symptom that the old revolutionary movement wants to incarnate itself in other forms of contestation, that the old progressive paradigms have expired, that the technological discourse is beginning to be questioned. on many levels, that the cause of freedom calls into question the dogmas of economism and security, as well as the considered material progress of this suicidal age. The content of this letter says very little about the hopes that we can have regarding the possibilities of this current, but trusting that some of its most lucid elements can respond to our criticisms, we hope that its writing has been of some use.

The millionaire had hired through an agency, for her hunting, real Indians, an opportunity that Mac Parrish took advantage of to appear in the Rockies.

"You know you have to speak Indian," Mac warned the other, who, even though he was, had a car and a television .

Criticism of "Open Letter to Primitivists"

By Ultimo Reducto. [Adapted from the article “Open Letter to ‘The Friends of Ludd’ and the Like’ sent to The Friends of Ludd on 4-22-05].

For a revolutionary movement to succeed, it has to be an extremist [...] If someone takes the position that certain aspects of civilization should be safeguarded, for example cultural achievements to the seventeenth century, then you will be tempted to compromise when it comes to eliminating the techno-industrial system with the possible or probable result of failing to eliminate the system at all. If the system collapses, what will happen to the art museums with all their priceless paintings and sculptures? Or to the big libraries with their huge bookstores? Who will worry about works of art and books when there are no organizations large and wealthy enough to employ restorers and librarians, as well as police officers to prevent looting and vandalism? And what will happen to the educational system? Without an organized educational system, children will grow up uneducated and perhaps illiterate. Clearly, anyone who feels that it is important to preserve human cultural achievements up to the 17th century will be very reluctant to accept a complete collapse of the system, and will therefore seek a compromise solution and not take the frankly extreme measures that are necessary to hit our society a blow that diverts it from its current course of development, a course that is technologically determined. Therefore, only those who are willing to dispense with the achievements of civilization can be effective revolutionaries.{16}

After reading the article entitled “Open Letter to the Primitivists’ that appeared in number 7 of The Friends of Ludd, it is necessary to clarify certain questions, as well as raise some others:

To begin with, who are the Friends of Ludd (LAL hereinafter) referring to when they use the term “primitivist”? Because they give at least two different ideas, and not necessarily compatible, of what they understand by "anarcho-primitivism" or "primitivism".

They begin by saying that an anarcho-primitivist, according to them, is anyone who "starting from clearly anarchist positions has come to place himself in the orbit of criticism of Western, modern, and industrial civilization, and who therefore rejects culture and the way of life engendered by that civilization, at the same time that it bases its search for freedom and autonomy on a more direct relationship with nature understood as a wild state [...] A new form of anarchism linked to the rejection of industrial civilization not only insofar as it industrial but as ‘civilization’ [...] Explicit rejection by a generation of anarchists not only of the old forms of political and economic domination, but also of the forms of life of technological civilization, of their distancing from the nature and its artificialization in all senses’.

The truth is, perhaps many of us could feel close to this definition of anarcho-primitivism (although with “slight” nuances{17}), but this meaning of anarcho-primitivism is not the only one that appears in said article.

In footnote 4, they say:

When we then speak of primitivists, we refer above all to [the] improvised followers in Spain [of John Zerzan].” [Ultimo Reducto italics].

What does "above all" mean? Since the rest of the text is full of statements regarding the

"anarcho-primitivists", to dry, that "above all" does not clarify at all to what

“anarcho-primitivists” are referred to in each case in the rest of their article.

For the moment let us note that we have read two different, explicitly expressed conceptions of what it is to be an anarcho-primitivist according to LAL, and both are not necessarily compatible (not all "anarchists" against Civilization are followers of Zerzan).

Before moving on to the next topic and continuing with the critique of LAL’s critique, it is necessary to clarify a matter that neither LAL and its co-religionists nor the majority of Civilization critics usually take into account: the "primitive “, itself, is something much broader than mere nomadic hunting-gathering on foot. "Primitive" conventionally means "very old", "close to the origin" merely. This indefinite definition includes everything from the bands of Homo habilis to the first civilizations immediately prior to the invention of writing, as well as all other non-civilized societies of History and Prehistory (including today or of the recent past). Small bands of nomadic foot hunter-gatherers, sedentary hunter-gatherer societies, nomadic horse-riding hunter-gatherer societies (which, by the way, are quite "modern"), small-village farming societies, nomadic pastoral societies, civilized agricultural societies without writing, etc. So when someone simply calls themselves a primitivist, and also when others merely call themselves primitivists, they really aren’t saying anything concrete, beyond vaguely referring to nonliterate (nonliterate) societies as references. historical record), in general.

This is another good reason to wonder what "primitivism" really means (both when used by some critics of Civilization to call themselves, and when used by critics of those critics to call them) and whether it is really a lucky term. Ultimo Reducto (UR hereinafter) highly doubts it. Not all of us who consider the System of Domination{19}, Civilization, and techno-industrial society to be bad{18}, consider the term “primitivist” adequate to describe ourselves or our ideas.

It is worth noting something that appears at the beginning of the article. LAL, ostentatiously flaunting its cultural heritage and historical “rigor”, reveals to us the supposed ideological “grandfathers” of anarcho-primitivism. What if "anarchonaturism", what if "anarcho-communalism", what if "utopian socialism", what if the American "countercultural" "hippies" of the sixties, what if "deep ecology", what if "millenarianism" “ and the esoteric Christian sects, that if certain Anglo-Saxon publications, that if the anti-globalizing “Black Block”... And also, they recommend reading the insipid pamphlet Primitivism and History by Miguel Amorós, so that let us become infected with the wisdom of this outstanding left-wing intellectual about the alleged philosophical genealogy, the theoretical origins and the ideological heritage of primitivism.

However, the idealization of past times in general, and of primitive societies in particular, is not something of yesterday afternoon. Primitivism (understood as the idealization of pre-civilized societies) is a trend that goes back to classical antiquity, passing through Renaissance humanism. And, more specifically, modern anarcho-primitivism also has other not so old precedents, which LAL have “forgotten” to mention.

Furthermore, often the precedents of a stream are not necessarily also its sources. One’s own ideas do not always come from other people’s ideas, although both show coincidences.

Therefore, LAL show that they have an excessively reductionist and inadequate vision of the true processes of appearance and development of ideological and cultural currents. Any list of presumed ideological ancestors is incomplete, and in most cases tends to offer a rather poor portrait and explanation of the ideological genealogy and real development of the currents to which it refers.

And to top it all off, some of the presumed ideological ancestors who so “evidently” see and saddle LAL with criticism of Civilization, to some individuals opposed to Civilization they are completely alien or indifferent to us. And sometimes they even repel us, as in the case of anarchonaturism, anarcho-communalism, socialism (utopian or not), the English Luddism of the early modern industrial era, the hippism of the sixties (and now, which still hasn’t happened). has ended, unfortunately), most of the contents of Anglo-Saxon anarcho-primitivist publications (and not to mention non-Anglo-Saxon ones), the anti-globalization struggle, Marcuse, Vaneigem, Zerzan, the historical Christian heresies, etc. Not to mention the pedantic intellectual and pseudo-erudite attitude of those who try to relate us genealogically with all of them.

Having said that, let’s continue with the criticism of LAL’s criticism. Following the text, we see that LAL asks:

“When primitivists oppose ‘civilization,’ what exactly do they mean? To contemporary Western civilization? To the urban, technified way of life, endowed with a state, hierarchical political organization, of which other historical civilizations give an example? Or, even more, to the so-called ‘civilization process’? But, also, a certain primitivism identifies ‘civilization’ with culture, without fully characterizing the latter’. Well, it seems that this time LAL have tuned it up a bit more and talk only about ‘a certain primitivism’, instead of ‘primitivism’ in general. Unfortunately, their good judgment will not last long, because in the following paragraph they return to the unjustified generalizations: “It is evident that the primitivists are more or less opposed to all the categories of civilization that we have mentioned, confusing them all without embarrassment. ..’.

Blas spoke, round point.

Again one must ask: what “primitivists”? And again, LAL prefer to ignore the fact (well known to them) that some radical critics of Civilization are against any form of “urban” and “state” life{20}, “technified” or not{ 21}, (which is more or less what these critics usually understand by “civilization”), but not of culture (understood as the transmission of information -techniques, knowledge, ideas, etc.- of one generation to another within a human group, or between human groups - diffusion-).

As for what they call “civilization process”, it would not have been bad if LAL had clarified the meaning they assign to said expression. But, as in the case of "western", "anarchist" and many other terms they use, they have not seen fit to do so.

LAL say that the “anarcho-primitivists” openly confuse all the presumed categories of Civilization to which they refer. Probably many presumed critics of Civilization do, but, as stated, not all. And what’s more, LAL themselves also confuse these categories, as well as others referring to other concepts, as will be seen throughout this article.

Suggest, as LAL does, that values and principles contrary to the Civilization and favorable to Wild Nature are always the result of "the most banal literature and cinema of the entire 20th century" yes that is a banality.

That without going into artistic gatherings, because we would have to see what they call banal and how serious and profound.

LAL say that "primitivism" faces (and fails in the attempt) two problems: to document their discourses with real examples of "primitivistly correct" primitive cultures and to demonstrate that all civilization is "harmful and authoritarian".

And again they return to the charge with Zerzan and his failure to document his theories. But not all radical critics of Civilization are

Zerzan, not even "Friends of Zerzan". It would really be a historical milestone that

Zerzan managed to document his absurd ideas and fantasies with true examples from real primitive societies. The set of anthropological knowledge accumulated to date would collapse, along with some other knowledge from various other sciences, including physics or biology, for the simple reason that what Zerzan posits as realities and truths never existed, nor does it exist. nor can it exist. The primitive hunter-gatherers feminists, pacifists, vegetarians, and in short, "politically correct", progressives and leftists{22}, as well as the comfortable, sweet, maternal and harmonious Wild Nature, which they try to sell us are such a myth like that of the little green men from Saturn.

However, if, contrary to Zerzan and other hallucinated ones, we observe with objective realism and a critical sense what is known of primitive cultures in general, and of nomadic hunter-gatherers in particular, and we take true human freedom as values ( personal autonomy to satisfy human natural needs and tendencies) and the autonomy of Wild Nature{23}, we will see that (despite its defects, which they have and many; although these do not always coincide precisely with what the leftists -anarcho-primitivists or would not- consider fault) primitive uncivilized cultures are usually closer to living up to those values than are civilized cultures, let alone techno-industrial society. If only because primitive societies lack the technological and demographic capacity to contravene them as much as other more developed societies. This is something that is well documented by anthropology.

LAL say that the "primitivists" have also failed to demonstrate that all civilization is "harmful and authoritarian." However, the Friends of Ludd themselves recognize that "if we understand civilization as a very broad historical movement linked to great commercial and maritime cultures, great religious communities, immense territorial demarcations occupied by peoples united by power and language, etc., we will effectively see a map of political and social oppression, we will see discrimination, exploitation and even genocide [...] there has been no historical culture that has not been built on some kind of domination and violence” [UR italics]. They were? Is it proven or not?

Precisely, as has already been said above, the “civilization” that some of us refer to, albeit with different terminology and some other nuance,{24} is more or less what they mention in this excerpt.{ 25} And the rest of what LAL calls civilization are simply other things, which others call by other names (“culture” and “development” - “civilizing process”? -, fundamentally).

LAL may prefer to use the term “civilization” in another sense. It would be totally legitimate if they did so by previously and explicitly defining what they understand by civilization in each case. But they don’t. In fact, like those anarcho-primitivists whom they criticize, throughout their article they freely mix various possible meanings of the term without stopping to differentiate between them.

In relation to one of the meanings of “civilization” most used by LAL (the one that refers to the indefinite “civilization process”), they say:

All mythology liberates and represses, all art is a document of joy and horror, all adaptation opens a door and at the same time restricts, and the same symbolic thought, with its dangerous power of abstraction, opens reality in a sense of renouncing experience. of sensations and their profound diversity. The process of civilization [?] contains periods of construction and historical destruction of the world, of the rise and fall of different structures of Power, of transformations of the physical geography, sometimes in a fatal direction. But it also contains the intellectual, moral, philosophical and aesthetic construction of human consciousness. That construction, as is known, is widely documented [?!].” [The question marks and exclamation marks are the work of UR].

LAL should not seriously expect us to swallow millwheels dressed up as dialectical contradictions. Because, even considering the more than debatable dialectical vision of Reality championed by LAL and company, it would be so logical to extract from that fragment that the presumed constructions, “liberations”, symbolizations, etc., resulting from that “civilization process” They are always greater and better than the destruction, alienation, repression, etc., brought about by him, as the opposite. The dialectic can bewilder or dazzle those who do not have clear values or think that these are always relative; but it does not help those who value what has been lost with Civilization more than what has been gained with it, to change their minds.

And, by the way, when LAL say: that "the process of civilization includes periods of construction and historical destruction of the world, of the rise and fall of different structures of Power", they are very careful not to point out that, generally, at At least throughout the history of industrial society and its predecessor societies since prehistory, each ‘world destruction’ used to prepare the ground for the construction of ever larger and more complex artificial worlds at the expense of the non-artificial, including Human nature; that each fall of the

‘Power structures’ used to imply the consequent construction of even larger ones. Although for this expansion the System has sometimes used small specific and specific setbacks. That some value this process as something good and others as something bad, will depend on the values they take as a reference. If you are really against the interference of large societies and organizations in the self-regulation of the functioning of, among other things, ecosystems, small groups and individuals, obviously you will see this "civilization process" as something bad. . From this perspective, in relation to the development of Civilization, it is not that there is no "evil that does not come for good", but that "there is no good that does not come for evil"; that every presumed good obtained with the civilizing process that LAL cite contains an evil, and that when this evil seems to disappear and be replaced by another "good", the evil that this new "good" contains is even worse than the evil that has disappeared. And if this process is valued as something good, or not so bad, it is either because that "Power" referred to by LAL is defended, or because it is not really clear if one is for or against said "Can". It is a matter of values. Or lack thereof.

Also, on a more concrete level, LAL “forget” to explain how they “release” all myths. Even being benevolent and thinking that LAL have been carried away by euphoria and have used the word “all” instead of “some” or “many”, they have “forgotten” to explain to us what these “liberating” myths are. In the same way, it is not at all clear what terms such as "joy" and "horror" mean for them, so much handled by certain artistic-intellectual hedonistic currents.

(post)modern. And, what do they intend to imply that every adaptation opens a door and at the same time restricts? What type of adaptation, door and restriction are they referring to? They don’t explain it. However, it is not the same to adapt to life conditions with which the species itself has been interacting for thousands and thousands of years than to adapt to a sociocultural and physical environment that is alien to one’s own real human capacities, tendencies and natural needs (and Civilization). always involves, to a greater or lesser extent, unnatural environments and ways of life).

And as if this were not enough, although according to LAL that dialectical "civilization process" to which they refer both builds and destroys, while they tell us that this mysterious process contains the "intellectual, moral, philosophical and aesthetic construction of human consciousness ‘, they are silent as regards the destructive counterpart that, according to themselves, there must necessarily be. What is the human facet, the value, the capacity, the characteristic (or characteristics) of our species whose destruction is accompanied by that presumed construction of human consciousness through Civilization? Again they have "forgotten" to mention them. If this alleged construction of human consciousness is so “documented” as they say, the consequent destruction will also have to be.

On the other hand, if according to LAL, there is no evil that does not come for good, what are they complaining about? Techno-industrial society not only destroys wild Nature and enslaves and degrades human beings, it also provides very effective modern tools in this "intellectual, moral, philosophical and aesthetic construction of human consciousness" (and of the probable future consciousness of certain machines). and artificial systems, unfortunately). And let’s not forget that it also brings medical advances, physical well-being, mobility, ease of "communication" between individuals and distant groups, etc. Why does LAL stop applying the dialectical vision of complementary opposites and trying to justify the unjustifiable only in regards to the techno-industrial society?

By the way, "human consciousness", whatever LAL refers to by this term, is built, by definition, since our species arose (or probably before; we are not the first humans - nor are we the only and first beings with consciousness-). "Human consciousness" already existed long before Civilization, even if by that one means "art," "language," or any of the other "spiritual" sophistications that intellectuals tend to extol as “elevated”, “superior”, “sublime”, "noble", etc., with respect to other more prosaic traits.

And the same can be said about "symbolic thought" and the "power of abstraction." Abstracting and symbolizing are human intellectual capacities natural, not an “achievement” of Civilization.

And when they talk about the "moral construction" provided by Civilization, what morality and what values does LAL refer to? To believe that Civilization has contributed something positive in terms of morality is to have no idea what civilized morality really is and what it is for in Civilization. Or, what amounts to the same thing, not really questioning the values of the System (which many internalize and take as a reference uncritically, even assuming that they are the only possible morality). Because this is precisely civilized morality, the vaunted moral advances of Civilization: a hoax, an ideological and psychological mechanism for the maintenance and development of the Domination System. Moral philosophy in Civilization has normally dedicated itself to advancing in the direction that was most useful to the System at each moment. Its true function, in general, has been to maintain the cohesion and optimal functioning of the System and thus favor its development (helped to a great extent, and often disinterestedly, by panolis who, assuming and defending the values of said civilized morality and singing its praises, they believed they were doing "good" to humanity or even to the World). However, this moral sophistication has proved disastrous as far as true individual human freedom and dignity is concerned (autonomy to satisfy one’s own needs and natural tendencies and positive notion of one’s own worth, respectively). Such civilized morality has brought many advantages to the development of social systems, as well as perhaps individual advantages in terms of some degree of physical well-being, comfort and safety, consumption, etc. (although these

The latter, the individual ones, would be even more than debatable in many cases), but an increase in freedom (in the sense of the term indicated above; not in the humanistic metaphysical sense{26} of emancipating oneself from natural conditioning’ or similar things such as "free will" or absolute will, regardless of circumstances) and dignity (also in the sense indicated), none at all, but rather a clear loss (and by this UR does not mean to imply that in uncivilized societies always tie dogs with sausages in terms of individual freedom and dignity). As civilizations expanded and became physically more complicated, they also did so morally, but not to "raise human consciousness", and even less to increase the degree of freedom and dignity of individuals, but rather as ideological and psychological mechanisms. whose function was to allow and facilitate the maintenance and development of those very civilizations, molding individuals to increasingly unnatural conditions. That is the deception, to make us believe that what benefits Civilization and its development, and really reduces our autonomy (freedom) and value as human beings (dignity), is nevertheless a "moral improvement", an "elevation" over the rest of the beings, a "liberation", or a kind of you don’t know what kind of "realization".

As for the progress in aesthetics in particular, UR really doesn’t see that it can be valued as progress. The truth is, if we think of all the destruction and domination that civilizations have entailed throughout history, trying to justify them or downplay the harmfulness of their effects on the basis that their works have been increasingly "beautiful" (even Assuming that they were objectively so, since it is already known that aesthetics is, to a large extent, subjective) it is a banality typical of well-to-do civilized people who get bored and look for something in “Art” that fills them up and entertains them. escaping them from their tedious and pleasant (though clearly unsatisfying) purposeful life. UR does not say that LAL necessarily fit this profile, but it does appear that they have bought into the nonsense that con artists, "in the know" and similar sophisticated idiots use to justify their surrogate activities for real, full life and Reality. physical and objective. Seeing the degree of alienation that a good part of art (especially the most modern) usually carries with it, it often seems more like a degeneration than an advance.{27}

That even so there have been certain advances in a few fields of knowledge, as can be the case of certain cumulative scientific knowledge, which perhaps on occasions is innocuous? Even accepting that this has been the case at times, are so many centuries of enslavement, subjugation and destruction of the wild (including human nature) worth it to achieve these intellectual constructions? Are these advances in knowledge valuable enough to be placed before true freedom, real human dignity and the autonomy of wild Nature? UR considers not.

And how do LAL and the like intend to salvage these "achievements" and at the same time eliminate the negative aspects of Civilization that, according to themselves, are inevitably coupled? If they really want to put an end to the techno-industrial society, how do they intend to effectively and realistically ensure the survival of those civilized "achievements" that they value so much, without maintaining or reproducing any type of Domination System, industrial or not? They don’t say it.

On the other hand, all that about the "construction of human consciousness", as well as other common topics in the discourses of LAL and similar people, such as the defense of the "civilization process", of the "humanization process", of the "project of human emancipation”, etc., are nothing more than irredeemably progressive{28} concepts; idea of moral, intellectual, philosophical, aesthetic, spiritual “improvement”... perhaps immaterial progress, but progress is no matter where you look. And progress, of whatever kind it is and whatever it is called, is simply a fraudulent theoretical justification of the process of development of social systems. In the case of moral progress, or "spiritual" improvement of man, there has never been such a thing, nor does it need to. What there has been is a progressive degradation of the human condition, a reduction of the true freedom and dignity of individuals as social systems have grown and become more complex. And this has been called "moral progress", "emancipation", "liberation", etc., painting it as good and desirable. And the worst thing is that many of those who claim to be making profound social criticisms, even “anti-industrial”, do not question at all the presumed goodness of said moral progress or the moral values that accompany said myth.

By the way, when LAL say that "anarcho-primitivists" understand "freedom" as simply anti-authoritarianism, anti-patriarchy, anti-hierarchy, etc., and Nature as the physical whole to which humanity must adapt "in an animal way", it is necessary to go back to raise the question: what “anarcho-primitivists” are LAL referring to?

Not all critics of Civilization who refer to some primitive ways of life and society define "freedom" as something merely negative ("anti-" or "non-") or abstract. For some of them, true freedom is, as has been said above, being able to fully develop autonomously the tendencies and capacities of each one’s nature (human in the case at hand), which are very diverse and complex. , and satisfy in the same way the basic natural psychic and physical needs, in an integrated way in the wild environment (the only real way to fully and autonomously satisfy nature itself is to do so in the conditions to which it is evolutionarily adapted and of which it forms part). And this may sound “abstract” to some, but in reality it is something that is quite concrete, although not necessarily simple; however, its detailed exposition goes beyond the limits of this text.

On the other hand, it is known that in many primitive uncivilized cultures, in general, hierarchies and authority were not as developed as in civilized ones{29}, which does not mean that they were not hierarchical or authoritarian at all, much less anti-hierarchical or anti-authoritarian.

And as for "adapting to nature in an animal way so as not to be distinguished from it", there are several things to question:

1) Perhaps LAL, with "adapting to nature in an animal way", wanted to imply that what some anarcho-primitivists propose would actually imply a degradation of human beings, a restriction in the expression of our nature and, with it of our capacities and potentialities. In that case, it is true, some of the things some anarcho-primitivists put forward are profoundly contrary to our true nature. However, rejecting “dehumanization”{30} does not necessarily imply rejecting the evidence that we are animals, and “nothing more” than animals. Human animality is a fundamental fact. Anyone who really wants to know and even minimally understand the human being must assume this fact: we are animals; and never forget it. Even when we do such human things, and supposedly “non-animals”, such as reading, writing or speaking, human beings are and act in an animal way (human, and therefore animal). Human character and animality are not opposite traits. In fact, the humanity of human beings is precisely part of our animality. Thus, what some anarcho-primitivists propose is not so much living and behaving like animals (which we always do) but living in a way alien to our true nature, insufficient for the full satisfaction and development of the true capacities, tendencies and natural needs of our species, or often even contrary to them. In this sense, these anarcho-primitivists show that they have a very unrealistic idea of human nature.

The question that arises when reading LAL is whether his notion of “the human” (and “the animal”) is more accurate than that of said primitivists.

2) This question of "distinguishing oneself" or not from Nature is a recurring topic in "ecologist" and anti-ecologist literature, and absolute confusion often reigns in this regard, and the same ones who say on the one hand that we must not separate the being human of the

Nature, on the other hand, tends to show frequently, not just establishing said separation, but rather defending it tooth and nail according to their interests (and/or criticizing those who, according to them, do not establish it sufficiently). The matter is complicated and to treat it with a minimum of seriousness and depth, another article would have to be dedicated exclusively to it, something that, at least for the moment, UR will not do. However, it is possible to point out some key points for reflection in relation to the text at hand, which could help those who really want to overcome the prevailing confusion in this regard:

a) What does LAL refer to with nature and with human being?

Because it is not the same to understand by "nature" "reality" as "the wild" or that "environment". It is not the same to understand by “the wild” “the untamed non-artificial” than “the virgin”. And, of course, “the human being” is not the same as “the human”. Neither "the human" is always nor necessarily the same as "civilization" or "inevitably dominating and alienating society" (Sistema de

Domination). Unfortunately, LAL (and neither are many critics of Civilization) are not usually overly careful when it comes to specifying these issues and making it clear what they mean and what they don’t mean when they use those terms in sentences like the one at hand.

b) “separate” is not the same as “distinguish” or “differentiate”. Being a constituent, though distinguishable, part of Nature is not the same as not being different from the rest of it (something impossible not only to achieve but even to imagine), nor is it the same as standing outside of it at the same level (something equally absurd given that the human being and Nature are entities of a different order that cannot be placed on the same level and compared without falling into irrationality: putting the dog on the same level as its tail, either to separate dog and tail or that is to confuse them), much less, obviously, than placing oneself above it (here the nonsense of subverting the real order of things goes to the extreme of giving greater importance to the part -the human being or the human, as the case may be- than to the whole to which it belongs -Nature-: the tail wags the dog). Too often, both critics of Civilization and its defenders, anti-techno-industrial society or not, miss these nuances.

LAL say that in criticism of Civilization "the cultural question is ignored" and that "symbolic thought, myth, empirical science, aesthetics, moral philosophy, etc., are simply not rigorously addressed." It would have been better if LAL had stopped making statements as emphatic as they were vague in the style of the previous one, and had given and commented on concrete examples of said alleged lack of "rigor". But, as on many other occasions, they have preferred not to.

By the way, what do you call LAL “rigor”? Does LAL deal with such issues “rigor”?

LAL say that “primitivists [...] seem to have an excessively static vision of the dialectic of [the] relationship [between primitive man and wild nature]”; that "[...] for [the primitivists] there would have been a wild nature whose stability or its immutable character would not have been disturbed by any other element (primitive man) who, in this way, did not exist by himself since he melted into that nature. At most everything evolved in watertight compartments, according to a strangely almost inert existence!’; that “[...] it cannot be denied that one does not find [sic] in [Nature] examples of a remarkable ecological balance or of [...] mutual support between species [...] but leaving aside the fact Noting that this type of mutualism does not escape a certain dialectical complexity of relationships -which cannot then be reduced so easily to terms of harmony- we also find examples of animal species that undertake an artificialization of the environment in order to increase their ecological expectations , even domesticating other species. If one can speak of mutualism [...] it would in any case be an asymmetric mutualism’; that "each species has to modify its environment to create a survival habitat"; and that “primitive man, himself savage, [...] had to undertake, in order to survive, like other species, the conditioning of his habitat, that is, the remodeling of a part of nature that formed his direct environment [. ..]”.

To start with, we have to ask ourselves again: what “primitivists” are LAL referring to?

Secondly, it is worth seriously questioning whether all those who reject Civilization consider the

Wild nature and the interactions that occur within it as something static. Wild Nature is not static or simple, but neither is it a chaos, without any order or regularity (an idea as attractive to those who seek to downplay the notion of ecological balance in order to justify the domination of Nature as it is to some anarcho-primitivists enemies of all kinds). Thus, for example, non-artificial ecosystems are complex systems whose "stability" does not consist in the absence of changes, but in the self-regulation of their processes, which usually change, yes, but self-maintain said variation within a regularity, an order and certain limits, and follow guidelines that are largely determined by the system’s own processes, that is, they are in dynamic equilibrium or homeostasis.{31}

Third, neither do all critics of Civilization consider that in Nature “everything evolves in watertight compartments . Wild Nature is a complex system and this implies, by definition, that its elements interact giving rise to the dynamics and processes of that system. Otherwise it would not be a system but a mere set or aggregation. Some critics of Civilization are well aware that interactions occur among the various elements of ecosystems that modify said ecosystems and that feedbacks occur, that is, that the elements that modify other elements in their environment are in turn influenced. by said changed environment. And also that the human being is one of these elements.

