What follows is an annotated bibliography of all major ideological works I have produced since starting the Wild Will Project. One might note that earlier essays receive harsher comments than later essays. There is no reason to believe this will not continue to be the trend in the future, so keep up with the blog for further updates.
“The Revolutionary Importance of Science: A Reponse to Alex Gorrion,” The Wildernist no. 1
A response to an article from a West Coast anarchist publication denigrating “science,” a word which the author of the publication used in different and contradictory ways. My response distinguished between the different meanings of science and argued that, although the institution of science is not something I particularly want to preserve, scientific thought is simply a kind of reasoning suited to our modern world. Science, in the sense of “scientific thought,” must therefore be utilized by those who reject the modern world, if they are to respond effectively.
Given the fact that I was 18 or so when I wrote this article, I am quite happy with it. I still stand by the general ideas.
“A Sketch of Wildism in Contrast to Leftism,” The Wildernist no. 2
This article, published in The Wildernist, was written after I had joined forces with some anti-civilization groups in Spain who derived a lot of their basic ideas from Kaczynski’s manifesto. Around this time I was using the definition of “leftism” in Último Reducto’s essay, “Izquierdismo: La función de la pseudo-crítica y la pseudo-revolución en la sociedad tecno-industrial.”
Since this article, I have forsaken the concept of “leftism,” central to Ted Kaczynski and UR’s ideas, because it lumps so many things into one, some of which are much better described with better terms. See the forthcoming Reflections bulletin for more clarification.
I have also foresaken the moniker “wildism,” for a few reasons. First, I am not as convinced as I previously was that my ideas need a name. Names are things ideas get after they gain a history, anyway, and are usually unhelpful for the beginning stages, where elements of the overall thought spread piecemeal through various social groups. Second, the term itself lacks a certain aesthetic quality. It’s ugly. Finally, there are aready general terms for the kind of thought that I espouse, which are appropriate in various contexts, including “anarchism,” “primitivism,” and “rewilding.”
Note that Kaczynski and UR will reject all three of these terms, with a possible exception of the last one, on the grounds that the thinkers and individuals who define the names today diverge from the kind of anti-civilization thought that we espouse. I agree somewhat, which is why I prefer the term “rewilding.” But in general Kaczynski and UR insulate themselves because of their level of nitpickiness. It seems that they cannot conceive of the possibility that if you believe your ideas are worthy of it, you must work to make them dominant within their respective social milieus. In addition, in a technical, academic sense, we certainly can be placed in the anarchist and primitivist traditions, regardless of the composition of today’s movements.
All that considered, the article still gives insight into some of the historical context, generally accurate, for Kaczynski’s rejection of “leftism,” so it should help readers understand what he means.
“Wildism: A Statement of Principles,” The Wildernist no. 1
This piece was not written by me, but I endorsed and published it when I was working with UR and related individuals (see “Introduction” in Repent to the Primitive for more context). Our group was at the time called The Wildist Network, and the principles were originally outlined, it seems, mostly by UR and his closest ideological partners in the network. As a result, it bears the stamp of UR’s dry style, and his distinct mode of anti-civilization thought. I had problems with this piece from the very beginning, but I overlooked them for the sake of unity. Eventually, because UR would not budge on even small elements of the ideas, I left.
Some of the problems I had included: aforementioned issues with the “leftism” concept (see notes to “A Sketch of Wildism in Contrast to Leftism”), the use of “anthropocentric,” unclarified theories like “autonomy of the Wild,” and naive metaphysical positions on “Nature” and “truth.”
Today I reject this statement of principles, although I do not think this makes me as far from UR’s ideas as he would suggest.
“The Foundations of Wildist Ethics,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(1)
My first major piece for Hunter/Gatherer (see “A History of Two Magazines“), and the first time I outlined the concept of wildism after breaking from UR et al. This piece is all over the place, but is a good signpost for my ideological development, and includes a lot of good ideas.
Some of these ideas require clarification or correction. For example, although I still think that a science of morality is technically feasible, I do not think it as relevant to talk about anymore, for practical limitations outlined generally in “The Biology of Morality” (see below).
Also some of my thoughts on my positive values, such as the ideas on “instrumental” versus “intrinsic” value, have changed slightly. For example, in this text I seem to take the general position that man should be willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of wild nature because it has “non-instrumental,” “non-derivative,” and “intrinsic” value. Today, I do not find these considerations particularly relevant, and I rely less on a sacrificial stance. My thoughts on these matters have been clarified best in “Taking Rewilding Seriously” and Repent to the Primitive.
