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Where the Wild Things Go: Anarchist Knowledge and Practice

April 30, 2015


Where: Montreal Anarchist Bookfrair, George Vanier Cultural Centre, room CCGV – Salle B

When: Sunday, 3pm, 24th May 2015

You can view the workshop here



In light of the intensification of war around the world, the
desertification of land and sea, the pollution of oceans and air, the
anthropogenic mass species extinction, the widening economic gap
between the “haves” and “have nots”, all leave the quality of our stay
and the duration of our civilisation-fest in jeopardy. The question
is, if we still plan to stick around, how are we going to solve these

To answer this question, the workshop will raise the problems of
knowledge, civilised economies, reproduction and transmission of the
schemas and structure of such economies (aka education), resistance,
and revolution. After identifying what is knowledge, its purpose and
social construction, as well as its use to structure unequal
classification systems and unjust economies, we will discuss both the
temporary successes and the reasons behind the failure of most
revolutions that have consistently been co-opted by a culture of
stratification and exploitation within the past millennium in order to
build on that experience for a lasting change and a viable planet in
which diversity will thrive.

Shorter Summary:

This workshop examines the role of knowledge and education in
civilised economy and the ways in which they sabotage resistance and
revolution. We will discuss both the temporary successes and the
reasons behind the failure of most revolutions that have consistently
been co-opted by a culture of stratification and exploitation within
the past millennium in order to build on that experience for a lasting
change and a viable planet in which diversity will thrive.

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Open forum with Layla AbdelRahim and John Zerzan

April 28, 2014

Open Forum: Layla AbdelRahim and John Zerzan respond (total time: 1hour and 51 minutes). Memphis, TN, 15th August 2009

Part 1 (mp3)

Part 2 (mp3)

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Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Book & Speaking tour

October 7, 2013

It is with great enthusiasm that we are announcing the 2013 speaking tour for anthropologist, unschooler, and anarchist Layla AbdelRahim. Layla will be touring with her new book Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams through various communities in the Cascadian Bioregion.



Tour dates:

(1) Tuesday October 8, 5:30-7:00
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Surrey BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
Crime and Reward from an Anarcho-primitivist Perspective.

See description below or on FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/235575403266795/?notif_t=plan_user_invited


(2) Saturday October 12, Spartacus Books
Vancouver BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
The Ingrained Premises of Injustice in the Unknowledge Sold as Education



(3) Sunday October 13, 7pm
Purple Thistle
Vancouver BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
The Insidious and Resilient Narratives of Domestication: Pitfalls to Watch for in Autonomous Learning Zones.


(4) Tuesday, October 15, 7pm,
Camas Books – 2620 Quadra St,
Victoria BC, unceded Lekwungen Territories
What’s in a Class? On Reproduction of Gender, Species, and Ethnicity as Categories for Labour and Consumption.


(5) Wednesday October 16, 7pm
Duncan Garage Showroom
Duncan BC, unceded Quw’utsun’ Territory
Schooling as a Political Choice to Conform to the Colonizing Narrative of Domestication

FB event:


(6) Friday, October 18, 7pm
University of Victoria
Victoria BC, Unceded Lekwungen Territories
The Ship of Fools as a Place of Spectacle, Healing, and Education where the Wild are Sent to Die.


(7) Tuesday October 22
Black Moon Collective, 113 4th Ave W
Olympia WA, Coast Salish Territories
Children at the Forefront of the War of Civilization over Colonization of Resources


(8) Wednesday October 23, 7pm
Black Coffee, 501 E. Pine st.
Seattle, WA, Occupied Duwamish Territory


(9) Friday October 25, 7:30pm
Red and Black Cafe
Portland (with music by special guest Mike XvX)


(10) Tuesday October 29th, 12:00 – 2pm
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN


To order copies of Wild Children Domesticated Dreams

Please visit Layla’s Website (where you may find many of her writings online)

The Wikipedia entry about Layla Abdel Rahim



Full presentation descriptions and links to interviews and talks:



1)      On Animal Voices, Vancouver by Alissa: http://animalvoices.org/2013/10/layla-abdelrahim-tribute-to-turkeys/

2)      On Gorilla Radio, CFUV (University of Victoria) by Chris Cook: https://soundcloud.com/cfuv/gorilla-radio-layla-abdelrahim

3)       On Doers, Makers, Thinkers CFUV (University of Victoria) by Julian: https://soundcloud.com/cfuv/doers-makers-thinkers-layla





(1)   Tuesday, 8th October, 2013, 5:30 pm.

Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechic University, Surrey, B.C.

Watch video here:


Crime and Reward from an Anarcho-primitivist Perspective




George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, this summer came as a surprise to many mostly because the civilised believe words and focus on language rather than on praxis and consequences. Namely, civilised people see the judicial system with its verbose process of trial as a system of justice and in the eyes of those involved in Zimmerman’s trial, there was “no evidence beyond reasonable doubt” that Zimmerman acted outside the confines of the American law. The question thus was not whether killing someone was wrong, the problem that was to be resolved in this system of justice was whether the killer had the right to kill.

In this lecture, Layla AbdelRahim discusses the civilized premises that construct the human animal as predatory and thus centers murder in anthropology itself and reinforces the predatory narrative. Furthermore, this predation is structured by the classificatory system of civilized epistemology that categorizes groups of living and nonliving beings, whether human or not, as “resources” and “consumers” thereby excluding whole groups and immense suffering from the public discourse on justice. And as discussed in her book, Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education, this predatory narrative is reinforced by both the medical sector and the system of education.



(2)   Tuesday, 16th

In Duncan, B.C.:




Schooling as a Political Choice to Conform to the Colonising Narrative of Domestication


Obligatory schooling has become the global narrative that frames our understanding of how children must learn. Narratives become reality when people act according to the plot that drives these narratives. Hence, obligatory schooling, where children are taught through literacy how to know and live in the world, has become the reality for most human children on earth. Furthermore, even if the specific details of what, for instance, is taught in French schools might differ from what might be taught in Kenya, there is a unifying experience of submitting children to “discipline” and hierarchical structure of obedience through literacy from an early age. This literacy is mostly linked with today’s major civilisations: European, Arab, and Chinese, the core of whose syllabus aims to domesticate human resources and instill in them a place in the hierarchy of the “food chain”. In this respect, the seemingly personal choice of parents or a community to whether send their children to school or choose to educate them at home or in the community, in both cases, constitutes a political choice: one to conform to the socio-economic and political system based on consumption and exploitation or to resist this paradigm. In this talk, Layla will draw on her discussion of “unschooling” and “schooling” in her new book Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (Fernwood Publishing 2013) to address how successful resistance has to entail a critique of the underlying speciesist, racist, and misogynist mandate of the domesticating narrative of civilisation and the disciplining methods of the civilised institution.



(3)   Friday, 18th October at 3pm.

Department of Geography, University of Victoria, B.C.



The Ship of Fools as a Place of Spectacle, Healing, and Education where the Wild are Sent to Die



The Medieval European allegory of the Ship of Fools was more than a metaphor or a literary ruse to critique the Church and the state. In Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault argues that this trope was also a real socio-political tactic used to cleanse the civilised space by isolating the “mad” or the “unreasonable” from “society”. For civilisation, “reason” has two constituents: raison d’être and sanity. The sane are here defined as those existing for the purpose of domestication in a “natural” food chain hierarchy. In this sense, “society” consists of those working for the “reason” of domestication and socio-economic hierarchy, exploitation, and consumption and those who cannot or refuse to abide by the domesticator’s definition of their reason for existence are either sent to sanatoriums, hospitals, or other correctional facilities to be cured or killed.

Drawing from the research conducted for her book, Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (2013), Layla AbdelRahim discusses schools and children’s culture as spaces of such isolation and “correction”: where the wild raison d’être to dream and to exist for one’s own, known or unbeknownst to self purpose is extinguished and where the child is taught to exist to serve as a human resource in the chain of exploitation of nonhuman resources.



(4)   Saturday, 12th October at 7pm

Spartacus Books, Vancouver, B.C.



The Ingrained Premises of Injustice in the Unknowledge Sold as Education



In this discussion, Layla will draw on the research conducted for her book Wild Children –Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education, in which she examines the underlying premises in the construction of knowledge that the institution of education produces and proliferates. The first premise is that knowledge of others must be organised and based on “classification” of forms of life and nonlife. Hence, in monotheistic narratives, God creates groups of beings on different days and, in science, classification is the primary organising principle of knowledge. Knowing the self and the world by relating to individuals as members and representatives of an epistemological “class” fosters alienation from and ignorance of the real experiences of others and provides a system of oppression of whole groups of human and nonhuman beings. In other words, epistemological classification establishes economic classes, where some control the power and agency over the construction of “knowledge” while the others constitute “resources” to be domesticated and colonised by such knowledge and exploited as labour force and the source of pleasure and well-being for the “ruling” classes. Therefore, examining and critiquing how unknowledge about what is human or nonhuman is produced and reproduced through schooling and other cultural narratives is critical to overcoming gender, racial, and speciesist oppression.



