Pacifism Vs. Rewilding

Philosophically I loathe pacifism, because instinctively, I would never even consider it. Yet, reflexively I enact pacifism when attacked, threatened or intimidated. After practicing something long enough, you can re-train your reflexes. I have pacifist values, not because I want to or chose to, but because of my training from early childhood in civilization and specifically, in school. We learn to never fight back or we will receive worse than what we gave. This training needs to stop, now. We need to rewild our relationship to violence.

In order for things to live they have to eat, which means they have to kill. Whether you kill a plant or an animal, you use violence to do it. I don’t judge violence as “good” or “bad” because I see it as a simply function of nature. Like it or not, we cannot escape it. No animals live pacifist lives except domesticated ones. I see violence in the wild, and it looks beautiful to me. We must kill to eat. Life implies violence through death. It can look ugly if you fear death, it can look beautiful if you embrace it.

I don’t judge violence as “good” or “bad” because I see it as a function of nature. The question of violence or no violence bores the shit out of me really. I accept violence as a beautiful part of our nature, not some grotesque animalistic quality that we left behind when we begun civilization. Do you use violence in a sustainable way, like that of a wild animal or do you use it in an unsustainable way to further civilization’s domestication? “What?” you say, “You can use violence in a sustainable way?” Yes, you can. Chew on that for a bit.

I also don’t have a problem with violent communication. When two bucks bash their racks together, they may act violently towards each other, but the violence does not look abusive. It looks real and raw and beautiful. Yes, communication can look violent and not feel abusive. Really, I think we need to learn non-abusive, violent communication. Our culture conflates abuse with violence because those in power control us using violence or the threat of violence. To live as a domesticated human means to live by the wishes of rulers or face the consequences. Killing a life differs from torturing a life into submission. We have a name for that kind of violence; abuse.

If people use violence to take down civilization it does not work the same way as civilization using violence to force you to live in civilization because civilization will kill this planet if it doesn’t come down. Civilization attacks the whole world everyday. If you counter-attack civilization to bring it down it works as a defense mechanism to end domination.

You cannot live as a pacifist and rewild. Those who wish to rewild without bringing down civilization do not understand what rewilding implies. Those who don’t see how rewilding implies bringing down civilization don’t understand rewilding either. By rewilding, you put yourself against the forces of civilization that work to domesticate the planet. If you don’t want to use violence to rewild (I sure don’t!) than it really all depends on how you plan to meet that violence when it comes. Without question, visible violence will come knocking at your door at some point or other. Civilization, the collective group of people who perpetuate this way of life, will not quietly put down their weapons and allow you to put a halt to their death wish of domestication. We need to rewild our relationship to violence, retrain ourselves to fight back so when the time comes we won’t reflexively kneel to our masters and allow them to cut off our heads.

Now go put on that one track from the score to Last of the Mohicans (you know the one) paint your face and brainstorm a battle cry; “Freedom!?!” Sorry, mixing too many movies here.

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15 Comments on “Pacifism Vs. Rewilding

  1. Could you go into more detail about how and why we might communicate violently?

  2. Hahahaha. Well, I’ve argued and yelled with friends and than later had my arms around them.

    It’s about being honest with emotion. It’s about being real and not bottling shit up. People are so fucking passive agressive and to me that is worse because it’s a lie. With anger, aggression, you actually get it out. That’s the whole idea behind the “fight club.” Non-abusive violence. No grudges, allowing people the space to go fucking nuts and be real. Not abusive, but real. I can’t really go into more detail than that. Like I said, I’ve been trained in pacifism. I’m just learning how to rewild my relationship to violence. If you figure out any insights, feel free to post them here.

