We Are Not This Culture

Michelle Jones / Deep Green Resistance

We are not this culture. We are not this society. The culture has hijacked us. This society has imprisoned what we really are.

We are water, and land.

We are the space between the trees. We are the wind and the leaves. We are sound.

We are the energy between glances of animals, running, chasing, hiding, playing.

We are animals, laying on soil, sitting in soil, walking on soil. The soil informing us of what ground is. What our bodies are.

We are sun, the warmth radiated over thousands of miles, traveling, traveling across water and land.

We are power.

We are the rain, falling, falling, landing, streaming, rushing, penetrating.

We are billion’s of living beings cooperating flooding, swapping, picking up, putting down, merging, dividing, touching, loving, hating, dying and being born again.

We are the relationship of beings.

The relationships of life.

On the road to home from Standing Rock

Jennifer Murnan / Deep Green Resistance Colorado

Thin Blue Line

Flagged two times

Curious?

“The Line is what police officers protect, the barrier between anarchy and a civilized society, between order and chaos, between respect for decency and lawlessness.”

Blue line

Slap down

Smack down

Dogs dripping blood

Mace

Tear gas

Pepper spray

Pushing

Violating your way

Breaking past

Red and Black and Brown and

Even White Protectors

Faces

Bodies

What’s left of human sanity

of human sanctity

Hellbent

for the river

What happens

Blue line

If you succeed?

Do you

Breach?

Or do you free fall

dragging all

into

a bottomless pit

of blood and oil?

Civilization conquers all.


A Prayer and a Promise

To the red and brown and black and even white protectors

faces and bodies who know no lines

those between the blue line and sacred water of life

All that remains of human sanity

of human sanctity

Peace be with you

Love be with you

Courage is in you

You are all that your ancestors prayed for

Without you our future ceases to be

Thank you

We are coming

With Hope for the Environment Crushed, What Can We Do?

It’s time to stop hoping lobbying will ever convince those in power to stop burning fossil fuels, polluting our air and water, and destroying nature. For decades, even “lesser of two evils” political leaders have permitted accelerated attacks on our environment. A few have put band-aids in place; none have acted to reverse our course. With Trump and other reactionaries gaining power around the world, policies will only get worse.

It’s time to stop hoping for a mass shift in consciousness, a voluntary cultural adoption of a sane and sustainable way of living. Despite widespread understanding of looming environmental crises, voluntary simplicity and conservation have never gained mainstream traction. Nearly sixty million Americans just voted for Trump, who promised to gut even the tiny bits of environmental protection the US does have in place. Collectively, no matter the true costs, we are unwilling to sacrifice our comforts and luxuries. No amount of education will overcome this.

When we can’t rely on others to make necessary change, we’re left with direct action. Those of us serious about protecting present and future life on the planet must leverage our small numbers to shut down fossil fuels, polluting industries, and nature-destroying machines. This may sound radical, and that’s because it is. We need to go to the root of the problem and win the war there, rather than fight (and mostly lose) battle after battle against endless manifestations of ecocide.

Deep Green Resistance has realistically assessed the resources of the environmental movement, the opposition we face, and the time we have left before runaway climate change and ecological collapse have gone too far to stop. Our response, Decisive Ecological Warfare, is a plausible strategy to stop the rich from exploiting the poor and the powerful from destroying the planet. Industrial infrastructure is surprisingly vulnerable: sprawling and impossible to protect everywhere. Though we’ll never have large numbers of people fighting on the front lines, they can be disproportionately effective by attacking carefully chosen critical bottlenecks.

Don’t let despair drive you to retreat; there’s too much at stake. This is a call-out for people to join the fight on the side of the living. Read our strategy. Read our book. If you’re in a position to carry out direct action to stop the destruction, know that there is an aboveground movement building in support of your work. If you can’t be on the front lines, for any of a hundred perfectly valid reasons, join us in the aboveground as a volunteer, as a member, or as a financial supporter. Help us support the militant resistance the planet desperately needs.

Learn more:

Ecological Special Forces: A Proposal

The planet needs commandos

It wasn’t until the 1940’s that what we think of as the “commando” or special forces units were standardized by the British Army. With the goal of disrupting German forces in western France and later in the Mediterranean and North Africa, the first commando units were modeled on small groups of Arab fighters who had great success pinning down much larger British Army units during the uprisings in Palestine in the 1930’s.