(5) Tuesday, 15th October at 7pm. Camas Books, Victoria, B.C.:


What’s in a Class? On Reproduction of Gender, Species, and Ethnicity as Categories for Labour and Consumption


How do we know the world? How do we relate to the world and to our knowledge of it? Today, most people around the world believe that we cannot learn how to live in the world without having gone to school and received an “education”. However, what is this “education”? What is its content, its method, or its purpose?

Education is a systemic production, reproduction, and transmission of specific socio-economic constructs about humans, society, and the world. These constructs are then passed on as “knowledge”, which ensures the coexistence of epistemological classes as socio-economic classes in a hierarchical paradigm. Civilised science prioritises Cartesian thinking that divorces “reason” from “emotions” precisely because empathy with the exploited, the suffering, or the consumed will interfere with the project Civilisation.

In this conversation, Layla will discuss the underlying premises in scientific thinking about the world as a system of domestication of human and nonhuman resources for production, reproduction, consumption, and ultimately devastation.



(6) Sunday, 13th October, 2013

Purple Thistle, Vancouver, B.C.



The Insidious and Resilient Narratives of Domestication: Pitfalls to Watch for in Autonomous Learning Zones



What better weekend than ‘Thanksgiving’ to Join Layla AbdelRahim on her book tour for ‘Wild Children-Domesticated Dreams’, as she talks about colonization, domestication, and the challenge of not reproducing these mechanisms as we strive towards de-schooling.

Not only has the hierarchical project of domestication and civilization existed for the past ten thousand years, it has been expanding globally, engulfing more and more territories and bringing the world to a state nearing the brink of collapse of biodiversity and self-sustainability. This colonizing project has not been accepted passively. It has met strong ideological, epistemological, socio-economic, and physical resistance on both individual and social levels. Nonetheless, civilization has reached an epidemic level largely owing to its misconstruction of “knowledge” about human nature and the world. In her research, Layla AbdelRahim applies concepts from biology, anthropology, ethology, and sociology to examine the mechanisms by which socio-cultural narratives and material cultures reproduce themselves through domesticated bodies, minds, and desires. In this workshop, Layla will identify these mechanisms of perpetuating domesticated “unknowledge” and will engage a discussion on resistance to its narrative.


(7) Tuesday, 22nd October, 2013

New Moon Collective, Olympia, WA



Children at the Forefront of the War of Civilization over Colonization of Resources



Battling their own oppression and fighting against unjust systems for the wider public good, Anarchist and other activist parents often do not have the time to allot to rewilding their own parenting culture and thus relegate the task of child rearing to institutions or other civilized child-care. In this workshop, Layla will address the questions raised in her latest book, Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (Fernwood Publishing, 2013) pertaining to the real cost of parenting and child-rearing and the implications of the civilized predatory socio-environmental relationships on children, their culture, and thereby on the world.



(8) Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013

Black Coffee Coop, Seattle, WA

A talk on Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (Fernwood, 2013).



(9) Friday, 25th October, 2013

Red and Black Café, Portland, OR

A talk on Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (Fernwood, 2013).



(10) Tuesday, 29th October, 2013.

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana

A talk on Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (Fernwood, 2013).


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Qu’est ce que l’économie civilisée? Recherche sur le principe ontologique de l’effondrement économique et écologique

May 12, 2013


Titre en Français :

Qu’est-ce que l’économie civilisée? ou Recherches sur le principe ontologique de l’effondrement économique et écologique

Title in English :

What is Civilised Economy? An essay on the ontological principle of economic and ecological collapse



The ontological foundation of civilised economy is rooted in utilitarianism or the conception of the world and everything in it as existing in a hierarchy of food chain. This has not been the view of wild or nondomesticated societies, where living and nonliving beings exist for their own purpose, pleasure, and being. A complex epistemological exercise has emerged out of the Neolithic culture, one that attributes a utilitarian purpose to all living and nonliving elements on earth. Since this “knowledge” places the human animal at the head of this food chain, it institutionalises an anthropocentric culture of subsistence thereby creating a civilised system of socio-environmental and socio-economic relationships based on the right to exploit, own, and consume. Civilised culture thus institutionalises discrimination and slavery as it identifies and categorises groups of natural or labour resources. For instance, some human and nonhuman animals become resources for work (any business or academic institution can boast of a department of “human resources”); others are depicted as existing for the consumption by humans; plants as well as human and nonhuman women become the reproductive “class” responsible for the reproduction of “resources”, etc.

