A new hardcover edition of Zerzan’s first collection of essays, exploring alienation and the (John Zerzan, Author) Goodreads reviews for Elements Of Refusal. John Zerzan: Just today I was talking with a guy from the New York Times, and though I don’t know exactly what his focus is, he’s much more. Elements of Refusal. Review. Elements of Refusal by John Zerzan Second Edition, by CAL Press/Paleo Editions, POB , Columbia, MO , USA.

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Who supports it and believes it and thinks that it has any answers or any future? The fragmentary, the cynical, and the partial define an extremely pervasive postmodern stance — if such a cowardly, shifting outlook even qualifies as a stance.

Language, which at any given moment embodies the ideology of a particular culture, must be ended in order to abolish both categories of estrangement; a project of some considerable social dimensions, element us say. As Christianity weakened, a new central ideology of estrange- ment came forth, this one guaranteeing order and domination based on mathematical precision.

We call them the Forces of Darkness.

Elements Of Refusal: John Zerzan: : Books

The central message of that film is incredible. Occasionally critics, like Thomas Lawson, bemoan art’s current inability “to stimulate the growth of a really troubling doubt,” little noticing that a quite noticeable movement of doubt threatens to throw over art itself Such “critics” cannot grasp that art must remain alienation and as elemeents must be superseded, that art is disappearing because the immemorial separation between nature and art is a death sentence for the world that must be voided.

And, as described above, it was time, several hundred years before that, which provided the categorical paradigm to mass production, in refsual form of uniform but discrete quanta ordering life. Either way, the pressure to dissolve history and the rule of time hasn’t been so strong since the Middle Ages, before that, since the Neolithic revolution establishing agriculture.


Kierkegaard found the defining trait of the aesthetic outlook to be its hospitable reconciliation of all points of view and its evasion of choice. Following the harvest failure of the keelmen of the Tyne took to rioting. Propter, millions have come to find time “a thing intrinsically nightmarish.

Why not sell the air, the clouds, the great sea?

The questions forming are, how can basic oppressions be effectively controlled or reformed? The will to sameness elekents security found in agriculture means that the symbols became as static and constant as farming life. Cassirer said of this distancing from experience, ”Physical reality seems to reduce in proportion as man’s symbolic activity advances.

James Serpell summed it up this way: The essay ‘Who Killed Ned Ludd? Baudelaire was obliged to claim a poet’s dignity in a society which had no more dignity to hand out.

It is best understood as a sucial institution peculiar to technological society that so strongly prizes novelty; it is predicated on the progressivist notion jobn reality must be I’oiistantly updated.

The tangled skein of unneces- ‘.: And be advised; These essays are scholarly and eldments you don’t have a good foundation in philosophy, or an interest in gaining oneyou may have trouble with them.

Barthes’ depiction of language as “absolutely terrorist” is much to the point here; he saw that its systematic nature “in order to be complete needs only to be valid, and not to be true.

All philosophies up till now have given the stupefying advice to their consumers to stand back from their own personal lives and take the long view, to see the big picture, to relax and not take life too personally. The deep, powerful break I hat was announced by the birth of language prefigured and overshad- owed the arrival of civilization and history, a mere 10, years ago. And Jewitt’s The Wedgwoods, exposing the social intent of industrial technology, tells us “It was machinery jwhich] ultimately forced the worker to accept the discipline of the factory,” Considering the depth of workers’ antipathy to the new regimen, it comes as no surprise that Pollard should speak of “the large evidence which all points to the fact that continuous employment was precisely one of the most hated aspects of factory work.

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Adorno began his book thusly: The future of the environmental movement I think depends on realizing that it has to be broadened and deepened. A century and more later how inescapable is the truth of that condition and how much more threadbare the consolation or station of “timeless” art.

What does the concept mean? Boolean algebra made possible a new level of tbrmulated thought, as its founder pondered “the human mind Scores of commentators have discussed the independence of such domestic workers as the handloom weavers; Muggeridge’s report on Lancashire craftsmen from Exell, Brief History of the Weavers of the Country of Gloucesterfor example, notes that this kind of work “gratifies that innate love of independencc.

Elements of Refusal

In Babylon, merchant-mathematicians contrived a comprehensive arithmetic between and B. Unsupervised, working for several masters, and with their time their own, a zeezan of independence was maintained. In his view, it’s not humans in general who are responsible for social oppression and destructive ecological practices, but the civilising impulses of a certain dominant elite.

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