These units proved to be very effective during World War II and have since become a staple of modern warfare. Today, the U.S. empire largely projects military force through targeted special forces operations and bombing campaigns, rather than outright warfare and traditional military maneuvers.

The Case for Ecological Commandos

Our planet is on the verge of total ecological collapse. Nothing is getting better. Governments and corporations continue business as usual while every day, carbon dioxide levels rise, forests are cut down, and 200 species are driven extinct. Forty percent of all human deaths can be attributed to pollution. Ocean fish may not exist by 2050.

Even in ecological preserves, life is suffering; there has been an 85% decline in mammals in West Africa’s parks. Major dams continue to be built. Environmentalists being are murdered around the world. African lions are in precipitous decline, as are tigers, leopards, elephants, polar bears, rhino, and countless other species. Most of the species who are driven extinct haven’t even ever been described by western science; they slip into extinction with barely a ripple.

Our few, hard-won victories are temporary. Protections can be (and are) revoked. Ground can be lost. Despite all we have done, life on this planet is slipping away.

Small forces of ecological commandos could reverse this trend by targeting the fundamental sources of power that are destroying the planet. We have seen examples of this. In Nigeria, commando forces have been fighting a guerrilla war of sabotage against Shell Oil Corporation for decades. At times, they have reduced oil output by more than 60%.

No environmental group has ever had that level of success. Not even close.

In the U.S., clandestine ecological resistance has been relatively minimal. However, isolated incidents have taken place. A 2013 attack on an electrical station in central California inflicted millions of dollars in damage to difficult-to-replace components used simple hunting rifles. The action took a total of 19 minutes, displaying the sort of discipline, speed, and tactical acumen required for special forces operations.

Characteristics of Special Forces Units

Physical Fitness

Mobility and secrecy are critical to the success of special forces. Therefore, physical fitness, as well as the use of appropriate aids, such as helicopters, bicycles, or pack animals, is essential. Commandos must be prepared to climb barriers, crawl, swim, carry heavy objects, endure long distance travel, maintain stillness, and so on.

Training in Infantry Weapons

Competency in firearms, knives, explosives, unarmed combat, and other handheld weapons are essential to these types of missions.

Focused on Stealth

Commandos must be capable of evading superior forces. This means they must have the ability to move silently and swiftly, and to hide in a variety of terrain. They should also be capable of killing or capturing opponents quickly and silently. However, stealth—the ability to avoid enemies—is more important than combat; fighting should only occur as a last resort. According to the book Deep Green Resistance, thus far the definitive resource on environmental sabotage, ecological commandos should seek to avoid causing casualties to avoid alienating the public further.

Comfortable Operating in Darkness and All Weather Conditions

Darkness is the element of choice for special forces units. Adverse weather can provide additional cover and opportunity. Therefore, units should train to operate in such conditions.

Capable of Operating on Water

Objectives often will be more accessible via water.

Flexible and Self-Directed

Communications during operations may be impossible, and comms equipment is always subject to failure. Special forces must be prepared with a plan. However, they should have a good understanding of mission objectives and be prepared to improvise.

Small Units

Unlike traditional military forces, commando units typically form small squads of 2-12 individuals. Multiple squads may come together for some operations, but small unit size allows faster reaction time and greater operational flexibility—critical in asymmetrical conflict. Special forces engaged in sabotage often split into two forces: one focused on demolitions, the second on covering the demolition force. Units in the field are supported by medical teams, researchers, supply officers, and other support staff at secure positions.

Proper Target Selection

Traditional military units operate by seizing and holding territory. Since special forces rely on tactical rather than strategic advantages, a different approach is needed. Commandos generally focus on high-value targets like supply lines, fuel depots, communications hubs, important propaganda targets, unprepared foes, and so on. Attacking such targets can destroy the enemy’s ability to fight. Clandestine units are always focused on attack, and not defense.

Intelligence Driven

The success of special forces operations depends largely on good intelligence. Gathering information about target locations, defenses, surveillance, cover, enemy reinforcements, escape routes, transportation options, weather, and so on is essential.

