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Random thoughts after hearing Derrick Jensen's lecture

Feel free to chime in with thoughts of your own (or comments/praise/hate mail on my thoughts).
Just got back from hearing Derrick Jensen speak.

Knowing next to nothing about I was very pleased when he floated the idea of talking about the taking down of civilization, and even more pleased when everybody else wanted him to talk about that, too.

I was hoping to write some sort of coherent response to it, but can't seem to organize all my thoughts into a logical sequence. Well, neither could Derrick -- he kept leaping off on digressions; his talk had the flavor of many scattered points. So I'll respond with many scattered points.

* The points end up being almost completely negative. Which is not to say that I disagree completely with him, I actually agreed with much of what he said. It's just that the disagreements stuck in my mind. Agreements, anyhow, don't foster debate.

* Jensen decribes himself as "anarcho-primitivist". As much as I dislike "anarcho-hyphenism", the best way I can describe myself in response is as an anarcho-post-civilizationist -- I want to go away from and beyond civilization onto an entirely new path, not return to any past model.

* The idea that there's an ideal or optimal social model (be it primitive societies or any other model) just waiting to be picked up and adopted is a fool's paradise.

* Derrick got tied into knots over the Hanford Tank Farms issue (tanks are leaking, are gonna take long term stewardship, stewardship takes technology, that level of technology precludes primitivism, ergo primitivism means radioactive despoliation of the Columbia Basin). And the planet has many such hazardous waste sites to deal with.

* Speaking of that, what happens if an E-bomb causes the control systems at a chemical or nuclear plant to go haywire, with the predictable consequences? Are environmental catastrophes in the name of The Revolution acceptable?

* The little bait-and-switch about society never voluntarily abandoning destructive ways, slipping in "this society" for "any society".

* There's a certain coarseness in his logic, denouncing all industrial production that operates on extracting natural resources. It's not a question of black-or-white, extract-or-not, pollute-or-don't. The amount of extraction and pollution matter. (The Stone Age cultures he admires as models for the future polluted. What else would you call the smoke from the campfires and intentional burns they set?)

* I'm generally suspicious of anyone who deduces a chain of inevitable future events that legitimates violent (in the sense of violence against people) means in the here-and-now. The former is what Marx did, the latter is what some of his posthumous disciples did. It all makes me suspicious that primitivism might be the new Leninism/Stalinism/Maoism (in terms of its bloodiness).

* Or, to state it another way, I didn't like his nihilistic despair -- briefly, civilization is going to crash, it's going to be messy no matter what, the longer the collapse is postponed the messier it will be, therefore go ahead and do whatever it takes to hasten the collapse (and don't obsess too much over casualties).

* The central paradox of anarcho-primitivism is that the ideology (as are all contemporary ideologies) is a product of industrial capitalist society, argued using the symbolic language and logic of the civilization it denounces, and thus ends up being corrupted and polluted by that which it denounces.

* There's nothing but paradoxes, really. The core of our own existence is a paradox, as Erich Fromm states in his Humanist Credo: "I believe that man is the product of natural evolution; that he is part of nature and yet transcends it, being endowed with reason and self-awareness." Stated differently, the mind that creates the reason and self-awareness by which we transcend nature is the result of a brain that was created through natural evolutionary processes.

* Rejecting social progress and advocating a return to society as it existed at the dawn of mankind is, therefore, anti-nature.

* And futile. We've seen where the natural chain of events proceeding from that state of affairs leads (look around you).

* The unavoidability of paradoxes makes any attempt to construct a complete, coherent, and logical response to the human condition doomed to result in nonsense.

* My anarchist's objection to violence. (It's force, basing a revolution on it is basing one on force, i.e. creating a new society based on force. Anarchism is about getting RID of the force, not about rearranging it.) I can't easily wave off people with pacemakers killed as a result of an eco-revolutionary's E-bomb as nothing but so much collateral damage.

* Playing with a definition of "city" (as a concentration of human population that requires importation). Hey, I can do that, too. Define a city' boundaries to include the hinterlands that support it. (Granted, this excludes all of today's cities, which are reliant on world trade, but it does allow for future eco-cities. Fun with words and definitions.)

* Jensen's biggest sin of the evening was a sin of omission, not of commission. I don't recall much being said about the evils of biotechnology and nanotechnology. Despite how badly we've messed things up, we're still basically naturally-evolved animals living as part of the ecosystem. Both of the aforementioned technologies make it possible (nay, inevitable) to sever possibly irrevocably these links to the natural world.

* I'll close on a positive note. I really did like Jensen's advocacy of both revolutionary and reformist tactics. I've long been frustrated by fundamentalists who insist that either one or the other are the only legitimate tactics.

address: address: Portland


So 11.Jan.2004 08:26

Anon

So, I'm glad I missed it. I went to the movies and watched Big Fish instead.

Jensen is a good writer, but he's never added anything to my understanding of "civilization." He's JUST a good writer that knows how to organize his ideas -- that doesn't mean his ideas are original. Strange that he doesn't know how to organize his lectures. Its unfortunate that some folks have turned him into some kind of cult guru. A friend of mine that saw him speak at Powell's some time back complared him to David Koresh. Yikes!

As for violence, why let the police and the state monopolized it? Violence that liberates is good. Violence that oppresses is bad. End.

How can violence liberate? 11.Jan.2004 08:38

xyzzy

"As for violence, why let the police and the state monopolized it? Violence that liberates is good. Violence that oppresses is bad. End."

But how can violence liberate? If you use it, you're essentially employing force to coerce others into doing things the way you want. I.e. the revolutionaries against the state end up acting just like the state they revolted against. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Portland

Yo xyzzy! 11.Jan.2004 09:55

Liz

You said: "Jensen decribes himself as "anarcho-primitivist". As much as I dislike "anarcho-hyphenism", the best way I can describe myself in response is as an anarcho-post-civilizationist -- I want to go away from and beyond civilization onto an entirely new path, not return to any past model. "

If I understand correctly, you are living in the united states, meaning that you are on Indian land. Since about 95% of all tribal people in this country were destroyed by genocide and pestilience, most of their lifestyles and livelihoods disappeared too, the survivors having to not only come to terms with land theft by an all-consuming culture, but also having to radically alter their own cultural survival.

