robin-woodard

Ending Industrial Culture, Building Cultures of Resistance

An Interview With Lierre Keith and Aric McBay
Friday 10 October 2008 by anik

Lierre Keith and Aric McBay are both authors, small farmers, activists in their own way, and over the last couple years have been organizing weekend-long conferences

Lierre Keith and Aric McBay are both authors, small farmers, activists in their own way, and over the last couple years have been organizing weekend-long conferences entitled Deep Green Resistance. If you’d like to read it, their statement of purpose from their first gathering sums up where they’re coming from better than I can. In our interview, they speak of a systemic analysis of what we’re facing, including the environmental and social costs of industrial culture, tying together the problems of climate change, peak oil, the power of the right-wing/fascist elements, economic collapse, and so on. Most importantly, they ask the crucial questions that few others are asking: given the crises we face, what, really, are we going to do about it? Thinking with seriousness, long-term strategy, and courage, what can we as caring people do to save this planet? What are some essential elements of a culture of resistance that offers any hope of a securing a peaceful and sustainable future? Definitely worth listening to.

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Deep Green Resistance

A Weekend Workshop with Derrick Jensen, Aric McBay and Lierre Keith

We live in the most destructive culture to ever exist. In Derrick’s talks around the country he repeatedly asks his audiences, "Does anyone think this culture will voluntarily transform to a sustainable way of living?" No one ever says yes. If we really accept the seriousness of the situation, what would that mean for our strategy and tactics? This is the urgent question we will be exploring over the weekend.

Topics to include:
Organizing the Resistance
Bringing It Down: Bottlenecks and Levers
Security Culture
Liberal vs Radical: Some Conceptual Basics
Fighting Future Fascism
Preparing for the Crash
Q & A with Derrick

They talk about the inherent costs of the industrial system that render any kind of reform or energy alternatives to be simply more of the same, since these false solutions don’t take into account the cost of the infrastructure or the embodied energy required to make ’green’ consumer items, from smart cars to biofuel and low-energy light bulbs. From this critique of individualist and lifestyle-based solutions, they offer the option of collective, co-ordinated, resistance to the actual power structures. Most importantly, they ask the crucial questions that not too many are asking: given the crises we face, what, really, are we going to do about it? Thinking with seriousness, long-term strategy, and courage, what can we as caring people do to save this planet? What are some essential elements of a culture of resistance that offers any hope of a securing a peaceful and sustainable future?

They also talk of the tendency, in times of collapse, for people to cling to any leader who will grant them supposed security and a maintenance of the status quo that they have been used to. These leaders usually have fascist agendas that lead to horrible times for anyone on the margins of the dominant society, and this is one element that is often left out of the debate around climate change, if it does go so far as to touch on collapse. Worse yet, political and military leaders who’s agendas more than fulfill the definition of fascism are already well-entrenched in North America.

Some highlights: "I think a culture of resistance really needs loyalty and material support, wrapped up in a conscious embrace of a more militant strategy that actually has a goal, which is saving the planet."
"We can make moral exhortations and it doesn’t usually work, so I would just say, isn’t there something you love? Every one of us has to love something, or else we wouldn’t be alive. And if we love something, isn’t it worth fighting for?"
"I think if there’s anybody left 100 years from now, they’re going to wonder what the fuck was wrong wtih us that we didn’t fight like hell when the planet was going down. And this is our last moment to fight. So we have to do it."

For more information, you can visitLierre’s website, Aric’s website, or check out their upcoming workshops.
A couple notes in hindsight:

I mentioned immigrant detention centers in the US, but for some reason didn’t include Canada in that. It always bugs me when people talk about bad things in the US but neglect to mention Canada’s doing the same stuff. For more info on that a good start is No One is Illegal, some research on Toronto & Ontario area Detention Centres, and Solidarity Across Borders. There’s lots more out there, this is just a start....

Also Aric mentions very recent news about millions of tons of methane being rapidly released from the Arctic sea, due to melting permafrost... please peruse this article for more info about this: The Methane Time Bomb.

Download 50:16 Recorded October 1, 2008


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