Fourthly, the dialectic has nothing to do with the real evolution of the World (artificial or not). This matter will be dealt with later.

Fifth, man (and especially primitive man) has never existed “by himself”, he has always depended on the non-artificial environment in order to exist, and that environment has always conditioned the way in which man has existed. The human being, primitive or not, is not “some other element”, independent, external, separate, foreign to wild Nature, but part of it (so much so that when man tries to separate from Nature ceases to be fully human). And, as has already been said, this does not imply that it is indistinguishable from the rest of it.

Sixthly, certainly, some presumed critics of Civilization reduce balanced ecological relationships and Wilderness to mere “harmony”, but again it must be remembered that “some” or ,many ‘ is not the same as “everyone“. It is evident that among the elements that make up Wild Nature there are many kinds of relationships, and not all of them are harmonious or mutualistic (asymmetric or not), far from it. Often, these relationships are conflictive, aggressive, competitive, parasitic, etc., and are as important and necessary as cooperative relationships (or more{32}) when it comes to maintaining the self-regulation of Wild Nature (its dynamic balance). .

The idea that wild Nature is all “harmony” is a myth created by and for weak minds unable to naturally face the difficulties and roughness of life and the real World. Nature is not all peace, love and solidarity (what those who use that term usually understand by “harmony”), nor is it necessary. Trying to reduce all ecological relationships to mere mutualism, mutual support, cooperation, etc., is not knowing, or not wanting to know, what Wild Nature really is -both external and internal to human beings-. Many anarcho-primitivists certainly tend to show this weakness, however, some radical critics of Civilization naturally accept the fact that competition, death, difficulties, the harshness of the environment, etc., are something not only typical of wild Nature. , and the World in general (wild or not), but also valuable and essential. Seeing it one way or the other is a mere matter of psychological strength.

Seventh, judging by the way of expressing themselves in the passages indicated, it is not too clear that the Friends of Ludd themselves do not also confuse "balance", "stasis", "inaction" and "harmony" (or at least "mutualism"). “). Nor that they do not take the latter as a fundamental value and a desirable end (although in such a case they would perhaps consider harmony as an achievement of the "civilizing process" instead of as a characteristic of Nature).

Eighthly, one must ask oneself what the ambiguous and suspicious phrases really mean: "each species must modify its environment to create its survival habitat", "we find examples of animal species that undertake an artificialization of the environment in order to increase their ecological expectations’ and “primitive man, himself savage, [...] had to undertake, in order to survive, like other species, the conditioning of his habitat, that is, the remodeling of a part of nature that formed his direct environment [...]’. That, given that every species, by the mere fact of living, modifies its non-artificial environment to a greater or lesser degree, any modification of that environment carried out by individuals or by human social systems is comparable to any other modification of non-human origin? That the effects of the activities of other species on the wild ecosystems that they inhabit and of which they are a part are the same and should be equally valued as agriculture, urbanism, or even industrial activities? No? Which yes? Which not? Just because? Why not? Obviously, LAL intends to justify with this phrase certain activities and situations such as agriculture and livestock or Civilization, without apparently realizing that such a phrase serves the same purpose to justify that as to justify other human activities that, presumably, LAL would consider unjustifiable (in fact many technophiles use similar arguments to try to justify techno-industrial society), or to present as unjustifiable everything, even the effects of the activities of non-human species. To what extent must human beings modify the non-artificial environment? To what extent do they have to adapt it to themselves and their requirements, and to what extent do they have to adapt their requirements and needs to the wild environment? If some primitivists solve these questions in a simple way by stupidly denying any human intervention in the wild, LAL errs no less by leaving such questions without a clear answer after stating that the “primitivists” who deny any intervention in the wild are wrong. By not giving the extent to which such intervention is acceptable, LAL’s statements could be interpreted as hinting that any human intervention in Wilderness is equally acceptable. Although they are careful to say somewhere in the text that they do not intend to justify the interventions of the techno-industrial society in Nature with this type of argument, they do not explain why. And the rest of interventions? Are all non-industrial interventions acceptable? Which ones do and which ones don’t? Because? They don’t explain it either.

Ninth, in relation to the above, if according to the Friends of Ludd themselves, ‘this primitive man{33}, [was] himself savage’, can then it be said that he modified Nature? Can one speak of modification of wild Nature when the changes that occur in it are caused by the very elements that constitute it, that is, by itself? Do earthquakes, glaciations, the seasons, native fauna and flora, etc., modify Wild Nature, or are these phenomena and agents, as well as the changes they entail, part of Wild Nature itself, of its dynamics? So were primitive man and his activities an integral part of wild Nature or were they not? Or, in any case, to what extent were they? In other words, when do artificial changes in the wild environment cease to be part of the dynamics of the functioning of wild ecosystems and other non-artificial elements and systems and begin to be unacceptable, unnatural, bad modifications or, if you prefer, "harmful"?

Any self-respecting critic of the techno-industrial society should seriously consider and try to answer all the difficult questions above. The answers that are given, or their absence, irreconcilably differentiate the different currents allegedly contrary to the techno-industrial society. UR’s answer, summarizing a lot, is that the line between acceptable and unacceptable artificial changes lies in whether or not there is inevitable impediment to the self-regulation of non-artificial processes and systems, and this at in turn depends very much on the size and complexity of the social and artificial systems.

In tenth place, even assuming that, with the debatable use of the term "artificialization" to describe activities carried out by animal species other than humans{34}, LAL wanted to refer to the real fact that all non-human species modify their means in some way and to a certain extent in order to satisfy their vital needs more efficiently, or as a result of the activities they carry out to obtain this satisfaction of basic needs, it is necessary to qualify the statement that non-human animals come to domesticate other species. The only cases known, at least by UR, in which an animal species other than humans has come to develop something similar to domestication occur in a few species of insects that prepare, maintain and exploit crops of fungi or plants, or that They graze other insect species. However, this type of interspecific relationships can only be equated very superficially with the domestication of plants and animals that some human societies have carried out.

And be that as it may, what matters here is to remember that human beings are not insects. Even if some species of insects had actually developed forms of domestication of their own comparable to those carried out by certain human groups, what moral implications would that have? Would domestication carried out by humans be justified just because, for example, ants and termites also carry out something similar? Trying to justify the domestication exercised by human beings by equating it with the "domestication" exercised by some insects is as absurd as trying to justify the existence of monarchies or armies by referring to the "queens" and "soldiers" of the colonies of social insects.

In footnote n°4 of their article, LAL talks about the “fair criticism” that Alain C. (and they forget about a certain Marielle) makes in their pamphlet John Zerzan and the Primitive Confusion of what “must be understood as an ideology’{35}. Although Zerzan’s ideology deserves to be criticized for being little more than a collection of nonsense, what Alain C. and Marielle say, in this or some other pamphlet{36}, is not always accurate, far from it. Despite being correct in some of their criticisms of Zerzan, in many other cases they show quite ostensible signs of progressivism (they do not exactly criticize techno-industrial society but rather defend it -previously reformed to anti-capitalism, of course), ignorance (they talk about anthropological issues that obviously unaware) and even confusionist manipulation of data and facts (for example, the certain Alain C. shows a true obsession with taking advantage of his criticism of John Zerzan to forcefully associate Theodore with him.

Kaczynski -who does not exactly consider himself a primitivist, nor is he a "follower of Zerzan"-). And the fair thing would have been to have pointed it out as well.

LAL say that the book The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond demonstrates that the idea, common among anarcho-primitivists and many other people, that primitive peoples never harmed their environment is a myth. True, although many of the things Diamond says about it should be qualified{37}. But what LAL does not mention is that in said book, Jared Diamond also says many other things and that in some cases what he says is in direct contradiction with the ideas of "history", "civilization", "moral progress" and "being human being’ hinted at by LAL Diamond says, for example, that the shift from nomadic hunting-gathering to agriculture and stockbreeding meant a deterioration, in general, in the living conditions (food, health, etc.) of human beings , which did not recover their original quality precisely until the arrival of the advanced techno-industrial society.{38} Or also, that as human societies have developed technologically, politically, and demographically (? “civilization process’?), beginning with the adoption of agriculture, have inevitably brought about the destruction (by extermination or by assimilation) of the less developed ways of life and society with which they have come into contact.{39}

Regarding "the latest hypotheses to date on the question of the famous passage from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic", if the Neolithic was characterized by something, it was the so-called "agricultural revolution", which consisted of the development or adoption of agriculture and / or livestock by many societies that had previously been exclusively hunter-gatherers. And the fact that "numerous anthropologists, archaeologists and paleontologists today look for the origins of this revolution in a period of proto-agriculture that goes back at least to 40,000 before our era, or further, according to the chosen criteria" does not detract from its value. to the previous statement, since agriculture or livestock farming is one thing and proto-agriculture or proto-livestock farming is another. .

But, what do LAL understand by "proto-agriculture" (and by "proto-livestock")? In their text, LAL give something akin to a definition: ‘collection protection’. It is not necessary to be a lynx to see that between "protecting the harvest" and "domesticating" there is very often a gap, and not a small one, and that confusing the two is either a serious mistake or an exercise in ideological manipulation. of the concepts with the intention of entangling the staff and taking it to the garden (never better said). And the latter becomes even more evident when LAL uses expressions such as: it allowed hunter-gatherers to develop what could be called their agricultural” techniques [UR italics]. Here LAL even blatantly use the term “agricultural” instead of “proto-agricultural”, and they don’t even quote it{40}.

Regarding the critique of the "spatialization" of time that LAL intends to carry out, quoting his co-religionist, Jaime Semprun, UR will leave for a little later the answer that the dialectical component of said critique deserves and will simply limit itself, for the moment, to briefly and superficially answer its "anti-determinist" and "anti-reductionist" component.

The fact that it seems to us that the constituent processes of Reality often offer several possibilities in their development at a given moment does not mean that they really offer them. The belief in the existence of various possibilities at any given time is pure metaphysics. The only empirically demonstrable thing is that at each moment of a process a single scenario materializes, out of all the apparently possible ones. And this happens because a series, often very complex, of previous or simultaneous causal factors determine that it is so and not in any other apparently possible way. Contingency, chance, chaos, absolute will, possibility, probability, etc. They are the names under which our ignorance hides, usually unconsciously and automatically, the complexity of the causal order of real processes in order to avoid recognizing itself.

And the foregoing does not imply that the result of any process can be known in advance with certainty and precision, only that said result is always determined, whether we think so or not, since it is the effect of specific causes. , known or not. True freedom has nothing to do with rejecting determinism, but rather with accepting and understanding it in its proper measure, without falling into the reductionism of believing the result of any process to be totally predictable, nor in the voluntaristic superstition of a human intentionality alien to the circumstances that supposedly arise out of nowhere and apparently offer a diversity of undetermined possibilities.

There would be much to say and clarify about all this and its implications, but such a philosophical discussion would stray too far from the purpose of this article: to criticize the article "Open Letter to Primitivists."

On the other hand, and more specifically, the fact that throughout the last millennia of the Stone Age there were still many hunter-gatherer human groups, or that the groups that adopted agriculture and/or livestock reached different degrees of development (from mere societies of independent villages to well-developed civilizations) does not prevent the latter from being properly called “Neolithic”. In other words, speaking of a Neolithic period does not necessarily imply considering that in said period all human societies became agro-livestock or civilized, nor that they did so suddenly. Avoiding and criticizing historical simplification does not necessarily imply having to throw overboard the ordering of history into periods, much less the concepts of causality or temporal succession, and replace them with an unintelligible contradictory pseudo-order (=dialectical).

Regarding the pathetic idealistic speculations of Lewis Mumford, better not to mention. When even the Friends of Ludd themselves, who obviously admire and refer to this renowned intellectual with a "generous spirit", cannot avoid explicitly recognizing that they must be subjected to critical analysis and that they are not exempt from "a certain idealism". .. bad! And of course their value as arguments or tests is null.

Regarding whether the Neolithic is for the "primitivists" (for which ones?) "the great Evil, the root of civilized rottenness", always related to domestication and class society, and that this is due to the "spatialization of time”, it should be noted that LAL’s critique of said schematism is, in turn, no less schematic. Not all those who are opposed to Civilization consider that the Neolithic is the origin of all evils (and this does not mean going back, as some primitivists do, said origin to the time when language or symbolic thought appeared). Of course, it was a significant step in the expansion, complication and intensification of domestication and social hierarchization. It is true that, apparently, before the

Neolithic times there were already hierarchies{41} (hierarchy, in its simplest forms, is something very old and not exclusive to agro-livestock societies, civilized or not; to a certain degree and way, it is even something natural and inevitable) and some domestication (for example, the dog). And it is also true that not all societies that have practiced agriculture and livestock have developed urban population centers, nor a strong social stratification, and even less a State. But, in general terms, most agricultural or herding societies tend to have larger population sizes and more complex and hierarchical social structures than most hunting-gatherer societies, and this inevitably has negative implications for the freedom of individuals and the the ecology of these societies.

And once again, LAL generalizes without measure when they talk about the primitivists (which ones?) and “their nostalgic vision of wild happiness”. LAL overlook the fact that happiness (at least as it is conventionally understood: hedonistic pursuit of pleasure, rejection of effort, avoidance of all pain, absence of worries and difficulties, etc.), is simply not part of the values, goals and aspirations of some individuals contrary to the Civilization (first of his definitions of "primitivism").

In note 10, LAL say that the Neolithic "has brought about certain consequences that some may consider disastrous: population growth, diseases, inequalities, despotism." "Some"? AND LAL? Do they not consider at least some of them disastrous?

And they ask: "But are they all attributable to agricultural practices?" Obviously, at least some of these consequences that "some consider disastrous" did not arise for the first time with the development of agricultural and livestock practices. It is known that already before the Neolithic, the human population had grown to some extent, that diseases existed, and that there were surely differences in status between members of at least some groups.{42} And perhaps there were also “despots”; It is not impossible. However, it was after the emergence and expansion of agriculture and cattle raising that these problems worsened and spread, reaching levels that could never have been reached in most hunter-gatherer societies (the nomads).{43}

And the true ultimate reason for this is not that these hunter-gatherer societies had values, an ideology, a will, wisdom, a spirit or a mystical aura that protected them from falling into such situations. The reason is that the physical conditions of life in nomadic hunter-gatherer societies were such that they prevented or hindered the appearance and development of these diseases. Thus, in a schematic way, the environment used to not allow in many cases the sedentarization of hunter-gatherer societies. This in turn prevented or hindered demographic growth and population agglomeration, the appearance and spread of epidemics, the accumulation of property, the excessive differentiation of status, and the development of government structures over which the majority, or even all, of the members of society lack real and practical influence. A nomadic hunter-gatherer society could not develop or maintain a state, leisure classes, large populations, etc.

What the adoption of the agricultural and livestock economy (and previously, and to a lesser degree, sedentary hunting-gathering in those habitats that favored it) allowed was the overcoming of the ecological limits of development to which nomadic hunter-gatherer societies were subjected. subjected, allowing or favoring demographic growth, and with it the increase in epidemics, the accumulation of property, the emergence of great differences in status, the development of government and management structures outside the real and effective influence of all members adults in society, the increase in the destruction of non-artificial ecosystems, etc. Whether some agricultural societies developed these traits to a greater degree than others basically also depended on to what extent the physical characteristics of their environment allowed such development, or slowed it down once a certain limit was reached. Thus, for example, not all agricultural societies developed a state. A State requires a lasting surplus production of food. The agricultural society that cannot achieve this type and degree of production will never be able to develop its demography and its social, economic and political structures to the level of state societies.

Thus, agriculture, by increasing the food base, allowed population growth, with the consequent increase in epidemics{44} and ecological destruction, and the development of more domineering political, social, and economic structures in the societies that adopted it. This is something so basic that it can only be overlooked by those who allow themselves to be deluded by idealistic (anti-materialist) reveries{45} about the supposed indeterminate character of history, and the supposed possible effective, conscious and voluntary planning and direction of the development of human societies.

In the same note, LAL asks if the “social history” of agriculture does not offer examples of a “balanced society”. Leaving aside the significant fact that LAL asks but does not affirm (if there are so many examples, why don’t they cite any?), it is worth asking what LAL would mean by “balanced” in this case. Since they do not clarify it, we will have to imagine it.

If by "balanced" they refer to agricultural societies with a stationary population size, which maintained a stable (sustainable) relationship with ecosystems and whose level of economic, political and technological development remained unchanged over many centuries or millennia, perhaps there have been. As has already been said, this would ultimately depend on the physical limits that the environment imposes on the development of each society. It is probable that some of those that could not exceed a certain level would remain there for a long time. However, this is not the fundamental question. The important thing is not simply to be in balance, but if said balance is the right one. A society can be in equilibrium (not grow in any way) and, even so, be too big, interfere with the self-regulation of non-artificial ecosystems, impede freedom and attack the nature of its members in multiple ways, etc. There are many possible levels of “balance”, and not all of them are acceptable from a perspective that takes true human freedom and dignity and the autonomy of the wild as fundamental values. It is more than doubtful that any agricultural and/or livestock society (not even a sedentary hunter-gatherer) has remained at a totally acceptable level of development seen from this perspective.

If by "balanced" they mean that some agricultural societies did not display overpopulation, disease, inequality, despotism, ecological destruction, etc., there has not been any known agricultural society that has not exhibited at least some of these problems at least once in a while. certain measure. In fact, it is very likely that there have never been "balanced" non-agricultural societies in this sense either.

Even assuming that it is true that "the unlikely but necessary answer to the question of survival" lies in the revival of agricultural ways of life, this does not mean that the ideal way of life has to be agricultural. The fact that certain non-industrial agricultural and/or livestock forms of life may seem preferable to (that is, less bad than the) way of life of the majority of the population of the techno-industrial society does not imply that they are the best way of life. for human beings, nor for the rest of their non-artificial environment. In the absence of bread, good are cakes. But cakes are not bread.

Certainly, current conditions do not make it possible for a general return to hunting-gathering activity (not laziness{46}). However, UR is very afraid of believing, as LAL seems to do, that a generalized return to non-industrial agricultural and livestock activity would be a feasible and effective response to the question of the survival of the several billion people who currently inhabit the Earth, is just as unrealistic as believing in the possibility of a generalized return to hunting activity- collector. It is simply very unlikely, if at all, that there is an effective non-industrial solution to the problem of widespread survival (and perhaps not even that in the long run). Dismantling, or widespreading abandonment, of the techno-industrial system without many millions of people dying (of hunger, disease, war, etc.) does not seem to be a feasible option. You have to choose, either seek a solution to the generalized survival of the current population or seek the elimination of the techno-industrial system. Achieving both at once is surely impossible. To believe otherwise (that it is likely that the current population can survive generally with a non-industrial, agricultural or non-agricultural way of life) is to deceive oneself, and to publicly suggest it as a real option, to try to deceive others . But entering into a detailed discussion of all this would divert us from the objective of this text.

Regarding the problem of “artificialization” and the failure to “appropriate”, the first thing to say is that LAL does not make it clear in their text what they mean (and what not) with the term “appropriate”. Take? adapt? Not even with the "humanize" one. Modify (artificialize) the environment? Make human beings and/or the rest of the world become (more) “human”, that is, be transformed “in the image and likeness” of the humanist ideal?

Be that as it may, it is clear that human societies have always taken what they needed from their non-artificial environment (as every other species does). And it is also true that they have modified (artificialized) said environment, to a greater or lesser extent, to adapt it to their needs (as many other species do). But as has already been commented above, the problem is not in taking what is needed or in modifying the non-artificial environment, but in how much, how and to what extent it is taken and modified, and in what is needed, why and so that. And although many anarcho-primitivists are not quite clear on the matter, neither are LAL completely clear about it, since they do not quite say where, according to them, is the limit between acceptable and unacceptable "appropriation" or "artificialization". Because saying that the limit lies in industrialization, without even defining “industrialization”{47} and also adding in parentheses that there were also pre-industrial societies in which misappropriations took place is the same as saying nothing. Or even worse.

LAL affirm that "primitivism" is the other side of the current technological and ultra-progressive discourse. It is true that many presumed critics of Civilization base their discourse and theory on values and principles typical of techno-industrial society, and of some other preceding civilized societies, and/or that they merely react irrationally and pendulously in front of the image (often not very realistic) that are made of them. But again "many" is not the same as "all".

On the other hand, the same objection could be raised in the case of some presumed non-primitivist anti-industrial critics who, like other modern leftists, take socialism, humanism and even Christianity for their basic values and ideals, while believing pretentiously be questioning the ideological foundations of modern techno-industrial society (which are practically those same values and ideals, deep down).

LAL criticize the theoretical laziness and confusion of the "primitivists" (of which?) saying that they prevent them from making the notions they handle intelligible. Certainly, confusion and laziness are traits that abound in many of the critics of Civilization, but not in all, and not only in them. Without going any further, as has already been seen, it does not seem to be a virtue of the authors of "Open Letter to the Primitivistas" to make the effort to even try to define, minimally and adequately, the terms that they use most abundantly in that article in order to make them intelligible. and unequivocal. Some examples of this: "primitivism", "anarchism", "civilization", "moral", "industrialization", "appropriation", humanization, antihistorical, “dialectical”, etc.

Few examples of theoretical confusion will be better and more obvious than the notion of dialectic that LAL handles.

To begin with, as has already been said, LAL do not define what they specifically refer to with said term, which does not exactly help to make its meaning intelligible (assuming that it has any).

However, the context and some other terms that accompany it in their texts (“historical”, “antihistorical”, “historical consciousness”, “contradiction”, etc.,) clearly indicate that, whatever exactly LAL refers to with the term “dialectic”, the meaning they assign to it is closely related to what Hegel, Marx{48}, Engels{49} and their many followers called it “dialectic”.

Broadly speaking, the dialectical theory states that in every process of change, the elements that change entail and supposedly promote their own negations or opposites (“contradictions”), and that new elements and situations arise from this opposition. that presumably combine features of the preceding contradictory elements (which therefore oppose but at the same time complement each other). These new elements in turn, always according to the dialectical theory, would entail and provoke their own contradictions whose overcoming would consist in the generation of other elements that would collect aspects of the previous ones, and so on. Thus, for example in the case of human societies, historical evolution would be the result of processes of this type (struggles, conflicts, oppositions, etc., between different groups, factions, classes, ideas, tendencies, etc., which combining to some extent they would give rise to new classes, ideas, etc.).{50}

Well then, the consideration that the evolution of Reality, in general, or of human societies and cultures, in particular, follows essentially or mainly dialectical processes is simple and Plain nonsense that is only defensible either from the most absolute ignorance, or from a stubborn denial of the most basic and obvious facts. Changes do not always respond to dialectical overcoming of previous contradictions. The new real situations and elements do not always come from the mysterious dialectical combination of previous contradictory-complementary situations and elements (this ambivalent character -simultaneous opposition and complementarity- of dialectical contradictions is comparable for its unintelligibility to the mystery of the Holy Trinity of faith Catholic, and only he makes dialectical theory legitimately treatable as religious belief).

Dialectical theory is nothing more than a dishonest rhetorical concealment of intellectual surrender in the face of the complexity of Reality. Complex processes and phenomena often appear to us, at first, as apparently contradictory, confused, disordered, and only after an effort of observation and reflection and a prolonged and patient experience are we able to discover regular patterns, a deep order, some basic schemes, an underlying structure and a logical and not always contradictory relationship in them. To affirm that Reality is dialectical, contradictory, is therefore to refuse to go beyond the first superficial impression. And the most serious thing is that those who affirm such simplicity often boast that they have a deep knowledge of things.

Dialectical theory is therefore a rather poor and inaccurate explanation of real complexity.

Since the acceptance of the validity of the dialectical theory is a mere matter of faith, it is not worth delving into the discussion and criticism of said superstition here. UR will limit itself to quoting, for how appropriate to the case at hand, the shrewd and hardly improvable observations of Marvin Harris, an American non-dialectical materialist anthropologist, about said ideology:

[...] it is inaccurate that [dialectical terminology] is essential to conceptualize all kinds of transformations. In fact, in many evolutionary processes the ‘contradiction’ [...] is [...] superfluous and misleading. I fail to understand, for example, how a nuclear process such as the transformation of radium into lead can be described in terms of a struggle between opposites (neutrons and protons are not mutually contradictory and lead is not the ‘opposition’ of radio). It also escapes me how useful such metaphors can be in relation to bioevolutionary processes. Representing the birds as the negation of the fish tells us very little about the relationship between the two; define the Homo sapiens as the denial of Homo erectus means taking human paleontology back to the state it was in more than a century ago. With regard, more specifically, to sociocultural transformations, it is also not correct that dialectical metaphors are essential to address the reality of change. Theories about the convergent, divergent, and emergent trajectories of sociocultural evolutions . . . would in no way be improved by adding Hegelian language to them. [...] The transformation from hunters and gatherers to horticulturists was a slow process that operated in small stages during which infrastructural variables{51} underwent continuous and complex changes related in a synergistic way. [...]

Similarly, the transitions to class society and the state were not processes in which a simple contradictory alternative was presented between egalitarian and stratified systems of redistribution [...]” [Marvin Harris, Cultural Materialism, Alliance, 1982, pages 173-174].

“[Social and natural phenomena] will be conceived in ‘somewhat static’ terms not by those unfamiliar with the Hegelian mysteries, but by those [...] who have managed to remain insulated from the intellectual influences emanating from them. evolutionary biology, evolutionary astronomy, modern physics and chemistry, genetics, cybernetics{52} and systems theory. [...] Darwinian and cybernetic models of evolution [are] perfectly capable of explaining [changes without resorting to dialectic]’. [Ibid., page 175].

“The understanding of the whole must not be done at the expense of the parts, but the opposite must not be the case either. Dialectical genuflections are not in themselves a guarantee that the most intelligent balance will be struck. Dialecticians may be less likely than [mechanists, reductionists, determinists, etc.] to take the part for the whole, but they are to misconception of the whole and to distort each and every part in defense of the whole. that mistaken idea [the dialectical view]’. [Ibid., page 178].

“After World War II, dialectical materialism could no longer remain isolated in the face of criticism from Western bourgeois social science. The discrepancy between Morgan’s{53} view of social evolution and the findings of archeology and modern ethnographic fieldwork was no longer concealed in the name of party discipline. [...] Increasingly disoriented by the proliferating anomalies of the empirical situation, dialectical materialism itself soon underwent a remarkable series of transformations that led to the degradation of the materialist and scientific components of the great Marxian principle of infrastructural causation.

“By dint of highlighting, in the name of dialectic, the feedback effect of the structure and superstructure on the infrastructure, Marxist materialism dissolved itself in its bourgeois origins [...] Much of what in the world today is what it calls itself [dialectic] is nothing more than idealism, eclecticism{54} and obscurantism{55} dressed in revolutionary rhetoric [...]’ [Ibid., page 186].

Let everyone draw their conclusions. What is worth highlighting on a practical level in relation to the notion of dialectic is its intrinsic reformist character. Given that the overcoming of any problem (“contradiction’ or “opposition’) happens exclusively, according to the dialecticians, because the preceding contradictory elements give rise through their synthesis to a new situation or element, the dialecticians, by definition, if they are consistent with their own beliefs, they can never pursue the total elimination of what they supposedly reject, since ending any of the previous parts of the contradiction would end the contradiction itself and this would prevent its subsequent dialectical overcoming. Those who embrace the faith of the dialectic cannot really be against anything, that is, totally reject it, unless they fall into total inconsistency. One only has to observe the history of the struggles carried out by people who follow dialectical ideologies to see how they have ended, sooner or later, all of them. This, in the matter at hand, raises serious doubts about the meaning of the "anti-" of the label "anti-industrial" to which certain dialecticians are fond. In other words, it raises serious doubts about the clarity of ideas and/or the honesty of the self-styled anti-industrial critics who embrace and champion a dialectical notion of Reality, about their true desires, motivations, and goals, and about the possible results of his allegedly anti-industrial activity should it ever succeed.

