Statement on T.R. McKenzie, Probable Pedophile

We learned yesterday that T.R. McKenzie, a former Deep Green Resistance member, is being accused of serious crimes, including serial sexual abuse of children on the Pine Ridge reservation. These claims have been corroborated from several sources.

In 2013, DGR severed its relationship with TR McKenzie on very bad terms. He caused a great deal of trouble within our organization, specifically with regards to his treatment of women comrades. We were glad to see him go. After his departure we were notified by others that he continued to cause serious trouble within other organizations after he left.

At the time he left our organization, we knew that his behavior was horrible, but we had no idea that he was, or would be, a sexual abuser. Deep Green Resistance has an absolute zero-tolerance policy for abuse and will stand against any predators being allowed access to the movement or anyone who could be harmed. Our hearts go out to his victims.

For more information on T.R. McKenzie, see this statement from early 2014.

Deep Green Resistance excerpt: The Triumph of the Pornographers

Lierre Keith / Excerpt from Chapter 4, “Culture of Resistance,” of Deep Green Resistance

The triumph of the pornographers is a victory of power over justice,
cruelty over empathy, and profits over human rights. I could make that
statement about Walmart or McDonalds and progressives would eagerly
agree. We all understand that Walmart destroys local economies, a
relentless impoverishing of communities across the US that is now
almost complete. It also depends on near-slave conditions for workers in
China to produce the mountains of cheap crap that Walmart sells. And
ultimately the endless growth model of capitalism is destroying the
world. Nobody on the left claims that the cheap crap that Walmart produces equals freedom. Nobody defends Walmart by saying that the
workers, American or Chinese, want to work there. Leftists understand
that people do what they have to for survival, that any job is better than
no job, and that minimum wage and no benefits are cause for a revolution, not a defense of those very conditions. Likewise McDonalds. No
one defends what McDonalds does to animals, to the earth, to workers,
to human health and human community by pointing out that the people
standing over the boiling grease consented to sweat all day or that hog
farmers voluntarily signed contracts that barely return a living. The issue
does not turn on consent, but on the social impacts of injustice and hierarchy, on how corporations are essentially weapons of mass destruction. Focusing on the moment of individual choice will get us nowhere.

The problem is the material conditions that make going blind in a
silicon chip factory in Taiwan the best option for some people. Those
people are living beings. Leftists lay claim to human rights as our
bedrock and our north star: we know that that Taiwanese woman is not
different from us in any way that matters, and if going blind for pennies and no bathroom breaks was our best option, we would be in grim circumstances.

And the woman enduring two penises shoved up her anus? This is
not an exaggeration or “focusing on the worst,” as feminists are often
accused of doing. “Double-anal” is now standard fare in gonzo porn, the
porn made possible by the Internet, the porn with no pretense of a plot,
the porn that men overwhelmingly prefer. That woman, just like the
woman assembling computers, is likely to suffer permanent physical
damage. In fact, the average woman in gonzo porn can only last three
months before her body gives out, so punishing are the required sex
acts. Anyone with a conscience instead of a hard-on would know that
just by looking. If you spend a few minutes looking at it—not masturbating to it, but actually looking at it—you may have to agree with Robert Jensen that pornography is “what the end of the world looks like.”

By that I don’t mean that pornography is going to bring about
the end of the world; I don’t have apocalyptic delusions. Nor
do I mean that of all the social problems we face, pornography
is the most threatening. Instead, I want to suggest that if we
have the courage to look honestly at contemporary pornography, we get a glimpse—in a very visceral, powerful
fashion—of the consequences of the oppressive systems in
which we live. Pornography is what the end will look like if we
don’t reverse the pathological course that we are on in this
patriarchal, white-supremacist, predatory corporate-capitalist
society. . . . Imagine a world in which empathy, compassion,
and solidarity—the things that make decent human society
possible—are finally and completely overwhelmed by a self-
centered, emotionally detached pleasure-seeking. Imagine
those values playing out in a society structured by multiple
hierarchies in which a domination/subordination dynamic
shapes most relationships and interaction. . . . [E]very year my
sense of despair deepens over the direction in which pornography and our pornographic culture is heading. That despair is rooted not in the reality that lots of people can be cruel, or
that some number of them knowingly take pleasure in that
cruelty. Humans have always had to deal with that aspect of
our psychology. But what happens when people can no longer
see the cruelty, when the pleasure in cruelty has been so normalized that it is rendered invisible to so many? And what happens when for some considerable part of the male population of our society, that cruelty becomes a routine part of
sexuality, defining the most intimate parts of our lives?