Doing What it Takes to Halt Empire

Our situation is desperate. Things continue to get worse. False solutions, greenwashing, corporate co-optation, and rollbacks of previous victories are relentless. Resistance communities are fractured, isolated, and disempowered. However, the centralized, industrialized, and computerized nature of global empire means that the system is vulnerable. Power is mostly concentrated and projected via a few systems that are vulnerable.

Even powerful empires can be defeated. But those victories won’t happen if we engage on their terms. Ecological special forces provide a method and means for decisive operations that deal significant damage to the functioning of global capitalism and industrialism. With enough coordination, these sorts of attacks could deal death blows to entire industrial economies, and perhaps (with the help of aboveground movements, ecological limits, and so on) to industrialism as a whole.

Implementation of this strategy will require highly motivated, dedicated, and skilled individuals. Serious consideration of security, anonymity, and tactics will be required. But this system was built by human beings; we can take it apart as well.

Good luck.

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.

March Against Monsanto this Saturday

Anita Stewart / Deep Green Resistance Florida

The latest news reports on glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weed-killer Roundup, indicate that it is present in California wines, Quaker Oats and even in the urine of elected officials in Europe. Roundup is manufactured by Monsanto ― the same Monsanto that produced Agent Orange (notoriously contaminated with dioxin) responsible for the ongoing, horrific birth defects in Viet Nam where it was widely used as a defoliant and sprayed from planes into the bush and over remote villages. These chemicals also affect the US children of those active duty military and veterans that were exposed. What is chilling is the fact that these chemicals have also been either stored or used here in the United States.

Agent Orange is connected to the 25% of Veterans testing positive for Diabetes 2 per the VA’s own website–the general population is at 8–10%. (As soon as you are diagnosed through the VA with Diabetes 2, the second question is “to your knowledge, were you ever exposed to Agent Orange?” So the VA is well aware of this connection).

The VA will not pay out any monies/disability to Agent Orange victims unless the veteran was stationed in Viet Nam. Per the veterans themselves and some of their most recent reports, Agent Orange was not used, stored or transported exclusively in Viet Nam.

The Risks are Supposed to be Secret on this Globe Full of Victims

50% of our general population will get cancer during their lifetime or have it already. And this directly affects all of us as many of us have loved ones with cancer or know someone that has died from it. Those of us who got our diagnosis already are working hard at staying alive. We will live the rest of our lives constantly detoxing. Some of us who are veterans have both cancer and diabetes and both conditions are connected to the use of Agent Orange and other Monsanto chemicals per the VA’s own website. We have probably been poisoned.

The important thing to note about these reports is that the IARC, a World Health Organization working group of doctors published their findings last year showing that Roundup’s Glyphosate “probably causes cancer.” Their report was posted on the LANCET website last year. Immediately after the report was published, Monsanto demanded a retraction of the IARC’s findings but they never got it.

From March Against Monsanto: “In a recent article by EcoWatch, it was revealed that the EPA had finally released its long-awaited report on the WHO declaration, only to mysteriously pull it from circulation.”

These are ways that corporate media, news outlets and government agencies censor, omit or create a critical buzz regarding information and attempt to keep it from those who need it most; like journalists, victims and medical workers. And of course to cover up the crimes by the corporations and any possibility of them being held accountable.

Other alarming trends and side effects of the regular use of these toxins include the killing off of our pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and birds. Some of these populations are now collapsing. We are already losing approximately 200 species a day due to extinction. Without the pollinators, we will not be able to sustain our current food supplies.

Many questions need to be raised about the continued use of these toxins. Roundup is the one most widely used in the US, despite being banned in many other countries.

This planet is Gaia because of her evolutionary adaptive capacity. The only question to ask is, ‘Will human beings be around in that adaptive context?’

Dr. Vandana Shiva, Eckerd College, March 9, 2015.

Our Demands and Why We March

Labeling GMOs or genetically modified organisms in our food products and produce is the other reason why we march. I believe at the very least companies should be accurately labeling them. March Against Monsanto calls for two events a year: in May and October. The events are to increase awareness about the need for labeling food that contains GMO’s. This would give the consumers all of the information they need to know so they can make educated choices for themselves and their families.