My criticism of your statement comes from your dismissal of "returning to any past model," because it implies that the indigenous cultures living here pre-contract were something less than your ideal anarchist world, when (1) because of the massive destruction of "indian" cultures, there is no way of really knowing everything about how they lived, but from what I can tell, they lived in the epitome of freedom, "anarchism", ecological balance, and spiritual connection and (2) I'd hope most of the ways you would view "anarcho-post-civilization"

I strongly believe that too many anarchist models for the future try too hard to some up with these radically new "community" ideas that, to me, sound a lot like tribal societies, yet most anatchists give little or no credit or ideology-cultivating consideration to the "perfect" model of indigenous life that was eradicated so their forefathers could raise cows and monocrops.

I'm not saying that you have no cultural memory, but if you're saying that you don't want to return to any past model, you're either stupid or ignorant, because if you weren't aware, the "Indians" lived here for quite a long time and it wasn't their political or cultural consciousness that led to their "fall"--it was greed, and I think that theorists who discredit past models like the varied ones on the North American continent are being greedy (ideological) when they (you) propose ideas for the future that don't incorporate "native philosophies."

Otherwise I agree with your response to Jensen--I saw him in Seattle several months ago and I left early because he offended me by being disrespectful to me personally. He asked the question to the audience: "Does anyone know the indigenous language that was spoken in this area?" and was obviously expecting all the people to shake their heads "no" so that he could make his point about connection to the land and language, but after a few seconds of silence, I spoke up, supplying some of the language names and tribes in this area. He gave a sarcastic little smile and said "Well ANYWAY..." and went on to make his point, totally ignoring me (not looking at me or acknowledging that I answered his question that he assumed would be rhetorical).

Again, I see anarch-people theorizing in a vaccuum that often tokenizes Indians, and also groups them all together, when in reality, there were/are so many different tribal cultures. Learn your history, people, then maybe you will be more concerned with native justice and land issues, which will lead you to work on land reclamation and society reinforcement that IS BASED ON A PAST MODEL and at the same, make actions that will make the future "more anarchist."

Nothing Original in Jensen's Remarks 11.Jan.2004 11:06

yer mom

I saw Jensen speak recently. He is a decent writer, but anyone who has read Jerry Mander will notice that Jensen isn't saying anything new, except perhaps to add the nihlistic angle on things, with vague references to hastening the collpase of civilization at the expense of anyone who happens to be in the worng place at the wrong time.

Fact 1: all creatures on the planet, humans included, impact the environment in order to survive.

The point is to minimize this without exploiting each other and overconsuming the resources of the planet.

Fact 2: all civilizations eventually decline, and new ones are created "from the ashes of the old".

This is a natural order that has been going on in all animal societies. Nothing is infinite. Civilizations decline over time, and there is less suffering then when there is sudden collpase. To hasten it tothe point of needless death is as unnatural as mining uranium as a coffee condiment.

Fact 3: To make decisions based on an ideology that will affect the livlihood of others is fundamentally undemocratic. I don't give a fuck if Jesen loves the salmon. If some moron "blows up" a damn, and people die in the flood plane, then it really shows where Jensen's contept lies: self hatred. It's a mentality that leads to the acceptance of facism.

The logical conclusion to his arguments about "what is to be done" is for humans to commit mass suicide. He has no other analysis, and when asked he dodges the issue everytime. But, I'm sure it gets him the attention (wink wink, nudge nudge) he wants, and while his critique is good, I doubt that he will have what it takes to make some real changes.


(The links meaning: what the government considers 11.Jan.2004 11:48

X

violence does liberate).

definition of violence? 11.Jan.2004 12:17

question yourself

I have to disagree with X because rescuing animals is not a violent act. It is indeed an act of liberation, but there is nothing violent about it.

Violence doesn't liberate? 11.Jan.2004 13:03

Indigenous Resistance

Violence doesn't liberate? Excuse me?!! Obviously the writer of this question has never been cornered in an alley by a rapist, kicked that fucker in the testicles (pop), and run like hell. You better believe it liberates!

Just ask a mother grizzly bear defending her cubs. Or a rattlesnake in fear of being trampled.

Duh!

xyzzy- about violence and coercion 11.Jan.2004 13:08

ghandi

yousaid- "But how can violence liberate? If you use it, you're essentially employing force to coerce others into doing things the way you want. I.e. the revolutionaries against the state end up acting just like the state they revolted against. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

removing illegitimate authority (ie all authority) is not coercion. if people will not willingly surrender their power then violence is inevitable. power is violent and cannot be dismantled without violence. no one is being coerced except those who are already an intergral part of holding this violent structure together.

in the context of which jenson speaks, it is not "here's the new boss same as the old" it is "there goes the old boss never to be replaced"

I agree with you, "question. " Notice I added that 11.Jan.2004 13:39

X

what the GOVERNMENT considers violence...

More about violence and coercion 11.Jan.2004 14:37

xyzzy

removing illegitimate authority (ie all authority) is not coercion. if people will not willingly surrender their power then violence is inevitable. power is violent and cannot be dismantled without violence. no one is being coerced except those who are already an intergral part of holding this violent structure together.

in the context of which jenson speaks, it is not "here's the new boss same as the old" it is "there goes the old boss never to be replaced"

-----------------------------

I'm not so sure that's the context in which Jenson speaks. He had a lot of contempt for the concept that the vast majority could be persuaded to adopt his opinions. Absent that, his revolution consists of a self-selected elite cadre forcing everyone else to be free.

If it's the case of a small elite defying the masses, I'll allow it could be rather a different case. Whether it's necessary I'm not so sure. I'm pretty sure some amount is inevitable, whether I want it or not. I'm just not in the space to participate in it myself, though I would of course attempt to leverage it to the best possible outcome once it happens.

But, to reiterate, I didn't get the impression that that second case was what Jensen was talking about.

Portland

Any technique 11.Jan.2004 14:53

Anti-Fa

Any tactic or technique used by radicals that is actually effective will eventually be labeled as violent by the State. It is the principal way which the State divides-and-conquers movements by isolating radicals from more liberal groups, and swiftly crushing the radicals through a variety of dodgy strategies. In this light, it was funny and a little scary to listen to the media and government apparatchiks attempt to smear the expressions of creative civil disobedience in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Portland and other cities, on March 20th and immediately following, as violent. Didn't really work, but they certainly tried. Why? Because for the most part they worked, and worked well. In the immortal words of San Francisco's Assistant Chief of Police, Alex Fagan Sr., "This isn't a protest, this is complete anarchy." Sure to be detourned for years!