All leftists need to do is connect the dots, the same way we do in
every other instance of oppression. The material conditions that men as
a class create (the word is patriarchy) mean that in the US battering is
the most commonly committed violent crime: that’s men beating up
women. Men rape one in three women and sexually abuse one in four
girls before the age of fourteen. The number one perpetrator of childhood sexual abuse is called “Dad.” Andrea Dworkin, one of the bravest women of all time, understood that this was systematic, not personal.
She saw that rape, battering, incest, prostitution, and reproductive
exploitation all worked together to create a “barricade of sexual terrorism” inside which all women are forced to live. Our job as
feminists and members of a culture of resistance is not to learn to eroticize those acts; our task is to bring that wall down.

In fact, the right and left together make a cozy little world that
entombs women in conditions of subservience and violence. Critiquing
male supremacist sexuality will bring charges of being a censor and a
right-wing antifun prude. But seen from the perspective of women, the
right and the left create a seamless hegemony.

Gail Dines writes, “When I critique McDonalds, no one calls me
anti-food.” People understand that what is being critiqued is a set of
unjust social relations—with economic, political, and ideological components—that create more of the same. McDonalds does not produce generic food. It manufactures an industrial capitalist product for profit. The pornographers are no different. The pornographers have built a
$100 billion a year industry, selling not just sex as a commodity, which
would be horrible enough for our collective humanity, but sexual cruelty. This is the deep heart of patriarchy, the place where leftists fear to tread: male supremacy takes acts of oppression and turns them into sex. Could there be a more powerful reward than orgasm?

And since it feels so visceral, such practices are defended (in the rare
instance that a feminist is able to demand a defense) as “natural.” Even
when wrapped in racism, many on the left refuse to see the oppression
in pornography. Little Latina Sluts or Pimp My Black Teen provoke not
outrage, but sexual pleasure for the men consuming such material. A
sexuality based on eroticizing dehumanization, domination, and hierarchy will gravitate to other hierarchies, and find a wealth of material in
racism. What it will never do is build an egalitarian world of care and
respect, the world that the left claims to want.

On a global scale, the naked female body—too thin to bear live
young and often too young as well—is for sale everywhere, as the
defining image of the age, and as a brutal reality: women and girls are
now the number one product for sale on the global black market.
Indeed, there are entire countries balancing their budgets on the sale
of women. Is slavery a human rights abuse or a sexual thrill? Of what
use is a social change movement that can’t decide?

We need to stake our claim as the people who care about freedom,
not the freedom to abuse, exploit, and dehumanize, but freedom from
being demeaned and violated, and from a cultural celebration of that
violation.

This is the moral bankruptcy of a culture built on violation and its
underlying entitlement. It’s a slight variation on the Romantics, substituting sexual desire for emotion as the unmediated, natural, and
privileged state. The sexual version is a direct inheritance of the
Bohemians, who reveled in public displays of “transgression, excess,
sexual outrage.” Much of this ethic can be traced back to the Marquis
de Sade, torturer of women and children. Yet he has been claimed as
inspiration and foundation by writers such as “Baudelaire, Flaubert,
Swinburne, Lautréamont, Dostoevski, Cocteau, and Apollinaire” as well
as Camus and Barthes. Wrote Camus, “Two centuries ahead of
time . . . Sade extolled totalitarian societies in the name of unbridled
freedom.” Sade also presents an early formulation of Nietzsche’s will
to power. His ethic ultimately provides “the erotic roots of fascism.”

