Category Archives: abuse

The Witch’s Child

Unsettling America

Doubts blew in with the clouds over the grassy hill and down by the willow tree where the child played in the afternoons. The witching hour had come, and the child was still awake, following those doubts past the rows of empty houses to the corner, where the bus comes in the mornings to take them all away.

A shadow came in the window and settled over the bed. The winds outside calmed, but a little breeze in the room itself seemed to tousle the child’s hair, and caress its cheeks. When the child fell asleep, the shadow bent over its ear and whispered a bedtime story:

Child, beneath this golden roof, you, of all people, know what it means to be homeless. It is the tragedy of some in this world to be uprooted, of others, to be rootless. This is the story of the rootless ones. Your bones…

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Civilization Disease

homeless

Image of homelessness from the now-defunct Italian blog Moving & Learning.

Big Pharma loves to invent new ‘diseases’ so that they can then invent dubious new drugs to ‘cure’ them, give them an official-sounding acronym (“ED” for hawking Viagra to men with low self-esteem), and then frighten you into hounding your doctor to ask if their new drug “is right for you”.

Ever since the term Information Sickness was coined, and ever since I started saying that in our modern overcrowded world we’re all suffering from a form of mental illness, I’ve been looking for a label to put on this ‘illness’. So I thought I’d invent a new disease. I’ve decided to call it Civilization Disease. I thought of calling it a ‘sickness’ but the term ‘disease’ is truly ancient, and before the invention of medicine meant literally ‘lack of room or opportunity’. Ancient peoples understood that crowding and confinement really are the causes of ‘dis-ease’.

So having named this new disease, it’s only appropriate that I provide an appropriate medical summary of it : Symptoms & Diagnosis, Causes, Treatment & Prognosis, and Prevention.

Symptoms & Diagnosis:

  • Patient frequently appears anxious, distracted or depressed
  • Patient seems to be ‘disconnected’ from and distrustful of his/her instincts, feelings, sensory surroundings, and the natural world, all-life-on-Earth, with a tendency to retreat inside his/her head
  • Patient fears and hates nature and natural things, and sees nature as something that must be conquered, defeated, overcome
  • Patient is constantly competing with and trying to outperform and diminish others
  • Patient has delusions that the planet actually ‘belongs’ exclusively to his/her species
  • Patient is addicted to consumption unrelated to actual needs or even wants; this addiction is aggravated by encouragement from the corporatist establishment to get hopelessly into debt to feed this insatiable craving for ‘more stuff’
  • Patient may in particular be addicted to things made from or requiring oil, things containing artificial sugars, starches, alcohol and salt, and to desensitizing depictions of extreme violence and other activities that stimulate dopamine, adrenaline and testosterone release/reaction

Causes and Sources of Infection:

  • Disease is a form of deep-seated and chronic psychosis brought on by sustained trauma, beginning with parental humiliation whenever the infant/child patient’s behaviour is non-conforming, continuing with psychological abuse and  ritualized, relentless ‘normalizing’ propaganda from infected peers and adults in the competition-based education system, augmented by an imposed, unnatural hierarchy and scarcity in the ‘work world’ where approval is withheld, criticism and competition are constant, and the constant fear of never having enough, and by media which portray the patient as inadequate, a ‘loser’ and inevitably unhappy until/unless he/she acquires bigger, more and newer stuff
  • This continues life-long as the symptoms are reinforced by peers, friends and colleagues suffering from the same disease until the patient begins to believe this behaviour and this situation are normal, the only way to live
  • The disease is aggravated by chronic physical and mental malnutrition caused by:
    • eating processed, chemical-laden foods lacking in nutritional variety or micro-nutrients,
    • a disorienting separation from natural and peaceful places,
    • prolonged times spent in cities and other horrifically overcrowded, stressful and unnatural places,
    • exposure to unnatural toxins in the air and water, and
    • exposure to propaganda agencies that oversimplify complex issues and starve the mind of intellectual stimulation, replacing it with artificial adrenaline and dopamine stimulation.
  • The resultant stress responses disorient and confuse the patient until he/she chronically suffers from the symptoms above, and also acquires related physical and mental stress-provoked diseases, notably auto-immune diseases, asthma and allergies, cancers, attention-deficit diseases, and anxiety, depression and bipolar diseases

Treatment & Prognosis:

  • Proper treatment is unavailable and unaffordable for the vast majority, who are fated to suffer with the disease from onset in young childhood until death from diseases with related causes
  • Patients need to be removed, ideally at a young age, to a natural, healthy, sustainable environment, away from other sufferers, and for a protracted period; there, with therapy from others who have recovered and with practice, they can begin to reconnect with their instincts, senses, feelings and all-life-on-Earth, and come to understand how industrial civilization really works and why it must be dismantled to provide hope to other sufferers, and begin to discover a better way to live and make a living — the prognosis for such patients is good, though the threat of relapse if re-exposed to the above causes is constant
  • Until the causes noted above are systemically reduced or eliminated, the prognosis is for the current global epidemic of Civilization Disease to infect every human on the planet, as there is no natural immunity for the disease

Prevention:

  • For children not yet infected:
    • move the child to a natural, peaceful place, away from the sources of infection above
    • unschool the child, to enable him/her to learn naturally
    • bring the child up collectively in natural community with others who are not infected
  • There is no vaccine for this disease

 

http://howtosavetheworld.ca/2010/01/06/civilization-disease/

Dear Men, I Honor My Femaleness

Your Body Is Perfect Intelligence

"I Honor My Womanness"

Dear Men,

The last thing I want is for you to think I am weak, because in our culture weakness is punished and belittled. But I am a woman, and we’ve been taught that femininity is weak, so if I want respect I am backed into this damned corner every time I see you. I can see from your words and your actions that you don’t really believe women are worthy of respect either. The problem is that I believed you were right.

If I believe I am weak there’s no telling what you’ll do to me, how you’ll underestimate me, how you’ll take advantage of me, how you’ll use your strength against me, how you’ll take from me. I’ve been living my life afraid of all this since I was a little girl, who watched her father rage and yell and belittle women. I thought the only way he…

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Is Civilization Just Another Name For Slavery?

“You may marvel at the skyscrapers and spacecraft society has built, yet that same social order fails to tell ordinary people what is good to eat, how to find mates, or how to have babies. The same state that [supposedly] sends rockets to the moon fails miserably in every realm of knowledge a primitive society takes for granted. Surely the basic things that concern everyone ought to be resolved long before anyone is worried about space.

Civilization has always been unjust with little care for the needs of most people. Since the first cities, mass society has been a tool to serve the interests of a few who control the land and its resources. The people who showed up to work for shares of surplus grain became cogs in a machine that made someone else’s dreams come true. Not too much changes without there being something in it for those on top of the pyramid. It explains why modern societies can invent intercontinental missiles yet can’t figure out how to prevent fat from going straight to your ass.

The big problem that has always plagued rulers is there’s competitors out there armed with their own social machines. For thousands of years, they’ve been locked in a race, pressured to find a competitive edge. The same old pattern has continued to the present age; even the glorified space race between the US and the Soviets was just a pissing match between rival landlords.

Today, tall buildings stand as monuments of intimidation and legitimacy like the pyramids of old, each looking skyward in awe made to feel like a puny subject. We take these skyscrapers as proof of the natural superiority of the hive and subordinate ourselves to its narrative. In the name of skyscrapers we don’t own, modern medicine we can’t pay for, and spaceships we’ll never fly in, we willingly throw away our lives on the job and on the battlefield. We forget we’re descendants of the first people who traded away their own story to be an extra in a movie about someone else. Generation after generation has ground out with most everyone serving as lesser cells in a body with a mind of its own.

The truth that we’re born-and-bred slave dogs is an unpleasant one. Thankfully, we’re indoctrinated from birth to identify with a concept of civilization that supposedly brings us light and progress. We look up to and cheer for a nation, a culture, a civilization just as a hapless laborer with no struggle of his own finds solace in cheering for a sports team. We follow the news like the sports fan watches a game to gain a false sense of control over the world around us. We may keep score and develop an opinion about big events, but no one asked us what we thought—not the boss, not the woman, especially not the people who make real decisions. No one cares. The news is just a respectable tabloid. We delude ourselves that we’re participants in “something larger.” We’re not. We’re just being dragged along for the ride. Our knowledge or ignorance, consent or lack of consent makes no difference.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if some billionaires and government officials sent spaceships to Mars. At least not until you’re in a position where it makes sense to care. If like most people you’re struggling with having enough money to live and enough sex to be content, why do you care? Caring about spaceships and tall buildings is a surplus pursuit fit for the dukes and barons. It’s not for you.
It’s something to think about next time someone waxes sentimental about the “achievements of civilization”™

If you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll realize you’re just a subsistence level peasant. The buildings and technologies aren’t yours, nor do they belong to a gigantic abstract “we.” They’re just properties you’ll be working to rent out until you’re dead. In truth, you’re just a barbarian visitor to this place that other people already built. Your stake in this is imaginary, your sense of participation and self-importance delusional.

