Repent to the Primitive

Cover of Repent to the Primitive


Rewilding is the process of restoring nature, including human nature, to its unmanaged, wild state. Rewilding is happening everywhere. In conservation, vast tracts of land have been set aside and guarded from artificial management. In politics, many people, now and throughout history, have resisted the influence of civilization while surviving as individuals and small groups in nature. They have fought wars, escaped slavery, destroyed factories, and lobbied governments in the process.

John Jacobi presents a philosophical foundation for rewilding. Human nature, he argues, must be tamed for humans to live in civilization. But the civilizing process does not work perfectly. Those who fall through the cracks — wild wills — tend to dislike civilized life, its manners and rules, preferring instead the company of flora, fauna, and a small band of friends. This perspective can be philosophically justified, argues Jacobi, and, as the ecological crisis worsens, it will only continue attracting adherents.

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