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169: The Flesh is Primary

KMO welcomes Derrick Jensen back to the program to explain why individual lifestyle change cannot substitute for organized political resistance. What's the point of taking shorter showers when industry and agriculture account for 90% of human water usage? Derrick explains why he thinks the Malthusian Correction can't come soon enough and why the physical world must be the independent variable in all of our calculations.

Music by Tonal Oak




( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 5th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
Hey KMO Finally got Derrick onto the c-realm! Yeah! Fantastic! I've been listening to your pod-casts for a while, and some of your guests have been OK/interesting, but authors like Derrick take it into depth that I really want to hear on the C-Realm. Please get him back on, on a regular basis. I guess I've done a lot of looking/searching for meaning as I grokked peak oil 12 years ago and have been an activist at both local and national level ever since. The more I do this, the more I realise that 'Peak Everything' (peak oil, peak soil, peak food, peak water, resource depletion, the 6th Mass Extinction, climate change, etc) is only the powerful symptom of an underlying reality: we have a cultural crisis. Apart from a few remnant indigenous cultures, the rest of us are in a dominant culture that is insane (disconnected from physical reality), and is pathological and suicidal. "We" (so-called 'civlised') have a crisis of consciousness. "We" are afflicted with a spiritual illness with a physical vector: Wetiko http://www.consumercide.com/cc/wetiko.html I sense that delving into the conciousness of so-called 'civilised' humans at this time of the Great Unravelling could go off in all sorts of directions, mostly probably about polishing the brasswork and arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. If you wanted to do that and stay in denial, I'd be heading off elsewhere for deeper podcasts to download and listen to while I garden. The more you choose to dig deeper, the more I appreciate your endeavours and come back for more! Keep it up KMO! Regards Ted (Nelson, NZ)
Sep. 7th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
While I enjoyed the interview and the impassioned author, I was left with an empty feeling afterward. I disagree that individuals cannot make a difference. It was Ghandi that advised people to "live the change they want to see." Living simple is not about offsetting corporate demagoguery, it is about spreading a new meme that is not cluttered with the garbage of the consumer culture. It has taken many generations to reach the point where we are now and it will take many to get us where we need to be. We must uncluter our consciousness and tune into a reality that will take us were we want to be. I am not convinced that we cannot go on beyond peak oil. I disagree on the whole that a malthusian correction is in the making. I have seen myself what the land can provide if people are willing to work with it instead of against it. I have seen meat and milk made with grass, all provided for by the sun. I have seen vegetables spring from my garden with no chemicals what so ever. All it takes is effort. The green revolution did provide for an explosion in production, however production would have followed demand anyway. Who is to say if chemical fertilizers were not implemented that we would not have been able to keep up with population increases. Also why is this green revolution always linked with the population boom. What I would argue is that the efficiencies in agriculture only served to move people away from rural agrarian lifestyles to industrial serfdom. I would argue that the reverse could take place as well. We may be looking at a future of less imbedded energy to use in agricultural. Perhaps we will have a reverse industrial revolution in which people move back to the agrarian. Never the less I have seen what we can do with biodynamic and organic agriculture. If managed holistically we can support a lot of people. We just may not be able to blog and keep up with what the machine wants. We must begin to use the talisman that Ghandi gave. We must begin to think about what is good for others as well as out self. Implement positive mutual feedback loops. We must have hope, and stop staring at our reflection in the pool of oil. It is time to think of others.

Sep. 11th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
Grumpy Dissent
Sorry, kmo, that Jensen guy sounded like a total tool, a slack-jawed starry-eyed dreamer who in college probably majored in Gross Definitional Conflation and did his thesis on "rendering words useless through horrible and sloppy application." He's the kind that make all the good works other do sound pitiable . . . just by endorsing them.

Examples? Okay, how about his take (a constant refrain) on saving the "planet." Sorry, Derrick, the planet is just a spinning, wobbly rock made slightly less wobbly by another spinning rock nearby. Despite your insistence on the destructive power of "Western culture" (another term you so badly conflate that it is rendered all but meaningless) we don't have the firepower to blow this planet to smithereens. It has seen extinctions on its biosphere before, and will again, all without threatening its mindless spinning and wobbling.

We do have to worry about preserving the exact existing parameters of the planet's biosphere, but not to save the salmon or the toads -- to save our sorry asses.

Oh, and it's not "Western culture" (according to Derrick, anyone with a car and a tie) that should be regarded as the threat. I just finished reading Peter Ward's The Call of Distant Mammoths. Those non-Western native friends Derrick claims dwelt peacefully in the N. American paradise for 12.5 millenia should be able to show him a wooly mammoth -- oh, wait, no, they drove those beasts into extinction 9,000 years ago, along with every other mega-fauna species native to the continent!!! Oopsie-daisy.

Thanks, kmo, for at least trying to steer him toward realizing that lashing out against corporate misdeeds (not "capitalist," another gross conflation of his) is directly akin to gut-punching a greeter at WalMart. Those Nigerian "resistance" fighters he so greatly admired in the interview don't mind that truth. Why should he?

I will cut him some slack, in that he was tired and an admitted introvert. Some people write well but speak appallingly. If I find more such non-sense in his books, though. . . .

In the meantime, he made my future LJ rant list. Don't worry; he's far from alone. Conflation is proving to be a ripe field practiced by many!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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