Would we be better off just plundering everything the rulers have built? Skyscrapers, moon landings, electricity, vaccines, and cars are impressive monuments that convince us to passively accept that civilization is beneficial, or at least more beneficial than any alternative. But are even hot showers worth a lifetime of humiliating labor? Does a microwave oven justify spending 40 years on a career that helped make someone else rich? Does it really even matter if we’re able to live a few decades longer? We currently spend the first 30 years of life trapped in school, getting more school and simply waiting for older people to die off. Isn’t it actually a better deal to be all worn out by age 50 after living for real from our early teens?

Since the beginning, the trinkets produced by civilization have confused our ability to distinguish between needs and conveniences. We’d never consider joining a society that offered us blu-ray movies but no bread, so why do we stay loyal like hand-licking dogs when we’re offered washing machines and computers but no sex—and with the added ball and chain of a job just to keep us off the streets and out of jail?

Facing reality is tough, but understanding the situation on the ground is the first step to cease being a pawn and look after your own interests, not those of some intangible state or civilization that isn’t even capable of caring you exist—but will gladly drain you dry if you let it. Ironically a detached attitude does more to “make the world a better place” than any amount of well-intentioned idealism. Whether through governments, rents, or wages, we always get offered the worst deal most people are willing to accept.

A populace that understands reality does a better job of looking out for itself to the betterment of everyone. We can be assets to each other rather than competitors. The conveniences of civilization can be worthwhile additions to life but food, shelter, sex, friends, family, leisure, autonomy come first. Whenever we find ourselves filling a black hole with modern distractions we need to make a list of our basic needs and see if they’re being met. Every day, we ought to look past distractions like politics and “entertainment” to ask ourselves: is it really a better deal than we’d get in a grass hut?”

http://www.returnofkings.com/38006/is-civilization-just-another-name-for-slavery

MAKING LOVE !!!

~ not some New [C]Age mumbo jumbo… This hits the nail on the head ~

An extract from Barry Long’s book MAKING LOVE ~ SEXUAL LOVE THE DIVINE WAY

“I teach man and woman how to be true to love and how to be honest in their relationships. I help them to discover a divine love beyond all sexual imagining. The key to the mystery of divine love is to see love as it is, and not as you think it or imagine it.

The cause of most of the unhappiness on earth is that man and woman have actually forgotten how to make physical love. This is the greatest tragedy of all time. The forgetfulness has been going on and slowly getting worse for so many thousands of years that it’s now a tragedy for the whole of mankind. There can be no mass solutions. The problem is too personal and too deep. Everybody has to do it for himself or herself, or it can’t be done.

Woman’s basic unhappiness, her perennial discontent, is because man can no longer reach her physically. Her emotional excess, depressions, tearful frustrations, even premenstrual tension and the conditions leading to hysterectomy and other uterine problems, are due to man’s sexual failure to gather or release in lovemaking her finest, fundamental, female energies. These extraordinarily beautiful divine energies are intense and exquisite and when left untapped in woman, as they are now, they degenerate into psychic or emotional disturbances, and eventually crystallise into physical abnormalities. The womb gives birth to all things.

Man’s basic unhappiness, his perennial restlessness, is because in forgetting how to make love he’s abandoned his original divine authority and lost sexual control of himself. His emotional or psychic degeneracy manifests as sex obsession. All men, without exception, are sex obsessed. This means compulsive sexual fantasising, chronic masturbation (even when living with a partner), sex repression leading to anger and violence, and the universal symptoms of chasing wealth and getting lost in work. Busyness and wealth-gathering compensate for being an inept lover and are cover-ups (in both sexes) for the inability or fear to love.

Because of his neglect of love, neglect of woman, man suffers from premature ejaculation, guilt, anxiety self-doubt, impotence, sexual atrophy masquerading as sexual disinterest, sexual abstinence due to repressed fear of failure, sexual bravado and lack of true wisdom – all of which he inflicts on woman, aggravating her basic discontent and his own restlessness.