Finally, refer to my comments above regarding the term “wildism.”
“Review: Green Delusions by Martin Lewis,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(2)
A good piece, in terms of ideas, although the writing could use quite a bit of improvement. I basically state that the weakest point of the ecomodernist argument isn’t their factual basis, whose confirmation is mostly a matter of the future, but their value system. I still stand by all the basic ideas in this essay.
“The Meaning of Human Nature,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(2)
My first text on the nature of human behavior, and generally indicative of my current stance, which relies heavily on insights from sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, human ethology, cognitive psychology, etc. Any disparities between the ideas outlined here and those outlined in Repent to the Primitive should favor the latter.
“Refuting the Apartheid Alternative,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(2)
Not great writing, and a little bit kooky, but a useful piece for two reasons. First, it introduces the concept of the rewilding program, giving it historical context and further critiquing ecomodernist revisionism. Second, it introduces basic ideas about the strategy of “linking” radical and moderate movements together, with some comments on the threats of this strategy, all of which are still relevant. For example, it is still important for anti-industrial radicals to keep in mind that if the ecological crisis worsens, civilizations may actually benefit from technological simplification in a way Europe generally benefitted from the population reduction during the Bubonic plague. If this is ever the case, than states may end up indirectly supporting radical anti-industrial movements in order to direct the radicals toward the kind of destruction that would help the state. For instance, they may encourage radicals to de-industrialize already rural areas of their territory, instead of areas that would help annihilate the possibility of a global technological society, like major cities. This would allow world society to consist of a smaller subset of the world population than present, mostly composed of citizens of major cities, while on the outside and in the “borderlands” people are still threatened and affected by the world technological system. This vision has been in the sights of several humanist thinkers, and it is not as uncommon or radical as it at first seems.
“Relations and the Moral Circle,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(2)
A vulgar approach to the historical development of moral systems that is best clarified by Repent to the Primitive and, especially, “Taking Rewilding Seriously.”
“Technical Autonomy,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(3)
Still a good piece in terms of ideas, although I’m not sure why I found the latter sections on kin and group selection relevant.
“Ideology and Revisionism,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(3)
An essay I rejected shortly after writing it, I will soon return to the ideas therein and clarify them further. See “Organization” (below) for the way the concept of “revisionism” is relevant to political efforts.
“Misanthropy,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(3)
A polemic more than a useful source of ideas, its claim is that humanists actually despise human nature. Its greatest virtue beyond polemics is the way it cuts through the humanist pretensions of many human needs theorists (see comments on Repent to the Primitive below).
This is also the first time I delve into the concept of “humanism” after “Relations and the Moral Circle” (see above). At this time, the idea was still being clarified, so my writings will include some contradictions or fuzzy uses of the word. More work to clarify the concept will be given in the Reflections bulletin. It is sufficient right now to say that it is not the same as Ted Kaczynski’s concept of “leftism,” although it does overlap with and replace some elements of the latter term, especially the moral tenets outlined in UR’s essay “Izquierdismo.”
“The Question of Revolution,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(3)
Probably my worst essay, both in terms of writing and quality of ideas. I was not yet prepared enough to write an essay on this topic, so I lack clarity and conciseness, I contradict myself constantly, and I put forth some pretty silly ideas. This essay can be discarded completely. Any useful ideas will be salvaged for future pieces.
“The Technician Class,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(4)
Totally useless in terms of the theory outlined. I strongly believe that Marxist, neo-Marxist, or pseudo-Marxist concepts of “class” are completely useless for an anti-civilization critique. Today I continue to use the phrase “the technician class,” but only in a loose, general way. Discard this essay completely.
“The Individual and His Relations,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(4)
This is my first attempt to outline the practical consequences of the moral ideas introduced in “Relations and the Moral Circle” (see above) and clarified in Repent to the Primitive and “Taking Rewilding Seriously” (see below). That said, it is not a very good attempt. It seems that for a long time, even up to Repent and “Rewilding,” I believed that the best way to respond to the problem of the expanded moral circle would be to reject it directly, entirely ignoring the fact that substitute moral “reference groups” are not easily or rationally formed, making direct rejection of the moral circle impractical. The only way to reduce our moral “reference group” in an absolute sense is if the material basis of these moralities begins to dissolve; that is, if the material unifiers of technological production and economic exchange collapse into smaller units. Otherwise, regardless of our personal pretensions, our very ability to survive is tied up with the masses of other men living under the same mode of production, and our moral circle will be expanded by necessity.
