Deep Green Resistance Book Online For Free

The organization DGR is founded on the ideas and analysis laid out in the book by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Aric McBay. To increase the book’s accessibility, especially to international audiences, we’re now making it available for free in two ways:

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The environmental movement is in Phase I of Decisive Ecological Warfare: building a culture of resistance, growing networks of like-minded people, and forming the nuclei for future above- and belowground organizations. It’s crucial right now to disseminate the Deep Green Resistance analysis and strategy to as large an audience as possible. The more you can help spread the ideas and promote the book, the more people who will think through what a serious resistance will look like, and the sooner an effective movement will begin.

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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

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.

Deep Green Resistance book audio excerpts

We recently updated the Deep Green Resistance book page of our main website to link to audio excerpts read by DGR members. We have excerpts from the Preface and from Chapters 1, 4, 5, 12, 14, and 15: “The Problem”, “Culture of Resistance”, “Other Plans”, “Introduction to Strategy”, “Decisive Ecological Warfare” (entire chapter!), and “Our Best Hope.” Look for the audio icons next to some of the chapters in the table of contents.

(Originally broadcast in 2012 on RAGE Radio, a great podcast series.)

Strategic Resistance – DGR book excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter 6, “A Taxonomy of Action”, of the book
Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save The Planet.

The strategies and tactics we choose must be part of a grander strategy.
This is not the same as movement-building; taking down civilization
does not require a majority or a single coherent movement. A grand
strategy is necessarily diverse and decentralized, and will include many
kinds of actionists. If those in power seek Full-Spectrum Dominance,
then we need Full-Spectrum Resistance.

Effective action often requires a high degree of risk or personal sac­rifice, so the absence of a plausible grand strategy discourages many
genuinely radical people from acting. Why should I take risks with my
own safety for symbolic or useless acts? One purpose of this book is to
identify plausible strategies for winning.

If we want to win, we must learn the lessons of history. Let’s take a closer look at what has made past resistance movements effective. Are there general criteria to judge effectiveness? Can we tell whether tac­tics or strategies from historical examples will work for us? Is there a general model—a kind of catalog or taxonomy of action—from which resistance groups can pick and choose?

The answer to each of these questions is yes.

Read the rest of Strategic Resistance on the DGR website.

The Problem of Civilization – DGR book excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter 1 of the book Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save The Planet.

A black tern weighs barely two ounces. On energy reserves less than a small bag of M&M’s and wings that stretch to cover twelve inches, she flies thousands of miles, searching for the wetlands that will harbor her young. Every year the journey gets longer as the wetlands are desiccated for human demands. Every year the tern, desperate and hungry, loses, while civilization, endless and sanguineous, wins.

A polar bear should weigh 650 pounds. Her energy reserves are meant to see her through nine long months of dark, denned gestation, and then lactation, when she will give up her dwindling stores to the needy mouths of her species’ future. But in some areas, the female’s weight before hibernation has already dropped from 650 to 507 pounds. Meanwhile, the ice has evaporated like the wetlands. When she wakes, the waters will stretch impassably open, and there is no Abrahamic god of bears to part them for her.

Read the rest of The Problem of Civilization on the DGR website.

REAL: Resistance Education At Libraries

Deep Green Resistance is pleased to announce the launch of REAL: Resistance Education At Libraries. This easy to use website helps identify libraries lacking our targeted resistance media, and makes it easier to contact each library or “Suggest a purchase” to fill in the gaps.

REAL initially focuses on three foundational works of the Deep Green Resistance and strategic anti-civ movement:

  • Deep Green Resistance by Derrick Jensen, Aric McBay, and Lierre Keith is crucial reading for anyone who has accepted that civilization is destroying the planet, but hasn’t known how to respond. This is the single most useful book to grow our movement of strategically thinking resisters. Deep Green Resistance is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet — and win.
  • Endgame, by Derrick Jensen, gives readers a crash course in anti-civ critique, an excellent and (relatively) succinct summary of what’s wrong with this culture and why. Many people already know this in their bones, but will benefit from Jensen’s eloquence and analysis to help them piece together a coherent big picture. By challenging readers to seriously ask themselves what it will take to make them fight back, and what that might look like for them as individuals and as a movement, this volume builds an important foundation for Deep Green Resistance. This book has awakened and radicalized many people, and has the potential to reach many more.
  • The Myth of Human Supremacy, also by Derrick Jensen’ debunks the near-universal belief in a hierarchy of nature and the superiority of humans. Vast and underappreciated complexities of nonhuman life are explored in detail–from the cultures of pigs and prairie dogs, to the creative use of tools by elephants and fish, to the acumen of caterpillars and fungi. The paralysis of the scientific establishment on moral and ethical issues is confronted and a radical new framework for assessing the intelligence and sentience of nonhuman life is put forth.