Re: wrong, xyzzy... 11.Jan.2004 14:59

xyzzy

Yeah, but are property crimes violence? Oh, sure, they are according to the yellow journalists of the day but that's just plain silly. For ages, people used to talk about "property crimes" and "violent crimes". Most law enforcement organizations (hardly a radical or unconventional source) still do.

And, regarding the ALF, a little drilling down from one of the URL's in your list came up with the following:

"3. To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations.
    4. To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and non-human.
    In the third section it is important to note the ALF does not, in any way, condone violence against any animal, human or non-human. Any action involving violence is by its definition not an ALF action, any person involved not an ALF member.
    The fourth section must be strictly adhered to. In over 20 years, and thousands of actions, nobody has ever been injured or killed in an ALF action."

Many of the ALF's actions are both illegal and contraversial. But violent? I think not. Well, maybe some of the mink liberations that result in the liberated minks killing each other and lots of local wildlife.

But there's quite a big gap between that and casually setting off an E-bomb even thoough folks wearing pacemakers will drop dead or blowing up Grand Coulee Dam to save the salmon even though the resulting flood will kill tens of thousands of people and spread Hanford radioactive waste all over the place [but hey, eventually the salmon recovered from the Missoula Floods, so they'll recover from that -- yes, Jensen really said words to that effect!].

Portland

Well, how far can you go to free a slave? 11.Jan.2004 15:18

X

Did violence have to be enacted against the Nazis to free what few prisoners remained alive in concentration camps? Would american slaves ever have been freed without violence? Animals in labs are held captive and tortured. Because they're not human does not mean they feel less than humans do. What will free them? When is violence o.k.? (Serious question).

Ah, the Nazis and the Jews 11.Jan.2004 16:00

xyzzy

The first thing about the Nazis and the Jews is that the Jews had a long ugly history of being persecuted. Usually this consisted of being forcefully driven out of one region to another (but not being butchered). Given that the Jews were vastly outnumbered by their persecutors, the lesson the Jews drew from these experiences was: passively cooperate, let them expel you, you'll be allowed to survive.

So in general the Jews didn't attempt ANY resistance (violent or nonviolent) to the Nazis. Which as hindsight shows wasn't exactly that hot a strategy.

It's not generally well known in the USA, but the general (non-Jewish) population DID engage in massive nonviolent resistance to the Nazis in Denmark and Bulgaria. The Danes launched a massive conspiracy to smuggle all their Jews across the channel to Sweden at night in small boats (while at the same time balking and stalling the Nazis). The Bulgarians just balked and stalled and threw sand into the works (doing things like massive sit-ins on the railroad tracks to stop the death trains from leaving).

The Danes saved but 481 of 7,000 Jews, the Bulgarians all but a several thousand of the first to be deported in one of their more remote provinces.

 http://auschwitz.dk/Denmark.htm
 http://www.b-info.com/places/Bulgaria/Jewish/

So it does appear that nonviolent resistance MIGHT have saved many more Jews, if only it had been practiced more.

Regarding the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, yes, that's an obvious case of self-defense.

Portland

to x: re: how far can you go 11.Jan.2004 16:22

watching and waiting

I know a lot of IndyMedia readers aren't into the "rich white man" manifestos, but this one has some street cred to your average Jane or Joe, assuming they take any interest whatsoever in politics... perhaps it's time to dust it off.

from paragraph 2 of the '76 Declaration of Independence:

-----------

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [humanity is] created equal, that they are endowed ... with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....

--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

--------

Substitute "states" for "Colonies", and "occupant of the white house" for "King of Great Britain", and you have a beautifully relevant description of the present-day situation. Sheeple may be sheeple, but let's not forget that "by the book" (its founding documents) this present government is illegitimate.

And government has never been "thrown off" with parades and righteous chants. That job is done either by massive peaceful occupation of facilities and disruption of commerce, or (most often) by force of arms. The point is that, as nominal citizens of the USA, we are all entitled to take whatever actions we deem necessary against oppressive government.

However, in response to the original topic of this thread, there is no clause in the Declaration that says collateral violence against civilians is acceptable. If we are to base a revolutionary movement on those founding documents (and perhaps give them an upgrade), and maintain popular support, there can be little room for alienating the general populace. Fighting media portrayal will be (and has been) enough of an uphill battle. Luckily, the enemy is quite open and blatant in his oppression these days... confusion of targets is unlikely.


Thanks, I didn't know that history. But the jews who 11.Jan.2004 16:29

X

were already captured, in camps, don't you think they had to be forcibly released? I don't think the Nazis would release them without being made to do so (by being conquered). The Nazis had the guns and the laws on their side.

But also, isn't part of this discussion about the idea of being no better than those who use the violence, if you do so as well? That I don't agree with, when you are fighting to free someone (human or animal) who will be or is being tortured, enslaved, killed (as in the specific cases we're talking about).

gross 11.Jan.2004 17:16

me

jensen identified himself as an anarcho-primitivist ? bummer.

plus that story re seatle is super gross. hope he gets his shit together.

how far can you go 11.Jan.2004 19:24

xyzzy

were already captured, in camps, don't you think they had to be forcibly released? I don't think the Nazis would release them without being made to do so (by being conquered). The Nazis had the guns and the laws on their side.
----------------------------
Once it gets to that stage, yes, the Jews had been painted into a corner. And as I said I find it hard to get particularly bent out of shape about the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto shooting Nazis. But the fact that they got into camps into the first place was not due to the Jews (and other anti-Nazis) limiting themselves to practicing nonviolent resistance, it was due to them practicing cooperation.
----------------------------
But also, isn't part of this discussion about the idea of being no better than those who use the violence, if you do so as well? That I don't agree with, when you are fighting to free someone (human or animal) who will be or is being tortured, enslaved, killed (as in the specific cases we're talking about).
----------------------------
I'd have to say a lot of it depends on the context. Blowing up a dam, killing lots of people in a flood, and making a huge radioactive mess just because you don't like the dam and eventually (VERY eventually) it'll be nice for the salmon is stupid nihilism. There's also the issue of imminent danger. I don't think any of us are quite in the same shape as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto about to be shipped off on the death trains.
----------------------------
And government has never been "thrown off" with parades and righteous chants. That job is done either by massive peaceful occupation of facilities and disruption of commerce, or (most often) by force of arms. The point is that, as nominal citizens of the USA, we are all entitled to take whatever actions we deem necessary against oppressive government.
----------------------------
Yeah, but how often have armed revolutions created just and free societies? Regarding disruption of commerce, I don't think there's generally anywhere near enough appreciation for the possibilities of strikes and monkeywrenching.

