November 2, 2019

Toward Primal Necessity


I think and feel and see the world in terms of all but the last few hundred years out of 20 million years of human evolution, 200 million years of mammalian evolution, four billion years of Gaian evolution. This is the basis of a primal world view based in deep ecology and deep time. It places humanity in ecological and temporal context and retrieves order out of the intellectual and psychological chaos of the modern mind.
The modern mind exists only as passenger in a machine fueled by fossils and driven by a psychopathy which deploys a purely instrumental, nihilistic pseudo-reason and pseudo-science, both inflated out of all rational proportion and both used, abused, twisted and distorted funhouse-mirror style in order to be useful toward any given psychotic corporate-governmental-military goal.
With these fuels the machine has constructed a civilization of psychosis and alienation and violence, designed so that a handful of psychopaths, themselves slaves of their compulsions, always have been able to seize control, turn every development or chance to their advantage, and induce everyone else to follow.
This machine, this civilization never can or will reform itself, never will restrain itself even in its own interest. For example the premise of the Green New Deal is that the Extreme Energy Civilization can save itself from itself and therefore perpetuate itself, perpetuate the tyranny of “the economy”, perpetuate productionism, perpetuate consumerism. But since green capitalism itself is ecocidal, and continued and escalated ecocide cannot save the destroyer from the consequences of its ecocide, any actual GND deployment would only aggravate the self-destructive crisis. But for the moment the propaganda idea of green capitalism including any “Green New Deal” still is doing its sheep-herding, liberal-conscience-mollifying work and delaying the rise of the necessary ideas of degrowth and primalism.
In truth the only meaningful action for us now is to propagate these ideas and organize to help one another endure the tribulations of imperial reaction, mass nervous breakdown, ecological collapse, climate chaos, and Gaia’s Kinesis lashing back in equal and opposite reaction to all the ecological destruction of the modern era.
The basic elements of primalism: Revering the Earth, living in proportion to the encompassing ecology, taking and discarding only what’s necessary, basing culture and morality on these Gaian relationships, basing intellect on understanding them as much as possible and being consciously aware of this understanding and the limits of understanding, basing wisdom on respect for this and all necessary limits, and on respect for the whole natural community with all its relationships. This, I think, is the best we pioneers and returners from among modernized humans can do. Future generations who grow from the new world with whatever soil and whatever Gaian phase it incarnates will grow the truly Gaian cultures of the future.


  1. […] brandishing ballots and petitions to their favorite politicians.   On the contrary the task of https://attempter.wordpress.com/2019/11/02/toward-primal-necessity/”>we primalists, we pioneers and returners, is to endure Gaia’s Kinesis, doing whatever we can […]

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  2. Hi Russ

    This is the best post you have ever done! The biggest “problem” I have faced related to changing the law to recognize the inherent and inalienable right of Nature and ecosystems to exist, flourish, and regenerate is humans’ refusal to live within the bounds of the Earth required balance of all living things. They insist that the way humans live on the Earth not be disturbed or relinquished. Meaning of course, that there is no sustainable way to maintain our current lifestyle and arrangements.

    Comment by Dana Allen — November 4, 2019 @ 12:16 pm

    • Hi Dana, thanks for the good word. I know what you mean, everyone I know, online and off, no matter what their nominal environmental politics, really regards the death machine as non-negotiable and acts accordingly, including in their “climate activism”.

      Comment by Russell Bangs — November 4, 2019 @ 1:49 pm

  3. […] possible until Earth-forced collapse, and suppress the rise of the necessary ideas and actions of degrowth and primalism.   As for what the civilization could do to avert even worse consequences than those already […]

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