z-hub.org > culture > civilization vs. uncivilization


Civilization vs. Uncivilization

What is civilization?  What is Uncivilization?  What is sustainable?
What is wise?  What is fun?  What is freedom?  
What is healthy?  What is savage and wretched?
Can society be both civilized and uncivilized?
Can a person do both civilized and uncivilized things?

1. What is civilization?

Civilization is a culture based on cities.  Cities, by definition, pressure people to extract resources from distant and exotic lands and bring the exotic resources into the cities.  Because it is dependent on exotic resources, civilization is ultimately unsustainable and will sooner or later use up all of Earth’s natural resources.  (See definitions of city and civilization in Endgame, by Derrick Jensen, 2006.) Civilized people (to varying degrees) depend on money, need to go shopping for necessities, travel great distances, and ignore the local land and the local habitats and wildlife.   In civilization, land becomes divided up into properties for civilized people to buy and sell with money.  In civilization, civilization and its bureaucracies, corporations, and money are in control of people. The only goals of civilization are to increasingly use up distant resources, find more distant resources, and to augment civilization, bureaucracies, and corporations. 

2. What is Uncivilization?

Uncivilization is a culture based on the land and the bounty of the local wilderness.   Uncivilized cultures use only local resources for all their vital necessities.  Because it primarily uses local resources, uncivilization is able to be 100% totally sustainable.  Uncivilization supports its local wildlife and habitats, directly gathers and closely monitors the local natural resources, and helps keep local resources replenishing.  Uncivilized people are experts on their local society and experts on local nature.  Furthermore, they are resourceful, clever, creative, sophisticated, and self-reliant in many diverse ways.  Uncivilized people make everything that they need (food, clothes, shelter, tools, and art); thus, they do not need money and they do not need to shop to live a healthy, fun, and great life.  In uncivilization, people live on the land for free; there is no such thing as property.  In uncivilization, people are in control of themselves; people are autonomous; thus, people are free to pursue a great life.  (Read more about Uncivilization.)

Anthropik Network's What is Civilization?
The Anthropik Network is another website that also discusses civilization and uncivilization.

You-Tube "endofempire79" channel. 16 videos by several authors covering civilization, uncivilized societies, social issues, environmental issues: for instance, sustainability, ecology, farming, fossil fuels, peak oil, natural gas, resource depletion, pollution, globalization, world hunger, overpopulation, etc.

3. What does it take to be 100% totally sustainable?

Civilization: A city cannot be totally 100% sustainable.   The definition of a city is a human community that requires taking resources from beyond its boarders.  (See Endgame, by Derrick Jensen, 2006; You-Tube video “Derrick Jensen: Civilization and Enlightenment”.)  Because cities require attaining at least some vital resources from the land beyond its borders (a. k. a. distant lands), cities cannot be totally sustainable.  A sustainable society needs to be able to have all its vital resources within its boundaries.  Also, people need to be living on the land and with nature to fully understand nature and to protect and sustain nature.  People cannot fully understand, protect, and sustain nature if they are living way off the land in a high rise apartment.  However, city people can live in ways that are more sustainable than other ways.  It’s encouraged that each city person live as sustainably as he or she can.  Nevertheless, cities cannot be totally sustainable.  Living on lots of land in a rural / wilderness area is the most likely spot to develop a 100% totally sustainable society.  (A homestead could potentially be 100% totally sustainable.) However, people, who live in rural lands or in the wilderness while living a civilized lifestyle by using commodities from cities and distant places, are not 100% totally sustainable.  No matter where someone lives, if he or she is importing vital necessities from distant places, he or she is not living a 100% totally sustainable life.  Actually, in several cases, it more sustainable to live a civilized city lifestyle while living in a city than it is to live the same lifestyle while living far out of the city (thus requiring lots of commutes into the city and lots of transportation of goods from the city to the out-of-city home).  Less importation of goods is more sustainable and distant resources will last longer.  More importation of goods is less sustainable and distant resources will be depleted sooner.   In any case, any amount of importation of vital resources prevents a person from being 100% totally sustainable.   The continuation of civilized importation at any frequency and quantity will completely exhaust all of earth’s resources sooner or later.   

