Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Against Civilization

with 4 comments

Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato all talked about how the world is being destroyed by agriculture — the soil was washing down the hills into rivers and killing the rivers. This is as old as civilization because that’s what civilization is. We are not the first people to realize this. We talk about the oceans — two-thirds of all animal breaths are made possible by the plankton that the oceans produce, and the plankton populations are collapsing now, because the oceans are dying. If the oceans go down, we go down with them. There will not be life on land if the plankton go. This is what we are facing now, and it does require a solution that is commensurate with the problem. So all of this withdrawal into your own backyard garden is not in any way going to address the fact that the plankton are collapsing, and that is why we need a resistance, not a withdrawal. Personal solutions aren’t political solutions, and it is only through political solutions that we can take apart the political institutions that are actually murdering our planet.

Alternet has an interview with Aric McBay, Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen, authors of Deep Green Resistance. Via LGM.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm

4 Responses

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  1. They’re pretty stark — they’re not calling for a return to pre-industrial agricultural societies because they’re against agriculture. (They keep talking about their support for indigenous people, but I guess not the ones whose traditional practice was agricultural.) And one of the co-authors, in this Faq here (, responds to the question about whether their preferred results would kill millions by basically admitting it would (including himself — which makes it all right, I guess?), and trying to justify it. I found it rather chilling, really.

    Stepehn Frug

    August 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm

  2. Yeah — the link wasn’t an endorsement. But I find primitivism as the “answer” to the ecological crisis an interesting fantasy and thought this was a particularly striking example of it.


    August 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm

  3. Interesting fantasy, definitely. Plausible outcome? Possibly. Desirable outcome? Now they’ve lost me.

    (I’m not sure it helps. Loomis at LGM talks about the importance of having an extreme left, but I think that *some* extreme political views tend to discredit rather than help the more mainstream groups. Which is maybe to say, I think we may need an extreme environmental movement, but I don’t think we need *this* one.)

    Stepehn Frug

    August 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    • Yeah, I’m not sure it’s much of a politics at all, really. It’s a cultural form.


      August 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm

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