As for LAL’s assertion that the question of “domination as domestication” leads us to “the night of primeval life”, it is just cheap demagogy. LAL knew full well when they wrote such a fallacy that not all critics of domestication conform to it.

As has already been pointed out, rejecting domestication and Civilization does not necessarily imply rejecting the human. Unless the concepts are distorted to such an extent that they stop really meaning something...

With regard to what "moral conviction" is alien to Nature, it should be noted that:

1) LAL once again considers it unnecessary to define the ambiguous term "moral", thus preventing any truly in-depth discussion of the content of their statement.

2) LAL seem to ignore or ignore some basic ethological knowledge that indicates that at least some other animal species also possess some rudiments of behavior that could legitimately be called "moral."{56}

3) Moral behavior (however this term is understood) in human beings is possible thanks to the existence in our species of a series of moral instincts, capacities, tendencies and innate needs, which allow and require it. "Morality" exists because our nature enables us to do so and, in a certain way and degree, requires it. There is therefore not necessarily a contradiction between Nature and moral behavior. The contradiction arises only when the content and character of certain forms of morality conflict with the tendencies of Nature (internal or external to human beings). It is to be feared, from their statements, that it is precisely at least some of these unnatural forms of morality that LAL take as a reference when speaking of "morality" and that they consider something "good" and "elevated" precisely the unnatural character of such forms. forms of "morality", that is to say, that the content and form of application of the same is foreign or even contrary to natural tendencies, human or not.

LAL say:

But the desire of certain primitivists not to interfere with natural, wild life, where will it find a limit? Some will say that it is better to give up hunting, others will say that they accept hunting, but not domestication, some others will reject the culinary art and even proto-agriculture, the most radical will dream of finally merging with the nocturnal noises of the jungle. Well, once the dogma of an ecosystem intact from any technical modification is established, the limits between human and non-human nature are diluted: human consciousness was gestated from technical, aesthetic and moral transformations, all of them linked to each other, in a certain way. inseparable’.

The fact that the various individuals or groups opposed to domestication or Civilization put the limits of their rejection where it comes out of their noses (or where they indicate at that time the currents of fashion in the contentious environments in which many of them move) does not necessarily means that any limit is valid, nor that none is valid. Nor that the limit should be based on an indefinite notion of “civilization”, “domestication” or “the human”. All this has already been discussed above, in one way or another.

By the way, the "dogma of an intact ecosystem of all technical modification" may be something typical of many anarcho-primitivists, but not all critics of industrial society, Civilization and the System of Domination are against all technology or technical{57} (only those so complex that they cannot be fully produced and controlled in a self-sufficient way by small human groups and therefore end up giving rise to a technological and social system so large and complex that it inevitably develops autonomously, dominating and alienating people, imposing their own guidelines on them and subjecting other facets of the autonomy of the wild), nor of all human modification of wild ecosystems (only those that inevitably prevent the self-regulation of said ecosystems).

The biased mention of Paul Bahn’s hypothesis, and Richard Leakey’s sensational conjectures, about the meaning of the presumed bridles of Paleolithic rock carvings of horses, only shows that LAL’s fantasy is much bigger than his intellectual rigor and prudence.

First, the validity of the hypothesis cited by LAL remains to be seen.

The only certain fact in this whole matter, the only demonstrable thing at the moment, is that there are naturalistic graphic representations that seem to be some kind of bridles or harness placed on the heads of some horses (and it is not even clear if they are harness or not) and They date from the Upper Paleolithic. And point. From here the mere speculation begins, since between these facts and the risky affirmation that 15,000 years ago horses were already domesticated, there is an abyss that rationality cannot happily jump without serious objections.

Although the hypothesis of the bridles and the Paleolithic equine domestication could well be a valid but unproven explanatory hypothesis of what these engravings really represent, there are also other equally valid possibilities or more. Namely:

1) That what is observed in the graphic representation of La Marche (or in other existing ones) are not flanges but something else. Who knows what.

2) That, being really bridles, they do not necessarily imply the systematic domestication (livestock) of the equine race by those people, but, in any case, the sporadic captivity or punctual taming of only a few isolated specimens, perhaps even with others purposes other than riding or dragging (game decoys, pets, or even ceremonial sacrifices).{58}

Second, even assuming that the Cro-Magnons had already domesticated the horse, this would not justify the domestication of animals.

It would simply indicate that the time of the appearance of said domestication would have been advanced, in certain cases, a few thousand years with respect to what is usually assumed.

Regarding the affirmation that "the domestication of animals goes back to the first ages of humanity" and that it is an archaic technique like stone tools and harvesting’, it is necessary to make things clear.

Humans (genus Homo) have been on the surface of this planet for at least a million and a half years. The anatomically modern human being (Homo sapiens), about 200,000 years old.{59} Gathering, obviously, was already practiced by hominids before the appearance of the genus Homo. And stone tools are as old as that genre, if not older{60}. However, even accepting the unlikely hypothesis of the early Paleolithic domestication of the horse, it would only go back, at most, to the last 30,000 years. Therefore, to imply that livestock farming is almost as old as mankind and that its antiquity is comparable to that of lithic utensils and harvesting, is either blatantly manipulating information, taking refuge in the vagueness of expressions such as "first ages" or ‘archaic’, or else having a very unrealistic conception of the biological and cultural evolution of our species.

LAL also say that "if the domestication of animals is a sign of domination then all historical human life is based on some form of domination, which we cannot accept as a valid assumption." As much as their scruples lead them to deny it, at least all historical societies, that is, all non-prehistoric cultures, have been based on at least one form of domination: domination over certain animal species, that is, on the livestock as a source of food, shelter, work, etc. Because, whether one is for or against it, it is an obvious fact, not a "presupposition", that domestication implies the restriction of the autonomy of domesticated individuals. Being able to distinguish value judgments from mere recognition of facts is an essential prerequisite for rationality and objectivity.

By the way, it should be noted that, a little further up in their article, LAL said, this time without so much fuss, that “[...] we can consider that there has been no historical culture that has not been built on some kind of domination [. ..]”. How do you eat this?

LAL affirm:

If, unfortunately, the trend of domination has prevailed in the historical life of the peoples, its origins will have to be sought in a real defeat of the communities in order to learn to self-organize in a lasting way in harmony with their environment, and in contempt of all power’.

Nice spiel, but apart from its quasi-tautological character and the usual lack of definition of the terms "historical", "domination", "consonance" and "power", its eminently idealistic nature should be noted. According to LAL, we have to look for the origin of social problems in the attitude and will of the communities and their members instead of in the physical circumstances, both internal and external, that condition and limit the actions of said groups. Societies, according to LAL, are dominant or not (whatever the meaning they give to this term) because their members want them to be or not, respectively. It does not matter, it seems, its size, nor its complexity, nor its ecological environment, nor that its members are only mortal humans with the needs and limitations of their species. Apparently, reading that fragment, to

LAL, what determines the character of a society is solely or mainly the will of its members. It all boils down to wanting or not wanting to “self-organize in line with their environment” and to “despise power” or not to despise it. Unfortunately, Reality works in a very different way from naive voluntaristic dreams, and no matter how much will you have, if conditions do not allow it, communities will not self-organize in accordance with their environment’ and structures of "can". And vice versa, if conditions do not allow "domination" or "power" to develop, they will not develop, whether or not there is a will for them to exist.

Already in the conclusions, LAL tells us:

"Primitivists’ concerns about animal liberation, permaculture, raw food, veganism, etc., fall [...] into the same sphere of poorly interpreted phenomena."

It will not be UR who denies that these concerns are poorly interpreted phenomena, what it will do is doubt that, judging by what they say in their article, LAL’s interpretation of at least some of these phenomena is less poor.

For example, LAL say:

“It is normal that for simple moral hygiene we practice boycotts of industrial products as much as possible. It is normal that we reject the consumption of meat in the horrible conditions in which animals are raised today. It is normal that we practice a fundamentally vegetable diet, given the plunder that meat production entails for small peasant economies around the world -and the soils and aquifers. ‘Common decency’ [...] calls us to show our most frontal rejection of the cruelties to which animals are subjected in today’s world, as well as the brutal looting to which all life is subjected in the world of industrial capitalism.

However, these reasons for rejecting meat consumption are an extraordinarily simplistic hodgepodge. First, rejection of meat consumption is not the same as veganism. Second, the consumption of meat (or other animal products) does not always imply the international plundering of small farmers (who are often, in fact, themselves small farmers producing meat and other animal products) or of soils and aquifers. And third, industrially raised cattle do not only produce meat (there are other products derived from livestock), nor are they the only existing source of meat and other animal products. There are also other sources of animal products, nowadays perhaps minority in certain areas, such as non-industrial livestock or hunting, which do not necessarily present at least those problems mentioned by LAL

This without going into assessing:

1) That cattle were not usually "decently" treated in pre-industrial societies, capitalist or not. Leaving aside the already unworthy treatment that their mere domesticity implies, in the treatment of domestic animals in pre-industrial societies, physical abuse, mutilation, confinement, poor hygienic conditions, etc., were also common.

2) Whether the relationship between the "boycott of industrial products" (including industrial meat) and "moral hygiene" is always as direct and linear as LAL implies.

3) The real effectiveness of the individual and minority rejection of industrial products (including animal products of industrial origin) when it comes to avoiding the problems that they entail.

4)Who would really favor, for example, the generalization of the rejection of the consumption of meat or other animal products for political-economic reasons (“plundering of small peasant economies’) or environmental reasons (“plundering of soils and aquifers’) in a System seriously threatened by the possibility of political, economic and social conflicts, by the degradation of the environment and by the probable scarcity of resources.

Then, reject the consumption of meat as simplistic as they do

LAL, is to interpret very poorly the phenomenon of its production.

LAL say that "the joy of living with others, the direct relationship with natural things -including our own human nature-, the effort to create something, to build in common and in free critical dialogue, the search for a certain empirical knowledge , the resistance to Power [...]” grew and developed “in the human soul, individual and collective, through centuries and centuries of historical construction’.

We will leave aside much of the discussion that this cloying fragment deserves, in which LAL lists some of its most beloved values, at least in theory: "coexistence", "community", "dialogue"... Anyone who knows the role played by these values in leftism and in the propaganda of the current System will know what they really mean.

Nor will we go into trying to decipher what exactly expressions such as “certain empirical knowledge”, “resistance to Power”, “human soul” mean.

[...] collective’ or “historical construction’. Despite their ambiguity, some of them say a lot. Especially about those who use them.

In any case, it must be objected that human beings had already been putting their social nature into practice for many millennia (living together, cooperating and sharing with their relatives), "creating" and building (trying to do the things that were necessary for them to do). , "dialogue" freely (with words and with sticks), accumulating empirical knowledge (transmitting and receiving knowledge, techniques and primitive technologies from generation to generation) or tending to avoid the excessive development of "Power" structures (tending to moderate and limit the social hierarchies that emerged in their groups) when the story began. All these traits are, at least to some extent, characteristic of human nature. And they probably have been around since before our own species even appeared. History, Civilization, the only thing that they have done on many occasions has been to make some of those natural traits be expressed in a very different way from the one for which they arose. For example, forcing individuals to live, cooperate and share with large numbers of strangers, to learn and strive to build things that actually served the maintenance and development of Civilization, but that they didn’t really need, or to rebel against ( and submit to) forms of “Power” that had never existed in pre-civilized societies.

And as for the fact that the relationship of human beings with "natural things" (not artificial, it is understood) became more direct with Civilization is another crude fallacy that insults the most elementary common sense. If the development of Civilization stands out for something, it is for gradually removing more people from real and adequate contact with more and more aspects of their own internal nature and their non-artificial environment.

LAL say that in order for solid self-organization projects that pose a problem to "Power" to be effectively built and maintained, "the reductionist idea of nature as a wild, pure state, an environment through which human beings must pass without leaving no trace”, remind us that the environment and the organisms that inhabit it constitute a total and integrated entity, negligently trying to avoid that the above is understood as a naturalistic justification of the “excesses of industrial capitalism” and mentioning the name of the biologist Richard Lewontin (a Marxist, of course!) to invest these assertions with his presumed intellectual authority.

For an adequate response to most of the above, UR simply refers the reader to what has already been stated above about LAL’s ambiguous position regarding the relationship between human beings and Nature, its lack of definition about the limits of the “trail” that we have to leave or its confusion between “wild” and “virgin”. Here it is only worth noting that the fight against “Power” does not necessarily imply the fight against the techno-industrial society. The vast majority of self-considered anarchists or libertarians are not against the techno-industrial system.{61} The true opponents of the techno-industrial system should be very clear about the central object of their struggle and focus their limited energies against it. Dedicating yourself to promoting struggles against, for example, the State or capitalism, implying that they are the same as the struggle against industrial society, apart from being a sign that things are not very clear, diverts attention from the fundamental problem It represents technological development. When, at least in theory, what is sought is to end the techno-industrial system, devoting oneself to promoting other causes is, at best, a miserable way of wasting time, attracting useless or even harmful people (leftists, hang-ups, fops, etc.), and encourage the capacities of those individuals who truly have potential to be wasted in futile causes, or at least non-priority ones. And at worst, work for the enemy.

These have been the objections to the LAL article, ‘Open Letter to Primitivists’, which UR considers worth mentioning. There are also more points in that article that UR does not agree with, but either they would mean beating around the bush too much, or they are not worth the ink that would be spent commenting on them. There are also a few points in LAL’s article, such as the rejection of the hedonistic attitude typical of most primitivists, with which UR could perhaps agree (always with nuances), but the purpose of this text is merely criticism, not the clap.

Excerpt from the Friends of Ludd article: “Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Making Way?”

[Published in The Friends of Ludd, n°8, February 2005.

Corresponds to pages 12-15]:

[...] Ultimo Reducto [sic] / Allium / Zizen

It has been possible to compare the similarity more than once, beyond any forced historical analogy, between the decline of the Roman Empire and the present time (as we have done ourselves in the section dedicated to Salamander). As then, we are witnessing the death throes of a destructive, anti-democratic and irrational empire, with the not inconsiderable difference -among many others- that this time the collapse occurs on a global scale and is already dragging in its path «everything from from which a life liberated from the economy could be reconstructed.”{62} So the outlook is truly terrifying. And as then, this collapse can also take the patience of occurring for several centuries, so that no one expects an explosion that will force men to position themselves once and for all for or against freedom. The last stage of the Roman Empire saw the proliferation of sects and religions within it, and it was then that Christianity was born and grew. To a large extent, this religion was a revulsion against the evils of the time: austerity, generosity and contempt for the world in the face of waste, selfishness and materialism that reigned. Christianity, like all religions, borrowed ideas from other philosophies, and one of the most important was Stoicism, which advocated, among other things, an attitude of self-control and moral superiority in the face of earthly problems. Without a doubt, it was this rejection of the morality imposed by power that must have made Christianity attractive to the most sensitive people, disgusted by the rottenness of the Empire.

Reading the texts signed by Último redoducto [sic], Allium and Zizen gives the impression that we are facing an incipient selective and elitist morality for the new apostles of the end of the industrial Empire. At the beginning of number 1 of Último reducto [sic] we can read: «To begin with, those readers=s [sic] who consider that what is said in the UR texts is correct and that agree on the need to take it into account when thinking and acting, they can save themselves by sending UR their pleasure and satisfaction. [...] UR has no interest in establishing substitute relationships and socio-affective communication by mail. So if you write stick to the themes of the texts. The Zoroastrian tone[22] of the prophet who is not addressed to his peers but to poor souls who wander in search of revealed truths{63} is noticeable from the outset.

Well, the texts of the bulletin Último reducto [sic], «Publicación antidominadora», have a similar tone. Abandoning the ideal of political action, they seem to advocate rather the search for "individual coherence." This attitude, which is not out of place at all in the era of "inner change" and more or less concealed self-help, seeks to deny the viability of any political action (or public action, if you prefer), although in fact the very existence of the bulletin UR is a denial of this idea, since its authors show that they still expect something from a traditional form of political action, such as transmitting their own ideas in writing to submit them for debate (despite the fact that they seem to distrust their opinions so much). readers). Obviously, the authors of The Friends of Ludd agree that maintaining personal coherence within the very restricted limits allowed by industrial society is necessary, if only for reasons of mental hygiene. . Our disagreement with UR is focused more than anything on the fact that we do not consider it realistic to give such prominence to mere personal attitude, since it implies a renunciation of what is most noble about political activity. It is inevitable to ask if, once political action is discarded, all that remains is to hope for the transmission of a spirituality, "anti-dominant" or of another type, that can bear fruit in the ruins of the industrial world.

Due to the density of the texts of Último redoducto [sic], we will only dedicate a few lines here to highlight some of the contradictions that, in our opinion, this bulletin presents.

At the end of No. 1 we read one of the most beloved clichés of a certain "radical" social criticism. After more than fifty pages dedicated to dismantling any justification for the superiority of man over animals, we are told that

What in a species is part of its nature, of its innate way of being, and therefore is necessary to maintain the correct functioning and balance of the individuals and groups that compose it, in other species it is not given or needed. or if it appears it is the cause of imbalances and disorders. Hierarchies between human beings are always unacceptable since we are beings that do not need them by nature to live and relate: in fact, we live and relate better without them, as long as the environment is suitable for our species (small social groups, wild ecosystems, simple technologies...).

When we hear of "natural states" we can start to tremble; the oldest justification for capitalism is that it is the "natural" system par excellence. If the human being is not a social and historical being and has to be only "natural", there are things that this philosophy cannot explain. For example: why is the extinction of animal species, such as the mammoth, due to the action of "simple social groups" and not precisely to the action of voracious multinationals{64}? For the authors of UR this may be a black point in their theory, but clinging to the idea that primitive communities are incapable of causing ecological damage simply because they are small is aberrational. Seeking a justification in the natural world to explain why man must be in such and such a way is to deny his historical character.

Another example:

The quality of life, and with it true health, has nothing to do with fleeing death, but rather with the ability of individuals (human or not) to govern themselves and be able to seek and create the most suitable conditions, both physical and psychosocial [?] for their autonomous development in the communities of which they are a part, while these are fully integrated into the ecosystems.

Spinoza[23] said that for a triangle God has three sides. For this deep ecology, animals have human traits and also “govern themselves” and create the “psychosocial” conditions for their own “development”. Throughout the pages of Último redoducto [sic], the idea of domestication as a denial of animal freedom and, therefore, as a repetition of human domination schemes, transferred in this case to the animal kingdom. This thesis, which may seem at first sight to be an extension of the idea of human emancipation, actually has nothing to do with it. For the "classic" revolutionary project, freedom is something that one conquers and must defend oneself: it is not a right granted. In the case of animal rights, this is not even a question, since Animals - to whom, however, all the virtues of humans and no defects are attributed - are not in a position to free themselves from "human domination" (assuming that this is comparable to class domination or neotechnological subjugation). Thus, if only for this reason, one cannot speak of the same idea of freedom for animals and for human beings.

Allium’s brochure Against drug use is in the same vein as the previous texts, although it is more interesting. It cannot be less agreed [sic] that drugs socially play a fundamental role in suppressing consciousness and acclimating humans to stress, that is, accepting all the harmful effects of modern societies. The left has definitively buried the revolutionary ideal expressed by Marx: "Real oppression must be made more oppressive, adding to it the consciousness of oppression" and advocates the self-annulment of consciousness. Today the request for the decriminalization (sometimes its "legalization" is called for even more painfully) of drugs that the left so strongly demands has nothing subversive about it, if it ever was, since it reinforces the categorical imperative of the time: destroy yourself. Someone once said that if religion is the opium of the people, that does not mean that true opium ceases to be opium for the people. It is eloquent that the anti-prohibitionist fight has become the last stronghold of many sixty-year-old remnants who enthusiastically militate in the party of alienation.

Obviously, the question of drugs is much more complex and requires further investigation. The very definition of the term "drug" raises many problems. What in any case seems untenable to us is the recourse to anthropological relativism to which the left is usually given, namely, that "all peoples of all ages have used drugs" and thus it can be concluded that the Aztecs, for example, they consumed peyote like today’s pillboxes consume ecstasy in a disco.

Similarly, another pamphlet, The Myth of the Left (signed "Zizen"), makes a similar critique: the fallacy of relativism (a true tavern philosophy that has wreaked havoc), the need to myths of struggle, the will to unite whoever falls against "fascism", etc. These are all features of leftism that deserve to be criticized and unfortunately this has barely been done so far. As in the pamphlet on drugs, the greatest successes of the authors are in their critique of the concrete [...]


Criticism of “Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Making Way?”

By Ultimo Reducto. [Adapted from the original text “Debate and Criticism Yes, But With Foundations’, sent on 6-23-05 to The Friends of Ludd].

The current [revolutionary anti-industrial society] movement is ineffective because among the people in it there are too many who are there for the wrong reasons [... For some] the participation in the movement is a form of personal promotion. They compete for status or write “analyses ‘and critics’“ that serve more to feed their own vanity than to advance the revolutionary cause.{65}

The following text is a response to some of the criticisms that on pages 12 to 15 of n°8 of your newsletter Los Amigos de Ludd make about some texts by Último Reducto, ALLIUM and ZIZEN.

Although this article is exclusively the work of UR, as a former member of ALLIUM and ZIZEN (bands that disappeared years ago), he considers it appropriate to reply, even if only individually and by allusion, to the comments made by LAL about Against Drug Consumption by ALLIUM and The Myth of the Left by ZIZEN.

In addition, UR wants to make it clear that the present text only refers, except when otherwise specified, to the comments made by LAL about the cited texts from UR (Último Reducto, n°1) , ALLIUM and ZIZEN, and not to the rest of the article ‘Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Making Way?’ in which they are performed.

LAL includes UR, ALLIUM and ZIZEN in the same article in which they criticize a good part of that self-classified postmodern leftist crowd as "primitivist" or "anti-industrial", implying that they consider that there is some kind of relationship between us and them, beyond certain superficial or apparent traits. If LAL reject that some clueless or confusionists associate them with primitivism{66} just for calling themselves anti-industrial, they will understand that UR is not very excited that they do more or less the same’ with ALLIUM, ZIZEN3 or UR

LAL begin their critique of the texts of UR, ALLIUM and ZIZEN{67} with a "learned" dissertation about the alleged relationship between the decline of the Roman Empire, Stoicism and the origin of Christianity with the claim, it seems, of establish “unforced” historical analogies with the contents and attitude of the texts that will be discussed below. Apparently, LAL tries to relate the ideas expressed in n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, Against Drug Consumption and The Myth of the Left, with the ideology Original Christian from the late Roman Empire based on the fact that the attitude and values shown by UR, ALLIUM or ZIZEN bear, according to them, a close resemblance to some of those of the Stoic doctrine of Antiquity.

With all of this, it seems, LAL intends to overwhelm the reader with their alleged historical erudition and thus make their subsequent comments and criticisms about us and our texts more credible or apparently incontestable.

And, in case the trick of “erudite” ostentation fails, LAL also makes use of the, as helpful as it is miserable, resort to gratuitous infamy, labeling, explicitly or implicitly, “Christians”, “prophets”, “apostles” , etc., to UR, ALLIUM and ZIZEN. To paint as mystics dedicated to silent and religious contemplation, or as prophets or apostles (“spirituality”), those whose “political” ideas and practices do not fit with the proper schemes of what those ideas should be and that activity is a of the many nonsense and/or tricks typical of certain unscrupulous currents, groups and characters that swarm in the leftist dunghills, including especially the self-styled “autonomous” and/or


UR hopes that those truly lucid readers who have read Último Reducto n°1 and the quoted texts from ALLIUM and ZlZEN and then n°8 The Friends of Ludd will be able to judge for themselves if what LAL says about the attitude and style of these texts is true or not, or to what extent it is or is not. And hope also that those other intelligent readers who have read The Friends of Ludd #8 but not Ultimo Reducto, Against the Drug Consumption by ALLIUM, nor The Myth of the Left by ZIZEN will be aware that in order to get their own, truthful and objective idea of the matter, they should read those texts before making any judgments. about.

So, regarding LAL’s criticisms of the attitude and style of issue 1 of Último Reducto, of Against Drug Consumption by ALLIUM and The Myth of the Left by ZIZEN, UR will only enter here to answer two specific things:

a) The accusation of “elitism” that LAL tries to support by interpreting in a really abstruse way two quotes taken from n°1 of Último Reducto.

The first quote refers to neither more nor less than the practical uselessness of flattery and other displays of "moral support" and "paper solidarity" when what is really sought is to capture, disseminate and extend ideas and criticism as well as stimulate rational reflection and debate and encourage intelligent readers to act accordingly with what they extract from that reflection and debate.{68}

However, LAL, instead of clarifying in what way UR offends his delicate sense of egalitarianism in this fragment, they have preferred to interpret this fragment of n°1 of Último Reducto, in a tortuous way and try to reinforce their unjustified accusation of elitism with another quote in the form of a footnote, which they intend to pass off as a ‘proof of distrust towards the judgment capacity of readers’.

The quote in question deals with the reasons for signing with the initials of the names of the authors, instead of with their full names, some fragments cited in n°1 of Último Reducto. It is an observable fact that often the good or bad reputation of a character influences more or less how other people (intelligent or not) interpret their words or actions. Therefore, hiding the identity of the authors under their mere initials was nothing more than an innocent, perhaps even excessively naive, mechanism to try to facilitate the correct and objective reading of other people’s texts cited by UR and thus avoid that unconscious tendency to misinterpretation. subjective dating.

More generally: as will be seen throughout this article, it is a fact that not everyone always correctly interprets what they read and, consequently, when writing, UR avoids relying only on the supposed “judgment capacity”. ‘ from the readers and assume in advance that "we already understand each other."

As can be seen, UR certainly distrusts the infallibility of the readers’ judgment capacity (and especially that of some); and considers this relative distrust something realistic, correct and rational.

And tearing your hair out over it, as LAL does, is, to say the least, mere hypocritical prudishness.

b) The unfortunate characterization that LAL makes of UR, ALLIUM and ZIZEN as "the new apostles of the end of the industrial Empire."

What more would some of us want than to be able to safely prophesy the last blows of techno-industrial society! However, in its texts, and specifically in n°1 of Último Reducto, UR never states anything similar, because it is not certain that something like this will happen. While that end may be coming soon, it’s not something you can talk about for sure. It is also likely that we will still have a techno-industrial system for a while (many centuries or millennia), unfortunately. And perhaps the worst (which would not exactly be the collapse, but the survival and further development of industrial civilization) is yet to come.

In fact, the only ones who have spoken with apparent certainty of the end of techno-industrial society, in this sentence or on any other occasion, are LAL. So, in view of the confidence they show in their own forecasts, the description of prophets or apostles perhaps it would correspond more to them.

And entering into the theoretical criticism of the contents of n°1 of Último Reducto, LAL say a little further down, on page 13 of n°8 of their bulletin:

Abandoning the ideal of political action, they seem to advocate rather the search for ‘individual coherence’. This attitude, which is not out of place at all in the era of ‘inner change’ and more or less concealed self-help, tries to deny the viability of any political action (or public action, if you prefer), although in fact the very existence of the bulletin UR is a denial of this idea, since its authors show that they still expect something from a traditional formula of political action such as transmitting one’s own ideas in writing to submit them for debate’.

LAL “forgot’ to mention from which part of n°1 of Último Reducto they have taken that UR “abandons the ideal of political action” and “denies the viability of any political or public action”. Because (regardless of what UR thinks of "political action") UR does not dream of having said anything similar on any of the pages of n°1 of Último Reducto. In other words, that LAL either have come up with ideas that UR has not expressed in n°1 of Último Reducto, or they have grossly misinterpreted those that it has expressed [for example in page 31 of n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, issue A].

While it is true that UR has always been highly critical and skeptical of typical (and not so typical) forms of “political action”, at no time has it rejected, in public or in private, all form of “political or public action”. And it is not explained how LAL have come to extract from the mere reading of n°1 of Último Reducto such bizarre conclusions.