Many people first came to their awareness of the problems of civilization and the need to fight back thanks to these works. Getting them into public libraries will make them more accessible to people who find them by accident, or who seek them out after hearing about Deep Green Resistance and anti-civ activism.

You can help by using the website tools to make suggestions to your local library and to encourage friends and family to do the same. You can also contribute funds to help us donate copies of these media to libraries which can’t afford them from their own acquisition budgets.

To learn more about the project, or to get started, please visit Resistance Education At Libraries

Recruitment: An excerpt from Deep Green Resistance

Chapter 10
by Aric McBay
When they asked for those to raise their hands who’d go down to the courthouse the next day, I raised mine. Had it high up as I could get it. I guess if I’d had any sense I’d’ve been a little scared, but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do to me was kill me and it seemed like they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time ever since I could remember.
—Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights leader

Methods of outreach and recruitment vary depending on whether a group is aboveground or underground, how it is organized, and what role is being filled. There are really two kinds of recruitment, which you might call organizational and mutual recruitment. In organizational recruitment, an existing organization finds and inducts new members. In mutual recruitment, unorganized dissidents find each other, and forge a new resistance group. When resistance is well established, organizational recruitment can flourish. When resistance is rare or surveillance extensive, dissidents mostly have to find each other.

Recall that a movement can be divided into five parts based on roles: leaders, the cadres or professional revolutionaries who form the movement’s backbone, combatants or other frontline activists, auxiliaries, and the mass base.

Leaders, if they are recruited at all, are likely to find each other early on or be recruited from within the organization (especially in the underground, for the obvious reasons that they are known, have experience, and can be trusted).

The cadres and combatants or frontline activists are recruited in person, screened, and given training. Recruiting such people may require the bulk of recruitment resources, but that commitment of resources is necessary; cadres form the backbone of the resistance as professionals who give their all to the organization, and combatants are, of course, on the front lines.

Auxiliaries may be easier to recruit because they require a lesser commitment to the group, and the screening process may be simpler because they do not need to be privy to the same information and organizational details as those inside the organization. However, there generally should be some kind of personal contact, at least to initiate the relationship.

The mass base does not require direct recruitment because they support the resistance because of their own circumstances or experience, combined with propaganda and outreach from the resistance. Outreach to the mass base can take place through inexpensive mass media like books and newspapers, so that they require minimal effort per person to “recruit,” but they also offer little or no material support to the resistance. However, they may take some action on prompting from the resistance, and participate generally in acts of omission or noncooperation with those in power.

So how does one recruit? It depends. Aboveground groups have it pretty easy in terms of recruitment, because recruitment plays to their strengths. It’s relatively easy for them to engage in outreach and to publicize their politics and actions. Of course, because of this they are more vulnerable to infiltration. Underground groups need a somewhat more involved recruitment procedure, largely for security reasons, and they have a much smaller pool of potential recruits. All of this brings us to one of the most important conundrums for modern-day militants, what you might call the paradox of militant radicalization.

Most people who want to change the world start with low-risk, accessible activities, things like signing petitions or writing letters. When those don’t work, activists may escalate to protests, disruption, and civil disobedience. Maybe they are teargassed or beaten at a protest, and they become radicalized. If they care enough about their cause, they will continue to ratchet up their action until it works. Unless their issue is popular enough to be solved with legal action, activists eventually hit a wall at which further escalation is illegal or dangerous. At this point, some people choose to act underground. And here’s the paradox: aboveground action is based on getting attention. The people who have been the most persistent and relentless and most successful at raising awareness—the very people with the dedication and drive needed to go underground—may be the people who are at the most risk in going underground.