Uncivilization: Only societies of small populations and lots of land (farm and or wilderness) can be 100% totally sustainable.   A 100% totally society needs to have enough land for each person to freely use and freely live on.  Enough land means that the land is big enough to supply each person with all the types of natural resources (water, variety of nutritious food, materials for clothes, materials for shelter, materials for tools, and materials for art) and to supply each person with an adequate quantity of each type of natural resource.  A 100% sustainable society gets all its vital resources (and almost all its total resources) from within its boundaries.  A 100% totally sustainable community is 100% totally self-reliant; it locally gathers materials from within its boundaries and makes everything it needs. Furthermore, each member of society has to prudently use its resources, directly gather and monitor its resources, and help keep its resources replenishing.  In a 100% totally sustainable self-sufficient society, people do not need any money to get vital necessities, to be healthy, and to have a great life.  In general, uncivilized societies kept earth’s natural resources bountiful, replenished, and pristine for 100,000+ years.  (Whereas civilization has destroyed, depleted, and polluted many natural resources in only 6,000 years, during which the most destruction, depletion, and pollution happened during the past 200 years.)  Being “uncivilized” is synonymous with being “sustainable.” (Read more about 100% totally sustainable.)

Think Global, Act Local.  Uncivilized people think globally and act locally.   Uncivilized people are locally focused to be sustainable, not to be narrow-minded and dim-witted.  Localization is about being sustainable.  If everyone is sustaining their local land and local natural resources, the whole globe is being sustained.  Furthermore, being sustainable is not just about sustaining nature, it’s about sustaining and promoting people’s health, the economy, education, freedom, art, values, families, and friendships too.  To the contrary, civilization’s goal is to become global.  Globalization influences people to buy goods from anywhere in the world, especially from distant and exotic lands.  People buy goods from distant lands, because they cannot see the destruction that factories and corporate processes do to the distant lands.  As natural habitats are being destroyed and polluted, the environment, health, the economy, education, freedom, art, values, family, and friendships worsen all over the world.  Civilization and globalization are destructive, not sustainable. 

4. What is wise?

Civilization: Civilized people and uncivilized people know the same amount of information, but what they know is very different.  Some civilized people know about quantum mechanics and astronomy.  Some civilized people know about microbiology.  Some civilized people know how to program computers.  Some civilized people know how to design sky scraper buildings.  Some civilized people know all of Shakespeare’s plays.  Some civilized people can play many of Mozart’s piano pieces.  Some civilized people know how to follow the stock market.  Some people know the history about all the kings of France.  Some civilized people know every statistic of the New York Yankees.  Some civilized people memorized the lyrics to every Madonna song.  Some people know how to successfully achieve a high score on particular video games.  Some civilized people know where to look to get the best buys while shopping.  Some civilized people know how to make millions of dollars.  Some civilized people know the best way to traffic illegal drugs.  Some people know how to make nuclear bombs.  However, most civilized people do not know how make all (or any of) their own vital necessities (food, clothes, shelter, tools, art, etc.) or how to locally gather all the materials with which to make all vital necessities.  Most civilized people are ignorant about the local land, local habitats, and local natural resources.  Because people are ignorant of their local land and are ignorant of how to make their vital necessities with local natural resources, most civilized people are clueless as to how to live sustainably.  Thus, meanwhile, they live a lifestyle that requires the reckless extraction of exotic resources and the destruction and pollution of nature and ecosystems all over the world.  How wise is that?

Uncivilization: Civilized people and uncivilized people know the same amount of information.  But, what they know is very different.  Uncivilized people know how to be 100% totally sustainable and to live in harmony with nature.  Almost every uncivilized person knows how make all of their own vital necessities (food, clothes, shelter, tools, art, etc.) and how to locally gather all the materials with which to make all vital necessities.  Uncivilized people are experts on the local land, local habitats, local wildlife, and local natural resources.  Uncivilized minds are filled with a vast knowledge and practical wisdom about nature and how to create and uphold societies that connect to nature, prudently use nature, and keep natural resources replenishing.  Because people know their local land and know of how to make their vital necessities with local natural resources, uncivilized people know how to live sustainably.  For over 100,000 years, uncivilized people have lived ways that sustained earth’s natural resources.  Knowing how to live in a way that sustains resources is the wisest of physical comprehensions to know.  Being “uncivilized” is synonymous with being “wise,” and “sustainable,” and “self-reliant.”