Portland

Political Violence and Social Change 11.Jan.2004 20:43

d

To read more about the failure of the Left using pacifism to change American govt. I would read Ward Churchill's book ON THE JUSTICE OF ROOSTING CHICKENS (ak press). It just came out so you may have to order it direct before stores get it. I went around looking today and no one had it (I didn't check Powell's). Personally, I'm excited about people questioning civilization as a whole, like Ward and Derrick (and others) have been doing for years.

"Violence that liberates is good..." 11.Jan.2004 21:06

Tom

That is what Bush and the neo-cons say about the adventure in Iraq. "We" have gone there to liberate them. Too bad if we kill a few and totally mess up the country in the process.

It is also much of what Derrick Jenson said-- essentially, sometimes you have to destroy the village in order to save it.

I thought his best line was near the beginning, when he said that there will never be a revolution as long as people can be made to pay for water in plastic bottles. And then he took a big swig of water out of a plastic bottle. I assume that he doesn't visit all the Ivy League colleges he is proud of having lectured to by walking to them-- likely takes an airplane. Oh well, foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds-- or something like that.

Derrick Jenson is thought provoking, prophetic in some sense, and has a good sense of the poetic in writing and timing in speaking. I enjoyed the evening. But he is essentially full of shit, and I hope (he hates "hope"-- seems to regard it as sort of a narcotic) that he doesn't burn up in the consuming fire of sudden fame. Or that his essential depressive nature doesn't get the best of him and lead to suicide.

If he works out some of the ideas he is juggling-- mutually contradictory visions of reality-- and lets them mature I think he may well have something worth listening to

I agree with your statement that: 11.Jan.2004 21:06

X

"I don't think any of us are quite in the same shape as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto about to be shipped off on the death trains." However, others in our midst are, and they are completely unable to stop their own torture--and it is indeed torture that these sentient beings are going through...

 http://www.masskilling.com/sdujack.html
 http://www.masskilling.com/

Have a look at some undercover lab footage or factory farm footage--there's some on the above link, or stills that you can easily find on the web. When others are being made to suffer so terribly, what is violence in this context?

to d and others of the violent anarchy persuasion 11.Jan.2004 21:20

Tom

Neither Jesus nor Martin Luther King nor Gandhi, nor any self-respecting non-violent revolutionary could possibly embrace "pacifism." Getting walked over solves nothing. On the other hand, I don't believe that history validates the worth of violent revolution-- eventually the revolutionaries get co-opted by the people they are revolting against, and the same people wind up on top. That is why the Illuminati run things-- they just pay all sides to bash the shit out of each other, then pick up the pieces when the shouting stops. And buy the winner of the war. The American Government "won" WWII, and was therefore next in line for the executive role as heavy for the World Controllers. Congress is completely the pawn of the Global Elite-- call them what you will.

True revolution is individual and internal. Blowing up dams and knocking over cell towers will have no ultimate effect-- that kind of violence is simply turned back on its perpetrators.

The solution is for people individually to stop patronizing the Global Corporations (you can't kill them, but maybe they will starve). And to practice random acts of kindness-- you never know how far that will go, but it is always amazing to watch it work.

And especially, to kill one's own TV and shun corporate media. They will always lie, but no one has to listen to them.

Take back the media! IndyMedia is the wings of a true revolution.

Jensen's Book 11.Jan.2004 22:09

HouseofLeaves

I haven't heard Jensen speak or read any of his books but I did read a collection of essays/interviews that he made. Listening To The Land was quite good, even if some of the people within got a little too carried away with returning to nature. Some of the views expressed on nature and civilization were quite amazing, one even left me crying...(haha, not to get too sappy...)

Violence still confuses me. I have to give a nod to the direct action people I saw in Florida (To be honest I wish that I had taken part instead of just taking pictures). It seems like violence in that case was appropriate but at the same time I have a problem admitting that violence is okay/necessary. I supposed that I have fears that violent means will result in violent ends. I'll stop, I should figure this out before rambling to all of you. Oh well, I'll leave it that the book (Listening To The Land) was very good and an informative (if only on the conceptual level) read.

Re: Jensen's book 11.Jan.2004 23:22

xyzzy

"Some of the views expressed on nature and civilization were quite amazing..."

While we're on the subject of things to like about Jensen, I just recalled him making a point yesterday evening about social hierarchies and the commonly-accepted notion of acceptable violence. Violence done from lower on the hierarchy to higher is an outrage; even property damage committed in the "wrong" direction is labeled "violence" in many cases. Violence done from higher to lower is generally not even talked about.

"I have to give a nod to the direct action people I saw in Florida."

Direct action is not necessarily violent. Inanimate objects are not living beings, so property crimes aren't violent, either. The fact that the state labels them "crimes" doesn't necessarily make such actions immoral; there's a difference between legality and morality. It all depends on the context.

I wasn't in Miami. None of the reports I heard from Miami involved significant violence on the part of the protestors. All reports I saw, on the other hand, were consistant with the police behaving violently. In such a context, having some people in immediate fear for their safety hit back is pretty much to be expected. (Myself, I seem to be blessed with a sixth sense of being able to tell when the cops are about to riot and for locating an egress from the situation.)

Or is what you saw different from that?

"I should figure this out before rambling to all of you."

Anyone who claims to have "it" all figured out is almost certainly either lying or delusional.

