I notice a lot of permaculturists won’t read Derrick Jensen because, I guess, he’s so “depressing.” Truth-tellers always get a bad rap. Here’s a quote I liked from Deep Green Resistance, a treatise designed to inspire and encourage insurrection against the machine…
“…Don’t just swap seeds; swap the US Constitution for local direct democracies confederated across your bioregion. Swap capitalism and its sociopathic corporate personhood for local economies based on human needs and human morality. Swap the rapacious drawdown of civilization for a culture nestled inside a repaired community of forests and grasses, filling once more with species with whom we must share this home.” from Deep Green Resistance, Lierre Keith, Aric McBay, Derrick Jensen
Deep Green Resistance is an uncompromising book–a book of radical action politics I assume is meant to inspire insurrectionary action action the ecocidal empire. I didn’t have a whole lot of criticism of their assessment of our currect circumstances–dire, and getting worse, our ecological crisis pinned to our addictions, our imperialism, the history of slavery and genocide, the suppression of women and alternative voices. Standard fare for the radical left. But I was provoked by Deep Green Resistance on a lot of levels (probably because they insult everyone’s attempts to do good, even permaculturists. Sacred cow!)
I appreciated the authors’ willingness to continue to drive the conversation as far to the left as it can possibly go–we certainly need driving in that direction. So I think the book is both controversial and extremely self-evident. Of course industrial capitalism needs to fall; of course our individual actions are never enough against the size and intensity of the machine. Of course, the end of capitalism is the goal, but getting from here to there without stepping on all the people who are already at the bottom isn’t that simple.
I became an urban homesteader because concerned as I was, as a mother, it was the best I could do with the materials in the moment. I don’t have the capacity to throw myself against the machine and die, in the name of defending life. I made a different kind of commitment to life when I became a mother.
I was interested in the fact that people I spoke to about this book–committed permaculturists, eco-therapists, radical culture makers–were, to the one, not willing to engage with the book and unequivocally told me to put it down. Don’t read that! they chorused. I persevered, skipping some of the more tactical sections on how to recruit folks and what to do with them before you arm them, as it seemed largely irrelevant to my tame suburban life.
I wonder: what do you think of this book? Too much? Too idealistic? Too improbable? Too true? Let me know what you think…