In other words, discard the ideas given in this essay, and look to the Reflections bulletin for any corrections.
“Organization,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(4)
Despite my misgivings about this text, it is one of my best in terms of ideas and writing quality. It is also probably the most dangerous. When I was interrogated by the FBI in relation to the fire-bombing of the GOP office in Hillsborough, N.C., the agents showed me a printed copy of this essay, saying that I did a good job of keeping just behind the line of inciting illegal action. I guess my media law course came in handy.
Not everything in this essay is useful in terms of strategy. In particular, the further it gets into the future, the more speculative and less useful it becomes. The general approach to strategy is also a little too rationalistic. Still, the sections on the “cadre,” the usefulness of ideology and communications, the threat of revisionism, “linking” and “the tactical spectrum,” and possible uses of The Rewilding Program are all worth reading.
I will say that, like in the essay “Revisiting Revolution,” I place too much emphasis on individualism, and as a result I draw incorrect concusions about the consequences of “wildist” values and strategy. See “Revisiting Revolution” below for more.
“Ted Kaczynski and Why He Matters,” Dark Mountain
One of my best essays, originally published in Dark Mountain. Read it!
“Revisiting Revolution,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(6)
The basic idea of this essay is that “revolution,” in the sense espoused by Ted Kaczynski, cannot be a “wildist” project. I wrote that since wildists are concerned with their autonomy from artificial systems, and a revolution would require subordination to “a revolutionary machine” (or several), the two projects are in contradiction.
I allowed the possibility that subordination to a revolutionary machine could be the best option available in the moment: it is either that or bosses, and at least a successful revolution would destroy the basis of the largest, most oppressive artificial systems. But in reality, I argued, escape is still an option, so it is a better course of action for wildists. If you have no concern for the other prisoners, or “the masses,” I write, why burn the prison down when you can escape it?
Since then I have learned the hard way that escape is not an option, a position in accordance with earlier essays. See the first issue of Reflections for more on this point. Today, for reasons that will be further outlined in Reflections, I do not think that a “wildist” project is in contradiction with “revolution.”
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“Dialogue on Wildism and Eco-Extremism,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(6)
This interview can pretty much be discarded, especially its musings on ITS’ concept of “indiscriminate attack,” which I regret interacting with at all. My original interest in ITS, which still stands, had to do mostly with their terror strategy and its similarities to versions of jihadism outlined in The New Yorker‘s “The Master Plan” and the book “Architect of Global Jihad.” I believed that contemporary terrorism is becoming more and more baseless and nihilistic, and less tied to ideology, and, as I wrote in an earlier draft of Repent to the Primitive (see the final chapter), I believe it is a distinct possibility that ideologically disparate terror groups will begin to converge based on a common rejection of the current world. If fundamentalist Christians can’t find their place in the world as much as fundamentalists Muslims or various cultists or many radical environmentalists; if each ideology is locally confined; and if the main obstacle to the ideologies is the common enemy of the global technological system, then it seems likely that eventually these groups will cooperate to attack a common enemy. I still think this idea of the development of terrorism is worth investigating, and ITS’ union of European nihilists, Brazilian extinctionists, and Mexican eco-extremists seems to point this direction.
Furthermore, although texts signed “ITS” show almost no cohesion, some texts with similar style and reasoned arguments, and the neat compatibility of their various magazines, indicated to me that there was an individual or group that was “running the show,” so to speak. I considered the possibility that despite their outward rejection of successfully destroying the techno-industrial system in the sense advocated by Kaczynski, ITS was actually a product of an individual or group who takes cues from jihadi strategy. Several authors have pointed out that jihadis seem to have no positive vision, and, based entirely in rejection, have moved closer and closer to simple nihilism (which has also expressed itself in other ways). This, they say, might make them more dangerous, since their dedication is based on inarguable, irrational commitments to God or the Void, rather than on the possibility of success. In other words, they’ll kind of be like Agent Smith in his final battle with Neo: copies will just keep popping up, and it will seemingly never end. Other elements of ITS’ thinking and writings supported this view.
Finally, I had a certain youthful fascination with ITS and its violence. Around this time I was getting more and more frustrated with my political efforts. Although I was certain the texts I was producing would lead to something useful (and, with Repent to the Primitive, they did), near-constant ridicule or a blase attitude from the outside world was wearing me down. People weren’t taking me seriously, even though I knew, and know, that a widespread reaction against the technological system is only a matter of time. ITS provided me with a way to lend some “street cred” to the ideas. To some extent, it worked. People take them seriously now, at least in the sense that they know people are willing to die for them.