Once more, it is time to choose. The warnings are out there, and it’s
time to listen. College students have 40 percent less empathy than they
did twenty years ago. If the left wants to mount a true resistance, a
resistance against the power that breaks hearts and bones, rivers and
species, it will have to hear—and, finally, know—this one brave sentence
from poet Adrienne Rich: “Without tenderness, we are in hell.”

Read more excerpts from or order the Deep Green Resistance book.

Read more critiques of pornography at the Deep Green Resistance News Service archives.

Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?

Book review by Daphne Francis of Deep Green Resistance

I have just enjoyed reading Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? by Katrine Marcal, translated from her Swedish into English and published by Portobello books in 2015. It certainly is a change for me to find an economics book not only informative and accurate, but also highly readable and even entertaining, with at times trenchant analysis and cutting comments.

Marcal is not the first to highlight the absence of care work, done mostly by women, from calculations of Gross National Product and the decisions of that fabricated entity ‘economic man’. When valued at all, this work is severely undervalued. But for me she breaks new ground in stating that, if the body was taken seriously as the starting point for the economy, it would have far-reaching results. In her words “a society organised around the shared needs of human bodies would be very different from the one we know today.”

She dissects the notion of economic man which has now become such a keystone economic assumption that even our feelings of love and care are treated as preferences and impersonal sets of desires. This reduction reaches a low point in an analysis that “Faking ecstasy in bed is part of a ‘rational signaling model’.” Books have actually been published with the sickening title (and probably more sickening content) of how to Find a Husband after 35: (Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School) – a damning indictment of that particular academic icon. The body is turned into human capital. The disposal of radioactive waste can be sorted by cash payments to the desperately poor. Whether we shut down a life becomes a business decision; there is no more meaning in death than is left in life. Whilst the focus of Marcal’s analysis is on the erasure of women, readers of this blog will be all too aware of the effect of economic man on the rest of the natural world as well.

Finally, who did cook the illustrious classical economist’s dinner and organise his domestic life? We have to wait for the final chapter of the book to bring to life the story of this key part of Adam Smith’s economy, a woman he effectively erased from the celebrated text into which so much of her life energy went. I won’t spoil the revelation but leave you to find out for yourself the full story behind Adams Smith’s academic output.

Chris Hedges on the State of Extraction: exploitation, capitalism, and patriarchy

Chris Hedges spoke last weekend at the State of Extraction conference at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. While most speakers focused exclusively on natural “resources” ripped from the planet, Hedges brilliantly linked this environmental devastation with the social impacts of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism on our most vulnerable populations. He challenged the narcissism, individualism, and identity politics that have come to dominate modern culture, including most of the left. He identified as especially insidious the widespread acceptance of prostitution and pornography: no other subjugation is so widely rationalized and dismissed as these abuses of women. Even in so-called progressive and radical circles, sexualized violence and racism are fiercely defended where no one would try to justify such violations in any other circumstances.

In fact, Hedges was temporarily deplatformed from the State of Extraction conference precisely for calling on the left to recognize the war against women as part of the larger colonialist project, in his recent article amplifying the voices of women on the front lines. Even in venues actively opposing the status quo of capitalism and extraction from the earth, any challenge to the accepted wisdom of patriarchy is met with knee-jerk attacks and an unwillingness to listen. We’ve seen this again and again in recent years as radical feminist speakers have been silenced: deplatformed from venue after venue, threatened with rape and murder, and attacked in vicious smear campaigns. The only thing unique about this latest incident is Hedges’ position as a privileged white man.