No matter how much a woman loves her man and wants to give her love to him, she will not and cannot give up all her divine energies if he is not yet himself, fully integrated or aligned with love. As very few men are themselves, the gap of unhappiness between man and woman keeps on growing.

To be a fully integrated male, a man has to assimilate in his body the divine female energies that woman can only release to him through right physical lovemaking. But the man has to be man enough. He has to be able to love her enough; that is, love her selflessly during the actual act of lovemaking. He has to be able to absorb and express sufficient love in his body to reach the highest part of her, and love enough to extract the divine energies from her deepest centre. To be able to love in this way is the authority man has lost – his only true authority over woman.

This requires pure love. It does not depend on technique. A man may develop his sexual technique but he cannot use expertise to make divine love. Exciting sensations are gratifying and give him a form of authority, but they are not the love that woman craves. He may satisfy her, like a good meal. But soon she hungers again and eventually despises her appetite or herself, because she knows she is not being loved.

Man has failed to serve love and failed physically to serve woman, who is the personification of love. The penalty for man is woman’s tyrannous emotionality. Wherever he loves, or tries to love, she will one day shock him, stun him, devastate him by suddenly revealing herself as the fiendess, the living demon of emotion.

The fiendess shows herself when he is attached and can’t just walk away. A man who has not yet experienced the hatred of the fiendess has not yet experienced love. A woman who has not yet seen herself being the fiendess has not yet connected with her love.

To man, the fiendess of emotion in woman is hell on earth. This is the part of her he cannot handle or understand. The demon of his own failure to love comes to life to scorn, abuse and torment him. He is terrified of it. He bluffs and blusters his way through. But finally, as he grows old in the relationship and gives up for the sake of some peace, the fiendess will conquer him and force him to surrender the last vestige of his manliness and authority. Then they both grow old together, feeling safe, but half dead as they lean on each other in the awful world of compromise.

While the world continues as it is, the fiendess will not allow man to forget his failure to love woman rightly. Woman must be loved. The future of the human race depends on woman being loved because only when woman is truly loved can man be truly himself and regain his lost authority. Only then can peace return to earth. Yet woman as she is now cannot be loved for long (or for good) by man as he is now. Together they are trapped in a vicious cycle and if left to their own ideas of love, there is no way out for them.

Woman has learned to make love through man who does not know how to make love. Hence the dreadful mess that love is in. Since time began she has been manipulated and encouraged to feel that the finest expression of her love is to please man sexually. The truth is the other way around. The finest expression of love is to have man delight her sexually. This he can only do when he can forget his preoccupation with orgasm and be sufficiently selfless or present in love to collect and receive her divine energies. For him, these are the finest expression of her love.

By teaching her to please him and satisfy him down through the ages, man has taught woman to desire him, to project herself sexually, to make herself attractive to him. He addicted her to an emotional and physical craving for his sexual attention. And he did this by neglecting to love her.

Woman had no affirmation of love, her true nature, since there was no man to love her rightly. So she settled for sexual excitation, which man had persuaded her was love. Men addicted her to this by teaching her that there is no purpose to physical love outside of making babies or selfish pleasure.

Man in his selfishness taught woman to be selfish. He taught her to excite him physically whenever love was not present; to project herself sexually for their mutual entertainment through clothing, make-up, dance and posing. And he encouraged her to let him excite her (and himself) through digital stimulation of her clitoris to the point of orgasm, instead of loving the beauty of her whole body.

The loveless narcotic of sex numbed her and like all addictions, engendered fear – fear of losing him or his attention, and fear of other women in the form of jealousy and female competition. If she didn’t satisfy him another woman soon would. And with this went the intimidating thought sown in her by all her sexual partners: that if she didn’t comply she’d be left alone.

As a reaction to this male infamy woman discovered cunt power – the power to tease man and manipulate him without delivering the goods, or by denying the goods when he wanted them. But the spell of cunt power, being largely imaginary, soon wore off after she let him enter her body. He would soon tire of her and go off with another.

Woman’s subconscious dependence on the fluctuating sexual attention of men rules her choice of partner. She may go for either an exciting man whom she thinks she can control, or an agreeable and safe partner whom she can quietly bend to her wants. Both kinds of partnership usually end – either in disaster or boredom and indifference.