On the whole I regret associating myself with ITS, but I still think they are a force to keep an eye on, because of the observations on contemporary terrorism outlined above. It is important to note, however, that I do not think that this strategy is as promising an anti-industrial force as I once did. States can be renewed by the presence of an enemy, and they would just love it if they could blame all their problems on an amorphous “black internationale” terror movement. Just look at the way Al Qaeda reinvigorated the United States. Sure, they hurt the economy, but they also provided a fix to the economic downturn by giving the U.S. an excuse for war. And in the long run it annihilated Al Qaeda and seemed to have minimal impact on either global or domestic economics. If, on the other hand, attacks against the industrial system were the result of widespread dissatisfaction, creating an “enemy” to attack is much more difficult. But of course, ITS isn’t concerned with this because “[they] know [they] will be defeated, but choose to fight anyway.”
“The Nature/Artifice Distinction,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(7)
I stand by most everything I wrote in this article, clarifying the concepts of “natural” and “artificial,” although to avoid banal, distracting discussions about the term “nature,” with most people I use the terms “wild” and “domesticated,” as in the first section of an early draft of Repent to the Primitive.
“Primitivism and the Regressive Left,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(7)
Although this essay isn’t entirely accurate, it gives a fairly good overview of the historical context necessary for divides within primitivist politics. Almost all the criticisms that apply to “A Sketch of Wildism in Contrast to Leftism” (notes above) apply also to this essay.
“What is Progress?,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(7)
I stand by this essay, to the degree it is in accordance with the same ideas as outlined in Repent to the Primitive.
“The Biological Basis of Morality,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(9)
I stand by nearly everything in this essay, with some caveats to the talk of a “science of morality” near the end of the piece, caveats already covered in the notes on “The Foundations of Wildist Ethics” (above).
“Paleoreaction in the Space Age,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(9)
A good summary of my general line of anti-civilization critique.
“Inanimate: On Materialism and Animism,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(9)
This essay was a response to the animistic metaphysics of eco-extremists (see notes on “Dialogue on Wildism and Eco-Extremism,” above). In contrast to their metaphysics, I advocated philosophical naturalism, in line with modern scientific understandings of the world. I mostly stand by everything I wrote in this piece, the bad writing notwithstanding.
“Forget Ecomodernism — This Is Ecoreaction!,” Hunter/Gatherer 1(9)
Mostly a puff piece, the most interesting part of this essay is my use of “reaction” in place of “revolution.” I continue to use this terminology, both to distinguish myself from Kaczynski, to keep away the psychological type he terms “leftist,” and to more accurately describe what it is I actually advocate — which has more in common with historical reactions than historical revolutions.
Repent to the Primitive (2017)
My most up-to-date exposition of my current positions. The errors in this text are minor, and have mostly to do with the problems more fully present in “Taking Rewilding Seriously” (below). The Reflections bulletin exists to clarify, correct, and expand on the ideas presented in this work.
In particular, I was missing one major area of research when I wrote Repent to the Primitive, namely, research on human needs theory. My recent studies in that area have revealed that the concept of “human needs” has long been used by radicals to critique society and advocate for its dissolution or reorganization. It was especially popular around the 60s and 70s, which is probably why Kaczynski uses the concept in “Industrial Society and Its Future,” particularly in relation to “the power process.” Most human needs theories also jive nicely with biological explanations of human nature.
For a while I had a difficult time choosing between two different approaches I took while writing this book. The first approach was more heavily philosophical, and certainly not written for a general audience. It is sometimes pretentious, and I was afraid that by taking this approach I would embarrass myself by indulging in concepts I did not truly understand. The second approach was written in a more common style, which resulted in sections with significantly worse writing, but made the ideas more communicable and accessible. It also eliminated the possibility of embarrassment, and had more utility as propaganda. I eventually decided to go with the first approach, noting that for a product of an undergraduate dropping out of college, the book is not that bad.
“Taking Rewilding Seriously,” Dark Mountain
A condensed presentation of the ideas in Repent to the Primitive with the first steps toward developing a practical application of these ideas. The practical application eventually turned into the failed “uncivilization” experiment, which I critique in “Notes concluding the uncivilization project” and will continue to critique in the Reflections bulletin.
The current project is the Reflections bulletin, which will clarify, expand, and correct various of the foregoing ideas.