5. What is fun?

Being with loved ones (family and friends) is fun.  Being outdoors is fun (if appropriately dressed and prepared for the elements).  Variety is fun.  Going on adventures and explorations are fun.  Learning is fun.  Playing is fun.  Understanding connections is fun.  Inspiration is fun.  Having freedom and independence is fun.  Helping society and nature is fun.  Sharing is fun.  Being useful and capable and having skills and talents are fun.  Creating things is fun.  Doing important things is fun.  Being joyfully silly is fun.  Listening to and making witty humor is fun.  Inside jokes are fun.  Having a great conversation is fun.  Excitement is fun.  Relaxation is fun.  Celebrations and festivals are fun.  Civilized people and uncivilized people alike have fun, but which culture provides the most fun?

Civilization:  High technology provides a few civilized people, who can afford the high technology, with a lot of fun.  A few civilized people get to go on remarkable adventures and explorations (in outer space, deep in the oceans, etc.)  A few civilized people think that they have fun, but most civilized people do not have fun and they know it.  Some civilized people enjoy their job, but most people are unhappy with their job.  (In the USA, 70% of employed college graduates are unhappy with their jobs according to Now What, by Nicholas Lore, 2008.)  Most professional jobs are boring and tedious and require uninteresting repetitive work.  Worldwide, many people have paid jobs that require strenuous manual labor.  Civilized people usually have to leave loved ones to go away to a professional job to work with strangers and bureaucracies.  Public school students have to leave their family and best friends to go away to school to be with classmates and teachers that they barely know and to be immersed in bureaucracies.  People need to be with their loved ones to have deep relationships, heartfelt conversations, and inside jokes.  Since civilization separates loved ones from each other, relationships, conversations, and jokes become shallow.  In the USA, most civilized adults and civilized children spend most of the time indoors in rooms with monotonous flat floors, walls, and ceilings.   Each social element takes place in a different separate building.  Many civilized people are usually not connected to most social elements and people are usually not connected to nature.  At public school, civilized children are isolated from the functions of society and the functions of nature.   By isolating children from connections, public school makes it difficult for children to learn how to be a benefit to society and nature.  Instead of learning about the vital connections between society and nature, children learn disconnected trivial information.  At public school, children are taught to be bullies, greedy, and to memorize useless trivia.  Public school focuses on standardized test scores; thus, sharing is under emphasized and children do not learn how to be a benefit to society and nature.  Most civilized people feel useless.  Most civilized people are dependent on money and shopping because they cannot make most vital necessities.  Many civilized people watch TV instead of being creative or playing.  Many civilized people are not free; instead, they are trapped in bureaucracies and spend lots of time filling out paperwork and forms on the internet.  Many civilized people are not independent and self-reliant; instead, they are very dependent on money, shopping, imports, and vital necessities made by corporation’s factories. Many civilized people do not have much free time; instead, they spend much of their time professionally working to get money.  Civilization hinders many people from adventures and explorations while people are trapped indoors doing repetitive work at factories and in office cubicles.  Civilization flattens the land and removes the inspiring variety of nature to build a boring monotony of roads, parking lots, lawns, rectangular buildings, and shopping malls.  The diversity and complexity of nature is a vital source of inspiration, joy, excitement, relaxation, and a sense of purpose.  As nature is destroyed, inspiration, joy, excitement, relaxation, and a sense of purpose disappear.  Many civilized teenagers aimlessly wander boring downtown streetscapes looking for something exciting and important to do.  Usually, teenagers find nothing exciting or important to do downtown; thus, they cause havoc instead.  Civilization tremendously takes the fun out of life.  At large, civilization separates loved ones from each other, impedes conversations and inside jokes, traps people indoors and in bureaucracies, prevents adventures and explorations, increases boredom and repetitiveness, decreases the variety and complexity of nature, destroys nature, diminishes inspiration, supports greed and hinders sharing, makes learning difficult, disregards connections, reduces freedom, reduces independence and self-reliance, reduces free time, reduces play time, encourages shopping and discourages creativity, promotes trifles and money and devalues important things, and prevents most people from being a benefit to society and nature.  Furthermore, there are an estimated 27 million unpaid slaves in civilization today (according to Wikipedia); uncounted numerous civilized people get sick from polluted water and air; 1.02 billion civilized people are starving today (according to Bread for the World).  It’s not fun to be a slave or to be sick from pollution or to be starving.  Overall, civilization is wretched and boring.  Overall, civilization is not fun.

