A new hardcover edition of Zerzan’s first collection of essays, exploring alienation and the (John Zerzan, Author) Goodreads reviews for Elements Of Refusal. John Zerzan: Just today I was talking with a guy from the New York Times, and though I don’t know exactly what his focus is, he’s much more. Elements of Refusal. Review. Elements of Refusal by John Zerzan Second Edition, by CAL Press/Paleo Editions, POB , Columbia, MO , USA.

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The importance of this digging cannot be underestimated. And, as described above, it was time, several hundred years before that, which provided the categorical paradigm to mass production, in the form of uniform but discrete quanta ordering life.

Elements of Refusal : John Zerzan :

The last few pages of the book contain reprints of some incredibly clever and thought-provoking agit-prop that Zerzan was producing with his friends in the 80s and was compiled in a booklet under the title Adventures in Subversion. In the ordinary run of things, the worker can be left to the action of the natural laws of production, i. Wc must go much further, failure to press coherently to the sources of our malaise simply leave us carrying this offal about, endlessly failing to understand anything, repeating forever the stupidities trapping us here, reducing everything to a cynical charade.

The yeans nd ini 7. Christianson found the anti-progress attitude later yet: This mathematical harmony, which Leibniz illustrated by reference to two independent clocks, recalls his dictum, “There is nothing off evades number.

This hypothesis comes closest to plausibility. The increasingly accurate and ubiquitous clock reached a real domination in the seventeenth century, as, correspondingly, “the champions refisal the new sciences manifested an avid interest in horological matters.

I think what he sees is that there is a growing number of kids especially who see through the happy face of the system to the nightmare beneath, both the horror and misery it causes for example in the Third World and in the natural world, and also the emptiness and misery of the lives it forces all of us to lead.


The C’hurch was the first power to conjoin the Mil. To remove this from abstraction, what would it take to shut down Weyerheuser?

Elements Of Refusal

Zerzan systematically traces the idea through to it’s contemporary manifestation – 9 to 5 Western culture – showing how we all ended up as slaves to the clock – with our very subsistence tied to the hours we work in a week. Similarly, if in Coward and Ellis’ estimation the most significant feature of twentieth-century intellectual developm’ent” has been the light shed by linguistics upon social reality,’ this focus hints at how fundamental our scrutiny must yet become in order to compre- hend maimed modern life.

Temple’s experience with the turbulent weavers of Gloucestershire had thus led him to agree with Arthur Young’s “everyone but an idiot knows li iMlNr, 1 X Kill i And ilu- pf of science has fueled ever more specialized knowledge, that stunting and imprisoning progression so joyn known by now. His work illuminates by fanning the flames of resistance. The fifth and final origins essay undertakes a global investigation of the advent of domestication.

Town clocks came to symbolize a “methodical expenditure of hours” to match the “methodical accountancy of money,”” as time became a succession of precious, mathematically isolated instants. It is a kind of sublimation; the anxious energy of the sense of time is converted toward domination spatially, most simply. Also wncerning this year as marking a watershed, is Mantoux’s remark about Arkwright, that “About he became the hero of political economy.

This is why so little progress was made in.

The fourth essay looks at art as ” Nevertheless, there are valuable lessons to be learned by reading these essays. Geometry is properly an exercise of disembodied intellect, Plato taught, in character with his view that reality is a world of form from which matter, in every important respect, is banished. Robson, Boyden jkhn others have dispelled the confusion of longevity with life expectancy and discovered that current hunter-gatherers, barring injury and severe infection, often outlive their civilized contemporaries.


Since the essential goal of liberation theology is to discover the roots of our enslavement and do something about it, Zerzan’s book is essential for anyone seeking to go deeper than the joohn of economic and social injustice that abound today. These five essays first appeared as articles in Fifth Estate and are now classics, describing in rich detail how the taken-for-granted attitudes regarding the benefits of these phenomena have insidiously infected our consciousness.

Full text of “Elements of Refusal”

Elman Service found the band societies of the hunter-gatherer stage to have been “surprisingly” egalitarian and marked by the absence not only of authoritarian chiefs, but of specialists, intermediaries of any kind, division of labor, and classes. As with nature, time iliil not exist before the individual became separate from it. The step Irorn j participation in the totality of nature to religion involved a detaching of forces and beings into outward, inverted existences.

And so in the seventies some of us began to ask ourselves what we meant by revolution in the first place. The great trade routes, expressing the triumph of division of labor, diffused the new, sophisticated techniques of counting, measurement and calculation. Of course we have long been instructed that this original unity was destined to crumble, that alienation is the province of being human: As Gcidel and immediate succes- sors like Tarski and Church convincingly argued, “any system of knowledge about the world is, and must remain, fundamentally incom- plete, eternally subject to revision.