The author envisions a future where Nintendo consoles are solar-powered communal property, where pavement is torn up and replaced with gardens and bike paths, where garbage mining is a way of life alongside advanced electrical engineering using scavenged toy parts. She makes a very compelling argument against the concept of civilization, the definition of which she defines as being a centralizing, globalizing, waste-making machine that seeks to eradicate all other methods of human organization and co-operation, obliterating older, more sustainable social structures.
The very first paragraphs pack quite a punch:
Well, that civilization thing was interesting, now wasn’t it? I mean, it certainly seemed worth a shot. We got a lot out of it: telescopes, wheelchairs, wikipedia. But we also just about took out the natural world. Science, agriculture, and specialization have done a lot for expanding cultural ideas and communication, but they’ve done even more for genocide and ecocide.
So it’s time we give up the noble, failed experiment altogether and moved onto something new.
The book has several sections: the introduction, “Cooperative Scavenging”, “So You’ve Decided to Reject Civilization”, “How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization”, “The City That’s Not a City”, and “For Science to Live, Civilization Must Die”. It’s a short read, only about 30 pages, but fun, self-aware, and honest.
Highly recommended! Share it around, print it out, and share it even more.