Male sexuality is put into woman in sexual intercourse and, because it is substantive, it stays on in her. Its effect is a periodic wispy shadow of depression that she can’t explain but accepts as normal. It clouds her perception, making her feel emotional and not herself. The same male sexuality is the active outgoing selfish drive which made the world a violent and loveless place. In woman, this destructive shadow of man subtly influences her choice of partner. So very seldom is he Mr Right.

The male shadow in her is doubt. And it is the shadow that chooses. While woman wants the right to choose she has to make a choice; and then she must live with the shadow, doubt, in the man and in herself.

Woman in her natural state is not dependent on man. She loves him. And in love there is no dependence, and no fear of losing. She is the passive, attracting principle. She is an irresistible living magnet. She draws to herself a right man to love her truly and divinely. There’s no choice in it.

For woman today to return to her natural golden state – of pure love – takes time. But having suffered enough from man’s sexuality, she gradually learns not to compromise when there is not enough love. Finally this brings her a man who can remove the shadow from his love.

A woman is only ever less than her true nature because of man’s lack of love. She went off into her dream of love to escape his sexuality. Her babies have long been a substitute for his love. Unlike man, a real woman can exist without sexual intercourse or masturbation. She waits for love, not sex. Woman only lusts for man when she identifies with the male sexuality he has induced in her. ‘Nymphomania’ is a male invention and fantasy projection, like sex-shops, pornography and prostitution, all kept going by male sexuality and lack of love in all concerned.

Woman has been utterly fooled by man, pathologically brainwashed. And as modern woman congratulates herself on her progress in breaking down male domination in the world, she fails to perceive that she is as firmly hooked as ever on his orgasmic sexuality and his clitoral substitute for love. Her protests are really about love, not equality; but that’s not heard in the strident male arena.

It is man’s world and he built it on the strength of sexual aggression. Male domination began in sex and in sex it continues unabated. Woman cannot alter this position by marching with banners or withdrawing from sex. She has tried all the means at her disposal down through the centuries; none has worked and none will. The solution is for her to be in command of love. That does not mean to be in command of the man. It means to know inside herself what is right and true and stick to that, even if it means the man leaves her. Woman is love. All she has to do is realise that, by giving up her self doubt and fear.”

The Dark Arts of the Patriarchy – [Wetiko]

People don’t have to be sacrificing goats and virgins around a buncha lit candles while chanting shit to be practicing evil.

This world/society (Civilization) we’ve all been brought up in is BUILT off of the very “dark arts”/”witchcraft”, SORCERY that they’ve always claimed to be against.

Coercion. Force. Rape. Fear-mongering. Control. Manipulation, ect. To traumatize. ALL of this shit, on a personal & collective level, is evil. That is the real “dark arts”. The real trickery, the real “witchery” (in terms of what they say that word is supposed to mean).

This “civilization” and the so called “freedom” that THEY “GAVE” you (and how any other human can even give you your freedom/rights in the first place is beyond me), is an illusion. This shit the majority of you all think is “life” (Civilization); separated from our Mother Earth, is a deep, deep trance/spell.

If you agree with or justify (try to, anyway) ANY of the things that have come about due to this world, you are indeed under their spell. And by buying into their propaganda, spreading it around, you perpetuate this massive spell.

This “civilization” has been the ULTIMATE PROJECTION cast upon us.

The very institutions, religions, entities, societies, cultures, what the fuck ever, who condemn others (especially women), proclaiming that they are evil terrorists, and in particular obviously, screaming about “witches” and “witchcraft” and any form of so-called “dark arts”; are the ones actually using it.

THEY’RE the ones manipulating/using “sorcery” to keep us all under their control.

I’m not gonna break it down because it’s obvious.

 

…but here’s another quotation from Lucy Pearce’s book ‘Burning Woman’, because thank you, Lucy.

The Dark Arts of the Patriarchy

“Despite claiming distaste and disbelief in witchcraft, our [perverted] masculine culture has a powerful understanding of the dark arts. It’s how they’ve kept their stranglehold on power for all this time.

It is not that they are cleverer, stronger, divinely endowed or even in the majority, despite their claims to the contrary.

It’s that they use forms of mind and spiritual control, more subtle, but not that much less powerful, than the overt violence we stood witness to in the last section.

The dark arts are psychological reminders of the real violence that can be played out without warning on our bodies and minds. But because they are invisible, and take place in the shadows, they are a more insidious form of control and when confronted can easily be denied, laughed off or turned back on the recipient as crazy imaginings.