Portland

Florida 11.Jan.2004 23:57

HouseofLeaves

I must start off by pointing out that Miami was one of the first times I have ever been in a situation where the police were "active." I was mostly on the sidelines taking pictures but it was a shock to me. While the police were definately the more violent of the two groups, the protesters were also up in arms. I don't mean that to be negative (I just happen to agree with what their message was) but there was definate violent intent from both groups. In some cases protesters threw things, or just simply faced off with officers. Psychological violence is just as big an issue as physical violence. I don't know. I spent a good few days with my nerves shot after all of that (I had apparently seen democracy die right before my eyes...needless to say I will NEVER look at a police officer the same (Not saying I've given up completely on them, they just don't trust immediately anymore)). What I saw the police do is unpardonable. At the same time, some small voice is telling me that there must be a better way. I guess we shall see. I have trouble seperating violence by groups. Whether this is just simplicity is still up in the air.

I will make a point about the concept of non-violent crimes (property damage being one of them). This is me being a touch too metaphysical (and perhaps slightly out of touch with reality) but I see violence as a state of mind. How an act is carried through (Punching someone in the face or throwing a brick at a window) seems to be moot. It is the thought and intention behind the act that counts. Thus, most acts that are described as non-violent are more just violence on a different scale. Reading back on that it doesn't make must practical sense but I'm done with practicality for tonight. I'm just going to be naive and what-not, for kicks.

Haha, yet again...another rather mumbling post...

"I plunged into the middle of the labyrinth, and became thoroughly lost, and then had no choice but to think my way out of it." --317, Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

Primitivism - a happy fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless 12.Jan.2004 00:27

GRINGO STARS

PRIMITIVISM - AN ILLUSION WITH NO FUTURE
 http://www.greenanarchist.org.uk/Prim.htm

Violence of the oppressor is very different than violence of the oppressed 12.Jan.2004 00:32

GRINGO STARS

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters."
-- Frederick Douglass, angry violent ex-slave

On Pacifism;
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/24/pacifism_war.shtml

To not defend yourself with violence when violence is being threatened to you is suicide.

re derrick 12.Jan.2004 00:49

m

I really enjoy Derrick's books, though he is not the best public speaker. One thing I do appreciate is his willingness to say he is not sure on certain points ie blowing up damns. The comment from the person who saw him in Seattle, maybe he didn't hear you. When I have seen him speak he has always listened to the audience. I think it's great to have someone who is willing to bring up the issues of civilization and enviromental issues. Look at the great disscusion we have going on here. At least for me, Derrick's books have had a positive impact and really opened my eyes to some new ways of thinking. I think some of the people who were turned off by his talk should still pick up one of his books. You might be suprised.

rational consciousness 12.Jan.2004 01:43

todd kurlyy@hotmail.com

If when looking at the problems that plague the world we live in I think it should be obvious that one cannot be hypocritical when choosing a means to and end or else the means won't justify the ends. This country in particular has a problem with consumption...the simplest answer to this is to consume as little as humanly possible. The problem with most people here is that they are unwilling to sacrifice the comforts of every day american life. The fact that the powers that be that are on such an evil rampage leads people to cling to all sorts of distractions to ease the pain of living with it. This leads to all kinds of emotional stress, guilt, confusion, agression, sorrow because people are still living with all sorts of blood on their hands (as Jansen briefly mentioned). You must start with yourself or else you are simply lying to yourself....that hurts.
As for violent revolution, good luck because you will be going up against the world's superpower and that is just an insane fantasy. I know that people will resort to this, but I must ask how will you really expect to get peace and harmony with guns and bombs? Anyways it is just a symptom of the overall problem that leads to a "sham fight of empty eloquence" ("protocols of the elders of zion"...a very evil piece of propoganda). Blessings and Peace..todd

no gurus 12.Jan.2004 05:04

android

i'm with m: whatever you think about derrick jensen, the guy is representative of a healthy and overdue wave of recognition and discussion about the deep issues we're faced with. in my opinion that in itself is good, although i always wonder about writers and their motivations. i personally have been moved by some of his stuff. don't stop with jensen though if you're trying to gain insight by reading: there are plenty of writers treading similar ground (anyone want to throw some suggestions out there? my first two would be chellis glendinning <my name is chellis..., etc> and paul shepard <nature and madness, the tender carnivore, etc>). my point is, don't let the rocks thrown at this particular messenger steer you away from a path of deep questioning and/or the acknowledgment of the 100% inevitable contraction/destruction of this civilization.

and yeah, let's blow up 'anarcho-primitivist' with the rest of the -isms.

but... david koresh? c'mon that's just mean. so much meanspiritedness here on our little beloved indymedia...

basis of many arguments: incorrect 12.Jan.2004 08:18

tired

After reading a number of these comments, it seems to me that many of the authors still view humans as beings that evolved to a point that is "greater" than all other beings. Although no one outright says it, these beliefs lie in what is and is not mentioned. i don't believe in anarcho-primitivism either, but I think to say that to reach a point that will give us western folk all our technological desires while living sustainaby is even for of a fantasy than archo-primitivism. The path to civilization living sustainably will require giving up a huge bulk of our material possessions, which may or may not land us closer to primitivism. The more we take in to "further" our living, the more we rob other beings of their needs, their lives.
Also there has been at least one comment about Derrick Jensen's views of "despair." I think his message has been misinterpreted in this respect. He realizes that unless mass amounts of people refuse the destruction and objecification of living beings in this world, nothing will get better. To "hope" that somehow, without this mass revolt, our problems will be solved is naive. Despair is to think that no matter what, we cannot win. The difference here is that an anarchist society can be possible, and that civilization can be destroyed, but it's gonna take a lot of work.
That's all.

Moving on now 12.Jan.2004 09:57

xyzzy

Enough discussing violence and tactics for me. I want to move on to another of my observations, that of Jensen's strange silence during the evening on biotechnology and nanotechnology. That probably ranks close to Jensen's nihilism as an irritant to me.

Why? Because they're a far worse threat to the biosphere than any other technologies I can think of. Jeremy Rifkin got a lot of people to call him nutty or extremist when he said biotech was as bad as nuclear bombs. Actually, he was being an understated gentle little pussycat. Biotech is far worse. Say what you will about the destruction of Hiroshima or the contamination of Hanford, Chelyabinsk, or Church Rock. A bomb blast is over in a fraction of a second. And it's an inevitable law of physics that the decay chains of all unstable isotopes eventually end in stable ones. Time will heal all. Not for artifical life, the first form of pollution that reproduces itself. Nor for self-replicating nanobots.

And cry what tears you will about the extinction of the salmon (I don't like the prospect either), but gray goo is far, far, worse.

