The State of Nature: The Political Philosophy of Primitivism and the Culture of Contamination

Environmental Values 11 (4):407-425 (2002)
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Abstract

The ' state of nature ' could be understood in two senses; both in terms of its nature 's current condition and of that unmediated and pre-contractual relation between humanity and the environment posited by political philosophers like Locke and Rousseau and now championed by anarcho- primitivism. Primitivism is easily dismissed as an extreme, naïve and impractical form of radical environmentalism but its emergence signifies contemporary disaffection with the ideology of 'progress' so central to modernity and capitalism. This paper offers an ethico-political interpretation of primitivism 's critical relation to modernity in terms of the dialectic between amorality and immorality within what is characterised as modernity's ' culture of contamination '.

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Author Profiles

Michael Smith
Manchester Metropolitan University
Michael Smith
Aachen University of Technology