Some of the most common of the dark arts of coercion that are commonly used in our culture include:
– fear
– shame, humiliation, embarrassment, discrediting difference as ‘madness’
– controlling bodies — through strict dress codes, veiling, starvation… [& quite obviously THE BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE ON THIS EARTH such as food, water, housing, clothing, ect. and forcing/coercing us all to have to SLAVE LABOR just for these things, our basic necessities for our “survival” that has already been provided FOR FREE VIA THE EARTH HERSELF.. DUH?]
– banishment or threat of banishment
– rewards… and threats
– repression and dissociation
– imposing hierarchy and clear authority
– keeping people small, powerless, impoverished and infantilized [as I said above]
– exhaustion and lack of adequate rest or recovery time
– unattainable standards
– a focus on the external
– closely policed spiritual and sexual experience

As a trained teacher, I recognize that we are taught many of these in our arsenal of control. As a parent I know that all mainstream parenting advice centers round them too.

Those are the tools of coercion, the rules of play in the patriarchy. Naturally they are the back bone of most patriarchal religions.

First they are used against us by authority figures when we are younger, when they are physically more powerful than us, and can enforce them. Then we learn to internalize them, creating a super-ego, or internal authority figure which continues the job on their behalf.

Each of these weapons in the arsenal of dark arts is a complex energy trap, taking our natural power and turning it against ourselves in a deadly game of self-policing in order to survive.

Whilst the dark arts remain nameless and invisible, they keep control of us: sticking to us like spiders’ webs in the dark, confining our movements, filling us with unconscious fears of what might happen next.

Each of these dark arts works to activate fear within us.

The fear of being found out, the fear of being shamed, the fear of rejection, the fear of pain, the fear of loss of freedom or finances, the fear of abandonment and the ultimate fear — the fear of death.”

…another mini ventilation…fuck your bullshit.

Definition of Civilization

Deyaar-12

Aric McBay
Originally published at inthewake.org

When some people hear that we want to “end civilization” they initially respond negatively, because of their positive associations with the word “civilization.” This piece is an attempt to clarify, define and describe what I mean by “civilization.”

One dictionary definition1 reads:

civilization

  1. a society in an advanced state of social development (eg, with complex legal and political and religious organizations); “the people slowly progressed from barbarism to civilization” [syn: civilisation]
  2. the social process whereby societies achieve civilization [syn: civilisation]
  3. a particular society at a particular time and place; “early Mayan civilization” [syn: culture, civilisation]
  4. the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste; “a man of intellectual refinement”; “he is remembered for his generosity and civilization” [syn: refinement, civilisation]

The synonyms include “advancement,” “breeding,” “civility,” “cultivation,” “culture,” “development,” “edification,” “education,” “elevation,” “enlightenment,” “illumination,” “polish,” “progress,” and “refinement”. Of course. As Derrick Jensen asks, “can you imagine writers of dictionaries willingly classifying themselves as members of ‘a low, undeveloped, or backward state of human society’?”

In contrast, the antonyms of “civilization” include “barbarism,” “savagery,” “wilderness,” and “wildness.” These are the words that civilized people use to refer to those they view as being outside of civilization—in particular, indigenous peoples. “Barbarous,” as in “barbarian,” comes from a Greek word, meaning “non-Greek, foreign.” The word “savage” comes from the Latin “silvaticus” meaning “of the woods.” The origins seem harmless enough, but it’s very instructive to see how civilized people have used these words2:

barbarity

  1. The quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane [syn: atrocity, atrociousness, barbarousness, heinousness]
  2. A brutal barbarous savage act [syn: brutality, barbarism, savagery]

savagery

  1. The quality or condition of being savage.
  2. An act of violent cruelty.
  3. Savage behavior or nature; barbarity.

These associations of cruelty with the uncivilized are, however, in glaring opposition to the historical record of interactions between civilized and indigenous peoples.

Let us take one of the most famous examples of “contact” between civilized and indigenous peoples. When Christopher Columbus first arrived in the “Americas” he noted that he was impressed by the indigenous peoples, writing in his journal that they had a “naked innocence … They are very gentle without knowing what evil is, without killing, without stealing.”

And so he decided “they will make excellent servants.”