I just attempted to Google on "derrick jensen biotechnology" and couldn't find anything in the way of a quote. Given the volume of his oeuvre and his choice in subject matter, he's probably written something at some time. Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't appear that it's been that much of a major focus in his environmental writings.

What's the matter? Cat got his tongue? Why are his fantasies of destruction seemingly limited to dams and cell phone towers and not biotechnology-related targets?

Portland

Book 12.Jan.2004 10:09

HouseofLeaves

I don't mean to turn this into some sort of book club but I just wanted to mention Ecological Literacy by David Orr. A very good book on the early concepts of Deep Ecology (Essentially living sustainably, admitting that man isn't solely #1, Overshoot, Agriculture...). Althought it was written in the late 1980's, so some of the information could benefit from an update. And for those of you who have a big problem with anarcho-primitivism, Orr provides a pretty stable future without being reduced to "noble savage" thinking.

Yeah books!

Read Derrick Jensen! 12.Jan.2004 11:56

B

I am glad to see people discussing these ideas at length. Although I have to say that most of this thread has so missed the points that Derrick Jensen was making at the talk and in his books that I wouldn't know where to begin.

If you haven't read his books, pick one up and make up your own mind. Everyone who reccomended his books to me said that they are liberating, life affirming, and life changing (as well as damn good writing). I totally agree!

I also understand that many of his topics scare the hell out of people, so much so that they spiral off in denial and fear to argue details and fixate on things that totally miss the points he was making. The majority of this thread is an example of that and has very, very little to do with Jensens work.

derrick jensen, nanotechnology and native place names 12.Jan.2004 12:21

david

Yes, tired and B! Exactly!

I spoke with Jensen last year at one of his talks. He was writing something that deals with nanotechnology and said it should be out in 2004.

I would also point out that at every Derrick Jensen talk I've been to he asks that native place name, and it is NOT a rhetorical question. He must not have heard the person above who is miffed with him because he always gets so excited when folks shout out the answer. When he signs books he uses the native place name as the location like "Occupied Multnomah," rather than Portland, etc.

to xyzzy, and to david and B: 12.Jan.2004 13:50

watching and waiting

xyzzy:
And government has never been "thrown off" with parades and righteous chants. That job is done either by massive peaceful occupation of facilities and disruption of commerce, or (most often) by force of arms. The point is that, as nominal citizens of the USA, we are all entitled to take whatever actions we deem necessary against oppressive government.
----------------------------
w&w:
Yeah, but how often have armed revolutions created just and free societies? Regarding disruption of commerce, I don't think there's generally anywhere near enough appreciation for the possibilities of strikes and monkeywrenching.
>>>
I'm with you there on both points. =) I think monkeywrenching will gain immeasureably in usefulness, as society becomes more and more unsustainable and unstable. (lifeaftertheoilcrash.net has interesting postulations, also posted elsewhere on the pdxIMC wire).

david and B:
>>>
I know little about this Jensen guy or his ideas... why don't you enlighten us with a succinct presentation of his ideas which have caught your fancy, to complete/realign this thread?

I really like the concept of "hacking" psychogeographically to change people's perceptions of geographic and political reality, which you have mentioned...
for example, we could all be referring to "cascadia" instead of US/America when referring to the level of government immediately above state...in ordinary everyday conversation, most people in these parts will know what you mean by "cascadia"; little by little, it will seep into their subconscious.

deep ecologists can be anti-human hatred more than ecologically progressive 12.Jan.2004 14:18

green human

I worry about Orr/Jensen deep ecologists that take it towards an anti-human stance. From reading Orr more than Jensen, it seems a philosphy closer to a religious hatred of people than an ecological love. Plus, they have fallen for the elite policy of blaming population on everything. In European history from the 1700s to the present, this has been the elite policy: to destroy and blame the poor for resisting the organizational greed of the rich. Politically protected consumption patterns directly destroy the environment and lead to empire. It is crony states and their underwriting of the destruction of the environment that is issue. They fail to give people any choices except those that are filtered through elites.

It's a question of blaming organization instead of population. Blaming population means in practice a genocide of the poor and the politics of the poor in the name of the rich.

Plus, how can it help ecology in the here and now when one is only interested in frightening humans against ecological thinking through violence to their ways of life. This only allows corrupt states to use such ideas to legitmate further unecological crackdowns against green politics. Deep ecology in my view is the politics of ecological reactionaries instead of people who have any plans for the future.

The point should be how to link organize alrady existing ecological pressures and human presssures to make changes in what are unsustainable developmental models of unrepresentative and elite driven corrupt states:

a few ideas:

TOWARD A BIOREGIONAL STATE: People Have Right to Stop Ecological Tyranny & Make Democracy
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/12/277248.shtml

Derrick Jensen and Blackberries. 12.Jan.2004 14:41

Moe.

Blackberries are not native to Oregon.
Their hideous thorny brambles have taken over huge tracts of land here.
They kill native species.
They hurt like hell when you step on one or fall into a clump of them.
If you try to hack them down the will grow back (they are tough suckers).
If you try to pull them out by the roots their thorns bury them in your thumb and fester.
The best thing to do for a big field full of blackberries would be to burn it then bull doze the hell out of it.
Get them out of there down to every last root.

The social, political and psychological state that we find ourselves in is the cultural equivalent of blackberries. Our culture is invasive destructive painful and should never have been planted in the first place. We are a part of it (whether we want to be or not).

Derrick Jensen wants to burn it all down.

I want to drive the bulldozer.

Derrick Jensen 12.Jan.2004 16:55

B

Wow, a a succinct presentation. I'll give it a try, but I suspect I wont do it justice as he covers so much.

One of the things I love about his writing is that he doesn't present you with answers, never tells you what to think (I hate it when writers do that). Instead he takes you on the journey with him through the questions he is asking. So I will try to give it to you in that format.

This is what I have gathered from his writing and his talks:

He started out asking if destroying the natural world isn't making us happy, why are we doing it? Or in his own words, "We are members of the most destructive culture ever to exhist. Our assault on the natural world, on indigenous and other cultures, on women, on children, on all of us through the possiblity of nuclear suicide and other means - all these are unprecedented in their magnitude and ferocity. Why do we act as we do?" He explored that in his book of interviews "Listening To The Land."