People living in overtly oppressed groups do not have the privilege of ignorance, and are more likely to be radicalized younger and in greater numbers. But within a surveillance society that doesn’t alter our fundamental problem: the process of militant radicalization is liable to draw counterproductive attention to the radical, simply because most people don’t turn to militant action until they have personally exhausted the less drastic and lower-risk avenues. Many of the most serious and experienced members of aboveground resistance thus become cut off from further escalation.

There’s no perfect solution; serious resistance entails risk, and all members have to decide for themselves what levels of risk they are willing to take on. Keeping a low profile is part of the answer. Someone who is considering serious underground resistance should avoid prominent, militant aboveground action; it’s important not to draw unwanted attention in advance. That doesn’t mean that people should stop being activists or stop being political, but militant aboveground action is a definite disqualifier for underground action.

This paradox must be addressed by individual communities of resistance having a culture of resistance. We must offer alternatives to the traditional routes of radicalization. Rather than simply following the default path, budding activists need to be told that there is a choice to be made between aboveground and underground action. Activists can privately discuss these options with trusted friends, but without planning specific actions (which would entail extra risk). This applies regardless of whether a movement is willing to use violence or not. As we have discussed, repression happens when a movement is effective, regardless of their tactics: witness Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Furthermore, it’s our assumption that successful resistance will grow, gather attention, and progress toward more militant activity as needed. That growth will increasingly draw unwanted attention and infiltration from intelligence agencies. That means any resistance movement that plans to eventually succeed needs to incorporate excellent security measures from the very beginning. Because the situation has been worsened by the rapid development of electronic surveillance, we radicals have been a bit behind the curve on this. Recruitment is a crucial area to apply good security.


Read the entire chapter by purchasing Deep Green Resistance or borrowing it from your local library.

Organizational Structures – An excerpt from Deep Green Resistance


From Deep Green Resistance, by Lierre Keith, Aric McBay, and Derrick Jensen

Page 293-296

Within both aboveground and underground activism there are several templates for basic organizational structures. These structures have been used by every resistance group in history, although not all groups have chosen the approach best suited for their situations and objec­tives. It is important to understand the pros, cons, and capabilities of the spectrum of different organizations that comprise effective resist­ance movements.

The simplest “unit” of resistance is the individual. Individuals are highly limited in their resistance activities. Aboveground individuals (Figure 8-Ib) are usually limited to personal acts like alterations in diet, material consumption, or spirituality, which, as we’ve said, don’t match the scope of our problems. It’s true that individual aboveground activists can affect big changes at times, but they usually work by engaging other people or institutions. Underground individuals (Figure 8-la) may have to worry about security less, in that they don’t have anyone who can betray their secrets under interrogation; but nor do they have anyone to watch their back. Underground individuals are also limited in their actions, although they can engage in sabotage (and even assassination, as all by himself Georg Elser almost assassinated Hitler).

Individual actions may not qualify as resistance. Julian Jackson wrote on this subject in his important history of the German Occupation of France: “The Resistance was increasingly sustained by hostility of the mass of the population towards the Occupation, but not all acts of indi­vidual hostility can be characterized as resistance, although they are the necessary precondition of it. A distinction needs to be drawn between dis­sidence and resistance.” This distinction is a crucial one for us to make as well.

Jackson continues, “Workers who evaded [compulsory labor], or Jews who escaped the round-ups, or peasants who withheld their pro­ duce from the Germans, were transgressing the law, and their actions were subversive of authority. But they were not resisters in the same way as those who organized the escape of [forced laborers] and Jews. Contesting or disobeying a law on an individual basis is not the same as challenging the authority that makes those laws.'”

Of course, one’s options for resistance are greatly expanded in a group.

The most basic organizational unit is the affinity group. A group of fewer than a dozen people is a good compromise between groups too large to be socially functional, and too small to carry out important tasks. The activist’s affinity group has a mirror in the underground cell, and in the military squad. Groups this size are small enough for participatory decision making to take place, or in the case of a hierarchical group, for orders to be relayed quickly and easily.