In 1493, with the permission of the Spanish Crown, he appointed himself “viceroy and governor” of the Caribbean and the Americas. He installed himself on the island now divided between Haiti and the Dominican republic and began to systematically enslave and exterminate the indigenous population. (The Taino population of the island was not civilized, in contrast to the civilized Inca who the conquistadors also invaded in Central America.) Within three years he had managed to reduce the indigenous population from eight million to three million. By 1514 only 22,000 of the indigenous population remained, and after 1542 they were considered extinct.3

The tribute system, instituted by [Columbus] sometime in 1495, was a simple and brutal way of fulfilling the Spanish lust for gold while acknowledging the Spanish distaste for labor. Every Taino over the age of fourteen had to supply the rulers with a hawk’s bell of gold every three months (or, in gold-deficient areas, twenty-five pounds of spun cotton; those who did were given a token to wear around their necks as proof that they had made their payment; those did not were … “punished” – by having their hands cut off … and [being] left to bleed to death.4

More than 10,000 people were killed this way during Columbus’ time as governor. On countless occasions, these civilized invaders engaged in torture, rape, and massacres. The Spaniards

… made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babes from their mother’s breast by their feet and dashed their heads against the rocks … They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords.5

On another occasion:

A Spaniard … suddenly drew his sword. Then the whole hundred drew theirs and began to rip open the bellies, to cut and kill – men, women, children and old folk, all of whom were seated off guard and frightened … And within two credos, not a man of them there remains alive. The Spaniards enter the large house nearby, for this was happening at its door, and in the same way, with cuts and stabs, began to kill as many as were found there, so that a stream of blood was running, as if a number of cows had perished.6

This pattern of one-way, unprovoked, inexcusable cruelty and viciousness occurred in countless interactions between civilized and indigenous people through history.

wetiko

This phenomena is well-documented in excellent books including Ward Churchill’s A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present, Kirkpatrick Sale’sThe Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy, and Dee Brown’sBury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. Farley Mowat’s books, especially Walking on the Land, The Deer People, and The Desperate People document this as well with an emphasis on the northern and arctic regions of North America.

There is also good information in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States andVoices of a People’s History of the United States. Eduardo Galeando’s incredible Memory of Firetrilogy covers this topic as well, with an emphasis on Latin America (this epic trilogy reviews numerous related injustices and revolts). Jack D Forbes’ book Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism and Terrorism is highly recommended. You can also find information in Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, although I often disagree with the author’s premises and approach.

The same kind of attacks civilized people committed against indigenous peoples were also consistently perpetrated against non-human animal and plant species, who were wiped out (often deliberately) even when civilized people didn’t need them for food; simply as blood-sport. For further readings on this, check out great books like Farley Mowat’s extensive and crushing Sea of Slaughter, or Clive Ponting’s A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations (which also examines precivilized history and European colonialism).

With this history of atrocity in mind, we should (if we haven’t already) cease using the propaganda definitions of civilized as “good” and uncivilized as “bad” and seek a more accurate and useful definition. Anthropologists and other thinkers have come up with a number of somewhat less biased definitions of civilization.

Nineteenth century English anthropologist E B Tylor defined civilization as life in cities that is organized by government and facilitated by scribes (which means the use of writing). In these societies, he noted, there is a resource “surplus”, which can be traded or taken (though war or exploitation) which allows for specialization in the cities.

Derrick Jensen, having recognized the serious flaws in the popular, dictionary definition of civilization, writes:

I would define a civilization much more precisely, and I believe more usefully, as a culture – that is, a complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts – that both leads to and emerges from the growth of cities (civilization, see civil: from civis, meaning citizen, from latin civitatis, meaning state or city), with cities being defined – so as to distinguish them from camps, villages, and so on – as people living more or less permanently in one place in densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and other necessities of life.

Jensen also observes that because cities need to import these necessities of life and to grow, they must also create systems for the perpetual centralization of resources, yielding “an increasing region of unsustainability surrounded by an increasingly exploited countryside.”

global-warming-information-kids

Contemporary anthropologist John H Bodley writes: “The principle function of civilization is to organize overlapping social networks of ideological, political, economic, and military power that differentially benefit privileged households.”7 In other words, in civilization institutions like churches, corporations and militaries exist and are used to funnel resources and power to the rulers and the elite.

