Anarchy descends upon USF’s Tampa campus this evening when the Alliance of Concerned Students and the University Lecture Series co-sponsor the appearance of author John Zerzan. Well known throughout the anarchist community, Zerzan works as an editor for Green Anarchy magazine and hosts an Anarchist radio program in Oregon.
Zerzan has authored multiple books on the subject of anarchism and primitivism, including Elements of Refusal, Future Primitive, Running on Emptiness and Against Civilization: A Reader. Zerzan attended Stanford University, where he earned a degree in political science. He went on to earn his master’s in history from San Francisco State University, and attended the University of Southern California for doctoral studies but exited prior to completing his dissertation.
According to the Web site Psychcentral.com, Zerzan gained public notoriety in the ’90s after befriending Ted Kaczynski subsequent to reading the Unabomber’s manifesto. Zerzan could be seen at most of the Unabomber’s trial after the FBI apprehended Kaczynski.
Zerzan has stayed in contact with Kaczynski since his arrest, as cited in an interview from www.primitivism.com .
“In my visits with Ted, I found him polite, friendly, very sharp and possessing a sense of humor,” Zerzan said in an interview with primitivism.com. “He certainly put on no airs whatsoever and has seemed a very patient and self-disciplined person. Lawyer Tony Serra and I agree: Ted is not crazy.”
Zerzan was also involved in the World Trade Organization protests that caused damage to chain stores Starbucks and the Gap.
Zerzan has been lecturing around the country, promoting his idea of anarcho-primitivism. Anarcho-primitivism, according to a University Lecture Series pamphlet, “proposes that we should use prehistoric societies as models of how a free society should be constructed.”
Anarchy is defined as the theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished. In an interview with Derrick Jensen from cdfe.org, Zerzan gave his version of the definition.
“I would say Anarchism is the attempt to eradicate all forms of domination,” Zerzan said. “This includes not only such obvious forms such as the nation-state, with its routine use of violence and the force of law, and the corporation, with its institutionalized irresponsibility, but also such internalized forms as patriarchy, racism (and) homophobia.”
Primitivism is defined as the act of becoming primitive. Zerzan’s blend of these two ideas promotes a society that follows the hunter/gatherer philosophy.
The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. As part of the event and lecture, the anti-civilization Anarchist film Surplus will be shown.