From the back of the book:
Elements of Refusal is the first collection of John Zerzan's Writings--and this Second Edition of the collection is long overdue. No less than as they first appeared, these essays are provocative and important. Present day 'reality,' as constituted by those with vested interests in maintaining this domination, is touted as the 'best' possible reality. Accordingly, history is shaped like a monstrous land-fill to legitimize this hoax. Daily life, with its intensifying alienations and psychopathology becomes more spectacular and bizarre. All is not well in Utopia. We grow more dependent on glitter and diversion to fill the void where all that is human is gutted. Life is reduced to a game. But there is nowhere to play. Every technological innovation promising to bring us closer together drives us further apart, every revolution promises to liberate us from want, but leaves us more in nedd. The word 'survive' displaces the word 'life' in everyday speech--as if they were equivalent. A kind of social terror permeates everything, a commonplace in ourlives. Why? Because, says John Zerzan, this 'work-buy-consume-die' paradise teeters on the brink of collapse.
Elements of Refusal spells it all out. Here it is axiomatic that art, language, time, industrialism, number, technology, work and other aspects of our social lives--all hailed as the liberators of humanity--are, in fact, the co-conspirators of domestication and domination. The Overwhelming power of present-day ruling notions and the requirements of sheer survival leave most of us virtually incapable of recognizing how diverse are the real possibilities of life. But today, more than ever, they stand exposed.
Table of Contents:
Beginning of Time, End of Time
Language: Origin and Meaning
Number: Its Origin and Evolution
The Case Against Art
Industrialism and Domestication
Who Killed Ned Ludd?
Axis Point of American Industrialism
The Practical Marx
Origins and Meaning of WWI
Taylorism and Unionism
Unionization in America
Organized Labor vs. "The Revolt Against Work"