Uncivilization: Overall, uncivilization is very fun.  Uncivilization lets loved ones live the day together in the connections and inspirations of the complex outdoors.    Relationships and conversations deepen.  There is a lot of whit, inside jokes, and silly fun.  Uncivilized people value sharing.  Uncivilized people do not have professional jobs.  Typically, hunting, gathering, and preparing food take only a few hours each day.  Often, the rest of the day is free time.  There is a lot of time to play.  While children play in society and in the outdoors, they easily and rapidly learn the connections between society and nature.  They learn the wisdom and skills to sustain society and nature.  All uncivilized people are adventurers and explorers.  Continuously, they explore the local natural outdoors.  The diversity and complexity of nature supplies a constant source of inspiration, joy, excitement, relaxation, and a sense of purpose.  Furthermore, uncivilized people learn a vast knowledge of practical facts about nature.  Learning about useful things is fun.  Uncivilized teenagers have a lot of fun being creative, doing important things, feeling useful, and being heroes in that they are useful in society and nature.  Uncivilized people are free, independent, and self-reliant.  They can locally gather all their food and materials needed to make vital necessities.  Furthermore, they can make their own vital necessities.  Uncivilized people are not dependent on money, shopping, imports, and corporation’s factory-made products.  Uncivilized people have celebrations and festivals to cherish and protect their local natural resources and their society.  In uncivilization, there was no slavery, there was little to nil pollution, and almost everyone (if not everyone) had enough to eat.  Uncivilization is not perfect; occasionally things are not fun.  However, overall, uncivilization is very fun in that it is at least a lot more fun than civilization.  Being “uncivilized” is synonymous with being “fun.”

6. What is freedom?

Both civilization and uncivilization seem to have some freedoms.  But which one has the most freedom?

Civilization: Today, USA’s citizens are free to choose a professional job of their choice and they are free to shop and to buy whatever exotic merchandise they want as long as they keep within their personal budget.  USA’s citizens are more free than the unpaid slaves were in USA’s earlier history.  USA’s citizens are more free than the 27 million unpaid slaves that still exist in some other countries, in the world today.  However, are USA’s civilized people and all other civilized people generally more free than uncivilized people? Civilization requires slavery of one kind or another and oppression of one kind or another. Civilization created both slavery and tyranny.  (See Endgame, by Derrick Jensen, 2006.)  Anthropologist and philosopher Stanley Diamond stated, “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.”  By definition, civilization is the opposite of freedom.  Originally, civilization started out with kings and dictators – the tyranny of a single person.  Lately, civilization has been shifting to a different kind of tyranny: the tyranny of bureaucracies (such as centralized governments and corporations).  Corporate power continues to become more dominant each year.  Corporate power is so influential that many modern civilized people primarily think about money and shopping and watching TV to know what to buy and working to get money to buy things.  Corporate power is so influential that many modern USA citizens’ highest sense of freedom is being able to choose a professional job and getting paid for working at a professional job.   Corporate power is so influential that public school’s and college’s most emphasized goal has become professional training. (Take Back Higher Education, by Henry Giroux and Susan Giroux, 2004, and The Underground History of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto, 2000, extensively discuss corporate domination of the world.)   To this very day, corporations are continuing to conquer uncivilized societies to take their land away by force to extract their natural resources to use the resources in civilization.  (See Endgame, by Derrick Jensen, 2006.)  In a small sense, slavery having one person own and control another person and force him or her to work without getting paid.  In a larger sense, slavery is the captivity of being trapped in the influence of bureaucracies and within the control of bureaucracies.   Although many modern civilized people are not owned by singular people, modern civilized people are slaves to money, to professional jobs, to shopping, to bureaucracies, and to corporations.   Civilized people are slaves to civilization.   Civilized people are significantly stuck in routines that require money, spread greed, destroy nature, and augment civilization, corporations, and bureaucracies.