Hierarchical models for socio-economic relations based on this principle of consumption and exploitation are inherently unviable for several reasons. First, such strategies for subsistence disregard the need for diversity and are inherently monocultural. Second, domestication always requires borrowing energy from outside sources in order to force exploitation from “resources” and thus drives an economic culture of deficit. Third, because of this constantly growing deficit, domestication fuels civilisation and ultimately requires to constantly produce more domesticated “resources” than its biosphere can sustain and, at the same time, has to destroy diversity in order to colonise the domesticated resources. Ultimately, domestication yields settlements that grow into cities that constantly require new sources of energy: i.e. the mode of subsistence of cities (which are by their nature civilised) relies on a socio-economic model that needs a perpetual expansion of colonised territories in the form of tamed and consumed wilderness, working bodies, and will-less minds.

This paper proposes to examine the epistemological foundation of civilised economics from an anarcho-primitivist perspective as it critiques the ontological root of civilisation and explores how civilised ontology forges a structure for socio-economic and socio-environmental relationships that are based on violence, extermination, and rape, manifesting itself in the current anthropogenic deforestation, acidification of the oceans, mass extinction of biodiversity and species, among others. Finally, it offers insights as to why Eurocentric science and philosophy are incapable of addressing these problems and invites to consider critiques from outside the academy and the civilised model.

Paper delivered at:

“Creuser jusqu’où? Les limites de la croissance”

1er colloque du CRITIC 13 mai 2013 – HEC Montréal Salle « Banque de Développement du Canada »


10h: Mot de bienvenue et introduction du colloque


10h15: Les habits neufs de l’extractivisme

•Ariane Gobeil : Vers un néo-extractivisme à la québécoise ?

•Chantal Gailloux : Les Organismes de Coopération Internationale au service de l’industrie minière

•Philippe Blackburn : Exploitation des ressources naturelles et urgences humanitaires en Afrique Centrale


11h45 : Pause déjeuner


12h45 : Remises en question de la marchandisation de la planète

•Charles Beaudoin : Industrie minière et contestation populaire. Le cas de Sept-Îles

•Martin Hébert : Les temps de crise ouvrent-ils les esprits ? Réflexions sur le secteur forestier québécois au terme d’une décennie de tourmente

•Paul Sabourin : Croissance économique ou décroissance économique : le degré zéro d’une appropriation sociale de l’économie


14h15 : Pause café14h30 : Quelles alternatives à l’exploitation industrielle de la nature ?

•Jonathan Durand-Folco : Les trois significations du Plan vert : modernisation ou dépassement du capitalisme ?

•Émilie Bernier : « Pour la ruine du monde ».  Les ambivalences de la métaphysique moderne de l’agir

•Layla AbdelRahim : Qu’est-ce que l’économie civilisée? Recherche sur le principe ontologique de l’effondrement économique et écologique


16h : Pause café


16h30 : Creuser jusqu’où ? Synthèse et poursuite des discussions

•Table ronde avec Serge Mongeau, Jacques Fortin et Alain Deneault

17h30 : Fin du colloque



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First there was the Word, then Came Civilisation: How Fiction Structures the Reality of Predation and Violence

May 7, 2013

At Shakti Rock Climbing Gym

Saturday, 29th June, 2013 at 6:30 pm


Listen here


How we inhabit space, how we live in it and with the other living and nonliving beings ultimately depends on whether we see the world as wild, existing for its own sake or whether we understand existence as a food chain, where everything exists for the purpose of consumption: to eat someone else or be eaten by someone else. In this conversation, Layla AbdelRahim will discuss how our stories of origins explain the existence of things on earth and thereby structure our relationships with each other and across species with the world. Based on the research done for her book, Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education (Fernwood, May 2013), the ontological premises in our fundamental anthropological narratives justify coercive relationships of dominance and splinter our sense of community with our environment. In this sense, what and how we “consume” is intimately intertwined both with our stories of origins and with the domestication of sexuality thereby structuring a culture of predatory socio-economic relationships that manifests itself as a culture of rape, carnivorism, exploitation of human and nonhuman “resources”, and forced, obligatory schooling.
Filmed and produced by Média Rechere Action.