  3. yes, showing anger and feeling in communication evokes troublesome responses in our culture. people think that because i show that i feel pissed off when i speak that i somehow don’t like or love them, even though i’m just trying to act honestly, from the heart.

    i read an interview with the dude that started aikido the other day. he said something like, “the mind of the aikidoist is one that brings violence into a state of harmony.” i think that’s what rewilding is. civilization is violence — violations, unquenchable destruction. ending that destruction, through any means necessary, doesn’t constitute violence so much in my mind as it does bringing things back into the harmony of ecology.

    from the forest,
    kodama

  4. good stuff. we certainly cannot continue to allow the state to continue it’s monopoly on violence. anyone who thinks they can bring down civilization (or the state, or just capitalism) without violence is in for a big surprise. pacifist activists in the united states are so fucking deluded it amazes me, in the real world those whose power you challenge will come down hard on you, and if you really want to change the world you will eventually have to meet force with force.

    and i agree completely with you about violence (or anger for that matter) being important in conversation, even with allies. if you can’t let out your anger, or your natural urge to be physical, you will just keep it bottled up. and if you keep emotion bottled up one of two things will happen, either you will continue going through the motions without really living, or you will snap and end up like one of those people who goes on a gun toting rampage. people always tell me that i’m too angry because i vocalize what i feel is wrong with the world. we should all be angry. we should all be ready to resort to violence, to self-defense, however you want to label it. to paraphrase zerzan, going to work and continuing to consume is what’s really violent, not fighting back.

  5. Ha yeah I’m reminded of old high school movies where when two guys have a conflict they put on boxing gloves and duke it out till they exhaust their anger and then they can actually have a breakthrough.. young males are like those rams.. 🙂

  6. I’ve read Starhawk, who is a remarkably rational voice in the peace movement (and if she’s never heard of rewilding, someone should enlighten her), and she thinks violence means “the imposition of power-over,” and that not every act labeled violent is actually so. For instance, if a Dineh woman meets a Federal agent at her front door with a shotgun because he’s about to run her off her land, that’s not an act of violence. However, she said that imposing a speed-up on an assembly line could be considered violence even though no blows are administered.

    So that got me changing my definitions a little bit. I now differentiate between *force* (which encompasses things like hitting and kicking, and sometimes even killing, when it’s for food) and *violence*, which to me is just bullying.

    I’m with you on the having to kill to survive, though–I don’t get why it’s OK to kill plants, but not OK to kill animals, because if you kill animals, you’re a speciesist. HELLO? Do plants not have their own species or something? Sheesh.

  7. “Non-violence never solved anything.” – Mr. Burns

  8. There is no “dot” between the wwww and the stayalive. That confuses folks.

    I live in a place that I love. I live with a lady that I love. I have many friends here that I love. And I know that there are forces at play on the planet that would harm or kill them. It’s in the news every day. No big deal.

    I reserve the right to tell a friend to get fucked. And it would seem that they feel to that right also. Makes for some stimulating conversation. But the actual killing violence is reserved for those who would kill my friends and family. No big deal. You just pull the trigger and they are on their way to somewhere else. Where that is, is not up to me. My only part in the decision is to judge the extent of the harm they would do to those I love. And like the scrripture says, “He that careth not for his own household is worse than an infidel.”

    I have given my last month to growing food for my friends. I am 85% planted in Horticultre beans and non-hybrid corn. We finally got some heat this last week and the beans and corn are exploding out of the ground. I hope I have a ton of beans and corn. I am one of those SURVIVALISTS who believe that the government is lieing out their ass about the condition of the currency and the economy. So I grow food that we might make it through some hard times.

    Money is still paramount to most people so I will donate my time to the growing of food. If the money wont buy anything then we can still eat the food. Crafty devil ain’t I.

    The Handmaiden, my wife, is learning to forage and has done pretty damn well for a novice. We eat a lot of free vegetables from God’s bounty all the time. High nutrition and you can’t beat the price.

    I write a blog about staying alive and have made some friends that I really enjoy. I would assume that you have met some fine people also.

    Hang in there and write if you can.

