Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…
There once lived an animal that walked upright, was self-sufficient, empowered, highly skilled, proficient, intelligent and in control over almost all aspects of its life. It lived in small tribes consisting of generations of family members that looked after one another from its children to the elderly. It had the knowledge and skill of how to craft tools to use them in accordance with its knowledge of hunting, fishing and foraging. It had the knowledge and skill of how to prepare and cook said gathered food into meals, perhaps even how to store it. It had the knowledge and skill of crafting clothing to protect itself from the elements. It was physically fit and healthy because it had to use its body on a daily basis to perform all of the aforementioned tasks, and who knows how many more, that were all necessary for survival. It was an animal that knew how to exist in the wild and survive on this planet the way it was designed to exist; the way it was meant to live. And by “design” I mean either by evolutionary accident or intelligently by an unknown greater power. I prefer the former notion, ie. we are simply an evolutionary accident, a chance occurrence, a roll of the DNA dice, and nothing more.
Fast forward to “modern” “civilization”, a phrase that should be used sparingly if used at all, and today’s humans are anything but modern nor civilized. I know, you’re probably already thinking to yourself “humans are modern and civilized compared to those uncontacted “primitive” tribes living in the Amazon” to which I will politely remind you of the following aspects of our so-called modern civilization: war, terrorism, bullying, the homeless, poverty, the slums, college hazing rituals, elderly neglect and abuse, child abuse, child pornography, the sex trade, the porn industry, political corruption, gangs, the mafia, organized religion, global warming, and pollution. Need I say more? No, I didn’t think so. We haven’t changed. We are as much an animal today as we were 20,000 maybe 5 million years ago. All that’s changed is the surface fluff: the tools that we use, how we communicate (or the lack thereof, all depending upon your perspective), the way we dress, the structures we build, etc. But underneath it all, we are still a primitive animal living with primal desires and fears, not some sort of superior species deserving of its own biological Kingdom in the science books.
The biggest change, and the whole point of this article, is the fact that we no longer have, foster, or teach the knowledge and skills to be the self-sufficient, independent, truly free humans that our ancestors once were prior to the institution of agriculture and civilization. We no longer have the knowledge and skills to live out our lives in accordance with our biological evolution. We, the so-called modern civilized parents, schools and society as a whole, no longer have or freely share the knowledge to teach one another and our children, and all future generations, how to be intelligent, self-sufficient, truly free and independent humans designed to live in the wilds with control over their own lives. We are failing our children, and our children’s children. I can speak for 99% of all parents when I say that as a so-called modern parent myself, we do not have this knowledge because our parents did not have that knowledge to teach us, and so on and so forth all the way back through the generations to the point when agriculture and civilization started. That is the point in which we stopped being human and unwittingly traded in our humanity through coercion and the threat of starvation for slavery to those in control of all the resources. That is a system which is still in effect today, but instead of the term ‘slave’ and ‘master’ we now refer to it as ’employee’ and ‘boss’, ‘business owner’, ‘executive’, etc. etc.
In addition to the lack of knowledge needed to be human and survive on this planet, the environment itself we live in has changed dramatically as well, or I should say, has been destroyed and replaced with cancerous structures called skyscrapers, office buildings, apartments, supermarkets, malls, factories and highways that now poison (both physically and visually) the once clean landscapes, forests, woodlands, streams and rivers where we once lived, roamed, hunted, foraged and fished. Even if you had the knowledge to survive in the wild, from hunting and foraging to building shelter and crafting clothing (and good luck doing all that on your own!), where would you do it? In New York City’s Central Park? Philadelphia? Tokyo? Even if you did find a patch of woodland or forest that you didn’t need a car, bus, plane or train to get to, how much wildlife and plants that you would need to survive even exist there? Not to mention all of the other people that would now be living there with you should we all wake up and finally realize that is how and where we are meant to live.
(Sidenote: Before I go any further, this entire article and notion of reclaiming our humanity and reverting back to living a primitive lifestyle is what’s known as “Anarcho-primitivism“, which honestly was not in my conscious thought as I sat down at my PC to write out these thoughts which have been pestering in my mind like a thousand little maggots since late 2017. I only know about this term via Wikipedia and having seen it tossed around on occasion out on the great internet. I’m not a learned student or scholar of Anarchism or Anarcho-primitivism. I do not consider myself one, although for that matter, I don’t consider myself much of anything other than a human who plays the role of father, husband, sometimes friend, and artist. I do however support the ideals of Anarcho-primitivism, and in some form it is probably exactly what I am talking about here in this article.)
So here we are. Instead of learning how to be self-sufficient, empowered humans in control over almost all aspects of our lives, instead of knowing where our food, clothing and shelter comes from and who it supports (which would be the people within our communal tribe), we are taught how to be cogs in the machine. We hunt and gather, not in the forests, but at the local supermarket, where we don’t even know where the food comes from and we can’t even pronounce many of the ingredients. We no longer craft our own clothing, but instead purchase it from retail stores where again just like our food, we have no idea where it comes from nor whom the people are behind its manufacture, sale and distribution. There’s no need to learn how to use your body the way evolution and nature intended. Now your job is exactly that: to get a job. To work your life away for someone else, and in many cases, enriching the lives of other people under the illusion that you are free. Meanwhile, you are often consumed on a daily basis with worry and stress about when the next paycheck will hit your bank account so that you can pay all our debtors and all the people in control of your life just so you can eat some form of manufactured food and escape into a virtual world because you have come to realize all of this, but just like me and everyone else who has come to this conclusion about our current state of affairs, we are powerless and lack the knowledge to do much about it. Would living a primitive lifestyle be any less stressful and worrisome? It all depends on your perspective and whether or not you’ve accepted your place in this fragile existence. But you would be in control of your life, and that is the biggest payoff. Your life would have meaning because you would be putting your entire mind and body to use as evolution and nature intended.