The underground affinity group (Figure 8-2a, shown here with a dis­tinct leader) has many benefits for the members. Members can specialize in different areas of expertise, pool their efforts, work together toward shared goals, and watch each others’ backs. The group . can also offer social and emotional support that is much needed for people working underground. Because they do not have direct rela­tionships with other movements or underground groups, they can be relatively secure. However, due to their close working relationships, if one member of the group is compromised, the entire affinity group is likely to be compromised. The more members are in the group, the more risk involved (and the more different relationships to deal with). Also because the affinity group is limited in size, it is limited in terms of the size of objectives it can go after, and their geographic range.

Aboveground affinity groups ( Figure 8-2b) share many of the same clear benefits of a small-scale, deliberate community. However, they may rely more on outside relationships, both for friends and fellow activists. Members may also easily belong to more than one affinity group to follow their own interests and passions. This is not the case with underground groups-members must belong only to one affinity group or they are putting all groups at risk.

The obvious benefit of multiple overlapping aboveground groups is the formation of larger movements or “mesh” networks (Figure 8-3b). These larger, diverse groups are better able to get a lot done, although sometimes they can have coordination or unity problems if they grow beyond a certain size. In naturally forming social networks, each member of the group is likely to be only a few degrees of separation from any other person. This can be fantastic for sharing information or finding new contacts. However, for a group concerned about security issues, this type of organization is a disaster. If any individual were compromised, that person could easily compromise large numbers of people. Even if some members of the network can’t be compromised, the sheer number of connections between people makes it easy to just bypass the people who can’t be compromised. The kind of decentral­ized network that makes social networks so robust is a security nightmare.

Underground groups that want to bring larger numbers of people into the organization must take a different approach. A security-con­scious underground network will largely consist of a number of different cells with limited connections to other cells (Figure 8-3a). One person in a cell would know all of the members in that cell, as well as a single member in another cell or two. This allows coordination and shared information between cells. This network is “compartmentalized.” Like all underground groups, it has a firewall between itself and the above­ ground. But there are also different, internal firewalls between sections.

How Can Young People Fight Back?

Certainly there are good reasons for us to fight back. We have had the misfortune of being born into a devastated world, a desecrated world, a world robbed of meaning and community and life. Instead of a world that has been watched over by our ancestors, we have been born in a time when we cannot be sure if there is a future.

The soil is gone. The forests were long since felled. The grasslands are ghosts. The oceans are bleeding out. The climate is in chaos. Rape is epidemic. Addiction is rampant, to drugs and pornography and alcohol and technology. We are living at the endgame of industrial civilization.

Earth is dying, and for many of us young people, this is all we know. Many of us have never seen an old-growth forest. How are we to know that trees as thick as the length of a car used to blanket this land? How are we to know, really know, that salmon used to return every year to feed the people and the forest and the land?

We have forgotten much. Civilization has successfully broken the bonds between the young and the old. This is critical to the success of empire – if we cannot remember our history, our triumphs and defeats, our traditions and our ways, how can we survive? How can we fight?

The young people have so much to offer. We have energy. We have conviction. We have rage. We have love. We have the discontentment of living in the system that is using us like slaves. These are gifts; we need to use them on behalf of this life. But for our gifts to be truly effective, we need to work together with our elders. This struggle needs to be multi-generational.

“Breaking the natural bonds (could there be a deeper bond than the cross generational one between mother and child?) between young and old means that the political wisdom never accumulates. It also means that the young are never socialized into a true culture of resistance. The values of a youth culture-an adolescent stance rejecting all constraints-prevent both the “culture” and the “resistance” from really developing. No culture can exist without community norms based on responsibility to each other and some accepted ways to enforce those norms. And the “resistance” will never amount to more than a few smashed windows, the low-hanging tactical fruit for an adolescent strategy of emotional intensity.” – Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save The Planet, page 144.

Deep Green Resistance is building a movement to fight back, and we mean to win. This is one way that young people can fight back: join us. There is much to be done, and time is short. Everyone can contribute – every mind and every set of hands brings us that much closer to a culture of resistance. We do not pretend that DGR is the only path. There are many organizations and groups of people around the world who are fighting back. Find these communities. Learn about the struggle. Learn your revolutionary history. Find elders who also see the necessity of fighting for life, and learn from them.

From here, we begin building. This movement has been a long time in coming, but now it is on its way. This may not look like a war, but it is a war. We need warriors.