Uncivilization: The United States got its freedom from Great Britain, but only to conquer and to control or destroy more uncivilized Native Americans.  The USA government kidnapped Native American children from their parents and forced the Native American children to become civilized while attending US government schools.  Before the civilized Europeans came to North America, most uncivilized Native Americans were free.  (The Mayan and Aztec civilizations conquered some of their neighboring uncivilized communities in Mexico.)  At large, uncivilized Native Americans were originally free from a centralized power controlling them.  Additionally, uncivilized Native Americans were free from money, free from needing professional jobs, and free from shopping.  Native Americans were independent in the largest sense; they could freely gather and make all their own necessities.  Because uncivilized Native Americans did not have to work at professional jobs for 40+ hours a week, uncivilized Native Americans had lots of free time.  Hunting, gathering, and preparing food usually took only a few hours a day – much less than 8 hours a day.  In addition, the land was free.  Uncivilized people could freely live on the land before civilization conquered it and turned land into property.  Uncivilized people were free from paying mortgages and rent.  Furthermore, before the civilized Roman Empire conquered Europe, uncivilized Europeans had the same freedoms as uncivilized Native Americans.  Yes, Europeans originally were greatly free before civilization conquered them too.  Before they created civilizations, the people of Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, China, and India were greatly free too.  Before the rise of civilizations, everyone in the world was as free as they can physically and socially be.  Generally, all uncivilized societies had chief leaders; but, usually the chiefs let each family live autonomously. For instance, the Hadza of Africa had chief leaders that let families live autonomously. (See National Geographic Magazine, December 2009: The Hadza.) An aboriginal chief once said, "If I tell my people what to do, I will no longer be their leader." (See You-Tube video "Greed.") Both civilized people and uncivilized people alike are confined by the laws of nature (physics, etc.).  However, uncivilized people are free from slavery and tyranny; whereas civilized people are enslaved to slavery and tyranny.  Thus, uncivilized people have more freedom than civilized people.  Being “uncivilized” is synonymous with being “free.” (Read more about Freedom.)

7. What is healthy?

Civilization: Today, advanced civilization has many high-tech medical treatments.   Indeed, modern hospitals and medical care are likely the most common reason that modern civilized people would object to uncivilization and low-technology.  Modern hospitals and medical care likely keep most civilized people clinging to the idea that civilization has some bit of worth.  However, most of what people usually get high-tech medical attention for is to treat the symptoms of illnesses created by civilization; for instance, heart-disease, high-cholesterol, high blood pressure, many of the cancers, diabetes, obesity, anorexia, stress, depression, insomnia, allergies, asthma, drug abuse, alcoholism, automobile accidents, etc.  If we remove civilization, the diseases of civilization will eventually disappear as well and high-tech medical treatment won’t be needed to correct for them.  In uncivilization, there was uncivilized medical treatment for uncivilized illnesses and uncivilized kinds of accidents.  Yes, uncivilized medical practice could not keep everyone from dying.  But, neither can civilized medical treatment keep everyone from dying either.  Furthermore, civilization is all about instant gratification and does not think about how civilization and its high-tech medical practice is doing long-term damage.  The whole entire high-tech medical processes (of research, develop, testing, build facilities, extract exotic resources, produce the medicines and high-tech equipment, and undergo treatment procedures) destroy and pollutes so much nature that it make more people sick in the long run.  In general, civilization’s high-tech medical treatment serves a few people now at the expense of damaging the environment and thus, harming many more people in the long run.  High-tech medical treatment is harmful and unhealthy in the long run.  Overall and in the long run, civilization is unhealthy and wretched.

Uncivilization: In uncivilization, there was uncivilized medical treatment for uncivilized illnesses and uncivilized kinds of accidents.  Yes, uncivilized medical practice could not keep everyone from dying.  But, neither can civilization’s high-tech medical treatment keep everyone from dying either.  However, what uncivilization does do is keep the environment thriving and unpolluted.   A healthy thriving pristine environment supports people’s health and likely extends people’s life in the present.  (Whereas people are more likely to achieve poor health in a polluted environment, and death will come sooner.)  Also, undergoing uncivilized, simple, low tech, (of local plants, etc.) medical treatments will sustain the health of the environment for the future.  Thus future generations will get the health benefits of living in a healthy environment.  To the contrary, high-tech medical treatment continually deteriorates the environment and continually deteriorates people’s health.  Uncivilization prevents many diseases.  Uncivilization sustains pristine natural environments to sustain people’s good health in the present and the future.  Being “uncivilized” is synonymous with being “healthy.”