Deep Green Resistance strongly advocates for a radical view of our interlocking crises, environmental and social. We need to get to the root of our problems to fashion effective solutions. In our FAQ Is DGR a Feminist Organization? we explain:

Right now, patriarchy is the ruling religion of the planet. Women are just another resource for men to use in their endless quest to prove their toxic masculinity and breed soldiers for civilization’s constant state of war. The masculinity and the war—against people, against the planet—together have created a perpetual motion machine of domination and destruction of the land and human rights. This is why militarism is a feminist issue, why rape is an environmental issue, why environmental destruction is a peace issue. We will never dismantle misogyny as long as domination is eroticized. We will also never stop racism. Nor will we mount an effective resistance to fascism, since, as Sheila Jeffreys points out, fascism’s root is ultimately the eroticization of domination and subordination–fascism is in essence a cult of masculinity. Those are all huge spin-outs from the same beginning. The result is torture, rape, genocide, and biocide.

Please ponder this as you watch Chris Hedges give this amazing and truly radical speech:

Trigger warning: Besides the generally disturbing nature of this subject, Hedges reads a graphic account of a brutal rape from minute 46 to 48.

Also read DGR member Jonah Mix’s analysis of the speech and male backlash against it: When “Paternalism” is Worse Than Commercial Rape: #StateofExtraction and the New Manarchist.

Derrick Jensen’s Resistance Radio on youtube and archive page

Almost every Sunday, Derrick Jensen interviews an activist, biophile scientist, land restorationist, or other person similarly engaged in building a culture of resistance. The interviews are always worth listening to, packed with interesting information and insights drawn out by Jensen’s experienced questions.

The interviews are available as mp3 downloads or audio streams from our Resistance Radio archive page, and we’ve now made them available on Youtube as audio with a still image of the interviewee, accessible to those who prefer to browse Youtube or want to add the episodes into playlists. We’ll keep adding new interviews as they’re released. See them all at the Deep Green Resistance Youtube channel, and please share these important conversations widely!

River’s Song: A Poem

Calliope Braintree is the protagonist of two novels by Anne Pyterek, whose work explores rape culture from both the personal and planetary perspective. The poem River’s Song was “written” by Calliope as a tribute to the Chicago River, poisoned and channeled by industrial humans but still living a life of her own.

I am the Atoms and the Space in between,
the Unmanifested heard, felt, smelt, tasted and seen
I am Anger
and Forgiveness
all in one stream.
For I am the Source,

I am the Dream…
I am the scent of holy things,
the sound of shadowy, unseen wings…
ominous…
foretelling black endarkenings.
I flow slowly, ever to the Sea.

I am Wildness,
Authenticity.

Download the whole 40-page narrative poem for free: River’s Song: A Poem.

Interview of Meghan Murphy

Ernesto Aguilar, a former DGR member, interviewed Meghan Murphy of Feminist Current for Women’s History Month in March 2013. Murphy presents a clear and articulate analysis of the current state of online feminism – strengths and weaknesses, successes and works in progress, allies and backlash. She spoke extensively on the destructive tendency of online discussions to turn into horizontal hostility, and the ongoing pattern of silencing women:

I don’t think that attacking and harassing feminists online counts as activism, or as supporting women, even if you kind of pretend you’re doing it on behalf of women. Regardless of how you frame it, it’s still about woman-hating, and it’s about anti-feminism, and that’s not progressive. If you’re a man and you’re harassing or silencing women, you can’t pretend to be a progressive person or a person who cares about liberty or human rights or women’s lives or the well being of women. That’s not what allies do.

Later in the interview, she gets specific about a prominent silencing mechanism:

There’s this thing that’s become popular in the feminist blogosphere, and that’s this overuse of the phobia language. I think that’s a big problem. It’s become common practice to label any [feminist] critique as a phobia. You hear things like “kink phobia”, or “whore phobia”, “transphobia”, on and on and on. And I’ve personally been accused of all of these things, and I don’t hate or fear prostituted women or trans people or kinky people.

