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  • Writer's pictureLaurence Dunn

A Brief Introduction To Ecological Anarchies


From the outset, it seems obvious that it would be impossible to reduce eco- anarchist praxes to what may be written and recorded for anyone to read, in the same way that it is impossible for any individual to visit a river and write down all that there is in the river. As such, even as a “brief introduction”, this can only fail to do justice to the subject matter. It also feels important to affirm that there is no totalising ideological collective monologue, which all ecological anarchies can be reduced to. Attempts to reduce ecological anarchist praxes to smaller monologues, such as primitivism, green-anarchy, indigenous anarchism, de-colonial-anarchism veganarchism, social ecology, pagan-anarchism, anarcho-naturism, anarcho- nihilism, primal anarchy and any other that I have neglected to mention, may well reflect many similar general tendencies that are part of most praxes; and equally none of these account for the uniqueness and individual-differences of every habitat and every living being’s life. Just as most animals who live within the oceans of the world can swim and most animals who live within the woods and forests of the world can walk, whilst being entirely different and non-assimilated into some grand monologue, with diversity and difference being a key feature of healthy habitats; there is no one totalising Eco-Anarchist Praxis, no reductive singularising “ism” that has actually reduced praxes to the true One path - though there are certainly individuals who pretend to have located such a path and hold that all ought to conform to their ideology. This affirmation of the diversity of co-existing ecological anarchies is one I make entirely positively, whilst also holding an inescapable pessimism towards my (or anyone else’s) ability to adequately affirm “all of this” - I can only fail here, and that is kind of wonderful.

One of the habitual similarities that I have observed within ecological anarchist praxes is that of being revolted by and rebelling against the warring colonialist expansion of the empire of totalitarian agriculture; though this certainly differs in intensity between individuals, their perspectives and praxes. This will to resist totalitarianism and empire is one I see within the efforts in rewilding, cull-resistance, earth liberation, animal liberation and the preservation of habitat and indigenous cultures. These efforts differ entirely between individuals and places, based on geographical differences and the differences in the lives of the individuals.

Perhaps the most divisive of subject matters within eco-anarchist conversations is the matter of technology and I feel to affirm that I approach this with a deeply techno pessimist orientation, though one that is less puristic than many of those who call themselves primitivists, who I have encountered. Those who feel optimistic about technological-progression and what the expansion of the technosphere has done, I notice, typically are more inclined towards social-ecology and the socialist ideologies that seek to conserve the structures and industrialist practices of this culture, through “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” technologies. For myself and what seems like most of the techno-pessimistic individuals I have encountered; the revolt against technology seems rooted upon the ground of recognising it as despotic, mediating and ecologically-violent.

Another similarity of habits and habitats that I notice is that of eco-anarchist praxes largely caring more about health and wellness, personal, relational, environmental, embodied and mental, than property or attempts to socially engineer futures for others to live within. These orientations towards health and wellness, in my experience, come from perspectives that care for flesh, with feelings of love for life and the living. Reflecting on this, I notice two great challenges; the difficulty of any individual overcoming diseases of civilisation whilst living without separation from Leviathan and separation being ecologically impossible; and that of any medicine- praxis surviving without being somewhat assimilated into industry and the work machine.

The last habit of eco-anarchist praxes that I notice, which largely has the feeling of attempting healing, is that of ecdysis. What I mean by ecdysis is the shedding of the skin that holds the toxins of this culture, becoming the animals we actually are and an experience of being feral; as living in-between the city/empire/colonialism/statism/civilisation/Leviathans and wild-habitat/anarchy/tribe; which are ecologically non-separate, whilst being vastly different presences within the body of this world. In perhaps its simplest form, this might be experienced in nudity.

Given that this brief introduction is and could only ever be a failure, I suggest that any individual who wants a better introduction to eco-anarchies take themselves to where weeds grow and wildlife live. Julian Langer

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