We are Homo sapiens.  Uncivilized Homo sapiens often lived for 60+ years.  (See Primal Wisdom.) Don’t confuse Homo sapiens with the Neanderthals.  The Neanderthals are a different species of human than we are.  Neanderthals are Homo neanderthalensis.  Neanderthals lived for only about 35 years.  Also, Neanderthal childhoods were half as long as our childhoods.  They did have a short life, but that was natural for them.  Neanderthals naturally matured and aged twice as fast as Homo sapiens.  (See PBS’s Human Spark, Program One: Becoming Us.)

Uncivilized Homo sapiens often lived healthy lives and they often lived for 60+ years.  (See Primal Wisdom.) Uncivilization promotes people’s health.  Don’t confuse how uncivilized people live (today or historically) with how civilized people lived historically. Throughout the history of civilization, civilization has often made people unhealthy.  For example, the European Middle Ages created extremely poor and wretched conditions for people.  During the European Middle Ages, people typically lived for only 35 to 40 years.  (See Answers.com.)  Today, many civilized Americans live for 60+ years, which is an improvement from how long civilized people used to live.  Generally, uncivilized people have always lived long and healthy lives.  At the moment, in the USA, it seems that many civilized people live for 60+ years.  However, don’t be fooled to think that civilization is making life better for everyone.  Today, the life expectancy for people is only 40 or 50 years in many African countries.  (See Wikipedia.)  Currently, Americans seem long-lived.  However, civilization will not be good for anyone in the long run.  Logically, as civilization pollutes and depletes more of the environmental around the globe, life expectancies will eventually drop in all countries. 

8. What is savage and wretched?

Civilization: Civilization wants people to think that uncivilization is savage and wretched.  Of course, civilization does not want people to think that civilization is savage and wretched.  Civilization’s definition of itself is “an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.”  Yes, civilization has high technology and industry.  However, civilization’s culture, science, industry, and governments do more harm than good; they are harmful overall and especially in the long run.  (See answers to questions 1 through 7 of this page.)  It is civilization that is barbaric, vulgar, awkward, backwards, absurd, cruel, destructive, poisonous, unsustainable, stupid, boring, enslaving, tyrannical, unhealthy, wretched, savage, treacherous, and a lie; civilization is synonymous with these words.  Overall, civilization is destructive to people, not helpful to people.  Likely, to keep humanity living and thriving, civilization needs to be gradually overthrown and uncivilization gradually reinstated.   

A few civilized people may very much enjoy civilization, but most civilized people are miserable.  The few civilized people that enjoy civilization are distracted by things such as high tech products.  The products of high technology are attractive, fascinating, and convenient.  However, the process to make, use, and dispose or recycle high technology is very destructive and unsustainable.  Civilization creates extreme divisions of labor so that many people do not see most of the process of civilization; thus, many civilized people see only that civilization has powerful products and they do not see that the products are destructive overall; thus, many people may be willing to believe that civilization might supply some good.  However, civilization is far more harmful than helpful.   In civilization, only a few people are very wealthy.  Today there are about 800 billionaires and 10-million millionaires.  (See Wikipedia.) Meanwhile, most people are poor, starving, or almost starving.  5.4 billion people live on only $10 a day or less.  (See Global Issues.)  In civilization, fewer and fewer people are healthy (without prescription drugs); meanwhile, more and more people are dependent on prescription drugs to be healthy.  (See About.com.)  In civilization, only a few people have fun professional jobs, most people have extremely boring professional jobs.  (See Intersection.) In civilization, only a few people act with genuine friendliness, the quest for knowledge, and pure scientific curiosity; meanwhile, most people are pressured by civilization to act with greed, exploitation, and to make a financial profit.  (See world history of civilization.)   In civilization, the quest for knowledge and pure scientific inquiry happens only with humongous greed, exploitation, and destruction (and many boring professional jobs) behind it.  In civilization, knowledge and science cannot happen alone.  Yes, it’s fascinating to be able to know advanced scientific knowledge that can be gained through high tech products.  However, it’s not worth it for the price of destruction that takes place with it. 

Advancing civilization further only increases the number of problems and the severity of problems.  Civilization cannot correct for the problems that it makes.  Sometimes civilization seems to fix a problem, but really, the problems do not go away.  It’s only the form of the problems that change; old problems change into new appearances.  Getting rid of civilization is the only true way to get rid of the civilization’s problems.