What I want to have is conversations, and this is just another way to shut down conversation, and it’s a part of the bullying that goes on in some parts of online feminism. It’s about keeping people in line, and it’s about keeping conversations restricted within narrow boundaries. If you don’t like what someone says, you can call them some version of “phobic” and you can call someone a bigot and everyone shuts up. These are kind of the magic words that put fear in every feminist’s heart, because they know that if they’re called one of these things – some kind of “phobic” – that no one will stick up for them, because everyone else is afraid of being labeled by association. Everyone’s afraid to have real conversations, because they see what happens, and they see what happens to other feminists, and they don’t want that to happen to them.

Listen to the entire interview embedded below (originally posted at Feminist Current). And for elaboration on the tactic of shutting down feminist discourse by threatening to apply vague but powerful labels, see the latest article at Feminist Current: “How ‘TERF’ works”, by Sarah Ditum.

Download mp3

What Is a Woman? – New Yorker article

The New Yorker just published “What Is a Woman? – The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism” by Michelle Goldberg. Her piece provides a good summary of the differences in political analysis between radical feminsts and liberal transgenderists, from their different views on gender and whether “girl brains” exist to the real-world effects on women. Having interviewed Lierre Keith and Rachel of DGR, other radical feminists veteran and new, and prominent transactivists, Goldberg provides a useful introduction to this decades-old debate.

The article makes clear the need for women to have women-only safe spaces for meeting, organizing, and letting down their guard. Goldberg describes the pattern of threats against and silencing of women who question queer theory, from deplatforming to cancelation of venues to straight-up death threats. (The article does not attempt to cover transactivists’ pattern of physically assaulting women who disagree with them.) The article quotes Sandy Stone, a man who identifies as a woman: “I am going to have to say [to women who want women-only spaces], It’s your place to stay out of spaces where transgender male-to-female people go. It’s not our job to avoid you.” Sandy’s statement perfectly illustrates the male entitlement behavior radical feminists are working so hard to dismantle.

Read the whole article to better understand radical feminism & transgenderism, and accusations of transphobia against Deep Green Resistance

For more information, see:

Robert Jensen: Some Basic Propositions About Sex, Gender and Patriarchy

Robert Jensen, a radical activist and professor in Austin, TX, wrote an article last month on the debate within feminism on transgenderism. His piece clearly presents the disagreements between radical feminists, who view gender as a patriarchy-enforcing social construct to be abolished; and the transgender movement, with a more liberal approach of encouraging individuals to choose their own gender roles without challenging the larger system.

The goal of radical feminism is a world without hierarchy, in which males and females would be free to explore the range of human experiences—especially experiences of love, whether sexual or not—in an egalitarian context.

[…]

Nothing in a radical feminist analysis minimizes the social and/or psychological struggles of—nor provides support for violence against—people who identify as transgender or people who do not conform to patriarchal gender norms but do not identify as transgender. Radical feminism is not the cause of those struggles or the source of that violence but rather advocates for an egalitarian society with maximal freedom without violence.

Read the whole article: Some Basic Propositions About Sex, Gender and Patriarchy. You can also listen to Robert Jensen on RAGE Radio: “Community, Collapse, and Despair”, on Derrick Jensen’s Resistance Radio, and in the video “Talking Radical in a Mainstream World.”

Feminist Current – smart analysis of feminist issues

Meghan Murphy at Feminist Current writes a steady column of insightful and incisive articles from a strong feminist perspective, and regularly interviews women and men on a broad range of feminist issues. She lives in Canada, so some of her focus is specific to that country, but most of it is relevant to all of North America and the rest of the world. Smart and often funny, her analysis from current events to issues fought by feminists for decades is always worth the read. She also does a good job of moderating comments, so the space is useful and safe for women and feminist allies to have productive discussions.

Last summer, Murphy interviewed DGR’s Rachel and Lexy Garza in the podcast Deep Green Resistance Under Attack, and has provided outstanding coverage in general of the backlash to radical feminism by Men’s Rights Activists, trans/queer activists, and other misogynist attackers of women. You can see all the available Feminist Current podcasts or read the most recent Feminist Current articles. We highly recommend taking some time to peruse the site and its contents!