While touring for that book he started asking all his audiences if anyone there had ever had a totally mutual conversation with a non human. The reaction was the same every time. The audience would laugh, then one person would raise their hand, then slowly hands would go up until more than half the audience had their hands in the air. Then he would ask if anyone had admitted that in public before. Everyone would laugh and drop their hands.

So he began questioning why, when so many people have had that experience, it is socially unexceptable for us to discuss it? He was going to write a book that focused on just that, but as he explored the issue it became a much deeper exploration of our culture of denial. In the introduction in "A LAnguage Older Than Words" he asks, "How and why do we numb ourselves to our own experiences? How and why do we deafen ourselves to the voices of others? Who benefits? Who Suffers? Is there a connection between the silencing of women, to use one example, and the silencing of the natural world? "

In order to exploit someone you have to silence them. In "A Language Older Than Words" he takes the reader through the multitudes of culturally ingrained ways that we deny our own experinces with the natural world and each other. And how that allows us to not see the severity of the destruction that must take place in order to continue our way of living.

I cannot tell you how many friends have read this book and said it changed their lives. And how they thought facing the horrible truths of our current condition on the planet would depress them, but instead they found Jensens writing one of the most positive and life affirming experiences they've ever had. For someone new to Jensen's writing, I recommend starting with this book as his questions build and spring forward from here.

Then Derrick Jensen set out to write a 10 page introduction to an encyclopedia of hate crimes. But what happened when he tried to define hate blew the whole topic wide open and exposed the bloated, festering underbelly of our culture. That 10 page intro blossomed into "The Culture of Make Believe" a 700 page book exploring the common threads between lynchings in the early 20th century, porn, the Bhopal disaster, corporations, etc. When you get past all the lies we tell ourselves to hide from whats going on all around us you find that the point of our culture is asembly line mass murder, the conversion of the living into the dead, trees into 2x4s, mountain tops into beer cans, humans into human resources... And the culture will continue to do this until it kills everything on the planet.

Derrick has also co-authored two books with George Draffan about the state of the worlds forests, "Railroads and Clearcuts" and "Strangely Like War: the Global Assualt on Forests." I highly recommend SLW (it is the most recent, NOv. 2003), it covers the current state of the worlds forests and the entire history of deforestation since the beginning of this sick culture when all the trees were cut down in the middle east. And what does the middle east look like today?

He also has a new book I just read about in the Chelsea Green catalog called "Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution. He has done some very entertaining and revealing education bashing at his talks, so I'm really looking forward to it.

As for his hope bashing, I'm all for it. He often says that false hopes bind us to unlivable situations. Recently someone at a talk challenged him to define hope. Along with the audience he came up with this, "Hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency." He says, "I hope the next time I get on an airplane that it doesn't crash. I don't hope that I'm going to eat dinner tonight, I'm just going to do it." Hope automatically disimpowers.

I know I've given an overveiw more than specific points. Each of his points builds on the last and wouldn't make nearly as much sense out of context. I'll add Jensen's web address so folks who are interested can explore a little more.

 http://www.derrickjensen.org

population 12.Jan.2004 20:30

ron

Derrick Jensen touched on population on KBOO friday morning and at the Sat. talk. People who blame population are really missing the point. The problem is consumption. Don't think about small brown children with big bellies. Think of privileged white guys with big beer bellies and big cars.

well said b 13.Jan.2004 02:13

m

I couldn't agrre with your more. I've really been touched by derrick's writings. He doesn't give answers but he really starts you thinking. From what i've read my impression of him is a compassionate person who is bothered and stumped by our current state of living. I'm glad someone could put into words what i couldn't.

re: no no don't kill any PEOPLE!!! 18.Jan.2004 21:51

marcus cybrmarc21@hotmail.com

I can't say I generally agree with the author's complaints about jensen. On the other hand if it were a year or so ago right after I'd read Daniel Quinn, then the story would probably be different.

And no he's not a friggin guru. I just believe he's one of the smaller number of writers/thinkers who actually carrier his ideas to their logical conclusion. I am vaguely aware of some sort of Quinn/Jensen rivalry, and I honestly want no part in that -- but it's my belief that Derrick does a much better job of saying what human civilization really means and what it means for it to end. I'm not saying the "New Tribal Revolution" (get your T-shirt now, heh...sorry...lol) wouldn't help to put us on a more-earth friendly (less earth-raping!) path...but seriously...do you think that our increasingly shallow pop-culture-dependent youth are suddenly going to decide the occasional game of hide-and-go-seek is better than corporate television/movies, or that some nice fresh water and deer is better than Coke/Pepsi/BK/ect. ect.

I find that highly unlikely. When I say Jensen takes the ideas to their logical conclusions, I think I mean he's a bit more realistic than some of the other pie in the sky anarchist/primitivist/anti-civ writers. Sustainable communities are great - really - but they are microcosms. While I admire people for going and doing their own thing (what they think is write). You, individually, abandoning a society run amok is doing just that - leaving it (alone). It's going to continue running amok until something is done about it - whether from without (by people with already changed minds) or from within (by changing the mass of peoples' minds). Each path is probably equally as difficult. I predict whichever one can be done first will be...done first.

Also:
Fact 2: all civilizations eventually decline, and new ones are created "from the ashes of the old".

This is a natural order that has been going on in all animal societies. Nothing is infinite. Civilizations decline over time, and there is less suffering then when there is sudden collpase. To hasten it tothe point of needless death is as unnatural as mining uranium as a coffee condiment.

Fact 3: To make decisions based on an ideology that will affect the livlihood of others is fundamentally undemocratic. I don't give a fuck if Jesen loves the salmon. If some moron "blows up" a damn, and people die in the flood plane, then it really shows where Jensen's contept lies: self hatred. It's a mentality that leads to the acceptance of facism.

I just have to say that's BS xy. Sorry to be crude but look at it this way:

1) You're a Nazi officer with some idea of how your death-squad division works.
2) You recently had an idea of how to free a great deal of the jews/homosexuals/ect. help captive (and soon to be killed) by your squad
3) This plan, however, will result in the death of many of your "fellow" Nazis

Now would you say that it's "playing God" or "perpetuating the use of force" to lead a violent revolt (or spearhead it...or just do it on your lonesome - kinda like blowing up a dam) to free the victims in this scenario?