The twentieth century historian and sociologist Lewis Mumford wrote one of my favourite and most cutting and succinct definitions of civilization. He uses the term civilization

… to denote the group of institutions that first took form under kingship. Its chief features, constant in varying proportions throughout history, are the centralization of political power, the separation of classes, the lifetime division of labor, the mechanization of production, the magnification of military power, the economic exploitation of the weak, and the universal introduction of slavery and forced labor for both industrial and military purposes.8

Taking various anthropological and historical definitions into account, we can come up with some common properties of civilizations (as opposed to indigenous groups).

  • People live in permanent settlements, and a significant number of them in cities.
  • The society depends on large-scale agriculture (which is needed to support dense, non-food-growing urban populations).
  • The society has rulers and some form of “aristocracy” with centralized political, economic, and military power, who exist by exploiting the mass of people.
  • The elite (and possibly others) use writing and numbers to keep track of commodities, the spoils of war, and so on.
  • There is slavery and forced labour either by the direct use of physical violence, or by economic coercion and violence (through which people are systematically deprived of choices outside the wage economy).
  • There are large armies and institutionalized warfare.
  • Production is mechanized, either through physical machines or the use of humans as though they were machines (this point will be expanded on in other writings here soon).
  • Large, complex institutions exist to mediate and control the behaviour of people, through as their learning and worldview (schools and churches), as well as their relationships with each other, with the unknown, and with the nature world (churches and organized religion).

Anthropologist Stanley Diamond recognized the common thread in all of these attributes when he wrote; “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home”.9

This common thread is control. Civilization is a culture of control. In civilizations, a small group of people controls a large group of people through the institutions of civilization. If they are beyond the frontier of that civilization, then that control will come in the form of armies and missionaries (be they religious or technical specialists). If the people to be controlled are inside of the cities, inside of civilization, then the control may come through domestic militaries (ie, police). However, it is likely cheaper and less overtly violent to condition of certain types of behaviour through religion, schools or media, and related means, than through the use of outright force (which requires a substantial investment in weapons, surveillance and labour).

That works very effectively in combination with economic and agricultural control. If you control the supply of food and other essentials of life, people have to do what you say or they die. People inside of cities inherently depend on food systems controlled by the rulers to survive, since the (commonly accepted) definition of a city is that the population is dense enough to require the importation of food.

For a higher degree of control, rulers have combined control of food and agriculture with conditioning that reinforces their supremacy. In the dominant, capitalist society, the rich control the supply of food and essentials, and the content of the media and the schools. The schools and workplaces act as a selection process: those who demonstrate their ability to cooperate with those in power by behaving properly and doing what they’re told at work and school have access to higher paying jobs involving less labour. Those who cannot or will not do what they’re told are excluded from easy access to food and essentials (by having access only to menial jobs), and must work very hard to survive, or become poor and/or homeless. People higher on this hierarchy are mostly spared the economic and physical violence imposed on those lower on the hierarchy. A highly rationalized system of exploitation like this helps to increase the efficiency of the system by reducing the chance of resistance or outright rebellion of the populace.

The media’s propaganda systems have most people convinced that this system is somehow “natural” or “necessary”—but of course, it is both completely artificial and a direct result of the actions of those in power (and the inactions of those who believe that they benefit from it, or are prevented from acting through violence or the threat of violence).

In contradiction to the idea that the dominant culture’s way of living is “natural,” human beings lived as small, ecological, participatory, equitable groups for more than 99% of human history. There are a number of excellent books and articles comparing indigenous societies to civilization:

  • Chellis Glendinning’s My Name is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization (Shambhala, 1994). You can read an excerpt of the chapter “A Lesson in Earth Civics.” She has also written several related books, including When Technology Wounds: The Human Consequences of Progress (Morrow, 1990).
  • Marshall Sahlin’s Stone Age Economics (Adline, 1972) is a detailed classic in that same vein. You can read his essay “The Original Affluent Society.”
  • Anthropologist Stanley Diamond’s book In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization (Transaction Publishers, 1987).
  • Richard Heinberg’s essay “The Primitivist Critique of Civilization.”

These sources show there were healthy, equitable and ecological communities in the past, and that they were the norm for countless generations. It is civilization that is monstrous and aberrant.

Living inside of the controlling environment of civilization is an inherently traumatic experience, although the degree of trauma varies with personal circumstance and the amounts of privilege different people have in society. Derrick Jensen makes this point very well in A Language Older than Words (Context Books, 2000), and Chellis Glendinning covers it as well in My name is Chellis.

( link: http://dgrnewsservice.org/civilization/repression/civilization-definition/ )