Uncivilization: Uncivilization is not perfect, but it is sustainable.  Furthermore, uncivilization is more wise, more fun, more healthy, and provides more freedom than civilization.  (See answers to questions 1 through 7 of this page.)  It’s natural for people to be uncivilized, it’s not awkward and backwards.  Moreover, uncivilization treats people equally.  In uncivilization, there is no money; thus, everyone is equally wealthy in that everyone is free to gather and make a healthy amount of their own necessities.  In uncivilization, hardly any one starves. In uncivilization, there is no such thing as poverty.   Before civilization, natural resources were pristine and abundant; thus, almost every uncivilized person (if not every uncivilized person) lived a healthy life (breathing clean air, drinking clean water, eating nutritious food, etc.).  Many uncivilized people are naturally healthy and long-lived; people are not dependent on prescription drugs to be healthy.  In uncivilization, there is vast freedom.  People are allowed to live on the land for free.  Land is free from properties.  People are free to gather and make their necessities (food, clothes, shelter, tools, art, etc.) for free.   People are free from slavery and tyranny.  There is no such thing as slavery and tyranny.  People were free to spend the whole day with family and friends.  People are free from money, professional jobs, bureaucracies, and corporations.  Instead, uncivilized people did tasks and activities to keep healthy, to help society and nature, to be creative, and to have fun.  Uncivilization is fun.  In general, every uncivilized person gets to live a full life as a scientist, a sociologist, an artist, a naturalist, and a culturist.  Plus, everyone is an explorer and adventurer of the local natural outdoors.  Uncivilized people learned a vast wisdom about local nature, about the complex connections between society and nature, and about sustaining society and nature.  Generally, uncivilized people were very wise.  In general, every uncivilized person constantly acts to be friendly, to share, to protect, to sustain, and to replenish society and nature.  No one did things to earn financial profits.  Sharing is encouraged and greed is discouraged.  Generally, uncivilized people prudently used and sustained natural resources; they did not exploit, deplete, and destroy them.  Being “uncivilized” is synonymous with being “sustainable, self-reliant, wise, fun, healthy, local, thriving like wild, and free.”  Being “uncivilized” promotes and benefits everything.  Everything connects to everything.  An uncivilized culture benefits family, friendships, society, social elements (health, economy, school, government, art, values, etc.), and natural elements (habitats, plants, animals, water, land, air, etc.).   (Read more about uncivilization in Great Life, Great Culture and in Uncivilization.)  

9. Can society be both civilized and uncivilized?

Yes, a society can promote a mixture of actions, each of which is more sustainable than some actions and less sustainable than other actions. Each society is uncivilized to a certain degree and civilized to a certain degree. (See Sustainability Scales.) However, only totally-uncivilized totally-self-reliant small local societies are 100% totally sustainable. If a society gets too large and has any dependence (slight to large) on foreign lands for vital resources, the society is overall civilized and will eventually use up all of Earth's natural resources. As civilization spreads, globalizes, augments its bureaucracies, centralizes control, and advances its technology, society's culture becomes more civilized (more destructive).  Most likely, a society cannot be 100% totally sustainable and make high technology.  There is never going to be a high tech item that can make a society be 100% sustainable; however, some high tech items are more sustainable than other high tech items.  In general, the more advanced technology is, the process to make the technology is more destructive.  It might be possible to form new small uncivilized societies that initially use civilization’s leftover high-tech items, for as long as the items last; however, uncivilized societies likely cannot make high-tech products. 