You know how the victimizers operate. You know that if you try to convince them otherwise you will be - at best, silenced - at worst, destroyed along with the jews/homos. So what do you do? Hope that a higher power (Hitler?) is going to change his mind and you won't have to make a difficult decision.

Hell no. You would blow that camp to smithereens. Hell it wouldn't even be all for the jews/homos. It'd be for your own conscience. By helping these people out that you've served to slaughter in the course of your career you'd be taking a pretty damn big load of your conscience, I think.

Now perhaps you think this is different. Nazis are evil. Obvious evil, maybe.

Yeah, obvious to us (the non Nazi). But if you do any reading about Nazis you'd find that many of them will simply say: I was just following orders.

Hmm. If you talk to a native they would probably find our way of living in the world as disgusting as we find the Nazi's. But if you ask one of us about it we'd just say: I was just doing what eveveryone told me to. Doing what I was taught. Doing what I need to survive.

So I really don't see it as that different.

Do I honestly percieve plants and animals as valuable as human beings?

No.

But I understand that they are. And I understand that my bias towards humans is part of a cultural heritage that has led us to mistreat the world as we've done for so many thousands of years (and getting worse and worse every day).

So I strive to grow more compassionate. And if that ultimate compassionateness takes away some of my ability to live peacefully with people who will not stop destroying, then so be it.

Could I go out tommorow and just blow up a dam and let it flow down into a town? No. Do I admire someone who did it. Yeah I think I would. I have a feeling such a person would try to minimize the human suffering - unless of course the entire community fought all efforts to build the dam. Unless they selfishly co-opted in not only the exploitation of nature - but of it's slaughter. I mean that's what dam's do. It's not just expoiting water...you're killing lots of stuff. Hell, there have dams that've been built that took out entire native communities! Yes, precious humans!

Also...I'm not sure what to make of your "but what about all of our social progress" comment, because then in the next sentence you say "but look where this progress has gotten us." What good progress are you talking about? Do you mean how in earlier civilization we didn't have stuff like A.A. and the green party to combat the evil of civilization?
Well..duh.

I'm not going to do the "I know there's no such thing as a noble savage" disclaimer because most people don't even know what the "noble savage" means. Life before civilization was largely egalitarian, totally sustainable, much more peaceful, and people actually wanted to live. There was harmony. That is not angelisizing it. That's not some idealistic "noble savage" theory. There was human suffering. Something bad happens, and there was suffering. But life itself was not suffering. People didn't require 10 different types of coping activity (nicotine, alcohol, prozac, ritalin, chronic masturbation, pornography, getting angry about a stupid football game, television, beating their wife/child/defendant, ect. ect.) to get through their day. Life was just that. Living. Not some precarious balancing act where if you sat idle for longer than 20 minutes you would start to go insane with fear/hate/whatever.

Also...regarding human passions. People here might be interested in reading about/learning on "primal therapy." I first encountered it in the book "Restless Mind, Quiet Thoughts," which is the post-mortem biography/journal collection of Paul Eppinger - whom Jeffrey in My Ishmael was based on - and then I read Aurthur Janov's (actually, still am reading) "Primal Scream." It's really interesting stuff. Kind of how the human body/mind has reacted to civilization and our screwed up childhoods. How we have to adapt into something not quite ourselves (be unreal; fake) in order to be loved by our family, friends, society, ect.

Quite a ramble...nice to see you guys in Oregon have such an active indymedia. Doesn't really surprise me though with all of the action (ELF, Zerzan, anarchists, Jensen et al) you've got going on up there. Indymedia in New Hampshire just got it's own site, but it's dreadfully slow compared to here.
-Marcus

moe that's awesome 18.Jan.2004 22:03

marcus

moe, as a big admirer of lucid analogies, i have to say:

that was awesome

"I want to drive the bulldozer. " !!

Derrick's books 26.Jan.2004 13:27

Suzanne sbc4884@yahoo.com

"The solution is for people individually to stop patronizing the Global Corporations (you can't kill them, but maybe they will starve). And to practice random acts of kindness-- you never know how far that will go, but it is always amazing to watch it work.

And especially, to kill one's own TV and shun corporate media. They will always lie, but no one has to listen to them."

Great to hear you've got the solution, Tom; who knew it was so simple? When does your book come out? Forgive the sarcasm, but what are you talking about? So we stop patronizing corporations. There are well over 6 billion people on the planet, all of whom consume food and water. Many of them live in cities which require massive amounts of resources to be trucked in. Those trucks require oil from other countries. Those cities' structures require steel and concrete. This is part of the machine of civilization. It's not as simple as your statement would imply.

To xyzzy: I don't understand why people slam authors whom they have not read. So you didn't agree with or understand parts of Derrick's talk. Great. Check out his books and read more, or don't. Or get excited about a different author and give us a report about that. Honest questions and musings are great, but it's not helpful to get online and criticize what he says in a disrespectful way. What are you implying when you say he does not mention nanotechnology or biotechnology? That he's some kind of fraud? You do a google search and then decide he's silent about it? And you complain that Jensen isn't helping things? Last I checked, neither do gross judgments based on your own lack of research!

For my part, I think it's really easy to sit back and criticize when you do not adequately feel the loss. I mean, you can philosophize all you want about violence and non-violence, but the only ones of you who can criticize Jensen are those of you who are DOING THE WORK. Once you start doing it, it becomes a lot harder to pick apart those who are finding their own way through the mess, and the things that work and don't work become very clear. After 20 years of non-violent activism (yes, Derrick's done that) you too might start considering what your other options are, ones that will really will have an effect.

5125895104

Population 05.Aug.2004 13:06

cid

The people who think that Derrick advocates wiping out segments of the population in order to attain a sustainable way of living are missing the main point.

Our way of living is not sustainable, and hence it will end. *THAT* will result in the death of massive amounts of people, unfortunately. But it's not something that will be done intentionally, it's the natural result of what happens when an unsustainable way of living crashes to a hault.

It's possible that the poor, and especially rural poor, will do much better in that crash than the rich. They are much closer to having the talents necessary to live in a post-crash environment.

jensen ak press, oakland 20.Nov.2004 23:01

keepitreal

I admired his honesty and yes he is a good writer, yes his talk was tangential but still inspiring.