And as far as associating UR’s ideas with "more or less concealed self-help" is just one more outrage of the many that LAL commits shamelessly in its article and that answers and qualifies itself.

And, not content with that, LAL say:

Obviously, the authors of The Friends of Ludd agree that maintaining personal coherence within the narrow limits allowed by industrial society is necessary, if only for hygienic reasons. mental. Our disagreement with UR is focused more than anything on the fact that we do not consider it realistic to grant such pre-eminence to mere personal attitude, since it implies a renunciation of what is most noble about political activity. It is inevitable to ask if, once political action is discarded, all that remains is to hope for the transmission of a spirituality, ‘anti-dominant’ or of another type, that can bear fruit in the ruins of the industrial world’.

To begin with, when talking about coherence in n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, it is not only, nor mainly, referring to the personal coherence of isolated individuals. The not too many times in which coherence is spoken of in n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, either one speaks of coherence, plainly, or one speaks explicitly of personal and collective coherence.{69}

On the other hand, UR does not quite understand, what is this "nobility" of political activity, so in the abstract. And, given the irrationality, reformism, pettiness and/or petulance of the vast majority of "rebellious" political activity (leftist, with very rare exceptions) of the present and of the past, consider it "noble", thus in In general, it means either being very clueless or giving yourself away as a sympathizer or practitioner of that idiotic activism.

There may, of course, be other forms of political action that are much more interesting, intelligent, effective, serious and respectable ("noble"?), or at least much less ostensibly absurd, ineffective and self-congratulatory. But its nobility is usually in inverse proportion to the futility, superficiality, and reformism of its methods, principles, and objectives.

Not agreeing with the methods, principles and goals of most of the political activity that is carried out in the present (or that has been carried out in the past) does not imply leaving aside all political action.

And finally, the relationship between consistency and ‘mental hygiene’ is too complicated a matter to settle as simply as LAL does. But UR will not enter into that discussion for now.

LAL continue their article quoting a fragment from n°1 of Último Reducto [fascicle B, page 116, note 34]:

[...] what in a species is part of its nature, of its innate way of being, and therefore is necessary to maintain the correct functioning of the individuals and groups that compose it, in other species or it does not occur It is not needed or if it appears it is the cause of imbalances and disorders. Hierarchies between human beings are always unacceptable since we are beings that do not need them by nature to live and interact; in fact, we live and interact better without them, as long as the environment is suitable for our species (small social groups, wild ecosystems, simple technologies...)’.

And then they say:

When we hear about ‘natural states’ we can start to tremble; The oldest justification for capitalism is that it is the natural system par excellence. If the human being is not a social and historical being and has to be only ‘natural’, there are things that this philosophy cannot explain. For example: why is the extinction of animal species such as the mammoth due to the action of "simple social groups" and not precisely to the action of voracious multinationals? (In ‘The Sixth Extinction’ Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin give a few more examples of the havoc caused by primitive communities, some even not very far away. Although obviously not comparable to capitalist catastrophe, it cannot be denied that they exist.) For the authors of UR this may be a black point in their theory, but clinging to the idea that primitive communities are incapable of causing ecological damage simply because they are small is aberrational. Seeking a justification in the natural world to explain why man should be in such and such a way is to deny his historical character.’

Well, again it will be necessary to go step by step and in parts to be able to answer as it deserves to the avalanche of nonsense and lies that LAL blames on UR

To begin with, if LAL suffer tremors when hearing or reading anything that sounds like a “natural state” to them, that in principle is a disorder exclusively theirs.

It is assumed that with the statement that "if the human being is not a social and historical being and has to be only ‘natural’ there are things that this philosophy cannot explain’, LAL refers to the ideology of UR The first thing that there is to ask is: where do they get that UR affirms that the human being is not a social or "historical" being and that he only has to be "acultural", "asocial" and/or "ahistorical" (it is assumed that LAL is refer to the latter with "natural")? UR has never said such simplicity, neither in the n°1 of Último Reducto, nor in any of its other publications. It is clear that LAL had a particularly silly day when they “read” number 1 of Último Reducto, because if not, it is not possible to explain why they drew such misguided conclusions from their reading{70}.

LAL affirm that seeking naturalistic justifications for the way in which the human being should be (or is) is to deny its “historical” character. UR does not fully understand the data and arguments on which LAL bases such a categorical statement, repeatedly present in its texts. And they, of course, do not deign to explain it.

The rejection of any theory that attaches significant importance to human nature or non-artificial environmental conditions, that is, that claims that human behaviors are largely non-culturally based, is a platitude. typical of the vast majority of leftist currents in particular and of humanism in general. The accusations of "biological determinism", "environmental determinism", "denial of human freedom", "denial of the cultural (or historical) character of the human being", “exaltation of aggression and competition”, “defense of anti-humanism”, of “totalitarianism”, of

“capitalism”, etc., have been repeated ad nauseam, often with little knowledge of the facts, against any theory that calls into question the dogma that affirms that the human being is only or mainly cultural, product of the social environment in which he is raised and educated, "son of History", "free" of natural conditioning, predominantly rational, etc. These indiscriminate attacks on "biologism" and "environmental determinism" are a "politically correct" duty in leftist and humanist circles, and many members of these circles internalize and practice them, quite naively without really understanding what they are criticizing or even realizing. account of how ideologically conditioned those criticisms and attacks that they repeat like parrots are, or to gain (or not lose) points in their intellectual curriculum, that is, status and influence in said environments, without caring the least about what they say whether fair and honest or not.{71} Specifically, mixing those who make these criticisms are usually accurate and respectable. For example, there are important obvious reasons to reject the use that certain currents, such as National Socialism or the so-called "social Darwinism", made of naturalistic theories, but the reasons stop being so obvious and respectable when one relates, unjustifiably generalizing, any naturalistic theory with Nazism or social Darwinism. For another example, it is not the same to question the scientific validity of a specific hypothesis that affirms that a human behavioral trait has a biological basis or is mainly determined by the non-cultural environment, than to deny a priori the validity of any such hypothesis because it is believes that, if any of them were true and assumed, it would endanger the respectability and primacy of one’s own philosophical beliefs and political ideology. The latter is usually one of the main reasons for the stereotyped criticisms launched against “biologism” and “environmental determinism”, both supposedly naturalistic justifications of “capitalism” based on the fallacy that it is the “natural” form of human society, Defending the presumed absence of a natural need for hierarchies in social relationships between humans{72} is not only confusing wheat with balls, but also falling squarely into the coarsest leftist antibiologism. Between the naturalistic rejection of hierarchies among humans and the defense of "capitalism" on the grounds that it is supposedly the best ("natural" according to its defenders) possible form of society, there is an abyss that only lack of good sense, politically gregariousness right or upstart gossip can obviate. Be that as it may, when you have to decide between dumb or vermin... bad business!

On the other hand, if there is something that should provoke our deepest fear, it is not precisely the fact of trying to identify and understand what are the basic natural patterns of human behavior ("natural states"?) and what are the limits and conditionings that Nature imposes us, and take them as a reference when determining what we should do and what not, what we do wrong and what not, and what we can really do and what not. What is truly terrifying and threatening is the denial or underestimation of Nature (human and non-human) when it comes to explaining and assessing human behavior and establishing what it should be. That is, believing that we are not limited or conditioned by Nature (or believing that we are only partially, sometimes, to a certain point...). Because, when Nature really ceases to be the referent (either by not taking it sufficiently into account or by taking it for what it is not), the limits, dependencies, needs and natural conditions that are rejected or ignored are always replaced by dependencies, artificial restrictions and impositions (exercised on individuals by other individuals or by a social system).

Moreover, the humanist rejection of "biologism" and "environmental determinism" is closely related to progressivism, since it serves to justify and ideologically hide the attacks against Nature (human and non-human) that the development of the System inevitably entails. .

UR has never denied that human beings are largely cultural, the result of the transmission of ideas, values, techniques and objects from previous generations, and social, that is, that they interact with each other, forming more or less stable ties and with it groups. and (artificial) social and cultural environments, which in turn influence and condition these individuals to a certain extent (more or less and in one sense or another depending on the type of group and culture).{73}

But, if human beings are largely cultural and social, it is because we already have in our nature some basic capacities and tendencies that enable us to do so. With which it is clear that, in the human being (and not only in him), being social and cultural is not necessarily incompatible with being natural, but precisely an inherent consequence of it.

Also, it is worth asking: if the human being is "historical" and "not natural" (or if the "historical" component of the human being cannot be explained based on "natural" -"non-historical"- causes), then, Where did this “historical” character come from? Fall from the sky? LAL do not bother to answer this question. In fact, it seems that they don’t even consider it.

As for the extinctions of animals at the hands of "simple primitive social" groups (hunter-gatherers nomadic on foot, even), it does not have much to do with the issue of the "historical" and the "natural" in being. human, which is what is being discussed in that paragraph in question (or at least UR doesn’t quite see said connection, if there is one). Anyway, again it is necessary to answer step by step to some "little things".

To begin with, UR has never claimed that primitive societies (not even nomadic hunter-gatherers) were "perfect" and did not commit "failures", both socially and ecologically, that is, that they never attempted against the autonomy of the non-artificial, internal or external to human beings. See the following excerpts from No. 1 of Ultimo Reducto:

1) "The mention in the text of the hunter-gatherer societies of the present (practically disappeared in their pure state) or of the past, must be understood as a reference for comparison and learning, not as a blind unconditional apology of such societies. Such cultures have been the least dominant in the entire history of the human being, both in terms of social relations (they lacked states, and sometimes even ‘chiefs’ ‘, in the sense that the term is given in Civilization, its members enjoyed great Freedom and showed great ability to live autonomously, social ties were close and based on mutual support and equitable distribution among group members...), as in relation to their relationships with animals (usually they hunted/fished just to survive and respected the Freedom of animals, in such a way that sometimes they were even themselves the prey of the latter or very often they were not able to catch them), or with the Biosphere (they did not pollute, they seldom wasted by recycling as much as possible, they used to adapt their culture and ways of life to wild ecosystems instead of transforming them for their own benefit, which is what the dominant cultures do...). But this does not mean that they were perfect and that they could not have serious defects in their origin in fact, Civilization arose from the degeneration of cultures of this type; and not all of them have disappeared due to direct extermination or their inability or refusal to adapt to the lifestyles of the most dominant societies -agro-livestock or industrial-, but in many cases, many of their members have fallen and they easily fall into fascination with said cultures (and their ‘comforts’), abandoning their own and this is due, if only in part, to some previous weaknesses intrinsic to said cultures -hierarchies, Domination and imbalances on a small scale and in a subtle way, irrationalism...-.

Taking primitive societies as a reference should not mean forgetting to criticize their bad parts, just as criticizing them shouldn’t mean defending Civilization and the world Progress. They are (or were) there and we should learn from them (the good to emulate, the bad to overcome). Neither praise them nor curse them, since both positions denote the great ignorance existing, unfortunately, about these societies among the great majority of the population of the techno-industry society/.’ [n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, Fascicle A, pages 35-36, note 9].

2) [...] A good part of the islands of Oceania was colonized by the Polynesians following a process of this type, transgressing geographical barriers by organizing long-distance maritime expeditions. Polynesians are descendants of Asian farming and fishing groups, and the drive to gradually colonize insular Oceania was the search for new habitats and vital resources for the growing population as previously colonized islands outgrew them. In this way, by the time the European empires made contact with the Polynesian groups, there were even proto-states in some archipelagos (for example, in Hawaii), a good part of the animal species originating from some of those islands had disappeared directly at the hands of of human beings, their domestic animals or by the activities of alteration and destruction of the original ecosystems to establish crops; and on several of these islands, overpopulation and the consequent exhaustion of the environment were already threatening to collapse even their social system (in fact, it is very likely that this happened, for example, on Easter Island). [n°1 from Ultimo Reducto, issue A, page 39, note 20].

This note refers, independently, precisely to one of the cases of ecological depletion and extinctions caused by primitive societies also cited in The Sixth Extinction by Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin that LAL wanted to rub their noses in to UR.

3) “Of course this does not mean that every community with a level of pre-industrial technological development is always perfect or acceptable in all its socio-cultural aspects seen from an anti-dominant perspective [...]. No dominant pre-industrial society has ceased to be so by modernizing [...].’ [n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, issue A, page 40, note 24].

This note talks about pre-industrial societies in general, not just primitive societies in particular. While not every pre-industrial society is necessarily primitive (or uncivilized, or prehistoric), what is said in this note generally applies to all pre-industrial societies, civilized or not (including hunter-gatherers).

In the previous quotes, the terms and phrases have been highlighted in italics that show that, whether or not one agrees with what is stated in these texts (even UR would today rectify some parts of them), it is a rationally irrefutable fact that UR recognizes in these fragments that many primitive societies in general, and hunter-gatherers in particular.

They showed social and ecological problems and that they didn’t always do the right thing. Incomprehensibly, LAL confuses affirming that any society of great size and structural complexity inevitably entails attacks against the autonomy of the non-artificial in general and against human freedom and dignity in particular (what UR called "domination" in n°1 of Last Reducto), with affirming that small and structurally “simple” societies never cause any problems. To imply that UR affirms that, "by the mere fact of being small, primitive communities are incapable of causing ecological damage" is another nonsense that LAL unjustifiably blames UR and makes one suspect that either LAL have not understood the n °1 of Último Reducto when they have “read” it (if they have really read it beyond skimming it badly and above), or they have more bad drool than lights.

So, in this case, the only "black spot" is for LAL’s intellectual "file" and the only "aberrant" thing is the twisted interpretation and the fallacious comment that LAL makes of what number 1 really says. Ultimo Reducto.{74}

But perhaps the most interesting of all the nonsense and falsehoods that LAL releases in that paragraph is what we will discuss below: the extinction of species, supposedly at the hands of primitive societies, and its alleged anti-ecological nature.

Already in n°7 of The Friends of Ludd, in the article “Open Letter to the Primitivistes’, reference was made to the “Pleistocene massacre”. LAL seem to have found the key to questioning the ideal primitivist image of a prehistoric Golden Age in which humans supposedly never harmed wild ecosystems. And in their joyful and confident euphoria, they return to the charge in number 8 of their bulletin, brandishing the aforementioned book by R. Leakey and R. Lewin as a "weapon" and posing the following question to UR (according to them "primitivist" and idealizer of prehistory), "Why the extinction of animal species, such as the mammoth, is due to the action of simple social groups and not precisely to the action of voracious multinationals?".

The first, easiest and most obvious answer (which is no less valid and rational) is because, as LAL, "experts" in history, will know, at the time when mammoths roamed Europe, Asia and America did not yet exist , that is known, multinationals, "greedy" or not (although perhaps LAL can surprise us by digging through its files and showing us some "document" that "proves" the opposite). The much hackneyed and maligned capitalism arrived a few millennia later.

Now more seriously, UR does not quite see what the multinationals are about in this case, unless it is another example of the surprising intellectual clumsiness and ideological narrowness that appears throughout pages 12-14 of its newsletter n°8 LAL manifest ostensibly over and over again and/or, simply and plainly, of knavery{75}. Be that as it may, with this question, at least formulated this way, LAL is only throwing stones at its own roof. It is not precisely UR 12 but the anti-capitalist leftists{76} who tend to focus in their speeches in such a way on criticizing capitalism that they often convey the feeling that they forget that there was a World before capitalism and that it was not Jauja either. Reading and listening to the way many anti-capitalists express their criticism gives the impression that all "evils" are reduced to capitalism (industrial or not). And LAL, although they sometimes admit with small mouths that before their much hated “industrial capitalism” there were also bad things, they often express themselves in an equally foolish, reductionist and “ahistorical” way.{77}

Therefore, it would be more pertinent for LAL to ask themselves and their ideological “kin” such a question. If there is someone for whom this question breaks the schemes and points out "black spots" in his theory, it is the declared enemies of capitalism, such as LAL.

On the other hand, the extinction of species is not always or necessarily something so terrible and disastrous (“havoc”). In fact, extinction (a type of collective death in which the group is the entire species), like individual death, forms an inseparable and essential part of the non-artificial processes of biological evolution. Living organisms have been extinct since the origin of life, before and after the appearance of our species. Sometimes relatively abruptly, in large quantities in geologically short periods of time (what paleontologists call "catastrophic or mass extinctions"), other times little by little, regularly and constantly throughout the history of life on Earth. Earth (what paleontologists call ‘background or gradual extinction’).

For UR, the fundamental principle from which to develop moral assessments (determining what is bad and what is not) is respect for the autonomy of non-artificial processes and systems (Wild Nature), so that what threatens said autonomy is absolutely bad. (dominant, alienating, unnatural) and what does not threaten said savage autonomy is not absolutely bad, only if perhaps relatively "bad", that is, it may be unpleasant, painful, deadly... for some beings, but it is not real and absolutely bad (harmful to the autonomy of non-artificial processes and systems).

And the extinctions, often, not only have not attempted against the autonomy of the wild, but have been part of it. Extinction has not always, or even often, been an absolute evil, something unnatural. This is obvious in all the extinctions before the appearance of our species, but it is also true in some of the extinctions after that appearance, perhaps even in several of those presumably caused by the activity of some human societies.

But before continuing, it is necessary to clarify whether the megafaunal extinctions of the late Pleistocene were really the work of humans or not.

LAL cite The Sixth Extinction as an alleged “documentary” demonstration that Upper Paleolithic humans caused the extinction of animals such as the mammoth. But any remotely intelligent person who reads that book will be able to verify for himself that, although the authors, Leakey and Lewin, are clearly in favor of P. Martin’s hypothesis that Paleolithic humans were solely or mainly responsible for the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna in Eurasia, ancient Australia and America (among other things because it is convenient for them to provide argumentative support for the ideas they wish to put forward in their book), they openly acknowledge that it is just another hypothesis{78} and that there are others {79} equally likely, valid or invalid, since neither is completely and unequivocally proven or falsified.

LAL, in their boastful omniscience, take the step that Leakey and Lewin (much more astute and sensible) never dared, and gleefully settle a decades-long scientific debate with a single stroke of the pen, stating categorically, but without conclusive evidence, that it was human. the one that extinguished the Pleistocene megafauna. I smelled your eggs! And if someone replies that they hit him with the "sacrosanct" volume of The Sixth Extinction in the nose, so that he shuts up...

Well, with that said, let’s get back to the mammoth. To make things easier, let’s assume (although not proven) that the late Pleistocene megafauna became extinct in all cases partly, mainly, or solely because of hunting by humans at that time. Even so, this could be precisely a good example of extinction of artificial origin (or partially artificial, at least) not always nor necessarily unnatural (not absolutely bad), that is, of artificial extinction that is integrated into the mechanisms and processes of self-regulation. savages.{80}

Imagine two species, X and Y, that were initially separated from each other by geographical barriers in such a way that there was no contact of any kind between them. Suppose that, with the passage of time, in a geologically short term, these geographical barriers decrease or even disappear allowing contact and interaction between species X and species Y to occur, in a "sudden" way (speaking on a geological scale). . Frequently, this interaction between species X and species Y will imply some type of non-mutualistic relationship (predator-prey or competition for the same ecological niche), and the result, sooner or later, may be the extinction of at least one of those species. species.

This, which is one of the ways in which extinctions have always occurred in wild Nature, since the beginning of the evolution of life on the Planet, is a process that is an inherent part of the autonomous dynamics of evolution in the wild ecosystems and therefore UR does not consider it bad, even though it is extinction.

Now, what if one of the two species were ours: Homo sapiens, specifically H. sapiens from the late Pleistocene?

In principle, these Pleistocene extinctions could be perhaps only the effect of the maladaptation of the extinct species to the new ecological conditions that the predation carried out by the h. sapiens and not anti-ecological behavior (actions contrary to the autonomy of non-artificial ecosystems) by our species.

But even assuming, to a certain extent proven{81}, that certain human societies of the Late Pleistocene had acted in an anti-ecological way with regard to their relations with other species and their environment on some occasions, it cannot be determined whether these really Anti-ecological behaviors favored these extinctions, to what extent or in how many cases. Nor can it be ensured that all human societies of that time acted in the same way.

There are perhaps too many to be able to say anything categorically.

And be that as it may, the fact is that although in those human societies at the end of the Pleistocene anti-ecological behaviors already occurred at least sometimes, it seems, such cases are not at all comparable to contrary behaviors to the autonomy of the wild that have occurred in later times in other human societies, prehistoric or not. Not only at a quantitative level but also at a qualitative level.

Thus, a very different case from those of the late Pleistocene is that of the ecological destruction produced by the progressive colonization of Polynesia by human beings, to which Leakey and Lewin also refer in their book. In this case, the geographical barriers that kept isolated species X (human beings, or any of the other species it introduced) and Y (any of the native animal or plant species of the colonized islands) did not disappear or diminish significantly. not really artificial (islands continued to be separated from each other and from the continents by hundreds or thousands of kilometers). The colonizing societies of the Pacific islands were primitive, yes, but not simple communities of nomadic hunter-gatherers, like the early H. sapiens European, Asian, American or Australian, but rather complex and large enough societies to need to progressively expand across the Pacific, organizing difficult and long maritime expeditions across thousands of miles of open seas and developing strongly hierarchical social systems, as they colonized and overpopulated new islands.

These qualitative differences between some artificial extinctions (that is, of human origin) and others, as well as between the primitive societies that cause them respectively, is something that many, among them Leakey, Lewin, a good part of the "primitivists" and LAL prefer. always overlook.

And to end this fragment, I would like to point out that assuming, as Leakey, Lewin and LAL seem to do, judging from their way of expressing themselves, that any extinction allegedly caused by human beings is always bad (“havoc”), is an attitude openly misanthropic, contrary to the human being, badly despite our humanist "Friends", since if they always consider them bad it is not because they are always really and substantially different in themselves from others not caused by the human being (they do not always have for necessarily be, as we have been able to verify), but only because they are artificial, because their origin is human activity. In other words, if what makes "primitive" artificial extinctions bad (because neither Leakey and Lewin nor LAL ever differentiate between some primitives and others) is only that they were artificially caused, then what is bad is being human. And then, the misanthropic “anti-humanists” will be “the rest”...{82}

LAL cites another fragment from n°1 of Último Redoto [issue A, pages 9 and 10]:

The quality of life, and with it true health, has nothing to do with fleeing from death, but rather with the ability of individuals (human or not) to govern themselves and to be able to seek and create the conditions, both physical and psychosocial [?] more appropriate for their autonomous development in the communities of which they are a part, while these are fully integrated into the ecosystems.’

And then they say:

Spinoza said that for a triangle God has three sides. For this ‘deep ecology’{83}, animals have human traits and are also ‘self-governing’ and create the ‘psychosocial’ conditions for their own ‘development’. Throughout the pages of ‘Último Reducto’ the idea of domestication is insisted on as a denial of animal freedom and, therefore, as a repetition of human domination schemes, transferred in this case to the animal kingdom.

This thesis, which may seem at first sight to be an extension of the idea of human emancipation, actually has nothing to do with it. For the ‘classic’ revolutionary project, freedom is something that is conquered and that one must defend oneself; it is not a ‘granted’ right. In the case of animalists, this is not even a question, since animals -to which they nevertheless attribute all the virtues of humans and no defects- are not in a position to free themselves from ‘human domination’ (assuming that this is comparable to class domination or neotechnological subjugation). Thus, if only for this reason, one cannot speak of the same idea of freedom for animals and for human beings.’

Again, LAL make in this paragraph a conceptist boast of their mental cocoa, or their confusionism. It would be difficult to overcome in a paragraph of equal length the high density of misinterpretations and fallacies that LAL fits into this one. They may think they are explicit enough with the four sentences with which they often settle topics whose depth they seem not to be really aware of, but the fact is that they manage to confuse everything with a few words.

Let’s go little by little.

To say that individuals (human or not) have the capacity to govern themselves and to create the psychosocial conditions (by the way, what will LAL not understand by "psychosocial"?) for their own development, does not imply projecting "human traits" at all. “ about non-human animals. If LAL are incapable not only of understanding but merely of seeing and recognizing that not only animals, but many other minimally complex systems

(artificial or not) tend to automatically develop mechanisms and patterns of regulation and autonomous dynamics, that the self-government to which UR refers is nothing more than self-regulation or self-control of the processes inherent to those systems and that, in the case of animals with system minimally developed nervous system, some of those processes and automatic self-regulation mechanisms that act on individual and collective behavior are of a psychic or mental type, so they are completely blinded by humanist and idealist mystifications about the "spiritual", their presumed human exclusivity, its allegedly independent character from the physical, its alleged intrinsic superiority, etc. And there is no worse blind than the one who does not want to see.

When LAL tried to use quotes from The Sixth Extinction to support their false accusations against UR, they failed to mention that, without further ado, in that same book Leakey and Lewin{84}, previously presented by

LAL as prestigious and presumably indisputable intellectual authorities thus clumsily and fraudulently trying to silence possible opposing voices in the "debate" on extinctions, say on this occasion:

1) “Where the world was once populated by organisms, which were limited to reacting to the environment as if they were automata, today there are myriads of species that reflect before acting. Where once there was not a single species in the world capable of self-awareness, today there is at least one endowed with this faculty.’ [The Sixth Extinction, Tusquets, 1997, page 47. Italics by UR].

Although UR does not consider the terminology used by Leakey and Lewin entirely appropriate, in this text (for example, their confusing use of the term "reflect" -UR doubts very much that even humans used to always, or even habitually, reflect before of acting-) nor the substantial distinction they make between “automatic reactions” and “reflection” (is reflection something more than an automatic psychic reaction, yes, a very complex one?), the meaning of the quote is unequivocal: we are not the only animals that have intelligence and "judgment capacity" and we use them to govern

(regulate, direct, control..., more or less consciously) our actions (in fact Leakey and Lewin recognize that there are thousands of other species that do it too).

2) “For some time we have been valuing the qualities of other creatures with much more knowledge, particularly our closest relatives, the great apes. It was said that our language and cultural capacity set us apart from the natural world in many ways. Only humans use tools, it was said; only humans are aware of themselves; only humans can produce culture; only humans have symbolic language. Naturalists like Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey have blurred the human-animal border that we had so tenaciously drawn from these supposedly unique attributes. Monkeys use tools; they have a kind of culture; they are self-conscious; And, although the investigations are surrounded by controversy, there is a good chance that monkeys, unable to produce articulate language, are able to understand and handle the symbolism that articulate language entails. We’re not that special after all.’ [Same work, pages 91-92]. Are Leakey, Lewin and the many other humans who acknowledge these facts and thus question the ridiculous claims and anthropocentric self-exaltations of classical humanism merely ‘triangles talking about God’? This may be the case in some cases (for example, in the case of many animalists{85} who project their mental deficiencies and weaknesses onto animals to give way to their victimhood), but in many other cases it is obvious that it is rather the recalcitrant humanists (such as, for example, LAL) who are so alienated from the real World and from themselves by deep and uncritical internalization of self-indulgent and self-indulgent anthropocentric and subjectivist false prejudices and dogmas that they are incapable of recognizing and accepting self-evident facts.

It is true that throughout the pages of UR the idea of domestication as a denial of animal freedom is insisted on, but it is false that this is a "repetition of human domination schemes transferred in this case to the animal kingdom." . Leaving aside the already illuminating enough fact that with this last sentence LAL demonstrates that they regard humans as belonging to a kingdom apart from the animal kingdom, this statement (and subsequent ones) by LAL make it clear to anyone who has actually read and minimally understanding the n°1 of Último Redoducto that those who are apparently unable to stop transferring human traits to the rest of the animals are LAL when they "read" and comment on the mentioned number of Último Redoto . LAL are incapable of seeing and recognizing that the absurd anthropomorphic image that comes to mind when reading UR’s text is the product of their own negligence, subjectivity and anthropocentric and humanist prejudices and not something that UR itself conveys and defends. For example, when they "read" that animals (human or not) govern themselves, instead of thinking about the self-regulation of behavior and vital processes that occurs in every living being (animal or not) or group of living beings, Automatically and not necessarily or normally intentionally or self-consciously, they project their ridiculous ideals

“directly democratic” about what they read, imagining, it seems, an assembly made up of animals that sit down to discuss among themselves how to plan and manage their relationships. They are the ones who, apparently, cannot stop seeing the World as "triangles", and worst of all, they are not even aware of it.