10. Can a person do things to varying degress of
being civilized and being uncivilized?

Yes, each person can have mixed feelings about civilization and do a mixture of civilized and uncivilized actions.  Also, each action can have a degree of sustainability. Some actions are less sustainable than some actions and more sustainable than other actions. (See Sustainability Scales.) Like a society, people are either 100% sustainable or they are less than 100% sustainable. In civilized cultures, most people do not want to be destructive.  For instance, today, in the USA and around the world, people do want to be more sustainable.  Many people, who enjoy driving cars and shopping at chain stores and using computers, also discuss ambitions to “be green” and “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and “organically garden” and “buy local.”  Indeed, many civilized people candidly live a double life: they do some civilized things (such as professionally work, spend time indoors, earn money, go shopping, buy things made in foreign factories, etc.) and they do some uncivilized things (such as play outdoors, grow vegetables, cook food, do do-it-yourself projects, etc.)  It’s natural to be uncivilized.  The wildness of people comes out: most civilized people have a deep yearning to be self-reliant & creative and most civilized people have a deep yearning to not be dependent on money, shopping, and passive consumption.  Meanwhile, civilization massively influences civilized people to be extravagant passive consumers.  Civilization tries hard to convince people that it’s beneficial to be civilized, to go to bureaucratic institutionalized schools, to professionally work, to use money, to use resources from foreign lands, to be globalized, to buy factory-made products, to shop to support corporations, to have high technology, to use microscopes and telescopes, etc.  Thus, many modern civilized people do is live a passive life of consumption, such as to go to public school, go to college, get a professional job, earn money, shop, own land, own high-technology, own lots of stuff, own a car, watch professional sports, listen to music that other people made, travel to foreign countries, know that ancient Greeks and Romans built great buildings, know about the greatness of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, be proud that the 13 colonies got its freedom from Great Britain’s tyranny, be satisfied that the USA has a law that abolishes unpaid slavery to allow all people the freedom to choose a paying professional job, need no other freedom than the freedom to choose professional jobs and make money and shop, and know about nature only through microscopes, telescopes, books, and TV programs.  Unfortunately, living a civilized life (a passive life of consumption) actually harms nature and society.  An active life of making one’s own necessities (food, clothes, shelter, tools, art, etc.) from local natural resources is beneficial to nature and society. 

Humanity should likely become 100% uncivilized again and entirely vanquish civilization if humanity wants to have Earth’s natural resources to continually use in the future.  Any amount of civilization will completely deplete all of Earth’s natural resources sooner or later.  Unfortunately, civilization is extensively established today.  Civilization has thoroughly trained people to be civilized and to be dependent on shopping and high technology; thus, today, civilized people are largely stuck doing civilized routines.  It’s a somewhat slow and lengthy process for a person to change from being modernly civilized to becoming 100% totally uncivilized.   It’ll take some time to for a person to change from being dependent on money and buying necessities to being independent from shopping and (mostly) independent from money.   Meanwhile, during the transition, people will live lives that are a mix of being both civilized and uncivilized.  

During the transition, each action a person takes will usually involve a degree of sustainability and a degree of unsustainability.  (See Sustainability Scales.) For instance, someone may decide to walk to the corner store and shop instead of drive to the corner store and shop.  Walking is more sustainable than driving; yet, the unsustainable aspect is shopping at the store.  Or for instance, someone may decide to buy cotton fabric to make clothes instead of buy clothes that were made in foreign factories.  Making one’s own clothes is more sustainable than shopping for clothes; yet, there’s the unsustainable aspect that the fabric was likely made at a foreign factory.  Or for instance, someone may decide to go to a unique local restaurant instead of a globalized corporation’s restaurant.  Going local is more sustainable than going global; yet, there’s the unsustainable aspect that a business is making food for the person. Eventually, a person can be 100% totally sustainable (except, while civilization still exists, people will have to own property on which to live.) 

Each person (or family, or small social group) will become more uncivilized in a unique order of steps. For instance, some will become energy independent first; and start growing their own food second; and start making their own art, music, and stories third; and continue to more steps. While others will make their own art, music, and stories first; and start growing their own food second; and start hunting and gathering third; and continue to more steps. Still others will grow their own food first; and start homeschooling their own children second; and start making their own clothes, shelter, and tools third; and continue to more steps. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!


Scales: Sustainable to Unsustainable
100% totally sustainable practices to extremely unsustainable practies: food, clothes, shelter, tools, communities, communication, transporation, and more.

100% Totally Sustainable
Further describes what it takes to be 100% Totally Sustainable.

Further describes uncivilization.

Southwest Michigan's Sustainable Pursuits
Various examples of how people of Southwest Michigan are currently taking action to sustain nature and society.

Additional Sustainable Pursuits
Various examples of how people of Michigan, USA, and beyond are currently taking action to sustain nature and society.

Great Life, Great Culture
Examples of a sustainable life and sustainable culture.

Imagine a School
A sustainable school. A school in which children learn about their connections to social elements and natural elements; and children learn how to be a benefit to society and nature and to enrich and sustain society and nature.
40 ways a school can be a benefit to children, society, and nature.

© 2008-2010 Pocket Pumpkin Press, last updated April 2010
Three Oaks, Michigan, USA