The problem is that we are reliant and dependent upon this cancerous, parasitic, hierarchical system. It is a symbiotic relationship with a parasite, and we are the host. If we were to sever ties with it, we would, in most cases, die. You can name anyone living today, be it politician, celebrity, actor, musician, philosopher, economist, retail clerk, YouTuber, reporter, writer, next door neighbor, you or I. Pull them out from the comfort, convenience and safety of this symbiotic relationship with this parasitic system and place them into the wild, and a week or so later you would see them on the national news of having died of starvation, hypothermia or fallen prey to a predator. Why? Because we lack the basic skills and knowledge to be human. We lack our humanity.
True freedom is a death sentence. We are not free. No amount of wealth obtains freedom, it only affords you complacency, comforts and convenience. From the homeless to the elite we are all reliant and dependent upon this parasite to provide us with our lifeline: the manufactured food, clothing and shelter, and this lifeline is supplied to us at the never-ending expense of the low-wage earner barely eking out an existence, and often a meager one at that.
Living in modern society is akin to an ant living with the Cordyceps fungus parasite. Just like the fungus replaces tissue in the ant, modern civilization replaces our humanity with slavery.
This lack of humanity, this lack of what makes us human in the first place, how we evolved to this stage, is most likely the leading cause of depression, unhappiness, frustration and obesity. We are not meant to spend our days inside office buildings where we become vitamin-D deficient, getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as we perform inane, tedious, repetitive tasks while receiving a small percentage of a wage while those at the top of this parasitical, hierarchical system called “business executives” reap the fruits of our labors. People who we don’t even know and most likely would not want in our communal tribe were we living a primitive lifestyle. We were not meant to spend 8 hours or more all day on our feet as cashiers, construction workers, nurses or waitresses. We were meant to live simple, yet highly rewarding, satisfying, fulfilling, and meaningful lives where we know where our food and clothing comes from because each of us are the beginning and the end to the means of survival. We would live in small, communal groups that perhaps support one another, maybe trading with each other. Everyone pitches in and takes care of one another which includes caring for our elderly. Almost everyone is knowledgeable, proficient and skilled in almost all aspects of primitive life such as first aid, medicine, crafting tools, hunting, and various survival techniques, and probably a litany of other tasks and crafts that I am unaware of.
We would be happier because we would be putting our bodies and minds, putting our entire existence to good use, the way evolution and nature intended our bodies and minds to be used. We would not have to rely on going to a gym an hour each day to get our exercise because we spend most of the day in a chair at the office being wage slaves.
We need to reclaim our humanity. But how do we do it?
The only way to achieve this, as far as I can tell, is to leave all of these modern comforts and conveniences behind. They only keep us complacent and sedated knowing that we have relinquished all of our humanity to those in charge and at the top of this parasitical, hierarchical system.
The solution to me seems very simple, in theory of course: we stop buying and stop paying taxes. All of us, together, in unison, all across the globe. We stop supporting the parasite. We leave the comforts and conveniences of the cities and suburbs en masse and meetup somewhere in the wilderness. We let the cities and suburbs fall into decay and let nature reclaim them. We move into the wilderness with basic necessities to survive, such as seeds, some food, clothing, and we start over. We build basic, rudimentary shelters. We rely on basic, rudimentary tools to hunt and fish. One of the biggest obstacles that we would face would be the sheer number of people living in the wilderness and the lack of food to support everyone. That’s because civilization gave birth to overpopulation. The unpleasant answer to that is: we would need to let our own kind die off.
Returning to this primitive lifestyle comes with a cost, and most likely the ensuing chaos would be far worse than any Black Friday at Wal-Mart. While it will be much more rewarding and fulfilling, we must come to grips with the fact that life is fragile and chaotic. That there are no guarantees. Life would be more precarious. But the trade-off would be immense and well worth it. The satisfaction and knowledge that you actually reap what you sew, that you would see and relish in the results and rewards of your own actions and labor right in front of your own eyes. None of it would go to people you never see or don’t even know. While you may be hunting, fishing and foraging for you and your tribe, your tribe is consisted of generations of family members and others outside your family that you grown to personally know and trust.
At least, in theory. Here, “on paper” and in my mind it all seems so easy, but in reality it would be a difficult and challenging road, yet a road I believe that humans must travel if they are ever to truly reclaim their freedom from this devolved, cancerous and parasitic society, and have control once again over their own lives and destinies.
I would do this myself, but being in my middle 40’s and a husband and father as I write this, and more importantly a human that lacks the knowledge to survive as a human should in the wild, this is not a possibility for me nor my family at this juncture where I have come to fully realize all of this. We would probably die of starvation. So regrettably, just like everyone else in today’s society, I’ve made a compromise. My lack of humanity, my lack of true freedom and power for this manufactured, parasitic existence that is the lifeline to my family.
But this is where we are today as a species and have been ever since the dawn of agriculture and civilization. And as far as I see it, we have 2 choices in how we move forward: the first is to continue down this path of being cogs in the machine and hosts that support this parasite where we have traded our humanity and control of own lives for comforts and conveniences that keep us sedated and numb to the fact that we are all slaves, or we take drastic measures so that we live a much more healthier lifestyle of both mind and body that is inline with the way evolution and nature intended for us to live, even if by accident, the way we were designed to live, as an animal, in the wilds of this planet.