Free from Civilization

In clear, impassioned prose, Enrico Manicardi analyzes the evils of our age from their genesis. This or that economic, technological or cultural model is not to blame for our current crisis; the blame lies with economics, technology and culture as such. It is the ideology of fear that makes us afraid. It is the mentality of domination that jeopardizes all of our relationships. In short, the problem is civilization.

Through its oppressive classes, values and processes that pervade everyone’s life, civilization domesticates us, weakens our perceptiveness and distances us from the living world. We must radically change our way of thinking, feeling and behaving before it’s too late–we must dam the flood of devitalization that is washing over us, and return to our wilder natures, both inside and outside ourselves. Manicardi’s appeal is crystal clear: if we are to survive we must begin to search inside ourselves, not to celebrate the distant past as if it were a cult, but to return to ourselves, to grip life with our own two hands, and build upon that earlier ecocentric conscience which once held the place of the egocentric conscience now leading us astray.

Enrico Manicardi was born in 1966 and is a member of La Scintilla, the Society for Libertarian Culture of Modena. A lawyer and founder of the antiauthoritarian media project “Infection,” he has also played guitar and written music for an eponymous band since the 1980s. His lifelong wish has been to live in a free, radically off-kilter, ecologically sound world, one characterized by warm, spontaneous, non-hierarchical relationships rather than those consecrated by the cult of technology. Troubled by the way people have succumbed to a civilization that estranges, domesticates and regulates everything and everyone, he continues to protest against the modern world’s project to enslave us. This book augurs the rise of an increasingly harmonious chorus loud enough to put an end to that project.

Translated by Will Schutt and Alberto Prunetti edited by Alice Parman and with a preface by John Zerzan.

Imprint: Green Anarchy

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