The Lines are Being Drawn
by John Zerzan
“Why are we so angry? You would do better to ask why there is so much anger and frustration in modern society generally.” - Unabomber
Surely the most shocking event of this century was the systematic murder of millions of Jews under German National Socialism. Fifty years on, we are witnessing a steadily accelerating extinction onslaught against most species of life on this planet. Barring some kind of overthrow of the present global system of techno-capital, the elimination of the last traces of free nature is inevitable.
And how much evidence is left, even now, of a healthy human species? Mass depression, widespread belief in bizarre occult notions, an ever-rising suicide rate among the young, almost universal drug use of one kind of another, increasingly common homicidal rampages. The symptoms of a malignant social order multiply and deepen to a chorus of pain and desolation.
Consider how debased the fabric of life has become in just the past couple of decades: from Jonestown to the Tokyo subways, not forgetting Bhopal, Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez, Waco, Oklahoma City, schoolyard massacres…such horrors seem to be multiplying, the convulsions of a terminally diseased landscape.
But the struggle for health and freedom goes on. Scobert Park and Warner Creek were vigorously defended, and a strong blow was struck with the torching of the Oakridge Ranger Station. The blacks of St. Petersburg repaid another murder by police with automatic weapons fire.
Meanwhile, the ‘96 electoral farce received its lowest turnout since 1924, as if our masters could have believed that the nothingness and denial of that long-running con game could go on fooling most people indefinitely.
How far is it justified to go when we know that voting and recycling change nothing? When we contemplate the vista of high-tech barrenness, the boom in prisons and homelessness, the fact that a growing economy means an even faster rate of destruction of the natural world…
Joan of Arc and the 19th century abolitionist John Brown employed violence and gave their lives in struggle. These visionaries were considered demented by their contemporaries but are now revered. It may be that the Unabomber will be looked upon similarly, as a kind of warrior-prophet who, as Arleen Davila wrote, “tried to save us.”
To un-learn our illusions is to begin to save ourselves.
Autonomous Anarchists Anonymous
PO Box 11331
Eugene, Oregon 97440
John Zerzan is the author of Future Primitive (1994, Autonomedia), Questioning Technology: A Critical Anthology (co-edited with Alice Carnes, Freedom Press) and his 1988 bestseller, Elements of Refusal will be re-released shortly by CAL Press. He has also written numerous essays, co-edits Anarchy Magazine, and is completing a book of new essays.