LAL soon forgot its own words from the article "Open Letter to Primitivistes" in n°7 of its bulletin: "[...] we also find examples of animal species that undertake an artificialization of the environment in order to increase their expectations [...]" similar in its content, in a certain way and saving the contextual distances, to the sentence quoted from UR Undertake an "artificialization" (rather "modification") of the environment (which can be social and not only ecological ) in order to increase their “ecological expectations” is similar to “seeking and creating the most suitable physical and psychosocial conditions for their development in the communities of which they are a part”. Seen in this way, out of their respective contexts, the main difference between the two phrases lies only in the fact that the first is said by the most wise and infallible Friends of Ludd and the second by UR, that is, a presumed minor enlightened prophet, according to LAL. that LAL, which by all accounts are neither animalists nor "deep ecologists", also project human traits onto non-human animals in their n°7? Or is it rather that neither UR in his sentence nor LAL in his commits such nonsense, but that LAL in his obsessive animosity no longer knows what to invent to try to publicly ridicule whatever is said in number 1 of Ultimo Reducto and, in the absence of really valid rational arguments, are they looking for five feet to the cat?

The only thing that UR does in the pages of n°1 of Ultimo Reducto is to recognize that certain psychological and behavioral traits considered too often as presumably exclusive to the human being, would not be more than mere forms and/or degrees specific and concrete in which basic and general psychic capacities and tendencies shared by many other animal species are presented in our species, to different degrees depending on the species. Throughout the many pages of n°1 of Último Reducto (especially in issue B) all these nuances are explained in detail. If LAL had read it completely, seriously and really, or if they had a minimum of intellectual honesty, they would not have assumed or affirmed that UR says what it has never said.

And as for the insistence "on the idea of domestication as a denial of animal freedom" in number 1 of Último Reducto supposes understanding domestication as "repetition of domination schemes human, transferred in this case to the animal kingdom’, is a really simplistic way, as well as convoluted, of interpreting not only the texts of UR, but also the very concepts of freedom and domination.

Freedom, as UR conceives it, is nothing more than the autonomy of the processes of self-regulated functioning of non-artificial systems, when they possess a certain degree of consciousness and will , that is, it is the possibility of acting based on their own nature when we refer to a specific type of non-artificial beings: animals that have a minimally developed nervous system.{86}

It is human freedom that is nothing more than the application of this general definition to our specific species, and not the other way around. UR does not project who knows what idea of "freedom" presumably and exclusively referred to humans on non-humans, but on the contrary, it considers the case of human freedom a concrete example of freedom referred to a specific species (which coincidentally is ours) but not for that reason qualitatively or essentially different from the freedom of other individuals of other potentially free species (with a minimally developed nervous system and, therefore, with a certain degree, although greater or less depending on the species, of consciousness and will). .

And domination for UR is not reduced exclusively to acts or situations that impede or pervert freedom, both in the case of humans and other potentially free beings, but rather to the impediment or perversion of the autonomy of the functioning of non-artificial or wild processes and systems, in general, of which freedom, human or not, only constitutes a part. So it is not true that UR transfers dominance schemes over humans (what LAL calls ‘human domination’) to other animal species, but rather UR considers that domination schemes over humans are no more than specific cases. concrete (referred, yes, casually to our species) of domination over Nature in general.

As readers can see, UR’s perspective is completely contrary to what LAL tries to attribute to it. And consequently, UR has no problem recognizing that the ways in which domination manifests itself over humans can be very different from the ways in which it manifests itself over other animal species or the rest of wild Nature. Such differences are obvious since the beings on which domination acts are very different from each other. And these differences manifest themselves in a more diverse and complex way, the more complex the natural behavior of the system or being subjected to domination. It is not uncommon, then, that there are many and varied concrete forms of domination and alienation over human beings that are unparalleled in the forms of domination and alienation over non-human animals (although some are not always so different in the background either).

One thing is that, on a moral level, UR considers any form of domination (understood exclusively as attacking the autonomy of the wild; in this case against the freedom of animals -human or not-) as something absolutely bad and another that does not differentiate a cow from a human being.

To imply things like this last one, which is what LAL does, is to try to hide the lack of rational arguments with creeping demagogy.

On the other hand, it is true that UR does not at all extend the idea of human "emancipation" to other species, because normally it does not even share the idea of "emancipation", human or not, to which those who proclaim it usually refer. In general, what those who speak of "emancipation" are after has to do with anything but true freedom (that is, with the possibility of individuals, human or not, to autonomously develop and satisfy their own nature). Usually, when they talk about "freedom", "liberation", "emancipation", etc., these characters are based on values such as equality (fear of being different, envy, gregariousness, etc.), happiness or well-being (fear of pain and effort), the sacredness of individual life (fear of death), promiscuous solidarity, that is, with anyone, beyond the close members of the social group of natural reference (collectivism, under the concept oneself and one’s own, etc.), indiscriminate compassion

(sick identification with everything that seems to be a victim, weak, failed, etc.)... and/or in false ideas about freedom, that is, pseudo-liberties ("freedom" as an escape from the conditioning determined by wild Nature and as a transgression of non-artificial limits; "freedom" as an unrealistic abstraction and idealistic evasion with respect to the physical world; sectoral "freedoms" referring exclusively to certain facets of life and conduct, and normally very modern: "freedom" of the press, "freedom" of creed, "freedom" of conscience, "freedom" of expression, "freedom" to vote, "freedom" of opinion, etc.; “liberties” as “rights” -having the “right” to be, have or do something is not at all the same as being, having or doing it-; etc.). So, LAL are right when they say that although UR talks about the freedom of non-human animals, it does not refer at all to what is usually understood and defended by "human emancipation". No need to do

And, furthermore, if according to LAL, UR "transfers the schemes of human domination to the animal kingdom but in turn does not extend the schemes of human emancipation to other species", or else UR is incapable of following the logical thread of LAL and there is something in these sentences that escapes you, or are frankly contradictory to each other and lack any logical link. On the one hand “yes”, on the other “no”. Could this be another example of the dialectical "thought" to which LAL and the like have accustomed us?

LAL say that “for the ‘classic’ revolutionary project, freedom is something that is conquered and that one must defend oneself; it is not a granted right’. Once again, references to the old or classic “revolutionaries” reappear in an LAL text, as if there were only one type of old “revolutionaries” and as if their ideas were always infallible and their words incontestable. Now it’s up to UR to make “unforced” historical analogies and remember that, in the Middle Ages, academic discussions used to be settled dogmatically by resorting to the well-known “Aristotle dixit”

(“Aristotle said so’). And as “Aristotle said”, well said it was and the discussion is over. However, both then and now, there have always been individuals who relied mainly on their own intelligence and perception of things to whom what Aristotle, Leakey and Lewin, the “old revolutionaries” or whatever the presumed authorities may have said, “ classical” or not, which is usually used when there is a lack of better and true arguments, does not seem more true to them than what their own reason and experience dictate. To UR this constant and unnecessary reference to the authority of the old revolutionaries, without further argument, sounds like Scholastic, and although LAL claim to be more friends of the truth than of Ludd{87}, they still prove to be too much friends of their much adored "classics", as for such a statement to be credible.

In fact, the pseudo-freedoms and values alien to or contrary to true freedom cited above, present in the majority of "radical", "critical", "emancipatory" discourses, "antagonists", "libertarians", etc., have been inherited, directly or indirectly, from those old socialists and "revolutionaries" by later leftists and pseudo-critics who assume and repeat them (and those, in turn, adopted them from humanism). , Christianity, etc.).{88}

The latter is the case of the idea of "freedom" to which LAL refers when they say that freedom is something that is conquered and must be defended by oneself and not a granted right.

UR has already said that true freedom neither has, nor can, nor should have any relation to the idea of “right”, granted or not. Freedom is a situation, a state, a feature, or at least a potentiality, but not a "right"; The typical concept of "right" is nothing more than a fraud, a pipe dream to distract the attention of those unsuspecting who believe in it (while they seek that the alleged "rights" are recognized, to themselves or to their defendants, they do not make what by nature they would tend to do, could do and need to do), that is, so that they are not really free or act freely.

UR does not care at all whether or not non-human animals have

“rights” and which ones (and also whether human beings have them). What matters to UR is that, both non-human animals and humans, we are potentially free beings who tend to behave autonomously based on our nature (both specific and individual) and that, in fact, we do so in the absence social circumstances that prevent us.

And as for the fact that freedom is something that is conquered and must be defended by oneself, LAL is actually referring here to one of the aforementioned pseudo-liberties. According to

LAL and its revered “revolutionary classics”, “freedom” would have gradually increased as the human being allegedly “emancipated” from the natural conditioning that prevented him from “realizing” and “rising”. And "domination" according to them, would also include those natural conditions that prevent human "emancipation". If UR shared these notions, it would certainly have fallen into serious inconsistencies.

But freedom as understood by UR has nothing to do with this progressive and humanist idea of "emancipation" from Nature (rather it is practically the opposite). If LAL wanted to show the alleged contradictions in what UR said, they should really have been referring to UR’s notions of freedom and domination, and not to “their” own.

If freedom is understood, as UR does, exclusively as the autonomy to try to satisfy one’s own needs and natural tendencies and domination only as the impediment to the autonomy of the non-artificial, that "freedom" has to be conquered and to be defended by oneself to be true is nothing more than simplicity. When there is no domination, there is freedom without the need for liberation (“conquest”). This is the case with most wild animals in their natural habitat. And if an individual, after having been liberated by others from some form of domination, is still not free, the reason for not being free will not be that he has not been able to liberate himself, but rather that he will still be subject to other forms of domination. .

From what we have seen, it is obvious that LAL are not in favor of true freedom but rather pseudo-liberties, and therefore they are not against all domination (not even, it seems, all forms of domination over humans).{89 }

So far the answer regarding the criticisms and comments that LAL makes to the n°1 of Último Redoto. UR acknowledges that, if it were to rewrite the n°1 of Último Redoto at present, I would express it differently or simply not include certain parts but, unfortunately, the reasons for doing so would be very different from the theoretical black spots’ that LAL claimed to have discovered in the contents of n°1 of Ultimo Reducto.{90}

In relation to what LAL commented on the ALLIUM brochure Against Drug Consumption, UR does not quite understand what LAL means when they say that this text "is in the same line as the earlier texts’. What line? What texts? All the texts that you cite in the rest of your article before criticizing n°1 of Ultimo Reducto (Green Pepper, El Sendero Aborigen , Wolf Bite, Salamander and the Re-Evolution pamphlets)? If the latter is the case, UR considers that there are many more analogies, in terms of the ideological line and the basic (leftist) values defended, between LAL and all those other texts than between these and UR, ALLIUM and ZIZEN. And it is in plain sight for those who want to see it.

On the other hand, there is something that is surprising when reading the "critiques" that LAL makes of the ALLIUM AND ZIZEN texts: actually, apart from the possible forced link that they perhaps make with those other texts other than n°1 of Último Reducto that they criticize in the rest of their article, which they mention but do not explain, and the false accusation of elitism and offensive tone towards the reader that has already been sufficiently answered by UR, they are not able to really criticize anything of ALLIUM AND ZIZEN’s texts, but rather what they do is a favorable commentary on them. It is worth asking, then, the reasons that have led them to include them in an article that, moreover, has such a belligerent tone towards the rest of the texts cited. Actually, the only credible reason for LAL to include ALLIUM and ZIZEN in their article is that they knew that UR participated in the writing of the texts of

ALLIUM and ZIZEN. Things like this make one seriously doubt that the real reasons why LAL criticize Último Reducto, ALLIUM and ZIZEN can be reduced simply and mainly to a legitimate, healthy and honest intention to discuss the content of their texts.

LAL say that “the question of drugs is much more complex and requires a deepening. The very definition of the term drug raises many problems’. It is true, the question of drugs is very broad and complex and if ALLlUM were still active today and wrote something about the matter, it would touch on certain aspects that it did not touch on in that pamphlet (besides, perhaps, raising others in a different way, although not too , in general, and of course, always from an attitude of rejection of drug use). For example, the consequences, in reference to drug use, of the generalized social left-wing produced from the mid-1990s -greater tolerance and generalization of the consumption of psychoactives- and its importance in the maintenance and development of the techno-industrial society -valves psychotherapeutic escape. Contra el Consumo de Drogas dates from 1997 or 1998 and at that time, both the social situation and the perception and conception that ALLIUM members had of it were somewhat different (less complete, complex and clear, as regards our ideas, and less leftist and progressive as regards the nature of the techno-industrial society of that time). Even so, in general, UR continues to think the same about drug use: it is a cause and effect of alienation and maintains the development of the System by creating dependencies, deactivating and taming potentially dangerous impulses of rebellion for the former, and alienating the System from Reality. individuals.

It is also true that, in many cases, reasonable doubts may arise when defining the term "drug", but this does not imply that it is necessarily so indefinable, relative, subjective, confusing, etc., that it can never be understood what it means. think and say when using it. In fact, ALLIUM gives a pretty clear and explicit definition of what it means in its brochure when it uses the term “drug”. It is obvious that it refers mainly to psychoactive substances, without ceasing to recognize that there may be other broader definitions, also acceptable in other contexts. Any term, any imaginable, involves difficulties when it comes to defining it strictly, especially when the intention is to create confusion or avoid the necessary effort to define it minimally and clearly. Often many characters favorable to drug use (or, rather, it should be said: to its abuse) or simply condescending towards it (so as not to look bad or lose points -political incorrectness- in certain social environments in which such consumption and its defense is the norm) take refuge in the presumed intrinsic indefinability of the terms. In this way, they try to hinder and avoid, on the one hand, possible criticisms against what said term conventionally designates, thus preventing the healthy and rational development of a true debate about drug use and, on the other, self-criticism itself. , or simply take a clear and defined position on the matter. Their presumed inability to define “drug” is rather a subterfuge to hide their cowardice, their fear of not only defining “drug”, but of facing the facts, of criticism and of defining themselves openly, of clearly positioning themselves. It is relativism. So, although LAL in this case is largely right in what they say, be careful with the indefinability of the concepts! The saying goes: "A troubled river, fishermen gain."

LAL refer to the “recourse to anthropological relativism to which the left is usually given, namely, that ‘all peoples of all times have used drugs’ [...]’. Although the intention of LAL’s criticism of the "arguments" of this type given by the apologists and gurus of drug use is correct, it is necessary to make a technical qualification. UR assumes that, by ‘anthropological relativism’, LAL meant what is more commonly called cultural relativism. It is true that many leftists tend to tend to cultural relativism. This tendency, precisely, is closely related to the defense that many leftists make of historicism at all costs, of the exclusively or mainly "historical" character of the human being, of culture and education as solely or mainly determinant factors of the character and behavior of citizens. individuals and human groups, as well as the rejection of the existence or importance of a human nature, especially at a psychic and behavioral level (genetic or biological traits - tendencies, needs and capacities - determinants of individual or group character and behavior). Does all this ring a bell? However, the case commented on by LAL (the justification of drug use based on its presumed universality) is not cultural relativism but just the opposite: universalism or transculturalism.

What cultural relativism affirms is precisely that there are no universal cultural traits, values, behaviors, etc., that it is not possible to find cultural or behavioral traits that are repeated in each and every human society, or at least if If there were, they would appear in such different forms that they could not be equated with each other. Thus, it could not be affirmed, from cultural relativism, that "all cultures at all times have used drugs", much less equate the use of certain drugs in certain times and cultures with the use of other drugs in other times. and societies, but rather the opposite.

It’s just a matter of technical precision, but when you talk so much about culture, society, history, relativism, etc., and you want to amend or even ridicule what others say about primitive or pre-industrial cultures, the least you can do is have the basic philosophical and anthropological concepts minimally clear.

For the rest, UR agrees with LAL that it is absurd and unacceptable to try to justify drug use here and now by referring to alleged consumption carried out by certain cultures in other places and times. And not because UR is a cultural relativist (it is not) but because such comparisons are nothing but pathetic and petty attempts to excuse the inexcusable.

Regarding LAL’s comments on The Myth of the Left, there is little to say. UR shares his opinion about the need to criticize leftism (although to do so perhaps one would first have to define what is and what is not leftism; for many leftists, leftists are others, never themselves{91}).

What ZIZEN criticized under the name of "myth of unity", was not referring exclusively to "the desire for unity whoever falls against ‘fascism,’" but also to any other form of demagogic exaltation of unity or group cohesion in the face of the threat of an alleged common enemy, whatever it may be, in order to hide deep and irreconcilable differences and to justify and promote the (self-)repression of internal criticism and dissent. Said "common enemy" can be fascism, capitalism, machismo, the State, Power, or any of the other "coconuts" traditionally typical of the different leftist currents, or terrorism, communism, crime, etc. etc But also, in some "anti-industrial" cases of the "myth of unity", developmentalism, industrialism, and even, as has already been said, certain notions of little and no value could be used as "bogeymen". ill-defined leftism.

LAL say that relativism is a “tavern philosophy”. Relativism is, unfortunately, much more than the alcoholic delusion of the regulars of the bars. It is, normally, the theoretical expression and in words of a basic psychological attitude related to states of psychic weakness or weakening (confusion, cowardice, insecurity, etc.), or ethical villainy (when relativism is exclusively moral), which often it is embodied at a theoretical level in the form of simple schemes (the infamous "everything is relative" and the like), but sometimes it acquires the rank of ideology in itself, developing logically (but not rationally) and systematically. And even when it falls short of an ideology in itself, it deeply permeates many other ideologies.

Be that as it may, although in most cases relativism does not usually go beyond the first level (schematic and simpleton), it has unfortunately been widely accepted, to a greater or lesser extent, by a large part of the population of the current techno-industrial society (leftist or not, educated or not). Today, relativism (elaborated or not) is a dogma of faith ("antidogmatic" dogmatism) since it serves to justify the unjustifiable and thus achieve that individuals willingly accept changing living conditions, increasingly unnatural and unworthy. , to which they are subjected by the rapid development of the techno-industrial society.

On the other hand, readers of “Does Anti-Industrial Criticism Make It Way?” they should keep in mind in this case that, as with leftism, it is one thing to criticize relativism and another not to be relativist. Criticizing an evil is not enough to immunize oneself against it (it is not even enough to make anyone but an unwary idiot believe that one is free from it). The most despicable relativists are those who on the one hand speak ill of relativism and at the same time, on the other hand, try to sneak into us things as unequivocally relativistic as: "After all, the effective critique of industrialism cannot be put into practice." a group of fanatics sure of the truth of their theses’ [The Friends of Ludd, n°8, “Is Criticism Making Way

Anti-industrial?’, page 1]. Are you sure not? Just making this resounding assertion means showing great conviction (probably excessive) in the certainty of its content. In addition to disapproving of the not-so-subtle accusation of fanaticism{92}, it is worth asking: would more effective opponents of the techno-industrial system be those who were not even remotely certain that said system should be criticized or why (that is, at least minus the inevitably pernicious character of at least some of its effects)? Is it so bad to always have certainties and/or so good not to have them? Because? Will the Friends of Ludd be sure of the veracity and relevance of the assertions and criticisms they make in their newsletter in general, and in said article in particular? If they are, are they fanatics? And if they aren’t, what are they playing then?

When we come across someone who happily blurts out such relativist platitudes and at the same time pretends to be a critic of relativism, we can be sure of at least one thing: he is not to be trusted.

Triangular projection of animal self-government (according to LAL).

Public "Reply" from The Friends of Ludd

[Published in The Friends of Ludd, #9, date unknown, page 20]:

The only response we have received to the controversy that began with our article "Is anti-industrial criticism making its way?" has corresponded to Último Reducto. Given the length of his letter[24] -more than one hundred handwritten pages-, it is not possible for us to reproduce it in its entirety and, since cutting it would only encourage a reading biased in its text, we can only recommend that its author publish it on his own. In any case, we must admit that we made a mistake in "Does it break through...?" Ultimo Reducto rightly reproaches us for having used as a proven fact something that in the book by Lewin and Leaky [sic] that we quoted at the time (The sixth extinction) is nothing more than a mere hypothesis, namely, the extinction of some large mammals by the action of hunting human tribes. This was, it must be admitted, a levity on our part.

On the other hand, in April 2005, we received a text from Ultimo Reducto with the title «Open letter to the Friends of Ludd and the Like»[25] in response to our «Open letter to the primitivists » of bulletin n°7. Once again, the length of the text (178 handwritten pages) prevents us from publishing it, and the ergotizing mess prevents us from summarizing it. However, we invite those interested [sic] to request it directly from its author [...] who, on the other hand, intended to publish it on his own.

In any case, it must be said that we have always valued concise expression as a human quality, of which the editor of Último Reducto. is not especially guilty.

UR Comment Regarding LAL’s Public “Reply”:

It is only necessary to point out that although it must be recognized that the original texts sent to LAL were too long and full of superfluous digressions, it is to be feared that LAL will continue to consider the adaptations, much more abbreviated and concise, published in this work excessively “long”. .

However, brevity also has its limits, beyond which it falls into hypersimplification, demagogy and/or the unintelligibility of what is written. And LAL often far exceed them.

Private letter from JRH to Ultimo Reducto.

[Submitted to UR on November 17, 2005]:

[...] First I introduce myself. My name is [J.] and I am the author of the article «Is anti-industrial criticism making its way?». I am not part of the original writing group of Ludd’s friends, but have collaborated with him on occasion since the Prestige event,[26] as a result of a epistolary exchange motivated by the catastrophe and above all by the reactions that followed it. At the end of last year I proposed to the authors of the bulletin to open a debate in the form of an open polemic with the publications that in recent years have tried to theoretically criticize industrial society. Although the article was written entirely by me, I submitted the final text to the discretion of [T.] and [R.] (the founders of Ludd’s Friends) and they did not move a comma. So, what was said in that text is shared by the whole group, but what I say now will be exclusively my own judgment.

With that said, I’ll let you know that I’ve read your response to my article with interest; in fact, doing so has cost me less than the tiring reading of numbers lA and lB of Ultimo reducto [sic] or of the notes to the Texts of Ted Kaczynski[27]. I wish you would use that more relaxed language in your letters more often. I have not been able to find in it so often the oracular tone that your public writings overflow. For my part, I admit that the style I used in my article was quite aggressive, but for me it was a necessary step to create a polemic. I know that you usually measure each word that others use (even though you never apply that standard to yourself) but, in the case of the other publications, we did not know if they would respond to a simple criticism of the type of "on this page they are correct but on the other page they make mistakes”, so I opted for a satirical tone, always useful in polemics. Whether or not he succeeded is another question, and here I will be humble about my literary limitations. Finally. I want to say that for me the meaning of a polemic is not to convince this or that dialectical adversary, which although it is not impossible, is rather improbable, but rather to argue the critics so that the public of said polemic can form a judgment measured. Hence our initial intention was to publish the responses; the problem is that yours is too long ("Answers sent to us will be published as space in the bulletin allows," we said then) to include it, if we don’t want to mortgage three-quarters of the next issue for it. Thus, we do not consider it very fruitful that our debate is limited to a private epistolary exchange. But I will talk about all this, and possible solutions to this matter, at the end of this letter.

Once the preliminaries are over, I will now respond to your long epistle. I’ll start by explaining the Romans analogy (by the way, I’m not going to use that irritating leftist slur of "l*s roman*s" except when quoting your own texts). This is not a trivial comparison, but obviously I don’t believe in history "repeating itself" or "running in cycles", as the usual platitudes say. My intention was to show that the techno-industrial civilization is already collapsing and that this makes many people see the need to secede from this system. But in reality I did not want to show with that that the collapse of the Roman Empire and that of this society are analogous. In fact, he wrote that "as then, this collapse can also take the patience of taking place over several centuries, so that no one expects an explosion that will force men to position themselves once and for all for or against freedom" {93}.

Where of course you can find a simile is in the lines that compare Christianity and the morality that you propose. I will agree with you that it may be an exaggerated provocation and I myself doubted the harshness of my statements at the time of approving the final text; but after reading the Texts by Ted Kaczynski and your reply, I could not help reaffirming what was said then. In short, your philosophy (because it is a philosophy, and not a political critique of society) has much of the New Stoic morality. The reference to Rome was not intended to give my arguments a scholarly veneer, nor was I wrong to speak of "selective" morality; Your warnings towards any interlocutors from Ultimo Reducto [sic] are eloquent in this sense. When speaking of the "end of the industrial Empire" we do not ascribe any affirmation to you. I am the one who says that the industrial Empire can collapse (yes, for centuries if necessary) and at no time do I say that you have prophesied such a thing.

As for censoring bad readers beforehand, it is part of a very poor tactic that is very recurrent in your texts (and I say "your" because your acolytes suspiciously coincide in using the same theatrical procedures): an image of harshness is shown that does not he stops at nothing and, if it is necessary to criticize some holy man of critical thinking, he is criticized, that was all. What I don’t understand is why using an attributed quote should invariably be a sign of prejudice or inane flattery. Quite simply, we trust the critical capacity of our readers, and if someone sends us a slimy or stupid letter, we don’t reply. There is no need to brag about it in such a self-righteous way (I will give an example of the baleful influence of your apostolate later). Not to mention that attributing citations can allow interested readers to compare them, delve into some authors on their own and, ultimately, be more autonomous. For example, it’s gratifying for me to know that some people have discovered, and read on their own, Günther Anders[28] or [sic] George Orwell thanks to Ludd’s friends. If we didn’t use more than its initials GA or GO, who was going to be able to study them on their own? And the same is true of Mumford et al. This is not silly egalitarianism, but a mere treatment of respect that we grant (and that we expect) in our relationships{94}. It is true that absolutely unprejudiced reading is an ideal, but who aspires to it? The merit of reading is precisely that it is a permanent requirement of the reader and one of the highest ways of thinking about oneself.

(I am now going to allow myself a brief excursus on the question of your style. I bring it up because in the pages that you dedicate to talking about the issue of readers in your letter you inflict on me a couple of valuable jewels For example: “the majority of the Flock have always belittled, persecuted, or even considered arrogant and elitist those who seeing this fact [namely, the falsehood of egalitarianism], deviate from that norm, and even question it », etc. The leftist metaphor of the black sheep is quite tired, by the way, but above all the way in which you stand above the mob that surrounds you, if you live in Bilbao, catches my attention. use of capital letters, as well as the absolutely judgmental tone of your writings —although in your letter you have lowered your column a little— or your tendency to aphorism a la Jorge Bucay{95}[29], give the impression —and here you will be able to make an exegesis of twenty or thirty pages to criticize the twisted way in which I pervert and misinterpret your doctrines—they give the impression, I say, of an astonishing lack of humility, and even more so if we take into account that you yourself display an astonishing lack of humility. frankly notable lack of reading skills; I am thinking of the passage you dedicate to Marx in your Texts...[30] but I’ll talk about that later. For now, the important thing is how scandalous your haughty attitude—at least on paper—towards other mortals. The truth is that to me the masses who squander their sadly earned money in the Max Center[31] do not seem to me the citizens of a democracy, but I cannot call them "Flock" with that austere tone of the philosopher who is known outside of it. )

Regarding the question of political activity, I must admit that I have not found the idea of "abandonment" of such activity rigorously theorized (in fact, you never rigorously theorize anything) in your texts, rather it is an interpretation of several things : on the one hand your contempt of great style towards "the Flock" and on the other hand in your ways of establishing analysis (that is to say) of political struggles. For example: in your account of the fight against the construction of the Itoiz reservoir, you allow yourself to finish off a paragraph as follows: «after years of fighting against the project, the result, as expected, was: part of the activists pres= "Sabotage because of the sabotage, part hidden in search and capture, sentences against the works that were never taken into account by the promoter of the project... and a beautiful valley devastated". That dire "as expected" denotes the satisfaction of the sullen prophet who sees his most dire predictions come true. !! Congratulations!! According to your brilliant reading of the facts, if the Itoiz dam has been built, it is because it could not be stopped. Brilliant pleonasm, which avoids inquiring more closely into the specific circumstances that have surrounded a specific conflict and allows one to accommodate oneself in the self-referential theories of Ultimo redoubt [sic]. But for those who want to go further, it will be necessary to study the reason for the failure of these struggles: the comings and goings of the opposition to the project, including two different ways of understanding it (the Solidarios and the Coordinadora); the magnification of an undoubtedly effective sabotage but that did not have continuity; the growing social demobilization of "modern" societies; the acceptance by several thousand people of living under the terror of a dam failure, etc. Actually Itoiz for you is the least of it: after all, it is nothing more than a ruse to provide your theses with one more argument. For this reason, it is not surprising that you condemn with a stroke of the pen the political activities that you review on pages 26 and 27 of your letter and keep the most comforting: the closed-circuit theoretical debate (which has allowed you to suffer hubris fully unjustified philosophical) and the happy daily practice, which has nothing political. Those of us who have collaborated with The Friends of Ludd are not supporters of spectacular activism, which you and I know well from having participated in, and therefore can knowingly reject; on that we agree. On the other hand, can’t you tell that Ludd’s Friends has little to do with Marca? layout nor by the possibilities of social promotion that guarantees to identify with the theses defended in the bulletin.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to accuse you of writing about self-help. I was referring to the fact that at the present time, in which this type of text proliferates, yours do not clash so much with the official line of the regime. The rise of individualism, which you strongly vindicate, is a product of the bourgeois era, no matter how much you honestly reject what it entails; but it is undeniable that trusting in such a way in the possibilities of social transformation of isolated individuals is something very modern, whether you like it or not.

