My book, Born Expecting the Pleistocene: Psychology and the Problem of Civilization, is finished!
Born Expecting the Pleistocene is an exploration of what happens when anarcho-primitivism meets the science of psychology. Physically and psychologically, we are of the natural world. Our sophisticated psychological systems reflect a finely tuned response to several million years of life in small (broadly egalitarian) foraging bands. Civilization (or the vast collection of behavior-control technologies that are subsumed under that label) represents a catastrophic disruption of this response. But all is not lost. Yes, our natural proclivities have been redirected and yoked to the drivetrain of a planet-devouring machine and the whole planet is suffering as a result. But the very features of our evolved nature that are keeping us fastened to the machine are also lynchpins that can be targeted as we reclaim our freedom.
I’ve been working on this book for just under a year, although it incorporates numerous ideas (and some actual text) from three years’ worth of rants on this blog and published articles stretching back two decades, the most recent of which appears in the latest edition of 5th Estate.
There are several things that prompted me to take the self-publishing route. First, I’m not so good at delayed gratification. Second, as an anarchist, granting a corporate publishing house even minor control over the presentation of my ideas makes me uncomfortable. Also, the content and scope of book make it difficult to categorize for marketing purposes:
Is it a scientific monograph? Not exactly, although I include over 130 references and cite numerous empirical studies. And despite occasional forays into quasi-geeky technical details—empirical psychology is a minefield of obfuscating jargon—the book is written for an educated general audience.
Is it social-political critique? Definitely, but not entirely.
Is it anarchist? Is it primitivist? Yes, because I am both and I see the world from within an anarcho-primitivist frame.
Is it anti-civ? To the core! But not in an in-your-face-with-a-brick, fuck-the-system way.
I will most likely be posting some excerpts in the near future. But why wait, buy the book and judge for yourself! (and save 20% if you order this week)