I want to take it a step further. I call for a permanent ban on Roundup and other similar agro-chemicals, and a boycott of anyone that is using them. We are literally marching for our lives. Who is with me?

Upcoming Events

We march everywhere on the globe Saturday, May 21st, 2016. Join us as we march for the right to not be poisoned anymore.

March Against Monsanto will be present at a hearing at the Hague in October 2016 to correspond with World Food Day. You can help crowdfund and organize that event.

River, I am Listening Now

Years ago, a Deep Green Resistance member hosted the RAGE podcast: Radio Against Global Ecocide. We have posted an archive page of the audio episodes, and we wanted to repost this episode from August 12, 2010. Host Seymour Lyphe holds his first interview with a non-human: the kisiskāciwani-sīpiy (Saskatchewan River) near his home.

Listen to this episode, or read Seymour’s original post:

I used to believe I was fairly good at being in touch with nature. When I walked though the forest I would walk around spider webs, careful not to step on mushrooms. Even in town I would step over ants on the sidewalk, which is tricky because ants are not very linear. I talk with chickadees, crows, and magpies; any bird that will hang around for a chat. I stop walking so a squirrel will not see me and can safely cross the road. I talk with plants and, yes, have even hugged a few trees, which gives a very calming feeling.

It was not until I did the interview with kisiskāciwani-sīpiy that I realized that much of my relationship the real world was, well, less than real. My connection with the kisiskāciwani-sīpiy was one of the most emotional experiences of my life.

It has been very hard for me to figure out how I going to present this; at the same time I believe it is important that I do.

As I was sat down (I slipped and fell in a sitting position so I stayed where I was) to do my interview with the river and record the sound it was making, it become obvious, as it would to anyone who sits by a river, that a river is much more then water running over rocks. It is everyone who lives in and around it. It is the beings who come in contact with it, no matter how briefly. I will play Derrick Jensen’s piece “Pretend you are a River” at the end of this, as it is one of the best pieces I have every read and heard on what it is to be a river. Here is the story the river told me, through imagery and emotion.

The kisiskāciwani-sīpiy was born with the rise of the mountains and was shaped through the ice age. Now it told me it is dying. The glaciers that give it life are fading away.

I was shown images of a time when the forest and prairie crowded against the river, when it had friends to talk with, not the strange yellow or green aliens of today.

Then it all changed.

Imagine you are being poisoned. Imagine that the life blood is being drained from you so the poison becomes stronger. Imagine that you are forced to pass this poison on to all your friends and those who live with you. Imagine you are forced to give this poison to everyone you meet on your path. Imagine that with very fibre of your soul you do not want do to this. You scream out for help but those who listen are gone. And the poison keeps coming.

I saw the death of kisiskāciwani-sīpiy friends, death of those who listened. At times there was more blood then water, then the oldest of friends fell and soon came the strange and crazy ones.

During this time I cried as the river was crying. It seemed to be coming from a depth I have not been to before. I choked and gasped as if I were trying to rid myself of the poisons within me. At times I just writhed in pain.

Afterwards I lay there, stunned by the emotions I had witnessed. I felt I had just an inkling of what it must be like to be tortured or subjected to the worst concentration camp conditions.

I thought also that we who live in the dominant culture really have no idea what it’s doing to the world, to the living earth, for our comfort and ease of life. I’d like to think that if those who are supposedly fighting for kisiskāciwani-sīpiy and other rivers really understood the pain the rivers are in, they would be working that much harder to protect them. But I am not sure, for I have seen very little willingness on the part of environmentalists to give up their comfort for any of the living world.

I also start to understand what it is to be alive in the world, to feel connected to the place I live. I wonder if I came anywhere close to the connection between past listeners and the river. I will make every effort to do so.

After my talk with kisiskāciwani-sīpiy I have come to realize that we are meant to drink living water. The water that comes from pipes is no longer living, and is full of its own unknown concoctions. The problem is that the living water is now poison and we cannot drink it. Tap water is zombie water, zombie water for zombies.

We need desperately to heal the rivers, heal ourselves. We need a resistance that will make it so.