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Academic Presentations – abstracts:

February 11, 2012


  • “Radical Sustainability, Beyond Green Capitalism: Anarcho/a-Primitivism, Feminism and Christianity in Conversation for an Endangered World” – guest on a panel with John Zerzan and Ched Myers, organised by the In the Land of the Living Collective, held at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Friday 1st – Saturday 2ndApril 2011.
  • Digby Highschool: two 45 minute talks addressed to 11th and 12th grades; 2nd September 2009.
  • “Definitions and Implications in Children’s Books: from Christopher Robin’s Scientific Expotition with Piglets, Rabbits, and Winnie the Pooh to the Violent Science of Harry Potter and the Order of the Chosen Wizards”. Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii 9th-12th January 2009.
  • “Learning in the Age of the Smart Machine or the Proportionate Relationship between Intelligence and Empathy: from Case Study to a Theory of Practice in Anthropology of Education”. Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii 4th-7th January 2009.

* “Crime and Punishment in Children’s Literature”

* “On Objects, Love, and Objectifications” (also published in The Paulinian Compass. St. Paul University;                                     Manila: Vol. 1, Issue #2, June 2009)

* “Modernism and Education: Revised Perspectives” also published in The Paulinian Compass. St. Paul                                       University; Manila: Vol. 1, Issue #3, Fall 2009

  • Conference: Off to See the Wizard: Quests for Memory and Culture in Children’s Literature, at Monroe College, Rochester, NY. Presented paper (19th March 2005). Title: Order & the literary rendering of Chaos in children’s literature.


Stockholm University (1995-97):

  • “Gender & Islamic representations by literary authors and western anthropologists: Fazil Iskander, Chingiz Aitmatov, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and others.” . “Terms are germs – a critique of concepts and terminology in International Migration & Ethnic Relations studies.” . “Introduction to the particularities of Chilean and Eritrean Migration to Sweden.” . “Ethnicity, gender, and human rights: two case studies.”

Participation in conferences and workshops:

  • Stockholm University: Crime Prevention Association, Stockholm (April 1998).
  • Transformation of the Pluralist City, IMER (International Migration & Ethnic Relations Centre), Bergen, Norway (May 1997).
  • Sheba – an international conference on black minorities in Europe, Driebergen, Holland (March 1994).
  • London Black Women’s Health Project, London (April 1994).
  • Tattoos of Alienation, by Layla, Bryn Mawr Bulletin, Bryn Mawr, PA. (fall’95).
  • Reporter on war in North East Africa – Sudan Times (1987-88) 3 hour interview with guerrilla leader Col. John Garang in South Sudan was broadcast on BBC and Voice of America (August 1987).




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How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies

How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies

A Guest Seminar on Globalization, Education and Change

12pm, Wednesday 8 February 2012, Room 133, Education Building (3700 McTavish)

with Layla AbdelRahim,  author, educator, Wild Children - Domesticated Dreams: 
Civilization and the Birth of Education

At the very root of the anthropogenic world we have marred with divisions by class, race, gender, species, and other isms lies the ontology of humanism deeply cemented in consumerism or the idea that everything exists in a hierarchy of “food chain”. Conceptualizing inter-species relationships in these terms ascribes a consumerist purpose for all of existence and provides the foundation for civilized epistemology and, by extension, is the cause for pedagogies of domestication, where the behaviour, dreams, and self-knowledge of human resources as well as other animals has to be appropriated and modified to fit the civilized labour and consumption order. Appropriation of wilderness, dreams, and lives requires an epistemology that refuses to know the other’s suffering and to feel the other’s pain. However, heroes such as Ivan the Fool from Russian folk tales, oblivious to the domesticated purpose, antagonistic to all forms of oppression and labour, and dependent on empathic and intricate relationships of cooperation with the wild point to different, unDarwinian and uncivilized ways of knowing.