With this we come to the heart of the dispute, which is, I’m afraid, philosophical in nature, which is why I don’t feel like tackling it at all. Unlike you, I am not a thinker, so my certainties are negative: rather than knowing what is true (you would say "Truth"), I only know what is not, and not always. I resemble what Nietzsche[32] so bitterly calls «men of resentment», because I am pleased to drop dialectical hammer blows at know-alls who, like you, are dedicated to spreading their preaching to the desperate[33] everywhere. You and the people of your intellectual environment (later I will say something about one of your disciples) intend to start from scratch a new form of social criticism that breaks definitively and clearly with the previous ones, which seems laudable to me (I am not kidding): get rid of the leftist and progressive ballasts is not a comfortable task{96}. Now, launching into philosophy without having a fucking idea is no longer something admirable but ridiculous for those who don’t let themselves be blinded by forceful ways like yours. For my part, I do not intend to renounce the best of the critical tradition of the past; I don’t think the original authors of Los amigos de Ludd either, because otherwise they would not have chosen for their newsletter a name clearly inspired by «Los amigos de Durruti», which have nothing to do with the anti-progressive criticism.

I care little what you say about animal anthropomorphism. That that human freedom is an extension of animal freedom is idiotic. In number 1 of UR you say that «Freedom, the true, the real, is a capacity that all beings with a nervous system and the ability to move (beings potentially free) we have»{97}. From this it follows that worms, for example, are free. However, I was talking about for the “classic” revolutionary project, freedom is something that is conquered and that one must defend oneself; it is not a granted right. In the case of animalists, this is not even a question, since animals —to which nonetheless all the virtues of humans are attributed and no defects— are not in a position to free themselves from “human domination” (assuming that this is the case). comparable to class domination or neotechnological subjugation). So, if only for this reason, one cannot speak of the same idea of freedom for animals and for human beings.

With all this I meant that the idea of human freedom is also a historical construction (or social and cultural, if you prefer). The human being has a natural essence but is never only that essence, but rather lives in certain circumstances that allow one to speak (and not only retrospectively) of freedom. Realize that you use concepts that are absolutely human or, rather, modern (in the sense that they were formed during Modernity, and are incomprehensible outside of it) to talk about animals: even the distinction of the natural world into kingdoms is a human idea, and not something given in itself in nature.

For all these reasons I reject your idea of Domination. When everything is Domination, nothing is, and you end up making on the contrary the error of relativism. Based on your crazy ideas, what is it that should lead animals, human or not, to find Domination condemnable and to fight it (assuming "non-human animals" are capable of doing so)? What’s more, talking about "non-human animals" is nothing more than a vile way of dehumanizing man; and better not to talk about that "law of Development" that "has no exceptions"...

I want to move on to a detailed analysis of your reading ability, through which I will try to make you see your contradictions. On pages 127 and 128 of Texts... you make a clear defense of materialism, which you come to identify, in what you believe is its most consistent variant, with "physicalism", and of Step you refer to note 8 on page 140, in which you are comfortable with Marxism. Well, here you reach the lower reaches of the intellectual sewer. After making an apology for what you call physicalism[34]{98}, you drift towards a very poor critique of Marxism: «Money is a symbol and financial values the symbol of a symbol in turn [...], which brings it much closer to supernatural and merely “spiritual” concepts such as “god” or “ghost”». Criticism of Marxism, and even of Marx, has never been spared at Ludd’s Friends. In your case, it is clear that when you talk about Marxism you have excluded Lukács[35] and Debord[36], but above all Marx, who titled one of the first chapters of Capital «The fetishistic character of the merchandise and its secret». ring a bell? I know that you have read the Situationists, for better or worse, because I once heard you talk about them. You know the critique of commodity fetishism? The ideas of Ludd’s friends are largely inherited through the Encyclopédie des Nuisances, which is the one that has done the most to overcome the situationist critique and link it with the critique of industrial society. For you, obviously, once Marxism has been reduced to the economistic variant of Leninism-Stalinism, it is very easy to make fun of it.

But this goofy reading of Marx is perfectly in line with your philosophical pretentiousness. Hence, the definitions that are given in your works fall more often than not into such ambiguity that they become indefinite (like the one alluded to before with respect to the worm). And so, we have that "Freedom is nothing other than the Autonomy of the processes of the self-regulated functioning of non-artificial systems, when they possess a certain degree of consciousness and will" (UR n° 1, p. 81), or that Domination is "the impediment or perversion of the Autonomy of the functioning of non-artificial or savage processes and systems, of which Freedom, human or not, only constitutes a part". According to your creed, Human Domination is nothing more than a case of Animal Domination. Thus, it gives the impression that you evaluate human actions with a zoological prism but falsely, since sooner or later the term "artificialization" appears, which brings us back to the starting point: that is, that in humans it occurs, in effect, a qualitative change with respect to other animals.

A year ago I published a translation of a text by Jaime Semprun, The ghost of theory, to criticize the pretentiousness of those who intend to make a totalizing critique of current society; If you haven’t read it, I can send it to you. You incur all the vices criticized by Semprun in said pamphlet but without the virtues of the salaried thinkers of the academic world. Really, your definitions are laughable. And I say "your" because there is another person out there, who goes by the name of [ASA], who uses the same soporific and pedantic style as you to express himself (so to speak), as it becomes clear reading page 2 of his pamphlet Dominating technology against freedom and autonomy. I have learned, moreover, that he is the author of two reviews in the magazine “Ekintza Zuzena” of works by Lewis Mumford ( the brochure The megamáquina, extracted from the book The myth of the machine) and Miguel Amorós (Primitivism and history){99} . It never occurs to me to make you guilty of what someone else says; I just want to point out the fact that [ASA] uses —in a more crude way— the same trick as you, namely, exercising a kind of critical relentlessness with everything, to show that you don’t have any idol: not even San Miguel Amorós nor Saint Lewis Mumford are safe from "the ruthless criticism of everything that exists" (you have to be some kind of learning monster to blurt out without breaking a sweat that "to some extent, [Mumford’s] text is interesting"! ). This attitude can dazzle the unwary (in the country of the blind and fools, the only blind is king) but not those of us who have read more than the Communist Manifesto.

This is how you understand that invariable rule in your texts of looking closely at every last comma of what others say (you take this to the extreme in Texts..., perhaps to show that you are free from the hypnotic influence that Kaczynski must have), but you don’t seem to bother reading that [sic] indigestible prose of yours, prodigal in definitions like the ones I’ve cited before, possessing the same lexicographical value as an Ikea catalog[37]. The worst thing is that it is obvious that you take yourself seriously. No one should be surprised, then, by the depressing lack of humor in your writings and those you inspire. I will allow myself to recall Nietzsche once again: "Objection, mischief, jovial distrust, a taste for mockery are signs of health: everything unconditional belongs to pathology."

I am afraid that this letter of mine will not exactly contribute to improving our relations, which perhaps could have been different if we had met in other circumstances. Anyway, neither you nor I publish our ideas to make friends, so I can only tell you that I won’t answer any letter you can send me, although I will continue reading what you write and that comes into my hands. Regarding the transcript of the polemic with Ludd’s friends, I propose you to publish a note as follows:

We have received a response from Último redoducto [sic] to our article number 8. Unfortunately its length (more than 120 pages) prevents us from publishing it. We have sent a reply to its author and we invite him to make it known by the means he deems appropriate.[38] In any case, we insist that it is only due to its breadth, since the letter from Ultimo redoducto [sic] meets the other required criteria (argumentation of ideas and criticism).

I know it’s little, but we can’t give an account of your letter, so long, or cut it, given its homogeneity it would be equivalent to mutilating it, and anyone -starting with you- could accuse us of being biased in our selection.

One last thing. I didn’t like Nazism, because I never compare you to it. In fact, your ideas have a lot to do with Heidegger[39], since you use the same “authenticity jargon”, with the difference that if for him the authentic thing was the medieval peasants of the Black Forest, for you it is the hunters -Paleolithic collectors. But Heidegger, who was a Nazi, was not a Party ideologue. I doubt that more than three people of his ideology understood his words. So in no case have I considered Ultimo redoubt [sic] close to Nazism; on the contrary, I subscribe to everything that is said in note 3 on pages 68 and 69 of the Texts... about fascists and anti-fascists.

If in any case you want to discuss these or other issues out loud, and I hope we can do it in a civilized way (I allow myself the joke), you can contact me through the return address [...]

Comment on some of JRH’s reviews

By Ultimo Reducto.

The Lord has given him into my hands.{100}

Part of JRH’s theoretical criticisms have already been sufficiently answered in the preceding UR articles. So, UR will limit himself, mainly, in this case to explain some of the previously untreated theoretical or stylistic points that he considers important to clarify publicly. While it’s true that sometimes the tone and style of UR in some of his earlier writing (for example, in the comments and notes to Ted Kaczynski Writing), might not have been the most appropriate. (in this sense, time has not passed in vain and UR considers that he has matured in terms of the expression of his ideas), he does not believe that this detracts, in general, from the value of the fundamental content of the themselves. However, he considers it futile and even counterproductive for the correct development of a true debate and criticism really contrary to the techno-industrial society, to answer one by one all the abject invectives of JRH. veracity, motives and tone of many of JRH’s criticisms and personal attacks, as well as their moral quality. Although sometimes it will be impossible not to hit back.

The use of “=“ instead of “or” or “a”, is certainly a trivial habit that the editor of Último Reducto adopted from the leftist tendencies that contaminated his ideology and his practice during a certain stage of his life, in which his naivety and inexperience weighed heavily. more when it comes to choosing referents and political partners than his natural rejection of leftist psychology and ideology. The latter has never been denied by UR, as can be seen, for example, in the self-criticism of n°0 of Último Redoto that appeared in n°1 of Último Redoto, Fascicle A, page 1.

UR is sorry that our sensitive "friend" finds UR’s use of "=" instead of "or" or "a" so "irritating" to try to eliminate the gender of nouns in their oldest texts. And he is pleased to announce that he got rid also of that progressive vice a long time ago. I wish all the presumed anti-progressives could say the same of his obvious leftist cultural heritage.

In any case, although said use is a banal custom inspired by stupid linguistic theories ‘feministly correct’, it is no less true that its criticism is equally banal.{101}

UR has never stated anywhere that ‘‘using an attributed quote must invariably be a sign of prejudice or foolish flattery’. As has already been said, what UR tried to avoid, naively perhaps, by signing the citations with only initials was the frequent and sad general tendency to be carried away by prejudices when using or read attributed quotes. Using or reading a quote from someone else’s text does not have to imply, invariably, prejudice or flattery towards its authors, but, unfortunately, it does tends to imply them too often. And no one is free to ever fall for it.

Having said this, and without detracting from its validity, it must be recognized that JRH is right in saying that giving the complete bibliographical references of a citation makes it possible to compare it or deepen the knowledge and criticism of the author’s work. For this reason, UR no longer hides the identity of the authors it cites.

UR considers it desirable to try at least, both on the part of the reader and the writer, that the reading be objective. If this is not even desired or attempted, then full understanding and fair criticism become impossible.

And perhaps the merit of the reading lies precisely in the fact that, if it is read properly, this is a permanent requirement of the reader. But it is obvious (and UR does not point to anyone) that not every reader is up to meeting such a requirement.

And as for the statement that reading is one of the highest forms of thinking for oneself, it is something very, very nuanced. You can read and think, you usually read without thinking and you can think without reading. The first is rare, the second is very frequent, and the third is common in almost all human beings, except among intellectuals or those who aspire to be so, in whom the second tendency prevails.

Since our scholarly "friend" seems to like to use Nietzsche as an intellectual reference to support his own opinions, UR will remember here the following fragment that is very relevant:

The scholar, who basically does nothing more than ‘revolve’ books -the ordinary philologist, about two hundred a day-, ends up completely and totally losing the ability to think on their own. If you don’t stir books, you don’t think. He responds to a stimulus (a thought read) when he thinks, -in the end all he does is react. The scholar dedicates all his strength to saying yes and saying no, to criticizing things already thought, -he himself no longer thinks... The instinct of self-defense has softened in him; otherwise, it would defend itself against the books. The learned - a ‘décadent’. I have seen this with my own eyes: well-endowed natures, with a rich and free constitution, already at the age of thirty "read to ruin", already reduced to mere matches, which it is necessary to strike so that they give off sparks - ‘thought’-’. [Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, Alliance, 2003, page 56].

On the question of the “herd” and the well-worn leftist metaphor of the black sheep, our knowledgeable “friend” proves to be quite clueless. The editor of Último Reducto (under the pseudonym “E=mc2‘) already made his position quite clear with the story “The Black Sheep and the Wolf’ [in Stories from the Dark Side, 2004, pages 25-27]. The question is not whether or not one is above the “Flock”, but whether one is inside or outside of it (or rather if one wants to be inside or outside, because, today, nobody is totally outside). The answer differentiates, respectively, the leftist pseudo-critics of the System (“black sheep”) from those who really hate the System.

UR is very sorry to contradict our humble "friend", but the Herd, the Mass, the acceptance of the majority current, consumerist or not, is the basis of democracy, it is understood as it is understood. And assuming democracy as a value to defend (as JRH and his Friends obviously do) is a serious mistake, not just philosophical, but practical. But it would also be wasting time here discussing the concept of democracy, so let’s just leave it alone.

Regarding the fact that the editor of Último Reducto refers to himself in the third person and with a pseudonym, the reasons are irrelevant. This may probably seem like a peculiar custom to some, but UR doesn’t think it’s a big bother for readers who are really interested in understanding UR texts and isn’t going to abandon it anytime soon.

And, by the way, others refer to themselves in the first person plural when they are just a single individual, and even sign under a collective name or referring to their supposed connection to a group (“So and so, member of...’ ) what they actually write independently individually without even bothering to reach a prior agreement with the rest of the presumed group they refer to in their signature{102}.

There is no passage dedicated to Marx in Texts by Ted Kaczynski. What does exist is a fragment (very general, it is true), dedicated to Marxism and its adherents, which is not the same [Texts by Ted Kaczynski, “Some Critical Comments’, Note 8, page 140]. This passage refers to Marxism in general (that is, to all theories and discourses that take the theories of Karl Marx and Friedich Engels as their fundamental base and reference), and not only to Leninism or Stalinism. . In fact, in said fragment, UR rejects that Marxism (in any of its versions) is really materialist. UR acknowledges that perhaps he could have expressed this fact in a more fortunate way than by referring to economism (in fact, UR also refers in said passage to the notion of dialectic, which our Marxian "friend" avoids mentioning) but the fact itself That Marxism is always idealism, which is what that passage was about, is evident, especially if one looks at more recent Marxist currents (including post-situationist Luddism).{103}

By the way, criticizing Marx, and even Marxism, is not a sufficient guarantee that one is not a Marxist. Most, if not all, Marxists criticize Marx or/and other Marxists. Some of them hardly do anything else.

Remaining in "studying the reason for the failure" of the specific struggles, such as the one against the Itoiz dam, one by one, in isolation and without establishing relationships and analogies between one case and another or drawing general conclusions, is stupidly condemning oneself to trip over and over again on the same stone.

Most likely, both JRH and many other readers are unaware from their own experience of the enormous and unpleasant effort involved in trying to continuously and methodically develop a serious and true debate among a group of individuals. Those of us who do know can attest that there is nothing "comforting" about it. Someone may consider, perhaps not without reason, that investing too much energy in debating is impractical to advance the fight against techno-industrial society, but no one will seriously say that it is pleasant or easy unless they are either lying, or have no I have no idea of the work that actually involves systematically developing a true process of debate (not a mere “polemic”).

And as for the "happy daily practice", since the System is maintained thanks to the "happy daily practices" of millions of people, this type of practice has a lot of "political “.

It is true that the fact that a few individuals do or stop doing whatever in their daily life, individually or in a group, does not usually have significant significance in the course of development of a mass society, such as the techno-industrial Unless said daily practices extend to a substantially larger sector of the population of that social system.

But it is one thing for something to be ineffective (or invaluable) and another for it not necessarily to be “political”. The “political” character of an activity is given mainly by the purposes it serves and by the fact that it is publicly promoted.

On the other hand, the “political” ineffectiveness of everyday practice on a small scale (and its discriminated dissemination) does not imply that other “non-everyday” political practices on a larger scale are necessarily more effective. What is truly effective in "politics" when what is really sought is to destroy the techno-industrial system (or merely to stop its development)? It is difficult to know, and it is up to those of us who desire such an end to try to discover (probably largely through trial and error) the effective means of achieving this. Be that as it may, what is obvious is that most of the forms, everyday or otherwise, of “political” activity that are used or have allegedly been used to combat the System are completely ineffective, or even counterproductive. And recognizing it is the first requirement to seriously aspire to advance in the fight against the techno-industrial system.

That the newsletter The Friends of Ludd does not aspire to attract by the beauty of its layout, is obvious. But UR will not go into frivolous aesthetic disquisitions here.

Much more important is to clarify if really identifying with the theses defended in the bulletin guarantees possibilities of social advancement in any case. And there UR disagrees with JRH If we take as the reference social environment the self-styled “autonomous” anti-capitalist “ambientaos” and/or "libertarians", showing sympathy for theses such as those of The Friends of Ludd, repeating them or making reference to them in their own speech or, even more, being part of The Friends of Ludd (or saying that they are part of it or, merely, that they If you are his "collaborator"; that is, using his signature) automatically implies achieving recognition in those environments and being taken as an intellectual reference by many of the members (especially by the most "knowledgeable" and well-known) of said circles. And all this our unambitious “friend” knows very well.

The belief that individualism is a “product of the bourgeois era”{104} is a myth of that era itself. Individualism, understood exclusively as the prioritization of the interests of the individual and his closest relatives before those of the rest of the social group of which he is a member or those of the members of other groups, is, to a greater or lesser degree, a tendency and natural need of almost every person, as is also, to a greater or lesser extent, sociability (that is, the tendency and need to interact and cooperate with other individuals). And it has been and is always very present even in the supposedly most collectivist and anti-individualist societies and times{105}.

Proverbs such as: The ox only licks itself well’, “Better alone than in bad company’, “No one takes care of what belongs to everyone”, “Everyone in their own house and God in everyone’s”, “Where does Vicente go? Where do people go’, “If I don’t do what I see, I pee, etc., they were not exactly invented by the modern and industrial bourgeoisie.

On the other hand, the larger and more complex a social system is, the more it needs to inhibit or repress individualism, that is, the more it needs indiscriminate cooperation and solidarity, to put ties with the masses and the System before ties between individuals. relatives and to subordinate individual freedom (the only possible one) to their own needs for cohesion and development. In today’s techno-industrial society, such subordination is so sophisticated that to many, especially if they are socialists, it seems just the opposite: individualism. And the latter, considering the techno-industrial society individualist and spreading said false impression, is already in itself doing a great favor to said society.

As for the negative certainties’, it is simply nonsense. Apart from a clear display of intellectual dishonesty.

It is relativistic nonsense because every "negative" certainty implies at least one "positive" certainty. Assuming the falsity of the idea X already implies in itself accepting the truth of another idea, let’s call it Y (even though Y is merely the idea that it is true that X is false). Another thing is doubt (not knowing if X is false or true), but in such a case one should not speak of certainty, neither negative nor positive.

It is intellectually dishonest because it fails to recognize the patent fact that everyone in their right mind has at least some "positive" certainty (actually many more). Does our certainly negative "friend" doubt his own existence or that of the concrete and material objects that surround him and can he perceive directly by himself? In truth, there are some people who come to show signs of such extreme lack of confidence in themselves and in Reality but, however much they usually claim to be luminaries, at best they are only pathological subjects, and at worst , and more abundant, fakers.

Friedrich Nietzsche, "philosopher with the hammer", would turn in his grave if he could see how his ideas have been interpreted and used, over and over again, by people who in reality deserve nothing more than his contempt. Such is the case of JRH, who fatuously and preposterously claims to be giving Nietzschean “hammer blows” at the same time that he cannot avoid confessing to belonging to the breed of those who actually used to receive them from the philosopher: “the men of resentment”

(That is, Christians, socialists - including anti-individualist libertarians -, feminists, etc.; in short, the weak and their defenders). Faced with such impudence, it is only possible to respond with a “hammer blow”, this time, authentic:

... The resentful person is neither sincere nor naive neither honest nor upright before himself himself. His soul leers; his spirit likes hiding places, crooked paths and false doors.” [Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality, Edimat, 2007, page 67].

Yes, according to UR’s notion of freedom, even worms are potentially free beings. Of course, the expression of their freedom is very different from that of other animals with more complex behaviors and nervous systems.

The inability of certain individuals, such as JRH and his Friends, to accept that we are "only" animals, one more part of Nature, and that both the physical conditions of the environment and our biological heritage determine what we are and what we do (including our culture and history), as well as to understand and assume a materialist and naturalistic definition of the concept of freedom, is not because such concepts and definition are absurd or false, but because they are an unacceptable threat to their humanist intellectual baggage in general, and for his revered “critical tradition of the past” in particular.

Regarding "why the ability to move is an inexcusable part of freedom", several things should be noted:

1) Our astute "friend" shows either not having understood what UR meant by the ability to move and freedom, in n°1 of Ultimo Reducto , or being quite skilled twisting and ridiculing what he doesn’t want to understand. And, be that as it may, UR is very much afraid that what JRH is least concerned about is that UR tries to offer a clarification of the relationship between freedom (as UR understands it) and locomotion capacity. For this reason, it must be remembered that, like the rest of the answers given in this work to the criticisms of LAL and his henchman, the following is not really addressed to them but to the rest of the readers:

The term "freedom" has always been intuitively used in reference to the behavior of individuals of some other animal species, apart from humans. Even so, the

"Freedom" has not been used to be attributed indiscriminately to any species. In fact, we not usually speak of the “freedom” of certain animals with very little or no mobility, of plants or of inanimate non-living objects. People don’t usually talk about the “freedom” of oak trees, nor about “free” sponges, but it is common to talk about being “free as birds”, for example. And this is so because human beings naturally perceive (at least until prejudices distort or replace said perception) that there is a substantial difference between both types of beings and that freedom is related to that difference. This difference is closely related to the degree of development of their natural ability to move. In general, for it to be intuitively considered that a being can be free, it must belong to a species that possesses the ability to move and to control those translation movements, which determines a more complex and diverse behavior than that of other species that do not possess this capacity. UR simply relied on such conventional intuitive perception to explain why individuals belonging to certain species are potentially free and why those belonging to others are not.

As can be seen, UR refers to typical capacities of the generality of the members of some species, not to peculiar traits exclusive to certain particular individuals (for example, of an individual that lacks the ability to move , or neurological complexity, naturally characteristic of most of the rest of their congeners).

Therefore, the presumed counterexample of JRH (a ‘‘physically handicapped individual’’) does not invalidate any of the above.

2) And even if we take this example, it should be noted that, effectively, an individual who is totally physically unable to move wouldn’t meet the definition of freedom in UR

How can autonomously, for example a quadriplegic individual satisfy the natural needs and tendencies of his species (for example, the human)?

It simply can’t. And it can’t exactly because it can’t move. It is not autonomous at all. And, for his part, a partially handicapped individual would comply only to a degree that would be inversely proportional to his degree of incapacity for movement (that is, he would not be completely autonomous when it comes to satisfying and expressing all his needs and tendencies). natural). Yes, said quadriplegic individual, will be able to think and want whatever he wants. And? What good is it to you? He will not be able to do it or achieve it unless others want to do it for him.{106}

He will always depend on others for everything (even to commit suicide in the not uncommon event that his total physical incapacity leads him to wish for death; he will have to request euthanasia from others).

3) If our spiritual "friend" says that this quadriplegic individual can be "free", it is because his notion of "freedom" is very different, or even incompatible, with that of UR (apart from true human dignity, and with the most basic common sense). When JRH claims to be pointing out a contradiction in UR’s definition of freedom, he doesn’t even bother to meet the first requirement to attempt such a thing: exclusively refer to the notion of UR freedom that he intends to refute, instead of (mixing it with) your own.

By the way, it is very indicative, although not good, that our democratic "friend" confuses idealistic pseudo-liberties, such as "freedom of opinion", with true freedom, that is, with the autonomy to satisfy one’s own natural needs. Man does not live on bread alone, it is true, but if he does not eat, everything else is over. And unfortunately, most of the idealists or voluntarists, who seem to believe that we live or should live only or mainly based on high ideas and iron will, do not forget to eat. Being able to give an opinion or judge, to continue with his example, are things that are satisfied only if before or simultaneously certain basic, physical and psychological needs can be satisfied autonomously (and even the true satisfaction of the latter -the psychological ones). - always ultimately depends on having and using certain physical abilities).

4) Obviously, UR’s idea of freedom is not at all “spiritual”, if by such we understand “idealistic”. No need to do

What is no longer so clear is that the "capitalist freedom to exercise a right to consume" is little "spiritual." UR has already commented on the idealistic mystification that the concept of law usually implies and will not insist on it further.

By the way, what did our learned “friend” say about “commodity fetishism”?

5) In ,Does Anti-Industrial Criticism Make It Way?, our libertarian “friend” said (although sheltered in the shadow of the apparently collective signature of “Ludd’s friends”) that freedom is not a granted right. Let us imagine that this were the case, how could the quadriplegic in the example, free according to JRH, conquer, maintain and make use of his rights if others do not grant them to him? With the “power of the mind”?

The "distinction of the natural world into kingdoms" is not as artificial and culturally relative an idea as some believe.

It is one thing for Reality to always be more complex and extensive than the theoretical representations we make of it, and quite another for no theoretical representation to reflect actual facts at all. Reality is not an unintelligible chaos but something ordered (with an order so complex that it often largely, though not always or totally, escapes our comprehension and representation). And our ability to understand Reality and the models of it that this ability produces are not always something merely arbitrary, subjective and cultural.

Specifically, every human being is an animal and not a plant, and whether some like it or not, has much more in common with a worm than with a cork oak (at least taking the term "cork oak" literally). That in the limits between categories (kingdoms, genera, species, races, etc.) there are cases in which it is not clear if they belong to one category or another, or several, or none? True, but this does not mean that these categories do not correspond, at least to a large extent, to an existing and real natural order and differentiation.

On the other hand, it is shocking that someone who seems offended when reminded that the human being is an animal species, affirms that the distinctions in categories are "absolutely human concepts", unreal and relative, that do not exist in themselves in Nature. . If, according to our susceptible "friend", there are no different kingdoms, species, etc., then neither can there be differences between human beings and the rest of animals, much less a separation or "elevation" of those above them.