Trending David Bowie: a cultural disaster

Julian Langer / Deep Green Resistance UK

I woke up this morning to find my social media feed awash with David Bowie mourners, with too many articles on the subject to count. His death also featured on TV stations and the airwaves. Bowie is an icon within the industry of 20th and 21st century capitalism, arguably unmatched in terms of following, creativity and cultural impact. He undeniably had great talent. But, how can this culture place such disproportionate emphasis on the death of one man, relative to far more pressing issues?

The spectacle of this culture covers up a greater state of loss, with not even a tiny fraction of the attention paid to Bowie’s death given to matters of planetary life and death. These are just a few of the environmental and technology articles I found today with repercussions far greater than those from the death of one celebrity, no matter how popular:

Our cultural focus is a complete and utter disaster. The cultural spectacle leaves us increasingly distracted, while our world falls apart and we trust our fate to those who profit from the disintegration.

Personally, I feel a lot like Lisa Simpson in The Simpsons Movie, when she says “This town is just one piece of trash away from a toxic nightmare! But I knew you wouldn’t listen. So I took the liberty of pouring water from the lake in all your drinking glasses!”, to which Moe responds with “See, this is why we should hate kids!” But this isn’t a cartoon. Neither Lisa Simpson, David Bowie, nor even Spider-Pig will stop this culture and the world it is creating. We need to take on the responsibility, and resist in whatever ways we can.

Unlearning alienation: a crucial component of a revolutionary movement

Michael Regenfuss / Deep Green Resistance Bay Area

Michael gave a talk at this year’s annual DGR conference on the subject of overcoming alienation, quoting some pertinent passages from The Sorcerer of Bolinas Reef by Charles Reich. He elaborates on those thoughts here.

What is alienation, how did we become afflicted with it, and how do we unlearn it? Alienation is created when you are being systematically undervalued, abused, and traumatized. We have all been undervalued from the day we were born. We are taught not only to expect less out of ourselves, but to expect less out of other people and also to undervalue the non-human part of nature.

Alienation gets built up layer by layer over the years through a process of false conditioning, which can get into your consciousness without your being aware that it is happening. The process of alienation is a learned thing, and so it can be unlearned. You can unlearn on your own, but it’s easier and faster if you have the help of others to facilitate the unlearning process. All you have to do is first decide that you are going to do this, and then find other like minded people, and form an affinity group that focuses on personal growth and real community.

The earth’s survival is the number one priority and needs to be our main focus, but there must be an emphasis placed on fundamental personal growth too. If you engage in this part of the revolution, it will not only improve your own lives, but make you a better activist and help guard against burnout.

Reich’s book is a great educational tool that will help you to learn more how alienation works, and it has countless insights as to how to unlearn it. The way to read the book is to read 8 to 10 pages at a time, set it down and think critically about what you’ve read, and then read the next 8 to 10 pages. By reading it this way you will hopefully begin to comprehend the whole difficult concept of alienation.

#EPICFAIL in Paris: COP21

Julian Langer / Deep Green Resistance UK

The President of the USA, Obama, is describing the Paris Climate Deal as a turning point for the world. The delegates stand up and applaud, in congratulations of this supposedly historic event in contemporary political history.

…… I’m sorry, but, what?!

James Hansen, among other experts, has already articulated criticism of this deal – “It’s a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bullshit …” and honestly, do we need more bullshit?

Al Gore and business leaders are claiming this deal might be the trigger for the end of the fossil fuel era, but emissions aren’t expected to peak until 2030. That’s more than 5000 days before peak emissions, 5000 days of everything getting even worse. Civilization is already driving 200 species extinct every day – to quote Lierre Keith “They were my kin. They were yours too”.

Even from a purely anthropocentric perspective, the situation is bad and getting worse. Low-lying coastal states are already at a critical point, facing the cost of rising sea levels in their daily lives. Even the UK, in a far better situation to respond to this worsening crisis, is facing the devastating consequences of this culture’s way of life. We’ve seen climate change trigger the current refugee crisis in Europe, and today’s business-as-usual will make the future crisis even worse.

I’ll rephrase my previous question – can we afford (in terms of lives, not money) more bullshit?

It is time for us to reclaim environmentalism from the clutches of those wishing to make the destruction of our planet “sustainable.” It is time to create a culture of resistance to protect the natural world from the demands of this culture.