The Barbarian Within: A Feral Memory Trace

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 [In the spirit of last week’s post, I offer further reflection on our modern predicament and its attendent cultural alienation, as well as the potential for recollecting our primitive core.]

The tame and domesticated contours of civilized life have eclipsed our sense of the feral in everyday experience – that irrepressible anchor of human embodiment and our elemental interlacing with nature, “that subtle knot which makes us man.” Neglecting this wild core, we abandoned our original gift of freedom, the inherent power of just being-there, outside the chains of time and the terror of historical consciousness.  Forsaking that primal autonomy – not to be confused with the modern ideal of unrestrained individual freewill or license – the groundwork was laid for our own entrapment, the beginning of our enslavement.  But we might again reawaken that sense of primitive sovereignty by recollecting the untamed power of life-in-the-body-in-the-world.

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About kulturcritic

With a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Sandy had a ten-year academic career, with appointments at University of Virginia and the Colorado School of Mines. He spent the next twenty years in executive ranks at several of America’s largest international firms, including Computer Sciences Corporation, Ernst & Young, and General Electric. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America, as well as parts of Eurasia and Africa. For the past five years Sandy has been living in Western Siberia with his wife and young child, teaching at the Pedagogical University and the Altai Institute for Law and Economics in Barnaul, Russia. Published works include VERONIKA: The Siberian's Tale (a novel), (Islands Press 2011) Apocalypse Of The Barbarians: Inquisitions On Empire (Islands Press, 2010), The Recovery of Ecstasy: Notebooks From Siberia (Booksurge, 2009), Recollective Resolve: A Phenomenological Understanding of Time and Myth (Mercer University Press, 1987), Ethical Decisionmaking Styles (Addison-Wesley Press, 1986), and Gandhi in the Postmodern Age: Issues in War and Peace (CSM Press,1984).
This entry was posted in American Dream, Anarchy, body-subject, civilization, collapse, commodification, cultural crisis, earthly-sensuous, feral, freedom, language, Merleau-Ponty, nature, phenomenology, polysemy, primal humanity, progress, rationality, syllogism, time and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Barbarian Within: A Feral Memory Trace

  1. bmiller says:

    Getting a bit deep for this pig farmer. You do remind me a bit of the primitivist anarchist Zerzan; always enjoyed his work. But, I was never sure how far he really wanted to take the primitive. My concept of humanity is heavily dependent on the past 10,000 years. It will be shock enough to strip away the last 200 years. Give me a good solid environment of villages and interconnected trade fairs and I’ll be happy (happy but not feral). Keep up the fun posts.

  2. kulturcritic says:

    That would probably make me happy as well, Miller. I think Zerzan also recognizes a return to the primitive is not only unlikely, but also not doable.

  3. Pingback: The Barbarian Within: A Feral Memory Trace at Gramercy Images News

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