As for using and assuming modern concepts:

1) Are the concepts handled by UR really as modern as our classic “friend” claims?

2) Is it necessary to fight the modern for its own sake, understanding by modern everything that is recent or current, or on the contrary, what is bad is not that something is modern, that is, new, but if it threatens the autonomy of what is modern? non-artificial in general, and against true human freedom and dignity in particular? The general progressive worsening throughout history of the conditions regarding true human freedom and dignity and the autonomy of wild Nature, makes it normally what modern is actually worse. But not necessarily in all cases.

Automatically equating modern and "bad" is, apart from thoughtlessly confusing mere correlation with causation, falling, albeit in the opposite direction, into the same gross error of progressives who automatically consider everything modern to be good.

3) Be that as it may, assuming an attitude and some supposedly modern concepts when analyzing and representing the World, does not necessarily mean assuming or defending supposedly modern values when to assess reality. Descriptions are one thing and value judgments another. As much as some relativists claim, both things may have a certain relationship, but they are not the same. And not being able to differentiate between them is indeed a serious error that is typical, although not exclusively, (post) modern.

Who said that "everything is Domination’? When? Where? And how exactly does UR ‘a contrario’ fall into relativism? The negligent editor of Último Reducto regrets not having been able to understand the, as usual, so “rigorously theorized” and broad explanation with which our transparent “friend” justifies such an accusation. Obviously, intellectual capacity has its limits...

Our very human “friend” asks: “what should lead animals [...] to judge Domination condemnable and to fight it?”. First of all, you have to wonder where JRH got that idea from, because UR has never said anything like that.

In fact, UR does not advocate such a thing even in the case of humans anymore. Nowadays, UR does not consider it necessary or realistic to claim that all (not even the majority of) human beings should “judge” attacks against the autonomous functioning of the non-artificial (what UR often called "domination") nor do they necessarily have to consciously combat them. Certainly, perhaps it would be desirable, but it is not what usually happens. And we should neither demand it nor expect it.

In addition, the idea of achieving conscious control of the course and form of the development of a social system by its members is an idealistic and voluntaristic myth that is very harmful for the possible development of an effective struggle against industrial society.

Our highly intelligent "friend", once again, simply projects his leftist, Democratic and idealistic myths when interpreting what UR’s position is on animal dominance. And he is wrong once again.

UR could have expressed the so-called “Law of Development” in a more detailed, unambiguous and correct way than it did in the critical comments of Texts by Ted Kaczynski, but this does not deny the validity of the central idea represented by said law: that in the competition between human social systems or groups in the long term the most technologically advanced groups prevail. And with equal technological development, the most populous.

UR would be delighted if someone could show you some examples that would really invalidate this law.

Rejecting evidence because it conflicts with our ideology and our desires is very human, but it is a serious weakness that, apart from leading us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, prevents adequately detecting and taking advantage of any possible definitive solution option. , really and effectively the problems, in case it arises.

Regarding the “material basis of ethics”, this is not the place to discuss in detail the different existing or possible theories about the nature of the human mind and its functions. But if someone believes that said mind (or at least some of the aspects that constitute it) lacks a base and material support, that is, it exists independently of the brain, what they have to do is stop rhetorical tricks and prove it (or refute it). abundant empirical evidence to the contrary). What ethics would JRH have if he didn’t have a functional brain? Perhaps a more solid and respectable one than the one he has demonstrated with many of his devious public statements about others.

UR has never said that LAL (or JRH) have explicitly and publicly linked him to Nazism. What he has said and repeats is that many leftists, as foolish as they are ignorant, indiscriminately, uncritically and petulantly chant schemes prefabricated by other leftists, no less stupid but presumably more educated, about the supposed intrinsic evil of "deep ecology", of “sociobiology”, of “Darwinism”, of “biologism”, of “environmental determinism”, of "naturalism", etc., often without real and direct knowledge of what they intend to criticize and stupidly or/and maliciously confusing and relating the previous concepts with certain infamous concrete cases (such as Nazism or the so-called “Social Darwinism”) in which a certain false notion of human nature has been used to try to excuse inexcusable excesses. And also, that it is evident that when The Friends of Ludd (or rather, our eloquent "friend" protected under their signature and approval) said, for example, that they trembled when they heard about "natural states" and they were trying to explain why, they were taking inspiration from such stereotypical leftist critiques and, in part, copying them.

The excuse given by JRH (and by those who lent him their signature, as is to be expected from the use of the first person plural in that part of the letter) for having used an "aggressive" tone in "his" article, " Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Opening Its Way?”, is that it sought to create “controversy” and incite those who were the object of its attacks to respond. However, it is not necessary to be very enlightened to know that when what you really want is to engage in a serious, rational and productive debate with someone, starting by vilifying the interlocutor is certainly not the best way to achieve it. So, either our "Friends" (the one who wrote and the ones who signed) are very inept at starting debates, or the "controversy" they say they were looking for is something very different from a serious and rational debate that could help advance the debate. the fight against the techno-industrial system (perhaps a mere means of entertaining a certain morbid audience, or venting their bad temper, or taking revenge for alleged personal affronts, or thickening their intellectual and "combative" history, or getting out of the way possible ideological rivals, or who knows what).

The prerequisite for a true debate is a minimum of mutual respect, which is obviously not in this case. Neither LAL (or JRH, hidden under their signature) considered UR an interlocutor worthy of respect when they decided to criticize him in "Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Opening the Way?", nor can UR feel or show respect for those who so clearly disparage him.

However, it is obvious that JRH does not willingly accept that in this "controversy" the sarcastic and aggressive tone is reciprocal. He, and with him those who lent him their signature, consider it appropriate to touch other people’s noses with two hands and even manipulate what others say or think, but they have to respond with a smile and ducking their ears, or they will be labeled as " astonishingly arrogant’, ‘pathologically humorless’ and other niceties. If our respectful "Friends" do not like being answered in a bad way, they should not get into "controversies" using sarcasm and an "aggressive" tone. If his tone had been different, perhaps UR’s in this work would have been too, and everyone, JRH and his Friends, the readers, UR, and above all the advancement of ideas and practices contrary to techno-industrial society, would have been seen benefited.

Regarding the brochure Technology Dominance Against Freedom and Autonomy, it is necessary to clarify several things:

1) This brochure is not the work of the editor of Último Reducto. So, if it’s true that JRH ‘doesn’t even think of making [UR] guilty of what [others say]’, he shouldn’t even have mentioned it in his letter.

Anyone who wants to honestly discuss and criticize this brochure should address or/and refer exclusively to its authors, not to UR

And the same goes for the bibliographic reviews, written by ASA, that appeared in the leftist magazine Ekintza Zuzena.

2) Said brochure is not the work exclusively of ASA, but of a group of people{107} (among which not is the editor of Último Reducto) of which ASA he was just another member. If ASA’s full name appears in the address, it is because they needed to provide their own personal name for the mailing list and said person volunteered.

3) The author group of said pamphlet made the mistake of forgetting to sign it in its first edition. And later said error was corrected. It can be seen that our "friend", a well-informed expert and analyst of "anti-industrial criticism", is unaware of this fact and bases his very respectful comments about said brochure and its presumed author on the first edition or one of its copies.

Finally, regarding UR’s alleged lack of humor:

1) The fact that our funny "friend" resorts to something as trivial as recriminating the allegedly excessive seriousness of the UR texts, says a lot, and nothing good, about his true motivations, his own formality and the importance that he really attaches to what he calls ‘anti-industrial criticism’.

Simply, everything has its place, its degree and its moment, and some seem not to know exactly what they are.

2) What is very funny to some, curses the grace that it does to others. And not always because the latter are mentally weak or sick and the former strong and healthy. Sense of humor is a pretty subjective thing, but not entirely subjective. There are limits and equating, indiscriminately and always, the fact of laughing, ironizing, thanking or making fun of mental health and strength, as well as seriousness with pathology, is stupid. As much as it bears the signature of Saint Friedrich.{108}

By the way, it is evident that our amusing “friend” has taken as a healthy joke what UR said in n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, in Texts by Ted Kaczynski and in the reply to "his" article (not to mention the writings of ASA and his colleagues). Because of that, he obviously hasn’t been offended at all. Goodness!

3) Those who wish to see for themselves UR’s sense of humor, have abundant samples of it in this very work, and especially in this very article. Another thing is that they are able to understand it and/or that it is to their liking (colors are for tastes).{109}

And that’s all for now (which is not little).

[1] Henry David Thoreau, 19th century American writer. Considered a great lover of Nature. [UR note].

[2] Supposedly, Emile Armand, pseudonym of Ernest Lucien Juin, French individualist anarchist (1872-1963). [UR note].

[3] The Friends of Ludd appear to be referring to Theodore John Kaczynski, an alleged member of the US anti-techno-industrial society Freedom Club, better known as the “Unabomber”. [UR note].

[4] American primitivist theorist and editorial member of the newspaper Green Anarchy. [UR note].

[5] Referring to Herbert Marcuse, German Marxist philosopher, linked to the “Frankfurt School”. He criticized modern society from a hedonistic perspective. [UR note].

[6] Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, 19th century German dialectical idealist philosopher. [UR note].

[7] German Marxist philosopher belonging to the so-called “Frankfurt School”. [UR note].

[8] Georges Bataille, 20th century French anthropologist and mystical writer. Very influenced by Hegel and Marx, among others. [UR note].

[9] The Paleolithic is the oldest period of human prehistory (literally meaning "Old Stone Age"). It is divided in turn into three periods: Lower, Middle and Upper. It ends with the end of the last ice age. This nomenclature applies especially to the prehistory of Europe and western Asia. [UR note].

[10] In reference to Piotr Kropotkin, a Russian anarcho-socialist theorist of the 19th century. [UR note].

[11] American biologist. [UR note].

[12] In reference to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher of the eighteenth century. Commonly considered a defender of the myth of the “Noble Savage”. [UR note].

[13] The Neolithic is the period of human prehistory that begins with the adoption of agriculture and/or livestock and lasts until the adoption of metallurgy. It means "New Stone Age". This nomenclature applies mostly to western Eurasian prehistory. [UR note].

[14] British biologist. [UR note].

[15] Geological period from the appearance of the genus Homo to the end of the last ice age. [UR note].

[16] American sociologist of the 20th century, influenced by classical anarchosocialism. He criticized certain forms of technique and technology. [UR note].

[17] Period of human prehistory that goes from the end of the last ice age to the adoption of agriculture and/or livestock. It means "Middle Stone Age". This nomenclature applies especially to the prehistory of western Eurasia. [UR note].

[18] French antagonist intellectual linked to the anti-capitalist group Encyclopédie des Nuisances. [UR note].

[19] In reference to Raoul Vaneigem, a Belgian hedonist theorist linked to the early days of the Marxist group “Situationist International”. [UR note].

[20] British archaeologist. [UR note].

[21] George Orwell, pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair, British socialist writer of the 20th century, author of, among others, the famous novel 1984. [UR note].

[22] Referring to the Persian prophet of the VII-VI centuries BC. C., Zoroaster or Zarathustra, founder of Mazdeism. [UR note].

[23] Baruch Spinoza, 17th century Dutch philosopher. [UR note].

[24] The article “Criticism of „Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Breaking Through?’“, published in this work is an adaptation of said original letter. [UR note].

[25] The article “Critique of „Open Letter to the Primitivistas’“, published in this work is an adaptation of said text. [UR note].

[26] “Prestige”, name of the oil tanker that, loaded with fuel, sank off the Galician coast (Spain) in 2002, causing an oil slick throughout the Cantabrian Sea. [UR note].

[27] Work translated, commented and published by UR in 2005. [UR Note].

[28] Pseudonym for Günther Stern, 20th-century German philosopher, Marxist and anti-nuclear weapons activist. [UR note].

[29] Jorge Bucay is an Argentine psychotherapist, famous writer of self-help books. [UR note]

[30] Our learned “friend” refers to “Some Critical Comments”, in Ted Kaczynski Texts. [UR note].

[31] Our modest “friend” refers to a large shopping center located in Barakaldo, province of Bizkaia, Spain. [UR note].

[32] Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th century German philosopher. [UR note].

[33] Pedantic allusion to the “preachings” of the Dominican monk and Florentine ruler of the fifteenth century, Girolamo Savonarola. [UR note].

[34] Physicalism or physicalism: Philosophical system that seeks to explain organic phenomena exclusively based on the laws of physics. [UR note].

[35] Gyorgy Lukács, 20th-century Hungarian Marxist philosopher. [UR note].

[36] Guy Ernest Debord, French Marxist philosopher of the 20th century. [UR note].

[37] Swedish multinational dedicated to the manufacture and sale of furniture. [UR note].

[38] The only reply sent to UR’s response has been this letter, in principle private, from JRH (or should we say "from LAL"? How to interpret those fragments in the first person plural referring to LAL, which appear in it after having said our singular "friend" that what he said in it from then on would be exclusively his own judgment?). This is why UR has "seemed fit" to publish it.

The letter has been published here in its entirety (except for the greetings and full names of its author, two other members of LAL and ASA). [UR note].

[39] Martin Heidegger, 20th century German philosopher. [UR note].

{1} To see how primitivism ramifies through history, we recommend reading Miguel Amorós’ pamphlet Primitivism and History (Likiniano Elkartea, 2003). On the other hand, it must be said, with all fairness, that the precursors cannot be blamed for the use made of them by those who claim to be their heirs. This is the obvious case for a figure like Thoreau.

{2} As is well known, John Zerzan’s primitivism could be considered in many ways a pre-culturalism.

{3} We know that Zerzan has failed in this attempt.

{4} It is even known that the Paleolithic itself did not enjoy the favor of the spiritual father of primitivism, John Zerzan. When we then speak of primitivists, we are referring above all to their improvised followers in Spain. As for Zerzan himself, we have not considered it necessary to repeat the just criticism that others have made of him before. Alain C., in his pamphlet "John Zerzan and primitive confusion" (Etcetera), denounced what must be understood as an ideology.

{6} Le troisiéme chimpanzé (NRF essaís Gallimard). [There is a Spanish edition: The Third Chimpanzee, Debate, 2007. Note from UR].

{7} Néandertaliens, bandits et fermiers, les origines de I’agriculture, by Colin Tudge, (Cassini 2002). [There is a Spanish edition: Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers, Criticism, 2000. UR Note].

{8} Néandertaliens, bandits et fermiers, les origines de I’agriculture.

{9} It is not a question here for us of denying any legitimacy to spatialization. Historical simplification is necessary. Mumford, in interpreting the Neolithic, does nothing else, but with the subtlety of a generous spirit - that’s the difference!

{10} Nouvelles de Nulle Part n°4. It is in this sense that a non-reductionist perspective must be cast on the phenomenon of agriculture. It is undeniable that the generalization of agriculture in the Neolithic period has entailed various consequences that some may consider disastrous: continuous population growth, diseases, social and sexual inequalities, despotism. But are they all attributable to agricultural practices? And besides, doesn’t the social history of agriculture offer examples of a balanced society?

{11} Semprun, Jaime „Le fantome de la théorie’ in Nouvelles de NuIIe part n°4. [There is a Spanish translation of this text: The Ghost of Theory, Likiniano, 2004. UR Note].

{12} Notes sur le Manifeste de Krisis in Nouvelles de Nulle Part n°4. [There is a Spanish translation of this text: “Notes on the Manifesto Against Work”, in The Ghost of Theory, Likiniano, 2004. UR Note].

{13} Extracted from The Making of Mankind by Richard Leakey. [Richard Leakey is a Kenyan paleontologist. UR note].

{14} The realization that everything we need from the environment is now manufactured and sold by industrial society should not make us experts in responsible or ecological consumption [sic], but should move us to start organizing reconstruction of an authentic productive culture, no matter how arduous this path may be.

{15} See, for example, the pamphlet Free Municipalities by the anarchist Federico Urales.

{16} Ted Kaczynski, excerpt from a letter dated 8-29-04 to David Skrbina. Original in English. Translation ceded to Último Reducto by AVE

{17} Some of those nuances would be: What exactly does “Western civilization” mean? What does "anarchist" mean here? Is there enough homogeneity between the "anarchist" currents critical of Civilization to put them all together in the single bag of "anarcho-primitivism"? Is this anti-Civilization “anarchism” as new as LAL seem to believe? Is the "anarchist" rejection of Civilization a thing of a single generation? Have all those who reject Civilization, show an interest in the primitive and love wild Nature “started from clearly anarchist positions”, or rather, at least in some cases, have arrived at a certain notion of the social that could perhaps be called anarchist? from that contempt for Civilization, that interest in the primitive and that attraction to the wild? To what extent is the answer given to the previous question important?

{18} Or "harmful", "harmful", "unacceptable", "abominable" or any other euphemism if some crook finds it "politically incorrect" to say "bad".

{19} By System of Domination, UR means any form of society (social system) that, due to certain characteristics inherent to it (such as an excessive demographic size and the consequent excessively complex political structure), inevitably attempts in some way against the autonomy of the non-artificial.

{20} "Urban" is understood as any permanent population center with a size such that its inhabitants cannot interact directly and on a daily basis, all with everyone. I mean, the city.

By the way, can there be any form of urban life that is not state? Any society in which there are urban centers needs a government structure such that the majority of its members lack significant influence over said government. Calling said form of government by its name (“State”) or using euphemisms (“federation”, “free municipality”, etc.) depends only on the courage and/or honesty of each one.

{22} UR understands leftism as any current or social attitude that is based, in one way or another, on the following values: equality, indiscriminate solidarity (that is, one that does not differentiate between relatives and non-relatives) and compassion towards presumed groups of supposed victims (with these or other names: "social justice", "cooperation", "fraternity", "universal love", "peace", etc.). It is usually synonymous with “socialism” (in almost all its versions, including libertarian or “anarchist” ones), but there are also “leftisms” that are not necessarily socialist (for example, all currents and humanitarian initiatives derived merely from philosophical liberalism or from Christian philanthropy -some grassroots associations, certain charitable organizations, some missions, etc.-).

“Progressivism” and “leftism” are often considered to be synonymous, and certainly leftism is usually overtly progressive (though not just leftism), but not always. There are also minority leftist currents supposedly against progress, that is, supposedly anti-progressive.

For further analysis of UR’s critique of leftism, see: Leftism: the role of pseudo-criticism and pseudo-revolution in techno-industrial society, Último Redoto, 2007.

{23} When he talks about "autonomy." UR refers to the possibility of expressing the capacity that some beings or systems have to self-regulate their own functioning, that is, to develop their own processes and dynamics, and to maintain them by themselves within certain limits. When the beings or systems that have autonomy are not artificial, UR calls them “wild”. Wild Nature would be the system formed by everything that is wild, that is, autonomous and not artificial. For the definition of "artificial" see note 19 in this same article.

{24} For example: LAL, in this piece, it seems that they intend to refer mainly to empires and not so much to other forms of civilization that are less great but also inevitably dominating.

It is also worth asking: are “violence”, “discrimination” or “exploitation” always bad?

{26} By "humanism" UR means any ideology or theory that, tacitly or explicitly, extols "the human". Humanism is at least intrinsically anthropocentric. And often also Eurocentric, idealistic, defender of Civilization and/or progressive. Rejecting humanism does not imply denying the value that the human being can have, but simply not exaggerating it and evaluating it in its fair measure.

{27} UR does not mean by this to imply that every form of artistic expression is the product of alienation and in turn feeds it; no, there are serene art forms that are not of that kind. But this sober and healthy art has existed in our species since long before the emergence of Civilization and it is not at all the result of any “civilizing process”. Always, since man was a man, things have been painted, stories have been invented, transmitted and represented, music has been played, danced or sung, figures have been carved or sculpted, etc.

Those that have changed are the means and tools used in the making of art. Often, as social systems developed increasingly complex technologies in general, these were also applied to artistic production in particular. But putting, or even equating, the aesthetic quality obtained thanks to the application of complex technologies in production (artistic or not) to the dominating and alienating effects that this type of technology inevitably entails is frivolous (very civilized - especially techno-industrial- by the way).

{28} Progressivism: assumption and defense of the notion of progress, understood as an absolute good. The conventional idea of progress implies the belief, tacit or explicit, in some kind of absolute improvement of things (of social conditions, of technology, of morality, of the "spirit", of being human, species, and/or the World as a whole). That is, the belief in the absolute goodness of at least some development process.

{29} The fact that primitive societies were not as "patriarchal" as civilized ones is another story. Anti-patriarchalism is an ideology that leaks everywhere, and even more so when it tries to be projected onto remote times and societies. Thus, certain forms of male-female relationships that feminists and modern liberals tend to unquestionably consider "macho" and "patriarchal," such as the division of labor based on sex, are probably as old as our species or older, and they are not necessarily bad; On the other hand, there have been uncivilized hunter-gatherer, or agricultural and/or livestock societies in which women were subjected to an unequivocal domination by men, and it seems that certain macho practices were much more frequent and intense among men. uncivilized agro-livestock societies than among civilized ones. [See, for example, Marvin Harris, Our Species, Alianza, 1995, pages 294-311 and 330-356], as well as we can also observe that in today’s techno-industrial society, machismo is less and is much worse seen than in any other pre-industrial society.

{30} There would be much to argue about the meaning of this confusing term. When one speaks of "dehumanization" one usually starts from an erroneous conception of what is "human", that is, of what and how is the condition or human nature and its expression. On the one hand, often only some traits of the behavior of our species are considered "human" (such as solidarity) and other traits that are actually equally characteristic of humanity are labeled as "inhuman" (such as, for example, aggressiveness and competitiveness). On the other hand, it is common to describe as "human" behavioral traits of human beings that are actually contrary to our nature -inhuman- and are induced exclusively by alienating socio-cultural circumstances (such as not establishing differences between relatives and not relatives when applying solidarity -indiscriminate solidarity-).

{31} Except in certain moments or periods of crisis and readjustment, that is, transition from one dynamic equilibrium to another, in which the limits of the previous dynamic equilibrium are modified and irregularities occur until reaching a new dynamic equilibrium and some new limits. Or also except degradation processes, in which the system in question stops self-regulating, becomes extinct and breaks down.

{32} In fact, one thing that those who exalt cooperation and underestimate or reject non-cooperative forms of relationship do not usually take into account is that cooperation itself is generally nothing more than another strategic form of struggle, aggressiveness, and competition. Beings that cooperate usually do so because that way they obtain advantages over other non-cooperative beings or against other less efficient cooperative alliances when it comes to fighting for survival or reproductive success. Deep down, behind cooperation there is usually fighting, conflict, competition, aggressiveness, etc.

{33} Which of them? Because it has already been pointed out that the term “primitive” covers a wide spectrum of societies and very different human ways of life. [UR note].

{34} "Artificial" means, in principle, solely and exclusively, "made by the hand or the arts of the human being." So, at the very least, LAL should have put “artificialization” in quotes.

{35} The Citizenship Impasse, by Alain C. [Etcétera, pamphlet no. 23, 2001].

{36} LAL seem to join here the “anti-ideological” ideology, so in vogue in the advanced techno-industrial society and its most rebellious subsystems. However, on the one hand, everyone who thinks and/or tries to express thoughts has and spreads an ideology. Even, or especially, when such ideas speak against ideologies. And on the other, if the human being is, to a greater or lesser degree, historical, cultural, the result of their social circumstances, etc., then everyone is ideologically conditioned from their birth. Some recognize it, assume it and try to counteract it and others (especially the “anti-ideological” ideologues) do not.

{37} For an example of such a nuance, see the discussion of the hypotheses about Pleistocene extinctions in the article “Criticism of ‘Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Breaking Through?’“ in this same work.

{38} See The Third Chimpanzee, chapter 10, “The mixed benefits of agriculture.’

{39} See The Third Chimpanzee, chapter 14, “A Fortuitous Conquest.’

For adequate insight into many of the topics Diamond deals with in The Third Chimpanzee, UR recommends reading the book Guns, Germs and Steel [Discussion , 2006], by the same author.

{40} In doing so, LAL simply repeats in their article the confusionist and speculative excesses that Colin Tudge perpetrates throughout practically the entire book Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers. This author normally does not differentiate “agriculture” from “proto-agriculture”, often using both terms indiscriminately.

Also, it should be noted that Tudge fills the pages of his book with little more than mere conjecture, based on hypotheses, based on assumptions, etc.

It’s easy to see why LAL found this book noteworthy (on some points - which are the only ones LAL mentions - it says what they want to hear, so It comes to their hair to give the appearance of solidity to their defense of Civilization and agriculture and domestication), however the most minimal scientific rigor and intellectual prudence would have advised not to take it as a valid reference, at least in terms of prehistory or paleoanthropology is concerned.

And even if we leave all of the above aside, Tudge also says some other things in that play that LAL seems to have missed. Thus, Tudge not only contradicts LAL’s defense of agriculture (for example, he says that agriculture was pernicious to the quality of life of the human beings who adopted it and that they did so due to circumstances -pages 70-73-) Rather, it even goes further and falls squarely in line with some of the most absurd primitivist arguments, such as the pre-agricultural "Garden of Eden" or the loose hunter-gatherer way of life, with its inseparable and unspoken hedonistic hatred of effort (in passages that might as well have been written by John Zerzan himself, Tudge says that hunter-gatherers lived in "paradise" and worked very little, until they were driven out of hunter-gatherer "Eden"). collector, referring to the book of Genesis in the Bible as a "document" accrediting all this -pages 68, 70, 73 and 90-; or that the work of pre-industrial farmers was "horrible", because it was hard -pages 71 and 73-). Once again, LAL takes references biasedly, ignoring the sources that cite basic aspects that would have been inconvenient for them to take into consideration. [All the indicated pages refer to the Spanish version of Tudge’s book, edited by Crítica in 2000].

{41} "There is ample evidence to indicate that certain individuals held a higher status than others [...] The finds of a number of magnificently ornate burials provide perhaps the most compelling evidence of status in [the Upper Paleolithic]’ [Cultural Atlas of Humanity, Volume 1, The Dawn of Humanity, Debate, 1994, page 95].

{42} The annual population growth rate in the early Stone Age (Paleolithic) is considered to be 0.001% [Marvin Harris, Cannibals and Kings, Alliance, 2002, page 28], which, of course, If true, it would indicate that, in effect, the world population doubled every 69,000 years, approximately. Furthermore, the wealth of food resources led, especially in the south of France, to a notable increase in population in the Magdalenian period. It has been calculated that 20,000 years ago between 2,000 and 3,000 people lived in that region. Ten thousand years later, at the end of the glacial period, this number must have tripled [...]” [Cultural Atlas of Humanity, Volume 1, page 93], that is, according to this, the annual population growth rate had become approximately 0.01%.

And in reference to the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Atlantic Europe: “when hunter-gatherers adopt a sedentary way of life, the balance changes [...] sedentarism is closely linked to a strong population growth [...]’ [Cultural Atlas of Humanity, Volume 3, From Stone to Bronze, 1994, page 82].

It seems that part of the human skeletons belonging to the Upper Paleolithic show signs of malnutrition, rickets and other deficiency diseases [Cultural Atlas of Humanity, Volume 1, page 95]. “Obviously, mass [infectious] diseases could not be sustained in small hordes of hunter-gatherers and slash-and-burn farmers [...] But this is not meant to imply that all human [hunter-gatherer] populations are free of all infectious diseases’ [Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel, Debate, 2006, page 235]. “No doubt there were diseases [non-epidemic bacterial and viral infections]’ [Cannibals and Kings, page 28].

Regarding the differences in status in pre-Neolithic societies, see note 26 in this same text.

{43} “Most of the deadly epidemic diseases—smallpox, typhus, influenza, bubonic plague, cholera—only occur in high-density populations. They are the diseases of state-level societies [...] Even calamities like malaria and yellow fever were probably less significant among Stone Age hunter-gatherers [...] There was a genuine ‘depression of health’ ‘ after the ‘high point’ of the Upper Paleolithic’ [Cannibals and Kings, pages 28-29].