    Michael

  9. I think you raise a lot of interesting issues here. I do think that we don’t have to think that violence is beautiful in order to accept it. I don’t think violence is inherently beautiful or ugly although I can accept it as a part of life regardless. I think that has to do with fully integrating ourselves as humans into the “circle of life” as cheesy as that sounds.
    On another note I am not against animal testing. I think it’s horrible. I also think that the science (community) is in many ways soulless. But how can I say animal testing is wrong when I also eat meat? I’m not for torturing animals- but I also know that science has saved my life. I would be dead right now were it not for hundreds if not thousands of deaths of rats, monkeys, and other species. What can I do but honor their pain? I’m not gonna just lay down and deny treatment because it was gained by means that were unethical and wasteful. I’m conflicted by all of this. But I guess that’s my point. Life is painful and violent. It’s not beautiful all the time. All we can do is honor the pain of others instead of saying it’s “beautiful” or else like civilization deny that others be they factory workers or factory raised pigs are in pain at all.

  10. Martha, my wife is in a similar situation to yours. If it wasn’t for
    Big Pharma Corp she’d probably dead now.

    On the other hand, if it wasn’t for Big Pharma Corp and the rest of the Corps, or simply put, if it wasn’t for “civilization” she would have been FINE and would never have been sick as she has been all thru her life. They’ve got everything to make us sick, and then we ask them for their special brand of medicine, which usually fucks some other “part” of our body. She has really been profitable to that
    industry…

  11. I can see what you are saying US. I think a lot of folks operate on what they think is the same principle you are talking about but actually they are just loud opinionated assholes who dump all over others in the name of “being real”
    I’ve met a lot of these characters and because they don’t understand where honesty and being real ends, and being a bully begins, they quickly escalate a situation from honest sharing of feelings and ideas to fighting, which I don’t believe is healthy. Fighting as a means of releasing frustration and agression between opponents only works if the players are evenly matched. Otherwise it becomes a “might makes right” exercise. That goes for verbal as well as physical fighting.

    I’m no pascifist. I have guns, I hunt. I’ve had to fight for my life before. I can do that if I have to. Violence has no appeal for me.

    Maybe this is just a matter of debating definitions though.

  12. Hey Martha,

    I agree you don’t have to see violence as beautiful… but it does help I think…

    I don’t think that you have to “not be against” animal testing because it saved your life. Many people have benefitted from the medical experiments that the nazi’s did to the jews. Does that make it right? Does that mean they have to be for what the nazi’s did? No. It just means that they now have a responsibility to stop those atrocities. Civilization keeps me alive all the time through various methods, even most basically food production. Just because I buy food at the store doesn’t mean I have to be for agriculture. I still recognize that it is all fucked up and destroying the planet in the end. So it just means that if you choose to feel empathy towards the animals who have been treated horrifically, or if you choose to feel empathy towards the natural world that is being fucked over by civilization, than you have the responsibility to dismantle civilization and stop the atrocities that keep us living and find other ways for future generations to live without having to resort to fucked up methods that leave more damage than live they create.

  13. You know, it occurs to me that “pacifism” doesn’t first remind me of “peaceful”, but rather of “pacified”. Isn’t that the problem, after all? To be pacified, to be polite (from the same root as ‘polished’, having all the rough edges worn down)? I don’t know about what most people think “civilization” falling means – crashing buildings and people running around in burning streets looting televisions.

    But certainly I don’t think of the idea of “having to be civil” to one another, and pacified and polished as particularly useful. I actually find it pretty obnoxious – it reminds me of M Scott Peck’s “pseudocommunity”, which doesn’t accomplish anything.

    This also reminds me of Aslan in “The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe” – remember how Lewis described him through the various characters? “He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion” “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Probably one of the highest compliments you can pay someone. Most descriptions of ancient Zen masters describe them the same way – wild unpredictable people, who wouldn’t react in any reasonable or civil way if it didn’t suit them, yet typically exceedingly kind and intent on the greater good – and they even described them from time to time as lions!

  14. Remember: when the White Men came to Turtle Island, Hopi pacifism did not stop the domistication of the Native Americans, but the Lakota wars only delayed the inevitable.

    Who was the most effective?

    And then again:

    When the Zionist entered Palestina, the Arabs responded in force when the Zionist state was founded.
    Now the Native Palestine people are fighting their ghetto war in Gaza.

    Time will tell who was the most effective….