SPRING SPEAKS TRUTH #3: Civilization As Trauma

November 29, 2014

“We only become what we are by radically negating deep down what others have done to us.”

–Jean-Paul Sartre, Introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth

More than three years subsequent to the last print edition of Spring Speaks Truth, I am extremely pleased to say that Ogo and I have created what is in my opinion the most substantial and well-executed — both textually and graphically — edition of the zine thus far.

SST_3_coverEpigrammatic pieces intersperse three longer and more rigorous ones. Two of these, “Mass Extinctions and Dying Dreams: On the Wilderness of the Human Mind” and “The Wounds of Elephants and the Path to Liberation” have been published on the internet previously. The former discusses the mental constructs which decline or go extinct in civilized minds, just as certain biological species are more vulnerable to decline and extinction when civilization encroaches on their habitat. The latter describes elephant social structure and the aberrant behavior that African elephants increasingly engage in as they lose crucial relationships to habitat loss and bullets.

The third piece, “Civilization as Trauma: On the Denial of Human Developmental Needs and the Behavior of Mass Society,” is a discussion of the psychosocial deviations from hunter-gatherer conditions complex civilization represents for infants and children. While a fair amount of literature has been produced, in anthropology and other fields, concluding that modern, evolutionarily novel developmental settings likely have significant and lifelong behavioral consequences, this work poses the question of what bearing this fact may have on the incredible destructiveness and brutality of modern civilization, i.e. what the relationship is between our inherently traumatic developmental settings and our willingness to engage in acts of mass murder, mass extinction and, ultimately, collective suicide.

While much literature, particularly within the milieu of anarcho-primitivism, has been devoted generally to this theme, none that I am aware of involves a reasonably thorough survey of the actual data and theory available from anthropology and behavioral ecology. Contrarily, most of the scientific literature is very timid about making fundamental indictments of the collective behavior of the civilized. I hope, therefore, that this writing, while ultimately a preliminary effort, could begin to lay some more rigorous foundations for examining the behavioral and psychological effects of civilization, and the particular permutation of it that is the modern world.

SST_3_22-23Because prison represents, in many respects, an amplification of civilized conditions which appear antithetical to evolved human needs, I feel it is particularly important to make an effort to put this issue of Spring Speaks Truth into the hands of the incarcerated. “Profits” from this project will likely be virtually nonexistent, but to whatever extent they find their way to me, I will be using them to fund sending copies to Earth/animal (including human) liberation prisoners.

I of course understand that a publishing endeavor of this nature is inherently something of a fringe effort, but I also feel that our labors in this particular case have borne particularly worthwhile fruit, and so do have a sincere belief that this publication is worth disseminating as far and wide as possible. If you find yourself desiring a copy but lacking funds, send an email to terra.enigmae@gmail.com letting me know.

With love,


Copies may be purchased from Autonomy Press.


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