Drawing from her research for her forthcoming book (Fernwood Publishing) entitled: Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education, Dr AbdelRahim will discuss the importance of the anti-civilized hero in exploring the possibilities of overcoming the very ontology of education as rooted in the civilized need to separate the knower from the unknower, the possessor from the dispossessed or more accurately from the possessed, the person from the non-person, the male from the female, among endless other ways of othering and domesticating.

Born into an academic, multilingual, multicultural, and multinational family, Layla AbdelRahim began her journey through disciplines, cultures, and the world from the day she was born. She has reported on war, interviewed rebels, military commanders, and politicians while working with war refugees in north east Africa, has conducted anthropological research on medical practices, law, and parenting cultures in Europe, and has studied at top universities of the world: Bryn Mawr College in PA, Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, Stockholm University, finally obtaining her Ph.D. from the University of Montreal. Her fields of expertise range from arts, through social sciences, to hard science all of which converge into her critical perspective on civilized practices, domestication, and education.

All are welcome to attend this brownbag lunch seminar.

Organized by Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, International Education, Department of Integrated Studies in Education. Phone: 514 3982253/Email: aziz.choudry@mcgill.ca


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A Leap Into the Future Primitive: Anarcho-Primitivist Ontologies As New Directions In Anthropological Theory?

December 14, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Montreal Convention Center Rue Poster- Purple (Palais des congrès de Montréal)
Layla AbdelRahim (na)
Ontological concepts have the power to direct desires, formulate beliefs, and inform our actions. In this regard, genesis stories of human and non-human origins that human animals narrate inform epistemologies and determine the ways in which human animals relate to the world and understand kinship with other beings including ways of constructing differences be they across the lines of gender, racial, ethnic, tribal, or species. Even though anarchist critiques of domesticated ontologies have challenged civilized theory for more than a century (e.g. the research on evolution and empathy by Peter Kropotkin), John Zerzan’s anarcho-primitivist critique of the basic premises underlying the narratives of domestication and civilization, where language and symbolic thought constitute the tools for discrimination, organized violence and exploitation of the environment, offers radically new venues for anthropological understanding of humanity challenging the socio-economic culture at the root of scientific theory and practice, particularly when examined through Bourdieu’s theory of praxis. Wild ontologies, I argue, are based on narratives of genesis that generate horizontal kinship models often inclusive of non-human forms and consciousness that are accessible through transformation into animals or objects thereby fostering intimate socio-economic relationships across species leading to biodiversity and presenting the purpose for the existence of beings as outside the realm of human control. In contrast, civilized ontology structures linear relationships of progress as based on utilitarian purpose for the existence of beings as “resources” for humans but also locked in a “cycle of life” of inter-species’ consumption and predation, ultimately leading to domesticated relationships.

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The Failure of Civilized Occupy

December 11, 2011


A Critique of Occupy: Our Culture of Domestication

Interviewed for Deep Green Philly on 8th December 2011


45 minute EXCERPT

submitted to OCCUPY Philly Media on Sat, 12/10/2011 – 14:19


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From The Ontological Roots Of Knowledge To A New Sociology Of Being

June 28, 2011

Title: “From The Ontological Roots Of Knowledge To A New Sociology Of Being”

Paper presented in the section on New Directions in Sociological Theory (TS2-A)

at the Canadian Congress for Humanities and Social Sciences, Fredericton, Canada,  Friday, 3rd June, 2011: 10:30 am.



Whether in its classical or “contemporary” expression, the very concept of sociology has been contingent on an anthropocentric understanding of society in its civilised, sedentary nation state form. Because of that, more than any other discipline (excepting political science and economics), sociology has constructed its theory and practice in response to the state’s needs for a civilised, technological, and technocratic organisation of human resources. I.e. its study objects as well as self-examination have consistently relied on anthropocentric definitions of the reality it helped to define and concurrently construct. This paper invites a cross-disciplinary examination of the ontological basis of  social relations and of the concept of “resources” (human and other animal) as well as a critique of the definitions that distinguish human society from non-human animals, for instance: language, time, empathy, intelligence, and “environmentalism”. John Zerzan’s critique of civilisation offers dynamic possibilities for sociological theory. Examined in conjunction with sentience (Bentham) and empathy (Kropotkin and Goethe), Zerzan’s critique of symbolic thought, language, time, and the technological evolution of humanity responds to the urgent demands of economic and political global crises for re-definition of sociological interests and therefore non-human and human animal
evolutionary trajectory.


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