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ZERZAN, John. "Interview"

"My tentative position is that only a rejection of symbolic culture provides a deep enough challenge to what stems from that culture. I may be wrong, but so far haven’t seen persuasive grounds for abandoning this point of view. And even if it turns out to be wrong-headed maybe the debate will be fruitful in unintended ways."

Article published on 19 July 2005
last modification on 27 April 2015

by r-c.
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John Zerzan may well be the most extreme author on the planet. It is somewhat ironic that the release of the Unabomber’s Industrial Society and its Consequences should have brought Zerzan’s views to national attention—ironic because his writings are far more extreme than those of the bomber he was believed to have influenced. For Zerzan, humanity’s fall from grace did not commence with industrialism nor even with agriculture, but in the embrace of symbolic culture, i.e., language, art, and number. Culture, rather than being viewed as our great emancipator, is a mediation which distances us from a sensual embrace of reality, our capacity to realize ourselves within the moment. Language is communication become subject-bound, art is a stand-in for an infinitely more rich reality, number is the practice of an illusory sameness which drains our world of interest.


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