“[...] Tuberculosis, leprosy and cholera established themselves as epidemics with agriculture, while smallpox, bubonic plague and measles developed in the last millennia, as they emerged densely populated cities.

“Along with malnutrition, famines and epidemic diseases, agriculture had another disastrous consequence for humanity: the division into classes of society [...]

“As well as giving rise to the first known class divisions in human history, agriculture contributed to exacerbating pre-existing sexual inequality [...]’ [The Third Chimpanzee, Debate, 2007, pages 263-264].

{44} In addition to the growth and concentration of the population favored by sedentary lifestyles and agriculture, and closely related to them, it should be noted that there is another key factor in the appearance or intensification of many infectious diseases from the Neolithic period: coexistence closely with the cattle that supposed the domestication of animals. See, for example, Guns, Germs, and Steel, pages 238-239.

{45} Idealism, in principle, is any doctrine that considers that ideas have an existence by themselves independently of matter and that matter is a mere expression of those. However, by extension, idealism is considered any theory that defends, tacitly or explicitly, that ideas, values and wills and/or their material implementations are not determined by physical conditions and, consequently, considers ideas, values and wills as the ultimate causes and conditions of human activities. Idealism is the opposite of materialism, which is the doctrine that affirms that material conditions (physical, rather) determine ideas, values and wills and/or their implementation, considering, therefore, that human activities come, basically, caused and conditioned by physical factors.

{46} In general, the hunter-gatherer life was neither as easy nor as idyllic as many (and, apparently, not all of them critics of Civilization) believe; quite the contrary, it was normally a way of life that required a lot of effort and was by no means free of difficulties and roughness. But it is precisely difficulties and the struggle to overcome them, not laziness or indolent happiness, that make life worth living.

The myth of the loose nomadic hunter-gatherer life stems largely from American anthropologist Richard B. Lee’s early studies (1969) of only a few Bushmen (Dobe group).

Unfortunately, most of those who assume and propagate this myth are unaware or oblivious that:

1) There have been numerous nomadic hunter-gatherer cultures in addition to the particular group of Bushmen studied by

Read. Generalizing from a single case (or a few) is completely irrational.

2) The working hours considered by Lee at first corresponded exclusively to the hours dedicated to hunting, gathering and preparing food, and did not take into account other tasks such as housework, child care or the manufacture of supplies. When one looks at the more complete data on the total working hours of these Bushmen, provided by Lee ten years later, their lives no longer seem so comfortable [See, for example, Marvin Harris, Cultural Anthropology , Alianza, 1995, table 6.1 (based on data from Lee 1979), page 215].

3) The Bushmen inhabit a warm region which, unlike other hunter-gatherers from higher latitudes, probably saved them quite a bit of time and effort in preparing suitable clothing or shelters to protect themselves from the cold

{47} What would LAL mean by “industry”? At least in this article they do not clarify it. However, depending on the meaning we give to said term, the denomination "industrial" may or may not be applied to different types of present or past companies. Thus, for example, if we abide by the typical definition of some dictionaries, that is, the mere “process of elaboration and transformation of raw materials”, all human society would be industrial. Obviously, this does not seem to be the meaning that LAL gives to "industry" in this text.

For its part, following the notion conventionally tacitly and intuitively assumed by the majority of those who use this term today, UR understands by "industrialization" the motorization of at least some of the production processes of a society, be it with steam engines, with internal combustion engines, with electric motors, etc. Therefore, a society will begin to be industrialized when, in at least some stages of some of its production processes, motorized machines begin to be used to obtain mechanical energy, instead of (or in addition to) taking direct advantage of muscular force (human or not). , hydropower or wind power.

Obviously, motorization is not the only differential feature of industrial society, but it is the essential requirement for the appearance, spread and maintenance of other features of at least the present industrial society (such as , for example, the widespread use of electricity or oil, telecommunications or, more recently, computing).

{48} Karl Heinrich Marx, 19th century German dialectical philosopher.

{49} Friedrich Engels, 19th century German dialectic philosopher.

{50} Perhaps LAL or other believers in dialectics disagree with this definition, considering it excessively simplistic and the result of ignorance. It is possible that it is, since, in addition to being presented in broad strokes as already indicated, dialectical theory is not exactly one of UR’s favorite subjects of study, for obvious reasons. In such a case, what these dialecticians should do is give them another better definition and explain it in a more adequate way (and if possible to be intelligible). If they can...

On the other hand, it is possible to provide numerous examples of quotations from Marxist, anti-capitalist, socialist authors, etc., who they conform to the notion of dialectic given here by UR Without going any further, see the revealing fragments of Jaime Semprun’s work that are devotedly cited by LAL in his article.

{51} Schematically, it can be stated that for Marvin Harris and the rest of the cultural materialists, the infrastructure of a society is constituted by the modes of production (the way in which that society obtains from a habitat specific the matter and energy it needs to maintain itself) and reproduction (the way in which a society reduces, increases or maintains its population size); the structure by the way in which reproduction and production are organized and distributed at different levels of a society; and the superstructure for the set of ideologies, beliefs, artistic expressions and other non-material or non-organizational cultural features of a society. Such categories are also used by some Marxists, although not with exactly the same meaning. [UR note].

{52} Cybernetics is the science that studies feedback phenomena. [UR note].

{53} Lewis Henry Morgan. 19th century anthropologist whose speculations served as the basis and justification for part of the ideology of Marx and Engels. [UR note].

{54} With the term ‘eclecticism’. Marvin Harris refers to the tendency to reject a priori any general theory that tries to explain the different particular sociocultural phenomena based on the same principles. According to the eclectics, different phenomena would be explained based on different theoretical principles and lines. In practice, this tendency prevents a minimally general and coherent understanding of social phenomena. See Cultural Materialism, chapter 10. [UR Note].

{55} “Obscurantism is a research strategy whose goal is to disrupt the possibility of achieving a science of human social life. Its supporters deny the applicability of scientific research principles [rationality, objectivity, empirical verification, materialism, etc.] to the study of sociocultural phenomena, [...]’ [Materialism Culture, page 343]. [UR note].

{56} See, for example, in Scientific World, July/August, 1997, the article entitled: “The Origin of Morality”, by Philip Kitcher.

{57} By “technology’’. UR exclusively understands the tools, tools or machines, as well as the mechanical systems formed by their association. And by “techn/ca“. exclusively, the methods or procedures applied when carrying out a task. Thus, some methods or procedures (techniques) do not necessarily imply the use of tools or apparatus (technology), although the manufacture and use of tools or machines (technology) always entails the application of a procedure (technique), obviously.

{58} In this sense, Paul Bahn himself, quoted by Richard Leakey in a fragment that LAL has preferred to ignore, says: “I am not going to go as far as to say that ‘bridled horses’ is the same as ‘domesticated horses’ “ [The Formation of Humanity, RBA, 1993, page 214].

{59} The chronology given is approximate and may vary depending on the sources consulted. In any case, said variation is not significant for the discussion at hand.

{60} See, for example, Origins of Man, Volume 77, Prehistoric Man (I), Folio, 1996, page 13.

{61} In the same way that it is not necessary to consider oneself or call oneself an anarchist or libertarian to completely reject the techno-industrial system.

{62} Jaime Semprun, The ghost of theory, Bilbao, 2004.

{63} There is further evidence of this distrust of the readers’ judgment capacity: «The loose quotes that appear in some points of the publication are not the work of UR, although to prevent possible prejudices or idolatries towards their authors from clouding their message diverting attention towards those people or groups instead of towards the content, have been signed only with the initials of their author=s».

{64} In The Sixth Extinction Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin give a few more examples of the havoc caused by primitive communities , some even not very far away. Although they are obviously not comparable to the capitalist catastrophe, it cannot be denied that they exist. [Roger Lewin is a British anthropologist with Marxist leanings. UR note].

{65} Ted Kaczynski, The Road to Revolution.

{66} See “Is Anti-Industrial Criticism Making It Through?”, The Friends of Ludd, #8, page 10.

{67} And even in the case of ZIZEN, it is worth seriously wondering what has led LAL to include his text, The Myth of the Left, in that critique, since it does not even include reference to the criticism of industrial society, much less of Civilization.

{68} It’s possible that by explicitly rejecting flattery, UR was giving too much importance to something that doesn’t. And in fact, these sorts of trivia care a lot less for UR these days than LAL seems to have cared when they wrote their article.

{69} In any case, it must be recognized that LAL is correct in saying that UR placed too much value on practical coherence, personal or in small groups, at the time when issue #1 of Último Reducto was published. (2002). Today, and for some time now, UR’s position on the matter is very different. This is not the place or the moment to adequately comment on UR’s current position regarding practical coherence or the reasons for this change in attitude, but it is to be regretted that this change has not been influenced by the criticisms that LAL pours into this article. There are two reasons for the ineffectiveness of these criticisms when it comes to inciting UR to question the value of practical coherence:

- The reasons that LAL adduced to try to explain why it is a mistake to give so much value to practical coherence, or are not expressed in an easily intelligible way (“spiritualities”, “self-help” and “nobility “), or they even completely miss the mark (they consider that giving too much importance to practical coherence is incompatible with valuing any “political activity”).

- The false statements as well as the intent to ridicule and defame that pervade LAL’s criticisms in the article “Is Paso Open...?” they do not exactly make it easier for those who are criticized to accept them.

{70} Well, it does explain, yes: bad faith.

{71} Certainly there are serious reasons to criticize some of these theories, but normally neither the criticisms launched from humanist and leftist circles against them, nor the reasons for 215 abundant in humanist and leftist circles.

{72} Number 1 of Último Reducto dates from 2002. The cited fragment suffers from an obvious libertarian contamination that made UR neither clearly define the term “hierarchy” nor take into account that certain forms and Degrees of something that some (most self-described anarchists or libertarians) call “hierarchy” are natural and inevitable in human beings. Today UR would qualify the concept of "hierarchy" and would not affirm so emphatically that it is never a necessity among human beings (although it will not enter here to try to determine said form and degree, nor to define what is and what is not "hierarchy"). “).

In any case, UR considers that this does not affect the thread of argument set forth in this text.

{73} Here UR, in the absence of a definition of "historical" by LAL, assumes that they mean "social and cultural."

{74} However, except in the case, discussed a little later, regarding his confusion between hypotheses and proven facts when talking about certain theories about Pleistocene extinctions in “Se Abre Paso...?” and publicly acknowledged in their newsletter n°9 [see: “The Friends of Ludd’s Public ‘Reply’“, in this same work], to date, LAL have refused to back down. What’s more, they stubbornly maintain the following: “In our bulletin we have never lied or given false information.’ [Friends of Ludd in letter to UR from early July 2007].

{75} It is impossible not to suspect that LAL wants to tendentiously imply that number 1 of Último Reducto is the work of an anti-capitalist jerk and that is why they are asking such a question. This is yet another clue to lead one to seriously think that LAL criticized issue 1 of Último Reducto without even having read it properly and, what is worse, with the intention of manipulating and confusing.

On page 24, of issue A of n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, it can be clearly seen that UR is not anti-capitalist, nor does it forget that before capitalism there were already serious social problems and ecological.

{76} Under the term "anti-capitalism" the most diverse characters and groups tend to cover themselves, but all of them are united by their apparent rejection of "capitalism" and a more or less explicit link with ideologies of a socialist nature.

Although in reality capitalism is basically an economic concept for many anti-capitalists, such as LAL in the article “Is It Opening the Way...?”, “capitalism” or “capitalist system’ are above all fillers that serve them often to comfortably describe the current society or any aspect of it (or its immediate predecessors) that they dislike without having to make an effort to explain why. Everything they don’t like they call “capitalism”. Or “industrial capitalism”, in the case of certain “anti-industrial” anti-capitalists. (Some Friend of Ludd could answer that this also happens among other rebellious people. For example, too often, among the primitivists or the so-called "anti-dominators" with the terms "civilization" or "domination" respectively. Evil for many, consolation for fools ).

{77} For example: “For us, industrial society [...] is consubstantial to the economic model of capitalism. Both things are inseparable. [...] Capitalist exploitation would never have been possible if nations and peoples had not industrialized.” [LAL, “Critique of the Brave New World That Is Coming”, Ekintza Zuzena n°31, 2004. Italics by UR]. Capitalism has at least 500 years of history behind it, the industrial system only about 200. There is something that does not fit here. Or rather, one should say: is there something there that fits?

On the other hand, in theory at least, non-capitalist industrial societies could exist, socialists, communists, or whatever you want to call them. In fact, several communist countries developed industrial systems without capitalism (certain unrepentant anti-capitalists get around the fact that these societies did not exactly resemble their utopian dreams by denying that these countries were really socialist or communist and dishonestly labeling their regimes as "state capitalism" ; but changing the names does not change the facts).

Mixing anti-capitalism and anti-industrialism is either a sign of opportunist confusionism (a new attempt to update socialist theories or an attempt to appropriate the critique of techno-industrial society for anti-capitalist purposes -or simply for personal purposes- by part of some socialists), or it is a sign of mere confusion and negligence.

{78} “There is currently no way to assess the relative impact of hunting and climate change on the American fauna of the late Pleistocene’ [The Sixth Extinction, Tusquets, 1997, page 196] . “There is no way of knowing if such a hypothesis is true, and it is just as likely that climate change was the cause’ [Ibid., page 198]. ‘Martin’s argument is scientifically unprovable’ [Ibid., page 199].

{79} Some authors state that the main or only cause of this extinction was climate change produced at the end of the last ice age (Russell and Lundelius’s hypothesis), and others suggest that although human beings may have helped with their predatory activities the extinction of certain species, it was also other factors, notably climate change, which, taken together, drove those species and their environments into such a state of ecological weakening that they could not survive hunting that might not otherwise allow them. would have been fatal (J. Guilday’s hypothesis).

{80} It should be noted that for UR not everything artificial is necessarily bad (contrary to the autonomy of the wild). Readers should take into account that UR considers that human nature is, in principle, the result of non-artificial evolution and that, therefore, not everything that human beings do (the artificial) is necessarily unnatural, but only what is against the autonomy of wild Nature (including human nature itself).

{81} For example, in some Upper Pleistocene archaeological sites, the waste of part of the hunted prey is evident. [See, for example, Cultural Atlas of Humanity, Volume 2, Beyond Africa, Debate, 1994, pages 94-95].

{82} The term "anti-humanism" and its derivatives are widely used by many "green" socialists as a synonym for "misanthropy" to classify as a confusionist and derogatory any theory, attitude or opinion that takes Wild Nature as a fundamental value. and he does not easily conform to his civilizational humanist beliefs, to his biased interpretation of “social issues”, nor to his sappy and idealized image of the human being. However, what these socialists forget or do not want to recognize is that it is possible to reject (or not accept) anthropocentrism and other humanist mystifications or Civilization without having to hate human beings.

{83} While UR shares some of the main basic tenets of so-called ‘deep ecology’ (mainly the consideration of Wild Nature as something valuable in itself and the defense of ecocentrism against anthropocentrism), it deeply despises many other ideas that They tend to be associated with a good part of the theories currently calling themselves “deep ecology” [for example, the sympathy and interest in certain religious trends - Buddhism and Judeo-Christian mysticism mainly - or by a good part of leftism - feminism, fight against poverty and hunger, anti-capitalism, indigenism, etc.-, the simplistic comparison between altruism, compassion or empathy and moral or ethical consideration, the desire to achieve a sustainable (even industrial) civilization, pacifism, etc.]. These differences are evident if the current so-called “deep ecology” theories (generally derived from the theories of the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess) and the contents of n°1 of Ultimo Reducto are minimally known first-hand.

UR is not going to argue about a bloody label, that is, it is not too concerned if, despite these differences, its ideology could properly be called "deep ecology" or, on the contrary, if these differences make that the ideas of UR are something other than the so-called ‘deep ecology’. What he does dislike is the attitude of those who, like LAL, try to foist that label (or others) on him with malicious intentions. The term "deep ecology" usually has negative connotations in many of the Spanish leftist circles (especially in those with a certain "environmental" or "anti-industrial" orientation), LAL knows this, and for this reason they have used it to try to dirty the UR ideas before their (LAL) co-religionists.

On the other hand, it is clear to anyone who knows first-hand theories that call themselves "deep ecology" and not only, at most, the criticisms leveled against them by the self-styled "social ecology" of the United States or other foreign “green” socialists (something extremely rare in Spain, even among the majority of leftists who speak of “deep ecology” as if they were speaking of the devil), than anthropomorphizing non-human animals not It is necessarily a characteristic of this philosophical current (no matter how much its critics insist on suggesting that there is always a close relationship between it and the fight for animal rights, animal "liberation", etc.). Here, again, LAL have gone smart or malicious. [UR note].

{84} The book The Sixth Extinction would in itself deserve much more extensive and in-depth criticism than the brief comments made at some points in this article. This book assumes and defends philosophical, scientific, ecological and “moral” concepts and values that are more than debatable on numerous occasions, apart from a certain sensationalist and trivializing attitude typical of many informative scientific texts, and especially those of R. Leakey. However, a detailed critique and commentary of that work would take us away from the purpose of this article.

Incidentally, Leakey and Lewin also raise important ideas that LAL seems to have missed (perhaps because, unlike P. Martin’s theories about extinctions, those other ideas and opinions did not serve the LAL’s intentions to discredit the alleged ideas of UR). Thus, the authors of the book defend things like that the nature of the human being is that of a hunter-gatherer being [for example, on page 156] or that we are physically and psychologically linked inevitably to wild Nature [for example, on pages 124-125, 156-158 and 267-268].

{85} By “animalist”, UR means any individual, group or trend that defends the so-called “animal rights” and/or the so-called “animal liberation”. It is likely that LAL refers to something similar when they use the term in their article, although, as usual, they have not considered it necessary to define it even minimally.

{86} To better understand what UR was referring to, and what not, with the term “freedom” readers are recommended to read n°1 of Ultimo Reducto, and especially the pages: 80, 81, 82 and note 31, on pages 112 and 113, all of them from fascicle B.

{87} This is roughly what the petulant Latin words come to mean, “Amicus Ludd sed magis amica veritas”. that LAL releases on page 1 of number 8 of its newsletter.

{88} Most of the old “revolutionaries” dreamed of egalitarian, supportive, happy, paradisiacal worlds (and often also openly technical ones), but not exactly free, in the sense that UR has defined freedom. The “freedom” of these classic leftists was often inseparably linked to the concept of progress, material and/or moral (“improvement”, “improvement”, “elevation”, etc., of the human “spirit”). Anyone who calls himself a "critic of progress" (and progressivism) should keep the above in mind before happily taking the "classics" as a reference.

{90} Except perhaps in part, as has already been commented, the one that refers to having given excessive importance to coherence as a strategy.

{91} Unfortunately, not even the critique of “leftism” has been spared from appropriation and perversion by some of the leftists themselves. There are leftists, presumably critical of leftism, who understand solely by such, for example, social democracy, trade unionism, legalist and statist reformism (what they usually call citizenship, “institutional” environmentalism, etc. ), or only certain forms of Marxism (classical or postmodern), excluding as they see fit those types of leftism that they themselves represent: for example, libertarian socialism, self-managed social movements, collectives and currents “autonomous” antagonists, anti-capitalism, anti-industrial or not, or the so-called social ecology. This use of the discourse contrary to leftism by the leftists themselves is a very serious practical problem that any current truly alien to leftist tradition and culture whose aim is really to put an end to techno-industrial society must be faced with firmness and expertise. Staying clearly and totally separate from leftism and its sympathizers (and vice versa, keeping leftism and leftists away from each other) is of vital importance so that this current can opt, when the time comes, to carry out its work successfully.

{92} Is everyone who has certainties and is convinced of the veracity of at least some of their theses necessarily a fan? And if so, is it then always such a bad thing to be a "fan"? Will we always have to doubt everything and dishonestly affirm that we know nothing for fear that “open-minded freethinkers” will hang that or other similar labels on us? Is there anyone who isn’t a dork with a shell head who can honestly say that they have no certainties of any kind? To what extent is it not a serious concession to the prevailing anti-dogmatic dogmatism to feel ashamed for being convinced of something and showing it openly (being "fanatics" according to LAL)? To what extent is someone who tries to induce others to feel that shame or provoke it, as in the case at hand, not using a dirty and clumsy stratagem to try to dishonestly defuse ideas and tendencies that scare, bother or hinder them? ?

{93} He also said that all of this was taking place «with the not insignificant difference —among many others— that this time the collapse is occurring on a global scale and is already dragging in its wake “everything from which a life liberated from the economy could be rebuilt.”

{94} As for the Latin words..., they are another matter of style. Again I recognize that it may be clumsy but they do not contain anything essential to the text. They are a mere dressing for reading, which will be gratifying to those who know Latin and pedants, and only mildly annoying to others.

{95} "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"; or "whoever wants revenge should seek it, but without mixing it with the Revolution", Texts by Ted Kaczynski, pp. 120 and 133. Both pearls of wisdom could be signed by adding the vocative "brothers" at the end of the sentence. By the way, if Ultimo redoubt [sic] is a single individual, why speak of himself in the third person?

{96} Although it is clear that you do not intend to dispense with that nonsense of the plurals [sic] with the sign = or *, coming from a fanciful feminist linguistic theory about sexist language.

{97} I can’t help but wonder why the "capacity of locomotion" is an inexcusable part of freedom. Does a disabled individual not have freedom of judgment and opinion, for example? Wouldn’t your idea of freedom be as unspiritual as the capitalist freedom to exercise a right to consume?

{98} By the way, what is the material basis of ethics, of any kind of ethics? A concrete activity of neural systems, perhaps?

{99} Numbers 30 (p. 79) and 31 (p. 83) respectively.

{100} According to the story, a phrase said by the evolutionist Thomas H. Huxley before publicly embarrassing Bishop Sammuel Wilberforce by responding to his clumsy provocations.

{101} If UR were as profound as our abysmal "friend", it would speak, for example, of how certainly "annoying" (as well as ridiculous and pedantic) it is to read or listen to someone who expresses themselves in Spanish unnecessarily using Latin terms and expressions or Greeks or cannot avoid quoting, unnecessarily, at least the name of some famous intellectual every now and then when speaking or writing. But luckily it isn’t.

{102} For example, The Friends of Ludd, who publicly acknowledge, in number 9 of their newsletter, on page 9, that despite signing as a group, "each one has been able to write or say in the talks words that the other members could not fully assume’ and that this way of acting pseudo-collectively, in part, “was a mistake”, although they try to justify themselves by showing that they wanted to grant “a certain freedom to individualities”. For the latter (respecting plurality -"freedom"?- in a group) the only really honest and unequivocal thing is that its members express themselves in an exclusively personal capacity, with their own names or dry personal pseudonyms (without referring to their relationship To the group). But of course, then one appears alone before the public and is no longer protected by the shadow of any "group"...

{103} And since JRH takes the opportunity to criticize UR’s comments that appeared in Ted Kaczynski’s Articles, UR will respond in kind and clarify three “little things” that are pertinent, about JRH’s article , “Anti-industrial Criticism and Its Future’, appeared in the leftist magazine Ekintza Zuzena, n°33:

1) With regard to the veiled reference (of which, showing an evident sign of great intellectual honesty, JRH does not even deign to point out the origin) to the expression of UR "late Marxists unconditional lovers of the peasantry preindustrial’ [appearing in Texts by Ted Kaczynski, “Introduction”, page 3], allegedly alluding, according to JRH, to The Friends of Ludd, it should be noted that UR never said that expression was referring to specifically to The Friends of Ludd. He who chops, eats garlic.

2) As the highly ingenious and highly original title of his article (pathetic imitation of the famous Freedom Club text, “The Industrial Society and Its Future’) already indicates, JRH tries to bring his intellectual sardines closer to the ember of renown of Ted Kaczynski (imprisoned member of the Freedom Club), when in reality, as seen in his letter, he does not share at all its fundamental values (reverence for Wild Nature and defense of human freedom understood as autonomy when it comes to develop and satisfy one’s own capacities, needs and natural tendencies).

3) The intentional omission of the current called “anti-dominator”, in which the ideas of UR would supposedly be included (the label “anti-dominator” refers to the way in which many of the members of the current against techno-industrial society whose ideas are closely related to UR’s ideas frequently designate their ideas or themselves, however today, for irrelevant reasons, UR considers it not a very fortunate appellation), as well as the called "primitivism", when trying to review and comment on the critical trends of existing techno-industrial society, supposes, whether we like it or not, the omission of the majority of groups and individuals allegedly opposed to techno-industrial society, to the except at the time when JRH wrote his article. Which makes one suspect that the true intentions of its author had little to do with the truthful and precise presentation of the phenomenon of radical criticism of the techno-industrial society.

This is not the first time that an "insider" (or an aspiring dude) tries to earn points for his resume as an antagonistic intellectual by publishing an anodyne, biased and simplistic vision of a complex social phenomenon. We hope will be last.

{104} What does JRH mean by "bourgeois era"? To the industrial age? To the Modern Age?

By the way, whatever the concept of “bourgeoisie” is intended to mean. understanding it as something bad is indeed a very modern attitude.

{105} Some interesting texts that qualify the usually idealized humanist notion of altruism, understood as indiscriminate, unilateral and totally disinterested help, and seriously question the socialist dogma of the alleged openly cooperative character and not at all competitive or individualistic of human beings, the pre-industrial cultures or even Nature, are:

- “The Tragedy of Commons’, Garrett Hardin, in Science, Vol. 162, 1968, pages 12431248. [There is a Spanish translation: “The Tragedy of the Commons’, in Ecological Gazette, n°37].

- “Prisoner’s Dilemma computerized tournaments suggest how cooperative behavior evolves’, Dougals R. Hofstadter, in Research and Science, n°82, 1983, pages 108-115.

- “The Arithmetic of Mutual Aid’, Martin A. Novak, Robert M. May and Karl Sigmund, in Research and Science, August, 1995, pages 42-48.

- Pages 70-75 of, “Enter Conflict’, third chapter of the book Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful Noble Savage, Steven A. Le Blanc and Katherine E. Register, St. Martins Press, 2003. [There is a Spanish translation of said chapter by AVE (those interested can request it at the UR email address)].

{106} One must draw attention to the difference between someone else doing important and necessary things for you and doing them with you. The second is not always incompatible with one’s own personal autonomy, the first is. There are natural needs that no one can satisfy exclusively by themselves and they need to be satisfied by cooperating with others (an obvious example would be reproduction), but this will not impede one’s own autonomy as long as one has the real capacity to decide and effectively influence the development of that need. cooperative action and carry out himself, by his own means, a part of the work equivalent to that carried out by others. A quadriplegic may be able to decide effectively about certain important things in his life (as long as others want to obey him), even if they allow him to, and they do certain things for him, he can paint, play chess or write texts with the mouth or eyes using a machine, but he will not be able to act directly and meaningfully, alone or as an active part of a group, to satisfy all his natural needs, which is something far more important. And real autonomy (freedom) consists precisely in that, in being able to manage by oneself, alone or in mutual collaboration with others, in the really important things.

On the other hand, there are natural needs that a normal individual can and needs to satisfy only by his own means, and that a quadriplegic could never satisfy without "help" (rather, normally, without others do them for him). And this alone prevents their autonomy (their freedom) and, by the way, their dignity (feeling of one’s own worth, that is, one’s ability to fend for oneself).

{107} The so-called Bilbao Anarchist Debate Space Working Group.

{108} How is one to understand the relativistic quote from Nietzsche about the presumably pathological of "everything unconditional" with which our nice and healthy "friend" intends to shame UR for its presumed invariable seriousness? Conditionally perhaps? "Everything" is a concept that does not admit conditional interpretations. Unconditionally? In such a case, Nietzsche’s own quote, and the attitude of those who accept it as valid, would be a symptom of pathology. Or at least a null capacity for the most elementary logic.

{109} For other samples of the sense of humor of the editor of Último Reducto, see, for example, Practical Guide For the Cloning of nroll by The Author (another of several pseudonyms used in the past by UR), 1997; or “The Well-Intentioned One”, in Stories From the Dark Side Dark Side, by E=mc2.

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